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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. Can you please email me directly with your VIN, current mileage, involved dealer, and complete contact information? Please include a brief description of your concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.
    GM Customer Service
  • jah6719jah6719 Posts: 4
    What a nightmare... 07' Outlook with 72K miles.... BUT 6 weeks out of warranty. Lost 3rd gear (+ reverse and 5th) :sick: while on vacation. Searching found it sounds like a known issue (wave plate) on these models and there is a TSB. Stopped at a GM dealer. They really didn't seem to care. "If it's out of warranty there's nothing really we can do." I talked to another dealer (former Saturn) about an hour away. They said it would likely be covered by GM but his service dept. "decision maker" was not in (Friday afternoon). Then he told me if I could "limp" it home I'd probably have the most luck with my "home dealership." AHHHH :mad: ... Well guess what... I'm on vacation, 4 hours from home and would like to GET IT FIXED! I shouldn't have to be at home. A GM dealership is a GM dealership and should be able to help a loyal customer of 14 GM vehicles over the last 18 years out.
  • johnnyboy17johnnyboy17 Posts: 2
    edited July 2012
    When I read over the post by "Busiestmom," she was describing the exact same issues we have been facing with our 2007 Saturn Outlook. We purchased this vehicle used, but also expecting that we should not face any major issues.

    This car has seen two trips to the shop so for. First, we noticed fluid leaking out of the engine and turned out to need the water pump replaced. Next, we began seeing extremely sluggish performance out of the engine/transmission; this resulted in a new "clutch wave plate" being installed. In addition, we have been having problems with the passenger airbag light illuminating (I believe that it is the sensor in the seat) but the dealer states that they cannot replicate it.

    Most recently, my family and I were headed home and we all of a sudden had no power to accelerate from the stoplight. Luckily we pay for the Onstar service that will provide diagnostics for us. Here is what we have:

    P0700 - Transmission Control Module Requested Malfunction Indicator Light Illumination

    P0716 - Input Speed Sensor Performance

    B0081 - Passenger Presence System 1 Internal Electronic Malfunction

    I am very hesitant to return to the dealer here as they obviously cannot seem to find these issues that are happening to my vehicle. Secondly, it would appear that many other GM customers seem to be having these same issues.

    As you know, the warranty is now expired on this vehicle removing any liability off of GM and onto me. With the amount of recalls, service, and hassle I have encountered with this vehicle, I am becoming increasingly frustrated. What advice/recommendations do you have to help me have this vehicle repaired for the last time?

  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good afternoon Jon,

    My apologies that this response may be a bit late in coming. I can understand your hesitancy to return to the dealership, but a diagnostic visit is where we would need to start if you haven't been there over the past 30 days for these concerns. If we can look further into this with you, please send us an email to with the following information: your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    Kind regards,
    GM Customer Service
  • I am right there with you how many people are going to be hurt financially or physically before some responsibility on the part of gm is going to be taken . I have a 2007 saturn outlook I have already replaced a bushing in the steering column the roof leaks( a known outlook problem) my driver side headlight cuts in and out and now i too have something wrong with my transmission. I have a jeep liberty 2003 with 150,000 miles and only one minor problem the whole time i have owned it. Should have gotten a jeep comander will not be buying gm again if they don't want to stand behind their products and do the right thing. I too have children thankfully my 16 year old learning to drive was not driving. If saturn,gm would read all these posts it is not only one person. Integrity is how you get return customers. oh and of course my vehicle would be over warranty by a mere 3,000 and some miles isn't that convenient :sick: :cry: :mad:
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning,

    What are your plans for addressing the transmission concern you're currently having? If we can look into anything for you, please don't hesitate to contact us at (include a summary of the transmission concern as well as the last 8 digits of your VIN).

    GM Customer Service
  • redleg83redleg83 Posts: 5
    My last post - $42k new, traded @ $13k....about 4k below what I should have received....but as the man said "you know you are trading in a Saturn Outlook....which has known problems with leaks, transmissions, components...etc..." :mad: Our 07 Outlook was a beautiful car...but terrible to more. Our new car is a 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser (20k miles!)....a little less room....but a great vehicle with a fantastic maintenance reputation to boot. Bye bye forum. ;)
  • Well it was my transmission. Got a hold of gm they are looking into my case. Hope they can restore my faith in gm will keep posted. Car is only 3000 miles out of warranty hope i don't have to fix myself or i will be trading for a non gm vehicle. I am going to keep my head up and hopefully i can be a case for gm to show their integrity and stand behind their product
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    I have been reading these posts and must agree that the 07 Outlook has many problems including the big one, the transmission.

    Our problems started with the waterpump going out at 56000. Little did I know that this was the start of the problems.

    In march of the this year we had to replace the master clyinder and brake booster. While in the shop I asked about the sqeaking steering wheel, Was told it was a bad bushing and it would be $900 to take apart the steering wheel to replace. I had to pass on that.

    The car was idling rough so took it in to the shop. They said the plugs needed to be replaced. At 87700. It was not quite the 100,000 that was according to scheduled maint. That was expensive.

    It was about this time that we noticed the transmisson slipping. Press on the accelerator and the rpms went up and the car didnt move. I called GM about the warranty and they said 100,000 or 5 yrs. Well we were good on 100,000 but the 5 yrs was May. So we are stuck with the bill and GM is off the hook. Its in the shop as we speak and the bill is not going to be pretty. I would think that since this seems to be a problem that GM would have addressed it by now. I can hardly wait to see what breaks next. Everything is so darn expensive to fix on this car. I have a Mecury Sable that is 11 yrs old and 144,000 and not near the problems this car has. We will be in the market for a new car in a few months and IT WILL NOT BE A GM Product.
  • I have owned a sunfire and grand am prior it this car and am not disappointed with GM as a whole this line including th enclave and Arcadia too have many of the same issues. There are technical service bulletins out for steeering.transmission.water leaks,among some others. The nhsp is looking into the headlight problem right now as I am sure more will follow I found on car and safety website numbers over 7 digits of reported problems. I for now must step back and allow GM the chance to renew my faith I will keep u posted on my progress
  • just a little info i found.


    Bulletin No.: 09-07-30-012A

    Date: January 12, 2010

    Subject: No Reverse, 3rd or 5th, Check Engine Light Illuminated, DTC P0776 (Replace 3-5 Reverse Clutch Plate (Waved)

    2008-2009 Buick Enclave
    2008-2009 Chevrolet Equinox, Malibu
    2009 Chevrolet Traverse
    2007-2009 GMC Acadia
    2007-2009 Pontiac G6
    2008-2009 Pontiac Torrent
    2007-2009 Saturn AURA, OUTLOOK
    2008-2009 Saturn VUE
    All Equipped with 6T70/75 6-Speed Automatic Transmission (RPOs MH2, MH4, MH6 or MY9)

    Read more: 60 mph, engine reved momentarily then dropped..slowed..20 mph - JustAnswer lowed-20-mph.html#ixzz211hSkNta

    Below is the definition of a tsb.

    A notice given from manufacturers to dealers to inform them of repairs suggested to solve common complaints Technical Service Bulletins, or TSBs, are recommended procedures for repairing vehicles. Not to be confused with recalls, a TSB is issued by a vehicle manufacturer when there are several occurrences of an unanticipated problem. ...

    This is the technical service bulletin i found

    Maybe it will become a recall. In the meantime i must wait to see if i have to pay for a known common problem with this car.
    all you have to do is search broken wave plate and you will find forums for the acadia, enclave, and outlook.
  • ellimacellimac Posts: 6
    Are these cars set to implode when the warranty runs out or what!?!?? As I have posted, I have the roof leak, the transmission issue and now the STEERING won't work!!!! I had the power steering pump replaced and that didn't fix it. It's fine when it's first started but after a few minutes the steering wheel is so hard to turn it practically is locked up. Mechanic said it was the pump, but after he replaced it, it just got worse. AND IT IS NOT SAFE TO DRIVE. He is stumped and is contacting GM to see if there are any service bulletins. I HAVE NO CAR AND NO MONEY!! I loved my Outlook, but after all this and reading all the issues that other people are having (which are the same as I am having) I am not very happy with it anymore. Leak is potentially dangerous, transmission problem is dangerous, but the steering issue is a HUGE SAFTEY issue. lWhy are there no recalls on these issues when clearly so many owners are having the same problem? How do we bring this to the attention of the public at large??? In am so frustrated and upset. I have no vehicle, no way to get to work (live in the country, no public transportation).
  • My suggestion is for everyone to report their issues to thw national highway safety. Maybe the more reports they will have to investigate and we can get these issues fixed or at leaast the money we put into these back
  • hmmmm?TSB's
    Repairing a broken clutch wave plate
    Posted on May 9, 2012 by Information provided by Identifix Inc.

    Post a comment
    Comments (0)

    A harsh shifting condition on select GM vehicles may be due to a broken 35R clutch wave plate. Applicable vehicles include 2007-2009 Saturn Aura and Outlook, 2008-2009 Saturn Vue, 2007-2009 GMC Acadia, 2007-2009 Pontiac G5, 2008-2009 Pontiac Torrent, 2008-2009 Buick Enclave, 2008-2009 Chevrolet Equinox and Malibu, and 2009 Chevrolet Traverse (all equipped with the 6T70/75 6-speed automatic transmission.

    The condition may include the Ses light and/or no reverse, and a slip/flare or harsh shifts in drive range 3rd and/or 5th gear. Codes P0776 Clutch Pressure Control (PC) Solenoid 2-Stuck Off and P0842 Transmission Fluid pressure (TFP) Switch 1 Circuit Low Voltage may be set.

    A broken 35R clutch wave plate allows the piston to overstroke, causing the piston to leak and causing loss of apply on vehicles with more than 25,000 miles.

    During the repair process, it is important to install the wave plate in proper orientation to prevent the possibility for the failure to reoccur. Install the rounded edge of the wave plate internal splines facing the 35R piston. :confuse:
  • So, I have put up with odd noises out of the steering column (replaced, no help), the failure of the power lift gate (replaced twice) and the "quirky" transmission shifts over the years. Today however, the engine light popped on and the transmission failed to up shift entering the interstate. At first, it wouldn't even go into neutral, finally go it out of traffic onto the feeder at about 5K rpm. I went and checked the fluid level (fine) only to find SMOKE coming out of the dipstick. I have read all your posts, and we all seem to be having the same problems, something related to a wave plate. I'm afraid the tranny is shot (overheated). I have MajorGuard extended warranty from GM and assume Covert Buick/GMC in Austin will do the right thing. I will keep y'all informed when I hear something.
  • ...forgot about the replaced headlight and the passenger airbag sensor. No leaks in the sunroof, so I got that goin' for me...which is nice.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,613
    so I got that goin' for me...which is nice.

    Bill Murray reference.... nice! ;)

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • ellimacellimac Posts: 6
    oki just found out from my mechanic that GM knows there is an issue with steering lockup and they aren't doing anything about it!! This is a major safety issue!! It may not even be repairable. Not to mention I now have no vehicle, live no where near public transportation, have already missed 2days of work, my daughter lost her waitressing job because I couldnt get her there and I have no recourse! Its out of warranty, however this goes beyond a warranty issue. It's an inherent defect of the vehicle. I grew up in a Chevy family, thats all we ever had, but this has truly soured me on GM. These vehicles should have been recalled by now. Are they waiting for someone to get killed before they recall it? i brought it to dealer because of transmission several times, and all they did was clear the codes, not fix it (stabilitrak, abs, check engine). The check engine light came on within a mile of the dealership. What is the point of codes and warning lights if they just ignore them and "clear" them?
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    We hope that everything went well during your visit and look forward to an update!
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • pnhdadpnhdad Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Outlook XR FWD and was talked into the transmission program change (#08-07-30-022A). I wish I was not convinced to do it. The GM dealer states they cannot change it back because there is not a program available. Is there one available? This new program causes the RPMs to always run over 2000 even when it downshifts. On the highway, I was getting 24/25 with the old transmission and now only 20. I would not recommend it.

    Yes, the sun roof has leaked twice, the steering was replaced, the water pump has been replaced, the passenger air bag sensor sometimes works, the air temp monitor is always 10 to 15 degrees too low, the heated windshield washer was recalled, hoses needed to be rerouted (dealer recommened) and also the rubber strips on the roof are creeping forward and pushing on the windshield gasket.
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