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Old 10-01-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
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Tranny, Throttle Body, or Valve Body?

Friends,

I have an 06 9-5 sport automatic that I love with 72k miles. For the last couple of months I have had some strange problems but cannot pinpoint (and multiple Indy mechanics cannot give me a straight answer) See below:

1. Transmission shifts into R and D delayed followed by a clunk on hot days or stop and go traffic. You can feel a minor thump while coasting like the transmission is trying to shift when it is not supposed to). Twice the TCS "off" light came and the transmission (!) light in addition to the check engine light all at once in traffic (we are at a complete stop) followed by a jolt that felt like the car was hit from behind and then the car stalled out. It started back up with no problem. 2. A couple of months ago I changed the battery to a AAA battery (recommended for the SAAB) and this solved the problem for a little while but it is happening again. I am also getting strange messages on the SID like "front headlight needs replacement." I dont know if the two are related but it seems to occur together with the mechanical issues.

3. I changed the tranny fluid twice within a month period and as the fluid was very dirty. It didnt solve the problem. I purchased Lucas tranny fix and that solved the problem but occassionally I will get minor mishifts, etc and the thump.

What could it be? Thank you for your help.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:01 AM   #2
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Get the Lucas fluid out of there ASAP, that stuff is garbage.

Sounds more like trans issues.

It could just be the fluid.

(You are checking the fluid level correctly, right? You check the fluid level of an automatic with THE ENGINE RUNNING, warmed completely up to temperature, and the shifter in PARK).

The 5-speed transmission in your car is EXTREMELY picky about the fluid you use. It's unusual for the later transmissions to have valve body issues, but not unheard of, especially if the fluid drained black (it may have never been changed, and ~70k miles is way too long between changes).

The fluid you need to find is a GM / Saab spec called 3309. Most generic ATF from auto parts stores does NOT meet this specification. The 3309 fluid is also a NON-synthetic fluid.

Mobil makes a 3309 spec fluid, but it's hard to find.

The transmission is actually a Japanese design used in some Toyota / Lexus cars, and some Volvos.

The best way to get the fluid is to actually buy it from the Toyota dealership, because it's cheap and easy to find. Something like $6/qt last time I bought some.

What you have to ask for is "type four" automatic transmission fluid. It's labeled as "Toyota T-IV".

If the fluid drained really dark you need to drain and fill until it runs red and clear. It takes about 4 qts. to do a drain and fill.

1) Drain what's in there out the drain plug.
1a) Remove the cooler lines from the front of the trans and drain the cooler while you're down there, that's optional tho, and it's possible to mangle the o-ring seals if you aren't careful.

2) Replace drain plug, top up fluid

3) Start engine and let it idle in park for about a minute.

4) Shift the transmission slowly from P - R - N - D - N - R and back to Park. Do that 4-5 times with 5 seconds or so between shifting gears.

5) Shut down and drain. If it's not clear and pink, start over at #1 until it drains clear.

You also need to get the Lucas stuff and whatever fluid you put in if it's not correct.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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Thank you Drew. The ATF was changed two months ago and it was not burnt or dirty. I had it changed again last weekend and it was burnt and dirty. They filled and drained again until it pink again. They used the expensive toyota fluid. I also heard that if the coolant in the car is old it could also be causing tranny issues. I do not think the coolant has been drained as of yet. DO you think it is worth changing the coolant to see if it fixes the problem?
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:02 PM   #4
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Unless it's leaking coolant into the transmission housing (never happens on 9-5's, it happens on 9-3SS's because the exchange chamber in the radiator breaks, not something in the transmission) it won't make a difference. If it was leaking into the transmission you'd find that the coolant level dropping and the transmission overfilled and it would drain all milky.

If it only took two months to get dark and burnt smelling then it's probably slipping and worn out anyway. The fluid gets dark from the clutch packs being worn and the friction surfaces scrape off and contaminate the fluid.

The fluid in the 4-speed automatic in my '99 9-5 drains dark dark red but still translucent after 30-35k miles. If the fluid is getting dark that quick start shopping for a transmission, just trying to service the valve body will be expensive. The valve bodies are over $1k new, and it's very hard to find them used in good condition. You should be able to find a low-ish mileage transmission for $700-$1,000.

Eriksson Industries in Connecticut does a good job rebuilding them. http://www.erikssonindustries.com/
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Last edited by DrewP; 10-02-2013 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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sounds similar to the issue im having with my 05 9-5 Aero. Ive been following this thread on SC 2002 9-5 aero, auto transmission issue - SaabCentral Forums
and have been using some of the advice unclemiltie posted.

My trans fluid was black when i got the car, it had 92k on it. Did the three flushes with mobil 3309 and the symptoms improved/werent as harsh. I now have about 2k+miles on it since the last of the 3 flushes. Still have the symptoms, couple weeks ago i had the TCM updated and still have the symptoms. Next i wil be swapping out the TCM and if that doesnt fix i will change the solenoids in the valve body and keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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Curious as to how you updated your TCM. I've been having similar issues, and I've changed out my transmission fluid with Mobile 3309, you can pick it up at advanced auto parts.

The car is now drivable but it starts off in 3rd gear and stays in 3rd gear. I was thinking about changing out the TCM but before doing that I wanted to see if there was another method. Seeing that you mentioned that you updated it, I would like to try that method first.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dasaabguy View Post
sounds similar to the issue im having with my 05 9-5 Aero. Ive been following this thread on SC 2002 9-5 aero, auto transmission issue - SaabCentral Forums
and have been using some of the advice unclemiltie posted.

My trans fluid was black when i got the car, it had 92k on it. Did the three flushes with mobil 3309 and the symptoms improved/werent as harsh. I now have about 2k+miles on it since the last of the 3 flushes. Still have the symptoms, couple weeks ago i had the TCM updated and still have the symptoms. Next i wil be swapping out the TCM and if that doesnt fix i will change the solenoids in the valve body and keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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you would need to take the car to your local dealer/indy that has the software for the update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HardeepOne View Post
Curious as to how you updated your TCM. I've been having similar issues, and I've changed out my transmission fluid with Mobile 3309, you can pick it up at advanced auto parts.

The car is now drivable but it starts off in 3rd gear and stays in 3rd gear. I was thinking about changing out the TCM but before doing that I wanted to see if there was another method. Seeing that you mentioned that you updated it, I would like to try that method first.
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