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Saturn Aura Electrical / Computer Problems?

Anyone with a Saturn Aura having problems with the electrical/computer system? I am and the dealer isn't fixing it.

The problem: A "Service Traction Control" warning will appear and the car will stall and lose power. It has died on me once and wouldn't restart afterward.

I bought an Aura XR in August 2007 and it has been in the shop 3 times already for this problem.

The first two times I was told that 'nothing was wrong' but yet when I drove it off the lot, it would invariably have the same problem.

This problem is intermittent and hard to reproduce so it is difficult for the repair shop to solve but it also doesn't appear that they are trying very hard.

Anyone else had a problem like this?


  • I was reading a thread on another Saturn Forum of a guy in Texas that has exactly the same problem. He has been battling with the dealership for months.
    He has had to escalate the issue.
    Here is the link
    This guy has his web site listed so you can contact him and compare note

    It's a real cool web site Check it out
  • Thanks Phaetondriver.

    That's actually me over at'm still not getting any forward motion on getting the car fixed so I thought I'd try this forum to see if anyone here has seen the same problems.
  • Do you have a case number with the Saturn Customer Assistance Center? I'd be happy to look into it.

    Kyle Johnson
    Saturn Communications
  • Hi Kyle,

    I do have a case number. 1-25669734.

    I was supposed to hear from the Saturn Area Manager yesterday (Thursday Dec 6) but didn't. I called again last night and was told that the area manager would call me today.

    Thanks for the offer of assistance...I would love to have this problem straightened out and get my car back.
  • Here's a quick update from the last few days:

    Dec 8 – Heard from the dealership in the afternoon. They “think” they have it narrowed down to one computer and they are now waiting for a tool to check connectors for that computer. This tool will be in the shop on Monday and I hope to hear something on Monday evening or Tuesday.

    Dec 10 – Heard from the dealership. They received the ‘tool’ and have determined that it is the PCM. They have ordered a new PCM for overnight delivery and will call when it arrives.

    Dec 11 - Call received from the dealership. They received the PCM but were asked to not install it yet and have me pick up my car without it being fixed because they haven't diagnosed the problem yet. The Service Manager has assured me that she is having the PCM installed regardless what the technical people say and my car should be ready this evening.

    I'm going to pick up my car now...keep your fingers crossed.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Fingers have been crossed for you... what's the report?
  • Well...things were going well up until Thursday of this past week. I had my "service Traction control" warning pop up again and the car almost stalled.

    Going to be taking this back to the dealership after Christmas.
  • Just an FYI - The problem returned and the car is back in the shop. I'm waiting on a report back from the dealership tomorrow (Friday).

    Also - I'm filing the Texas Lemon Law complaint with the Texas Department of Transportation if this trip to the shop doesn't resolve the issue.
  • I'm not sure if this is the same problem, but I have a Saturn 2007 Aura/XE and it has been in the shop for the 4th time with electrical problems. The compass, driver window, heated seats, sun roof all lose power. "The work order states that the tech found a screw for speaker goes through retainer into wiring harness for drivers door. Tech adjusted harness and resecured speaker." I had it less than 24 hours and it did the same thing. They are keeping the car and bringing in an engineer. This is my 5th Saturn and I've never had any problems before. Can someone help?

  • Cindy - Sorry to see you are having similar problems...I hope your dealership & Service Manager are better than mine.

    My car has been in the shop for a week now with no response from the dealership. Saturn National Assistance has called me twice and both times have said that they can't get the dealer's service department on the line.

    My letter demanding Saturn fix this car within 30 days (as per the requirement of Texas Lemon Law) is being mailed today.
  • cindymaccindymac Posts: 1
    i just want you to know it is not just your car that's having electrical problems. I have a 2005 relay that i bought new..after a year it started with the abs and traction control lights on and requiring service.. my dealership is wonderful, but they are at a lost for what to do it has been in for service over 7 times for this and for some of the service vists more than 2weeks they have had the vehicle..they have rewired my car 2 times and still no fix. i have had 2 case numbers.. i am currently waiting for my area manager to call today so we can discuss my options. i have 2 small children and didn't want the hasssle.. i have owned a total of 6 saturn previously and no them...i recently got stuck because the car wouldn't start stating it had no gas...thank god my father was with me. he pushed my car to level ground and the sensor realized there was gas and started. my kids were with me one is 10wks old.. if my father wasn't there i don't know what i would have done..i am curious to find out what has happened with your case and how you are making out. good luck
  • Okay, I am really needing some help here. I have a 2007 aura. It has been in shop 3 times in last 60 days for electrical problems. It is all intermintant. So it is hard to find. First time battery died. Second time it was several things, radio would not turn off when opened door. Keyless entry would not work and the dash display would show only half a message or half of one message and half of another message. I took it to the dealer they kept car for 5days.They replaced the radio and the display cluster. My daughter picked up the car and they had to jump start it to get it started for her. Of course when i got home the car was completely dead and it is a holiday weekend. The car has now been back at the dealership for 3 days and they are telling me nothing is wrong with my car. Someone please help.
  • My 2008 Saturn Aura XE has been having electrical problems ever since last month, when, at 14,000 miles, the transmission failed on the highway and we had to get an emergency tow to the dealer. After a week, they replaced our transmission completely, saying that it was very unusual for a transmission to fail after so few miles. My husband noticed that after getting the car back from the dealer, his driver's side power lock no longer worked, so he made a service appointment for this coming Monday.
    We had to cancel that appointment because last night during a rainstorm, while traveling out of our home state of New Jersey, the engine light came on along with a message: "Engine powering down." We were able to get the car to crawl to a nearby parking lot, and Saturn sent out an emergency tow, but our dealer (in Connecticut, where we were traveling -- we bought the car there and then had to move to NJ recently) isn't open until Monday. We had to leave the car at the dealer in CT and call someone to drive us back to New Jersey. (Saturn said we could only rent from Enterprise, but the closest open Enterprise at 6 p.m. on a Friday night --- in New York State -- had no car available.
    We loved the car until last month when the transmission stalled out on the highway and could have killed us. Now I'm tempted to go on an all-out assault on this company. Their lousy car has almost killed us twice. Besides that, we've had to incur travel expenses on a nearly new car that's still under warranty. The last Saturn my husband bought also died unexpectedly. The engine FELL OUT on I-95 at highway speed. I asked him why he'd want to buy another Saturn after that, and he felt it was a fluke. He said he loved the car until that happened. I feel like they should just refund our money at this point. We paid for the car in full, so they have all $23,000 and change already. I'm furious.
  • I purchased a 2008 Saturn Aura, brand new…right out of the assembly line, as some would say. The vehicle worked perfectly for about three months. Then I begun having a constant issue with the ‘Traction’ system. The vehicles computer would identify the traction system as malfunctioning, thus concluding it had been disabled, somehow…I wonder how this would take place.

    Con: Now this is my problem with this, instead of just alerting me to this new-found issue, the computer would take it upon itself to reduce the vehicle’s speed to ‘save energy’, the second step would be to register a “Service Traction System Immediately” message over the odometer.

    Pro: I assume this was to either (1.) Conserve enough energy in order for me to reach the nearest Saturn Service Center, and have my vehicle inspected, or (2.) Suggestion number one, AND allow me to arrive safely to the nearest Saturn Service Center to have, again, my vehicle serviced (Without spinning).

    Con: I visited the Saturn Service Center on a monthly basis with this new-found issue, and their computer system would deem nothing to be the problem. During my last visit, they actually changed “a few cables”, as they put it! Upon my return home from the Saturn Service Center, the ‘Service Traction System Immediately’ message came over the odometer again, as well as reducing the vehicle’s speed to ensure I returned to the Saturn Service Center to have my vehicle inspected, this was ten minutes after they had supposedly fixed the problem (By changing a few faulty cables).

    Con: Now, on various occasions I nearly got rear-ended by other drivers due to the vehicle’s speed-reduction mode. I was quick to activate the emergency lights to prevent this from happening, but I was too close for comfort this last time!

    So, as I returned to have my 2008 Saturn Aura XE inspected once again, ten minutes after, they just had this look on their faces that tells me there’s something really wrong with this car.

    Pro: I was placed on a rental vehicle from ‘Enterprise’ to cover me for the remainder of the day, so I was due at work at around twelve (night-shift/I was lucky). I received a phone-call at about three twenty from one of Saturn’s Service Center Staff (Mechanic). She concluded that the vehicle’s computer was malfunctioning. They would have it replaced, and I would of course have my Aura ready in two more days.

    My question is…is anyone else having ’Traction System’ problems? Is this something normal from a vehicle right out of the assembly-line?

    My problem with this is, I have about 1,800 miles on the vehicle, my job is right in my town (ten minutes away)! I haven’t even driven the thing into the city, much less taken a road trip across states!

    Is there anything I can do, is this a lemon in disguise? I’m still paying for the car, I have the four-year warranty that came with my contract, four-year…or forty-thousand miles, which ever comes first. I just can’t help to wonder, if this is the beginning of endless-problems to come, should I try to obtain a different vehicle, under a new contract…is that even possible? What can I do?
  • 2008 Saturn Aura and driving today when the check engine light came on. It showed two messages: Service traction and service ESC. I felt the car stutter but it never lost power. Called to make appointment and they had one for Friday. Asked if it was OK to continue to drive and was told yes. Asked if I could drop car off early and loaner and told that they did not do that anymore since it is no longer Saturn dealership.
  • We have 55k on our car....purchased it in 07 right off the lot. At 28k, was told by our mechanic, we needed new front brakes after having it looked at for excessive noise in the front end when braking. At some point the remote car starter stopped working & the last 4 months have been nothing but problems! It started with the check engine light. Had it serviced, mechanic could find nothing wrong & reset it. 2 weeks later, same problem, engine light on, started to idle rough. Took it back in. This time he had numerous faults show up on the computer, replaced 2 cam sensors along with spark plugs. 2 days later, engine still idles rough, engine light came back on, ALONG with the service traction light,was scheduled to take it back in a few days, but it didnt make it that long. After driving it to work the next morning, the car would not start in the afternoon. Had it towed back to our mechanic, who after looking further into the engine, discovered that we had 2 good cylinders left, out of 6! We called GM, they had it towed to a GM dealer who is tearing it apart right now. At this point, looks as if it will be covered under the powertrain warranty & they have provided us with a car to drive while it is being fixed........I really thought GM made a better product than this.
  • I have had my Saturn in twice for the message "Please Service Soon, Traction Control Loss" accompanied by a LED tire display and engine failure light. The car jerks as it jumps back and forth for control. The technicians at the local GM dealership who took over Saturn Sales/Service told me that nothing could be found.

    Additionally, I have now had to replace the electrical batteries three different times. They seem to be failing sooner and sooner, and the battery replacements are becoming harder and harder to procure despite my having bought a lifetime warranty for bumper to bumper repairs for this car. I was told the hybrid portion of the engine would only have a ten year warranty from the time of purchase.

    While I have read most of the posts, I have not yet seen one that also describes the symptoms my car seems to be displaying. Could anyone be so kind to assist me, before I take it in yet to hear from techs, who will with folded hands and a concerned look, tell me that nothing is wrong with my car?
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    Michael, I read your posting, and wondered how your repair worked out. I have an '09 Aura with the same issue. I took it to a garage last week, but it was not registering a code, and of course the car would was running perfectly for the mechanic. Today, it was acting up again. How did your repair work out? Was it an extensive repair?


  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055

    What I would like to do is set up a case for you. I will need your complete
    contact information including a good number to reach you, VIN, and current
    mileage. You will be assigned an agent that will work with you, the dealer,
    as well as our technical department to try to get this resolved for you.
    I look forward to your response.

    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • adam43adam43 Posts: 1
    I had the traction control light come on and random abs lights and varying other ones. I fixed mine by disconnecting battery, and going underneath dash at access panel on passenger side. Unmounting both the ground wire harness on the car and putting dieletric grease can be had for 1.29 in a part store they sell it as spark plug boot grease. Then retorque the bolts down low and behold mine were not tight from the factory go figure. This has solved my traction control issue among other things.
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