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Saab 9-2x 2.5i AutoTrans slow gear change. Help Please

What can I do as a resourceful (but with limited mechanic skills/tools) DIYer to trouble shoot the slow and uncertain shifts my auto transmission is doing? Would changing transmission fluid and filter help or be a step in the right direction?

The car only has 36000 miles on it and has been treated nicely. FYI this car is basically a Subaru Impreza

Why not take to a Saab dealer? This car car had a 4yr/50,000 mile warranty and may still be under warranty.

I would start by checking the automatic transmission fluid.

I am assuming that you have already verified that the trans fluid is at the proper level.
Am I correct? If not, then you need to check–and to replenish–the fluid as the first step. However, since trans fluid does not evaporate, if the fluid level is low, then you have a leak.

Changing the trans fluid and filter couldn’t hurt–especially since it should be changed every 3 yrs/30k miles anyway. Even if the Saab/Subaru maintenance schedule does not specify this procedure at this mileage–trust me–it should be done. So, if your mystery model year car has been on the road for more than 3 years, if you have not changed the fluid alreadly, then your car has not been “treated nicely”.

If you don’t perceive any improvement after the fluid/filter change, I would suggest that you take the car to an independent trans shop for evaluation. Whatever you do, DO NOT take the car to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain operation unless you want to be told that you need a new transmission–whether you really do or not.

What can you tell us about the model year of your car, the level of your trans fluid and its maintenance history?

the trans fluid is at the proper level. I noticed bubbles in the trans fluid, but other wise looked fine. what I am noticing in the shifting is a stuttering between shifts and sometimes when it down shifts it kind of surges into a lower gear. The saab 9-2x 2.5i is basically a subura impreza. Different sheet metal and a few other things but uses the same factory and engine and parts as the impreza.


The bubbles could be the cause of this problem. Bubbles are generally caused by overfilling the fluid which then leads to frothing or there is an internal leak. Regarding the latter this could mean that air is being pulled into the transmission hydraulics.
(filter not seated all the way, loose trans. valve body bolts, warped valve body, etc, etc.)

Has anyone been servicing this transmission or been into it for any reason in the past?

I will have to check my records but I don’t think the dealership has done anything to it besides check the fluid. The filter is the kind that is maintenance free kind. So how do I trouble shot this or can’t I?