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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • cocupidcocupid Posts: 14
    Received a call yesterday late afternoon with the news that we needed a new transmission. Ed Bozart hadn't completed the estimate yet at the time (never a good sign) and they would call with the cost. I missed the called later in the evening - I'd had enough & talking about this issue was making me madder by the minute.
    How can you claim to do such rigorous testing on your vehicles and then have a transmission go out OVERNIGHT 47K without any warning whatsoever. Lucky for GM that the transmission failed when it did - in my driveway, because 5 minutes prior to that I would have been on a major highway & I shutter to think of the possiblities.
    Anyway, this morning I returned the call the the dealership and was informed that the cost would be $3,822 but they were offering a 10% discount and I could get a $200 Visa rebate from GM - like I'd won a prize or something. I will be checking around today with transmission shops, etc. for better pricing.
    A call to a friend of mine at Channel 9 here in Denver for an investigate report might also be in order. It would seem to me that GM has a problem with their transmissions just based on the many posts here - perhaps a recall is in order - right??
    Let me end by saying my husband wasn't thrilled about getting this car since he has always been a Ford guy. We currently have 3 Ford vehicles that have required only normal maintenance oil changes & the like, new tires, etc. & have definitely never had to replace a transmission on a vehicle. My husband currently has 120k on an 2005 - F150, my daughter's 95 Mustang has 86K & I had 169K on my 99 Expedition (that was broadsided & totaled this summer, forcing me to purchase another car). I was the one who said let's give a GMC car a try, it's American made too. So much for that - Shame on me. This is so wrong to have to replace this transmission at this point & pay for it entirely to boot!! I'm a pretty easy going person but right now my dander is up!
  • donmccdonmcc Posts: 7
    edited January 2013
    The bad news on our situation is that the dealership is guessing that one of the clutches disintegrated, with a repair cost of $3800.

    The good news is that I contacted GM customer service, first by email and then phone, and Donae is working on our request for assistance from GM. Our transmission trouble started within days of warranty expiration, <100K, original owners, etc so I am hopeful that they will stand by their product which should never experience this level and frequency of failure.
  • donmccdonmcc Posts: 7
    Of course, at the same time as our tranny problem, the passenger air bag goes inop and we're told that the in-seat sensor must be replaced at >$700. There's another thing that shouldn't happen 5 years off of the line!
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    They wont do anything for you. I know from experience
  • My 2008 outlook 5GZEV13728J118867 has left me stranded twice this last week. I get a computer message of traction control off and much reduced power. Out of desperation I have discovered if I turn off the car, it can &#147;reset&#148; itself and go back into drive mode with a check engine signal. The codes given are:
    P1516 Electronic throttle mod VS, Throttle Position Performance
    P2119 Throttle Closed Position Performance
    P2135 TP Sensor 1-2 Correlation
    It needs to be fixed quickly as I live in a mountainous area and I literally &#147;get stuck&#148; with my two young girls.

    My trusted mechanic owns Sabaru here in Colorado springs. We have not had the best of luck going to dealers here and in Denver. We had transmission replaced when we were stranded near Denver and had to push car off the road (literally). It was amazing that it was replaced &#147;no questions asked&#146; and the dealer there admitted they had to replace &#147;a lot&#148;. That told us that the car brand was having lots of problems.

    Our local dealership is: Mike Shaw GM 1313 Motor City Dr 719-636-3881. This is the same place that argued with us about our headlight problems and then after we paid to have them fixed at a cheaper shop, a month later the recall went out about the light connectors.

    Right now it is sitting at Sabaru Repair (they have been AWESOME on our subarus and I trust them) and Martin and I are researching the problem &#150; and I came upon this website.
    Please let us know what GM is doing about this problem. Thank you-
    Brenda Stanciu
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    Looking at your VIN, your powertrain warranty expires today (unless you're mileage is already past 100,420 MI). I understand you have a good relationship with your mechanic, but if you had wanted to see if what's happening with your vehicle would be covered it would be better to act on that sooner rather than later.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • how am I able to extend this warrenty? I am in contact with a GM dealership and they are showing it as expired in their computers. Also- what has been GM's policy for helping people with this traction control/loss of power issue? right now I am trying to make an appointment- they are saying it will cost me 75.00 just to get the diagnosis.
  • cocupidcocupid Posts: 14
    I'm in Colorado too - live in Parker. Matter of fact I had just come back from visiting my mom in the Springs when I encountered my problem with our Outlook in my driveway last Friday. I'd like to stay in touch on our issues. Please post your progress with your vehicle here or you can also reach me directly on my facebook page - Rose Fischer Hoopes. Best of luck to you!
  • They have confirmed my powertrain expires today so I am going to get it in to the GM dealership by 1:00. If it can be connected to that- it would be great- but what will murphy's law say?? They said the traction control parts could also make the transmission feel sluggish if it is putting out wrong signals. I have to pay the 75.00 fee UNLESS it is powertrain related.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    I'm glad to hear they were able to get you in today, outlook2008! Keep us updated.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Can you let us know what the fix is (or what the diagnosis is?) My 2007 Outlook has the same issue now (traction control off indicator comes on, and stabitrak message). I had the transmission rebuilt at 5000 miles. Got a free oil change from GM for my problems too! Just trying to decide if it's a lot of $$$ to fix this on my own. I really hope they have a recall for this car for the transmission and drive train issues.
  • just went through this stabilitrak reduce engine power took it in they cleaned the throttle body and put new air filter in not sure if that is exactly what yours is but mine did the same thing
  • Had the SAME thing happen to me last year. Took it to the shop and the history codes all showed the same ones you've posted. Bought a throttle body online and my dad replaced it pretty quickly. This fixed the problem immediately. GM isn't doing anything about it that I know of because I researched the crap out of it when it started with mine.

    It's a sensor on the throttle body but you have to replace the whole thing. It's only a $200 part but if you are getting it done at a repair shop you have to factor in labor.

    Hope you get it fixed soon!
  • heatherd3c04heatherd3c04 Posts: 2
    edited January 2013
    08 Saturn Outlook, purchased used in 2010 with 63,000 miles on it. Never again will I buy a car with that many miles already on it!! Had the transmission go out completely today. I now have 109,000 miles on it so of course my powertrain ran out at 100,000 which was only a few months ago.

    Problem started with some hesitation when shifting. Then yesterday it started getting stuck in 2nd gear when in overdrive. Tried manual shifting today just to get it to the dealership to have it looked at and it worked for a while but not for long. Once I drove for 4 to 5 miles it started malfunctioning when trying to manual shift too. Just barely made it to the dealership after having to turn the car off several times and let it sit for a minute before trying again. Such a pain!! Researched it all yesterday and found all the "waveplate" problems and saw that a ton of people have had the same problem happen with theirs and usually have to have the tranny rebuilt or replaced. WISH I had found this forum BEFORE I bought the thing back in 2010!!

    Having transmission replaced at a GM service center. $2400 for the parts and $800 labor (they charge $100 an hour!!). SO FRUSTRATED!! I was right at the point of trading it in, actually started discussing it with my husband last week just a few days before the trouble started. Now I'm stuck with the thing for a while because that $3200 would have been an good down payment on a new vehicle....

    Wish there was a class action lawsuit on these things. It's well documented that the transmissions in these cars are too small for the vehicle and they all end up failing near or right after the powertrain runs out. It's rediculous. I'm totally done with GM that's for sure!!

    Oh, and if you are the 2nd owner on a GM vehicle, they will do NOTHING for you. The repairman at the dealership actually filled me in on this. He said if I had been the first owner, they would have probably helped me on it since they have a "Goodwill" policy. But that policy does not hold for subsequent owners. GM doesn't care, especially about the Saturns because Saturn is no longer in existance. So why would they care to help out all of us left with their crap??
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    We're sorry that you've run into these transmission problems. It looks like you're going to work with the dealership to have this taken care of - keep us posted on the progress of the repairs! If you want for us to check into anything, we can be reached via email at (include your contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN, and a summary of the situation).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • There are three methods you can use to contact the NHTSA if you suspect a safety-related defect in your vehicle. You can take any (or all) of the following actions:

    Call the U.S. Department of Transportation's Vehicle Safety Hotline: (888) 327-4236 or (800) 424-9153, toll free from anywhere in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
    Report the issue online at the NHTSA's vehicle safety Web site:
    Send a letter via U.S. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210) 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE Washington, DC 20590
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    They dont do anything for original owners either. We have a 07 Outlook that had the transmission go out at 87000 and 2 months past the warranty. They didnt do anything for us. We had it fixed at AAMCO for $3700. We recently bought a new car and it wasnt a GM. They lost a sale of a $25000 car over $3700. No wonder they had to be bailed out. GM SUCKS
  • I've decided to pick up where I left off in the fall and maybe get somewhere this time. The time I spent on this issue was really adding up and I needed a break. I decided to go ahead sue GM through Small Claims Court, or hire an attorney to try and get a return on my incredible fuel expense in excess of $5500.

    I will post a copy of my original post here - and I'm looking for guidance on how to proceed. Hyundai recently lost a similar case in court and had to pay out...but I havent researched the details.

    I created a spreadsheet with every single fix or maintenance performed on my 2008 Outlook, with mileage, date, service notes and grouped by category to I can quickly see the repeat issues that arise. I tracked my fuel consumption for 8 months accurately, I was going broke filling the tank up 2x a week.

    The following list is in date order of everything that has been replaced in my car, most covered under warranty or recall, but extensive: Sensor Camshaft, Cylinder Head Gasket,Dead Battery, Windshield Wiper Motor, Transmission Software Update (after multiple complaints),Airbag Wire Harness, Power Steering Rack & Gear, Front Pads and Rotors (1st time), Gasket for Intake Manifold, Gasket for Rear Valve Cover, Right Front Strut, Both Strut Mounts, Engine Mounts,Front Pads and Rotors (2nd time), Left Front Stabilizer Link, Front Pads and Rotors (3rd Time), Headlight Harness, Airbag Connector Kit, Engine Front Cover Crank Seal, Timing Cover Seal, Broken Bolts in Cylinder Head & Valve Cover, Exhaust Stud Broken Bolts, Power Steering Pump, Hose & Clamp.

    I have accurately documented the fuel economy, resulting in the finding out I get an estimated average of 11.85 MPG combined City/HWY AFTER the Transmission Software and Calibration Update was made in 2009 (orig.released on May 2008). For tracking data, I used a 6 month period from January - June 2012. (For those who don't know, the original transmission software had a hesitation when accelerating (providing a flat spot b/w 35-50 mpg). GM will not advertise this update, you must ask for it and be firm. However, the negative impact will be the fuel economy, which obviously GM did not research properly.
    A GM (outsourced company) service rep... told me that the software is an "option" and I should be glad to hear they offer that "option", and my sales person should have review all of my options such as engine size, etc. It is a trade off between performance and fuel economy and if I wanted performance I should have bough a sports car. I responded, and quickly corrected him to say, no this is not an option, it is a manufacturers defect and I want it fixed. Here are the results of my findings...believe me, this took time to pull it all together, but it is accurate: Average MPG is 11.85 Combined City/Hwy from Jan - June 2012

    Lowest MPG Recorded was 8.90, Highest MPG Recorded was 14.80
    Total Miles from Jan - June 2012 is 6330 miles, using 587 gallons at $2170.
    Total Cost of Excess Fuel Consumption Since Software Update in 2009: $5069.00

    I contacted the National Highway Safety Admin, Better Business Bureau, and next steps are CT Attorney General, Possible EPA and perhaps small claims court for the $5000 refunded to me from gas. GM was no help - they went around in circles leading me on week after week month after month. Our tax dollars bail them out, and they are still rude and incompetent. The Saturn Customer Service number doesnt even bring you to a GM operated customer service department. GM Outsources that first level of calls...all you need to do is look on Linked in to confirm it. It was an outsourced service rep that was rude and told me the transmission issue was an "option". Could we find an attorney that could represent all of us - with the goal of having GM reimburse us for our hard earned money that was unecessarily lost on their product? We did bail them out with our tax money...and they still choose to steamroll consumers.
  • I've also hoped for a class action lawsuit. GM wasted weeks of my life and cost me thousands of dollars. I had a transmission issue too, and the"fix" was to update the software...which had a dramatic loss in fuel economy. This is another topic documented well...I just dont know which angle to take with small claims court...a faulty transmission - with safety concerns for not accelerating fast enough....or the software update for the faulty transmission - costing over $5500 excess in fuel expenses...I want that money back - I had to make $6500 to spend $5500 on gas.
    GM sucks...we bail them out and look how they repay the favor.
    My problems with them are too long to list, from rude customer service, blatant lies and consumed my life for months. Thats why I decided to take a break from it.
  • my husband is/was playing phone tag all day with customer service- but so far we went with:
    THROTTLE BODY) $445.16
    we will not know the true total till we go in later today- the dealership had LOTS of other recommendations that were suggestions but not needed- including their warning that we needed new tires (and they supplied us with a quote of course) even though we got new tires in September. He was not sure how that recomendation was still on our file from 1 year ago when we went in for an oil change...but of course they were "nice" enough to add that into the suggested total.
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