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Saturn VUE No Start



  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    First you have to get the key out, then you can deal....

    1. Try this, turn the steering wheel back and forth while you gingerly try to wiggle the key and hopefully it will loosen enough so you can turn it to where you can get it out. Don't force the key...last thing you want to do is break it.

    2. Then, do not use that key but instead, use your spare key...the Saturn keys tend to wear out and not work in the ignition. IF you don't have a spare, get the dealer to make one from your VIN # and not from the worn out one

    3. If even the newer key won't turn either, try using a little powdered graphite in the key hole before you put the key in. you can get it at Home Depot...use it sparingly, a little goes a long way. Don't use something like WD40 or you are asking for other issues.

    Once you get the key to turn you can deal with the dead battery...

    Good Luck.
  • About a year ago, my 2008 Saturn Vue wouldn't start one morning before work. My neighbor jump started it for me when I was at work, and took it over to a garage, where nobody had an explaination as to what was wrong. The battery was fine, the alternator, everything. And the car was fine since.

    About 2 months ago, I noticed at night that my Hazard Light button and the headlight switch are lit up. I was afraid I might have a dead battery, but never seem to. This weekend, my car wouldn't start two times. I took it to my brother-in-law this morning. He said that everything checks out perfect on it, and it started right up for him.

    Am I losing my mind? Can anybody tell me if they have come across similar things? I am getting fed up with the GM dealerships, because they all seem to not give a rats butt when I call them. PLEASE PLEASE someone help me out here!

    Adam Pfingstl
    Dazed and Confused!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Could you please go more into detail on the problems you have encountered with the GM dealership? Have you spoken with GM Customer Assistance?

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • I had the same problem, 3 times in the last year. YES, I took it in too and they couldn't find anything wrong. It's acting up again and I know what will happen. Waste my valuable time taking it in and they won't find nothing wrong!!!! I came online to see if anybody else was having issues and came across this web page.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Has the dealer involved Technical Assistance? If not, I would recommend asking them to do so. Have you spoke with Customer Assistance? I look forward to your response.
    GM Customer Service
  • 2008 Saturn Vue XE, The original battery gave up the ghost. It would not hold a charge and failed current draw test. No big deal right ! I purchased a new battery and installed it. The car would not crank. All dash lights and systems seemed to work correctly but no crank. Disconnected battery to reset ECU. Tried waiting 10 minutes, 1 hour and over night. Same situation. On first start the anti theft light came on before crank and never again. Clearly something was not right. Long story short, after pulling each fuse for ECU, TCU and BCM one at a time the car would then crank and start. Due to either the low voltage from the bad battery or replacing the battery the TDM was not talking to the other modules correctly. I hope this keeps someone from pulling their hair out during what should be a simple battery replacement.
  • Hey Carsingarage:
    Sounds like I'm having the same or similar problem with my 2008 Saturn Vue Redline. Walked out to it yesterday, acted like a dead battery. Was able to jump start it last night, but walked out this morning - same thing. I realized that it might be more complex than a dead battery. :(
    Just to make sure that I don't misunderstand, you're saying that you replaced the fuses, not just pulled and put back, to get your Saturn to crank? Are you saying that after all of that, the TDM still does not talk to the other modules correctly?
    Also, I've read about Saturns having BCM issues. Is it possible that I instead or also have a BCM problem?
    Finally, do you think that there is a possibility that my battery is O.K., but that I just need to go through the fuse pulling process? (I'm being hopeful)
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I would recommend speaking with your GM dealer of choice. Thank you for posting your concerns. Please keep me updated on your progress. Please feel free to email me directly.
    GM Customer Service
  • I have been problems starting 2002 Saturn Vue for about a month now. First we thought it was the fuel pump, and it's not. The car will turn over but 90% of the time will not turn on. When it does actually start, it spits and sputters and if you hit the gas it will stay on. However, I can't get it to start again. The car turns over fine but I cannot get it to turn on. Any suggestions would be very helpful.
  • I had a problem where the 2002 Vue would just shut off whlie driving, hen it wouldn't restart until it sat for a while.

    The garage replaced the Crank Shaft Sensor and this seems to be working so far.

    Has anyone else replaced this?
  • I expect more from a $28,000 car with less than 40,000 miles. Had my car packed last month for a trip to North Carolina and turned the key and nothing. The car wouldn't start. I called Classic where I take my car and the service man told me it was probably the battery. Ok. I called for a jump. I took it to Auto Zone thinking bad battery. Nice guy did a diagnostic test on battery/starter/etc, nothing showed wrong. I took my trip afraid to turn the car off. Okay, maybe car was having a bad day. Month later, tonight I am ready to go to the store and the car won't start. Now I'm disgusted. I called for a jump again. Wouldn't start. Lights come on and I hear click, click, click. Tomorrow I have it towed to the dealer and will take some of the comments with me that I have read tonight.
  • Did you end up bringing your vehicle to the dealership? How did this go?

    Looking forward to an update,
    GM Customer Service
  • In August, 2002 Saturn Vue would start but not turn over ... Body Control Module was draining the battery and was replaced for a whopping $395. Here we are four months later and again, the same problem! Called AAA who stated that the battery was fine ... it was the relay. As a stopgap he switched rear wiper relay for fuel relay ... ran the car for a while ... and told me to drive it to repair. It's pre-New Year's Eve ... Hyundai closed early but I did drive around for 15 minutes ... made a stop ... turned it off and back on again. Two questions: 1) will it turn over tomorrow, and 2) is it a simple minimal cost relay or a faulty BCM? I'll post after returning to Hyundai.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Sounds like the relay is bad - Its likely that the relay that they switched the wiper one for was the fuel pump relay...bring the relay to your local auto parts store and get a new one and install it yourself...may likely solve your problem. Its as easy as unplugging the old one and plugging the new one in - the part should be under $ 25.

    Good Luck
  • ahadziahadzi Posts: 2
    My 08 saturn vue wont crank but the iginition lights on the dashboard is ok and can see a padlock locked to a car in the dashboard.How do i unlock and start my car.
  • The "padlock locked to a car" light you are describing indicates that your vehicle likely has a content theft-deterrent alarm system. Are you planning on visiting a dealership to have this looked into?

    GM Customer Service
  • ahadziahadzi Posts: 2
    Sarah, can you recommend a dealership in Ghana, West Africa? i dont know of one yet.
  • I looked in the resources I have, but have found that we don't have information for Ghana, nor am I able to refer you to any Customer Assistance for your country. I apologize for that, and I hope that the very technically savvy posters of Edmunds are able to assist!

    GM Customer Service
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Make sure that your battery is good - I've heard of issues where the battery had enough juice to light the dash lights but not enough to power all of the electronic gizmos including the anti theft system.

    Even with the padlock lit the car should crank if the battery is ok, it just won't keep running. Post back - I'll check in.

    Good Luck
  • cmw1utcmw1ut Posts: 1
    Ok, this sounds like a reoccurring theme. We've owned this car since August, and has become our only vehicle (other was totaled). Tonight is the second time our Vue won't start. Both times, the temperature has been really cold. The car starts, lights turn on, but lasts for a second, then shuts off. I had to remove the battery connection because the lights wouldn't turn off. (The last time, my friend who rescued my daughter didn't realize the lights were still on, and it killed the battery.) This time I went, and we undid battery cable. Lights went off, and I decided to try the car again after hooking up battery. It started just fine. Also have the same issue of our key sticking in the ignition when we try to remove it. Again, just bought this used, but feel GM should pay for any repairs.
  • If you would like for us to establish a Customer Assistance Case, we would be able to evaluate your situation to see what options are available to address this concern. I can't guarantee what the decision will be, but we will be thorough.

    Please send us an email (located in my Edmunds profile if you were to click on my username) with your name and Edmunds username, contact information (phone and address, please), the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your preferred dealership.

    GM Customer Service
  • I am an ASE certified auto tech. since 1983.
    I have a doa 2006 Vue 4 cyl. Initially had zero compression from jumped timing chain. Replaced timing chain and lower sprocket. Has good compression now in all 4 luckily and does well on individual cyl. leakdown test. Cranks over good, tries to start like it is hitting on 1 or 2 but won't start. Holds over 60 psi fuel pressure during cranking. Pulled injector rail and verified pulsed fuel spray out of all 4 injectors while cranking. All 4 injectors have identical internal resistance and open and close good under fuel pressure during manual test with jumper wires. Have checked all spark plugs and verified good spark out of all 4 coils with an auxillary wire and spark tester. Replaced crankshaft pos sensor. Strong gas smell after cranking. Did the 30 min. 3 step passlock reset procedure. No "padlock on car" light on dash, just wrench light. Have disconnected battery repeatedly. Pulled, checked, replaced fuses for the computer modules, fuel, ign, etc.
    I have ordered an Autech AL-510 scanner but have not yet done anything to diagnose the computer system.
    I have read in here where this symptom of just "trying to start" is common so I'm thinking the computer is keeping it from starting somehow.
    Can the code scanner help with a dead car where the codes are wiped out?
    Does disconnecting the battery actually wipe out ALL codes?
    Does trying different things to start it set erroneous codes?
    Can I use a timing light hooked up to #1 coil to check if the spark is occuring where it should be? I know I would have to find TDC #1 firing stroke and make a mark on crank pully to do this.
    Does the computer alter the timing to keep it from starting somehow?
    I am using a Haynes manual for this car and comprehensive mechanics tools.
    Thanks in advance for your "expert" input but please don't ask questions that I have already answered in my lenghty description of the situation.
  • Thanks for responding. First went to dealer with an estimated cost of $150 IF "that's what it is". What did I have to lose? Went to Salvo got a relay ($14.70 - what a deal!). As I popped the hood a Salvo employee came outside, spent some time listening to the car and suggested that since the car was starting/turning over to postpone replacing relay until the instance re-occurs.

    AAA saved me towing and a hefty dealer repair price AND Salvo provided great customer service and a $14.70 part price. Great start to a New Year!
  • Hi,

    I'm new to Edmunds and also new to Saturn product line. My son recently totaled my car so I 'm in search of a replacement and saw a 2007 Vue Hybrid for sale. I was not able to find out more about how this particular implementation of hybrid is being done and/or what are the most likely parts it will need to be replace as the car get older (it's 6 yrs old already). Most importantly the cost to fix as I read some of the comments/reviews in Edmunds, seems to be expensive items. Like stuts, steering, ignition etc ... I also saw there's actually a GM rep monitor this forum ... which I think it's great that they can have first hand knowledge of what users are experiencing and consider important.
    I would like to get an opinion from someone give me some pointers ... a private seller asking for $12,500 with 42K miles on 2007. What should I be prepare to pay for maintanence? I'm expecting to take it to at least 120K (if possible that is).

    Thanks in advance.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    edited January 2012
    There's a lot to like about the VUE, especially for a younger driver...its built like a tank, gets decent gas mileage and can be had for a reasonable price...

    Here's my opinion: Try to find a 2006-2007 2007 NON Hybrid with the 4cylinder and automatic trans (AVOID 2002-2004 4cylinder automatics - its a long story, just trust me)

    The hybrid system has been quirky and due to its design doesn't achieve the lofty MPGs that you would hope for anyway. The 4 cylinder without the hybrid system will give MPGs in the mid 20s and is a solid if simple drivetrain.

    The front suspension is typically where you will spend your repair $...the factory OEM struts aren't very good, nor are the strut bearings or swaybar links...some have replaced wheel bearings as well but this seems more prevalent in the rust belt states so depending on where you live you may or may not have a problem...The OEM brake rotors are known to be prone to warping...the permanent fix is to replace them with a name brand that is not AC Delco and you solve the problem. That's how I fixed it on both of my GM cars.

    The 2006-2007 has a nicer interior than the earlier models and is also quieter in the cabin...

    IMHO $12,500 for a 2007 Vue is kind of high, even with 42K miles...I bet you could do better with some more looking around and by not buying the hybrid version. Saturn resale values are the pits since they're not around may not care since you're looking to hold on to it anyway, but that should allow you to get a better deal up front.

    BTW - the Vue has a BAS hybrid system...Here's a link to learn more about how it works: link title

    Best of luck - feel free to post back with any other questions...I hope I've helped...BTW - I've owned my 2004 Vue (4cylinder/5 speed manual trans) for the past 5 years so I can give you more insight if you need.
  • Thank you so much for the post and it sure gave me lot of info. Especially on the link to BAS. I also saw a recall during 2008 because of the battery leaks. I gather if I decided to get a Vue, I should ask about if the battery was replaced. BTW, what's the rough cost and normal life of the battery anyway? I also think the asking price was little higher than I researched on Edmunds, KBB and Nada. Personally, I think it should be around $10,500 to $11,000, just a guess. I have not found too many Vue yet around my area (Austin, TX), so I think I'll take a drive on this one and see how it feel. Thanks again for your pointers.
  • Ok I got an Autech AL510 scanner and used it. There are no codes stored or other faults indicated. Did the key on for one hour thing, still no start. There is a red engine light on instrument panel lit up.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I'm not really sure about the hybrid batteries' cost as I don't have one so I've never shopped it around....

    Best of luck with your shopping...keep looking, you'll find a 2006-2007 that works for you - they built and sold a lot of them....

  • HEY! You are very accurate! More info on the Saturn 2004. I'm considering purchasing one. Someone tried to sell me one (over priced) but I've been in love since my rear sat in the seat!!! I've been running ragged. I found a 2004 Saturn Vue with 83,000+ miles on it for $6,000. I'm a 23 year old girl. I pretty much do what I'm told when it comes to taking care of a car! Any thoughts !?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Hi - I'm glad to help. Here's what you need to know about the 2004 Vue.


    Do not under any circumstances purchase a 2002-2005 4 cylinder Vue with an automatic transmission. This transmission has been VERY prone to failure and you'll be lucky to get 6 months out it. Google "saturn VTI transmission" if you don't believe me and read the horror stories. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT...most used car dealers know this and will do almost anything to get you to buy one of these...Don't fall for it!

    That being said: the 4 cylinder automatics in the 2006-2007 model year were much better units and are as reliable as anything on the road. They are a little more expensive b/c they are newer but well worth it.

    OK, we got that out of the way - Here's everything else you need to know:

    The 04 Vue was offered with a 4 cylinder and a manual transmission, this has been a very reliable combination. The shifter isn't the best so if you've never driven one before its a tough one to learn on. If you like manual transmissions, you'll enjoy this one though. You'll get MPGs in the mid 20s and although its not the fastest ride on the street, you won't have any trouble keeping up with traffic. And the 4cylinder will give you all it has right up to the redline! There are plenty of these that went over 200,000 miles with few repairs. One weak spot has been the clutch slave cylinder which is an expensive part to replace...but this is much more common on pre-2004 manual transmission models.

    There was also a 6 cylinder/automatic transmission offered. It is a Honda engine and transmission. Same as they used in the Odyssey. Very reliable and some report it gets better MPGs than the 4 cylinder, especially on the highway. You will have to change the timing belt and water pump every 90,000 miles - about an $800.00 job, but otherwise, very few issues with this combo. If you're looking at one with more than 90,000 miles, ask to see the service receipt that shows the timing belt being changed. Expect to pay a little more for the 6 cylinder as the word is out that GM bought it from Honda and that its a good unit. One caveat though: the transmission is really picky about clean fluid. Expect to change it every 25,000 miles for best performance. There have also been some torque converter issues with these but all in all its been a good unit.

    4 and 6 cylinder models were also offered with All Wheel Drive. The unit that they used in the Vue is a very lightweight unit and is known to need repairs from time to time, especially with the driveshaft and driveshaft bushing. If you don't REALLY need AWD...don't get it as its just one more system to break. I don't have it on mine but they say it doesn't work too well anyway...

    The weak points in the 04 Vue are certainly the front brakes and front suspension system, regardless of which model. The front brake rotors tend to warp rather quickly...this is easily remedied by NOT using the AC Delco parts but instead by replacing them with quality aftermarket parts.

    The front suspension also has some issues: The front OEM struts are not good units and will be shot by 70,000 miles if not sooner. And they're noisy too. There are also reported issues with the front swaybar links being noisy - fortunately they are inexpensive to replace.

    I won't mention styling as that's really subjective but is should be said that the 2004+ Vues are a lot quieter in the cabin than the earlier ones. There was also an appearance and interior upgrade on the 2006-2007 models.

    Since you like the Vue...also consider looking at the Chevrolet Equinox and the Pontiac Torrent. They are built on the same platform and are similar in size and have much nicer interiors than the Vue.

    I hope this helped - please feel free to post back with any questions.

    All the Best!!! :shades:
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