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

20,700

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.

5,625

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 of 1 people found this 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!

20,700

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

5,625

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

S-Series

Looking for a Used S-Series in your area?

CarGurus has 617 nationwide S-Series listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

ZIP:

Saturn S-Series Experts

  • #1
    Alex Nazarian
    Reputation
    1,530
  • #2
    helpmeplease
    Reputation
    1,070
  • #3
    fabian_09_21
    Reputation
    920
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Saturn L-Series
394 listings starting at $550
Used Saturn ION
1,036 listings starting at $1,280
Used Saturn VUE
32 Great Deals out of 1,909 listings starting at $2,200
Used Honda Civic
774 Great Deals out of 67,964 listings starting at $999
Used Toyota Corolla
967 Great Deals out of 65,117 listings starting at $850
Used Saturn Sky
8 Great Deals out of 178 listings starting at $4,999
Used Ford Mustang
606 Great Deals out of 39,018 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord
1,202 Great Deals out of 74,678 listings starting at $561
Used Mazda MAZDA6
196 Great Deals out of 11,455 listings starting at $1,995
Used Ford F-150
3,203 Great Deals out of 239,249 listings starting at $1,300
Used Toyota Camry
999 Great Deals out of 101,100 listings starting at $300
Used Dodge Stratus
692 listings starting at $2,900
Used Chevrolet Camaro
500 Great Deals out of 33,536 listings starting at $1,450
Used Ford Ranger
178 Great Deals out of 5,465 listings starting at $1,250

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.