Automatic transmission life expectancy??? - SaabCentral Forums
*
Home Saab Pictures Saab Classifieds Saab Dealer Listings Saab Forum Saab Forum


Go Back   SaabCentral Forums > Saab C900, 1979-1993 & '94 Convertible (C=classic) > C900 Workshop

C900 Workshop Classic 900 (1979-1993 & '94 Convertible) Technical Forum.

SaabCentral.com is the premier Saab Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 16th September 2008
Moosepuck's Avatar
Moosepuck Moosepuck is offline
Saab Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2008                                                
Location: Columbia, SC
My Saabs: 08 vert 2.8t & w211 E55 AMG
Posts: 745
Default Automatic transmission life expectancy???

So... we've got a 1994 C900 Convertible with an automatic transmission. We've only had it since around 125,xxx miles, she now has almost 150,xxx miles. She shifts firm, seems to wait a little long to down shift coming to a stop.... I pulled the pan and changed the screen and gasket when we bought it... and have changed the fluid probably 3 times since to try and get the rest out.... It seems that I've seen several trans failures on the forums around this mileage. I've also changed the diff fluid with synthetic oil.... Do these trans show signs of failure before they puke?... how many miles are they usually good for?... AND, how much $$$$ am I looking at if it does fail on me. The engine runs awesome, smooth like a sewing machine..... I'm just a lil'curious about what the future may hold for us.... I've thought about selling her in favor of a lower mileage NG900. Give me some opinions!... I have no problem pulling a trans from a traditional layout drivetrain, including an NG900... but this one's a bit odd and I'd be a little nervous about doing the work myself...... Thanks for any input...

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 16th September 2008
TrollMedic TrollMedic is offline
SaabNut!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007                                                
Location: New England
My Saabs: Classic Saab 900,1 of 300
Posts: 459
Default

I has been my experence that the auto trans. classic 900 cars can often run into auto tranny problems as early as 100-112,000 miles.
My latest purchased Saab is a 1993 900s hatchback.
The last owner put it up for sale cause the auto trans. went bad.
That's at 175,000 miles.
I have found in my other auto trans. classic 900 cars that if you keep the fluids clean and take it easy on the automatic trans. I have not had one go bad.
So I would say 150,000 miles may be average life for thes auto trans.
My 1984 turbo 900 had a factory rebuilt trans. replaced by PO at 152,000 miles.
Works perfectly.
TrollMedic
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 16th September 2008
Moosepuck's Avatar
Moosepuck Moosepuck is offline
Saab Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2008                                                
Location: Columbia, SC
My Saabs: 08 vert 2.8t & w211 E55 AMG
Posts: 745
Default ?!?!

That's what I'm worried about... I'm worried that having a rebuilt put in will cost me as much or more than the car's worth.... What did it run you to have that trans put in?

btw... I'll be at Eurofest next month.... I can't wait to see eveyone's cars....and race new BMW's....so awesome...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 16th September 2008
philbert philbert is offline
Saab Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2004                                                
Location: Minnesota
My Saabs: have had 17 and counting
Posts: 906
Default

Yeah, and it seems to me that you read many posts about the manual tranny failing too. Pinions, synchros, reverse popping out....

If you keep it maintained, check the fluids, adjust when necessary, and don't do smokey burnouts, an automatic tranny will last a good long time. The same holds true for the manuals too.

My current daily driver is an '89 Turbo with an automatic. It has 220,00 miles on it and shifts just as well as the day it was new. But I also bought it from the original owner who took care of it. My previous automatic Saabs were a '90T w/150,000 and an '87T with 235,000 miles, and all drove and shifted perfectly. My previous manual Saabs were an '86 T w/300,000 when the tranny died and an '87T w/177,000 that lost reverse because I was a dope (got stuck in a snow drift and slammed my way through the gears trying to get out while in a fit of anger).

In conclusion, don't fret about it. Change the fluid when needed (type F only), use 80-90 in the differential, and drive with a big happy grin!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 17th September 2008
TrollMedic TrollMedic is offline
SaabNut!
 
Join Date: Apr 2007                                                
Location: New England
My Saabs: Classic Saab 900,1 of 300
Posts: 459
Default

Your getting close to the mileage where many automatic classic 900
cars need a tranny.
It may go on for ever but probably not.
On a retail level that can be real expensive,especially if you have a real factory rebuilt unit installed.
With the engine and trans. unit out,they will find your engine needs a preventive rebuild,also.
I mean seals,chain and rails,head gasket etc..
You should avoid great expensive and sell that car to me for small money and run with your money.
TrollMedic
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 17th September 2008
jetman jetman is offline
Saab on the Brain!
 
Join Date: Sep 2002                                                
Location: Guelph Canada
My Saabs: 1984 T8
Posts: 6,939
Default

In my experience, the auto transmissions fail fairly regularly with age and normal use. The 5 speeds fail regularly depending on how they're driven. The more horsepower and the harder you drive a 5 spd, the more likely its going to fail.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 17th September 2008
Moosepuck's Avatar
Moosepuck Moosepuck is offline
Saab Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2008                                                
Location: Columbia, SC
My Saabs: 08 vert 2.8t & w211 E55 AMG
Posts: 745
Default

anyone want to buy a nice c900 vert?!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old 18th September 2008
TooMany2cvs's Avatar
TooMany2cvs TooMany2cvs is offline
Saabista
 
Join Date: Jun 2007                                                
Location: NW of London
My Saabs: '90 900T16 3dr - For Sale!
Posts: 10,081
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosepuck
anyone want to buy a nice c900 vert?!!!
<sucks teeth> With that mileage and a gearbox needed soon?

<rummages through pocket change> A tenner? I'm being generous, since it's you.
__________________
Adrian
Soon to be living life on the road in an old VW
http://WhereverTheRoadGoes.com
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 18th September 2008
16saabs 16saabs is offline
Saab on the Brain!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005                                                
Location: fakenham
My Saabs: 2x LPT convertible's, 1 x 900 SE
Posts: 5,743
Default

just keep running it, never had a prob with auto or manual yet and had 28(over 12 yrs) inc a few to break. that's a lovely car and you are not supposed to use bad language on the forum, e.g. "might get a GM" go and wash your mouth out, you will regret it, and if it does eventually fail(yes one day) put a manual version in.
__________________
22saabs
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 18th September 2008
Moosepuck's Avatar
Moosepuck Moosepuck is offline
Saab Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2008                                                
Location: Columbia, SC
My Saabs: 08 vert 2.8t & w211 E55 AMG
Posts: 745
Default !!

Now now... My car is a 97SE vert that I bought after my 91 c900 vert... and I've never regretted it!.... This is the wife's and she'll never have a manual trans car....I won't buy a 2004 or newer, at least these NG900's and OG 9-3's still have some swede left in them!... I still love C900's.... don't get me wrong! We'll probably have another one soon...

Last edited by Moosepuck; 18th September 2008 at 03:22 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11  
Old 18th September 2008
Orca Orca is offline
Saab Lunatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2003                                                
Location: ܁
My Saabs: ܁
Posts: 4,222
Default

How often should the fluid be changed?
What are the tell-tale signs of a worn automatic transmission?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12  
Old 18th September 2008
16saabs 16saabs is offline
Saab on the Brain!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005                                                
Location: fakenham
My Saabs: 2x LPT convertible's, 1 x 900 SE
Posts: 5,743
Default

moosepuck,
the auto(1993, 5dr, owned 3 months) i have at the moment had a new /replacement at 150,000, I have no idea why, but p/o said they had spent 3000 on the car in 2 yrs, how much on g/box ?? but if you go and get another car, how much will you spend, and you will have no history how it's been driven, where at least you know how yours has.
I'm a cynical "B" when it comes to mileage and history, my comic/sarcastic reply is it's been serviced every 5,000 mile (he's the punch line, and you don't know just how true it might be from a seller), but I thrash it every day down the motorway??
if you have had it 25,000mls you know all about the car and how it's run, if it cots 3000, you have then got a car that will do another 100/150,000 mls because you look after it.
my vert is a lpt,1993, manual, and one day i will get the whole car overhauled(it's ok now, but when finance allows) and even if it costs 10-15000, I know it will then be top job for another 15 yrs+ and I can still maintain it not have to have it put on a machine.
__________________
22saabs
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13  
Old 18th September 2008
c900's Avatar
c900 c900 is offline
Saab Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2005                                                
Location: Tronno, NSW, .au
My Saabs: 81 8V 900T, 91 2.1 900i, 90 9k 2.0 Carly
Posts: 3,032
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orca
How often should the fluid be changed?
What are the tell-tale signs of a worn automatic transmission?
Some good signs that things need attention are harsh shifting, shifting at points well-outside where the shifts should normally occur, slipping internally when cold (bands), etc.

For harsh shifting and shifts occuring too late, that is often due to the ATF pressure being too high. It can be caused by a blocked ATF filter (the filters are replacable without removing the trans), too much ATF (above the 'full' mark on the dipstick), the fluid pressure adjustment being out (it's adjustable over a fair range, with the desired range in the middle), or the wrong type of ATF.

My 83 900S has an auto trans that slips when cold if I apply too much throttle when moving the car first thing after starting. Once the engine/trans warm up it's fine, but it means the bands needs adjusting or replacing. I think that band adjustment is possible in-car, but band replacement would probably need to be done on-bench.

Also, regular checking and maintainance of the external hoses to the ATF cooler is important. The ATF cooler is what enables the auto transmission to cope with a vast range of driving conditions, and if the hoses start showing signs of leaking around couplings, or the hose material gets hard with age and looks like it's getting brittle and perhaps cracking around the outside, it's time to look at getting the hoses replaced.

The only other external thing that can be done is adjustment of the selector cable, but I haven't looked at doing that myself yet with any of my 900's. I don't think it's difficult though.

Craig.
__________________
Craig Dewick - Tronno, NSW, .au - Flickr - 1981 8V 900T, 1990 9k 2.0 Carlsson, 1992 2.1 900i - RIP Moose.Parts and their top-quality customer service!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14  
Old 18th September 2008
Orca Orca is offline
Saab Lunatic
 
Join Date: Mar 2003                                                
Location: ܁
My Saabs: ܁
Posts: 4,222
Default

Beauty! Thanks for that Craig
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15  
Old 18th September 2008
woywitka's Avatar
woywitka woywitka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004                                                
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
My Saabs: '87 900 T16 vert, 911 SC,914,W123 Diesel
Posts: 7,035
Default

I don't believe Saab ever called for band adjustment as routine maintenance. Adjusting the bands means the transmission is on its way out.



SOme people on here really argue that this is a storng box; however, I can't agree in my expierence.

They are so reliable that I have a spare now in storage for our '91 t16 auto.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #16  
Old 18th September 2008
SaabMon's Avatar
SaabMon SaabMon is offline
Saab Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2007                                                
Location: Key West,Florida
My Saabs: 1992 C900NA /1995 NG900S
Posts: 1,047
Default

I've had my 92 since almost new.It has 198,000 miles on the original autobox with hardly any trouble. I've changed the fluid regularly,and with the help of this forum have adjusted the kickdown cable and brakeband etc.My best advice would be to drive it very easy.I know thats hard for a lot of guys,but it's worked
for me.
If you decide to sell it. Pm me.Columbia is not an outrageous distance from Florida.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #17  
Old 18th September 2008
Moosepuck's Avatar
Moosepuck Moosepuck is offline
Saab Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2008                                                
Location: Columbia, SC
My Saabs: 08 vert 2.8t & w211 E55 AMG
Posts: 745
Default

good stuff here... Good point 16saabs.... I feel what you're saying.... I guess I'm just more comfortable with standard layout engine trans.. those I can work with myself... Yes, mostly because my lack of experience with the C900's... also, the OG 9-3's we've been looking at seem to make my wife quite happy...so......you know........ !!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #18  
Old 18th September 2008
Matt88S's Avatar
Matt88S Matt88S is offline
Saab on the Brain!
 
Join Date: Aug 2004                                                
Location: Oklahoma, USA
My Saabs: 87&88S,88T,91TVert, 90 Talladega Red SPG
Posts: 5,464
Default

The autoboxes have an undeserved bad rap, mostly due to their owners not knowing or caring about even the most basic of automatic care. What blows my mind even further is how few people even know how to drive an automatic, I mean, how can you screw that up?

A few things you should know. You can, and should, adjust the 2-3 band. By this age, almost all of the crimps on the TV cable will have slipped, and thrown the TV adjustment out, this should concern you, and you should readjust and recrimp it.

If you change the ATF every 30-50K miles, keep the band and TV cable adjusted, don't ever let it run low on fluid, and don't hammer it, slam it into drive before you've stopped rolling backwards, or otherwise abuse it, it will last you a very long time.

I'd check your TV setting, make sure your idle isn't too high, and that you don't have a broken mount. I'd also adjust your band, at this age, it's bound to be due and it's better to catch it before it starts slipping than after. It's a built in adjustment that should be taken advantage of whether Saab was aware of it or not. I think Saab was either not aware of it (BW transmission) or they just didn't care, it's not something that would crop up while the car was under warenty or probably while the first buyer had it. We were informed of transmissions with adjustible bands while we were in school, it's a feature there for a reason, use it.

Craig, you might check the adjustment of the selector cable, my 88 would slip or refuse to go into reverse when cold, the selector cable was simply out of adjustment. There is a allen lockscrew that secures them to the selector. If you're not fully engaging the gear, you'll see slippage. As it warms up and things vibrate about it will often slip on into place, meanwhile though you're burning precious clutch.
__________________
James Bond shifted down into third gear, drifted the Saab 900 Turbo into a tight left-hand turn, clinging to the grass shoulder, then put a fraction more power to bring the car out of the bend.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #19  
Old 19th September 2008
TooMany2cvs's Avatar
TooMany2cvs TooMany2cvs is offline
Saabista
 
Join Date: Jun 2007                                                
Location: NW of London
My Saabs: '90 900T16 3dr - For Sale!
Posts: 10,081
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt88S
almost all of the crimps on the TV cable will have slipped, and thrown the TV adjustment out

I'd check your TV setting
I'll bite. Wtf (other than the obvious, and the other semi-obvious) is "TV"?
__________________
Adrian
Soon to be living life on the road in an old VW
http://WhereverTheRoadGoes.com
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #20  
Old 19th September 2008
c900's Avatar
c900 c900 is offline
Saab Lunatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2005                                                
Location: Tronno, NSW, .au
My Saabs: 81 8V 900T, 91 2.1 900i, 90 9k 2.0 Carly
Posts: 3,032
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt88S
The autoboxes have an undeserved bad rap, mostly due to their owners not knowing or caring about even the most basic of automatic care. What blows my mind even further is how few people even know how to drive an automatic, I mean, how can you screw that up?
It's simple - put it in 'D' and don't fang it. Well not that simple. I suspect lots of people use the '1' and '2' settings then forget they've disengaged selection of 2nd/3rd or 2nd.

Quote:
A few things you should know. You can, and should, adjust the 2-3 band. By this age, almost all of the crimps on the TV cable will have slipped, and thrown the TV adjustment out, this should concern you, and you should readjust and recrimp it.
This is something that I'm concerned about with the auto trans in my 81 turbo as it tends to shift up too early sometimes and in 2nd it'll stay in second a lot longer if I am using a bit of throttle (like much longer than it should) so the kick-down adjustment might well be off.

Quote:
Craig, you might check the adjustment of the selector cable, my 88 would slip or refuse to go into reverse when cold, the selector cable was simply out of adjustment. There is a allen lockscrew that secures them to the selector. If you're not fully engaging the gear, you'll see slippage. As it warms up and things vibrate about it will often slip on into place, meanwhile though you're burning precious clutch.
That's a good idea. When I get a chance that's something I'll check out.

Craig.
__________________
Craig Dewick - Tronno, NSW, .au - Flickr - 1981 8V 900T, 1990 9k 2.0 Carlsson, 1992 2.1 900i - RIP Moose.Parts and their top-quality customer service!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SaabCentral Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:54 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

top of page | sitemap | email us



copyright © 2003 - 2011 saabcentral.com, All rights reserved http://www.whiter.co.uk - valid xhtml - valid css
SaabCentral is an independently run website and is not affiliated in any way to Saab Automobile AB.


Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.