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Old 07-31-2010, 05:37 AM   #1
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Saturn Toad Transmission Overheating

I have a 1999 Saturn SW2 Station wagon dohc engine with Automatic transmission. I have towed it 4 down in neutral for two years clocking some 10k on it this way with no issues. The last trip I was on an extended run back from Canada to GA and I had parked two nights with out unhooking the toad since they were just stops. For safety I put the toad in park at night and unplug the Brake buddy so it will not drain power. When I leave I plug in the BB turned key to unlock the steering and tranny shift into neutral and get under way (no engine start on toad).

I normally run 68 to 70 mph, on the second day I had run about 5 hours at 72 -75mph stopping for lunch I got into a spot where had to take the toad off to get back out. Unhooked and started the engine and it would not move when put in any gear. All of the over heat lights were on and when I checked under the toad it was covered in Tranny fluid and the dipstick had nothing touching it. (I had checked the fluid some days prior and it was up to spec) Once the the transmission cooled down the car would move again I added a quart of tranny fluid and it seemed to be alright. It appears the tranny got so hot it boiled the fluid out of a vent or somewhere else. Went and rented a dolly to get the rest of the way home.

Has anyone had anything like this happen or have any suggestions. My theory is the A the tow speed is too fast (cant believe 5 mph faster than normal would do that or B something did not disengage properly in the transmission when I shifted from P to N prior to leaving and it was in engage in the transmission. Does the car have to be started each time?

Since returning home I have drained all the transmission fluid and changed the filter. Seems to run ok but I fear the Toad has been mortally wounded.

Appreciate any feedback!


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Old 07-31-2010, 06:38 AM   #2
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I've pulled a '95 SL1 at, '00 SW2 at and now an '03 Vue 5 spd- all in neutral - key in the "off" position and no trouble. I did drag it 20 ft. one time- forgot to release the emergency brake. I suspect (maybe) the shift lever didn't come fully into neutral.
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toad, transmission

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