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Saturn Vue ABS System Problems

katiedid88katiedid88 Posts: 4
edited January 2015 in Saturn
Evertime I turn left the brake light, traction control and stability control lights come on and the car starts dinging. Mechanic says it could be front wheel bearings because they are tied to the ABS system??? But I have been seeing alot about wheel speed sensors?

Second, everytime I brake suddenly, a cloud of smoke comes from the front end and there is a burning oil smell. The oil is fine and no leaks. Again mechanic says it could be a cracked CV boot throwing grease?

Lastly everytime I put in reverse or when I lightly put pressure on the brakes when driving I get this noise like a humming (errrrrrr) noise. Its not the grinding/squealing noise you would get when brake pads needs replaced.

HELP!!! I only have 60k miles on this.


  • Hello katiedid88,

    We're sorry to hear about the difficulties you're having with your Vue. Is the mechanic you're working with one of our GM technicians? If so, we're happy to follow up on this with you! We can be contacted at [email protected] (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Did u ever find out what was causing the problems stated in your first paragraph? I'm having the same problem there!
  • jill2110,

    We hope you hear from katiedid88 soon on whether or not she was able to find the root of the ABS issue. If you decide to work with a dealership, let us know as we'd be happy to follow up on your progress with them.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I am also have the same problem with my 2008 Vue... the ABS and Tractor lights start coming on I have about 68,000 miles. I took it a Chevy dealer he put it on a machine and found no errors charged me $88 said keep driving it. I ask if it was safe he said yes but I may have a problem when it rains. I felt very uncomfortable so I took to the dealer I purchased it ... they found major problems $830 worth of problems with ABS and tractions (thank God for the extended warranty). The dealer had a problem removing the drivers airbag to fix the problem. It was in the shop about 3 hours. I was leaving on vacation and made appt for 28Nov12 @10:30am. The dealer told us it would be a while before we get it fixed. They gave us a loaner. We did not received a call to tell us the work is done.. but as soon as I get the bill I will let you know what the problem is.
  • the lights flickering in my car was suppose to be due to the body control module and was a sure fix, i paid 700 to replace it and it was still doing it, but not all the time and when i got it back for the first to weeks it was great then it start again and got worse to the point the abs and traction lights came on. the only way i can get it all to stop is to disconnect the battery for an hour them reconect it and then its good again for another two weeks then i have to do it again. this just does not sound like an altonator issue to me. The vue starts and runs perfectly its just this electrical problem with the flickering of the interior lights and radio cutting off and back on. Now they say it is the altornator and for some reason i feel this is not the problem. Im in the process of trying to get out of the vue, NO ONE seams to be able to pinpoint the issue just guess and hope for the best. I have had this car for 5 months and its been in the shop 6 times and still does the same thing 1600 later with my extended warrenty as well other wise it would have paid close to 6000 by now. ugh
  • best advise, i have read so many things about electrical and abs and traction lights its crazy, im surprised after all the complaints of the same issues that saturn has not stepped in to offer to fix it like a recal or something. Thing is saturn is dead and they dont care unless u are giving them money all they say is we are sorry we are sorry. Anyway yeah pretty much after about 40,000 miles saturns start having these problems and are can just about promise you it wont get fixed and if by chance it does it wont last long or it will be another issue. Best advice...get a new car dont wast your money on these costly repairs cuz the problems are not going to stop now. Saturns are history now and its time to just let them go to the junk yard where they belong
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Good morning motnia1,

    We're sorry to hear that you did not have a satisfactory experience with the first dealership. If you had wanted for us to follow up on anything with either dealership, please don't hesitate to contact us via email at [email protected] (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, the name of your dealership, and a brief summary of the situation).

    GM Customer Service
  • Sorry I did not get back on here after taking my car in. So- I am being told by the shop I took mine too that its not the wheel sensor- he looked at those and they were fine. He claims the traction control issue is due to low brake fluid and needing new brakes and rotters.

    Well new brakes and rotters are close to $300.00. And I have had no issues with brakes at all, I only have around 68,000 miles.

    Im thinking of having brake fluid put in just to see if it fixes the issue or not before we do any type of brake work that I really dont think I need.

    But I did research and printed everything off and took it with me, and the mecahnic even said these Saturns are known for this issue and the bad wheel sensors but assured me mine were ok.

    So at this point its getting worse and I feel like when it happens the car shifts a little (like jerks) and again it only happens when I turn left, whether just a slight left movement of the wheel and it goes off.
  • Did you get it fixed? I'm having the same problem with my '08 Vue XR AWD. Every time I make a left turn, my abs, traction, and emergency brake light come on. I've been to two different repair shops. The first (non-GM certified) told me it was the speed sensor, which is consistent with what I've seen on other sites. The downside is that they wanted to charge over $500 for the part, which made me skeptical that I was getting a bad deal. I called a GM dealership parts dept. that told me the part was $60 for the sensor, $337 more if I needed a whole new hub, so I took it there to have the sensor replaced. Of course, they called me later that day to tell me it wasn't the speed sensor, but a YAW rate sensor (error code C0292), which would be over $800 to repair and take up to three days to replace. In addition, it was not guaranteed to fix the problem and I may need to replace the EBCM, which would be more!

    I have no idea what to do at this point. I feel like either way I'm getting the short end of the stick. Meanwhile, my car chimes at me every time I turn left, but it doesn't seem to affect performance.
  • I took mine to two different dealer including a gm dealer and after much guessing, parts replaced, and over 1500 with extended warranty the vue continued to do the same thing. I replaced the body control module, speed sensor, control panel, ac work, battery replacement and nothing fixed it and gm finally said they were just dumbfounded. Their advice to me was to get rid of it. It has a serious electrical malfunction and was deemed unsafe by gm. So I got rid Of it and am now a proud owner of a new 2012 Hyundai Tucson limited and I love love love it! My advise to u as I was told...get rid of it. Its a safety hazard waiting to happen!!
  • We ended up putting brake fluid in just to see if they were right (as my mechanic said it was low and that's why it was doing that) and it voila, it fixed it. It was instant and only cost a few bucks!. No more dinging and lights going off and its back to normal.
  • katiedid88, I read your reply and went directly to an auto parts store to buy brake fluid. It worked!!!! I'm in shock. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have undoubtedly saved me $1000s.

    I am going to call the two shops I had previously consulted on Monday to tell them what the real problem was.

    Sarah at GM customer service, I think you should tell someone at GM about this. I've seen this problem repeatedly on other blogs, leading to many dissatisfied customers. Even though Saturn is dead, this problem will likely occur with the Captiva.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Good morning keithj60,

    I'm definitely going to keep an eye on the thread and am glad to hear that the brake fluid solution posted by katiedid88 worked!

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • Hope that your problems end there. That's how my started and little did I know it was only the beginning. Wish u the best!
  • Yes I got it fixed took them a while to fine the problem 1st they could not get the airbag out that was days before Thanksgiving (they did give us a lift to the mall).I took it back after Thanksgiving they gave me an rental...called me the next day have had nt problems since. You are right the cost was a lil over $800. I almost passed out in the mall...ask him if my extened warrenty covered it..yes...I paid $100 deductible.....I took it back to the former Saturn dealership I purchased it from. They were determined to fix it. Thank God that ordeal is over....I suggest that if you can to purchase an extended warranty. Anyway they found 3 codes (the codes errors were C0460, C0045 and P0346). They calibrated the streering position sensor and cleared all the codes. I have not had any problems since. Ihope this helps...
  • VUE XE 2009( not 4 wheel drive).When driving at low speed the brakes come on either 2 wheels or the 4 wheels without even touching the brake pedal.My GM dealer is puzzled and confirms the master cylinder is not the problem.The VUE computer does not confirm any issuesWhen the brakes cool down the situation corrects itself.This VUE is towed behind a class A motorhome

    I need to know if others have experienced such and what was the solution
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    If you would like for us to follow up on this with your dealership, please email us more details at [email protected] (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation so far).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Hi Katiedid88,

    Thanks for your help...topping off fluid seemed to solve(kudos to your mechanic as well)....I just started having this issue last week and....1st thing I looked at was brake fluid reservoir and it was just above low level line(proly need bake pads; will change soon)but did not think it would solve because it looked like the low level sensor was still much lower than the fluid....2nd I found a thread on the internet about a TSB for 08 Saturn Vue and it was about checking wiring and/or connector for the rear abs I did this and found wiring, wheel sensors and connectors ok...I even pulled rotors off for inspection. I am really glad I found this thread. THANKS AGAIN :) Oh! I do need brake pads. L8tr!
  • cragmorcragmor Posts: 3
    edited February 2013
    Every winter for the past few years, the ABS and traction control lights come on in our 2008 Vue XE. The first time I took it in, they fixed it under warranty. The second time, they said the original repair was under warranty, and they fixed it again. Turns out that they just did a cobble repair on it the first time, and actually replaced parts the second time. I believe that it was the left rear sensor that was acting up. Once again, sloppy winter driving conditions were upon us, and the light is on again. I am hard pressed to want to pay a thing for repair if it turns out to be the same wheel again. How common is this for this vehicle. I have seen others talk about other issues, but not this specific kind of problem.
  • 4norm794norm79 Posts: 11
    After driving the Vue for 8 months and complaining about the vibrating break pedal, a fix was found. A few days ago, the ABS and Traction Control lights came on. I took the vehicle in and while driving, the brake pedal vibrated. Finally, the dealership found the problem - the left wheel speed sensor was found to be "open". Because I had the car in earlier for the same problem while the car was under warranty, the dealership didn't charge me for the repair. I'm done with GM
  • lsj1lsj1 Posts: 1
    Hey Katiedid88 "That's how my started and little did I know it was only the beginning." Only the beginning, so what else is to come?
  • Im having what sounds like the same problem with a 08 Vue. The longer you drive it, the more the brakes are applied by themselves. What did your problem turn out to be?
  • The dealer In Florida(jan.013) could not identify any mechanical reasons.I have since return home in Montréal Canada and have yet experience any problem
  • Sarah,
    Just this weekend I've experienced the exact same problem on an 09 VUE(72k)....found this thread and need to know if adding fluid is the fix. I assume by now you've seen enough such episodes to form an opinion...thanks, brooks
  • We out brake fluid in and have not had an issue since.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello brooks_t,

    Since I am not a technician, I cannot advise on if adding fluid will correct the issues you're experiencing. If you'd like to send us your VIN, contact info and dealership we can explore what options there are in getting this problem corrected for you. We can be reached by email at [email protected] [attn Amber].

    Thank you

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Back at the dealer again...same old challenge the ABS Traction lights on....It was repaired in Nov 2012...Problem started again about 10 days ago....2008 Vue still at the dealer. Mechanic said he was waiting for a rep from Chevy..but they never came...they told him to let the extened warrenty take care of it....So I think there is a hugh problem with the Vue and Chevy does not want to have to deal with it.....and/or recall them....I have an a replacement car from the dealer so I am not inconvience....but I am a lil concern that this problem is not being taken care of by Chevy. People do not let the dealers tell you it is nothing wrong with the Vue and it is ok for you to drive it....No,,no,,no....I suggest that you take it to an auto parts store and have them do a code check on your Vue...It is best to be safe or feel safer while driving....
  • As I posted 9/4, I'm having the same problem...were you able to find the problem?? The GM folks are uninterested in finding the problem and thus will never find a solution...that is until some of us get killed and the subsequent law suit forces their hand....thanks,brooks
  • I wish you good luck. After I put brake fluid into my '08 Saturn Vue, my ABS lights stopped coming on. I've not had any issues with my brakes locking up like I've read in other posts.
    I will tell you that since fixing my brake problems, I've had a myriad of other problems. The largest problem was that my transmission went out at 92k miles. The dealership wanted to charge $4300 for a new transmission. After weeks of back and forth with gm customer service (direct and social media) and the dealership, I was able to get the cost down to around $1000. I was without a car for nearly a month during this process.
    Over the weeks of dealing with GM and the dealership, I was able to figure out how the process works (you may know this, but I was clueless when I started). The dealership works with GM Corporate when a customer has an issue that is close to the warrant period. In this instance, I was 6 months out of my warranty period. The dealership and corporate negotiate with one another to absorb costs when working out a resolution. For instance, if they offer a total discount of 60% off cost, the dealership could take on 30% and GM takes on 30%. Once the dealership has some skin in the game, you will likely see a decrease in the initial charge. In my case, it started at $4300. Then, once they took "a closer look" at my transmission, they determined that I just needed a minor rebuild which would be about $1200. Thus, they would have to absorb less cost. Go figure.
    A week after having my transmission rebuilt, I started to notice a problem with my power steering pump. It was making the typical whining noise I'm familiar with. I took it to a Firestone, where they told me that I needed a new pump. I wanted to get GM's opinion, so I took it to another dealership for evaluation. They told me it wasn't the pump making that noise, the car needed a new $1200 steering column. They told me this was not typical and they would work with GM (at my request) to sort out a discounted cost for a replacement. After two weeks, the dealership told me that they would not work with GM to fix the car because they didn't want to absorb the cost. The GM customer service agent apologized and suggested I take it to another GM dealership a restart the process.
    I didn't know what to do at this point. I was not wanting to put ANOTHER $1200 into the car. So here is the best part: I took the car home and checked the fluid level on the power steering pump and it was empty! I filled the pump with fluid and the sound stopped. Seriously, I almost spent $1200 when I fixed my whining problem for $12. The car was at 2 GM dealerships and a Firestone and all three didn't check the fluid levels. I guess that GM inspection they promote is worth about as much as the paper it's printed on.
    Sorry to ramble here, but I've had the worst possible experience with GM. I would work with them if you have extra time (and a high pain tolerance), get your vehicle fixed, and trade it in for something else. My family has been GM customers for decades, but that is over.
  • I have an 08 Saturn Vue XR - several times the ABS light would come on and chime would ding when making turns. Mechanic said it was a known issue yet no recall - right rear ABS brake wheel sensor. Had it fixed two or three times. Now, car is periodically slowing down like in a low gear and then brakes real hard to push down. Towed back to mechanic who thought it at first was the brake vacume hose connection. Replaced the grommet (Sp?) and now happening again. Mechanic taking vehicle to dealership as he says this is again an ABS problem. This is frustrating as I am seeing posts of ABS brakes causing problems on their vehicles. Of course, out of GM warranty. GM I thought Saturn was going to set the bar for GM products.
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