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Saturn Vue Transmission Problems

1568101115

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  • I purchased my Saturn VUE used from a dealer in January of 2008 and it currently has less than 90K miles on it still because of how often it needs to be repaired. Until our Saturn dealer closed, we used them to do the work on it. After they closed, it sat in my parking space for 6 months because it wouldn't start, we found a mechanic who used to work for GM. For the last year it has been in the shop every other month. One month ago, our mechanic said the transmission needed to be replaced (the codes and the fact the car wouldn't shift beyond 3rd gear had me agreeing). For a used transmission with 58k miles on it, he charged me $2200 parts and labor. That does NOT include the TCM. He also replaced the stabilizer links and the water pump for another $1k p&l. With the exception of 2 days (Nov 11-13) (where it was still having trouble shifting so we took it back) it has been with him since October 6th. When we took it back to him, he said that it was throwing all the codes as though the TCM was failing.

    He finally took it to a Chevrolet dealer in the area on Monday and called me back today. Now he is telling me that the catalytic converter also needs to be replaced and that is another $1500 parts and labor. The car is not worth as much as it is costing me to fix it. This was my third Saturn and the whole reason I purchased a Saturn was because I trusted the brand.
  • Jonntammi,

    I'm sorry to hear about the numerous concerns that have arisen with your VUE. Have you already been working with Customer Assistance?

    Best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • We have a 2005 Saturn Vue and it is now sputtering? what should we look for, so when we take it in, we know.?
  • we bought ours over the summer at a dealership. We love it. And just started having issues with it. We also dont have the money right now to fix it. Please help us, so when it does go in i am not wasting money on things that dont need fixed and it gets fixed the right way... Thank you very much.
  • I sure do need someone to reply to me so I will know what to do!!Thanks!!
  • ....Well can we get any money for our broken Saturns from GM?
  • s4sars4sar Posts: 4
    I just sent a letter to the CEO at GM.
    Mr. Daniel Akerson
    CEO
    General Motors
    300 Renaissance Center
    Detroit, MI 48265
    I will post after I hear back from him. If I hear back from him...
  • This was sent out as a service bullitin to all dealerships. If a customer brought it in complaining about shudder at low speeds, they were check 7 possible parts that would cause this condition. My car is doing this and was repaired under warrenty at the time but is considered unresolved becuase its still doing it.

    My condition happens during low speed travel on level grade around 30-35 mph and the engine taching at 1300-1400rpm. You must keep your rpm's steady. It shudders the whole car and rattles to body panels, like the engine is running on only 3 cyl.

    This problem was a recall for torque convertor or related issue.

    Mine is gonig in and will be repair still covered from the recall bullitin
  • I had read a lot about the torque converter problems that they were having the Saturn Vue's and made sure that when I test drove all of them I kept an eye out for it. I just purchased a 2006 Saturn Vue with 96,000 miles on it and when I drove it for a few days low and behold the problems have started. It "hesitates" when shifting into 5th, at a slow acceleration I have found the car will shift around 2k RPMs but once I go from 40-50 it seems like it just does not want to shift....once the car finally does shift, it sounds as though it is running too "hard" or the RPMs are too low for that speed. Everything I have read says that this is the Torque converter...I called my local dealer and they said they was no recall and they will not fix it but my GF has the same car and she had hers fixed "under recall" for free and her car is a 2007 at 150,000 miles! Can someone please shed some light on this situation or what I can do before the problem gets worse?
  • I can understand why this is confusing and frustrating. Recalls are associated to the VIN of a vehicle, and can be assigned based upon model year or build location. As your girlfriend's vehicle was a 2007 and yours is a 2006, this likely explains why her repair was covered and yours may not fall under a recall.

    If you would like for us to establish a case to evaluate your particular situation through Customer Service, please send us an email that includes the following information: your name/user name and contact information (phone and address), the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, the name of your involved dealership, and a description of the visits you've made to address your current concerns.

    Regards,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • I started experiencing the shuttering on my Vue over a year ago and thought it was just time for a fluid change. This never helped the shutter and I've been attempting to ignore it and compensate my driving to deal with the issue as long as possible. This last weekend, I drove the vehicle and it started missing gears at low speeds and producing this grinding sound. It made me nervous so I took it to my local mechanic who immediately diagnosed it and said this has been an issue with the Honda Pilot as well. I looked online and found this thread, which led me to take it over to the dealer.

    The dealer inspected the vehicle and confirmed my mechanics diagnosis, however due to it being a late 2004 build, it doesn't qualify under the TSB. The dealership's hands are tied, so I called Saturn Corporate who opened a case to see if they could assist me. Two days later, I received a phone call back stating that even though the vehicle shows the same symptoms as those covered under the TSB, the vehicle doesn't qualify for warranty repair.

    I've dealt with auto manufacturer's through the legal system before. It's a long process, but I will not sit by to let them say this isn't covered under an issue Honda and GM have both acknowledged. Is there a class-action suit already in process for this issue? If not, I'll be contacting my counsel who's helped me in the past this afternoon.
  • oneupsetladyoneupsetlady Posts: 5
    edited December 2011
    Could you give me the number you used to call Saturn? BTW what is a TSB?
  • I can't find anything in writing that the torque converter has a recall...Can you please tell me where I can find it so I can show the dealership?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,948
    You can find a list of TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) in the Edmunds Car Maintenance Guide.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • I have also dealt with GM regarding the faulty transmissions and GM goes through the so called process of opening a case but they will not do anything. There was a class action lawsuit but GM filed bankruptcy and is no longer obligated to fix the problem. Here are a few things that you can do and remember the more people who file complaints the more likely that these problems will be looked into.

    Information regarding the class action lawsuit
    http://www.lakinlaw.com/CM/ClassAction/ClassAction55.asp

    You can file complaints with (takes about 5 min):
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
    Website http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners/

    Better Business Bureau
    Website http://www.bbb.org/

    Post your problem for the VTi transmission on forum boards

    Write your local politicians
    Congressmen, local officials and attorney general you can find your local officials at c-span. You may have to Google your state and attorney general separately to find out who that is.
    http://www.c-span.org/CongressDirectory/

    Last but not least you can write the CEO of GM
    Mr. Daniel Akerson
    CEO GM
    300 Renaissance Center
    Detroit, MI 48265
  • If you were to provide us with your case number in an email, we would be happy to further investigate the situation.

    Regards,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • I too have a 2003 Saturn Vue LEMON. I wanted to ask you about your horn issue. My husband was driving and pounded on the horn when someone cut him off and the horn stuck on. Eventually it blew the fuse and from what I understand that is a comon problem with these vehicles and in order to replace the horn sensor, they have to remove the air bag. Is that what you experienced as well? How much did they charge you to fix it?

    Mine is in the shop right now because the service engine soon light was on for about 2 weeks and then went off. It lags when you first accelerate. They told me today that it is something with the transmission and that the fluid is full but it is black meaning there is metal in it due to something coming apart. They agreed to split the cost of the transmission repair/replacement with me 50/50. It seems others have been able to get GM to foot the entire bill. I am not sure how though. Any ideas?

    They also told me my sway bar links are bad and need to be replaced. Is that the same thing as you indicated (rear stabilizers)?

    My CD player broke. My hood release lever has come off multiple times. The hazzard light button has been pushed inside my dash board twice. This is my 5th Saturn and the WORST car I have even owned.

    I am sick about this. We live on one income and have two small children. I am about to return Christmas presents in order to pay for this. Sickening.
  • Sorry to hear about your problem I had to have the BCM (body control module) replaced on my Saturn. The problem began with the horn malfunctioning but then the computer components on the car quit working also. My headlights began going off and on then the locks kept locking and unlocking (even when the car was off). Eventually I was not able to roll down the windows. When we took it in the Saturn dealer they told me it was the BCM and it cost over $500.00 to replace because the whole dashboard had to be taken off. These are not very good cars and I really wish I had reasearched this information before I purchased mine.
  • Oh and I forgot the 50/50 split on the transmission would cost me $3000.00 to pay for the defective Vti transmission that was installed. I did not want to invest this much money in this car so I bought a Toyota. I still own the Saturn which is just sitting in my garage. I will probably sell it for what I can with a non working transmission. I believe that GM hiked the price of the transmission up to $6000.00 then said they would pay half. Good luck.
  • While driving my 2006 AWD Saturn vue it stopped getting gas, the engine was on and i was able to steer however when i tried to accelerate the pedal would go all the way to the floor and nothing would happen, i turned it off and waited a few minutes, started it back up and off i went, two days later the same problem occurred. Anybody have any idea what that may be?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I'm going to guess that the engine light with the downward facing arrow is on? Its likely that you are in "reduced performance mode" due to a communications problem between your gas pedal and your throttle body under the hood - Most likely one of 3 problems in this order:

    1. Gas pedal position sensor NG
    2. throttle position sensor NG
    3. Wiring between them NG

    Basically, your car can't figure out what position the gas pedal or throttle body are in or its reported position does not agree with what it thinks it is...the car goes into reduced performance mode as a safety interlock so it doesn't accelerate wildly out of control. To protect you from harm it limits how fast the car will go. When you turned the car off and back on you were able to reset it and it was OK until the values didn't agree again. Any good dealer or otherwise mechanic will be able to help you easily...pretty sure that the accelerator pedal position sensor is the most common one to go bad.

    Good Luck :shades:
  • Cool, I'll look into that, thanks.
  • I'm glad you've gotten such great feedback!

    If you plan on working with a dealership and would like Customer Assistance to help in the process, feel free to contact us via email with more information including your name and contact information (phone and address), Edmunds username, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and involved dealership.

    Happy Holidays,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • Just an update on this. I took my Vue to a local transmission specialist and they came back to let me know that they don't think anything is wrong with the transmission itself, but the two mounting brackets are both broken. He said that this is what's causing the grinding noise in my tranny and that I shouldn't even be driving it in this condition. How the heck those mounts broke is a big question, but they cost $250/pair, plus another $270 for labor. The whole motor and transmission needs to be lowered in order to change out the mounts. I'm hoping that this fixes the problems we have with the tranny. I'll keep everyone posted.
  • My name is brittany zimmerman an I just got my 2003 saturn vue about 2 mounths ago an im havin alot of the same problems as listed on site when I go to take off the rpms go to about 3 before it gets to 40 mph when it gets to that point it dont want to shift also my horn had came on an wouldnt go off knw it wont work my car has problems startin i think do to the battery it has 103k miles on it I had purchesed this car cuz i have a baby on the way an needed a family car but i have come across so many prblems.. plz email me back at zimmerman.brittany@yahoo.com
  • ....Well can we get any money for our broken Saturns from GM?

    Answer is likely no. We the taxpayers gave GM the bailout, in turn they outsourced many jobs overseas.

    If you get anything for them it will be a 50/50 split for overpriced dealership labor.... this is not the same GM that built my '62 Pontiac.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Posts: 49
    edited December 2011
    This was sent out as a service bullitin to all dealerships. If a customer brought it in complaining about shudder at low speeds, they were check 7 possible parts that would cause this condition. My car is doing this and was repaired under warrenty at the time but is considered unresolved becuase its still doing it.

    My condition happens during low speed travel on level grade around 30-35 mph and the engine taching at 1300-1400rpm. You must keep your rpm's steady. It shudders the whole car and rattles to body panels, like the engine is running on only 3 cyl.

    This problem was a recall for torque convertor or related issue.

    Mine is gonig in and will be repair still covered from the recall bullitin


    What are these 7 possible parts?

    Per GM Customer Service, once the car goes in, the reprogram is completed, & the car does not throw a code, the vehicle is deemed ok & the issue is closed.

    The tech who did my reprogram late on a Saturday reported the car still had issues needed resolved after a test drive, I could bring int back at my convienence since a rental would not be provided. When I returned it to the dealer in the next month, they had the vehicle for nearly 2 weeks & claimed they could not find a problem, yet the tech that reprogramed it was no longer employed there. Yes the techs report is documented... so far he/she was the only person to find this problem.

    The dealer had been giving me vague answers on this issue, my mistake was taking it home that Saturday afternoon. Per GM I now have to pay the dealership diagnostic fees for any further issues, & they are telling me that this erratic, & abrupt jerky shifting is either normal or it's not misbehaving for them, & not 'throwing codes'.

    I initally complained in March of 2009, to Saturn when the vehicle was still under powertrain warranty, I was given a $115 car wash, told that I didn't understand a 5 speed transmission, & sent on my way.

    It still shifts often like someone learning to drive a manual.... :mad:

    Off topic, but has anyone had their rear tailgate start rusting on the '06 & '07 also?
  • I am SO glad to find other dissatisified VUE owners!!! I can't begin to explain the BS I went through with mine! I owned the car for a little over a year. It was a 2003 Saturn VUE, with that stupid VTi transmission or whatever the hell it is.

    It broke down one day out of nowhere. I had it towed to the garage, and they said it was the transmission, and that I can expect to have to replace it again. I held on to the car for over a year with a dead transmission because I couldn't afford the 5,000 dollars it would cost! I ended up having to take out yet another car loan again because paying another car payment was easier than being to fork up the 5,000 to fix the tranny. Im a single working mother who doesnt have much of a savings account! I also go to school full time...anyways....

    So, 500 dollars a month for over a year, and it finally came down to having to have it reposessed because my hours at work were cut in half. The sad thing is, I miss the HELL out of that car. It was beautiful to look at, drived well (minus the grinding) and had great storage. Does anyone know if the transmission issue applies to a 2004 Saturn VUE with a manual transmission? I really do miss that car!
  • So, 500 dollars a month for over a year, and it finally came down to having to have it reposessed because my hours at work were cut in half. The sad thing is, I miss the HELL out of that car. It was beautiful to look at, drived well (minus the grinding) and had great storage. Does anyone know if the transmission issue applies to a 2004 Saturn VUE with a manual transmission? I really do miss that car!

    No, you are safe with a manual, I wish I could have purchased a manual, due to arthritic conditions during winter months made that impossible.

    I had lost my job back in May, (outsourced overseas in a nutshell), reason I can not be throwing money away at this point. When & if the torque converter dies, I'll have to go out for a beater which should be a fraction of the cost of a repair.
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