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Saturn VUE Steering and Suspension Problems

bholcombbholcomb Posts: 4
How do I tighten the tilt mechanism on my 2004 Vue? It kept getting more loose with use, and now it hardly locks in position at all. I took the plastic cover off but the clamping parts look like special tooling needed, any help?


  • cristibcristib Posts: 1
    I have a few questions for anyone that can help. I have always had a "groaning" noise coming from the steering column. When I took it to the dealer they said I could replace it but that the noise wasn't going to hurt anything. They suggested to lube it which I did and the noise just comes back. Any ideas?

    2nd----today there was smoke coming from the steering column. Once I unplugged the turn signals it stopped. I am suppose to go on vacation on Friday and am getting concerned.

    please help!
  • ralawralaw Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Saturn VUE 6 cyl AWD with the same problem. I have had that groaning noise for the last 2 yrs. I have a new problem though, I have to have a new transmission with only 33k miles on my vehicle. Has anyone else experienced this? :mad:
  • rose13rose13 Posts: 1
    West to get state safety inspection sticker, has bad wheel bearing. They replaced it, and said I need an inner tie rod end, passenger side. They said I have to replace the whole rack for that one part because that's the only option with a Vue. Haven't done it, doesn't seem right. Any advice folks...the estimate is 1200.00 for what is basically a new inner tie rod end replacement need. Could use your advice on this one.
    2003 Vue AWD
  • saulbsaulb Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 4cyl Vue that just recently started making a lot of squeaking and rattling noises when I turn, go over spead bumps or bumpy roads. It started coming from the driver side front and now I think I might be hearing it on both sides Conveniently just started after warranty expired and I did not purchase extended :( Anyone have a similar problem? I had something tightened down there and it was fine for about a day.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Rattle noise could be lower caliper pins on front brakes...there's a revised bushing you can get at the dealer for about $ 4 each and install on the lower caliper pins on each side. It takes about 20 minutes per wheel to install them yourself...and use lots of brake pin grease when you put it back together.

    Squeaks could be front strut top mounts as they're prone to be a weak spot. The other weak spot is the front swaybar links...
  • i would check the sway links had to replace mine, you could check them by holding the link and have someone bounce the car
  • The gauges on the instrument panel have been going out intermittently for about a week. If I stop and wait for a while they will start working again. Yesterday when they went out the steering became very difficult but seems to happen only when the weather is really hot. I was told it does not have power steering but is controlled by a motor??? Any thoughts?
  • bholcombbholcomb Posts: 4
    The steering is electrical, look in manual an if your lucky it is just a fuse. Figure out what fuse controls your steering, maybe same as instrument panel. Where do you live where it gets really hot, need some of that here in Mich.
  • wn2424wn2424 Posts: 2
    :( I have an 06 AWD v6 and I am having the same problem, at least now I have a place to start when I take it in and have it looked at. Its been driving me crazy!
  • Ok, I have a 2004 Vue. I have had the control arm bushings replaced and still squeaky. I had the struts replace and still squeaky. I have had them remounted and an insulator added and still squeaky. Any ideas. The noise goes away for a few days to a few hours after everything is put back together. I did the brakes with new rotors and pads and it’s tight. So I am thinking the strut plates. So what to do and what to buy now. I am trying to avoid going to the dealer and the 15% shop fee and the 40.00 check fee. I had the strut plates replaced under warranty around 32,000 miles now I have 58.000 + and its back. Do I need to just replace the strut plates 37.00/ea Rock Auto or is it the Front Strut Mount , Upper, 2Wheel Drive, Includes bearing and spring seat. That is around 90.00/ea. HEELLLLP
    Up to 700.00 now and looking for some relief. RC
  • cottiescotcottiescot Posts: 7
    YES, Please see my post in the shudder @ 33 MPH forum.

    I have a 2004 VUE FWD V6 and I have had my wheel bearings replaced 2x once at 77k the second at 99k. I now need any entire front end as well. I opened up a complaint the the NHTSA about this and the brake and transmission errors.
  • Ok, it ended up being the strut plates and after a lot of money it is finally quiet again, well at least in the front end. Now the muffler baffle is broken lose and it sounds like popcorn in the muffler on starting ad turning the engine off. Saturn re-designed the plates to fix this problem. So we have to pay for being their test subjects. Well that really sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I originally bought a 2003 VUE in black. One evening as I picked up the vehicle after an oil change, my wife noticed an '04 in Nickel Silver that she liked better.
    So I traded it in.

    But there has been an ongoing problem. Both I and my wife keep hearing a clunky, rattling noise in the front end. She thinks it's on the passenger side, I think it's on the driver's side. I mentioned it to Service and they initially found nothing wrong. When the noise kept occurring, I took it back and Service wound up replacing the strut mounting plates, another part, and lower arm link. At first it handled very well. (it always did), but the noise has returned.
    Since I was at or just past the 36,000 mile warranty and had mentioned it before, I figured it should be covered. Saturn determined that it was not because I hadn't been specific enough. I protested to their appeals section explaining that since I was a layman and not conversant in their repair and parts nomenclature it should be covered. I also told them that at the very least, I told Service that the noise was definitely in the front suspension. They denied it and I had to eat the tab.
    The noise has never really gone away. I drive in a lot of urban traffic, so hit many potholes, raised manhole areas and road dips. At times the noise is not so loud.

    Anyone have any ideas? This thing is driving me mad. Surely someone, especially Saturn's Service, has had the same thing in repeatedly. What can I do? Is this something unique to Saturns? Am I stuck with the noise?

    I'd appreciate any information that would help resolve the matter. Please e-mail me at: [email protected]

    Also, I depressed the cheap emergency flasher button a month or so ago and it stayed in. It works when I press it, but it lies below the dash surface. Any fixes? Simple ones, that is?


    Walter S. :confuse: :mad:
  • I have a 2005 Vue V6 AWD that emits a hig pitched whistle when the car speeds reaches 15-20 mph. The noise stays constant once it begins no matter what speed.

    Took it to the dealer that said a bushing was the cause and it was $500-$600 dollars to replace it.. Sorry but when I heard the price, I forgot the bushing they told me it was.

    I was wondering if I could find the bushing if I could "plug" the air leak as a temporary fix to the whistle.

    Is there any place on the web that would show the underside of a Vue to see where a bushing might be???
  • Does the noise change when you turn the wheel??? I mean the pitch of the sound??
    I had that and it was the wheel bearing. Bushing??? Those usually are to keep metal from hitting each other so if you said a clanking sound when you start and stop then maybe the bushings. But a whining or whistling sound does not sound like it’s the bushing. Round rubber inserts on the frame & front end. Sooooo if it was my car I would take it to a place that you trust and get an estimate. I just did a wheel bearing myself (easy) and the noise is gone. Mine was like a high pitched rumbling noise. Hope it helps RC
  • Hi RC,
    No the noise does not change when the wheel is turned. They explained that the bushings is wearing out so there is a space now where air flows through and hence the whistle..

    That rubber insert is interesting.. but the there is no clanking when we go over bumps..
  • We have a 2004 Saturn Vue with 24,000 miles on it. When pressing the emergency flasher button in the button stays inside of the dash- you can no longer see the button from the outside.

    Is there a way to get to the button myself without taking it in?

    Thank you,
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    The button can be accessed by taking off the bezel around the shifter and then removing the dash cover above that order. It seems to be a common Vue problem.
  • ewixomewixom Posts: 2
    Recently put two new tires on our 2004 Saturn VUE FWD 4-cyl vehicle and had 4-wheel alignment done. Both rear wheels are are out of camber, but the shop said there was no adjustment for it and to have a dealer look at it. Is this accurate? What can be done about it? One of the older tires has significant inner wear on it already, so we definitely need to have it corrected.
  • marke5marke5 Posts: 1
    I recently had the same situation last week when I took it in for an alignment. The local Firestone wanted $69 each for the camber kits & $100 for each side for the installation. Total $$338. I'm currently looking for the parts & am going to attempt the installation myself.
  • ewixomewixom Posts: 2
    That's not as bad as I thought it would be. I may look into it myself. I'm pretty slow with repairs but I know how to do them. My kid's pretty good, too.
  • sal29sal29 Posts: 3
    A new 2008 VUE w/15 visits to Ed Morse, Brandon, Fl in 13 months. Just platitudes and band-aids. With 3 months of diligent persistance & no concern from the dealer, I made GM take back that vehicle.

    A NHSTA recall for a fix was listed prior to purchasing that vehicle. The problem w/the transmission was never addressed by the dealership. They pulled parts out all over the car, time and again. A total waste of time and money.

    From now on, I will read reviews before I put my money on the table.
  • I have a 2003 VUE also. Sounds like a Conestoga wagon when going over the slightest bump, ( and has for years). Had the bearings replaced because they were shot, but the noise never abated. Apparently from the many forums on this issue, Saturn never has done anything but deny there is a problem. I just wish someone could come out and say that there is a definitive issue and here's the fix! FYI, I had the rear suspension recall work done and the noise was still there.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    edited January 2011
    Sources of front end noises on the Vue include:

    brake caliper pins- there is an updated bushing which will keep them from rattling or alternately you can load them up with caliper grease to keep them quiet

    sway bar end links - they will make a groaning noise when you turn the steering wheel or may rattle. Easy to replace and under $ 100 DIY

    struts/strut bearings - these are known more for squeaks than rattles. replace the bearing when you replace your struts

    steering intermediate shaft - these have been problematic for many automakers as well as GM. Its the shaft that connects the steering wheel to the steering rack and is a VERY VERY common problem. Easy installation... $ 350.00 part - There was also a TSB about adjusting it but it doesn't pertain to the 03 model.

    Steering column - there was a TSB about replacing the steering column due to a rattle within its gears. This is the least likely offender.

    These are the most common - Good luck...Post back if you're looking for more info.
  • jhadawayjhadaway Posts: 3
    Hi. I have a 2004 Saturn Vue with about 75K miles. I am hearing a very loud, groaning or whining sound coming from the left front tire area. The noise seems to get louder with acceleration. It is so loud that I can't hold a converstation with someone in the passenger seat. I thought the problem probably had something to do with the tire, so my friend rotated the tires for me today. The noise is still there and in the same area. Even after a front end alignment, the car still pulls to the left when driving. When braking, I do not notice pull in either direction. The noise does not change when when turning. Any ideas about what could be going on? I appreciate any information you could share.
  • bfamilybfamily Posts: 15
    If you have an AWD version? It may be a transmission differential bearing PTU bearing.
  • bholcombbholcomb Posts: 4
    Have the sway bars replaced, the new ones will have zerk fitting. Cost about $90 to have done. Put your hand on sway bar and have someone turn wheel, you will feel the groan.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    You likely have a bad wheel bearing/hub. Sounds kind of like an airplane propeller right?
  • mdcrusemdcruse Posts: 1
    I lived with a loud noise that I always thought was coming from the front for 2 years!!! Had the tires rotated, replaced, and even installed some sound proofing and the noise remained and got louder. Then one day a buddy was riding in the back and he said that it wasn't road noise but a metal to metal grinding noise. We jacked the Vue up and moved the wheels to discover it was a back wheel making the noise. Rear hub assembly!! A relatively cheap fix and a rather common problem with the Vue.
  • nvtheheminvthehemi Posts: 4
    Did the camber kit work I am having the same problem with the truck not being able to be alinged thank u
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