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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

91 Saturn, Transmission Won't Make Up Its Mind!
Q: I have a '91 Saturn. I bought it a year ago and LOVE it... I had to replace the alternator but other than that it has been a great car. With one exception. About two months ago I started having a problem with the automatic transmission. At times it will not shift and I can hear the engine working harder. This does not happen all the time and does not seem to be weather or temperature related. I have tried coaxing the transmission into shifting by letting up on the gas for a few moments and then slowly accelerating. It really is dangerous when trying to merge onto a highway and I can't get up to 65 MPH because it won't shift. I've checked the transmission fluid level and it's fine. Could it possibly just need a filter change or is there something more sinister happening in there? I am a woman and don't want to get ripped off by a mechanic because I don't know a whole lot about cars.

A: Do you have any idea when the automatic transmission was last serviced? With a complaint such as yours I would recommend a complete transmission service. This would include, flushing the transmission, torque converter, transmission cooler lines and the transmission cooler of its old oil, followed by the installation of a new transmission filter. According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, over 16 million transmissions fail each year. Surprisingly, 90% of these failures are due to transmission oil neglect. Your vehicle doesn't have to be a motor home or pulling a trailer to overheat the transmission fluid. Even stop and go traffic can overheat and damage transmission oil. Old, or overheated, transmission oil will cause transmission shifting problems. If left unattended this can result in a transmission failure. A little maintenance now could save you a whole lot of money later.

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