Question about 1997 Saturn SL

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Saturn SW1 will not shift into 2nd, 4th, or reverse

My 1996 Saturn SW1 will not shift into 2nd, 3rd, or reverse, however it will shift into 1st, 3rd, and 5th. I am wondering where the cable attaches to the gear box, so I can reattach it. Any help would be great. Thanks.

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  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2014

    4 cyl Aura has low power, doesn't want to shift from 1st to 2nd gear and shows codes p0315 and p0420

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  • 11 Answers

No hydralic fluid in the resvoir look for the resvoir on the fire wall of the drivers side if its empty well fill it back up lol not sure if the sw1 has this but ive had too fix this problem before

Posted on Jun 18, 2009

  • blazeboi1 Jun 18, 2009

    no hydralic fluid in the resvoir look for the resvoir on the fire wall of the drivers side if its empty well fill it back up lol not sure if the sw1 has this but ive had too fix this problem before

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1 Answer

Saturn no 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 5th gear


Your shifter cables snapped (more specifically the connectors at the end of the cables, they are made out of nylon). Not good news 1) the cables are not made anymore you will have to find a place that might have some still in stock or go to a junk yard; 2) it requires dropping the ******; if your not able to do this yourself, you are looking at about $600 if you can even find the cables. I know what I'm talking about because mine snapped about 4 years ago and luckily some were still able to be found and I have a 98 Saturn SL. Good Luck!!! - Stu

Sep 04, 2012 | 1998 Saturn SL

1 Answer

02 SATURN 5 SPD WILL 1ST AND 2ND GEAR WILL NOT WORK. 3RD, 4TH 5TH AND REVERSE ARE FINE


saturn shifter bushing repair kit. sold at parts stores and eBay for about 20 bucks

Apr 26, 2011 | 1993 Saturn SL2

1 Answer

I have a saturn sl2 with a 5 speed transmission. i was driving and heard a ping and now 2nd 4th and reverse are gone but i still have 1st 3rd and 5th. i have no idea where to start fixing the problem


If you have inspected the shift linkage and found no missing or loose parts, then unfortunately an internal shift mode fork, syncro assembly,shift rail or possibly a snap ring has been damaged. This is not an easy fix on any vehicle and will require transmission removal to diagnose. Before the trans is removed, inspect the shift linkage while someone moves the gear selector to all gears. This would be the best case scenario, internal damage, of course, would be the worst.

Feb 06, 2011 | 1997 Saturn SL

1 Answer

I have a 96 sl1. I only have 1st,3rd and 5th gear. If I try 2nd 4th and Reverse, it's like they aren't even there. Is it my linkage cable? And should I get a new transmission?


This does sound more like a bad cable. You'll need to find the shift tower on the transmission and have someone move the shift so you can see if it moves when trying to put it in the bottom gears.

Jan 05, 2011 | 1996 Saturn SL

1 Answer

It shifts into 3rd and 4th.But the stick is all over the place and loose.It won't go over to 1st,2nd,5th or reverse.


Howie I would go to a parts store or ebay and get a saturn shifter bushing repair kit. They cost about
20 bucks. If you can get the console out, then you can do this repair. If you have high speed access take a search on www.youtube.com for saturn shifter and i am sure there are videos of folks pulling the console and doing the bushing swap.

Nov 06, 2010 | 1997 Saturn SL

1 Answer

Only runs in 1st and 2nd gear and reverse.


This is a fault mode in which the transmission either loses electrical power or the PCM deactivates all of the electronics. The transmission will default to max line pressure. The driver will have Reverse and 3rd, with manual 2nd available by putting the gearshift in 2 or 1 (doesn't matter). 1st, 4th, and TCC lockup will not be available. It will not hurt the car to drive it like this for short periods, but use manual 2nd to get the car moving, and be aware that the trans will generate more heat than normal while operating in limp-home mode due to increased torque converter slippage during 2nd gear starts and no lockup in 3rd gear.

Trans shifts into gear harshly, car feels sluggish off the line
, No 1st, 4th or TCC lockup available, Manual 2nd, 3rd and Reverse are only available gears, CEL is on: Transmission is either in limp-home mode or has lost electrical power. If there are lots of error codes in the PCM, check the under hood fuse that powers the transmission, and if it pops again, look for a short in that circuit like an O2 sensor harness touching exhaust. Otherwise, check PCM codes for a particular fault in the transmission causing the PCM to put it in limp-home mode.

No 1st or 4th available; trans shifts 2nd to 3rd by itself in D or OD and locks the converter : ShiftA solenoid failed. Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.

Car goes into gear but feels very sluggish like the brakes are dragging, but it will roll easily (starts out in 4th gear), you manually shift to 2 to get it moving, once it's moving you put it back in OD and the car shifts 3rd to 4th on its own and locks the converter at the appropriate time: ShiftB solenoid failed: Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.

Dec 14, 2009 | 2006 Hummer H3

1 Answer

4L 60E - 2001 k1500 will not shift into 3-4. Oil is not burn't and stifts great into1-2


  • No 3rd or 4th gear: “3-4” clutches are worn out. R&R. The car is safe to drive (in 2) until you can get it fixed.
  • Trans shifts into gear harshly, car feels sluggish off the line, No 1st, 4th or TCC lockup available, Manual 2nd, 3rd and Reverse are only available gears, CEL is on: Transmission is either in limp-home mode or has lost electrical power. If there are lots of error codes in the PCM, check the under hood fuse that powers the transmission, and if it pops again, look for a short in that circuit like an O2 sensor harness touching exhaust. Otherwise, check PCM codes for a particular fault in the transmission causing the PCM to put it in limp-home mode.
  • No 1st or 4th available; trans shifts 2nd to 3rd by itself in D or OD and locks the converter : Shift A solenoid failed. Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.
Check to see if your transmission is in the limp mode, which would only give you 2nd, 3rd and reverse gears. No 1st or 4th gear.

Nov 19, 2009 | 2003 GMC Sierra 1500

1 Answer

My 1997 Saturn SW1 will not shift into 2nd, 3rd,


The cables attach near the back of the transaxle. You may be able to see them under the brake lines. You will probably need to remove the air intake from the throttle body to get good access.

Oct 23, 2009 | 1997 Saturn SL

1 Answer

Cannot shift properly


My Saturn did the same thing - twice. Where the clutch cables connects to the shifter box(??) there is a little clip that had fallen off. The first time this happened, the mechanic told me that I needed to replace the whole shifter box - costing me $400 dollars. The second time - about two years later a different mechanic charged me $15 for the clip and labor.

Aug 21, 2008 | 1997 Saturn SL

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