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Old 04-20-2009, 03:30 PM   #1
Qjinx
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Default P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

I have been reading these forums for some time now, and have finally registered.

I have been recieving the trouble code: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

From what I have read it appears that the 4th gear transmission solenoid is bad. The car will come out of 4th and go into 3rd on the freeway from time to time, and likes to slam into gear from time to time, but only in fourth.

I just wanted to confirm that this is what everyone thinks it is before going thru the process of replacing it.

The car is a 1999 Saturn SL automatic.

Thank you for your time, and thanks for the great site.

-JinX

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

Before digging into the guts try this. Remove the plug in the top of the transmission and flush out the socket and plug with CRC Electronic Cleaner. Let it evaporate and put it back together and go for a drive. Be careful with the center holding bolt as it is screwed into a bushing in plastic and is easy to break.

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Old 04-20-2009, 09:38 PM   #3
edlee
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

In my experience, when the 4th gear transmission solenoid malfunctions, you get multiple diagnostic codes, including the codes for P0732, no 2nd gear; P0733, no 3rd gear; and P0783, shift solenoid 4 circuit performance. View some of my other messages by clicking on my user name. You can also look at the pictures of a burnt-out solenoid in my user photos. You might have a different problem.

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Old 04-20-2009, 11:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

I can access the plug by just removing the intake line, battery, and tray correct?

I was ready to order the solenoid, but then I read this post. I would have thought a bad plug would throw the code for multiple gears instead of the sporadic 4th gear ratio code only?

This car barely has 70k miles on it and it seems to be having alot of problems. I have already had to replace the intake manifold gasket (Not a fun project by the way) as well as the EGR valve. ...And now this.

I have never heard of a car having this kind of a shifting issue, but it seems to be common with these Saturns. I figured after reading all these posts it was the solenoid for sure.

Again thanks for the help.

-JinX

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Old 04-20-2009, 11:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

Yes, that is what you have to remove to get to the contacts. Sometimes the seal leaks a bit and you get oil in there and it will foul up a solenoid. It easy to clean it out and if it fixes the problem then you win. If not it has not cost a lot in parts or time.

As has been mentioned above the electrical system has to be in top notch shape or you will have odd transmission problems. Battery should be at 12.6vDC after sitting all night and should be 14.2vDC or over when running at idle with everything turned off except the engine. If you have a voltmeter its a quick check also.

As you have an intermitant shifting issue a totally failed solenoid is not likely. They do semi fail also but other things can cause the same symptoms.

Do the easy-cheap stuff first.

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Old 04-20-2009, 11:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

Now a days I am all about doing the cheap stuff first.

Should the cleaning of the electrical contacts and the battery check not do the trick, what else do you suggest I look into? If it involves opening the transmission, this car just became a paperweight. My father taught me only 1 things about transmissions... Don't mess with them.

Thanks,

JinX

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Old 04-21-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qjinx View Post
Should the cleaning of the electrical contacts and the battery check not do the trick, what else do you suggest I look into? If it involves opening the transmission, this car just became a paperweight. My father taught me only 1 things about transmissions... Don't mess with them.
Taking the top cover off an getting to the valve body is pretty easy. There's a utube video of replacing the pressure solenoid. Don't chicken out so easy.

...
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qjinx View Post
I can access the plug by just removing the intake line, battery, and tray correct?

I was ready to order the solenoid, but then I read this post. I would have thought a bad plug would throw the code for multiple gears instead of the sporadic 4th gear ratio code only?

This car barely has 70k miles on it and it seems to be having alot of problems. I have already had to replace the intake manifold gasket (Not a fun project by the way) as well as the EGR valve. ...And now this.

I have never heard of a car having this kind of a shifting issue, but it seems to be common with these Saturns. I figured after reading all these posts it was the solenoid for sure.

Again thanks for the help.

-JinX
You dont have to remove anything to get to the plug on top of the valve body cover, there is room to unscrew it.

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Old 04-21-2009, 02:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

Quote:
Taking the top cover off an getting to the valve body is pretty easy. There's a utube video of replacing the pressure solenoid. Don't chicken out so easy.
Oh the valve body etc I have no issue with doing. I meant if it involves dropping the transmission and opening the case it just became a paperweight. The car isn't worth what a rebuilt transmission would cost.

I'm still hoping its the solenoid thats taking a dump, if not the plug. The problem is isolated to 4th gear only, so unless it's the physical gear itself I still think it has something to do with the contacts or solenoid for that gear.... I hope anyway.

I just want to check as much as I can when I have it apart, so I was trying to find what else to look for.

-JinX

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Old 04-22-2009, 06:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: P0734 - Incorrect 4th Gear Ratio

You might want to get your battery and charging system checked as well. Just to be sure. About the only advice I've seen on here regrading automatics has to do with the valve body which is pretty easy or the input shaft nut which is somewhat more difficult but, still not ripping apart the tranny.

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