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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
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    21 May 2019
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 Wagon
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    Intermittent drive problems on Auto trans, help please!

    Hi folks.
    I have an '01 9-5 wagon with an Aisin 50-42LE that's started to have intermittent drive problems and looking for some advice?
    Some days it drives perfectly with no transmissions problems at all. Occasionally though when putting it into drive it will virtually go nowhere unless I hold the revs up, then it seems to engage drive and shift normally until I come to a stop where it will repeat this problem. Reverse seems fine and unaffected.
    Fluid level seems ok and correct.
    Just wondering if this is something any of you have seen before and if you have any ideas what it could be? Possibly a solenoid, internal failure or something simple? I know these transmissions seem to be (usually) very reliable.
    Any help is greatly appreciated!!

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  2. #2
    Saab Fan
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    21 May 2019
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 Wagon
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    Just to add...

    This problem started after adding some fluid and some Nulon additive (which I added to help what I think is a slow leak). So, it could be due to the transmission being overfilled? (Thoughts?)

    Prior to this the car shifted perfectly except for two times when it hesitated from a stop. I thought this may have been due to the level being low. My 9-5 has a trans dipstick tube that bends to the left and opens to the left of the turbo bypass valve, probably because it's a right hand drive (Australian) car. I find this makes it very hard to get an accurate level reading on the dipstick. As the dipstick has to go through a bend it seems to smear fluid all over the level marks especially after fluid has been added, so an accurate level is not easy to get.

    The car has 153000kms (97000 miles) on it, so it's right where the fluid change is recommended. The fluid is fairly old and is a light pinkish-brown colour. It is NOT black and does not smell burned or feel gritty, it just looks old. The car did not hard shift, vibrate, lurch, miss shifts etc prior to me adding fluid. It ran and changed extremely well! No whines or strange noises. It just didn't want to move from a stop on two isolated occasions about a month apart.

    I think i'll try the three fluid change idea before taking it to a shop.

    Anyways, hope you can still help and many thanks for any advice.

    In summary I'm wondering if my symptoms could be due to an overfill combined with fluid that is old and needs changing?

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  3. #3
    mdb99@bellsouth.net
    Oh! I Get It Now Mike Brennan's Avatar
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    21 Aug 2010
    Location
    Williamsburg, Va. and Cedar RIver Mi.
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    Saab(s)
    01 95 Aero and Wagon, 09 93 Combi and an 08 95 Combi
    Thumbs Up:   11
    I just replaced mine at 95000. It is a 2001 4 speed like yours.
    If your problem really is the transmission a good tramission shop can test it.
    However if your gear light is not on I would suspect another non transmission issue.
    If your fluid is still pink then it ok.

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  4. #4
    Saab Fan
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    13 Nov 2018
    Location
    Connecticut
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    45
    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 arc
    Thumbs Up:   1
    Trans are tough to read even with a tech 2... my trans is being swapped at the moment I have 03 saab 9-5 v6 so I have a 5 speed auto... 1 thing the trans shop didn't look at thou on mine was the trans fliud cooler line if that's not work right you'll deff have problems as the fliud is over heating... now keep in mind the cooler line might not be completely messed up it might be intermediately getting clogged or not circulating the right way ALL the time
    The worst part is you won't get a code if your having internal problems or over heating fluid.
    It's tough but deff keep listening when you drive and keep researching
    The best advise I can give you is
    "You know your car more than anyone you drive it daily... if you go nights on end researching and asking questions go with your gut feeling. Even thou a mechanic knows how to fix cars they don't drive nor used your car ever so you may know or have some info that may help the mechanic. Try to make sure you know or have a few ideas what's wrong cuz the shop will recommend a swap when you only might need a sensor"
    Keep us updated!!

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  5. #5
    Saab Owner Digger's Avatar
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    28 Oct 2016
    Location
    Minneapolis Minnesota
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    967
    Saab(s)
    2006 9-3 2.0t SportCombi
    Thumbs Up:   143
    Quote Originally Posted by impalax327 View Post
    Hi folks.
    I have an '01 9-5 wagon with an Aisin 50-42LE that's started to have intermittent drive problems and looking for some advice?
    Some days it drives perfectly with no transmissions problems at all. Occasionally though when putting it into drive it will virtually go nowhere unless I hold the revs up, then it seems to engage drive and shift normally until I come to a stop where it will repeat this problem. Reverse seems fine and unaffected.
    Fluid level seems ok and correct.
    Just wondering if this is something any of you have seen before and if you have any ideas what it could be? Possibly a solenoid, internal failure or something simple? I know these transmissions seem to be (usually) very reliable.
    Any help is greatly appreciated!!
    Saw something like what you are describing a dozen years ago and it took months to find. Guy brought the car into the shop several times and we all drove it every way possible, it started as an occasional problem that had to get bad enough to be constant, it wasn't a Saab, but it was an Aisin tranny and it turned out to be a bad drive axel. You didn't mention if it slammed into gear when you raise the revs to get going from a stop, but if it does give the drive axles a good going over.

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  6. #6
    Saab Fan
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    21 May 2019
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 Wagon
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    Hi Digger, thanks for the reply (and to all the others).
    No, despite the occasional slip from a standing start my transmission hasn't made any kind of strange sounds. No thuds, grinds, whines, no harsh shifts...nothing like that. Also, it hasn't thrown any codes and the tranny light has not come on.
    I did the first of the "three fill/empty" changes so I can eliminate old/bad fluid symptoms. The oil that came out was a dark nutty brown but not black. It didn't smell burnt, didn't feel gritty and there was only a small about of build up around the magnet on the drain plug. My 9-5 has fairly low mileage for it's age (95k in 17 years) and has had a pretty easy life, never driven hard and came with full dealer history up to about 75k (with regular documented services after that).
    After the first change the car drove fine on a short road test and i'll do the other two drain/fills over the coming weeks. I'm starting to wonder if it just may be down to old fluid that's lost it's mojo? If it displayed any other kind of terminal symptoms then I'd be inclined to think something more mechanical or internal but as it's been 95% reliable up until now it could just be shouting that it's time for new and fresh fluid?
    Thanks again to all!

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  7. #7
    Saab Fan
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 Wagon
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    Have changed the fluid and 400kms on it's shifting great without issue.

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