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Saturn Aura Electrical / Computer Problems?

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  • i'm in that situation...sorry but what is BCM and where can i find it to put the dielectric grease ?????
  • I have a 2009 Aura. The door lock and handle on the rear right passenger door stopped working so that you couldn't open or close the door from either inside the car or outside. The dealership said the culprit was a short in the electrical system of the locking mechanism. It cost me $275.00 to replace. Now, the automatic door lock on the front driver's door doesn't work. Has anyone else had similar issues?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,108
    emolon,
    If you're thinking about working with the dealership on the front driver door done and want for us to work through that with you, please contact us via email at socialmedia@gm.com with more information (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation so far).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Since buying the car new in 2007 we are on our third battery. After my wife drove the car to run several short hop errands, the car would not start. The battery was dead. I jump started it and took it to the auto parts store where I had purchased the battery last year. They tested it and it is not defective. But the voltage from the alternator was only 12.3 volts. Normally it should read 14.4 volts. Since it was late on Friday, just drove it home and was planning to take it in on Monday to my mechanic. Put a battery charger on the battery overnight. With the car not running and the charger connected, the battery voltage is 12.5 volts. I started the car and immediately checked the voltage---14.5 volts. Let the car run for 10 minutes to warm up and checked again---14.5 volts. Ran some errands for an hour or so. Motor was plenty hot as normal. Checked the voltage again---12.3 volts. I know the alternator voltage is actually controlled by the ECM. Are the readings in my car normal? Do I have a bad ECM that only shows up when car is hot? Checked alternator belt, nice and tight. What else should I check? Ideas?.?.? thanks much.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,108
    Have you had any luck with this since your post, mellowpro?
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I've been closely monitoring the battery and it seems that short trips are the cause of the problem. Starting the car, playing the CD player and using seat heater apparently all put significant drain on the battery and a short trip doesn't give the battery time to recharge. Can you tell me if the changes in the voltage are normal? In a old fashioned alternator/battery arrangement, the regulator voltage is almost always about 14.4 volts unless there is a problem. On the Saturn it appears that, as the battery charges, the ECM reduces the regulator voltage. My 'fix', for the time being, is to monitor it and every few days to put the charger on it overnight. Not optimal, but cheaper than buying a new car or embarking on a costly wholesale parts replacement that may or may not fix it.

    Mellowpro
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,108
    Hey mellowpro,
    If I could have you forward this question and the last 8 digits of your VIN to us via email at socialmedia@gm.com we would be happy to confer with a technical department here to see if we can get any insights for you.
    Regards,
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • mrkbker1mrkbker1 Posts: 4
    I went with a friend to check this car out about 2 months ago, and in spite of the high miles. (160,000) it was well taken care of, had a car fax that showed the owner had the car serviced on a regular basis at a Saturn/Chevy dealer in Doylestown, and it ran well, no leaks, shifted well...I did put a scanner on it and saw no problems at all. I told the potential buyer that it was in good mechanical shape, seemed to be previously owned by someone who took great care of it, I saw no obvious problems.
    Now a month plus later, and about 1200 miles, it has weird electrical issues. He called me to say it was 'stuck in first' gear and the traction control, ESC warning, low tire pressure, security light, ABS light and check engine light were all on. I told him to pull over, shut it off, restart it. He did, and it all went away except for the CEL. He brought the car to me, and I hooked up a scanner and got a U2100, U2107, U0073 and P0700. The first three all refer to some communication issues with the ECM, and/or BCM, and the P0700 is a trans code that set the check engine light. I cleared it, and went about checking the battery and alternator. It had what appeared to be a replacement Delco 650CCA battery that, after slow charging, and testing with a digital tester, would only get to around 580CCA. I talked him into letting me install an Advance Auto Gold 700CCA battery, which test out at over 900CCA now. The alternator is around 14 volts at idle, and I cleaned all electrical connections. It ran great, no issues at all. He took the car back, I did not hear from him the first day but the second day he called and said traction, ESC. Security, Tire monitor were all on. I got it back, cleared everything again, drove it to another mechanic I know who is really good with this type of issue-when he saw the U0073, he said he went through this with another Saturn and ended up taking it to a dealer, and felt his $3000 plus SnapOn scanner would not diagnose it like a Tech 2 would (GM specific dealer scanner). I took it to the dealer, they said they'd check it and call me that afternoon. I got a call later, the service manager told me the tech pulled the same codes, cleared it, and drove it 'in the parking lot and on the road' (total 4 miles) and it did not occur. I said I could come over and drive it,it was doing it for me almost immediately for the last half-dozen times I drove it. He said 'it's Friday, we're only here till 5 (it was 4, I'm 5 minutes away)-so I said, fine, tell me when you need me there Monday. He said tech would not be there Monday, come Tuesday around 12:15. I came today, got the car AFTER BEING CHARGED $171 for Friday for the Tech to CLEAR CODES after he wrote them down and DRIVE THE CAR 4 miles with NO ISSUES EXHIBITED.
    I drove the car out after they got PAID, and drove it three miles, no problems. I hooked up my Actron scanner after pulling over, shutting down, starting up, input information and drove-within a mile, all the warnings came up, including the CEL and first gear only. Drove it back to the dealer, the Service manager felt that, since I hooked up MY scanner, the issue was not necessarily the car but could be MY SCANNER...so I asked him to have the tech clear it again, and I drove it again, this time about 8 miles with no issues. I went back and told the Service Manager that I wasn't too old to learn something, and said I would drove it more, without hooking up anything...I drove it another 4 miles, and BINGO-all the same warnings, sans the taint of my scanner. So I took it back to the dealer, where it sits now.
    If it took a Tech one and a half hours to record, clear and test drive a car (4 miles) to the tune of $171, and then the Service Manager is going to infer that my scanner was the issue, I have to have some concern for the costs this might incur for my friend. I note that I have spent a lot of time on the internet and I see lots of TSB's and accounts from owners about these same types of problems. I asked about having them check for things like connectors at the BCM, ECM, the VCIM (especially symptomatic)...and I didn't seem to get much reaction from the SM on these suggestions. My friend is not real happy and I can't blame him-if you wonder why dealers have such a bad reputation, I submit this is an example of why. I do not take any of my cars to dealers for any work but I would if I felt they weren't guessing (like I might) if they could not figure out a problem. Difference is, it wouldn't cost anything if I were guessing...and, to be clear, I do have some cars that are somewhat 'complicated', like a 2002 Aurora, and a 96 Mark VIII, and my experience tells me that I can, eventually, find the reason for any issue. I do not have that luxury when it comes to this car since it seems even very good independent mechanics will stay away from dealing with these cars. I was told (make that convinced) that a GM Tech with a Tech 2 was the best way to solve this-so far, no really though. No real effort to initially diagnose it (but a bill for $171), then blame a scanner that is not theirs-really???
    Please get back to me on this, as I am curious as to what to do next. So is my friend.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,108
    mrkbker1,
    If you friend wanted to contact the GM Customer Assistance Center about this visit to the dealership, they can be reached at 800-553-6000 (Hours: Mon to Sat, 8am to 9pm ET; Closed Sunday).
    Hopefully we're able to get this resolved soon!
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Took the car to my mechanic and he tested it and said, "Bad alternator. $550 please." Since the brand is no longer made and marketed, everything is very expensive because there are no aftermarket suppliers rebuilding the components for resale. Seems that only dealers have replacement parts. Word to the wise, don't ever buy a car from an abandoned product line unless you're willing to pay for the priovilege. No more GM cars for me.
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    no different alternator than other gm cars. just an excuse to raise the price.
  • mrkbker1mrkbker1 Posts: 4
    edited March 2013
    I just got the car back, my friend (the owner) has driven it about 225 miles since I got it back from this 'dealer'...and the electrical issues are happening again U0073, U2100, U2107, P0700). The dealer had kept it for a week, drove it (only) thirty miles total, and could not get it to do this again. They said that in spite of seeing the issues, they did not know what was causing the problem. He said any module between the BCM and the ECM could be causing the issue.
    This 'service manager' then proceeded to say that he thought the module that controls the transmission was bad. He said that it was located internally, and was very expensive (actually the MOST expensive) to replace since it would require dismantling the trans.. He further stated that this was a problem, since dismantling the trans would necessitate refilling the trans with new fluid, and that would 'damage' the trans since it was not a good idea to put fresh fluid in a trans with this high mileage...I could not respond initially, since i could not believe that was his 'solution'. I told him that the carfax records showed that the previous owner had done all the necessary mileage checkups and recommended services at the dealer in Doylestown since new including tranny services. He stated that the trans 'didn't shift well' now, and that was what he felt was the root problem.
    This trans shifts almost seamlessly, it barely can be felt going from gear to gear. The time from shift to shift is smooth and very quick, with no jolts or noises...i can't imagine a better shifting trans, EXCEPT when the ELECTRICAL ISSUES become apparent.
    I will contact customer service tomorrow and refer them to this essay. I personally think that a dealer that charges for what they have NOT done is a joke, and think the best course should be for them to ADMIT they have no idea what the issue is-and refund what my friend spent to find out they have no clue. I will take it from there. I have been working on vehicles for over 40 years, and I don't care what the problem is, for this person to first blame a scanner, then say they did not know, THEN say that they'd replace the most expensive module and postulate that it would fail anyway...this person should NOT be advising anyone on vehicle repair.
  • mrkbker1mrkbker1 Posts: 4
    *cricket sound*...

    still going through this, dealer has no clue and has done nothing to even attempt a solution.

    I have determined that the u2100 code is always first to set, and it then sets ABS codes before any other. Anyone have any idea where the ABS module is located on this thing???
  • motorvatormotorvator Posts: 1
    After reading this forum, I now know I have an oft-repeated story that is not at all uncommon. Our 2009 Saturn Aura XR has had intermittent (never repeatable at dealership) ABS and Traction Control lights, usually after the car stutters. I have not been able to determine whether it is the engine or sudden application of the ABS, but since the ABS/TC lights up, I've assumed it is an ABS related problem. We've taken it to the dealer who can find no codes, all is fine by their definition and they can not repeat the problem. She now tells me (I am overseas) the car had a violent stutter as she turned left in an intersection and the car basically "walked" further to the left. I believe it was the brakes aggressively modulating and affecting the steering. Needless to say, the ABS and TC lights lit up. While asking her questions about how it all happened, she mentioned that while she was decelerating at about 30MPH with her foot off the accelerator, the car started stuttering and then the engine accelerated towards 40MPH.....all with her foot off the accelerator. Again, more lights lit up, not sure which ones, nor is she. She was a bit busy trying not to hit the car in front of her than to pay attention to dashboard lights. I've told her to take it to the dealership, but I am not at all confident they will have a handle on this problem, as there appears to be no solution, at least none posted here besides the potential fix of greasing a cable connection under the passenger side dash.
  • dmm1277nydmm1277ny Posts: 1
    I have had many of the same symptoms with my Aura. I brought it used 2 yrs ago with 10,200 miles on it. It now has 45,400. Around 40,000 miles I had problems with the key fobs not working. I changed the battery in both but still had intermittent problems. Then the car would randomly not crank or start after short trips. If I waited 10 minutes and disconnected the battery it would start once I reconnected everything. Did it 4 times in 2 weeks. Then while driving on the hwy the traction control shut off followed by a Service ESC warning. A few minutes later all the gauges malfunctioned and all warning lights/messages came on. I was forced to pull over because the car began to sputter. I shut it off and waited 15 minutes then restarted it. It ran fine. I managed to get it to the dealer where it was diagnosed with a "no communication" problem btwn the battery and the computer. All this occurred in a 3 week span. They replaced the original battery and the car ran fine for just over 3 months. Then it happened again with 45,424 miles on it. While driving I experienced the same issues with the traction control/gauges/warning lights. I was able to drive to a nearby dealer (with the car running rough the entire way). They can find nothing wrong with it and they cannot get it to replicate the problem. They car is still there as they try to find the problem. I am frustrated because I drive 85 miles round trip to work 5 days a week and cannot rely on this car to get me there (or anywhere else) without issue.
  • bigrinbigrin Posts: 18
    I had same problems as described on this forum. 2009 Saturn Aura XR. Removed the passenger side kick plate (Saturn hides your electronics here) If you are sitting in the passenger front seat, just to the Left of your Left leg is a " side panel " just below height of your ash tray. Pull gently from the front of this panel ,you'll see a small hole to grab,(velcro there) and gently unsnap a little at a time. Panel will come off.
    Find the small black square box (BCM) unplug it, and snap it back in several times. Cured my problems. You can put dielectric grease on the prongs of the BCM box if you wish, but I didn't and it works fine. Anyway, snap it in and out numerous times. Then snap the side panel back in and you are good to go. I understand the Malibu has the same configurations. So should work for both.
  • I have had some of the same issues. I purchased my 2008 aura xe about 4 months ago and loved it to begin with. But recently i have lost stereo sound on the drivers side, the speedometers dim and get bright on their own and I am constantly losing my display; i cant see the display at all. The radio will work but i can not see what station it is on or anything. And sometimes it will come back in a few miles but sometimes it can go on for a day or 2 before it comes back. It's frustrating to buy a new car and have issues. My dad is a mechanic so if anyone knows of any solutions he could do to make this go away i would apprecieate it.
  • bigrinbigrin Posts: 18
    I had same problems as described on this forum. Have a 2009 Saturn Aura XR. Removed the passenger side kick plate (Saturn hides your electronics here) If you are sitting in the passenger front seat, just to the Left of your Left leg is a " side panel " just below height of your ash tray. Pull gently from the front of this panel ,you'll see a small hole to grab,(velcro there) and gently unsnap a little at a time. Panel will come off.
    Find the BCM module (you will see several fuses and connectors attached to it. Look for the two that appear to be housed by a small plastic harness. Fit a flat head screw driver into the latch, and unlock the plastic harness (it will slide upward over the module). You can then uplug the modules and you'll see numerous tiny thin metal prongs that it snaps onto. Snap it out and then back in several times. Then get some DiElectric grease from you local parts store and take a small paint brush (1/4" type) and swab the grease onto each of the metal prongs. Snap the module in and out several more times, and then snap it in and lock it down. Do the same for the other module. Then put the panel back on and drive it. My problems were cured,hope same for you.
  • onefunkaronefunkar Posts: 113
    dash lights on auras dim because headlights go on too easy. if you manually turn off headlights (instead of on auto) dash lights will come back to bright..
  • mike1960bmike1960b Posts: 4
    My 2009 Aura SE with 80,000 miles has problems that seem to be a symptom of a greater problem. in 2010 it began with the fob not working. In Feb 2012 the locks started to go up and down while I was driving, and beeping. I took it to a dealer who replaced the window motor in the drivers side. A couple of months ago it started to happen again and I bought the car to another dealer, who could find no problem. They did feel the motor needed to be replaced again. For a while it did happen. As of yesterday it happening again; the locks going up and down, but now it has continued when the car is not running! what is new is that after driving it the battery light went on and has stayed on. What a mess.
  • bigrinbigrin Posts: 18
    Mike see my post #110. Did the trick for me. It's a simple fix that won't take much time. See if this would work for you. Dealer's mechanics couldn't figure mine out either. Follow my instructions, it may work for you. Good luck.
  • Thank you for your help. What about my display screen? The display screen that tells me the time, and radio station etc has gone completely black and won't come back on sometimes for a day or two. Could that be related to the headlight and dash lights? Again thanks so much
  • bigrinbigrin Posts: 18
    Didn't have that problem, but my display screen dimmed so that I could not read it. Found out you have to have the dashboard dimmer switch turned all the way to the right, almost to the point of having the interior overhead light on. Then the dashboard lights are bright. If yours are all the way blacked out, then it may be another problem. A lot of these described electrical problems may be tied into the BCM module. Unplugging them, and coating the metal prongs with dielectric grease may help. It took care of my problems. Good Luck.
  • mike1960bmike1960b Posts: 4
    edited July 2013
    I no longer own my 2008 Saturn Aura; yesterday was trade in time. On the way to the dealer everything fell apart: no power steering, brakes, radio went off, all lights, display,etc and I limped off the highway before it completely stalled. And of course it wouldn't start again. The last straw was probably the alternator. It was taken to the dealer on a flatbed. needless to say I didn't get what I had hoped for a trade in on a new vehicle! I am lucky they took it. I think this vehicle had a problem from the factory and not much was going to fix it...there was a short somewhere in the vehicle and as recently as last week my local mechanic would find nothing wrong. Thanks for the suggestions, I very much appreciate the help you tried to give, but there comes a point.......
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,108
    Hello mike1960b,

    We're sorry to hear that you traded your Saturn, but we understand your decision. If there is anything we can assist you with in the future please let us know.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • mike1960bmike1960b Posts: 4
    Amber, I did call GM Customer Care before the big "event" happened. I got the nicest young man who was going to research the problem and get back to me. He never did. I think you would want to kow that.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,108
    Hi mike,

    Thanks-- I am happy that the agent you spoke with over the phone was willing to help with your case. Were you by chance given a case number to reference? If so, can you please send me your case number so that I can notify your agent? If you are unsure of your case number feel free to email your full name and VIN to socialmedia@gm.com.

    Thanks

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • We are having the same issue as "mike1960b" and others above. It just started...I have owned my 2008 Saturn Aura for 5 years, just received my Saturn 5th Year anniversary email a few days ago and then this happened...My car wouldn't start. We thought it was the battery since it was testing low at the last oil change. We got a new one then everything started to go crazy! The Power Steering went out as we were driving and when we went to check the computers the NEW battery was low again and the alternator was low. We determined the battery wasn't getting any charge from the alternator and replaced the alternator and serpentine belt. We now have a NEW battery, alternator and serpentine belt and the car is still not functioning properly. The power steering, traction control and all other lights are going on. Hopefully we can make it safely to the dealer tomorrow to see what is going on but I'm not hopeful after readying all these posts. The car is only a few payments from being paid of and I am not planning on buying a new car. I'm not happy with this at all. Just a few months after buying my Saturn, Saturn no longer existed and then it was one thing after the other...
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,108
    Hello,

    I can understand your frustration, and apologize that you're having this issue with your Saturn. I can definitely look more into this to see what we can do to help resolve your concerns in a timely matter. Please email me your VIN, exact mileage, contact info and dealership. I look forward to working with you.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • I bought a 2008 Saturn Aura XE for my wife in February 2010. And it was a great car at first then the screen went on the radio after a couple of months then last year the locks started messing up and they won't all unlock or lock like they are suppose too. And a couple of days ago she started her car and the service airbag light came on and she heard a popping sound from the passenger side dashboard area and it was hesitating and now something is draining the battery and the alternator tests at 14.4 voltage so its good. I am am electrician and I tested everything but can't seem to figure out what is wrong. I know there is some recalls on the car and we plan on taking it to the GM dealer this week but this is just ridiculous. We have four kids and we can't afford some outrageous bill to fix these problems. Does anyone know of any electrical recalls that this car may have? Or has anyone else had a similar problem???
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