Saturn Vue Transmission Problems

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  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Sounds like you may benefit from removing your current anti-virus program and trying a different one. I've had good luck with free editions of AVG and Avast, and am now using Microsoft Security essentials. Downloads.com has a long list of them.

    Bad enough having to rent a vehicle without having to rent a computer too. :sick:
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Go to saturn.com...there you will find a link to "Authorized saturn Service Providers" Follow the link and its as easy as entering your zip code...It will likely be a local Chevrolet dealership.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    mbeach01,

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing. Could you please email us your VIN? We would like to look further into your situation. Also, could you include your zip code so I may search for the nearest dealership?

    You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • tweety37050tweety37050 Member Posts: 5
    I just recently bought a 2004 Saturn vue. I've noticed that when I accelerate slow, around 25 miles an hour there is a jerky feeling but if I accelerate quick it doesn't do that. Could it be the transmission? I've been told it could be the rear motor mount but its been checked and there is nothing wrong with the mounts. I don't want to put alot of money in it for trail and error. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    Please define shutter, is it like surging or sort of jerky shifting (ie: much like someone learning to drive a manual)?
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    TY, I'll try this as I do have an antiquated OS, & on a dialup. A shame I can no longer just simply pick up a copy of XP discs off the shelf at a reasonable cost. Newer programs likely will not run on my OS.

    Older & less intrusive software I find works better on this machine.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    Tweety, what size engine?

    I grit my teeth accelerating after making a turn to find what state the TC may be in, if it's going to surge, or jerk the vehicle. Saturn considered this normal.
  • mbeach01mbeach01 Member Posts: 2
    No. More like lugging. Like it upshifted too soon and the engine was not running fast enough for the gear selected.
  • tweety37050tweety37050 Member Posts: 5
    It's like somebody trying to learn to drive a manual.
  • tweety37050tweety37050 Member Posts: 5
    It has a 3.5L, V6
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    edited September 2011
    That 3.5 is the Honda Powertrain, even if it's not Transmission related DO make sure your fluid is changed with Honda Z1 approved fluid. (read prior posts on this in this thread). This transmission is very fickle to the condition of the fluid! A DIY displacement of 4.5 Qts of fluid should run about $20.

    Mine has rough/unpredictable low end shifting ..also has jerky initial grab when first accelerating at times (ie: I want to be very careful if I need to inch up in traffic or a parking space as I don't want to hit anyone/anything), this usually points to the torque converter going, though the Saturn claimed this is normal.

    As this emulates someone learning on a manual, I have learned to drive with a very light foot in the lower gears, this vehicle is suppose to learn your driving habits & adapt to you, though I've had to adapt to it.

    I hear you on this trial & error thing, if I could find an honest Transmission shop I'd take it in though the repairs on this would likely exceed the market value of the vehicle.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    Mine has that on occasion especially on an upgrade, though not often enough to concern me with the other things going on. It seems to hold a lower gear at times on a downgrade even when accelerating.

    I'm also getting surging at times, this is becoming very random now.
  • tweety37050tweety37050 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you so much for this information. I will let my friend know what you have told me. Hope you have a wonderful day.
    Mary
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    YW & good luck, I don't think Saturn included the '04 on the reprogramming recall mention earlier in the thread... I found that strange as some of the '04's still exhibit the same issues as the latter Honda Powered Vues.

    If you find the Fluid change helps, do let us know. It should be yearly maintenance.
  • tweety37050tweety37050 Member Posts: 5
    Had my fluid changed and I'm sad to say I still have the same shudder problem. The fluid still needed to be changed but I am back to square one. Any other suggestions?
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    edited October 2011
    I had noted oscillations or blips in the RPMS around 25-40 mph that totally disappeared with the first fluid change , though none of the other problems, judder & may had toned down a bit but did not go away.

    I have since changed my fluid 4 times, & keep saving a sample in a clear 35mm canister after each change to note fluid conditions. Other than after the first change for me there was no significant improvement in shift performance. Dealerships have aknowledged the rough shifting problem, though always seem to dodge around my complaints & say it's 'normal'... never had a vehicle like this. Other mechanics have said it's the TC going out.... if the vehicles not throwing codes for the dealer, they assume there isn't a problem, only one tech said there was & he no longer works for the dealership.

    What condition was the fluid, & the condition now? Ideally it should be bright red, though since you can not totally purge the fluid it is likely a darker red (& hopefully translucent)... but should not be purple or brown.... if so may need another change.

    I posted a link a few pages back for the Saturnalia forum boards, usually there are some ideas there, as many '04 owners also complain of this judder, I'm not sure why GM did not include them on this recall.

    I don't have a HS connection here, but here is a main link to look at the Vue Forums... they might be a bit more precise to a specific problem, helpful group over there!

    Saturnalia

    Probably try the 'Vue Tech' section.
  • codytazcodytaz Member Posts: 4
    edited October 2011
    I have a 2005 Saturn Vue with many issues, I bought this car almost 2 years ago with 58,000 miles on it, last January I noticed some noises around the passenger side wheels, we had it checked out and now hopefully its fixed, but about 4 months ago I was having hesitation while driving and my father toke it to a transmission place and they said it was fine, well it kept getting worse and I would have trouble taking off, stopping and more hesitation until finally this last weekend, I can reverse but can't drive. Its going to cost around $5,000 dollars to replace it, this is not right, there is only 86,000 miles on it. Can someone please help me with some answers? Is it even worth it?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    codytaz,
    I apologize for your frustrations. Can you please email me with your complete contact information, VIN, and involved dealer? I look forward to your email.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • susie20susie20 Member Posts: 3
    My transmission was replaced back in 2007 ...covered by the recall. now my car is shuddering when i go very slow or when i am stopped on an incline and then accelerate. i have to drive 90 miles to the nearest dealer and now my car has been there 3 days...they say they cant reproduce the issue.....has anyone had this and if so - how did they fix it...the mechanics at the GM dearlership just want me to come get it and drive it "until something major breaks" so that then they will know what to fix!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    susie20,
    I apologize for your frustrations. I would ask them about installing a recorder in your vehicle. Did you try going for a ride with the technician to point out what it is you are talking about? Can you please send me your complete contact information, VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer? I look forward to your response.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • renee48renee48 Member Posts: 1
    I'm so surprised that they did not offer you anything. They have offerred anywhere from 50% of cost of repairs or $5000 toward purchase of new vehicle to complete repair. What were their reasons for denying your claim? What no. did you call- call 1.866.553-6000.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    edited October 2011
    My transmission was replaced back in 2007 ...covered by the recall. now my car is shuddering when i go very slow or when i am stopped on an incline and then accelerate. i have to drive 90 miles to the nearest dealer and now my car has been there 3 days...they say they cant reproduce the issue.....has anyone had this and if so - how did they fix it...the mechanics at the GM dealership just want me to come get it and drive it "until something major breaks" so that then they will know what to fix!

    I feel for you, my dealer had the car for nearly 2 weeks & could not replicate the problem in the 50 miles they drove it, they consider the jerky shifting normal... until the vehicle 'throws a code' they claim they can't do anything, yet the judder has been documented by a tech no longer with the dealership.... should have made them keep the car right then & there & fix it my bad.

    Doughnuts to dollars too whatever breaks will no longer be a warrantied part. :mad:
  • pavueownerpavueowner Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    I have a 2003 Vue with just under 58,000 miles (I am the original owner). The transmission was already replaced once during the recall, and it just failed AGAIN. I have not been quoted a price for repair, but reading all that I have here, it doesn't sound like it will be good news. I understand that some dealers have offered anywhere from a 50/50 split to being totally covered? In addition, the repair could be covered by up to a 36,000 mile/3 year warranty. Is this true? Is it possible to just replace the side belt and reset the computer on this transmission? I refuse to accept even a 50/50 split on a fix, regardless of the fact that this car is 8 years old. THREE transmissions in under 58,000 miles? UNACCEPTABLE. I understand there is also a class action lawsuit that has been filed. Where can I get more information on discussing my options with my dealer?
  • susie20susie20 Member Posts: 3
    The gm dealership is telling me now that they have been told by GM that they can't work on Saturn transmissions anymore, only choice for me is to put in a new transmission or just drive it til it dies. Unbelievable!
  • nafofgmnafofgm Member Posts: 1
    The problem is that they aren't really giving you a "new" transmission, even if that's what they tell you. They don't manufacture this kind anymore. They are really just re-making one and passing it off as "new". I have found them being sold online between $250-$950. Then they are turning around and charging $5k+ for them?!?! Unbelievable. I'd love to see some GM response to this.
  • susie20susie20 Member Posts: 3
    I have called GM...Guess we will see what happens.....
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    pavueowner,
    I apologize for your frustrations. Have you spoke with GM Customer Assistance? Will you email me your VIN? I look forward to your response.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • codytazcodytaz Member Posts: 4
    Well I finally heard back from the dealership and its going to be $4,200.00 for a new transmission and taking the 50/50 split from Saturn will be $2,100.00. I had to refiniance my car and still don't have enough money! Saturn won't even go any further to help you either! So now they have to put in a rebuild VTI transmission, piece of crap! I'm going to sell this "thing" as soon I get it back! So pissed I can't see straight! They should cover the whole thing instead of a 50/50 split!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    bismarck318,

    Are you currently experiencing any problems with your vehicle? Please keep us posted.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • jackscottjackscott Member Posts: 8
    All,
    My wife had this same issue with her 2006 Saturn Vue. After resaerching on this site and a few others I took it to the dealer as an educated consumer. They reset the computer module and the dragging issue went away. She has never had the battery changed in 5 years so thats due for a change. The battery is swollen on both sides and its now starting to give issues when starting. So we plan to change the battery out thgis weekend and take it in at 90k miles for the recommended service. She has about 1000 miles til then.
  • lsmith12lsmith12 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    My daughter has a 2004 Saturn Vue and the transmission was rebuilt 10 months ago and after getting it back 1 month later the transmission went out again. Now 8 months and 8,000 miles later the transmission is going out again and because it had a change in title names the place that repaired the transmission that had the 12 month warranty won't honor the warranty. Anyways we was unaware of the recall on this transmission. Would you be so kind to supply me with the contact numbers and everything I need to help me get some help from GM on the recall. I would really appreciate any help you can give to me. Thank you.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    lsmith12,
    I apologize for your frustrations. Can you please email me your complete contact information including mailing address, VIN, current mileage, involved dealer, and a brief description of your experience? I look forward to your email.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • deathbyvuedeathbyvue Member Posts: 1
    Well same crap different crapper, I just can't emphasize on how angry this Saturn Vue 2003 2.2L makes me. My vehicle has 98,000 miles and has been sitting in my back yard for 2 years now. At 98,000 miles it has had 3 transmission failures. The 1st came in at 67,000 miles, the 2nd at 83,000miles and now (the one i refuse to death to repair) came at, you guessed right, 98,000 miles. GM should really hear the people out and if not we should all come together and demand that a re-file class action relief to occur at a 100% total cost covered/refund and more, no 50/50 or $5,000 exchange towards a NEW GM vehicle. Think about it........... People at GM sure know how to wash off their hands from dirt = people (at least that's the way I feel they have treated me so far)
  • candy2505candy2505 Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2003 Saturn Vue last year, I'm still making payments on this until January of 2012. At 98,000 miles I have been informed by my mechanic that it will require a full transmission rebuild. The dealership quoted me $5,500. I cannot believe that this issue is being blatantly disregarded. The dealership told me they have no recollection of an issue with this model and year Saturn (these forms seem to challenge that statement) and that my only choice is to pay for the overhaul. My choices are to pay for the repairs and not have money to pay my monthly payment, or keep paying my payments and let the car sit in my driveway. Why is nothing being done about this? I don't understand why no alternative options are being offered.
  • codytazcodytaz Member Posts: 4
    Well here is an update, I was quoted for a "new" transmission, $4400.00 and I toke the 50/50 split that Saturn offered me, so my total was $2200.00 which is still alot. I had read on the forum about the lawsuit with Lakin & Chapman so I checked it out, you have to of brought your Saturn prior to Jan. 9, 2009 which I didn't but she did give me an address for the CEO of GM. I wrote a letter and I got a response today, I only have to pay $1000.00 flat fee and they will cover the rest. Sometime if you hound them to death you will get somewhere, so they toke off another $1200.00. As soon as the car is done, the for sale sign is going in. I hate to give the problem to someone else but I owe too much on it. Let someone else deal with Saturn or GM, cause I'm done with them.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    codytaz,
    I apologize for your frustrations and experience. I am happy to hear GM was able to provide you with assistance for your vehicle. If you have any other questions comments or concerns please feel free to email me directly.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • nothappy29nothappy29 Member Posts: 1
    Have been following the VUE'S transmission issues hoping it would happen, well it has! I stopped in a parking lot to let someone out, when I tried to pull in... NOTHING! my SUV just sat there like I was in neutral.
    I hate what I am seeing, that we have to pay all or part of a repair Saturn knows is a problem!!! Great, buy AMERICAN and get screwed!!!!!
    No one these days can to buy a new car much less have a repair bill of this magnitude! My SUV is not even worth the amount of the repair.
    If anyone has gotten true satisfaction, please post and tell the rest of us how you did it and where you had to go.
  • irisheyes9978irisheyes9978 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    Hi - I am right with you. If you can believe it I have had 4 transmissions replaced not counting the original. Just came back from the dealership with a "new transmission" and it still sounds like crap. See below - any insight you have gained from your situation would be most helpful. GM is willing to do nothing for me - despite me paying the $3500 for the 50/50 split option.

    November 2009 - Initial letter sent to me regarding the initial transmission condition

    March 3, 2011 - Initial complaint; estimate of vehicle repairs provided for the following:
    - VTI trans
    -Add rear main seal; leaking (changed mind and realized it wasn't leaking, rather it was the VTI fluid
    -Clean and lubricate steering column
    -Wiper blades
    -Rear blads
    -A/C cabin filter
    -Engine air filter
    -Induction service
    -Coolant Exchange
    -A/C Compressor

    March 17, 2011 - Transmission replacement; Cleaned and lubricated steering shaft; multi-point inspection; fuel induction service; fogkit engine

    March 30, 2011 - Issues with transmission jerking in reverse; grinding noise on start up when cold following transmission installment; ordered transmission replacement

    April 6, 2011 - Transmission replacement; Alignment performed; indicated noise is related to starter which is not damaged from transmission repair; complimentary oil change/tire rotation

    May 14, 2011- Went to another repair shop to get second opinion on additional issues that were recommended in initial overview of car

    May 18, 2011 - When car is in reverse or drive it hesitates; check engine light is on; Transmission Replacement

    May 30, 2011 - Car towed to GM dealership; bolt loose on transmission

    September 3, 2011 - Car checked out at GM dealership due to grinding noise on cold start and while making left hand turn. Sent home after being told there was no issue.

    October 19, 2011 - Took car in to local repair shop, complained about severe grinding noise coming from transmission in 1st gear. An ASE certified transmission technician revealed the issue.

    October 25, 2011 - Took car to GM dealership with information provided by local repair shop. GM dealership confirmed grinding noise on acceleration. Internal damage to CVT assembly was assumed. Cost to replace was the same as to rebuild. Transmission replaced.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    The problem is that they aren't really giving you a "new" transmission, even if that's what they tell you. They don't manufacture this kind anymore. They are really just re-making one and passing it off as "new". I have found them being sold online between $250-$950. Then they are turning around and charging $5k+ for them?!?! Unbelievable. I'd love to see some GM response to this.
    Unrealistic pricing on this transmission 'replacement', I can see the frustration here.

    To my understanding the late '05's had a conventional 4 speed auto that replaced the VTI & was likely used in the '06 & '07. Am I correct here & why couldn't GM just replace the VTI with this newer unit instead of band aiding the problem with rebuilt VTI's?

    When I was looking at these the dealership was telling me how wonderful these VTI's were, after discovering the issues & confronting the dealer on this they clammed up. I ended up with a V6 though I am having transmission issues with also.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    bismarck318,

    Are you currently experiencing any problems with your vehicle? Please keep us posted.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service


    Caron I had sent you an extensive E-Mail on this in early September that included documented symptoms, if you did not receive this please let me know. (I don't get to this site every day though)

    To answer your question, Yes, I have had both juddering & surging at highway & slower speeds on & off. A couple times now I noted a ratcheting noise under a hard (emergency) acceleration. Upon completing turns I don't know how the vehicle is going to shift, low shift points especially when cooler are jerky & erratic.

    The vehicle has it's good & bad days, though I can't see how the dealer could not see anything abnormal in the 2 weeks they had it....

    Frustration is becoming an understatement.
  • donewithgmdonewithgm Member Posts: 1
    I bought mine brand new in 2003 and it has 114k miles on it. Last Saturday, while driving on the highway at 70mph, the Service Engine and Reduced Power lights came on and I was going 20mph with rpm's over 4k. On Tuesday, I was able to drive it to the service department at the local GM dealer that was referred to me when Saturn closed. Got the news that afternoon that the transmission is out and that the Service Advisor would contact GM to see if they could help.

    The Service Advisor told me on Thursday that he tried to work with GM since other than the transmission, the car is in great shape and only 14k over the mileage limit. They told him there's nothing they can do.

    Well, since there's nothing that they CAN do (or should I say "WILL" do), I'm looking at Honda's and Hyundai's. No more GM's for me. After owning two Saturns - both bought brand new - what I CAN do is take my business somewhere that will appreciate it. The main reason I bought Saturn vehicles was so I wouldn't have to deal with the whole car buying fiasco/ambush by the Finance guy/typical car buying run-around.

    Good luck GM and to all of your employees that can't/won't make a decision, I hope someday you all find a career somewhere that values you and gives you the ability to make sure your customer satisfaction numbers are high and doesn't beat you over the head when you tell them how many people are just not happy with GM service and products.

    Lastly, after reading countless stories on the many different websites and forums regarding this transmission failure problem, I find some of your situations just heart-breaking and I'm thankful that I am able to handle a car payment now. I can't imagine being in your shoes. Take care everyone, I hope that you all find a way to resolve this unfortunate but predictable bump on the road of life that GM has put in front of us.
  • slslinde1slslinde1 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2003 Saturn vue and has 98,000 miles on it and it shifts erractic what is this so called recall lawsuit and how does it affect me?
  • cmdr_moorecmdr_moore Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same issue as bismarck318. This seeems to be an overheating issue and the flashing overtemp light is displayed. The instructions are to pull over, put the transmission in park, and let the engine idle until the light goes out. This works. However, there appear to be multiple recalls on the honda pilot transmission for this year, issued to Honda Pilot owners, but not to Saturn Vue owners. At least 1 is heat related.

    I have change my fluid at least once a year since and have had only one more occurance. I have also had the engine running hotter ever since the first occurance. I usually have the water temperature guage at 1/4, even hot weather, but now it can reach over 1/2 on a 90 degree F day on a very small incline.(<1%)

    Any suggestions? Is this covered by a Honda recall?
    Any suggestions?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Good morning bismark318,

    I am sorry if your email in September was missed &#150; I would recommend re-sending it. I will follow up with Caron! Thank you for being patient with us, and I apologize that your interactions with your dealership haven&#146;t been satisfactory.

    Best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • aliciaealiciae Member Posts: 1
    What is the contact info for the Saturn CEO?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    I&#146;m sorry to hear about your concern with your vehicle and it overheating. If you would like a Customer Assistance case set up, please email your name, contact information, involved dealership, VIN, and mileage to Christina.

    Best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    I understand why you&#146;re frustrated, and I&#146;m sorry to hear that you have a transmission concern now. If Customer Assistance can help you work with your dealer towards resolving this, please email Christina with your name, contact information, VIN, and dealer name.

    Best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    I can provide you with the number for Saturn Customer Assistance: 800-533-6000. Their hours are Mon-Sat 8am-9pm EST.

    Best,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    All,
    My wife had this same issue with her 2006 Saturn Vue. After resaerching on this site and a few others I took it to the dealer as an educated consumer. They reset the computer module and the dragging issue went away. She has never had the battery changed in 5 years so thats due for a change. The battery is swollen on both sides and its now starting to give issues when starting. So we plan to change the battery out thgis weekend and take it in at 90k miles for the recommended service. She has about 1000 miles til then.


    Which computer was reset the BCM, or PCM, I'm imaging there is more.

    Strange that a battery would be a culprit, I would be reluctant to reset the battery (though the thought crossed my mind) though there is a possibility that you may lose the radio in the process.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Member Posts: 49
    edited November 2011
    I am having the same issue as bismarck318. This seeems to be an overheating issue and the flashing overtemp light is displayed. The instructions are to pull over, put the transmission in park, and let the engine idle until the light goes out. This works. However, there appear to be multiple recalls on the honda pilot transmission for this year, issued to Honda Pilot owners, but not to Saturn Vue owners. At least 1 is heat related.

    I have change my fluid at least once a year since and have had only one more occurance. I have also had the engine running hotter ever since the first occurance. I usually have the water temperature guage at 1/4, even hot weather, but now it can reach over 1/2 on a 90 degree F day on a very small incline.(


    Over temp for coolant (engine temp) or tranny? I have yet to look into this, though from analyzing the data Ive collected, my jerky shifting mostly occurs (but not always) when the vehicle is cooler. This the temperature idiot light? there is a gauge in mine, the gauge usually never goes above the 1/4 - 1/3 mark. they still have an overtemp lamp? I'll have to take note, usually with the gauge package, the light is eliminated or is incorporated with a check engine or check gauges lamp.
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