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First, you MUST verify if this has the CVT (continuously variable transmission) installed. If so, it requires special fluid along with anti-foam additive. Probably stocked only by the dealer. DO NOT add other transmission fluid to a CVT.
thats AWD, is your vehicle normally front wheel drive, theres no easy way for the transfer case to jump into AWD, mine does it to although mines a Expedition an its the front that kicks in.....The only thing you can do is keep a eye on fluid inside axle....
I think your transmission is a 4T45E which does not have a typical dipstick. Check underneath the vehicle on the transmission case above the oil pan on the passenger side of the vehicle and you will see a pipe thread plug. The transmission must be at operating temperature on a level surface and the engine running, you then remove the plug and add new fluid in the fill hole until it runs out the removed plug. You will obviously need a catch basin and do not re-insert plug until fluid has stopped overflowing. Do not turn off the engine during the process.
This code is set when there is a variance in speed from the transmission input and output shafts. It can be a simple sensor issue or a more complex internal problem. There are several recalls for VUE transmissions but I do not think yours falls under this problem. Yours sounds more like an internal belt issue which Saturn has a technical bulletin for as shown below. This usually requires replacement of the case cover and filter and sometimes the belt depending on the damage. This is the bulletin that has to do with your code; Bulletin No.: 04-07-30-024E Date: June 09, 2006 TECHNICAL Subject: No Movement in Drive or Reverse with or without DTC P0741, P0742, P0841, P1756, P1758, or P1882 (Replace Case Cover Assembly and Filter) Models: 2002 Saturn VUE - Retrofitted with a 2003 or 2004 VT25E (VTi) transaxle (RPO M16/M75) 2003-2004 Saturn ION 2003-2005 Saturn VUEwith VT25E (VTi) transaxle (RPO M16/M75) Supercede: This bulletin is being revised to add additional Correction information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-07-30-024D (Section 07 - Transmission/Transaxle). Condition Some customers may comment on the vehicle not moving in the "D" (Drive) or "R" (Reverse) gear selection positions. In many cases, the transaxle will also produce an audible grind or whine noise when attempting to operate in drive or reverse. The Service Engine Soon (SES) telltale may be illuminated with DTCs P0741, P0742, P0841, P1756, P1758, or P1882 set. Cause This condition may occur when the VT25E transaxle belt has malfunctioned.
there have been problems with that trans. ther is a extended warranty period for that trans. DO NOT let someone other than a saturn dealer attempt to repair that trans. consult saturn dealer for warranty details.
jack the car up high enough to gain easy access to the undercarriage and secure with jack stands, the transfer case will have a pipe plug in it, most likely 3/4", that is where it is topped off, don't overfill! stick your pinky in the hole, if you get lube on the end of your finger it is ok, don't add more, also you should change the fluid every 60,000 miles.
You must raise the car on jackstands on all 4 corners (lift or jackstands) and remove the fill plug from the side of the transmission. You will see 2 plugs - 1 higher than the other. The top plug is the one you want. Fill the casing until fluid starts coming out. Replace the plug, and re-test.