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  #1  
Old 19th November 2008
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meisme33 meisme33 is offline
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Default Automatic transmission problems

I searched the forums high and low for posts about automatic transmission problems, but didn't find any existing, so here goes:

I have a 2003 9-3 Arc with the Auto 5-speed. For the past 6 months or so I've noticed that under hard acceleration the transmission will drop into neutral between 2nd and 3rd gear causing the revs to jump for a second before picking up the next gear. I took it to the dealer for the 50K service, asked about it... they "couldn't reproduce the problem" and said I hadn't thrown any codes and already had the latest software.

Anyone else having this problem? Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 19th November 2008
adolan20 adolan20 is offline
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Ah this happens almost once a car trip with my car, and it's very noticeable. I have the same MY and model car you have maybe someone can help us!
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  #3  
Old 19th November 2008
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Supposedly it is the throttle body. You can have this replaced or deal with it. I don't think it is harming the transmission IMO. I just deal with it. It usually happens just after getting off the highway and I've been on it for an extended period. Always between 2nd and 3rd.
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  #4  
Old 20th November 2008
saabrunner saabrunner is offline
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Yeah, mine does the same thing. It has only happened a handful of times, but always when I accelerate really fast. It doesn't seem to do any harm to the tranny/engine, so I haven't worried about it. The dealer told me the same thing...'couldn't reproduce the problem". They must have a common answer for all problems....
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Old 7th May 2009
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I hate to try to bump an old thread that kind of went nowhere, but I'm having this same tranny slippage problem still. I'm at about 54K miles at this point and still dropping between gears under hard acceleration. Would a transmission fluid change help perhaps? Is that best left to the stealership or can I go anywhere?
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  #6  
Old 7th May 2009
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I get the same thing in my wife's 9-3. From what I've read, this can also occur if your coolant is leaking into the transmission. I feel this might be my problem since I'm losing coolant and I've had no sweet smell and no stains on the garage floor. If this is a throttle body issue, can this not be solved by cleaning the body?
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  #7  
Old 7th May 2009
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A couple years ago I had the Same symptoms, and progressively got worse. The dealer finally replaced the tranny b/c of coolant/trans fluid oring issue. Never had this happen again since. My throttle body was not ever touched.

U got an 03, find out if the orings were replaced.
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  #8  
Old 7th May 2009
BF2009 BF2009 is offline
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I've had the same problem with my 04 aero. Same as all above descriptions. Usually off the highway where I've travelled a constant speed then slow down and accelerate again. Rabbit was your car still under warranty? If not how much did it cost to replace? I've had the car in to a tranny co. and they said the same thing "unable to reproduce". They did however say that the "miss" that I described usually begins with an engine issue and eventually shows in the transmission. I may take it back in to have them re-assess the transmission now...
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Old 7th May 2009
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So my plan of action is to do my 60K service about 5K early and partially myself (spark plugs, cabin filter, air filter, my every 6-months bottle of techron) have the oil changed with Mobil 1 and a Saab oil filter (from genuinesaab) then get my coolant flushed, tranny fluid changed, and serpentine belt changed. In doing so, what more should I have the shop look at that might relate? Something about an o-ring? If it is possibly coolant contaminating my tranny fluid as some have mentioned, what exactly is the solution I should have the mechanic look for? Is that a problem with my whole radiator? Thanks!
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Old 7th May 2009
Ravenous666 Ravenous666 is offline
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There is TSB 440-2425 for MY03 and MY04, which exactly desribes your problem.

Your dealer is a moron if he doesn't know this.

Tranny oilchange also wouldn't hurt at 60000 miles.


TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN
Bulletin Nbr: 440-2425
December 2003
Market: all



Automatic transmission, springiness in drive and jerkiness with shift up

Cars affected

Saab 9-3 (9440) M03 with automatic transmission and engine alternative B207E/L/R Saab 9-3 (9440) M04 with automatic transmission and engine alternative B207E/L up to and including Vehicle Identification Number 41015759

Saab 9-3 (9440) M04 with automatic transmission and engine alternative B207R up to and including Vehicle Identification Number 41015764

Background

With the shift up from 2nd to 3rd gear, the automatic transmission can be springy in drive for a short period. In connection with this, the engine speed increases and shifting ends with a small amount of jerkiness.

This is due to the transmission oil pressure decreasing during certain conditions to a level which is too low, which means that its clutches are not holding together firmly enough.

The fault most often occurs when the driver has driven constantly in 5th gear at a speed between 90-120 km/h for approx. 30 minutes and has then made a stop or a reduction in speed to less than 30 km/h. When a subsequent shift from 2nd to 3rd gear takes place the above can occur.

In the case of customer complaint the following procedure must be undertaken.

Symptom description

The automatic transmission is springy in drive with shift up from 2nd to 3rd gear.

Procedure

Reprogram TCM using the diagnostic tool and TIS2000 version 2003-3 (update 5) or later. See WIS - General - TIS2000 - Technical description - Service Programming System.

After reprogramming, adaptation of the gearbox must be performed. See WIS - Transmission - Automatic gearbox - Adjustment/Replacement - Adaptation, resetting.


Including adaption task takes aprox. 2 hours.
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  #11  
Old 7th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BF2009 View Post
I've had the same problem with my 04 aero. Same as all above descriptions. Usually off the highway where I've travelled a constant speed then slow down and accelerate again. Rabbit was your car still under warranty? If not how much did it cost to replace? I've had the car in to a tranny co. and they said the same thing "unable to reproduce". They did however say that the "miss" that I described usually begins with an engine issue and eventually shows in the transmission. I may take it back in to have them re-assess the transmission now...
Yes it was covered under warranty. I think it was on my 3rd or 4th visit cmplaining about the flaring between 2nd and 3rd that they were finally able to reproduce on a test drive. They made the decision right then to replace the trans and radiator.
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  #12  
Old 19th March 2010
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I know I'm resurrecting this old thread, but if perhaps others continue to have this problem of momentary dropping a gear in an auto-box... after I hit that coyote and had the radiator etc replaced, I also had the shop do a full tranny flush.

I am happy to report that for the 3 months since that incident, my transmission has been flawless. SO, if you are still experiencing that hiccup between 2nd and 3rd gear, go get your fluid flushed.
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  #13  
Old 19th March 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meisme33 View Post
I know I'm resurrecting this old thread, but if perhaps others continue to have this problem of momentary dropping a gear in an auto-box... after I hit that coyote and had the radiator etc replaced, I also had the shop do a full tranny flush.

I am happy to report that for the 3 months since that incident, my transmission has been flawless. SO, if you are still experiencing that hiccup between 2nd and 3rd gear, go get your fluid flushed.
How many flushes does it take for a full flush? 3? 4?
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  #14  
Old 19th March 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xp3 View Post
How many flushes does it take for a full flush? 3? 4?
I had a full flush on mine, not a drain and fill, meaning they kept running it through until it came out clean. I'd have to go back and look at the bill to recall how many quarts were used. If you are interested in DIY...

"The car holds 7.6 quarts, according to manual and if you do the math doing 3 flushes should leave you with about 10% old fluid left in the car."

See here for instructions.
How to Flush 9-3SS Automatic Transmission
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  #15  
Old 19th March 2010
CMerriman CMerriman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggs View Post
Supposedly it is the throttle body. You can have this replaced or deal with it. I don't think it is harming the transmission IMO. I just deal with it. It usually happens just after getting off the highway and I've been on it for an extended period. Always between 2nd and 3rd.
Replacing the throttle will do nothing. This is direct symptom of the defect in 2003/2004's models that led to the radiator fluid leaking into the tranny.

My trottle body was replaced in early 2007 for this EXACT symptom, which actually made everything worse. After a lot of *****ing and yelling, the dealer finally replaced the transmission in the late summer of 2007. Car has been running PERFECTLY ever since.
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  #16  
Old 24th March 2010
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Ok, so I'm confused what's the consensus in this post. How do I know if I need a tran's software update, throttle body cleaning, or I have the coolant leak?

Can someone post a picture or tech article how to check for the coolant in the trans, or what part to replace?

Why wasn't this a recall?

Thanks for the help guys.
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  #17  
Old 25th March 2010
gfgf gfgf is offline
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The revving when switching from 2 to 3 is solved by a software update (part # 55556332 or 55556334 depending on the transmission's part#) and has nothing to do with the coolant issue.

To know whether your car is possibly affected by the coolant issue, check the date on the sticker on top of your radiator. You'll have to lift a plastic cover a bit. If the date is 5 November 2003 or older, your o-rings might be damaged and must be replaced. There was a TSB for this.

You can check you gear oil on coolant by putting a drop in an lighter flame. If it sputters, it is probably contaminated with (water based) coolant and should be checked more thoroughly. A few drops from the dipstick should suffice.

Never heard of throttle body issues.
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  #18  
Old 25th March 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfgf View Post
The revving when switching from 2 to 3 is solved by a software update (part # 55556332 or 55556334 depending on the transmission's part#) and has nothing to do with the coolant issue.
Ah, if only that were true. I made sure I had latest software too, which I was told I did, and continued to have the revving problem. I think this is a YMMV situation.

Step 1 should be to check with the dealer that you have the latest software and that your o-rings have been replaced per the TSB to prevent contamination.

If you have done these things but continue to have problems, as I did, Step 2 should be to go ahead and get your transmission fluid changed.
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  #19  
Old 25th March 2010
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Thanks guys, I had bought the car used about three months ago. I ask if all the recalls had been done on the car, which I hope included the TSB's. They had, so I'll check the radiator, and then possibly change the tranny fluid.

I just wanted to make sure I don't have too drop 2k on a new trans, because I would like to get a stage 1 tune soon.

Any long term problems with the trans/engine acting this way?
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  #20  
Old 25th March 2010
Cosmicflash Cosmicflash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saabpreme View Post
Thanks guys, I had bought the car used about three months ago. I ask if all the recalls had been done on the car, which I hope included the TSB's. They had, so I'll check the radiator, and then possibly change the tranny fluid.

I just wanted to make sure I don't have too drop 2k on a new trans, because I would like to get a stage 1 tune soon.

Any long term problems with the trans/engine acting this way?
As you read there was a TSB/recall or whatever you want to call it. Any car was to have that done even out of warranty.

And these engine/tranny combos have been extremely reliable. Most of the tranny issues have been related to the coolant o-rings issue.
Changing the fluid can never hurt. Just make sure it's the got the JS3309 approval.
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