Saturn Vue Transmission Problems



  • msjudymsjudy Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 4,252
    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
  • jones2003jones2003 Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • wcstallionwcstallion Member Posts: 1
    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?
  • liat_pestoliat_pesto Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 373
    Wishing you all the best !!! :shades:
  • ctenorctenor Member Posts: 7
    After my 2nd trip to a G M dealer in Appleton WI. and several calls to G M "hotline". It has benn determined that I have a shuddering toqure convertor that need to be replaced at a cost of $ 2,451.00 pluss tax. I REMIND all vue owners and any having trans. problems that mine started at 40,000 mi. my first trip to the G M dealer cost me $106.00 to have reccomended partial trans flush, which in my opinion did nothing. As of 11-4 10 a G M rep. called me to offer $ 500.00 off the price of repairs, I declined. I expected G M to do MUCH better. As a loyal G M buyer for the past 40 years . I COULD GO ON AND ON, BUT I WILL END WITH THIS. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER G M PRODUCT AND WILL STRONGLY DISCOURAGE ANY ONE ELSE FROM DOING SO. Rays transmissions of Neenah would do the same repairs for$1,600.00
  • kthayerkthayer Member Posts: 1
    Hey ya'll I just got home from hunting and was informed the vue wasn't running right . took for drive and found myself stuck in a neighbors driveway not being able to backup. Firewall sticker says its a 4 cylinder and i cant find the black loop dipstick, however i did find a hidden reservior any replys would be greatly appreciated cause this is the first major and the car is at 87k
  • ctenorctenor Member Posts: 7
    just woundering if G M has contacted you since their offer . i have an 06 vue, trans problems started at 40,000 now at 46,000 they have offered to pay $5oo on a$2,600 toqure convertor replacement i expected them to do much better, so much for customer loyalty
  • earl16earl16 Member Posts: 14
    A change of fluid (used BG oil from dealer) solved the suppossed torque converter problem in my 06 Vue. A whole lot cheaper than converter. I don't think they really know what they are doing. local trans guy said change the oil and the shuddering would go away and it did. Earl in Hartland. -- Oh- What loyalty. That was old GM, We have new
    GM now
  • ctenorctenor Member Posts: 7
    As I have received no further contact from G M, I am still looking ans listening to other vue owners with the toqureconvertor shudder. I just talked to Ray, at Rays transmissions of Neenah. He told me doing a complete flush with BG fluid would not help, and that not replaceing the toqureconvertor would sooner or latter do further dammage to the transmission. any and all comments appreciated.
  • huckebyhuckeby Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2010
    i have a 2003 vue front wheel drive and trans wont shift out of first i bought car used had trans scaned and found code p1882 had speed sensor fixed at a heafty price of 400.00 bucks an trans still does not shift as of now no trans shop will not touch a saturn with a vti trans they will almost gag when you tell them what you have i will never buy another gm product again a used trans sells for 2.000 to 3.000 dollars gm should have to pay up but they are gov owned now so everybody we can complain all we want but that all we can do anyone want to buy a saturn vue cheep . you can cut body off frame and put on jeep frame at least you could drive it i think will just bury it put up a cross that says now here is a vue pronounced view
  • huckebyhuckeby Member Posts: 2
    earl16 do like im going to do (get rid of it) no mater how much money you spend on trans it will tear up again they are no good gm knew that dont spend your hard earned money on it it will come back to haunt you it did me but good luck anyhow
  • ctenorctenor Member Posts: 7
    On Dec 6th I had rays transmissions of neenah wisconsin replace my toqure convertor. $1,680.00 . G M wanted aprox $2,600.00 to do the job. G M offered me $500.00 towards the bill . I told them that they we doing me no favor at all, as it would cost me less to have Ray do the job.I also told G M that unless they would better their offer I would never buy another G M . So far it looks like they dont care. So far i have about 600 miles on the vue since ray replaced the toqure convertor and the past problems are gone. I HOPE THE BEST FOR YOU GUYS, KEEP BANGING ON G M AS I ALSO WILL DO.
  • dipnetdipnet Member Posts: 3
    I posted a msg months ago regarding the same problem others have posted regarding the 2006 Vue tranny shuddering at about 1300-1500 RPM, with little load on the tranny. Giving the engine more gas or dropping into "I" gear, the problem goes away, only to return when near the same RPM, regardless of the gear, even in "L". I had the tranny completely flushed and refilled and the problem went away - at least for now. Driving has been typical around town and short trips, but also 2-3 400-mile round trips jaunts. I will have the process repeated after about 10K or so miles. Keeping my fingers crossed. Poor product! And they advertised as quality made by American workers! And GM wants to regain our confidence? HA!
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    If its a V6, it has a Honda engine and transmission. That being said, there have been torque converter issues with the Honda transmissions which cause a shudder at low speeds.

    There are 2 things which have cured the problem:

    1. Drain and replace the transmission fluid (you've done that)

    2. Replace the torque converter.

    The Honda transmissions have had this problem in many of their own models as well as the're not alone. Good Luck...
  • dandybaron1dandybaron1 Member Posts: 1
    Hello there!
    I also have similar problems with my Saturn 2003 Vue won´t shift into drive after temperature gets to normal, it does ok when cold and no problem shifting into reverse.
    I was wondering if you´ve got any new answers to the problem and if you could advise.

    Thaks so much in advance, Jorge. :sick:
  • alr22alr22 Member Posts: 1
    Hey everyone, my transmission as gone out for the 3rd time in less than 3 years. It's a 2004 Saturn Vue. The first time my private warrant covered it, the second time the Saturn dealership fixed it no charge since it was their part that broke again, but now since I had to take it to the GM dealership, they are offering to pay half of what it costs to repair it.

    Does anyone know anything about California Lemon Laws? I have no reason to think that even if they fix this again, it's going to go out again in a year. And that class action lawsuit will do me no good if it goes out again. I don't know how to get out from under this curse of a car!!!

    Any suggestions?
  • 1kevinmac1kevinmac Member Posts: 1
    Did you get your trans. fixed? I am having same problem. Once car warms up it will not go forward when you put it in drive. Reverse does work. The guy at the shop replaced torque converter and some cooling lines. Thats what came up on the code. Its an 03 Vue with the cvt trans. Any help would be great. Mechanic can't figure it out.
  • earl16earl16 Member Posts: 14
    Hello; I just had a letter from Saturn offering to replace my 06 Saturn Vue torque converter if it was having problems or to pay for repairs I had already done. My Vue used to shudder and dealer had said it needed a new torque converter but two changes of trans fluid seems to have solved the problem, at least for now. I would call Saturn. Earl in Hartland
  • dgomezdgomez Member Posts: 12
    Hi there!

    I'm on my 4th Transmission replacement! Whoo Hoo! I purchased my 2005 Saturn Vue brand new and paid it off, so I have such a big investment in my car, but feel I am now in the driver's seat so to speak. I took my car in with my GM letter and at first the dealership tried to fix the problem instead of just replacing the transmission. That took a month or so. After that, the transmission went out soon after and it was replaced again! But wait! I've kind of lost count but to make a long story short I am on my 4th transmission. The beauty is that the transmission itself is under warranty so the dealership is obligated to keep fixing or replacing my transmission for 3 years. granted, it is a pain in the [non-permissible content removed], but at least I will keep taking it back and getting a nice rental and they will not get rid of me. Find out if you have a warranty as you should that covers the trans.

    I also called GM and basically told them that they owe me a new car! lol. I paid for my car and really thought it would last at least 10 years. They are very nice and GM but ofcourse they feel I cashed in my compensation with them paying for half of my transmission and they cannot do anything more. I told them that they would be paying for alot more than the car is worth at this point with the labor and parts that will keep generating expenses paid under the warranty and that I was in no financial condition to take on a new car loan (I doubt I could get one!).

    The main downside is that it is dangerous to have your transmission just go out whenever and I have kids, but I definitely will not sell to anyone, that would be kind of unethical for me personally.
  • trobin1trobin1 Member Posts: 1
    Who do you contact? Numbers etc?? I have a 2003 and in 2009 they replaced the transmission now I took it in again and I need this one replaced and it will cost me 4,000-5,000. ANd I can't afford that I might as well get a new car. Please help..
  • earl16earl16 Member Posts: 14
    Hi; My letter date Feb 2011 from Saturn (Jim Maloney - General Director) gave the customer assistance center at 1 800 972 8876. They are taliing about replacing the torque converter or paying for past fixes with proper documentation. Also says to contact dealer to have them reprogram the powertrain control module at no charge. Hope this helps, Earl in Hartland
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.
    GM Customer Service
  • jack777jack777 Member Posts: 1
    Have a 2004 Saturn Vue, 114,000 miles, did good till Jan 1 of this year. $5,509 to have transmission rebuilt. Took forever. Got it back, one week later back in shop. Month there still rebuilding. Just got back last week, Today, in the parking lot of where I work, Reverse fine, went to put it drive; kerplunk, transmission out again for the third time in 3 months. Ready to get my money back and sell, sell, sell.
  • ej777ej777 Member Posts: 1
    Earl did your car have an extended warranty? Do you have the 3.5 liter Honda engine?
    My trans just started leaking a week ago a small amount now today its really bad.
  • earl16earl16 Member Posts: 14
    Hi; I do have the Honda setup. I do not have extended warranty. I never had a leak problem. It looks like Saturn will pay for some issues. I would call them on that. Good luck.
    Earl in Hartland
  • kcrossleykcrossley Member Posts: 182
    I'm looking at purchasing a 2005 Saturn Vue with a 3.5 V6. The SUV looks great and appears to have been well cared for. However, according to the Carfax report, there are three service incidents involving AAMCO. The first occurred at 89,871 miles, the second at 100,443, and the third at 109,040. The car presently has 122,360 miles on it.

    Are transmission problems common for this year, make, and model? I'm pretty sure this has a Honda engine. Does Honda make the transmission?
  • dgomezdgomez Member Posts: 12
    hi i would advise against buying this car.
  • earl16earl16 Member Posts: 14
    If it is the Honda trans there is definitely issues. Though if ithas lasted this long maybe it will go the distance. I have been wondering if I sould dump my at 88k. Maybe you could check the service record. Earl in Hartland
  • kcrossleykcrossley Member Posts: 182
    I just found out that the transmission was completely rebuilt at 89,000 miles by AAMCO. The repair bill was over $4,000. AAMCO offers a 3-year warranty, but it's not-transferable.
  • dgomezdgomez Member Posts: 12
    Listen, it sounds like you are in love with this car! lol but there are lots of cars out there for the same amount that will serve you better. I am on my fourth transmission. I've paid over 2k with the Saturn warranty but have been stuck in the middle of the night when it has gone out. Yes, I also have a 3 year warranty but it doesnt feel so great knowing the thing will continue to go out. Right now, I'm at 3 months with the new trans and I feel it slipping again. You really shouldnt buy this car. just advice and probably totally jaded at this point.

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    I see that you are having issues with your transmission. Have you spoken to GM Customer Assistance?

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • dgomezdgomez Member Posts: 12
    yes, I wasted a couple of weeks with a GM specialist who said they were going to look into some solutions. Why do you do this to us? They came back with nothing useful. I feel GM needs to replace my car because I paid my car off and it is back in the shop as of today and will never be 100% fixed. Luckily I have a 3 year warranty so will keep bringing it back for three years. I'm on my fourth transmission. GM said they couldnt do anymore for me since I took advantage of the 50% reimbursement on the transmission. So yes I have spoken to GM assistance.
  • 05vuemn05vuemn Member Posts: 1
    Wish I would have read online earlier. Just took an '05 on trade and although it seems to drive/function nice, tranny seems 'hesitant' compared to most my past vehicles. No failure or anything, but thought I'd check it out & found all of you. It's got a replacement engine in it - Honda V6, but how do I tell if it's got this vti or what trans? Any proactive or maint suggestions? Probably just have to drive it now & hope for best - has 160k miles on it
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    Since you have spoken with GM Customer Service, was there a case set up? If so, could you please send me the case number? I would like to look into it further.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • ctenorctenor Member Posts: 7
    hello everyone ,Just want to say that G M has come through and paid me for the cost of replacing the toqure convertor on my 06 vue which has the 6 cyclinder engine. So as G M has made attonement my faith in G M IS RETORED. if your problems are not being handeled by various dealers, contact gmcustsvc dont give up, thanks ,chuck
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    I am happy to hear everything worked out for you! If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • dgomezdgomez Member Posts: 12
    It sounds like you are ok at 160k miles and you shouldnt worry. I actually do not know how to find out about the Honda transmission. I am also curious.
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    edited April 2011
    The vti transmission was only available for MY 2002-2004 (and early 2005). It was also only available on 4cylinder Vues.

    The trans in a Honda engine equipped Vue is a Honda transmission. It is the same transmission that is found in any Honda product which uses the 3.5 V6. A common problem with these transmissions is with the torque converter. They are also very picky about the condition of the fluid.

    Step 1 with the Honda trans is to change the fluid - Empty and refill it 3 times with new fluid over the course of a couple of weeks to get most of it changed with new fluid. DON'T GET IT FLUSHED!!!!!
    Also, be sure to use the specific Honda fluid...its called "Z1" No other fluids are compatible ASFAIK.

    Step 2 - there was a recent recall on them where they had to reprogram the PCM. You may want to check to make sure it was done, a GM dealer should be able to look that up for you

    Good Luck
  • kcrossleykcrossley Member Posts: 182
    Was able to talk the dealer down to $5K. How long can I expect a Vue 3.5L V6 Honda engine to last? What do you think?
  • zoom27zoom27 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased my Saturn Vue in the winter of 2009. Like the car design and MPG on highway is approx. 27 miles. Can't beat that. This March with no warning whatsoever, I was driving in downtown intersection when the transmission just totally blew out while I was driving under the major traffic light. I thank God that I didn't get hit broadside. I was able to find a re-built transmission with a 100,000 K or three year warranty on it. In total, it cost me about $3200.00's to replace, money I don't have to just spend on a transmission replacement.
    ($800.00 core charge) I am just now processing paperwork and requesting that Saturn initiate a reimbursement to me. My transmission blew out at 75,062 miles. I feel very adamant that they should replace the entire cost. If a transmission is going to just blow out without warning, putting citizens lives at stake, they should be more than willing to cover the total cost of the transmission parts, labor and reprogramming! I am now faced with the Big Decision as to whether I should trade the Vue in and get rid of it, which is what I should do! I have no interest in trusting this vehicle again. It's just so ultimately frustrating! Zoom
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    Do you currently have a case set up with GM Customer Assistance? If so, could you please email me the case number? I would like to look into your situation further.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • angryvueownerangryvueowner Member Posts: 1
    My story of problems is much like others. While taking off from a stop light, the transmission went out. I just had enough speed to make it to the center median. The car has not moved on its own since that day, January 2008!!!! It has been sitting in my parents driveway. 104,000 miles!!!
    I was waiting on the settlement that was supposed to take place two years ago but got canceled. any idea if GM is fixing their bad transmissions? It went out while I still had payments on it and I had to roll the remaining balance on the note into a new car.
    My daughter is getting ready to go off to college and needs a car, and I don't know whether to fix the VUE or not or to junk it. I think SATURN/GM should do something about this.

  • vueowner90vueowner90 Member Posts: 1
    Me and my mom saved up money to buy a car and we went and bought this car in a mechanics shop for 3500 and 118,000 miles. We thought it was a good buy the car looks brand new and when I drove it for a test drive nothing seemed wrong. Now the problems started showing up. I was driving it last week and all of a sudden it didn't want to move anymore it started making this noise when I would step on the the accelerator. I called GM and they told me to take it to a GM dealership and get it diagnosed. I took it and they told me that something that has to do with the transmission stopped working and its going to cost 4500 to fix it plus tax. I called GM customer service again and the representative told me that a specialist is going to call me in two days. The specialist called and told me that theres nothing they can do since I"m passed the 100,000 miles and he advised not to fix it either. The sad part I only got to drive it for two weeks I don't even have a month with it! So now I'm stuck with this car can't fix it or sell it. I'm so mad closed to tears because this is my first car and all the hard earned money went to waste. I cant pay to get it fixed because I'm in college and I have to pay my classes too. I'm don't know what to do all I know is I want to get rid of this car.
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    edited May 2011
    Don't get it fixed - the VTi transmission in the 2002-2004 4 cylinder Vues has been a giant sized wart on Saturn/GM.

    There is a wealth of information on the internet about the failures of this transmission. Search "saturn VTi transmission". Its always a good idea to check around on the internet before buying any car. I wish I had good news....Unfortunately, the place that sold it to you either didn't know or stuck you with it hoping that you wouldn't find out before you bought it....

    Do you have a regular mechanic that you deal with? He won't be able to fix it but talk to him about it. If you can find a 2005-2007 Vue in a junkyard maybe he can do a transplant of sorts as they were different transmissions which were much more reliable and will bolt right up to your engine without modifications.. Or maybe convert it to a manual transmission which was available in 2004. Might be 1/4 the price of replacing the one that is in there now. There might be nothing that he can do but you won't find out till you ask. You might even have to talk to a couple of mechanics.

    Here's a discussion about just such a project: link title

    Search around that site - there's a wealth of Vue info there.

    I've also read that for a while GM dealers were offering decent trade in value for Vues like yours with the problem transmission. I suppose it was a peace offering of sorts. Might want to check around at local dealers if that's something that would be doable for you.

    Best of Luck...
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