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Discussion Starter #1
Many sources call for a transmission flush at the first sign of an non-electrical issue.

Hard shifts, slipping, etc.

I've got a 2005 Arc 9-5 2.3 (B235L) that I put a LOT of time into about 2 years ago, mostly details but also some head work.

We purchased the car for my daughter with "only a blown head gasket" and before I could get it completely back together, I ran into some OBD port communication issues.

Long story short, the car ended up setting for about 2 years until it finally came back to me and I recently started messing with it again.

Running great, but slipping bad in drive.
Reverse is fine.
Fluid level is spot on.

Part of me wants to say it's shot and just replace the trans (thought I'd get one out of a 235R, as well as the ECM) but part of me wants to see if this is salvageable.

So I can't guarantee that this was even fine, before.
It was at a Firestone when it was diagnosed with HG and PO sold it from there.
I can only assume PO drove it there.

So, has anyone genuinely had success with "Just a flush" with proper 3309 or should I save the fluid to put in a new (Used) transmission to transfer in.

I've found several donor trans in the area, surprisingly, for about $200 so, not a big deal, there.

I feel I am likely going to just dump this transmission but felt the urge to get confirmation.

Thanks for any input!!
 

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Are you sure your reading the level correctly? Kind of a pita to read in the 9-5. Every time I check mine i get a slightly different reading.

Transmission has to be at 80c. Then you gotta put it in drive 15 seconds, reverse 15 seconds, then park. Pull the dipstick out, remove the oring from the top, and then get your reading.

What does the ATF look/smell like? If it's bad, there is a chance that a flush may help you some, but I would not count on it.

3309 is also expensive af. A flush with 3309 would cost me about 100$, and thats half of your used tranny right there.

If your keen on trying to flush it first, I might try the Valvoline max-life stuff that costs 18 bucks a gallon at wal mart.
 

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Plus 1 on the giving it a try

Give it a try. At the least you'll know for sure whether you need to put the labor into replacing the transmission.

The ATF level does matter - you can search, but the general consensus I see is aim for correct, but a little underfilled is better than than overfilled. I've been down the road with an overfilled AW55 in a 9-5 we bought for our daughter. We bought it in Winter, the car ran well, and I forgot to properly check the ATF level. As the weather warmed, my daughter complained that the car "wasn't shifting right". The fluid was way over-filled. Thankfully fluid refresh and proper level fixed it.
 

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I got my 2006 9-5 with around 84K. Judging by the look of it, the automatic transmission fluid had never been changed. It wasn't burned, but it was very brownish in color. I was experiencing harsh and delayed shifting. I did a 3X drain and fill using Mobil 3309 and the shifting improved immensely. I also added a bit (2 oz. per quart of fluid) of Lubeguard Red. (I don't normally use additives but that stuff is amazing and I use it in every automatic transmission car that I have.)

Per Unclemiltie's recommendation, I now do a single drain/fill every OTHER oil change. The transmission is still shifting really nice @ 137K miles.

P.S. And the fluid thing is a religious debate, but I recently switched over to Valvoline Maxlife synthetic ATF because it's cheaper than 3309, and it's synthetic (3309 is not). Some will say don't do this, but I've been using it for a while now with no ill effects. FWIW!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the input.
Car has 177k and I doubt the fluid was ever changed, judging by the state of it.
I think I'm just going to go with the 117k trans and put the new 3309 in that trans to have a good baseline, instead of potentially wasting it.

Basically all I'll have to address after this is a persistent OBD2 communication issue that doesn't seem to fall under the standard problems.

It just occurs to me that maybe WIS has a troubleshooting procedure for that, which I'll check when I get back to the shop today.

.

As a side note, Pentosin shows ATF1 as SAAB compatible.
Anyone ever went this route?


Thanks again everyone, very helpful input
 

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Discussion Starter #7
P.S. And the fluid thing is a religious debate, but I recently switched over to Valvoline Maxlife synthetic ATF because it's cheaper than 3309, and it's synthetic (3309 is not). Some will say don't do this, but I've been using it for a while now with no ill effects. FWIW!
You know, I've always been a big proponent of the 3309 but always thought there HAD to be a synthetic equivalent.
Biggest immediate advantage, I'd have to say, is availability!

I think I will give that a go in the coming transmission.
 

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If the fluid looks like its never been changed, I'd buy two gallons of the Valvoline Maxlife synthetic ATF and do a complete flush. Worst case scenario, you wasted 35 bucks on fluid. Probably worth it if there is a chance you don't have to swap the tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If the fluid looks like its never been changed, I'd buy two gallons of the Valvoline Maxlife synthetic ATF and do a complete flush. Worst case scenario, you wasted 35 bucks on fluid. Probably worth it if there is a chance you don't have to swap the tranny.

Yeah next time I will try that.

I am putting this car back together now because a friend really needs a car for her and her kids so I just went ahead and got a used trans for now.
~110k miles for $250 isn't bad but damn, it's a time consuming job!

Good thing is, since I had the subframe off I also so that the bushing were pretty ****ty so I'm going to go ahead and replace them, too.
 

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Nice! I didn't realize you've already begun digging into it.
Your a good man, sounds like your friend is going to get a great car.

Cheers!
 

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When you do the subframe bushing, upgrade the rear ones to the 2006 version. They last much longer than the soft 2002-2005 versions.
 

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Yeah next time I will try that.

I am putting this car back together now because a friend really needs a car for her and her kids so I just went ahead and got a used trans for now.
~110k miles for $250 isn't bad but damn, it's a time consuming job!

Good thing is, since I had the subframe off I also so that the bushing were pretty ****ty so I'm going to go ahead and replace them, too.
You're a good friend. That's a really nice thing to do. I love to hear stories about people being kind in their communities/circles of friends. Kudos!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Man, what a time consuming job!
I did get the later-model bushings, thanks for the suggestion!

I was really hoping to come back today with a great success story but unfortunately that's not the case.....

The worst thing is is that it's doing something similar, slipping in forward gears and just fine in reverse. Not nearly as bad but still very similar.

I know that I replace the TCM a couple years ago, and it hasn't been driven since then.

the other thing that's annoying right now is I still have a OBD communication issue so, although I have a tech 2, it doesn't do me a lot of good right now.

I read somewhere that there's a common issue with communication at the ECM so I guess my next step is going to be to take that out and make sure all the connections are good.

I've also read that disconnecting all the transmission sensors should allow it to run in failsafe mode and that would confirm that it's a software and not a mechanical issue?

Can anyone confirm this by chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Change shift solenoids on valve body. Very common issue
I can return the replacement, 110k mile transmission but what do you thing the odds are that the solenoids are bad in both?

I really need T2 communication.
I'm going to push for that first, in the morning. :/
 
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