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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    2002 9-5 arc
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    Clunk when I accelerate from transmission

    I have a 03 saab 9-5 v6 at 187k miles. About a month ago I was going up a hill and the transmission got stuck in 3 gear and the rpms would just go up and down very little like it was stuck there right around the number 3. Second time I was on the highway and shudder and a little slipping. I checked trans fluid and it had a little darkness to it but still can tell it was red I did a fluid change. Was just fine I thought the problem was gone then about 3 weeks ago it totally failed on me on the highway alot of shut off and starts til I got to the exit and made it home in 3 gear ever since I don't go on the highway I stay on back roads and everything was fine. At this point Im guessing the trans is blown that's why I keep driving because I need to go to work and might as well drive it til the wheels fall off but just 2 days ago I went to start it and automatically had a problem I made it home and today did the same I started it and down the street started sticking to gears and not up shifting hard jerks forward.... it's most likely a blown trans but what baffles me is I have no code for any transmission problems the only time I got a code for the popping out of gears was on the highway and it was p1300 or something like that just a misfire... which comes to my question I think the clunk from anytime i push on the gas is from a bad transmission mount would that cause a transmission to slip and pop out of gear and stick like that and why am I not getting a code when shit goes haywire?

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  2. #2
    Saab Fan
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    2002 9-5 arc
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    So I'm guessing everyone that goes on here has no reply smh.... but have plenty of info to other non important threads on here why have a forum if no one is going to answer or help..... now watch how I get replies to this but no thoughts or opinions on what the thread is actually about

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  3. #3
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Just a few thoughts:


    • Your post is difficult to read for me and I assume others as well. Using paragraphs, punctuation and shorter sentences will make understanding the issue much easier. I tried reading it a few times but I can get past the 4th line.
    • Sometimes forum members just don't know how what the problem could be. And some problems just can be fixed on a forum but need to be diagnosed by a mechanic.
    • Many new members come here for help with their own problems only and don't become part of the community. Most don't stick around and don't help others. Many long time members are just burnt out by this.


    This is not specific to you or this specific thread, just a general observation about the decline and limitation of forums and rise of social media.

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  4. #4
    Saab Nut
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    10 Apr 2017
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    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Thumbs Up:   46
    Quote Originally Posted by nordwulf View Post
    Just a few thoughts:


    • Your post is difficult to read for me and I assume others as well. Using paragraphs, punctuation and shorter sentences will make understanding the issue much easier. I tried reading it a few times but I can get past the 4th line.
    • Sometimes forum members just don't know how what the problem could be. And some problems just can be fixed on a forum but need to be diagnosed by a mechanic.
    • Many new members come here for help with their own problems only and don't become part of the community. Most don't stick around and don't help others. Many long time members are just burnt out by this.


    This is not specific to you or this specific thread, just a general observation about the decline and limitation of forums and rise of social media.
    Completely agree Frank, I used to decipher things like this as part of my job but I did have the advantage that I knew the vehicle they were talking about very well indeed. I tried to give your message a thumbs up but for some reason the forum software, or my computer, wouldn't let me. I'll try again with the original message from this thread.

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  5. #5
    Saab Nut
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    10 Apr 2017
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    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Thumbs Up:   46
    OK here's my edited version.
    Clunk from transmission when I accelerate.

    I have a 03 Saab 9-5 v6 at 187k miles.

    About a month ago I was going up a hill and the transmission got stuck in 3 gear and the rpms would just go up and down very little like it was stuck there right around the number 3.

    Second time I was on the highway and shudder and a little slipping. I checked trans fluid and it had a little darkness to it but still can tell it was red I did a fluid change.

    Was just fine I thought the problem was gone then about 3 weeks ago it totally failed on me on the highway a lot of shut off and starts till I got to the exit and made it home in 3 gear. Ever since I don't go on the highway I stay on back roads and everything was fine. At this point I’m guessing the trans is blown that's why I keep driving because I need to go to work and might as well drive it till the wheels fall off.

    Just 2 days ago I went to start it and automatically had a problem I made it home and today did the same I started it and down the street started sticking to gears and not up shifting hard jerks forward.... it's most likely a blown trans but what baffles me is I have no code for any transmission problems the only time I got a code for the popping out of gears was on the highway and it was p1300 or something like that just a misfire...

    Which comes to my question. I think the clunk from anytime I push on the gas is from a bad transmission mount. Would that cause a transmission to slip and pop out of gear and stick like that and why am I not getting a code when shit goes haywire?

    Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to say but I can now begin to offer some answers in another post.

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  6. #6
    Saab Nut
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    2011 2.0 9-5 Aero
    Thumbs Up:   46
    Here then is my initial response, please bear in mind that I have little experience with auto gearboxes so I may be way off.

    Starting at the end: Fault codes are generated electrically, for a purely mechanical problem like yours there will be no codes. Thus the absence of fault codes does not indicate an absence of a fault but and absence of monitoring for that fault.

    Yes, the clunk could well be a transmission mount bush, except that the Saab being front wheel drive relies on the engine for much of the mounting so it could equally be an engine mount.

    Could that cause the problem you are experiencing? Yes it could if the movement is sufficient to shift the box from Auto to 3.

    Does the selector move easily when you encounter the problem?

    It sounds to me that the selector doesn't match what the box is seeing so I would certainly get the mounts checked, also consider the front subframe bushes, if these are worn, and at 187K miles they should probably have been replaced twice already so they will be worn, the gear selector could be all over the place because the whole engine/transmission isn't aligned correctly.

    So to summarise, yes it could be a mount, engine or gear box but it could be the subframe bushes as well. I'd get it to a specialist unless you have the tools and skills to do the work.

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan
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    13 Nov 2018
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 arc
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Thanks for the reply.

    It has been buring transmission fluid with no leaks anywhere. I had a decent mechanic in the car with me today and drove til it did what it's usually does.

    He definitely thinks transmission is out.

    I have a 2002 saab 9-5 arc 3.0turbo (gray) same as the 03(black) he will tear they gray one down and open transmission to make sure everything is good and will swap it with the transmission in the 03. As he is taking it apart(the 03 after he does the 02)he will make sure that it's internal damage rather than it being a solenoid or torque converter and replace which ever mount is bad if any.

    I will definitely keep updates coming to inform anyone interested in the ending results. (Work should be done in about 5 to 7 days) I can't wait!!!

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  8. #8
    Saab Fan
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    2002 9-5 arc
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Sorry forgot to say about a code not being thrown by cel. I understand how you explained it but makes me more sure that if the car can't detect a mechanical malfunction thru the cars ecu or transmission comp. Makes me believe that the gears are worn down and alot of debris from the metal. that's the only way I can figure a cel that won't give you a code for transmissions problems.

    Let me know your thoughts

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  9. #9
    Saab Nut
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    Thumbs Up:   46
    Quote Originally Posted by Biggsjam21 View Post
    Sorry forgot to say about a code not being thrown by cel. I understand how you explained it but makes me more sure that if the car can't detect a mechanical malfunction thru the cars ecu or transmission comp. Makes me believe that the gears are worn down and alot of debris from the metal. that's the only way I can figure a cel that won't give you a code for transmissions problems.

    Let me know your thoughts
    Without knowing a lot more about Saab auto boxes I don't have any thoughts but you could be correct, heavy mechanical wear may cause a malfunction but with nothing electrical to detect.

    I appreciate that you have had a transmission expert look at your car and that you are both convinced that the main problem is the gearbox however, I would strongly recommend replacing the front subframe bushes, particularly as the gearbox is coming out anyway. Despite what others will tell you the bushes have a life of around 80,000 miles, they will keep going beyond that but replacing them before there are any symptoms is a good idea. Also consider the rear trailing arm bushes, the cause rapid tyre wear when they go and they aren't expensive compared to a pair of tyres.

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