Saturn S-Series:

Transmission problems

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# 1  4/11/2011 4:42 PM

New member
Registered: 4/11/2011
Posts: 1

Transmission problems

Help!  I have a 1997 Saturn SL2. I have owned the car since it was new and love it!  I have had no problems with it until this year when all at once the a/c went out, the power door locks stopped working, the power windows in the back stopped working, and now the transmission is not working properly either! It will not go into R, it will only go into first, and will not shift at all. The engine/power train have been faithfully maintained, and this is the first major problem I have had with the car. Someone told me that there is an electronic shift module on the transmission and that is the problem.  What do you think?
Thank You!



# 2  4/11/2011 7:39 PM

Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1313

Re: Transmission problems

You should first have someone put a scanner on the vehicle to see if any trouble codes are stored in the computers memory. If any codes are present repair them first.

I don't know if this is related to your problem but it is worth looking into.

Look into this service bulletin, this is only part of the service bulletin. If you need the whole bulletin you can get it at

It explains that a possible poor connection can exist at the transmission connector. It could be part of the problem.

Scan the system and get back to me and I'll look further into the problem. 


ISSUE DATE: March, 2001

CATEGORY TYPE: Transaxle - 01

CATEGORY: Automatic

CORPORATION: 01-07-30-006

Harsh Shifts No Shifts, and/or No TCC Operation with Transaxle Related DTCs Set (Replace Transaxle Connector and Harness)

1994 - 2001 Saturn S-Series vehicles with automatic transaxles (RPO MP6 or MP7)

Some customers may comment about harsh transaxle shifting and/or erratic transaxle shifting. One or more transaxle-related diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) may have set. The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) may or may not be illuminated depending on what DTC is set.

One or more of the DTCs shown may be set and indicate what circuits are affected.

Due to normal powertrain vibration, the transaxle wiring may flex and cause a circuit to open inside wire insulation near transaxle connector. In some cases, insulation will look distorted at point of open circuit.

CORRECTION: Perform procedure in this bulletin to replace transaxle connector (P/N 21024415).

There could be a pressure loss at the forward (2nd) reverse clutch. The problem is that the input shaft nut becomes loose and causes no reverse and no shift out of first. The input shaft nut needs to be retorqued to 111 ft lbs.  This repair involves getting into the transmission; it's about a three hour job.
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