Saturn VUE Steering and Suspension Problems

bholcombbholcomb Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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...
  • terry0831terry0831 Member Posts: 1
    i would check the sway links had to replace mine, you could check them by holding the link and have someone bounce the car
  • pbronstruppbronstrup Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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!
  • flashover49flashover49 Member Posts: 3
    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 Member 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.
  • flashover49flashover49 Member Posts: 3
    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!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • gcvuemangcvueman Member Posts: 1
    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:
  • jlm072085jlm072085 Member Posts: 2
    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???
  • flashover49flashover49 Member Posts: 3
    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
  • jlm072085jlm072085 Member Posts: 2
    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..
  • satvue04satvue04 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • mjones60mjones60 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 15
    If you have an AWD version? It may be a transmission differential bearing PTU bearing.
  • bholcombbholcomb Member 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 Member Posts: 373
    You likely have a bad wheel bearing/hub. Sounds kind of like an airplane propeller right?
  • mdcrusemdcruse Member 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 Member Posts: 4
    Did the camber kit work I am having the same problem with the truck not being able to be alinged thank u
  • mindbodymindbody Member Posts: 2
    Walter S.

    I did the same thing with the flasher button and the actually button fell down into the dash leaving the lighted portion hovering inside the hole. lol
    Still need that repaired.

    I also am having the front end work - struts, upper mounts and maybe the sway bar bushings and wheel bearings while it is apart.

    Any other advice or suggestions?
  • fedupvueownerfedupvueowner Member Posts: 2
    2008 Vue, v6. Bought it used w 32k miles. Steering wheel makes the groaning noise that has been well documented above. Car started making a rattling noise (front right) after owning the car for 3 months or so. My warranty covered the replacement struts ($100 deductable). about 6 months later, same rattling noise came back (front right). This time, my warranty covered the upper mounts (another $100 deductable). Now, my newest issue. I was driving on the highway, and had to break suddenly (cruising at 70 in the second to right hand lane, had to slow sown quickly as I nearly missed the off ramp). Mind you I did not lock up the breaks. The car made a high pitched sound like it does when I really step on the gas, it was almost revving. It continued to make this noise for a good 15-20 seconds. I was at a stop light, not moving, tried putting it in neutral, park, nothing would make the revving stop. I turned off the car. Turned it on, it would not go away. Finally, got back up to 5th gear again and the noise went away. Now, this same issue has happened twice again in the last few days. Any mechanics want to take a stab at this one? Also, anyone else notice this car shudders a lot when cruising on the highway?????
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Were you planning on taking the vehicle to a GM dealership to be diagnosed? Please keep me posted on any information.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • fedupvueownerfedupvueowner Member Posts: 2
    Hi Caron,

    I am planning on taking this to be looked at soon. Is this something that GM has heard of (the revving after breaking suddenly)?
  • letsgetreal50letsgetreal50 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Saturn Truck Vue V6. When starting and putting the gear in either forward or reverse, the electronic steering freezes up.

    I have to turn the ignition off, wiggle the steering wheel and restart before the electronic power steering stays engaged. Some times I have to do this several times before the power steering stays engaged.

    I checked the fuses and they are all OK.

    What else can I do at this point?
  • dmspotodmspoto Member Posts: 1
    I've got an 05 VUE with 72k miles. While under warranty almost every other year I've had to take the car in for a rattle coming from the front driver's side of the vehicle. It sounds like something is very loose and will fall off, especially going over rough roads and bumps at low rates of speed . Saturn replaced the front strut mounts and bearings three times and the struts once. Now, a year and a half after the last repair which was the struts, mounts and bearing, and now out of warranty (of course), the noise is back. Having contacted GM and gotten a case with them, I took my car to a GM dealer and just got it back this evening. They said the noise wasn't the struts or mounts...they looked fine. They said it was the steering column and caliper pins. Having those replaced, I drove the car home and what should I hear? The same rattling. I'm at a loss now with what to do...especially since I'm out hundreds of dollars. Does any one have any idea what this noise could be? I will be calling the GM rep I was dealing with this past month, but who knows what will come out of that.
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Intermediate steering shaft - it connects the steering column to the steering rack- goes right through the firewall...Its usually the last part that they change to fix a steering rattle.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Could you please email us your case number? We would like to look further into your situation.

    You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • mooncavamooncava Member Posts: 1
    Hey Fedup, sorry to hear about your issues. We bought our 2008 AWD V6 new and it's been a workhorse with almost no hiccups..except the one you're describing here. A couple of weeks ago, we started experiencing a high-pitched engine noise after braking firmly. It turned out to be the power steering pump needed to be replaced, which was covered under our warranty, as was the rental car we needed while waiting for the part to come in. Since then, it's been smooth sailing!
  • 40calgal40calgal Member Posts: 1
    Question: How many camber bolts should be in the rear wheels of a 2009 Vue? (I'm not a car tech person, so forgive any awkward phrasing!)

    Background: I just purchased four new tires for my Vue and had an alignment done. They indicated the rear wheels were out of camber, and also indicated that in most cars there are two camber bolts in each wheel, not just one, which is what they found in the rear of my car. They indicated that even though they were able to align it to within spec (barely), that the car/wheels are not aligned, only the four wheels.

    I took it to the dealer who is honoring the Saturn warranty work, and the first reaction was, "it doesn't need two because the rear wheels usually don't need much adjustment; there are two in the front wheels. I've never had to add two." Then he questioned the validity of my mechanic. My first reaction was, (a) don't assume I'm an idiot and badmouth my mechanic who has provided great and reasonable service for 15 years, and (b) just because you didn't add the bolts doesn't mean they're not needed.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
  • elderritaelderrita Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2003 Saturn Vue. I had a similar issue; ended up replacing the steering column. It was costly.
  • sadvueowner_1sadvueowner_1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2008 Saturn Vue and When the weather is below 50 degrees, i hear this loud crunching noise on the front right side whenever i ride over uneven group,bump etc. I've had the sway bars changed twice on that side and the noise is still there but only when it below 50 degrees. I went to two different dealers thinking they both would tell me something different but the both said the same thing change the sway bars. As of August 2012 my powertrain warrenty will expire and the noise has yet to be fixed. Please Help !!!! I'm not sure how to present this issue to another dealer with out going in and crying my eyes out.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    I'm sorry that you have had such a difficult time getting this addressed. If we can be of any assistance, please email your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, the name of your preferred dealership, and a description of any of your visits there to have this looked at to [email protected]

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • sadvueowner_1sadvueowner_1 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you ! I sent information and the history of all the visits to the email indacated.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    My coworker Christina, who answers inbound emails from Edmunds, will assist you further.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • sportyvuesportyvue Member Posts: 1
    When I turn to the left my car makes a clicking noice. Like click, click almost like typing. My husband said it's the cv joints but the dealer said it's the steering rack and it needs to be replaced. I am skeptical about this because I have read that steering problems produce a rattling or squeaky noise. They also said if I don't get it fixed the steering will lock up on me suddenly.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    If you would like for us to follow up on this with your dealership, sportyvue, we're happy to do so. Please send the following information to us at [email protected]: your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    GM Customer Service
  • tlsaylor79tlsaylor79 Member Posts: 1
    I have had this problem for four years and have owned my Saturn for five years. I took it into the dealership several times under warranty and they said they could not find a problem. It is very annoying every time the temeperature drops below 70 degrees to hear that awful noise. My powertrain warranty is expired so I am praying that it is not anything more serious. Did they ever figure out your problem? Sounds like we are having the same issue.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    Just wanted to be sure to offer our assistance in working with a dealership should you ever decide to go in to get this looked at again. We can be reached at [email protected] (include your name, contact information, last 8 of your VIN, and the name of your dealership).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • tinas722tinas722 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Saturn Vue. I've had several issues with the passenger front suspension and front drive train. I had several repairs under my extended warranty. Now it is happening again and of course may extended warranty expired this past April. I am starting to wonder if my vehicle may qualify as a 'lemon'. It's really a shame because my Mom still has the first model year of this same body style and my sister had the 2006 model. Neither of them had these issues! Off to the dealership on Monday again, only this time I'm probably going to get stuck with a big bill.
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