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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • Hi,

    Are you located in California?

    The arbitrator did drive me my car and of course the transmission basically worked okay. The unfortunate thing is that my car has never been "out of service". I guess I should have refused to drive it until GM came up with a fix. I could have done somethings better had I known more about the process.

    The really frustrating fact is that GM knows there is a problem but can fall back on the following term. "It is the way the vehicle has been engineered."

    I wish you the best in your hearing.

  • I'm located in Tampa, Florida.
    The BBB informed me that the arbitrator is a Lawyer and the GM representative will be present via telephone, joy joy!
    I did not know that other owners were having such problems until I started reading the Edmund's Forums. I was surprised that GM was trying to cover up the problems so blatantly. That's when I started keeping a logbook on my vehicle. In your state, do you have the option of filing for arbitration with the State Attorney's Office? Here in Florida, if I'm dissatisfied with the BBB's decision, I can file with the State Board of Consumer's Affairs. They will then forward the claim to the State Attorney's Office for arbitration. After that, if you're still dissatisfied, you can get an attorney and sue the manufacturer. If the Judge rules in your favor, the manufacturer has to pay all your attorney's fees. Good Huh?

    Well it's late and I still have some work to do. Thanks for your support. J.
  • Maybe you should try what I do. I too love the size, performance and features of this vehicle. I use the manual shifting option and leave it in 4th or 5th gear for cruising around town at that 45 mph range. Much better performance. It must be the 6th gear and desire for the gas mileage rating that causes the "hesitation". The 6th is basically an overdrive, and I use it for highway speeds 65+. Give this a try and see if you get better performance. I have 5K on my 2008 so far and am planning on keeping this for quite awhile. Let me know. ALso if you manually shift it using the buttons, it is a completely different vehicle.
  • Hello Saturn Owners,

    On Oct. 08/08, we had our Arbitration Hearing regarding our Saturn Outlook and their decision was in our favor. The GM Representative acted like a jerk. He tried to make it look as though we didn't know what we were talking about and if it's not in print in the GM manuel or shop work order he would not consider it as fact. I had everything in document and cronological order. I even had copies of GM's technical bulletins regarding the transmission, fender well splash guards, power steering pump and engine cylinder head problems. The arbitrator took the vehicle on a 20 mile test drive and found out herself about the vibration, transmission lag and excessive steering noise. The Arbitrator found 9 out of 12 items to be significant defects and has awarded us our down payment, costs for tax, tag, title, registration, service contract AND our 10 monthly payments back. All total: $12,000.00 How about those apples !!!!!!!!!! A GM Rep. called this afternoon to confirm our information to set the closing date for the repurchase which will be sometime next week. I'll post the final results.
  • How can you tell what gear it's in? It doesn't tell you anywhere.
  • Look at the tachometer. If it's over 2100 rpm, slap the gear shift into Low and punch the up + button on the shifter's left side. That's what I do.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 837
    When you pull it down into the first position and use the buttons to shift up or down, the current gear is show to the right of the normal P R N D L indicator, IIRC. I have used it a few times but normally just use D.

    I did find that on my 20 mile route to the golf course that if I control the speed instead of using cruise control I can up my MPG by about 2. Driving with the average MPG display I can really see the difference in gaining a little speed downhill and letting it bleed off uphill, vs the cruise having to maintain the constant speed especially uphill.

    Recently took a 1300+ mile trip from Memphis to Gulf Coast and back. Reset MPG display leaving Memphis on 78 toward Birmingham. Disappointed in averaging less than 20 mpg on that hilly leg (using cruise). Not really bad for the complete hwy portion of the trip getting right around 21 MPG for the 1200 miles or so. I now think I could up that to around 23 MPG or more by keeping it from downshifting as much uphill and gaining speed for the next hill while going down. BUT that would defeat the ease of cruising with cruise, so I doubt I would do that for a complete trip. Love the 2008 Outlook XR so far :-)

  • Believe it or not, but we have a few hills here in Florida. I kick off the cruise control when I'm approaching a hill because of that very problem of the Outlook's sensitivity to an incline. I'll hit resume after the top. It will give you +2 or +3 more miles per gallon. It's a very nice car but it does have some quirks. If you've read my threads you know that mine is just a lemon :lemon: . I've got a brand spanking new Toyota Highlander Limited sitting in my garage. The Outlook XR goes back to GM Saturn next Tuesday.
  • We have a 2007 Saturn Outlook with only 14k miles on it and we have had nothing but problems with it. I would never by another Saturn nor recommend it to anyone. We have had pretty much all of the same problems as other folks (recalls for leaky sunroofs, recalls for wipers that "don't work with snow/ice build-up") and other problems. We just got it back after not having it for 3 weeks, as the dealership had to try to diagnose a transmission problem (wouldn't shift into drive). They took it apart and had to replace a "spider gear" that they said was not faulty, but put into the car incorrectly during manufacturing. Then the heated washer fluid wouldn't work, and the dealer told me I didn't have that feature--another trip back and it was fixed (loose connection). Now we are on vacation, 200 miles from home, and the exhaust is loud as hell. I will never buy another saturn..they are a "different kind of car alright"....pieces of crap. I have a 2001 Ford Supercrew with 120k miles on it and it's more reliable than the outlook.
  • I am sorry to read about your problems. Be more diligent than I was about the documentation and maybe you can GM to buy it back through the Lemon Law. I tried but was unsuccessful due to not enough documentation and that the car was not out of service long enough. I was told in arbitration, "Well, you drive the car so it must run okay," What do they expect me to do?! The vehicle has lost so much value in this economy that I cannot sell it either! Best of luck to you!
  • Just bought my 2008 Outlook XE AWD last week. I am already noticing problems w/ sluggishness and hesitation. I almost got in an accident the other day when trying to merge onto the highway. The person in front of me on the on ramp was going 20mph....and so when I finally got to the highway and tried to accelerate there was a few seconds of hesitation. I was almost rear ended by an 18 wheeler. I did test drive the car on a city road and liked it, but now that I have it home I am noticing the problems. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I was going to call the dealer tomorrow, but it sounds like these dealers aren't fixing the problem.
  • I too have the same problems with my outlooks transmission.I contacted Saturn recently and was told they agree with the dealer,that since the computer codes are OK theres nothing wrong with the tranny.I informed the district manager on the phone of all the forums and other owners having the same problem and he stated he was unaware of any problems.So much for the "Personal Car Co" and we treat our customers like family.I would never buy another Saturn Product
  • Look in your packet of booklets you received w/your Saturn. Find the "Consumer Guide to the State Lemon Law". Read the instructions regarding "Notification of Defect". Read it very carefully and abide by all the requirements. Take your vehicle into the dealership every week to repair the "defect" and it is called a defect under your warranty. After 3 attempts to repair the defect fails to your satisfaction, send a "Notification of Defect" letter to Saturn. Send Registered mail w/return receipt requested. By Law, they have 10 days to respond after they receive the letter at their office. Give them one more chance to fix the defect after their response to your letter. If they still do not repair the defect to your satisfaction, then you send them the "Motor Vehicle Defect Notification" form which is included in the Consumer Guide booklet. Send it registered mail with receipt requested. Call your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) and notify them of your actions. Ask them for assistance to arbitrate for either a replacement vehicle or total purchase refund. The BBB's assistance is free. It took approximately 45 days from the BBB's notification to a total purchase refund for my 08' Outlook. Good Luck and don't backdown or take the dealer or saturn's word for anything. Keep the BBB notified of everything.
  • I had the computer module update done on trans on 2/6/09, 2 wks after purchasing car. Still not shifting correctly. I contacted Saturn Customer Service and they contacted the dealer. I was offered an exchange however there are very few Outlooks out there to choose from. Seems that dealers aren't ordering as many b/c of the economic crisis. Anyway, I'm bringing it in tomorrow to give them one more chance to "fix" it..then I'll see about an exchange. Thanks shillelagh for the advice, might have to go that route.
  • mick09mick09 Posts: 1
    Hello, I have an 08 outlook with the same tranny problems, will try your suggestion tormorrow.
  • THERE IS A FIX FOR THE OUTLOOK AND ACADIA SLUGGISH TRANSMISSIONS. The dealers have access to it via a bulletin but are not being encouraged to implement it because it reduces the mileage a couple mpg and if it is factory recommended it conflicts with the advertised EPA mileage rating. However if you insist that they install the fix software they will and they did for us and the car drives perfectly. Love it now. The fix was recommended on this blog some time ago. Tell the dealer to install the software from bulletin #08-07-30-022A to reprogram the transmission control module, The bulletin is dated August 1, 2008 and is document ID 2177083. Don't let the dealer talk you out of it. If you don't like it they can always put the old software back but I know you will like it.
  • richwoodrichwood Posts: 11
    I wish you luck,I've had the same problem with my 2008 since it was new.The dealer kept telling me theres nothing wrong as there's no codes given.I wrote Saturn who assigned someone to look into it and they informed me, no one else was having the problems and they agreed with the dealer.I informed them they should read the forums and they would see there is a problem with the Outllook.I would never buy a GM product again.

    Rich Wood
  • mruffinimruffini Posts: 14
    Just an update. There was a recall for the sun roof on most of the 2007 Saturn Outlooks, something to do with a drainage plug. We took it in to have the recall fixed and about 2 months later, after a rain storm, we backed out of the driveway and could hear water in the dashboard area, moving around. The passenger side, front floor was soaked. We brought it to Saturn and they replaced the same part, claiming that the recall replacement had issues. We had to bring it back a few weeks later to have it ionized because it smelled moldy. It's now back in the shop because the rear sunroof is leaking, this time causing water to drip from the lights over the 3rd row of seats. We are now without the car again as it's being fixed. This is the 3rd time for the same problem, and we were told to expect a call about a buy-back..anyone know how that works?

  • mruffinimruffini Posts: 14
    Well, I heard back from my GM representative. They basically told me that I am out of luck for purchasing a 2007 Saturn Outlook. They refuse to buy the vehicle back. The person I spoke to was rude and would not give me his supervisor's phone number. Their customer service at GM sucks, but then again, I wouldn't expect them to stand behind their vehicles, with all of the financial problems they have. It's too bad that we are bailing them out, they are not worth the investment. The only thing they would offer me was an extended warranty, but I already purchased one for 7 years, 100k miles. I have no faith that my car will *EVER* see 50k before it's in a junk lot. Moral of the story, don't by a GM/Saturn
  • kmanzikmanzi Posts: 7
    I wanted to THANK YOU for posting this message on the boards. For over a year, I have been beating the crap out of my Outlook and have been in some dangerous situations when my car downshifts at 75MPH to pass someone or merging on to another highway and almost being rear ended. The delayed response, hesitation in acceleration and the feeling like I am constantly towing a trailer has now been solved. I had my car in 2 times this past year and Saturn assured me I have the "latest" software. But today I went armed with your bulletin number and document id number. What a difference! I actually think I love the car now.... I couldn't enjoy it before - that issue bothered me too much. Now I feel like I am driving a normal car. Thanks for taking the time to post this for everyone to read. I will try to spread the word so more folks can learn about it! They certainly are not promoting it.... not to mention, it is costing them money to fix this. With GM the way it is today, I highly doubt they would have a recall. I bet they are only fixing it when asked. THanks - I owe it to you!
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