Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,554 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Saturn SL transmission problems

transmission problem

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1998 Saturn SL Owner Comments

problem #18

Jun 011999

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,979 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The vehicle stalled intermittently while driving. The cam switch was replaced twice, the idle control was adjusted and the throttle was replaced yet the problem recurred. The vehicle lunged forward when the vehicle was shifted in reverse. The transmission was replaced.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #17

Sep 132004

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
Vehicle was not running properly. Taken to mechanic who told me that vehicle was 5 quarts low on transmission fluid and vehicle would have stopped running if not taken care of at that time. Although vehicle only had 35000 miles on it transmission, which had defect, had to be rebuilt for $2400+.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 012003

SL 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, the engine stalled. The dealer replaced the crankshaft senor and coolant temperature sensor, however the engine stalled again. The power steering and ignition switch needed to be replaced. The gear did not shift properly, mainly in first gear.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #15

May 012002

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmision hesitates and jerks before going into any gear. Problem has existed for 3 months.dealer was notified, and found a faulty transmission valve.

- Plymouth, MI, USA

problem #14

Jan 292002

(reported on)

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When accelerating transmission doesn't shift into gear. Also, battery is leaking fluid, deteriorating wire harness to transmission. Dealer stated problem will reoccur because wires do not have a protective covering.

- Stafford, TX, USA

problem #13

Sep 222001

SL

  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #12

Mar 122001

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Caution: Saturn automatic transmision may be dangerous if it hesitates and clunks into gear or downshifts inappropriately. Saturn's computer diagnostic system may not detect dangerous transmission control condition. Saturn Corp. Policy on paying dealer for diagnostic work for warranty items may discourage dealer from further investigating possibly dangerous conditions.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #11

Mar 122001

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer was traveling 55mph on wet roads vehicle downshifted into low gear at highway speed. Consumer lost control and crashed into a concrete bridge which guided him to a stop. Twice vehicle was in shop for clunking, and twice with downshifting added. Vehicle in a repair shop to see what damage has been done. The consumer says the dealer should have addressed the symptems of potentially dangerous transmission problem during the 4 service periods. The vehicle was a total loss. The consumer was sekking financial reimbersement for the loss and expenses.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #10

Mar 302001

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving about 30 mph consumer heard a noise, stopped after increasing speed. Shortly after, consumer noticed smoke from under hood. Parked vehicle, and next morning there was transmission fluid under vehicle, towed to dealer, who found a differential pin had come loose in transmission, and caused a hole in transmission.

- Green Brook, NJ, USA

problem #9

Sep 121999

SL

  • miles
No summary

- Absecon, NJ, USA

problem #8

Jun 011998

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transmission failed.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 061998

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission failed.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 251998

SL

  • miles
Vehicle wanders from side to side when driving at approximately 30-60mph. Loud banging noise occurs when going over bumps. High frequency whining from the engine that adds to the noise. Also, transmission shifting has too little or too much power. Dealer/western region mfr. Contacted and cannot remedy the problem. Problem still exists. Provide further information.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #5

Jan 221999

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 60 mph the transmission went out without any warning. Driver was able to coast to the side of the road safely. The vehicle towed to the dealership where the transmission was replaced.

- Monticello, IN, USA

problem #4

Nov 121998

(reported on)

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission jerking and experiences unwanted surges almost resulting in collisions.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #3

Feb 011998

SL

  • miles
The problem in a nutshell is unexpected/unpredictable apparent loss of braking.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 301998

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at 10 mph and coming to a halt the computer shut down and nothing in the car worked. Dealer contacted two times in the same day with the same problem and attempted to remedy the problem. Consumer drove the car away with no guarantee the problem would not reoccur. Consumer is not satisfied with the situation. Several repairs of due to loss of power, however vehicle still experiences problems. Transmission experienced problems during shifting, found scuffed valves, replaced valves that were binding.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 151998

SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When traveling 35 mph, going up an incline and vehicle is placed in fourth gear, the vehicle will drop from fourth gear into second and will accelerate. Consumer has contacted the dealer. Dealer states normal operations.

- Windsor, CT, USA

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