My fiancée and I were going from Lawrenceburg, IN traveling south to Louisville, KY for her company picnic at Churchill Downs. We made it to a truck stop about forty-five minutes away. We had stopped for gas and when we were leaving the car started jerking real bad and did not seem to want to shift gears. We decided against driving the rest of the way to Louisville and turned around; just as we were trying to pull out of the lot she could not get any power to pull out in the roadway. She managed to get the car moving again and turned back into the lot of the truck stop and kept her foot on the brake, but it seemed to want to accelerate on its own. We stopped when we got back to Florence,KY at a Saturn dealership just so I could ask someone where to begin on the car to assess the problem when we were pretty much blown off by sales people who suggested that we may be able to trade it in on something else. They were looking to sell me a new car and I know very well that I would not be able to do that because of my credit and so forth. This was the beginning of a very long and frustrating day for us. We ended up calling the company where I bought the car at a year ago and they told us to bring it up and see what they could do. There were no technicians available to ask what to do and we were worried that it would not make it home. We ended up with a nice salesman that really did not listen to us very well with an answer that I could not trade the car in because the loan was too new. We ended up signing for another car taking out another loan that we really cannot afford and on the way home I stopped at an Auto-Zone to have the system tested because the service engine soon light was on and the result tripped a code for the throttle position sensor, which is a forty dollar piece. They showed having one in their inventory but could not find it in the store. I am just wondering if anyone else has had this problem with a 2001 Saturn L200 series and what is a sealed system on the transmission. Does that mean if it goes out it is done. I had it serviced in April and went through the receipt; because at the truck stop I tried to check the transmission fluid, but I could not even find a reservoir for the transmission. The receipt said that they topped off all fluids except where the transmission was listed it said declined because it was a sealed system. I really thought that we would not make it home without losing the transmission.
throttle position sensor on 2001 Saturn L200
by twa1971 in Lawrenceburg, IN on June 19, 2010
1 answer 4 comments
ANSWER by Visitor , June 29, 2010
This is true. I had the same problem last summer with my 2001 L200 (4-cyl). I thought the transmission was junk and had it towed to my Saturn dealer. They did a trans flush/fill and said they could not duplicate the problem (it was not having the problem at the time). And, yes the transmission is a sealed syetem (no dipstick!). There is no easy way to check the fluid. The problem did come back a month or so later. I drove it home slowly (5 miles) and did some serious research where I found the issue was related to the throttle position sensor (which is on the engine, not the transmission). What happens is that the sensor "flakes out" with boguz data which sends the cars computer into "limp mode" or reduced power mode (will not go out of first gear). I found that if your park the car (off) for 20 minutes, and then restart it, the system resets itself. My car has not had the problem for over a year now. I still plan on replacing the sensor though anyway. I was SO PISSED that the Saturn dealer did not know this. He even said that he hooked it up to the computer. Like you, they were more interested in selling me a new car that fixing mine. No wonder no other car companies want to buy them. They are morons... Sorry you had to replace your car, that sucks. At least you have a good spare or one you can sell now that will run normal after you replace the sensor.
COMMENT by Visitor , June 29, 2010
Thank you and I did replace the sensor, but like yourself I was pissed that not anyone at any of the dealerships knew a damn thing about what I was talking about. It was a very simple fix; just unplug the sensor and remove two torque head screws. I have been driving it myself since I changed it without any more problems. Again thank you for the assistance and feedback.
COMMENT by Visitor , August 21, 2010
I appreciate your information, I am having this problem now and was online searching for an answer. My check engine light is on and flashing and Seveal codes came on and P0121 was one which is the Throttle/Pedal Position code, one mechanic said catalytic converter needs replacing other said my problem doesn;'t appear to be catalytic converter, My SUV 1999 Honda Passport is doing the same as describe here and I think I will have that Throttle Sensor replaced.
COMMENT by Visitor , February 11, 2011
I have a 2001 l200, and i just changed the transmission filter thinking that this was the reason why my car would not shift into gear, I had the car checked by seveeral mechinics and was told diffrent things. what i would like to know is how can it be both the trottle sensor and the shift sensor at the same time when both work togather? I think that this is a way for dealers and mechanic's to make more money from hard working folks like us.
COMMENT by jojo23454 , April 13, 2011
did changing the filer help your car? and what was the real reason it would not shift gears?