Transmission stuck in top gear

Asked by Dec 02, 2014 at 09:11 PM about the Saturn S-Series

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1999 Saturn SL; 1.9L motor, automatic transmission; my car seems to be stuck in "D" or
the top (4th?) gear; shifts from P to R with a thud, then to D but never goes down to first
gear.  Fluid levels appear okay.  No leaks.  Any ideas where to start?

5 Answers

17,880

Yes I do, the transmission is shot. I had the same thing happen to me. The p to r is a big thud right? You can get one out of a junkyard fairly cheap however the car isn't really worth spending that much money on it.

5,035

Any time I hear of shifting problems in an automatic transmission I think of accumlators, vacuum modulators, or the valve body. Problem is that for many cars there isn't a whole lot of information available on the web. I don't know if it's real kosher, but I'd suggest you try a Saturn forum and post the question. For example on a Ford forum there's a real transmission expert who happily helps people with trans problems.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the input! The car was only $600 so I don't have much to lose by fixing it or parting it out. I guess it is time to learn about transmissions!

17,880

That's good you didn't pay much for the car. A good low mile transmission from a yard might be $400-900. A rebuild is going to run you around $1200-1500. If the car has a lot of miles on it (160,000 or so) its just not worth it, to me. That's my 2 cents worth and you got it for free, LOL

5,035

But... if you can find an expert online in some forum on Saturn transmissions to address your specific problem. An accumulator or modulator are usually around $30, valve body and separator plate gaskets are only a few bucks each. The ATF is directed through the valve body through channels, pistons, springs, check balls enabling the transmission to shift. If you've ever installed an automatic transmission shift kit the repair couldn't be much different.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • tappet noise accelerating 3 answers

    as I shift up from each gear at the top end ; there is a tappet noise though the gears at the top end ....

    2001 Saturn S-Series 3 Dr SC1 Coupe

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • How difficult is it to replace an Automatic Transmission 6 answers

    I have a 1994 Saturn SL2 Homecoming Edition 4 DR Sedan. The Automatic Ttransmission is starting to slip very bad (over 220,000 miles), I found a used 1994 Auto Trans with 99,000 on it for $200. How di...

    1994 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • I have a 01 Saturn and the transmission is fucked but I don't know what I did 1 answer

    I can put it in first but then my shifter knob goes loses and I can move it in to any great and it's still in first and I have no 2-4 or reverse and I have to slam my shifter knob in to first till...

    2001 Saturn S-Series 3 Dr SC1 Coupe

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • About transmission 3 answers

    Why would my transmission not want to shift out of first sometimes ? And sometimes it won't go in reverse

    1998 Saturn S-Series

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • what is the lowest geared manual transmission 1 answer

    I put 205/40/18 rims/tires on my 1995 sl1. Previously I blew a tire doing 80+ mph. It took with it the entire left fender, part of the front bumper cover, the three inner fender panels, elongated th...

    Saturn S-Series

    -

    Car Customization

S-Series

Looking for a Used S-Series in your area?

CarGurus has 967 nationwide S-Series listings starting at $995.

ZIP:

Search Saturn S-Series Questions

Saturn S-Series Experts

#1 Alex Nazarian
Alex Nazarian
Reputation 1,460
#2 helpmeplease
helpmeplease
Reputation 1,010
#3 fabian_09_21
fabian_09_21
Reputation 800
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Saturn L-Series
546 listings starting at $1,999
Used Saturn ION
3 Great Deals out of 1,520 listings starting at $1,695
Used Saturn VUE
48 Great Deals out of 2,654 listings starting at $1,599
Used Honda Civic
668 Great Deals out of 77,418 listings starting at $1,000
Used Toyota Corolla
874 Great Deals out of 74,435 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Mustang
361 Great Deals out of 44,495 listings starting at $1,000
Used Saturn Sky
10 Great Deals out of 208 listings starting at $4,200
Used Saturn Aura
25 Great Deals out of 1,130 listings starting at $999
Used Honda Accord
812 Great Deals out of 81,611 listings starting at $899
Used Ford Focus
696 Great Deals out of 58,725 listings starting at $995
Used Honda CR-V
810 Great Deals out of 59,368 listings starting at $1,200
Used Saturn Astra
178 listings starting at $2,500
Used Honda Civic Coupe
201 Great Deals out of 18,539 listings starting at $1,500
Used Ford Escape
1,119 Great Deals out of 90,859 listings starting at $1,295
Used Chevrolet Malibu
1,008 Great Deals out of 85,694 listings starting at $1,995