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Saturn Vue ABS System Problems



  • Well, for me , it's beyond frustrating...brake systems are not a 'new' idea or invention, they've been around for a long time. I realize there were growing pains when for example disc brakes became the brake of choice. But, those systems have been perfected and have functioned flawlessly for years. The manufacturer would have you believe that isn't the case, when in fact, he has substituted a cheaper part from a different vendor and now has these problems that seemingly come from nowhere. Where I come from that is called a lie and should be called just that! The first step in solving a problem is defining/recognizing the problem...GM is refusing to do that and it will eventually put they back into bankruptcy with you and I, the folks who bailed them out, left to deal with the greed associated with the cheaper supplier....
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello lzntexas,

    I understand your frustration in dealing with an ABS brake issue. I see the mechanic who has been working on your vehicle is bringing it into a nearby dealer? I would like the opportunity to discuss your current situation with you. Please reach out to us via email at socialmedia(at) and include your contact information and VIN. In the email please include "ATTN LAURA" in the headline so we can make sure it gets to me. I look forward to hearing from you.


    Laura M.
    GM Customer Care
  • I got my car back today after a week..the dealer call GM and they were suppose to send a rep but guess what he never showed told the dealer to let my warrenty company handle it....Hopefully the problem is solved. Thank God I had the warrenty would have cost me a lil ove $3200...I got a loaner and my Service Manager was very concern about my ordeal....I suggest you all go to a GM dealer for this problem and repair...but check with a auto parts store and them do a system check to see what code are in error and it is free. But I can understand your frustration...check with a dealer...
  • I am having the same thing happen!!!! I have 2008 Vue. It hasn't been right since I purchased it 2 and half years ago at Toyota in Louisville, KY. The tire sensor was on when I bought it and they told me it was not anything. I have experienced problems from the beginning. The dealership charges 100.00 every time you have a scan. I had an extended warranty, but they kept telling me it was the spark plugs and wanted to charge 500.00 to replace them. I did not let them. I took it to my uncles shop and he did it for free. He told me from the beginning that the spark plugs had nothing to do with it. It continues to have issue after issue. I hate this car!!! I pay a hefty car payment to deal with this crap all the time. Now it is making that sound when you use the brakes. It's a nightmare.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    We're sorry that you're not having a good experience with your Vue and that you're having an ongoing, unresolved concern with the ABS system. It's understandable that diagnostic fees can add to the frustration.

    When you had your uncle do work on your Vue, did that resolve your concerns or are you still having trouble?

    Sarah (Assisting Amber)
    GM Customer Care
  • My daughter has this vehicle. We bought it in May 2013 and put several thousand dollars in to so that she could take it to college: new timing belt, water pump, brakes, etc. It is a beauty!

    So, she starts driving it to get used to it for the long drive to school. She tells my hubby that the brakes come on by themselves and she has to "floor" it to move. We of course poo-poo her and say it's because she isn't used to driving AWD - and the dealer checked it out for safety when doing all the work mentioned above!

    Well, I had to drive it for a few days while my car was being worked on. She was NOT exaggerating at all! The brakes locked up for no reason whatsoever!! I had to stop there on the road as they were actually smoking!

    My husband worked on this; replacing every damned brake part - even the master cylinder! I drove with her to college (Riverhead NY to Buffalo NY) and we had no problems. Last week she called. It is happening again!! This time it took over 2 hours for them to release. She missed classes of course but worse I can't allow her to drive this unsafe vehicle home for Thanksgiving.

    We're at wit's end with this vehicle! I chose the damned thing and I am SO sorry! Between the $6K we paid plus all the new parts and labor, we're nearing $10K for 9 year old vehicle!! :cry:

    Suggestions are welcome!!!
  • I am having the same problem with my Saturn Vue 2008. We just took it in to the dealership and spent $3200 every last cent we had to get it fixed. I told the service writer that there was a break issue and that the car would almost stall and not accelerate but it seemed related to the breaks. Well they fixed every thing but the problem. I am out of money and taking it back tomorrow, within 20 mins. of picking it up on friday night the problem happened again. I am besides myself because I am out of money. We only took it to the dealership because we thought it might be something complicated and figured they would be on top of this issue. Any suggestions are welcome. I have cried all weekend because I feel like they are going to try to it is not their problem.
  • I'm sorry to hear that you are being raped by the dealer...that's the reason I haven't taken mine there yet. The posts on this and other sites strongly suggest that the dealers have no clue how to resolve the problem...but at least they will tell you, the customer, what their computers tell them with utmost confidence. The only guy who can solve this problem is the father of the stabilitrack system, but that would require GM admitting the problem...
    Now, I figured the only way to solve this problem is to narrow it down myself and thought I'd done so until a couple weeks ago...I'm still in the analysis stage. A BIG step in the right direction is to pull the fuse so that the stabilitrack system is disabled. The fuse you are looking for is in the fuse box under the hood, it's a 40 amp square fuse and is labeled ABS (there are 2 ABS fuses, it's the big one). When pulled, a warning light will flash on the panel that the stablilitrack system requires servicing...that's because you just disabled it. Don't be alarmed, the brakes continue to function just like conventional brakes, without the computer-assisted braking. I said earlier that I thought I'd found the problem...not so quick. Happened again even with the fuse pulled(which is starting to make me thing that there is something going on with the mastercylinder/vacuum assist, which as far as I can discern, is the ONLY place that pressure can be introduced into the system unintentionally) . I did discover that pressing the brake pedal to the floor will disengage the brakes...for some strange reason.
    I started my analysis with a laser thermometer that could tell me which wheel/wheels were involved with the unintended braking. Couldn't make any sense out of the data...all four were involved, but 2 diagonally were much MORE involved. I've yet to make a similar observation because the latest episode happened while my wife was driving the car. Fortunately, I'd told her about pressing the brake pedal to release...more to follow as I discover....
  • We did pull the fuse as you mentioned, too. And, like yours, it did not cure the problem. We will be sending her to Monro Brakes with instructions to check the brake proportioning valve (we talked to a Saturn "expert").

    Will let you all know how it goes!
  • did not go well at all!!! Monro says that there is no proportioning valve on ABS - they say it is contaminated brake fluid and want $4500.00 for a new system!!!!
  • I have a 07 Saturn Vue I just replaced the front rotors along with ceramic pads and a new caliper on the drivers side. I bled the brakes as I always do during a brake change and believed I was good to go. I drive for about 2 miles and the front brakes lock up to the point of melting the rims off the car. I wait for them to cool and the brakes seem to release enough to get it back home. I was going to replace the master cylinder but I don't think that's the issue since I can see the calipers moving while I'm bleeding them. And, no, the calipers are not seized.
    Anybody have any ideas before I loose my mind?
  • I have had a 2003 saturn vue that came in my shop for the same reason. The dealer aalready replaced the calipers on it and it was good for a little while. The solution I found was the rubber brake lines had colasped on the inside and the fluid could not return keeps the brakes on till it finally drained back.
  • First, I have NO idea how the title got posted as '04, I actually have an '09 Saturn VUE...and, years ago, I had a similar thing happen to a '78 Chevy dump truck...inside liner of one of the hoses failed and turned itself into a check valve. That was fairly easy to isolate but not so with these electronic brakes. I pulled BOTH ABS fuses in an effort to eliminate something from the possibilities and I think I have...just not sure what. I can still get the brakes to start this braking without ever touching the brake pedal...simply apply brakes gently, same way you would with conventional brakes, and after a few miles...they apply all by themselves. I'm beginning to suspect the master cylinder since that appears to be the only place that pressure can be applied to the system...short of what you've encountered with the hoses...but I just wouldn't think they'd fail only 4 years old. But, having said that, it does fit all the symptoms. I bought a laser thermometer to try to figure which wheels were active...found out all 4 were but predominantly passenger front and driver rear...with the electronics unplugged its the front way more than the rear with the passenger side more than the driver side. My next step may just be the hose on the passenger side front....more to follow...
  • This is EXACTLY what my hubby did. He flew up to Buffalo and drove the Vue home. Ordered new brake lines and after he removed the old ones he tried to blow air through them. He couldn't. He kept cutting the lines to find the blockage. Near the middle some sort of clamp that holds the lines to the vehicle started to rust and the build up of rust was closing the line!

    I'm driving this until she comes home for Christmas to be certain that it is finally fixed!

    I'll keep you all informed ... it's been a trip literally and figuratively!
  • 4norm794norm79 Posts: 11

    It's time to stop complaining about this car and take some action. Go to the NHTSA.GOV website and make an official complaint. I filed separate complaints on the ignition, transmission and engine cover leak. If we're lucky, we may get a recall and get some of our repair money refunded. That happened when the Ford Windstar that I owned blew head gaskets. Ford was forced to recall the car and refunded repair and towing costs.

  • brownzoobrownzoo Posts: 2

    Ugh back again. I posted back in the fall about the same brake problem everyone here is talking about. I have a 08 Saturn Vue XR. We took it to the dealer and I explained the problem, the female service writer basically didn't listen and they relied on the codes. Leading us to a $3000 repair that within 20 mins of leaving the dealership the lights came on and it did the same thing. I went back and talked to the General Mgr of the dealership, they ended up replacing the VVT transmission and sent me on my way. Then shortly after I had an issue with a leak, I took it back and they said it was my powersteering and charged me $70 to tell me that. We took it to a friend's repair shop and had that fixed. Now less than 10K miles later guess what just happened, yep the same slowing and hard breaking, flashing lights. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I just went to the autoparts store and had the codes read which came up C0131 Antilock Brake System Traction Control Pressure Circuit Malfunction and Low brake fluid. My husband just checked the brake fluid and it was fine but we will be adding more in. I AM SO DISGUSTED WITH GM!! In light of recent failure to recall situations I guess I am not surprised. I have always purchased GM but this will be the last. GM needs to stand up and recall this vehicle and figure out the problem before someone gets killed.

  • brooks_tbrooks_t Posts: 6

    09 VUE ABS Problems update...
    Several months ago I posted that the subject Saturn would apply brakes all by itself...well, for those who may be chasing a similar problem, I've found the answer. After a couple of months of driving with the ABS/Stabilitrack/etc. disabled, I was able to narrow the problem to the front calipers... that's right, the calipers. Turns out that while the rest of the automotive world has figured out disc brakes - stem to stern - GM still hasn't....70K miles and the calipers go bad. I think I'd like my bail-out money back!!!! Good luck to those of you still having this problem.....

  • So is there a solution for these problems. I have the same issue as Izntexas. I have an 08 Saturn Vue Redline. What used to happen was the ABS light would come on and chime would ding when making turns. Now, the car is slowing down like in a low gear and then brakes real hard to push down. What's the issue?

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Hi dc_saturnvue08,
    Have you considered taking your Saturn VUE into the dealership for a diagnosis? We recognize this has become frustrating, however the dealership has the technical expertise to isolate this issue and plan for an appropriate fix. If you'd like for us to reach out to them on your behalf, please private message us your VIN, full contact information, mileage and preferred dealership name.

    Thank you,
    Amber N.

    GM Customer Care

    @dc_saturnvue08 said:
    So is there a solution for these problems. I have the same issue as Izntexas. I have an 08 Saturn Vue Redline. What used to happen was the ABS light would come on and chime would ding when making turns. Now, the car is slowing down like in a low gear and then brakes real hard to push down. What's the issue?

  • I have a 2008 Saturn Vue AWD with 67,100 miles. Front end was making a grinding noise. Ended up being the transmission. Ouch!! $3000 later I thought I was out of the woods, then ABS and traction control lights came on. Left/Rear wheel speed sensor was giving me a code. I've replaced them before with only the ABS light to return. So I will be replacing the wheel hub assembly with the new speed sensor. The power steering fluid was also leaking from the line near the exhaust. And motor oil is leaking from crank shaft seal. Not happy with GM products right now. OK I could see if it had 120K or 150K, but not 67K??!! My grandfather used to work for GM and my family has always been loyal to the brand. I have 3 GM vehicles in my driveway right now but I think that will change come spring time. :(
  • Ok here's an update...on the above post. Installed a new wheel bearing and speed sensor. That's not it. I still have my ABS and traction control lights on. It's giving me C0460 and C0045 code. C0045 is a faulty left rear speed sensor. With a new one installed I'm guessing it must be something else. Maybe wiring?? Anybody have any suggestions? My wife is afraid to drive her beloved Saturn, it dropped to a low speed today and would not accelerate. Keeping me up at nights, I never a thought a vehicle could make me feel this bad. And to think I almost traded it in for another GM product ??!!
  • Johnd60, I'm having the same problems but I'm very hesitant to spend money on this a problem that doesn't seem to have a solution. I've seen people report collapsed brake lines, bad calipers, and low brake fluid. I had the dinging and had brake fluid added to the car twice. Now I don't get the dinging anymore. I have the caliper issue along with the oil leaking from the crank shaft. I have confidence that the engine issue can be repaired (quoted $800) but the brake issue has me a bit nervous. When the calipers clamp down and force braking, I have to pull over, turn the car off, pump the brakes about 4 times to remove the pressure, and then start the car up again. The GM people they have on here to answer questions unfortunately isn't much help on this issue.
  • Doing a little research via Google on this Traction Control/ABS Light issue I'm having with my 08 Vue XR has led me here. Prior to my arrival here I found people complaining of similar issues but with the Brake Fluid Level light coming on when turning left. I continued reading the comments despite the fact that they were not exactly my own complaint. It turns out that there is a wiring issue in the lower "A" pillar region where either water is entering the connector due to the lack of sealant applied at the factory or a fault from pinching of the wiring harness by the body in that location (also a fault in production). I cannot say for certain yet if this is indeed the source of the problem but it very well could be if the harness carries the TC/ABS wires and the water or pinching is affecting a different wire in the same harness than the fluid level sensor wire as was reported on that forum. I'm off to the dealership in a minutes and will report back here when I have any new and relevant info.
  • teresan1teresan1 CaliforniaPosts: 1
    I just starting to have the same problem with my 2008 saturn vue, I bought it used as a certified used car, just after the year mark I had to put a transmission in it. it only had 50k miles. right after I picked it up from the dealership, Three way Chevrolet in Bakersfield, my low tire sensor starting malfunctioning , they also rotated my tires when they did the transmission . and now the stinking left turn thing. geez has anyone found out the real solution to this problem?
  • So a little while ago I posted that my brakes were dragging after about 10-15 minutes of driving. I took my 2008 Saturn Vue to the dealer to have the brakes checked on Saturday and they told me it was the brake switch ($300). That did not fix the problem. By the time I got about 2 blocks away, my brakes locked up again...really hard this time. I turned right around, took it back, and left it with them . For some reason or another the brake problem didn't show up until today after they drove it around all weekend. Today they told me that it's the brake booster that needs to be replaced ($850). Of course I'm not too confident about this being the remedy but we'll see. This better do the trick or I'm trading this thing for a nice import.
  • jeepljjeeplj Posts: 1
    We have a 2007 Vue redline, bought new with 7 miles on it , sole owner, we love it not a single problem, 110k on it now still looks new, no garage and its black, well at about 90k we started with the brake issues, changed pads tires wheel hubs, ect.. all myself cant trust stealerships, i have been watching this thread as it has been getting violent shaking , added a little fluid and its like brand new again, even dash light went out thanks everyone,
  • Here is my oddity. I am adding it to this thread, but not sure it completely fits in. 2007 Saturn VUE Green Line (yeah, I was stupid).

    I have occasionally been driving and suddenly the traction control light will flash on, then off, followed instantly, sometimes appearing before the first one disappears, by the "BRAKE!" light, on then off, then a quick flash of the ABS light. No chimes, no breaking issues, new pads & roters. Generally once these lights go off, the Passlock Protection one comes on and stays on (until shut down). No start-up issues that I've read can be related to that... just a Gremlin there, I think.

    Last week at a stop light, right after the flashes, I was stopped at a light & it suddenly died. Put it in park, started right back up. No hesitation, no odd noises. Didn't do that again until today. This time when it cut out (it was in Auto Stop mode), it started itself up on it's own.

    Given the regenerative braking technology in these cars, and the 3 lights being in the same system, does anyone have a clue (before I embark down the road of one repair after another not correcting the problem), does anyone know if there is ANY way a breaking/regenerative system issue might be related to the engine cutouts on this type of system?
  • Update... took it in to my local Chevy dealership (the local "authorized" Saturn dealership. After being charged over $100 for the diagnostic, I was told it's most likely one of the 12 computer modules intermittently failing, but does so for only a split second at a time, so the codes won't narrow it down to the one that needs replacing. Good news is I was told each module costs only $300-$500. Bad news is that I was more or less told once I break down along the side of the road & have to be towed in, they will then be able to tell which one needs replacing. Can you believe a single woman, with no alternative means of getting to work, was told she has to break down unexpectedly along the road, possibly in iffy surroundings, before he car can be fixed. Didn't sit too well with me. On the bright side... I wasn't presented with an astronomical repair bill. I AM grateful for that. :)
  • fubarvuefubarvue Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 Vue AWD V6 with a twist on the abs problem throughout this forum. The abs pump kicks in between 5 - 0 mph when gently braking. Just before coming to a complete stop the pedal goes down to almost the floor. There are no abs or brake warning lights at anytime. There are no error code messages displayed either. My mechanic has run extensive scanner tests on the abs system to no avail. All 4 abs sensors check out ok. He is familiar with the sensor and brake hose problems on the vues, but due to the lack of any error code message he is at a loss. Has anyone experienced a similar problem ?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,354
    Take a snapshot of the data stream during an event and instead of looking at the wheel speeds, look at the solenoid data and that will tell you which wheel the ABS thinks is locking up. That will lead you top the sensor or circuit (harness) that is failing.
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