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Saturn Vue Transmission Problems



  • earl16earl16 Posts: 14
    Good luck; Change of fluid worked for me but I never had groans or vibrations - just engine surge and a bit of roughness when starting. Engine surge is coming back so plan on another change of fluid. e
  • dipnetdipnet Posts: 3
    WHen changing the fluid, did you go the expensive route of completely draining and flushing the entire syste, or simply drain what you can and replace? The expensive job is about 200-300 bucs, but is suppose to completely clean and flush the entire transmission.
  • earl16earl16 Posts: 14
    It was relatively simple. They pulled the drain plug and drained what it would then refilled through fill plug (which was very hard to get out(. Not really a complete change of fluid as took 6 quarts of Honda fluid. I am a bit late at getting it back in for 2nd drain. They suggested next 10k. Vue had 60 k at first drain. No filters to mess with I guess. hope this helped. e in Hartland
  • I have a 2003 Vue with manual transmission I purchased used. This morning when I started the car it slipped into neutral easily, but I could not get it into any gear. I turned the car off and then it slipped into gear easily, so I started it again and tried to change gears, but again it wouldn't. It also started making louder and louder "rough engine" noise and started vibrating.

    I again turned it off, waited a bit, put it into reverse and backed down my driveway to see if it made any difference if the car was moving. The engine was revving a bit.while I was in reverse. I couldn't change from 1st to 2nd gear even when the car was moving. It's now back in my driveway.

    It has always been a little hard to get the car into 1st gear, but I've had no other trouble shifting. Yesterday when I drove it there were no problems at all.

    I welcome any thoughts, opinions and suggestions. Thanks!
  • There is a GM Service Bulletin on some of the Vues with Transmission problems. It extends the warranty on the trans. for 5 years or 75,000 miles from the original in service date and ownership changes do not matter. I think the bulletin # is 04020B, not positive on that #. Please check with your GM dealer, who is now the Saturn Warranty provider, not all are. They will check your vehicles VIN# to see if it qualifies. Do not miss this opportunity, the transmissions cost about $3300 to $3500 for just the part.
  • earl16earl16 Posts: 14
    Thanks ecko: I will check out the bulletin though I think I am at the limit of that 75K. Have not had any trouble after first dump of trans fluid and then had BG do their fluid change. Anyway no more issues at moment anyway. At least the BG oil suppossedly will cover $1000 of trans repair. Earl in Hartland
  • docsautodocsauto Posts: 1
    Well I will let you all know how mine turns out bought a 04 Vue at dealer auction let son's girlfriend dirve it as they have one with the VTI tranny in it and he is upset with the tranny problems in it so we were going to trade them out of it. Well while she was driving it went into neutral at a stop sign put it in neutral then back in drive its all good only happens when cold never when warm. So will let ya know tomorrow.
  • jcpzjcpz Posts: 1
    About 2 months ago I lost my cluch. A good mechanic told me that I needed a cluch slave cylinder. The exitement about this I am having a hard time finding one.I have also replaced the master cylinder . OK . the dumb question I have is , the Saturn 4 cyl is the same 4 cyl in a Chev Cavelier 2.2 ltr. Ecotec.They both have 5 speed manual shiffs . Why wouldn't the slave cylinders be interchangeable ?
  • I have a 2003 Saturn Vue with 77,000 miles. Been having a whining sound getting louder and have isolated the sound to the driver side by the trans. Checked the fluid level and it is at 1/2 full.

    My question is will draining and re-filling the fluid help this?

    Is the trans failing?

    I have had my share of normal items on this car. (wheel bearings, alternator, intermediate shaft, etc)

    Any thoughts would be helpful.

  • blrob1blrob1 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 04 Saturn vue when I did the test drive I noticed the tranny hesitating at times but then worked fine most of the time, I mentioned this to the dealer who told me they had it tested and it was fine. 2 months later as I was on the road the tranny just stopped pulling. apparently the extended coverage from the dealer expired in may.. can anyone advise...
  • earl16earl16 Posts: 14
    A replacement of BG oil fixed my 06 trans shuddering and surging , but then again I never had it totally quite working. Earl in Hartland
  • syrmikesyrmike Posts: 1
    I put 2 tranny's in my 96 wagon recently, and neither would allow me to go over 25 mph and they would shift hard. other than getting 2 bad tranny's, what are the possibilities?
  • tonighttonight Posts: 1
    How did “The New” GM deal with the faulty transmission that they built for me and my wife’s 2003 Saturn Vue? They passed their problem onto “valued” customers.
    First, know that there was a class action lawsuit against GM regarding these transmissions. GM came to terms with the law firm who was prosecuting the case, LakinChapman, and then declared bankruptcy right before it would have all been official thereby attempting to circumvent their responsibility in the matter.
    Our transmission trouble started in February 2009; the car had 92,000 miles on it. This was during the class action lawsuit. GM paid for the entire repair of the transmission. It seemed they were taking responsibility for their poorly engineered vehicle. The warranty on the repaired transmission was 12 months/12,000 miles.
    Fast forward to June 2010, the car was past the 12 months and past the 12,000 mile mark with 111,000 miles. I brought the car to Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet as they are authorized by GM to service Saturns (btw, I have no complaints about how Jimmie Johnson handled the situation from their end). I was told the next day that the part that failed was the same part of the transmission that failed and was “repaired” a little over a year ago.
    Thus began a two week odyssey in which I was attempting to hold GM responsible the their admittedly faulty transmission. Meanwhile the Saturn Vue sat at the Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet, and GM passed the phone around until one week later it got to the “district specialist” who confirmed what the other GM people were saying: they would probably not do anything about this because the car had over 100,000 miles on it. Of course, when the car was supposedly repaired the first time it had 8,000 fewer miles than that, but that made no difference to GM. It then took the “specialist” one week to “explore her avenues” to “help me out.”
    Now we have had only one car for two weeks. The “specialist” calls and reports that she thinks I’m going to be happy with GM’s offer. If you’ve read this far then you know that I was not happy with the offer which was to pay for half of the repairs (estimated at $2,500) of the transmission.
    Why would I pay GM this amount of money (or any amount) to “fix” a transmission that has already proven to be unfixable? Proven unfixable through the physical evidence of my twice broken car and admitted to by GM in the class action suit.
    This car was paid for in full to GM. We were the original owners, and all my wife and I ever bought were GM vehicles. GM has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that they do not care about their customers. That they would rather squeeze their customers for more money to cover expenses for which they are responsible.
    As I wrote in the beginning, GM will never get another cent from me. We bought a Honda Civic instead. Research tells me they are very well made.
  • 2003 Vue FWD 4-cyl.

    Saturn completely replaced the transmission at 27,000 miles. Now it's at 98k and the transmission is going out again, thusly:

    At highway speeds, it started making a low, whiny noise.When I slowed down it would stop. Then the check engine light came on and now it's shifting poorly at all speeds. Took it to Autozone, they pulled up the code p0962 - Pressure Control Solenoid "A" Control Circuit Low. I have an appointment tomorrow morning at the GM dealership that took over for my wonderful Saturn service department.

    Any idea how much this is going to cost me? If it's another new transmission then I'm done with this car.
  • saugen48saugen48 Posts: 1
    edited September 2010
    If anyone still has questions regarding 2002-2005 Saturn Vue equipped with VTi (RPO M75/M16) transmissions, GM (US and Canada) has published a #09280A New Special Reimbursement policy for Saturns Vues/Ions so equipped. Basically, GM will offer 50% of the price of a new/rebuilt transmission based on GM parts and labour. Within 8 years and 160,000kms regardless of ownership. I am a second owner. HURRY as documents with attached form (obtainable at GM dealership) must be received by GM no later than 30 Nov 2010....30 Nov 11 for California residents.
    Recently aquired my 2004 Vue w/VTi...and while I was in dealership last week for repairs, the service advisor asked if I would like out a printout of remaining warranties (if any) there were two one expiring at 160,000kms and one at 180,000. My car had 157000. Anyway, after i got copies of the Special Reimbursement Policies, I cornered the service manager and asked him to Contact and deal with GM rather than me being on the phone...They deal with them all the time, I dont and it would also give more weight to the claim...I had just had my transmission rebuilt to the tune of $4200 two months ago so paperwork was still in glove box...while other work was being done to the car,(fuel pump)(dont go there),,lol.he sent in required paperwork...picked up my car today and he said the cheque for the Tranny reimbursement went out in the mail (to my home address) yesterday..$, I am a happier camper
  • Ill reply to this old question just to get it on the record.
    Lost clutch slave cylinder in my 2003 Vue also. Had it taken to Saturn of worchester in massachusetts. the slave cylinder is not bolted to the external of the transmission but is inside. so the transmission had to be pulled to replace it. cost was 1300 dollars. parts and labor
  • Hello,

    We are now paying over $2,000 to fix a dead transmission in our 2003 Saturn Vue. It has 68,000 miles and it is the GM dealer that is repairing it at the settled 50% off rate. We just bought this car used, about 4 months ago.

    My question is: How reliable is a replaced transmission, in this case, with the history of problems that exists for this car?

    Thanks very much.

  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    If you have a 6 cylinder with the automatic - the replaced trans should outlive the car

    If you have a 4 cylinder with the "automatic" VTi transmission, sell it as soon as its fixed as the new one might not even last as long as the old one. The VTi transmission is a disaster. It has a long history of catastrophic issues.

    If its a 4 cyl manual - I'm surprised you had to replace it, but if you did it should last much longer than 68000 miles
  • Thanks very much! We are probably going to do that.
  • ctenorctenor Posts: 7
    At 42,000 my 06 vue FWD 6 cyl 5 speed auto trans started this, at speeds between 30 - 40 MPH the rpm`s would jump around like the transmission could not decide which gear it wanted to be in. The dealer where I bought the vue '' NEW '' told me that they had been recommending a partial trans fluid flush. My local trans shop, in business for 25 years and has an impecable reputation told me that this was crazy. He did drive the vue and checked it over. He tlod me Honda had been upgrading the software for some transmissions,he also told me to do some researching on my own and to call the G M hotline which I did. I was told THAT I HAD TO DO what my local g m dealer told me to do and that there would at this point in time be no reinbursement. So I had my dealer do a partial trans, flush. I was then told to drive the vue for 500 -1000 miles and see what happens. when i asked what if this flush dose not help, he replied , then come back and we will do it again, at my cost again of $106 The vue now has 46200 miles and the problem which realy did not get any better is now worse. In talking with several Honda dealers, I was told that there is no software upgrade for my transmission, any direction or comments would be appreciated
  • msjudymsjudy Posts: 2
    I had the same problem with my '06 Saturn Vue although mine is automatic. The dealership had it for a total of 10 weeks. They tried everything, They replaced the shift solenoid and a couple other parts. Finally they sent it to their main dealership and they had it for a couple of weeks and they replaced the torque convertor and that seemed to have fixed the problem so far. Since I purchased the vehicle from them and the next day, I noticed the problem, I was not charged. That was simply because I was way overcharged for the Saturn in the first place. They still made money off me.
  • earl16earl16 Posts: 14
    I had similiar problem with 06 vue and i had posted earlier that a trans fluid change would help. It did so for abut 10k then started to surge again but just barely. I then had fluid changed with BG oil (they claim it is a full change) and I have had no indication of a problem since. BG is expensive but also will give a partial warranty to trans and is available at various dealers. Hope this helps. Earl in Hartland
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Ctenor,
    Have you had the fluid changed yet? What was the outcome if you had? I would like to check your case that you had set up. Can you please e-mail me the case number? You can get my e-mail by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Thank you for the information. It is very helpful. I have a 2004 Saturn Vue with transmission that's in the shop right now. The problem (as told to me) is that it needs a reverse silenoid and it difficult to locate one.I wiil contact the nearest GM dealership later today.
  • I have been so frusturated by the treament I have gotten from the Saturn folks regarding my Saturn Vue and the transmission. I am over the alloted milage and time frame. I have been told it is worth only $400.00. Three weeks before the transmission went out I put brand new tires, brakes, wheel bearings, and someother minor things. And now it is just sitting there because I can not afford to buy a transmission that is only guranteed for a year. Does anyone think I could sell this car for more than $400.00?
  • Here was our situation, maybe it will give you a better idea of what to do/expect.

    We just traded-in our 2003 Vue back to a dealer. He gave us something like $5,500 for it. This was done after spending around $2,200 (at a GM dealer, otherwise it would have cost double that price) on fixing the dead transmission on our car. We bought the car around 4 months ago. It had 70,000 miles on it.

    We also got the 1 year guarantee on the repaired transmission and by that time knew we have to to get rid of this car.

    So the bottom line of my story for you is:
    Maybe repairing your transmission for around $2,200 is worth it if you manage to sell it back to a dealer (trade in for another car) for around $5,500?

    I hope it is but maybe you can consult with the dealer that you may buy a replacement car from?

    I hope this helps. Please reply if you need more details about our situation.
  • dgomezdgomez Posts: 12
    Hi 442dude,

    Although I don't doubt your statement:

    If you have a 4 cylinder with the "automatic" VTi transmission, sell it as soon as its fixed as the new one might not even last as long as the old one. The VTi transmission is a disaster. It has a long history of catastrophic issues.

    Just wondering how you arrived at the conclusion that a repaired transmission may not last very long. Is it just by reading posts or do you have more researched info? I want to believe mine will last longer!

    I just had my 2005 Vue :lemon: fixed with a second transmission (the first replacement didnt run well after a month) and paid 50% with the GMC letter. My problem is that my car is paid for, so now I may be out about 3k including some rental fees, so I'm hoping to at least drive it for another year. It's sad - I thought I would have this car for at least 10 years. I also think it is wrong to sell the car to someone else that will have the same issues. Sigh.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373

    The problem is that the engineering of the VTi transmission is flawed. It can not handle the weight of the Vue, hence the horrible reliability. The VTi transmission Ions didn't have 1/2 the problems with the same trans because their weight was better suited to the design. No transmission should last forever but the VTi transmission in the Ion lasted much more like you would expect any trans to last in any car.

    This is not a new technology - it has been used in industrial gearboxes since the 1930s. It was a way to change the speed of an output shaft in the days before there were electronic controls that could reliably change the speed of AC powered motors. Industry has all but abandoned the technology. I used to work on variable gearboxes which are the industrial version of the VTi transmission. They work great with constant loads but vary the loads and the belt takes a beating and shortens the life of the unit, destroying other components in the process.

    They also don't manufacture the transmission any more...its not like they have worked to improve the design. Its an unfortunate and horrible thing that GM did to people who thought they were buying a quality vehicle. If it was a solid design, they wouldn't have discontinued it in 2004.

    There are many VTi equipped vehicles that have lasted well over 100K miles. There are also just as many that never made 30K miles. The averages fall somewhere inbetween and to me that's not a great average for any transmission.

    If yours is all paid for, by all means drive it until it will drive no more. There is no guarantee that yours will be the worst or the best - I hope yours winds up to be the best and gives thousands and thousands of trouble free miles!
  • dgomezdgomez Posts: 12

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I now understand a little more about what's going on and what might happen. I also think I'll take your advice, keep my fingers crossed and keep driving her!

  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Wishing you all the best !!! :shades:
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