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Old 03-06-2016, 03:59 PM   #1
gchristy19
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Hi. I have an 03 Saturn Ion and over a month ago I was driving and the engine started making loud noises and decreased power. I drove it about a half mile and called a tow. The mechanic said the engine needed to be replaced. He replaced the engine and now tells me the transmission is bad because after the engine was installed the car will not engage in any gear. It wont move! The error codes he says he getting are P0700A and U2106A. Please help. What else can this mean? I cant believe the transmission and engine would go at the same time.

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Old 03-07-2016, 09:27 AM   #2
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P0700 Transmission Control System Malfunction

Many vehicles have a control module for the automatic transmission called a transmission control module (TCM). The engine control module (ECM) communicates with the TCM to monitor the automatic transmission for faults. If the TCM detects a fault in the automatic transmission and sets a transmission related fault code, the ECM is informed of this also and sets a P0700 in the ECM memory.

This illuminates the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) to let the driver know there is a problem. If this code is present and the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) is illuminated that basically means there is at least one transmission code set in the TCM's memory. P0700 is an informational code only. It doesn't point to a direct fault in the engine, only a general fault in the transmission. More diagnosis is necessary to identify what the transmission fault is. This requires a scan tool that will communicate with the transmission module.

CAUSES

More often then not, the cause of this code is that there is a transmission problem of some kind. The TCM detected the problem and set a code. P0700 means that a fault code is stored in the TCM. However this doesn't rule out the possibility of a failed PCM or TCM (unlikely).

Possible Solutions

For a P0700 the only real solution is to acquire a scan tool that will communicate with the transmission control module. Extracting this code from the TCM will be the first step in repairing the fault in the transmission.
If the TCM compatible scan tool will not communicate with the Transmission Control Module then that is a good indication that there may be a fault with the TCM itself.

http://www.obd-codes.com/p0700
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DTC U2106 Lost Comm with Trans Control System (ECM & TCM)

As stated, The ECM cannot communicate properly with the TCM.

__________

From the 0700, you already know there is a trouble code stored in the TCM -- might be why ECM can't communicate.

Sounds like you got fleeced for a new engine over something fixable but we'll never know.

Now there's a TCM code stored but your mechanic does not seem to want to investigate it. It is much more likely to be a TCM issue than the whole transmission,

Sometimes the BCM goes scatterbrain and does not pass along ECM data t the TCM as it is supposed to.

Mechanic sounds lazy, inept and probably dishonest. Wants to sell you a whole new transmission over a TCM code he won't read
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Last edited by derfderf; 03-07-2016 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:27 PM   #3
gchristy19
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Thank you. Is the TCM compatiable scan tool something different than what he used alreasy to get the code?
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:07 AM   #4
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Depends on the sophistication of your OBDII device.
Code READERS usually only access the Powertrain or "P" DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) which have a Pxxxx format.

Whatever OBDII tool was used to pull the U code (2106) may or may not be able to pull codes directly from the TCM. The problem is that the TCM and ECM cannot talk to each other.

As I understand it (and I MAY be wrong), the ECM talks to the BCM (body control module) which then sends the communication on its way to the TCM), and vice versa. The U2106 indicates a lack of communication between the ECM and PCM, but not what the NATURE of the non-communication is,

communications line damaged?
Different communications protocol?
BCM damaged?
Different TCM?
TCM toasted?

I find it hard to believe that you drove the car in and now the transmission suddenly doesn't "work".

What year engine did he put in?

Did he use the existing ECM? I doubt he has a GM Tech II with current software on it to flash a replacement one.
Either that or he may have put in a replacement engine complete with a PCM, then never reflashed it to match your car. Again, need GM Tech II tool to reflash.
I'm assuming he did the BCM relearn routine or the car would never start.

Does this car have a regular tranny or a CVT (continuously variable) ?
_______
My semi-educated GUESS is that
  • he installed the replacement engine complete w ECM, but the engine came from a vehicle that does not have the same transmission as yours
  • the communication problem exists because he did not (and CAN'T) reflash the ECM (and possibly BCM) to match your car.

The TCM to ECM communications were just fine when you drove it in, no? He didn't pull a U2106 code coming into the shop, did he?
What codes DID he pull coming in?

You need to find out

1) what year and model car the engine came from. If he can't or won't tell you, the VIN (vehicle Identification number should be stamped or laser etched on it somewhere. We can then determine it on our own.
2) what type of transmission was in the car that the donor engine came from
2) Did he use your existing ECM or the one that came with the engine?

These questions will either make him think (because he truly does not know what he's doing or get highly defensive, because he'll realize you've enlisted assistance from someone who knows what he SHOULD be doing.

I'll bet he has a matching transmission for that engine and ECM lined up such that he doesn't need to reflash anything -- he just needs to sucker you into buying a new transmission.

Gee, much higher profit margin to sell you a tranny and the labor cost

People like this are downright evil.

Probably knew exactly what he was doing when he left the donor ECM in there.

Have him swap in your ECM while you watch.
Then do the BCM relearn while you watch

Bet it communicates with the tranny....
Also bet it goes in gear.

Then he'll give you a schpiel about how he can't believe he forgot to do that part, and some bs about crediting you some labor cost

Once this ends, politely ask for a full written summary of t
  • he incoming codes and condition the engine was found in
  • The year of the donor engine
  • The VIN off the donor engine
  • Specifically why the engine required full replacement

Dishonest mechanics love people in a crisis situation that don't ask questions and appear to know nothing about their cars. Ripe for the taking.
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I want to see if we can determine if he swindled you into replacing the engine.

Most states require that the original parts for any repair MUST he produced to the vehicle owner upon request. I don't know what the reasonable time limit is before they can toss stuff but he will die if you, at the end, BEFORE YOU PAY HIM and sign that everything was done to your liking, ask him to show you the orig engine and show you exactly what failed. Pay attention to the details of his story as you may need them in a lawsuit. If you plan to sue him, you may need to take the engine with you before it accidentally disappears.

If he took you for he engine, then take back some of your money by monopolizing his time. Time = money. But you must do it calmly with a straight face, because you want to know......
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By now, you probably assume I am a vindictive mean person.
Couldn't be further from the truth.
But I get fired up when someone scams me and when others ask for help and it is determined that they are most likely being scammed.

Knowledge is power in the automotive repair world. You need not know every bit of theory as to what module talks to what and when -- but the more you know, the more you can demonstrate that you are not going to be easily suckererd into something by a DISHONEST mechanic.

On that note, I have found the vast majority of mechanics are both competent and honest, and I respect them immensely not just because they know more than I do, but because they have the ability to learn on the fly things that would take me days, and they can retain it or know where to look it up for years and years.

DO NOT PAY FOR THIS WORK UNTIL YOU POST BACK THE ANSWERS TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS. He will pressure you if the ECM swap works because he'll know you've caught on; he'll want your money, then he'll want you gone. DO NOT GIVE IN.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:24 PM   #5
gchristy19
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Default No computer stuff changed

Thank you i asked the mechanic the questions you advised and his response was that no computer stuff was changed. He said the engine he put in was from a 2004 saturn with the same engine as old one(5 speed auto) He has also now changed his mind that the transmission is bad and tells me its something electrical. I suppose my only option is to tow the car to another mechanic. Should I take it to a GM dealer?
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:59 PM   #6
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As much as I hate to refer people to dealerships, I think it is your best option for getting this resolved. make SURE you get the ECM from the original engine. It is YOUR property and probably the quick, no-flash needed (less $$) fix to why the tranny can't talk to the ECM.

If he threw it out or gave up possession of it BEFORE WORK WAS COMPLETED, I believe he is liable to provide you with a NEW ECM in its place at NO COST to you. He will claim he's met that obligation with the one in the car right now. The law says you are entitled to all replaced parts -- that includes things he did NOT pull off of the assembled engine. You're PAYING for the replacement. The obligation has not been met
If it got pulled as part of the engine swap, it's yours.
_________
A new AC Delco ECM from rockauto.com or Partstrain.com is somewhere between $325-$400. He may fight you on new vs used for chucking your old one b c it was used --get what you can b c everything he owes you back is money off your final bill.
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My only question now that I reread your response is when he says no electrical stuff was changed, does he mean he

KEPT your ECM and put it on the replacement engine

or

installed a 2004 engine w a ECM already attached to it.

??

The answer to this question is critical and will be asked of you by the dealership.

Ask him" which ECM is in there now --- the one I drove in with or the one that came with the new engine?" By asking him specifically inn this way, you force him to tell you whether he swapped (Engine + ECM together) or (Engine, attached your existing ECM).

You still did not tell me if you have a CVT or a traditional Automatic Transmission. This is CRITICAL because if you have a CVT and he pulled an ECM from a regular 5 speed that prob isn't gonna work out well.

If you PM me your VIN and he VIN of the new engine, I can make sure he did not do something sneaky like replace a 2.4L engine w a 2.2L engine. I'm really starting to think the engine replacement was a scam. What kind of noises was it making when you drove it into the shop?

Now that he has been caught red handed on the tranny replacement bs, he wants nothing more than to fix it, get the car out the door, extract as much money from this dishonest exchange as possible, or have you tow it away so he doesn't have to figure it out, and never see you again.
____________________
But to get you to sign and pay, he MUST meet the requirements of the law regarding replaced parts.

Your goal now is to recoup as much money as possible that he swindled you for.

For every part he replaced, ask to have it and take it with you. It is legally your property. This law exists in part because of these situations.
Hell, if you have he means, ask for the entire old engine -- if he does not still have it and you have not signed away your right to the replaced parts, he is up a creek.

If he can't produce the part, make him issue a credit to you against the bill. Especially for the engine block and cylinder head. These are worth money for people rebuilding these engines even if they contain broken internal parts.

Also, make him tell you what was wrong with the engine that caused it to need replacing in its entirety.

If undamaged, the cylinder head and engine block are worth a little money ( maybe $200) to an interested party.

If he did not pull your ECM to use w the replacement engine, that's another $350.

Knock off labor related to the unsuccessful troubleshooting of the tranny

Beat him down until he won't go lower; if it is not reasonable, don't sign and let me know.

Wait till the last possible minute to tell him you are getting the car towed home to your driveway for now; if you tell him you are taking it somewhere else, he'll likely jack up the bill.

Sorry, I meant to send this last night but actually fell asleep in my computer chair.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
gchristy19
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I had the car towed to a transmission specialist who said he also had the ability to reprogram if need be. His diagnosis is a bad transmission pump. He eluded the pump may have been damaged when engine was installed. He gave me an estimate of 500 to 600 dollars to fix it Thanks again for all your help but at this point I cant afford to fix it.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:48 AM   #8
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Well that sucks.

Could you please answer the following questions so that any future readers know the exact details of the car's config? Much appreciated!



1) is this a CVT or traditional Automatic transmission? PM me the VIN if you do not know and I will look it up

2) which ECM is in the car now (your original or the donor car's

3) If you were able to recover any parts from the mechanic

4) If you were able to negotiate the price down.
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