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Saturn Vue Maintenance and Repair



  • gr82balivegr82balive Posts: 3
    edited January 2012
    I have the same exact problem with my 03'Saturn Vue. One new transmission, a rebuild transfer case, a tune-up and a few other parts later I have gone from between 300-350 to about 215 mpg's. Pretty upset about it after all the money I put in (about $6,000) and the fact that the problem did not exist until immediately after the new tranny. Took it to another, yes ANOTHER, "qualified" GM dealership who stated that I need a new clutch drum in my rear differential (about $1,000) because it is grinding and causing too much drag thereby forcing my engine to work harder and use more gas. I asked him why the car is not shifting correctly (the car is supposed to shift smoothly so you can't feel it, I still can't feel it shift only now I have no power at take off and the odometer will tack at 3-4 before shifting to the next gear) he had no answer for this. Not having any more available money to dump into this piece of crap I haven't had it fixed yet. This vehicle is a financial drain. As I said before if I weren't making payments on it I would have scrapped it for metal when the tranny went out. Which by the way after speaking with a rep for GM I do not qualify for ANY reimbursement what-so-ever for. GM rep was EXTREMELY rude, useless and his speech regarding the VTI trannies was very scripted. I absolutely will not purchase another Saturn or GM vehicle and have already swayed several others against their future car purchases since they have first hand witnessed what I am going through with this one. I am a part of the class action law suit against GM for the VTI trannies and will continue to fight with Lakin Law for it as long as it takes. Even if the outcome of the lawsuit is not fruitfull I will continue to do everything possible to discourage everyone from purchasing GM/Saturn vehicles. Look at
    for further information regarding this class action law suit if anyone is interested or feel that they may also be able to be involved.
    If you happen to figure out what is up with your gas mileage would you let me know? I would really appreciate it. I have gotten a total of 5 repair shops (2 of which were certified GM with a Saturn specialist) look at the hunk of junk and I have yet to have any 2 of the shops agree with what is wrong with it.
    Thanks a bunch
    from "one pissed of Saturn owner"
    :mad: :lemon:
  • 442dude,

    Thanks for your advice. I don't know how many types of engines that saturn was available in, but mine is one that used a Honda engine that year and V6 / AWD. It has about 107K miles on it. I am the second owner. Bought it at 99K miles.

    Will an authorized GM dealer hook it up to the computer you suggest as a diagnostic for free? I hope so.

    Thank you!!
  • As you're vehicle is out of the factory warranties, there will likely be a diagnostic fee involved. When is your appointment?
    GM Customer Service
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    edited January 2012
    Hi - As the lady from GM said, yes, it is likely that they will charge you a fee just to hook it up to the scanner...

    On the up side...the Honda V6 has been a VERY reliable drivetrain in the Vue and if taken care of will easily get you many more trouble free miles once you get past this. There's no reason you won't make it to 200,000 miles and more...

    Talk to friends and check on the web to find a local dealer that you can will likely pay a little more but they are most familiar with your Vue.

    Best of Luck!!!!
  • I also have a 2003 Vue with manual transmission. The good news is that I have gotten my money's worth with 224,000 miles on it with no major issues until now. My issue seems to happen randomly. I get no lights, no indicators, and it is throwing no engine codes for the mechanic. It will start losing acceleration, lose vacuum tightening the brakes, and the computer parameters (when plugged in during it happening) shows the car "thinks" it is out of gas when it isn't. We have cleaned all the contacts leading to the computer, replaced the gas pedal with potentiometer, checked the wiring harness, and have now ordered a new throttle body. I am getting quite nervous since I drive on high speed roads almost everywhere I go and have a child in the back seat. Did you ever get any answers?
  • arri822arri822 Posts: 1
    Tidester: I'm trying to figure out whether or not to buy a new dashboard for my 2003 Saturn Vue or if it may be the fuses. (160k miles) None of the gauges on my dashboard seem to work properly. I've been dealing with it for the past three years because no one seems to have an answer, so I figured it was worth a shot to mssge you. The gauges tend to work properly maybe once every two months and that's probably exaggerating. Gas gauge, spedometer, rpm, etc do not work-Everything- When they are not working the a bunch of other sensors are lit up for instance, low traction, battery light, trunk "open" light, etc.. I'm not sure what to old and frustrating this has been I don't want to have to get rid of it b/c the Only major issue i've had w/this vehicle is Just That-the dashboard. I read something on this website about the BCM or something like that ?? no idea what that is but my only guess would be something to do w/the computer of the vehicle.
    If you have any idea what you think this maybe be it would really help me out.

    Thank you!!
  • Took my 2008 Saturn Vue to the shop AGAIN this morning for the 6th time. BCM problems each time. It all started around 30,000 mles. At that time I had to haggle with GM to pay half of the repairs now come to find out it is all under warrenty covered under the power train? I still don't understand that, it is a computer problem not a powertrain problem. I shouldn't have to pay anything and should be reimbursed for the $700 I paid the first time there were troubles! The problems start with warning lights that come on, usually the ABS, tire pressure, or anti skid light. Then while driving at about 50 MPH the RPMs will suddenly jump up to around 3 then shoot back down. If you ignore the warning lights for too long (about a week) the car will just suddenly die when you are on the interestate. You can put it in neutral and start it again, but after you drive about 25 feet it will shut down again. I now have 98,929 miles on my car. The warranty supposedly runs out at 100,000. This is so disappointing. I ordered this car from the dealership, had it made just for me and pulled it off the lot with 0 miles. I was the first person in my city to have one. I have owned 8 GM cars/trucks over the past 20 years and my grandfather was a retired GM employee. I am utterly disqusted that GM has not done a recall on this car for the BCM problems. Very very disappointed in a company that I have been faithful to for over 20 years.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    I pulled information on what is covered under the 2008 Saturn Powertrain Manual:

    Engine: Cylinder head, block, timing gears, timing
    chain, timing cover, oil pump/oil pump housing,
    OHC carriers, valve covers, oil pan, seals, gaskets,
    turbocharger, supercharger and all internal lubricated
    parts as well as manifolds, flywheel, water pump,
    harmonic balancer and engine mount. Timing belts are
    covered until the first scheduled maintenance interval.

    Transmission/Transaxle/Transfer Case: Case, all
    internal lubricated parts, torque converter, transfer case,
    transmission/transaxle mounts, seals, and gaskets.

    Drive Systems: Final drive housing, all internal
    lubricated parts, axle shafts and bearings, constant
    velocity joints, axle housing, propeller shafts, universal
    joints, wheel bearings, locking hubs, front differential
    actuator, supports, front and rear hub bearings,
    seals and gaskets.

    If you would like for us to get further involved in this, please send an email to with more information (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership).

    GM Customer Service
  • I have a 2008 Saturn Vue with a little over 50,000 miles on it. My AC has been giving me troubles. Sometimes it will come on, sometimes it won't (the light will flicker 3 times and go out) At the same time my check engine light comes on. I took it to Auto Zone and they said it was the fuel sensor. Has anyone else had this problem and how expensive is it going to be to get fixed? We have a limited warranty on it and I am willing to bet this isn't covered.
  • jules71jules71 Posts: 2
    edited April 2012
    4-cyl 2.2 liter FWD Vti transmission

    Lemon lemon lemon! This has been a rotten car since we bought it brand new in July 2003.

    We have had the following problems:

    1) REPLACE TRANSMISSION - at 80k miles (just over 8 years - in which the GM dealer did agree to pay for 50% of the new transmission - our cost $1800)

    2) CRACK IN DRIVERS SIDE MIRROR (this has been reported by many ppl)

    3) HORN STUCK ON, blew fuse (when I googled this, it has also been a problem by many ppl. We read it would cost a couple thousand to fix because the horn relay is intertwined with the air bag.)

    4) AIR CONDITIONING - no longer blows cold - hissing sound when using heat/air/fan.



    7) HOOD LATCH LEVER BROKEN (many times)

    8) CD PLAYER - stopped working, CD stuck in it

    9) REAR SWAY BAR LINKS - had to replace

    10) REAR SUSPENSION - recall, had work done under warranty

    11) BENT DRIVERS SIDE WIPER ARM - ordered while still under warranty twice and we never did get it

    12) ELECTRICAL PROBLEM (?) - While driving to our vacation destination, all lights in the display panel went on - indicated empty gas, temperature hot, service, service engine soon, security, dome light when on, door locks wouldn't work, intermittent wipers would not work but regular speed did, power windows still worked - who knows what else!!! We continued driving because we were in the middle of nowhere. Once we turned off the car, it would not start again. It would turn over but not start. Next day it would not even turn over (dead battery maybe).

    This car is EVIL!
  • apple4anaapple4ana Posts: 1
    It seems that everytime I take my Vue to the dealership for oil change and such, they tell me that I need some other pricey service as well. Today it was a front wheel tire alignment ($60), a fuel system cleaning ($140), and transmission fluid change ($250). I did get the alignment and fuel system cleaning; however, my owner's manual states that transmission fluid doesn't need done until 100,000 miles. I have 58,000. When searching this topic online, the views on changing transmission fluid is very diverse as to when and how often. My dad said he's never changed his in any of his cars ever. I don't know if I should just go with the manual recommendations or the dealership. I know the dealership wants to make money and my car has no issues at this time, so I hope I am making the right decision. Has anyone had their transmission fluid changed? Thoughts?
  • I just purchased a 2006 saturn vue the radio has power and plays but if i push any of the function buttons such as the seek or band it turns the radio off any help would be appreciated thanks.
  • Good morning paramedic250,

    Unfortunately I am quite limited in my ability to troubleshoot vehicle concerns like this; however, I am hopeful that you'll get some great advice from other members of the Edmunds community. If you wanted to get this checked out a dealership, be sure to let us know as we're available to follow up on your visit or investigate the situation further. We can be reached at

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • i have a 03 saturn vue awd 4cyl 2.2 liter,.. the check engine light is on .. at low rpms maybe first gear(its an automatic) it starts to shake,.. got it diagnosed and it said we needed a new oxygen sensor got that replaced this morning and this afternoon the light came on again and it started to shake again ,.. went back to the mechanic and it said the same oxygen sensor was bad in the diagnostic check,. is there something that could be shorting it out? or is there a wiring problem that is telling the computer something wrong?,.. ANY IDEAS OR SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED,.. THANKS FOR YOU TIME :)
  • Removed left headlight.
    Saw a worms nest of plastic for the air intake to the air cleaner.
    Why would Saturn want to cause the intake air to worm and wonder thru a mase like this?
    I removed it!
    No differnce in intake air noise.
    On top of the engine is another large plastic box for the air between the filter and engine.
    Removed it!
    Used a piece of 3" aluminum dryer hose to replace it.
    Installed the hose and sensor to the new aluminum hose.
    No differnce in intake noise, fuel mileage or engine tune.
    Anybody have an idea of why Saturn used all that plastic in the air intake system?
  • wife and I are both smokers.....Anybody know if there is/was an ash tray option available for this 2006 Vue?
    We use an ash tray "cup" in the cup holder, but it is between the arm rests and uncomfortable to use that way.
    I was hoping there was one that fit in the 'hole' below the radio.
    Help appreciated.
  • A "Tune up" these days amounts to changing the plugs. My 2L doesn't even have wires!
    The oil leak is probably from the drain plug loose and or the oil filter loose.
  • Check around on the base of the knob for a very small hole that an allen set screw sets...probably came loose...or backed out and fell off.
  • More than often that is caused by the heater core leaking, or a loose hose on the heater core. That's the only source for antifreeze smell in the cabin.
  • brake pads should be "normal wear and tear" on a lease car and not something you should have to be responsible for....especially in what...30,000 miles?
    Front brake pads cost about $30 at a auto store and take about a half hour to change. Have the neighbor kid change them for you and tip him 50 bucks!
  • Yeah, there's a relay in the engine compartment electrical box. Inside the cover it says which one it is. Go to the salvage yard and get another one...a couple bucks.
    I pulled my relay because I don't like those DRL's
  • To change a clutch in a front wheel drive vehicle the whole front A-frame needs to be detached and removed.
    That includes tie rods, etc. etc.
    Probably a sloppy mechanic.
    That squeel sounds like the throw-out bearing which mechanically operates the clutch when you push on the pedal.
  • Thanks! I have the exact same issue with my 2009 Vue; it started about two weeks ago but the service messages are intermittent - makes sense that it's a wiring issue. My 3 year warranty expires in 4 days (good timing!) so I'm dropping it off at the dealership tomorrow for repairs. Can't hurt to mention your findings to them. :)
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    How did everything go at the dealership on Saturday, peabee? If we can check into anything further for you, please contact us via email at (include your name, contact information, and the last 8 of your VIN with your inquiry).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • OOOOOOOOOps! RIGHT headlight, not left!
    Modifying the air intake system made a huge differnce.
  • 2006 Vue with the 4 cyl engine.
    Removed all the plastic air intake plumbing before and after the air cleaner box.
    Installed 4" aluminum dryer vent pipe in it's place. (Yes, reinstalled the sensors before the throttle body)
    Been driving this way about a month now.
    NOTICEABLE increase in throttle response!
    NOTICEABLE increase in gas mileage!....about 3 - 4 mpg!
  • If you find an answer please let me know. I HATE the sound of that one single horn Saturn decided to save money on.
    I THINK the horn relay is electronic located as an intrigal part of the horn plug assembly.
    I was thinking maybe go to the salvage yard and get an additional plug/relay assembly, connect into the line and solder the additional plug/relay.
    Then adjust the second horn rate of vibration to either more or less than the original horn which ever sounds the best.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    There is actually a science to getting a specific horn sound - as a suggestion, if you're looking to change, go to a site like JC whitney and look at their selection of replacement horn units - they are all pretty much plug and play 12 volt items and don't seem to be very expensive. You might just want to replace the actual horn with one that you think sounds better.

    Putting in a second horn unit might actually make it sound worse unless you understand the science of sound including phase and amplitude. If you hear an old Cadillac horn(s) you can hear some of the possibilities.
  • In July of 2012, I purchased a 2008 Certified Pre Owned (CPO) Saturn Vue Redline. The car had 47,000 miles on it. As a certified vehicle, a 12 month, 12,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty with free regular maintenance for 2 years or 24,000 miles was attached to the purchase. From day one the car had problems. Here is a list of items that needed repair within the first 120 days:
    Steering wheel crooked
    Passenger side windshield wiper inoperable
    Heater vents inoperable
    Heater did not produce heat
    Break pedal vibration from ABS
    Battery died
    Passenger side strut replaced

    I was out of town when the brake pedal started vibrating intermittently. One dealer said the rotors were bad - another dealer couldn't find the problem. When the battery died, I contacted GM to file a complaint against the selling dealership. The best I got was a certificate worth $100 for the NEXT time the piece of crap breaks down. Since then, the heater had to be repaired three times and the passenger side front strut has been replaced. In my 30+ years of buying cars, this has been my worse car buying experience.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I'm so sorry to hear about the concerns you've had with your Vue! Are there any current concerns we could check into?

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
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