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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 Saab 9-5 Aero – 139k: P0743 Troubles, Shifting Issues

Hello All,
Below you will find an extremely concise summary of the history and issues of our 01 9-5 Aero. We did our best to keep this as short as possible, so if you want any more details let us know! We've been on all the boards a LOT and have done as much research as possible, but now we're at a loss...

· Gifted to family, well used by two college students, now being driven by a third college student.
· Oil pan dropped, tank cleaned, sludge removed, switch to Mobil 1 European Formula synthetic.
· Shims installed in rear for 1.5 degree camber for new tires. Bushings later.
· Dex/Merc transmission fluid replaced every other engine oil (3500mi increment) change.
· Codes cleared with PFR6H NGK plugs, filters, vacuum lines, etc. Ran very well for 10K miles.

Current issues began 6 months ago with CEL, and then trans warning light. Car continued to run fine. Warning lights would come and go. Approaching emission test deadline, had 5 codes including P0743 clutch lockup solenoid. Fresh tune, reset DIC springs, dielectric grease, all codes gone except P0743.

Since we do not have Tech2, read many threads, began troubleshooting by buying a used TCM, and “rebuilding” the Neutral Safety Switch (NSS). No hot starting problems, replacement TCM worked but seemed to have shift points impacted. Realized it was the correct year, but for V6. Installed a second used TCM for exact car, drove it with no warning lights, shifting and driving perfectly. After turning off and completing all reassembly from first run cycle, the CEL and Trans warning returned, P0743.

Continued to work on the issues, received a 30 day extension from Dept. of Ecology…any code fault in the OBD2, no tabs! This week’s issue list, CEL is now off, TCS Off light is on, trans light (P0743) remains, there is now no light indicating what gear is selected, and the trans feels as if it is in third gear, slipping dramatically and requiring significant throttle as it moves from a stop. Remarkably, it will then easily go 65mph on the freeway. It has never been in limp home mode. Car is really not drivable.

What to do?
1. Does NSS needs replacing or TCM have parameters needing to be cleared by Tech2, then manual re-learn process on the road?
2. Replace the trans solenoid(s), or pay a Tech2 analysis to see if each solenoid activates individually?

Thank you for any help you can give us!
-nwzander
 

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P0743 says that the lockup solenoid is shorted to either battery or ground. Has nothing to do with the NSS. On the 5-speed transmission I have found this symptom on the solenoids being more of a TCM issue than the solenoid, but you've already changed that.

It's pin 2 at the TCM end for the solenoid, measure the resistance between that pin and ground see if it has failed and then go from there. A Tech 2 can activate and deactivate the solenoid for testing as well.
 

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I had this on my 2001 as well. a 30 dollar solenoid from eBay and a tube of loctite 5699 had it all sorted and passed the emissions test. Check the nss again making sure it is adjusted correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UPDATE:

We were out of time on our 30-day extension for emissions testing, so earlier this week we had to go to an Authorized Emission Specialist to secure an emissions waiver. A relatively local indie shop (not Saab specific, but highly rated) seemed to be the best candidate. Since we don’t have enough information and detailed electrical diagrams to probe around with a multimeter, the two goals of visiting the shop was 1) to obtain a waiver and 2) get a real time driving diagnosis of our electrical/transmission issues. We took the original and the replacement TCM for testing. The tech notes after diagnosis are as follows:

“Found tech 2 is unable to communicate with this vehicle as described by Alldata. Autel scanner does communicate to every module BUT the TCM. Verified good power and ground to TCM, suspect faulty TCM due to no communication. Also traction control ABS system has codes stored for module not programmed. Recommendation: go to dealer who supports programming this vehicle and have TCM replaced and programmed and program ABS module as well.”

The shop manager said that the original TCM had no communication with the BUS systems. However, the replacement DID have communication, but the BUS system wasn’t reading it because the TCM was from a different 9-5 and needed to be “married” (input VIN#, chassis#, date of production, etc.) to our car first, and that we needed to take the car to a GM dealer with that software to do.

Now, we have seen video of adaptations being cleared on a 2001 Volvo, using an Autel DS708 scan tool, and have also seen that the Autel has Saab software on it… so it seems like you wouldn’t have to go to the GM dealership, buy a new TCM, and “reprogram” the ABS module. We just need to have real-time diagnosis done for solenoids, and to see if our replacement TCM is functioning correctly.

1. Do the recommendations from this shop have merit? (Seem to be a broad leap of assumption.)

2. Do we have to go to a GM dealer for analysis? (I would imagine UncleMiltie is not a dealer, and that he successfully manipulates TCMs.)

3. Will an indie Saab shop be able to do what we need? (They are a significant distance from us to drive the car, which I’m assuming is stuck in 4th gear.)

(For those in the Washington Puget Sound region, this car has previously been at Scanwest in Seattle, and I have been looking at Swedish Automotive and Europa Imported Service, also in the Seattle area, for possible diagnostic work.)



Thanks guys for all your help…. We’re pretty lost in the sea of Saab electrical right now.
 

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UPDATE:

Since we don’t have enough information and detailed electrical diagrams to probe around with a multimeter,
yes you do have enough, I said above that the solenoid in question was on pin 2 of the TCM connector. they are numbered. measure from that pin to a good ground. if it's zero then the solenoid is shorted. if it's infinite then it's open. Anything else (below 1K ohms) and the solenoid is probably good.

We took the original and the replacement TCM for testing. The tech notes after diagnosis are as follows:

“Found tech 2 is unable to communicate with this vehicle as described by Alldata. Autel scanner does communicate to every module BUT the TCM. Verified good power and ground to TCM, suspect faulty TCM due to no communication. Also traction control ABS system has codes stored for module not programmed. Recommendation: go to dealer who supports programming this vehicle and have TCM replaced and programmed and program ABS module as well.”
If the ABS is not programmed that could make things go weird, I don't know though. It would be helpful to see what the codes are

The shop manager said that the original TCM had no communication with the BUS systems. However, the replacement DID have communication, but the BUS system wasn’t reading it because the TCM was from a different 9-5 and needed to be “married” (input VIN#, chassis#, date of production, etc.) to our car first, and that we needed to take the car to a GM dealer with that software to do.
The TCM does not have to be married to the car like other ECU's so you should be able to communicate with it. The Tech 2 can also tell the TCM to test the solenoids so if you have the cover off of the transmission you can see if it's working.


Now, we have seen video of adaptations being cleared on a 2001 Volvo, using an Autel DS708 scan tool, and have also seen that the Autel has Saab software on it… so it seems like you wouldn’t have to go to the GM dealership, buy a new TCM, and “reprogram” the ABS module. We just need to have real-time diagnosis done for solenoids, and to see if our replacement TCM is functioning correctly.
Before I bought my Tech 2 I did have someone use a non-Tech2 (I think it was an Autel) to clear the adaptation on my car. it worked fine.

1. Do the recommendations from this shop have merit? (Seem to be a broad leap of assumption.)
No, if he can read the second TCM then you should be able to re-adapt and get things going.

2. Do we have to go to a GM dealer for analysis? (I would imagine UncleMiltie is not a dealer, and that he successfully manipulates TCMs.)
yes you are correct, I am not a dealer. I do have three 9-5's and have invested in a Tech 2 for that purpose. I've also done a lot of work trying to figure out an electrical gremlin in my transmission that turned out to be the TCM (for the 5-speed auto)


3. Will an indie Saab shop be able to do what we need? (They are a significant distance from us to drive the car, which I’m assuming is stuck in 4th gear.)
A good indie will be able to diagnose what is doing on, someone who understands Saabs. Distance is not your enemy here, but stop and go will be. If you can drive the car so that it's in 4th gear all the time and doesn't have to start and stop you should be ok. If you're thinking stop-and-go try taking the car over there at 1:00 in the morning and timing the lights so that you never really stop. (think of driving a manual car with a broken and non-functional clutch!)


(For those in the Washington Puget Sound region, this car has previously been at Scanwest in Seattle, and I have been looking at Swedish Automotive and Europa Imported Service, also in the Seattle area, for possible diagnostic work.)
you might also want to wonder over to the Tech 2 forum where there is a list of forum members who own Tech 2's and see if one is close to you. you might be able to work out a deal where they can come to you and get things going.

Also you should download and install the WIS, there are plenty of places to get it. That has all of the electrical diagrams that you might need
 

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The indie doesn't seem expert to me. This code will be set for these reasons:
A faulty solenoid
A broken wire or poor connection between the TCM and solenoid. (There is a harness connection very close to the battery)
A faulty TCM
A faulty buss between the TCM and ECU (likely to cause more than just this problem)

If your car had the 5 speed (and especially a 2002), experience on these forums would strongly suggest the TCM. This may be your problem still, but, with the 4 speeds, I haven't come across threads with the TCM as the culprit.

Do what Miltie suggested testing resistance pin #2 to ground, or have someone do it for you. If it is open, run a wire to make a loop close to the solenoid and test for continuity to see if you have a break in the wire or a bad connection.

Or find someone with a Tech II to test the action of the solenoid.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update 2

Well, we have made some progress, starting with the WIS.

I was able to find a current Windows 10 port of the WIS from CaptainFrank over on SaabScene... you can find all the info here, thanks to CJP: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=622081

Using that, I was able to trace the TCM wiring back, all the way to the fuse box... where the B (+15 Automatic Transmission) fuse was in the A (+30 Trailer Lights) slot. Moved the B fuse into B slot, turned the key... and the gear selector lights turned on, the CEL turned on, and car started to function, shift, and lock up. Our problems had come from one misplaced fuse. ;oops:

Drove it to the local parts store to get the DTCs read: P0743, P0705, P0735. Checking the WIS, it seems like P0735 doesn't exist for this car, so I was left with P0705 (Range Selector Switch), and P0743 (Lockup Solenoid). Since I don't have a Tech 2, and had already been through a shop once, I used the wiring diagram to check all the connections, wires, plugs, and solenoids for voltage and resistance. I checked the RSS first by jumping connections on the the connector by the battery tray, then checking voltage (according to the WIS). After connecting the connector and checking the RSS in every position, I was getting full voltage (14.95-14.98 V) through the RSS, so I ruled out the RSS fault code.

After checking the resistance to all the solenoids, the only one that was not in spec according to the WIS was the lockup solenoid, which measured infinite resistance (all other solenoids were reading about 15 ohms). So I have finally caught up to UncleMiltie's original advice and am ready to move forward.

If all my checks make sense to everyone, I think I have narrowed it down to replacing the lockup solenoid, which I have sourced here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transmissio...E-Volvo-Saab-Aisin-Warner-99273-/321452749914

I would appreciate any confirmations or suggestions you all have, and thanks for reading another loooong update! And definitely check out that WIS if you need it! (I have a OBD2 reader coming over Amazon as well, so hopefully we will be on our way to better maintenance and diagnostic!)

Thanks,
~nwzander
 

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Seems like a good job of troubleshooting! If it was me, for the time it takes to do the job, I would get the kit and replace all three solenoids while I was in there. But it all depends on the mileage of the car and how long you hope to continue driving it. It usually takes me longer to do a job that what most people say. Always seem to be little unforeseen difficulties- plus I'm getting slower than I used to be at everything.....
 

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dielectric

he has the 4-speed transmission which only has one linear solenoid and the lockup is one of the on/off solenoids. For others reading I do agree with your advice on the 5-speed that if you are replacing one of the linear to do all three of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Solenoid Replacement - SUCCESS!

EDIT: Apologies for the ridiculous picture sizes... they were definitely taken with my phone, resizing didn't cross my mind. (They looked good on my screen, must be good for everyone else! :roll:)

Well it's been a few months (as per usual), but I wanted to make sure everything worked out before I celebrated.... publicly. In late September I went ahead and ordered the 3 solenoid pack - agreed with DEGrease, it seemed like the best time to replace all solenoids, despite the usual approach of change one thing at a time. With help (so much easier with two people and the WIS), I followed the instructions step by step... pretty foolproof, really. HOWEVER: KEEP TRACK of the order of the bolts you take out and where they go, the bolts are all different lengths. Took the transmission cover off and got to here:



The three solenoids for replacing were fairly obvious, easy to see with the wires running to them. We started by pulling off the lockup solenoid and bench (read: tailgate) testing it for resistance:



Infinite, as suspected by Miltie oh so long ago (thanks for the patience!). Pulling the new one out of the packaging (packed with ATF, bubbled wrapped, through USPS), and tested it to make sure we weren't wasting our time:



Definitely in spec. Repeated for the other two shift solenoids, and while they were still in spec, I'm sure they would have failed next, so it was good to change them.

The only discrepancy I had with the eBay solenoids was that the solenoid to wire loom connector is on the left side of the barrel of the solenoid instead of the right side from manufacturer. Luckily this wasn't an issue, there was enough slack in all the wires to go the extra inch to get to the replacement solenoids' connectors. The shape was also different (cylindrical vs. a flatter cylinder), but the radii of the housings and solenoids were the same, so there were no mounting issues.

Used the gasket sealer we had left over from another project (oil pan clean?) to seal the transmission cover to the transmission, torqued all the bolts in according to the WIS, flushed with fresh ATF.

Lowered the car, got in, turned the key... success. No codes. No warning lights.

And so I called BS and drove it for 4 months :D. Coming up on 142k miles now, and it reliably hits lockup every day at about 2.6-3k RPMs/65-70 mph. We did check the ATF once since we did the job, and the amount of crap NOT in the fluid was astounding... we were really slipping those gears before.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in with their ideas and help, especially on previous posts - we got a lot done even before joining the board. I still think that buying a spare/replacement TCM was the best first step, and now I know I have two completely functional 2001 Aero TCM boxes... as well as a not so useful 2001 V6 TCM, but hey.

As of right now, I've improved gas mileage average by a couple of gal/mi, and I'm on the way to my goal of keeping alive until 200k (we'll see how that goes).

If you're looking at this in the future, do yourself a favor and grab the WIS linked above, it will make the process actually fit into a reasonable timeline, not to mention all the diagrams and specs are invaluable. Without it I would still be wondering how in the world Miltie got this crazy resistance to ground idea :D.

That's the first big issue resolved. Now it's onto the timing system and water pump in the summer, I suppose. Better to fix it as early as possible, but it's too cold now!

Cheers, and thanks again,
~nwzander
 

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My $0.02...

Wow Congratulations! What a wonderful reference post!

I cannot believe you do not have a OBD II code reader. I had just a generic one for a long time. On a complete I-have-lost-my-mind impulse I bought five of these from Alibaba for less than $20: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/272319123936?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
Now have one in each vehicle. Works good with my Android phone using Torque software. Only "good" as the Bluetooth connecting can be kind of wonky, but I always can get it to work after power cycling the Bluetooth on the phone, or some other such machination. Had to remove the back cover to fit it into the 9-5, which has a tight horizontal OBD connector. Works fine on the Dodge and Toyota cars.

I cannot believe you do not own a Tech-2. I picked up a $300 one from China based on the recommendation from one of the threads on this forum. Also had to buy a Dell laptop with a true serial port for $60 to use with the Tech-2. I can see $400 on a students budget being an issue, but if you are doing works that needs a Tech-2, the payback time would not be long. It was immediately worth at least $100 to remove the shift-up light from my manual 9-5 :) That, and configure the doors, lights, alarm sounds. etc. to my liking.

I'm also in the greater Seattle area, near Woodinville.

~quirky_aero
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I cannot believe you do not have a OBD II code reader.
I actually did buy a Bluetooth OBDII tool back in September, this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NLQAHS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It was a little more expensive, but it shipped from USA, so I was willing to spend the extra 10 bucks. It has worked perfectly with Torque Lite on Android, no disconnection issues, etc. The only problem I had was that I was not able to fit it into the OBD slot in the Saab. However, instead of altering the reader, there are two retaining screws that hold the OBD port in place under the steering wheel. If you remove those two screws, the port slides out with about 8 inches of slack wire, and will tuck back into the slot once the connector is attached. It's probably saved a couple hours in trips to the part store to get OBD codes read, plus real time engine monitoring is nice instead of the good ol' needle-in-the-middle gauges. :cheesy:

I cannot believe you do not own a Tech-2.
I was able to get by with using a multimeter to check voltage and resistance at different connectors and pins according to the WIS, since I assumed the diagnostic side of a Tech2 was just a multimeter with a screen readout... it turned out alright, but definitely not possible without the specs from the WIS. I'm sure I will end up having to go down the Tech2 road eventually, but not today. I think I have a couple old Toshiba laptops with a serial port stashed in the garage.... thanks for the tip! I'll have to review the Tech2 discussions again.

Good to know there's a fellow member within an hour of me!
 

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These problems sounds exactly like the problems i'm experiencing with my saab 99 9-5,
I have to do a little more research and a tad more checking. I have recently changed the speed sensors under the battery tray because I was getting those codes before. I also changed the trans fluid in the car, but I will get more fluid and repeat the 3 change process I've already gotten the 3 solenoids for the trans from a trans shop off line. I wanna check the wires coming from the TCM and running to the trans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
your 99 has a 4-speed transmission and only has one linear solenoid, unlike the 5-speed that has three.
The WIS explicitly says to not tamper with the one linear solenoid on the 4 speed because it is the fluid pressure regulator. The three solenoids that can be replaced are the two shift solenoids and the one lockup solenoid, which I did all at once while I had the transmission apart. Sounds like yoshimura's plan if it comes to it.
your 99 has a 4-speed transmission and only has one linear solenoid, unlike the 5-speed that has three.
 

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When I ordered the solenoids, I supplied my vin # to the shop they checked the number and said that was required for my car. we shall see once I open the cover will report back on the progress.
 

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I have been searching through this thread to try and get the WIS downloaded to start on my project today. I don't know why I can't access it maybe because of it being a old link or not. I have tried to access the link using my desk top and my tablet. Still no luck with either, if someone can please post the link i'd appreciate it. I wanna trace the system thoroughly to the source of my problem.
 
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