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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems

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  • I guess I feel better knowing I am not the only sucker in this position. I have had my '09 Outlook at the dealer three times in the last 6 weeks for what seemed like the same thing, but the first time they did some goofy "cleaning" thing and charged $350, then two weeks ago the check engine light came back on and they replaced an ignition coil for $450 and then this morning it died on the side of the road. Engine still purring but no go on the transmission. Dealer now saying "3 grand plus tax" for a transmission rebuild. Won't know the exact problem until they get it apart. Really? Its dead so I cannot drive elsewhere. And we complained every time we took it in for an oil change that the transmission "skipped" occasionally or that the engine would overrev on occasion as it shifted into certain gears. No one seemed to believe there was anything wrong with the transmission then, and since we never argued and just assumed it was us, now that it has 70k miles and is out of warranty AHA! Must be something wrong with the transmission. No choice but to go ahead with it but based on these boards, as well as others, it does seem like a problem that should have been addressed by GM. Not sure of its the mothership or the antiquated dealerships and their service departments who still thinks that is where they make the most money. Sell a car that has a life just beyond the warranty and then engineer everything to start falling apart. I'll think twice before buying a GM again despite my dad's 40 years of service to the company.

  • Has anybody has actually received any help from GM.? I have an open case with them... Amber is the one handling my case. I have been thinking in probably getting a lawyer? Im not sure.... I will keep you guys posted.

  • lnlharperlnlharper Posts: 1
    edited February 10

    I am the used-to-be-proud (sole) owner of a 2008 Saturn Outlook XR. 6 months after I made the final payment, with 68K miles on it, the transmission blew. No warning, halfway to school with my son (thanks neighbors who saw me with my hazard lights on yet still felt the need to honk at me) on a super-rainy day. No warning, no engine light (in fact I had just had the car in the week before for a vent selenoid replacement--how lucky am I?), just no forward movement, no reverse... nothing. I have learned from the mechanic that the transmission is shot. $4185. On research, I have found that this is a known issue, yet the only recalls GM issues are for the wiring on a headlamp? I bought the car as a young widow with children, feeling I could be safe in the knowledge that I had bought a secure car that, with the routine maintenance I gave it, would run without issue for 10 years. Now, I have put almost $5,000 (See above selenoid issue and new brakes which ran $770) into a car (and a company) I no longer trust. This is what I have gotten for putting 10 thousand dollars cash down. I cannot afford this repair, yet I have no other car with school-aged children. I am sick about this, and wish I had never traded in our Yukon because I didn't "trust" it (that had given me no major issues) to last much longer. When I saw the sheer number of posts here and other forums outlining the same issues (engine light, stabilitrak, brake light), I was shocked. What has happened with this company?

  • Reading all of these posts it makes me sick that I didn't check more reviews when I bought my 2009 Outlook AWD. I have had the car 2 years now, the 100k warranty ran out a couple months ago and I am now at 116k. This also was the most expensive car I have purchased to date ($27k when I bought it) and has been the worst car I have ever owned. Where to start. After buying the vehicle within weeks the car started having a lot of electrical issues. Air conditioning wouldn't come on, rear electronics would shut down, etc... I went to the dealer and they said they would fix it for me which they did. Said it was a bad board or something and that it was covered under the warranty. So all was well and about 4 months into owning the car, the transmission completely goes out (this is at 60k miles maybe) and they tell me that I got metal shavings into the tranny and it has to be fully replaced. Warranty paid, so again, I was ok but already worried about the large problems. Got the tranny fixed and the car ran great other than it still seemed to shift sluggishly, I asked the dealership if it was normal and I was told yes.... I didn't have my vehicle back for more than a few weeks when I was driving down the road and my car shut down. Everything turned off and the temp gauge shot through the roof. Called a tow truck and took it back to dealership. Come to find out that the water pump had failed causing the serpentine belt to break which ended up damaging the radiator fan. So again I had to have it all fixed but this time only a small portion of the fix was under warranty so it was a quick $500 bill from the dealer. So several months have went by and in that time I have had to replace the rear hatch lift rods, front rotors, break pads, and front struts, and headlamps TWICE and the warranty has now just expired. I noticed just yesterday as well that the rear breaks are grinding really bad so I can only imagine I need to replace the rotors and pads on the rear now. The tranny is back to shifting like a bear at highway speeds as well. Every time I drive the car after a couple minutes I feel a lunge in the car and the service stabilitrack warning is issued, immediately following that the traction control is off warning comes on, then following that the brake system light comes on. This is crazy!!! But its not done!! in the last couple weeks there has been a loud whining when I run the car. then last week I went out to take kids to school (very cold here) and I had lost all power steering. I bled the lines and put new fluid in and that brought the steering back but the whining is still there in all its glory. To top it off yesterday it started throwing the service engine light. I bought a code scanner and hooked it up. It is throwing this code which sounds like a common occurrence on this car. "Camshaft Position - Actuator A Bank 1 - Timing Over-Advanced." When this happens the car idles really low and really rough. I owe too much to trade or sell the car, and I have put enough into this car in the last year to buy a really decent car that would run great. I don't have the money to keep this up. If GM doesn't start doing something for the owners of these cars I will never buy a GM again and that is all I have ever bought. makes me sick to my stomach to think what could be wrong this time. So much for being able to put my tax return into some home renovation projects.

  • dayalexdayalex Posts: 1

    I have had the same issues with my 2008 Outlook as the rest of you. It has disengaged the transmission while trying to accelerate up a hill. I turn it off, wait, and it works until I can get home. Recently my Outlook has stepped it up a notch. I pulled into my parents' driveway and there was a sound of different computer tones. I got inside their house and they asked what that sound was. It was obviously audible through their brick veneer walls. It hasn't done it since then (about a week ago). I don't feel taking it to the dealer will be helpful since it hasn't repeated this concert, but my dealer has seen this car before as I took it in almost 2 years ago (4 months after I bought it there) and their fix was to redo the timing belt (didn't work) and to replace the head (worked for a while). GM maintenance program gave them these two fixes for a transmission problem.

    I work in IT and it can help solve many problems, but can we just stop putting so much IT into cars? It just increases their purchase costs, life-cycle costs, and the frustration. I would like to buy a car that does not "drive by wire" and actually uses a cable to connect my foot to the air intake. Just saying.

    If anyone feels the initative to start up a class-action lawsuit in order to force GM to address the Outlook transmission issue before someone gets pancaked on the interstate, please post it here.

  • johnnyc192johnnyc192 Posts: 1

    My 2009 Outlook has 51000 miles. the transmission went out just recently without warning. It was the wave plate. It cost $4100 to repair. It took a week to do and I was not a happy camper. Within a week it is back at the same dealer for a similar issue. My wife was almost hit the first time the transmission went out, Chevy really needs to address the issue with the transmission. I am now even more upset because it has happened again. Its a safety issue. I am worried about the car now. I am looking into a Toyota. I have bought my last GM product ever. (Second GM product I have owned, second transmission replaced) The dealership was wrong a month prior about another issue, that issue cost me $800. I hope they get it right the third time around. Time to find a place that I can trust.

  • doublea55doublea55 Posts: 3

    It seems that my 2008 Saturn Outlook has been blessed with every single issue raised in these forums. I am a loyal GM customer and have always bragged about my vehicles, I am on my 10th GM vehicle to date, everything from Cadillac to Astro van. This Saturn is EXTREMELY DISSAPOINTING! Most issues were covered under warrenty but now with only 88K we are 10 months out of warrenty and it is in the dealers shop waiting tranmission diagnostics, it will not shift into reverse, just the latest of issues. Here is the landry list.

    -Squeaking from under steering wheel -Water Pump failure -Heated wiper fluid disabled and several other recalls -Brake master cylinder and booster failure (stabillitrack/ABS warning lights)- After warranty period =$500 -Now the transmission problems

    Very frustrating! I really hope GM steps up, times are already tough, extensive and expensive car repairs do not make it any easier. I have a family of 5 on the road and this Outlook keeps me up at night!

  • rshontzrshontz Posts: 2
    I bought my 2008 outlook awd new in 2008 and I have 62k miles and you can add me to this long list of people that have the same transmission problem. I'm told it's not covered and it's going to cost $3400 I've always owned GM vehicles and after reading this thread it will be my last.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 837

    I bought my 2008 Outlook XR in August 2008. In late July 2009 with 8000 miles on the odometer, I purchased a 6 year, 90,000 mile GMPP ($100 deductible) plan for $1175. March 6th my wife experienced a failure that ended up being diagnosed as throttle body failure. (57,000 miles) Towing and replacement out of pocket $100.

    Service writer noted there might be a problem with power steering. They added fluid which cut the whine way down, but now it is very difficult to turn when stationary, but ok when moving. Set appointment for March 9th. Dealer replaced steering rack then power steering pump, aligned front end, etc. Repairs took two days. Rental car, repairs, etc. out of pocket cost $100.

    I like the vehicle, but will replace it before the GMPP expires in August 2015. I feel like I am ahead on this one already. If the tranny blows in the next 15 months or so, I will be way ahead.

    Sorry for all your problems, but with the way a lot of vehicles are these days, I plan to purchase an extended warranty or replace when the original factory warranty expires.

    Good day,

    Bill

  • rshontzrshontz Posts: 2
    I'm going to add to my post above I called GM they gave me a case number yesterday and today the same dealer with help from GM reduced the repair cost from $3600 to $750 and I'm thankful I don't have to come up with all that money and GM is helping. Granted I still have to pay but I'm very thankful they are helping when I'm still 3 months over the warranty period. I'll stick with GM
  • abrocatoabrocato Posts: 1

    After reading all the post about 2009 Saturn Outlooks transmission issues I did call GM and was told to have car taken in as repair maybe under warranty. Currently my car is at a local Transmission Shop and sitting next to it is a 2009 Arcadia with same transmission and same problem. My car does have 93k, mostly highway miles and I take great care of it and drive with a soft foot devastated that this has happen. In last 15 years I've had two other cars, one was a Cheverlote Truck which I put 165k-- never the first repair and then a 2005 Chevy uplander---185k with this vechile also never leaving me stranded! I truly love the 2009 Outlook even with the terrible gas mileage it's the nicest car I've ever had, but a $2,700 dollar transmission repair is making me truly sorry for the purchase!

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,068

    Hi abrocato,

    I'm sorry to hear that you're facing a possible transmission repair to your Saturn Outlook. I understand that vehicle repairs can be costly, but I'm glad that you've already spoken with GM Customer Service regarding possible alternatives. If you're thinking of having your vehicle towed to a GM dealership, you can contact GM Roadside Assistance at 877-798-2989. If there's anything we can do to assist with this matter, please do not hesitate to let us know.

    Amber N. GM Customer Care

  • cheriaz04cheriaz04 Posts: 3
    2007 Saturn Outlook owner here. Still say that with pride. I love my car!! With less than 70k miles, we replaced our transmission. We now have 160k on the car and no issues with the new trans. Like others have mentioned, we had no prior issues with the trans. We were just driving on the hwy, stopped in construction and when the cars around us started moving, we didn't. Five hours away from home. The small town repair shops couldn't fix it. We had to have it towed back home. It took about a month to get our car fixed and back to us. The only new transmission was on the east coast. The shop built us one.

    We have had the headlight wiring harness issues too. We never got a recall on it. Wish I had known. Couldn't get the harness replaced, so the electrical guy at Pepboys made us one. Hope that's safe, it works!

    The first year we had all the maint done at the dealership and until reading here, I had no idea about software upgrade. I guess they did all that.

    We have had the airbag sensors go out and had to replace. The sensor on the drivers side front tire is out and part on order now. We just got another four tires and we are just under 170k. This is our fourth set of tires.

    Literally, until the transmission we never had a problem.
  • kbsam1222kbsam1222 Posts: 1

    I have a 2009 Saturn Outlook with 57000 miles. Last night, on my way home from work, the car just stopped shifting into third. What an awful experience when you are in the middle of traffic and your car just stops working!! Got it home and found that reverse no longer worked either. Took it to he dealer this morning and was told they will have to rebuild the transmission. They said the part "just breaks". So hard to believe with that few miles on the vehicle.

  • geno59geno59 TexasPosts: 23

    If the transmission was not a abused, which I'm sure the mechanic can tell, GM should pay for the defective transmission. Use customers right and they will come back! There have been to many GM owners who have been complaining of same problem.

  • geno59geno59 TexasPosts: 23

    @kbsam1222 said: I have a 2009 Saturn Outlook with 57000 miles. Last night, on my way home from work, the car just stopped shifting into third. What an awful experience when you are in the middle of traffic and your car just stops working!! Got it home and found that reverse no longer worked either. Took it to he dealer this morning and was told they will have to rebuild the transmission. They said the part "just breaks". So hard to believe with that few miles on the vehicle.

    In my opinion the transmission is not engineered properly for the size and weight of your vehicle. It's too weak and simply breaks!

  • cjbuikecjbuike Posts: 3

    I have a 2008 Saturn Outlook that transmission failed at 77K miles while traveling from Michigan to Tennessee to visit family with my 3 young kids and mother. It failed on a Friday night at 6PM the only place to answer the phone was an Aamco shop. They towed it there, I rented a car and we continued on our way. I called GM customer service the following morning and they said they could not help me because there were no recalls or warranty on this vehicle. My husband found that there were several transmission failures, mostly due to the 35R clutch wave plate. Since GM said they would not help, I had aamco begin the repair (my husband and I were both 600 miles away in opposite directions). Tuesday my husband found a email address to GM executive services. They said they would have done a cost assist if we had taken it to a dealership. He told them he would have if they had answered the phone at 6PM on a friday and that they had the opportunity to tell him that when he called customer service monday morning. Even with that, they refused to cost assist ONLY because it was not done at a dealership. They put my family in harms way with a known transmission failure and now we have a $4K transmission bill we have to pay for on our own. So much for GM customer service. We are now Ford people.

  • cjbuikecjbuike Posts: 3

    I would suggest, after reading several posts with exactly the same issue of transmissions failing in traffic that you file a safety complaint with safercar.gov. If enough people file complaints, maybe, just maybe GM will do the right thing or will be forced to do the right thing. This is rather disappointing because myself and extended family have always been die-hard GM people. We have NEVER experienced problems like this. When put to the test, they did not help me out.

  • geno59geno59 TexasPosts: 23

    @cjbuike said: I would suggest, after reading several posts with exactly the same issue of transmissions failing in traffic that you file a safety complaint with safercar.gov. If enough people file complaints, maybe, just maybe GM will do the right thing or will be forced to do the right thing. This is rather disappointing because myself and extended family have always been die-hard GM people. We have NEVER experienced problems like this. When put to the test, they did not help me out.

    It's really shamefull that GM knows the wave plate is defective and doesn't do a recall. Cost assist is not adequate when it's not the owners fault! GM do what is right if you want to keep your customers.

  • doublea55doublea55 Posts: 3

    @doublea55 said: It seems that my 2008 Saturn Outlook has been blessed with every single issue raised in these forums. I am a loyal GM customer and have always bragged about my vehicles, I am on my 10th GM vehicle to date, everything from Cadillac to Astro van. This Saturn is EXTREMELY DISSAPOINTING! Most issues were covered under warrenty but now with only 88K we are 10 months out of warrenty and it is in the dealers shop waiting tranmission diagnostics, it will not shift into reverse, just the latest of issues. Here is the landry list.

    -Squeaking from under steering wheel -Water Pump failure -Heated wiper fluid disabled and several other recalls -Brake master cylinder and booster failure (stabillitrack/ABS warning lights)- After warranty period =$500 -Now the transmission problems

    Very frustrating! I really hope GM steps up, times are already tough, extensive and expensive car repairs do not make it any easier. I have a family of 5 on the road and this Outlook keeps me up at night!

    ***FOLLOW-UP**** I was in contact with GM both online and over the phone. Their customer service group was extremely helpful and in my opinion did all they could to help with my transmission problems. It seems they are aware of the faulty 3-5-R waveplate and are at least making an effort to remedy the issue. For those with tranny issues I would highly suggest you get in touch with GM, it is worth a try if you are staring at a $4K repair bill.

  • geno59geno59 TexasPosts: 23

    Yesterday I received a call from saturn customer service and was told to take my Saturn Vue xr 6speed transmission to dealership to verify problem. The dealership will help pay 45% of cost to repair faulty transmission. I'm happy with that, because something is better than nothing. Can't wait to have transmission repaired and take a trip without worrying if I will be left stranded.

  • hotpickhotpick Posts: 3
    edited May 1
    Hello, I've been reading these reviews for a week now. That is when the door looks, blinkers, back door and other stuff started to not work on out 2008 outlook. Just had the body control module replaced at the dealership for $573.75. They had it for 2 days. We also had the track light and the break light come on prior (Jan) and they wanted $900, to fix the master cylinder, leaking brake fluid into the brake booster.. We declined that for now. We also had the water pump, and headlamps done. GM did honor those recalls. I hope this will be the end to out troubles, but it sounds like from reading these that the transmission will be next. I am scared! We are just under 100k miles. I want to file a claim with GM too. The dealership offered to buy our Saturn for blue book value, we owe more then was offered. I hope I helped some of you. And thank you for your help. GM please do something!
  • amac126amac126 Posts: 1

    I have had my Outlook for a few years now, and I really love it. BUT I am extremely fed up with the unsafe transmission issues. My car has done it a handful of times, I will be driving down the road (usually the highway or interstate) and the car will downshift, throw the check engine light up and not go anything higher than second gear or so. This causes me to have to try to navigate off to the side of the road, without getting hit by cars going the speed limit, shut the car off for a few seconds, then restart it. I took it to the local dealership to have it looked at, after 4 or 5 times trying to diagnose it, I was told that it needed an updated airflow cover. Fine, put the almost $500 thing on, and guess what? It didn't fix it! I will never buy a GM vehicle again, which makes me really sad, because I have loved this car (and still do, for the most part). But when it puts the lives of my children at risk of getting hit on the highway, it has to go! Shame on GM for not making a safer/better product!!

  • 42 Pages of this, horrible! This is just for the Outlook vehicle. This same defective part is also used in the 6-speed transmission of Acadia, Traverse, Enclave, Vue, Aura and Malibu from 07-09.

  • jkbbobbjkbbobb Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 09 Saturn outlook with 91000 miles luckily I got the extended warranty of 3month 3000 miles because my transmission went out while only putting 2000 miles on it in a month and a half the wave plate is gone I asked about the new tranny and they said the problem is fixed and shouldn't have a problem my warranty is under Zurich ill keep you all informed what the insurance covers
  • jkbbobbjkbbobb Posts: 2
    Well just an update unfortunately the warranty is only going to rebuild the transmission for me still its only gonna cost 200 dollars to me out of pocket I'm kinda scared of just getting it rebuilt after all I've heard its not gonna last very long after that I have 3kids and that's whyi purchased this vehicle in the first place I'm scared that ill get stranded again
  • hotpickhotpick Posts: 3
    Just heard of a GM recall http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/gm-issues-another-round-of-recalls-1400155673?mobile=y
    But I'm not sure if the includes the Outlook. It needs to. I'm having those brake, cruise control problems!!!
  • jkbbobb, mine was rebuilt too, only cause I didn't have cash nor desire to pay $1300 more on the already $2600 rebuild bill for a re-manufactured transmission.

  • kasmomkasmom Posts: 1

    Guess I am lucky!! I have absolutely no complaints about my 07 Saturn Outlook I have 165,000 miles on it and this is the first problem I have had with it. I absolutely love mine. I figure if I can get 165,000 miles out of a vehicle before having to do any major work to it then I am doing alright. I know people who buy brand new and are taking it to the shop a month into having a new car. I am currently having the same problem, and am having it fixed this weekend, but like I said 1st problem I have had. I was just driving along and the traction control off flashed on my dash then came the engine light and traction dashboard lights then it flashed "service traction control" and "service stabilitrak" I would definitely buy another Saturn!! Sorry everyone else is having troubles with theirs.

  • imsonnyimsonny Posts: 2

    @bratske said: What can be done to recall these GM vehicles. I own a 2008 Outlook, my steering column was making a strange whining noise. My passenger seat sensor wasn't turning on when someone would sit in the seat and I was getting a "check brakes" sign. I took it to the local dealer and the only thing that was out on my car was a bulletin regarding a gear in the steering column. That was repaired along with the replacing the master cylinder and the passenger seat sensor. All of this would have cost me $1800, but my service tech was so great. She called GM to get them to cover part of the cost. I only had to pay $600 for everything. NOW, I'm looking at around a $2k repair because I'm leaking oil and I'm being told it has something to do with the time cover gasket, I don't remember becuase I tuned the guy out once he said the repair could be $2k. These items shouldn't be breaking on a vehicle, which at the time, had about 60k miles on it. Since then, I've been getting letters from a law firm regarding my vehicle. Has anyone filed suit? I LOVE everything my vehicle has to offer as far as size and how it suits my family, but I just can't deal with the repairs. I was thinking about getting and Acadia or Traverse, but after reading what I've read and those being by GM as well, I'm extremely hesitant.

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