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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My auto box has developed a slightly odd occasional habit.

When moving away from rest in 1st then car starts to move away normally and then there is a solid clunk and the car carries on accelerating as normal. It almost feels like a gear change but the 1-2 change doesn't happen that low down.

Any ideas?

Steve
 

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It may seem obvious, but is the transmission fluid too low? I had a similar problem on an auto '94 9000CSE. I found the transmission fluid was very low and dark. Did a complete auto transmission fluid flush and refill - problem gone away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did check it the other day and it seemed OK but I guess I should check it again.

I'm booking the car in for a full service including a change of the atf and the filter. I am tempted to ask them to check the valve box as well.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tried to see the 1-2nd gear change this evening.. I have no idea where it is (I know where 2-3 and 3-4 occur).

But to annoy me it didn't do it tonight - smooth acceleration from stationary to 40mph.
 

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Be forewarned if your servicing your transmission...Transmissions are made to be serviced in one of two patterns:

Once every 10,000 miles or Once every transmission. Basically what happens is the the transmission will begin to build up deposits around the sides. Normally this is ok. However, since ATF fluid has detergents in it, if the buildup is fairly consistent with fluid not being changed regularly then when you add the new fluid it is very possible that the detergents will break down some of the deposits and some may chip off and get into vital components within the transmission. The transmission will begin to slip until one day it just goes...This happened to my last car...it was a ford...perhaps saab transmissions arent as picky...but if youve never serviced the transmission, I wouldnt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've checked the ATF - its fine, a nice pink colour with no nasty smell and the level is fine. Last change was about 12K ago and I've found receipts showing a full service (inc filters) 12 K before that.

Watching it closely - which is hard when you are driving on the public road I think its just the 1-2 change sometimes being a bit lumpy and happening at odd speeds - like about 8-12mph.

I'm booking it in for a ATF change and to get the springs on the valve box replaced.
 

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If you are having the valve springs done, get the governor seals done at the same time. They are in the same place as the valves, they harden quite quickly and fail. It won't cost that much more and it'll save you money in the long term, believe me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just thought I'd update on this. I've not had the box looked at yet but I can avoid getting the odd effect by putting the box into 1st and once I've started moving slipping it upto Drive. If I do that once or twice in my 22 mile commute to work then I dont get the problem at all
 

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I had a very similar problem on my 2.3 auto... Whenever I would start from a dead stop, the car would start going, and then "clunk" and speed up. What this turned out to be was the transmission starting off in 2nd gear, then suddenly switching down to 1st gear as I got started. The cause was leaking/blown governor seals. Once these were replaced, the problem hasn't returned.

It's probably worth looking into, especially if you might be having other transmission difficulties (such as shifting too soon or too late, threatening to stall at lights, etc.)
 

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Stephen,

Would appreciate knowing the cost for spring and governor seal replacement, when you have a quote or two.

Let us know how you get on.

My autobox with 140k miles is still smooth, so here's hoping, but forewarned is forearmed. In my experience, later autoboxes are normally good for 150 to 200k miles, typically.
 

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If it helps, the cost to have my governor seals replaced would have been about $250 CDN for the labour. Unfortunately, they couldn't find the proper seals lying around, so they had to order an overhaul kit for me. As a result, it added another $200 to the bill, but now I'm the proud owner of a ZF overhaul kit... At least if anything goes wrong with my transmission, I'll be ready...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update - no garage in Cheltenham seems to be interested in doing the work. The supposed "gearbox specialist" doesn't return emails or phone calls.

1st is now getting very tempramental and I cant afford a new/recon box and I can't afford a newer saab so the scrappy is looming for the K reg and I'll have to make do with the Clio (once we get it back from the body shop)
 

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Stephen,
Sorry to hear the news.
Have you tried negotiating a best price from one of the Saab specialists come breakers - to fit one of their own a second hand units.

I'd definately check out the Bristol/Warmley specialist (The Workshop Tel: 0117 9406121)
I believe they also run http://www.saabtrader.co.uk

and possibly Neo or 2 Stroke/Turbo (although later have shocked me with their near dealer prices at times).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I spent a bit of time on the phone with an Autobox specialist in Gloucester.

Diagnosis is :

1) Sticky Governor - a simple clean would be £200-£300
2) Knackered Governor - a mere £1400 to replace!

Ho hum.. as I've not scrapped the beast yet I'm going to just carry on remembering to pull away in 1st then manually shift up.
 

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Originally posted by StephenA:
[qb]1) Sticky Governor - a simple clean would be £200-£300
2) Knackered Governor - a mere £1400 to replace!
[/qb][/b]
Someone is taking the mickey, I think.

According to DCA (near me), the last couple of autobox overhauls they did were about £1200 all in (they don't do them themselves, but contract it out to a local specialist)
 

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Give Driver Transmisions in Birmingham a ring ,even the local Vauxhall main agents use them and they sorted my box out without breaking the bank , I know its 80 miles away but their advise could be usefull,the number is 0121-773-6633.
mike
 

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I had the governor seals replaced and the valve bodies checked/cleaned on my ZF automatic gearbox for the princely sum of 110 pounds. I used the services of Briggs Motors Fareham (tel Fareham 286128) They are auto-box specialists and did a great job. How many other places do you know which replace all the bolts with OEM-equivalents because they've found that re-using the old ones can lead to leaks?
They did a GREAT job for me, I recommend them highly.
 
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