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Saturn VUE No Start

jarheadwarrenjarheadwarren Posts: 8
edited September 2015 in Saturn
I have a 2003 Saturn Vue. My wife left the key in run or Accessory position overnight and drained the battery. Now that I have recharged the battery the car will not start. The dealer where I bought it said to turn the ignition to the run position for an hour to reset the security system. Then turn it off and start it. They said this would reset the computer and reenable the fuel pump. Didn't work. Any ideas????? thanks

See Also
Diagnostic Flowchart For A Car That Won't Start Or Stalls


  • had my sister borrow mind to go to work, she called the next day said it wouldn't start, I replaced the battery and it turns over but won't start. another note. the fuel tank is full and the gauge never goes past E. did the one hour thing as well, no luck. Looking for ideas as well.
  • ltuttleltuttle Posts: 1
    Same here...after getting all fluids changed/flushed...battery dead...jump, security light on...only goes 10-15 mph...taken to local mechanic, could not get started/ towed to dealer and they are supposedly "re-booting?"
  • Good news on the Vue. Hauled it to town and a mechanic figured it out in 5 hours (only charged us $75). If your battery goes dead in a Saturn Vue here's the simple solution. Turn the ignition switch to run for approx. 10 minutes until the security light goes out. Turn the key off remove it, re-insert and try to start it. If it does not start, repeat the process. If it still does not start, repeat the process again. After the third attempt it should start. This process resets the security system by telling the computer that an authorized person is at the ignition switch. This DID work on our 2003 Vue.
  • OK, I forgot one thing. Either charge the battery back up or buy a new one before attempting to reset the security system.
  • joye2joye2 Posts: 7
    My daughter has a 2003 Saturn Vue and has some problems with it. The Vue is cranking up and you can drive it but the Security light is flashing,as well as the interior lights. As weird as this sounds, this is going on. Even the locks are continuously locking and unlocking. The headlights are even blinking at times like on an emergency vehicle. The gas hand will go from empty to full and vice versa. The steering wheel gets really hard to turn and you have to cut the car off and re-enter the key several times to get it to turn. We called Saturn and they said that it will cost so much to have it checked out and that more than likely that it is the computer. Before paying some ungodly bill, I think we'll try your suggestion. If you have any other ideas, let me know. Thanks!
  • Does you daughter open the door with the key with the security system armed? If so, this may be why the car is acting funny. You can change the mode on the security system to stop this from happening (if in fact this is the problem). Look in the owners manual, it tells you how to change the mode on the security system. I seem to remember reading in my wife's manual that if the system is set to arm automatically, after the door is closed or if you arm it with the remote, you have to unlock and disarm the security system with the remote before opening the door. Other than that I am not sure. Good luck.

    The problem I had was the car would crank over but not start.
  • joye2joye2 Posts: 7
    My daughter disarms the alarm before opening the door. She contacted several mechanics in the area. They are all saying that it is a problem with the computer. My mechanic said the computer would have to be shipped to Fl. Then they would find out where the problem is. I checked out Electrical on the same year and found someone having the same problem. Isn't there something that can be done and if so, who do we report this problem to? We have read the manual and did exactly what it says. No luck. I told her to try your suggestion about the battery. Also, Saturn told us that if she doesn't do something quick that she'll need a new computer because it will shut down the Vue. Sometimes, you just can't afford to pay SATURN there outrageous price. Keep me updated if you find out anything. THANKS!!!
  • Not so lucky... I replaced the battery only to find out that I had no signal to the fuel pump relay from the ECM. We ended up replacing the ECM.
  • Okay, so tell me, what did you end up paying? Thanks!
  • My daughter's Vue is at Fuller Chevrolet here in our little town. They say it is the BCM--Price is $570.00. Thanks for all your suggestions. The 2003 Vue has alot of problems. I only wish I knew the route to take to report all of this because the more I read, it seems there should have been a recall on the whole darn Saturn Vue itself.
  • srdhsrdh Posts: 1
    VUE won't start; mine wouldn't either. New battery didn't help. Had a new starter installed at the Saturn dealer a cost of $499! $407 for the new starter that I found on line for less than $150. Also charged me almost $200 labor to install a front wheel hub/bearing assembly--four bolts off and four bolts back on! Was thinking another Saturn but can't afford the service!
  • :lemon: I hope no one has suffered through the same problem and can tell me if this is a
    lemon I'm driving? The battery is not the problem.

    Three months ago our 2006 2.2L Vue was at a gas station. I put the ignition key
    in the ignition switch. The motor kicked over but would not stay running. It ran for a second and then stopped.

    I noticed the On Star system was not working and the instrument gauges were also dead. It was hauled 60 miles to a Saturn dealer. They replaced the main control module.

    The Vue was OK when I picked it up the following day. It started and drove normal until a month later. The same problem the engine would not stay running.

    It was hauled 60 miles back to the dealer. They could not find any error codes so I went and picked it up.

    The third time it refused to run and the instrument electrical system has not working. The interior lights between the front seats would not turn off. The security
    door locks were not working. The shop foreman drove it for a week to see if it would
    fail again.

    When I removed the cables at the cars battery I had a feeling to put them back on and see what happens. That did as I expected it reset the computer and the car seem normal.

    The dealer has found error codes but they can not find the problem. We know that removing the ground from the battery re sets the computer and the car will run and operate normally.

    I learned trying to start the car a dozen times or more when it would not run Saturn has a fail safe mode. The engine will run but the power steering will not work and the instruments will not work. It will allow the car in an emergency to be moved.

    I bought the car in California and they have a lemon law. I now live 250 miles from the dealer who sold us this SUV. I am considering filing a complaint in CA, as who wants to get under the hood of a car because the dealers service can not find the problem?

    If anyone has had a similar problem please post it. We like the car and the dealer
    60 miles away wants to correct the problem. I do not blame the dealer.
  • I also have a 2006 Vue that I'm having it sounds similar issues.

    In Feb. 2007 I went out to go to work the interior lights were on. They wouldn't turn off. The car would start up then die within just a few seconds. I was already running late for work so I just took our spare car.

    My husband tried everything he could think of to get them off however nothing worked. He even noticed the mirror (On Star, 911, etc) features were dead.

    The vechile ended up having to be towed around 60 miles to the dealership. They had it a week before they said it was fixed. I don't go along with what they told us it was but what can you say. They charged the battery & put a new OnStar antenia on the back to fix the issues.

    It's now November 2007. We are having the same issue again & the keyless remote will not work as well. This time I was at work when it happened. Again had to be hauled in however this time it was taken to a different Saturn dealership due it was closer to my work.

    This dealership just called they are going to replace the Body Control Module.

    Back during the summer I also had to have the key ignition switched replaced due to issues of it locking/sticking.

    This is the first Saturn I've owned and it will be the last at this rate of issues. The only reason we purchased it was due to it had a manual transmission & they are getting harder to find.
  • We must be driving the same car... What you described is exactly what our 2006
    Vue did. The cure is simple either insist they exchange our cars under the lemon law or remove the cables off the negative battery terminals for a minute.

    Then replace the ground cable and the vehicles wiring harness and wait to the next time it refuses to start.

    I believe the problem is the ECM does not reset to the manufactures ignition mode. The technician in our case can find an error code but it only gives him a
    starting point to troubleshoot from.

    Our problem occurs about every three to five weeks. I've experienced the interior light will not extinguish, the security system is dead as is the gauges and the On Star system.

    It is one of the three computer modules that control everything electrical in our cars.
    The reason our cars refuse to run is the vehicles fuel pump will not function plus the ECM module will not allow the engine to be started.

    If you are in an place where no help is available to remove the ground battery and the harness to the fuses and you do not have the tools. Then your only hope is
    keep trying to start the car it will turn over but not run for more then a second. Do that a dozen or more times and the engine will start.

    Your still not out of trouble as the power steering, instrument lights and gauges
    plus the On Star will not operate. It will allow you to drive home or in a better location. I must warn you without the power steering it is really difficult to steer.

    We have a 2004 Ion 2 and we never had the slightest problem. I can only hope enough complaints to Saturn headquarters will get them to recall their problem cars.
    Saturn will not ever use the term recall. They use campaign so people like us will not know there is a problem even the best trained Saturn technicians can not solve.

    Other then the intermittent problem and the fact is the closest Saturn dealer is an hours drive away we like the car. We live in Pahrump Nevada and their must be at least 30 Vues and several hundred Saturn sedans driving around town every day. Let's hope someone at Saturn headquarters will issue another campaign.. :mad:
  • joye2joye2 Posts: 7
    I really wish everyone driving a Saturn Vue the best of luck. Like I said, the ECM is what our problem was. That problem was solved but other problems with this lemon continue to surface. Saturn will not do anything but if everyone with a problem will continue to complain, maybe someday something good will happen. If nothing else, maybe Vues will be a thing of the past. That's a good thought!!!!

    Oh I forgot to mention, we also had to replace the ignition. They also said we need a new steering column. WHAT NEXT, HUH??
  • We agree Saturn Headquarters is not going to recall these cars until more of us complain. I thank everyone who has taken the time to share thier experiences.

    Other then two flat tires and the ECM problem the car has been trouble free. :sick:
  • giseeugiseeu Posts: 2
    You were correct. It's been 6 weeks and it's doing it again. I went to work on Saturday came out at noon to leave to find it wouldn't start doing the same thing it did a month ago. It was zero outside for temp. The vehicle was again towed to the dealership so I'm waiting to call them on Monday to find out what they are going to do this time about it. I'm going to advise them about the ECM. Keep you posted.
  • kingcatkingcat Posts: 13
    Good news to pass along. Our 2006 Vue that had to be hauled 60 miles to Las Vegas several times with the same problem the motor refused to run.

    I found by accident that after removing the cables (2) from the ground side of the battery re-boots the ECM. Our Vue has not had that problem since I discounted the ground cables waited five minutes and replaced them.

    The reason I disconnected the grounding strap and the cars ground wires off the battery terminal was the interior lights our not turn off. Had I not removed the ground cables the cars battery would have been dead.

    I discussed the problem recently with the service shop foremen. They do not recommend anyone getting under the hood. Batteries are devices with lots of amps. I can only guess that the ECM did not drop the data in the computers
    memory. The other could have been a bad connection in the ground cable or the ground return wires could have caused the problem.

    It has been two months since I took the cables off and waited five minutes and carefully replaced them on the ground terminal.
    Do not attempt to remove the positive cables off the battery.

    If the car is under warranty have an authorized Saturn Technician solve the problem. If the dealer is not near you then find an auto electrical repair shop. Batteries are dangerous so do not attempt this unless you are a highly skill mechanic. :)
  • Our 2003 Vue was completely fixed. Nothing really wrong except for the dummy who left the key on and the battery went dead setting off the antitheft computer. That was what caused the car to not start. The computer thought someone was trying to steal it. A good mechanic in town ASE Certified found out after making several calls that the security system had to be reset and the engine would start. Other than that I had no problems with it, but the wife had to have something nicer(Sportier) and traded it in for a 2004 L300. I really wish everyone the best of luck with their Vues. I had ours up on the mountains climbing rocks and putting the all wheel drive to the test. It isn't a 4X4 truck but for a car it did pretty good. I loved the car. I also have a 2005 Ion 1 which I drive to work (45 miles each way). With the stock tires I was getting 36 to 41 miles per gallon. I have studds on it now which are slightly larger in size and am getting around 34-36. I much prefer the Ion for distance driving and reliability. The only problem I have with it is when the temp hits -10 I have to charge the battery for about 10 minutes before the car will start. I did not get the block heater with my car, but I am not so sure it would do me any good as the battery is what is freezing not the engine.
  • One last question for everyone who reads this. WHEN YOU FIND A DEALER REPAIR SHOP THAT ISN'T OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE LET ME KNOW. I have yet to find one that isn't. It doesn't matter what brand of vehicle it is they are all expensive.
  • I am having similar problems with my vue. When the control module was replaced did it fix it?
  • I have had the same problem with the locking system and the light won't go off. now the battery won't start the car.. Does anyone know of a recall on this problem email [email protected] .. thank you for your post I will try this that others have tried.
  • I am having the same issues, and I was starting to think it was only me. My 2006 VUE would start and then die within a few seconds, and then after that the interior lights and the headlight would not turn off. I have tired this a few times, and still the same thing. This has happened to me 3 times every 6 months and the last time was this past weekend. 2 times I got strained at a super market, and the other time was at home. I had to call road side assistants for them to call me a tow truck, and then had to wait over an hour for the tow truck to come. By the time they arrived, my car was completely dead. They towed it to the dealer ship I have bought my car from in Trevose PA, and every time I called them they told me it was something different then the first time it had happened, and then they couldn't find nothing wrong with it and always winded up with a new battery. I knew since I got a new battery, this shouldn't happen. But when I talked to the mechanic they kept telling me it was something different then last time and that nothing was wrong. So now after I have read all this, next time my car does it, I'm gonna ask them about the Main Control Module or the ECM? I'm just getting tired of wondering when my car will do this again especially when I'm out at a store. I hope they post a recall or notice that there is a lot of people out there with the same problems. So if anybody else knows anything about recalls or problems with the 2006 VUE please post. :lemon: I think next time I'm gonna tell them I want a new car, since this is a new car and see if they have ever heard of the lemon law!!!
  • I have a 2002 Saturn Vue and its run well for 4 years now until lately. I can drive for about 30 minutes and then the engine shuts off. Electricity is fine still, so its not the alternator since my battery doesn't drain fast. Radio stays on, windows work, etc. I have to sit back for like 15-20 minutes and then it starts again but shuts off after about 5-10 minutes. I recently had a cracked fuel tank and my fuel sending unit was busted, but both of those have been fixed. I have no drain in fuel or a drip or vapor leak anymore, but this didn't fix the issue either. I am wondering if it is my ECM or my security system shutting off my car (my key does pull out of the ignition even while its driving, so maybe it could be that!). I'll try the security thing first with the car keys
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    4 cylinder or V6? Sounds like an issue with the crankshaft position sensor - as they are on their way out they will start failing intermittently as they get hot. They tell the fuel injectors when to squirt fuel into the engine, when the CPS fails, no fuel is delivered...More common on the V6...I don't think its the security issue as it does run for 30 minutes...check engine light on??
  • Yeah, V6. So, how much is that to get replaced?
  • Shygirl,

    Does your Vue have the Pass-Lock Theft Deterant system? If so I would check that out. Take it to Schucks Auto parts. Or what ever they call themselves in your area. I had a similar problem with my 05 ion cept I only pulled it out of the garage and parked in the drive way. Came back a couple hours later and the darn thing would not start. I called the dealer and spoke with a mechanic and he told me to do the same thing you did. This happened a couple times and finally I took it in and they replaced the ignition switch. This solved the problem till I moved from Tacoma Washington to eastern Idaho where the temp in the winter is usually below 10 most of the winter. Nights it gets to minus 20 and then my car does the same thing sometimes. I have to fiddle with the ignition switch to get it to start. put the key in try to start it. take the key out, open the door, get out, close the door, open and get back in then try to start igain. Sometimes this works sometimes a variation of this works. Don't really know what is up. But I recommend testing the passlock theft deterant system. Especially if the key comes out with the car running. This system tells the computer that someone is driving the car without the proper key in the ignition switch, like the key with out the black plastic on it which is for when you lock your keys inside the car. That plain key does not have some kind of computer chip inside it. Best of luck
  • I had a vue, the crankshaft position sensor went out as well as the computer (BCM?)

    both were 500.00 repairs. The sensor can be intermittent before it gives out completely.

    They pretty much have to take your car apart so its a day or two or three to get it back. This is a pretty common problem with the vues.
  • kingcatkingcat Posts: 13
    :sick: The same problem occurred again today. The engine turns over but would not run. The gas and heat gauges fail to indicate.

    Like the last time I had to get under the hood and remove the ground strap and electrical cables on the ground side of the battery.

    This time after driving to where we went the car electrical system was dead.
    I tracked it down to a lose screw on the positive post of the battery.

    Not sure how long the battery had a lose connection? The car seems to run better.
    No doubt that was the reason my Vue has given me problems in the past.

    Bottom line is take the ground cables off. There are two and then check out the screw on the positive side.

    I've never taken the positive side cables off. The dealer in Las Vegas managed to
    do that. I'm not pleased that the Vue computer system failed for the 5th time.

    I do not recommend taking the ground cable and ground strap off the battery. You can do damage to the car or if you short out the battery serious injury can result.
    Do so only if your a qualified mechanic.
  • 1999 sc-1 100k miles. My son's first car. Didn't start one day. Would not crank. Not the battery. I jacked car up, got under the car and whacked the starter several times.The car started. Figured bad starter. Replaced it. couple of weeks later, same problem. After a ten minute drive, every once in a while, it would not start. All the bells and lights and whistles would come on, but when the key is turned all the way to start, engine would not crank. Nothing at all. Then, miraculously after 15-20 minutes, the car would start and run perfectly.(Could have saved starter $) This has happened several times during the past 2 months. My mechanic says it has to happen for him , for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, it never does. My son is usually at school or at the store when it happens. He waits the 15 minutes and it starts. I did notice one thing. After it does not start, if you turn the key to off and remove the key, a clicking sound , not unlike a turn signal, can be heard coming from the passenger side of the trunk, rear seat area. Stuck relay? it "clicks about 10 times then stops. Have yet to locate exactly where sound is coming from. Don't know if one thing has to do with the other but I'm dumbfounded. Any suggestions?
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