Grinding/Rattle Type Noise Coming From Transmission #02-07-29-001 [Archive] - Forum


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05-12-2003, 08:22 PM
Grinding/Rattle Type Noise Coming From Transmission (Diagnose and Perform Repair) #02-07-29-001 - (01/28/2002)
Grinding/Rattle Type Noise Coming From Transmission (Diagnose and Perform Repair)
2000-02 Chevrolet Cavalier

2001-02 Oldsmobile Alero

2000-02 Pontiac Sunfire

2001-02 Pontiac Grand Am

with Manual Transmission (RPO M86 or M94)

Some customers may comment on a grinding or rattle type noise coming from the transmission. The noise usually occurs with the transmission in first or second gear at low RPMs and can be intermittent.

This condition may be originated by the natural harmonics of the engine that leads to a vibration in the transmission.

There are two separate noises. Follow the diagnostic procedures listed below to determine which noise the vehicle has and perform the outlined repair. If you are comparing like vehicles, you must compare vehicles with the same motor and similar mileage.

Diagnosis for Noise #1
This is a very distinct noise that is usually much louder than the second noise that can be associated with this transmission. If the vehicle is not making any noise when trying to verify the condition, it can be induced by making several tight left hand circles with the vehicle at normal operating temperature. Making a sharp right hand turn will usually stop the noise. While the noise is occurring, in order to distinguish between the two noises, you can press lightly on the clutch pedal without releasing the clutch and the noise will NOT go away or change. As a second diagnostic aid, while the vehicle is making the noise, shift to third gear and the noise will stop. If the noise is determined to be this type, perform the repair for noise #1.

Repair for Noise #1
Replace the transmission fluid with Saturn Manual Transmission Lubricant, P/N 21018899. Overfill to a capacity of 2.4L (2.6 qts). A possible side effect of this repair may be a higher shift effort.

Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in the General Information sub-section of the appropriate Service Manual.
Place a suitable container under the transmission assembly.
Remove the drain plug located on the bottom of the transmission and completely drain the fluid.
Re-install the drain plug. Tighten
Tighten the drain plug to 38Nm (28 lb ft).

Lower the vehicle.
Remove the fill plug located on the top/middle of transmission on the driver side, near the red vent cap. If you use the check level plug on the side of the transmission, you will not be able to overfill the transmission.

Fill the transmission to the amount specified. Too much lubricant will cause the fluid to leak from the vent. Not enough fluid will defeat the purpose of this bulletin.

Fill the transmission with 2.4L (2.6 qts) of Saturn Manual Transmission Lubricant P/N 21018899. DO NOT USE THE RED VENT CAP TO FILL.
Re-install the fill plug. Tighten
Tighten the fill plug to 38 Nm(28 lb ft).

Diagnosis for Noise #2
This noise, commonly referred to as gear rattle, can be induced by lugging the engine in any gear, but is usually most noticeable in first or second gear. While the noise is occurring, if you press lightly on the clutch pedal without releasing the clutch, the noise will be reduced or eliminated.

Repair for Noise #2
Do not attempt to repair this noise. This is a characteristic of the vehicle and any vehicle equipped with a manual transmission can be made to make a similar noise. Driving at slightly higher engine RPM levels will reduce this noise.

05-13-2003, 11:49 AM
WOW!! I'm surprised this is such an easy fix. I'm going to do this this weekend!! My problem is with noise #1. I hope this fixes it!!

05-13-2003, 02:53 PM
OMG thankyou so much I will let you know if it worked out!

05-15-2003, 01:43 PM
I just got back from the Saturn dealer and they charged me $17.52 per quart (plus tax) for the new transmission lubricant. That's a little expensive when I'm used to paying no more than $4.00 per quart for Dexron 3 ATF.

Well whatever. If this will fix my issue then it will be worth it.

05-15-2003, 03:05 PM
lol true enough, nuthin like cruising around and your car starts rattling, especially when your on a date with a sweet chick. Plus its freakin annoying. 17.52 a quart so in canadian funds that should be maybe 100 dollars LOL thx

05-15-2003, 03:07 PM
Oh ya by the way my car is now stumbling or missing when i accelerate once in a while, everyday, looks like I will have to make a trip to the dealership.

05-16-2003, 12:38 PM
LOL...yeah hearing a freaky noise like that when you're with a hottie really sux.

Good luck on getting the hesitation thing dealt with. I'm going to change my transmission lubricant this weekend and I'll post my results here.

05-22-2003, 02:24 PM
Get this i get to the dealership at 8:00 Am thankgod i took the day i tell them i have that rattling noise and my car misses or stumbles on accelleration especially in 3 4 gears. Ok so he fixes it and said i had a miss on #4 and they changed the fluid in the tranny for me as well because i showed them those papers..OK NOW he says ""SOME DRIVERS MAY""" Says it is normal even though i asked him if he has experienced the noise before and he says no I tell him it makes people look from the sidewalks its so loud. He treats me like a dumbass like i know nuthin. SECOND I DRIVE the car away now thinking it is fixed and WOW wouldn't you know it stumbles and misses still LOL then i see a oil stain on my passenger seat ok i turn around and wanna smash someone in the face....then i thought no lets see what happens So he comes for a test drive and i say yes it still stumbles...So he test drives it never going below 3000 while accellerating so he can hide the problem maybe? He says it stumbles because i drive it at too low rpm...and says look see for yourself no misses on the diagnosis computer while we r driving so i think ok this guy thinks i am a dumbass...Off to the MORE EXPERIENCED head guy he comes for a test drive and says yes there is definetly something wrong and he let me drive it first then he drove it too be its in the shop and after waiting 3 hours to begin with i wait another 2 and a half and finally they say we dunno whats wrong! uhmmm we will give you a rental and let you know when it is done and we will clean that oil stain for you. OK NOW I AM VERY VERY scared to see whats wrong with my car now when i get it back. Things missing? maybe a few door dings....oil stains on the carpets! LOL Oh well it was an experience there was more crap i put up with but i am sick of typing right now.

IS it normal for the strut area to creak or squeak when i take a slow right or left turn? We noticed this while test driving the mechanic said it was normal if i grease this area will it stop wear and quieten it or should i just leave it?

05-22-2003, 02:27 PM
Oh yeah so how did your rattle go?????????? I have yet to find how mine is hopefully they really did do the oil thing for me.... I have a suspicious feeling i will have 2 do the saturn oil overfill thing myself..they think i am delerious and he said he has never heard this sound from another vehicle so he prolly thoght hey!! "I will just say i did sumthin about it" I never had real good trust with leaving my car at a mechanic now i DEFINETLY have no trust!

05-22-2003, 02:34 PM
Yeah I understand exactly how that feels. Sometimes dealers will screw up the car worse than when you brought it in.

I actually haven't had the opportunity to change the transmission oil yet. I had other stuff to do to the car. So I'm going to get to the transmission oil this weekend.

Good luck with your car. It sucks when you get a bad mechanic working on it. :(

05-22-2003, 03:32 PM
LOL fast reply! hehe Ya it does suck and i knew i was just getting myself into trouble when i went there...oh well they think i found that on the internet those tsb's then i decided to goto the dealer I betchya. But infact i had problems so i looked for them then went to the dealer

05-23-2003, 06:55 PM
Ok they have not called me all day this has been two full days now hopefully they call me tomorrow to at least let me know they are looking at it.......WOW what a freakin nightmare I wanna just stop payments and tell them to keep my piece of GM ****...I knew i should have went with the Volkswagen Golf at least they are built half decent. Oh and they don't have dumbass mechanics that think the customers are idiots..WOW i am ****ed oh my god I feel like taking my car from them tonight and bringing it to another GM dealership am I allowed to do this?

05-27-2003, 10:54 AM
Well I doubt you're going to find anyone on this board that will agree with you as far as your Alero being a piece of $h**. To the contrary, GMs are better than Volkswagens. VWs are built really cheap. And you're not necessarily going to get a good mechanic just by switching manufacturers. That's part of the problem with dealers; you never know who you're going to be working with.

Anyway, yes you are allowed to go get your car from the dealer and take it to another dealer.

Also, I tried what was suggested in this service bullettin, the suggestion about changing the transmission lubricant to the Saturn product, etc. And it fixed the rattling problem. I'm stoked! So now my car is perfect.

05-27-2003, 02:58 PM
ya i was just ****ed off thats all my rattling is gone now also, i was just irate because the mechanic i was dealing with must have had a few drinks the night before or sumthin, just ****ed i had to wait a few days for my car after waiting at the dealership for 6 hours to begin with.

05-27-2003, 03:03 PM
Yeah I can definately understand your frustration. I've been through similar experiences in the past with various dealers and brands. But I'm stoked for you that your car is fixed. Congratulations!

Now you can pick up the hotties and not worry about the rattling!