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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • We're happy to look into these concerns further, pnhdad. Please send the following information to us at so that we may open a case and contact your dealership: your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I have a 2008 Saturn Outlook with only 45,000 miles on it. While driving 65 mph on the highway, my car completely shut down. Thank God I was able to pull over safely to the shoulder of the road. I was able to get the car started right away but for a while the steering wheel was making sounds and the air conditioner was not working properly. This was an extremely scary experience. I'm taking my car to the dealer today. Hopefully, he can figure out what went wrong. Please post if your Outlook has had a similiar problem.

    In the past, I have had the headlight and leaky roof problem.
  • Good morning,
    We're very sorry to hear about the situation on the highway and are glad to know that you're okay. Please keep us posted on your progress at the dealership!
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I feel so much relief... I HAD a 2007 Saturn Outlook that was a great car for all the reasons except what a car should be- safe, reliable transportation. The whole family loved the space, comfort and appearance, even the football kids we'd bring to practices with us. BUT at 73K miles the transmission started to slip and rev high, took it to the dealer for service still under warranty at the end of June 2012..... stupidly believed it to be fixed and took the car on a road trip to DC when it really started to act up in DC stop and go traffic.... then transmission just died about 2 hours from home, on the interstate where average speed is 70 MPH!! talk about dangerous! Had it towed to the Chevy Dealer at home & they were awesome and fixed it at no charge but "warned me" that they were doing me a favor as it had passed warranty life, not true. Whatever. I took it straight to the Honda dealer and traded it for a Pilot the next day. I'm done with GM. Comfort is one thing, QUALITY is another.
  • daplapdaplap Posts: 2
    Count us in on the loss of power/chugging problems with our 2009 Saturn Outlook. The dealership mechaincs are saying it's the "coils". So far we've had two coils replaced, plus a new catalytic converter, plus multiple "fuel & induction system cleaning". And once again the car is with GM today for the same problem - 3rd time and we're only at 76000 miles. Sure sounds like a systemic (i.e. WARRANTY!) problem to me. My wife loves the car but mechanic friends tell us to cut losses and sell it asap.
  • Have you spoken with customer assistance in regards to the repeat concerns you've had with your coils on the Outlook? If you would like for us to get a case set up for you, please send the following information to Your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I just wanted to add us to the long list of individuals who have experienced a broken wave plate right around warranty expiration time. In our case, the warranty expired due to time, not mileage, a little more than two months ago. Our car broke down as we were exiting the interstate after a road trip on Sunday. I contacted customer service earlier in the week...and haven't heard a thing back directly from them. They have been in contact with the dealership, who called me today with the "good news" that GM will be paying over half of the repair costs, so we'll "only" have to pay $1400 out of pocket. That's of course, in addition to the $400 out of pocket we've already paid for a rental car.

    Based on the posts I've seen here, as well as posts on other forums, the wave plate issue in the 2007 Outlooks is a known issue for GM. They should be covering the entire cost, not leaving loyal customers holding the bill for their faulty engineering decisions. We have been loyal GM owners for years, but we'll be taking our business elsewhere now.
  • GM is not going to do a damn thing. My outlook has had its transmission replaced at 50,000, since then it has been in the shop 7 times for transmission related problems. each time I get a crappy loaner, while my SUV sits in a shop for a week. Then GM offers me 1000 dollars off a BRAND NEW GM vehicle, like if I could afford a new SUV I would be driving one! So my next offer was to pay for my onstar for 2 years. What I want is my down payment money back so I can get rid of this heap and not break down on the side of the road with my baby AGAIN! and now its stuck in gear again. This is time number 8. as usual on a saturday. Do yourself a favor and dont count on GM doing anything at all for you. Its terrible. I have owned nothing but GM vehicles, one right after the other, and now I get a piece o f crap that I will never be able to get rid of.
  • Decided to make this easy. We checked and the problem still existed. So, to make everything easier, we just got rid of the Saturn and bought a Ford. Hopefully, we will be trouble free from now on.
  • pebs4pebs4 Posts: 3
    our saturn outlook is a 2008 with 36,500 miles only. car started to rev up at 25-30mph and come down and again at 45mp. then completely it towed, mechanic says 3500 at the least for a new one. mechanic stated he never saw anything like this for an suv with these low miles. something needs to be done especially when other vehicles are doing this. please help, cant afford and shouldnt have to!
  • fkarasfkaras Posts: 14
    I had this with my 2009 20K miles solved it by trading to a toyota FOUR RUNNER,,, i can go on a trip to Florida any day and know this car is coming home , back to NY . i smile when i visit toyota dealership. when you must cry to beg GM for help
  • Good morning pebs4,
    We're sorry to hear about your Outlook. While we cannot guarantee what the end resolution will be up front, if you would like for us to look into this further please send the following information to so we can get a Service Request going: your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    Kindest regards,
    GM Customer Service
  • Imagine my disappointment as I search and read all the transmission trouble with a vehicle we WERE happy with....
    On the way to school this morning in heavy rain, I realize that the engine is squealing as I accelerate. RPMs over 5, mph not past 40 and I don't appear to be shifting out of 1st. Check engine light comes on. I stop and turn off the engine. Sit a minute and restart. Same trouble. I am forced to turn around, poke back home and change vehicles.
    This 2007 Saturn Outlook was purchased 9 months ago and currently has 59,000 miles.
    I feel foolish bc we tried to really do our homework before purchasing a used vehicle for our 7 member family. It was thoroughly inspected by a trusted and outstanding GM mechanic.
    I'm hoping the Powertrain warranty will handle all necessary repairs. I'm taking a list of these documented problems to my mechanic. Just don't want to risk a quick fix with continued problems as everyone else is reporting. Very disappointed. Should have purchased another used Chevy Tahoe. Our 2001 has nearly 300,000 miles!
  • Good luck with getting anything out of Gm. We bought a New 2007 Outlook and the transmission went bad at 87000 miles. It was 2 months past the 5 yr requirement too . I recently submitted a claim and GM turned me down. They dont stand behind their product. I will never buy another GM car and will tell everyone I know too. Got my bailout money but can't help anyone else.
  • We have only owned our 2007 Saturn Outlook since Jan 2012. After reading all this I am thinking maybe we chose wrong vehicle. We love the size and feel of the Outlook, replaced our 1996 Suburban with 285,000 miles. Yesterday we had transmission trouble for the first time, reverse is studderly and strange rpm race from 1st to 2nd. Called the only Saturn approved dealership in 100 miles and they said 1-2 weeks before it can even be looked at, most likely 2. What are we supposed to do for a car? They said loaner only applied once they have confirmed powertrain failure- 1-2 weeks. That is crazy. Only other real issue is that the power liftgate wont stay up after opened, but only sometimes. Other times it works perfect.
  • Hello montereymama,

    We're sorry to see that you've had some transmission difficulties with your Outlook. If you have any questions about warranty coverage or would like for us to look into this further, please email us at with your name, contact information, and the last 8 digits of your VIN.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Hello customsys,

    We're sorry that there is such a delay to get your Outlook in to the dealership to have it looked at for the transmission concern you're experiencing. If you would like for us to check into this situation further, please send the following information to us at name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • over all i would never buy a Saturn....The liftgate problem is from your liftgate arms...replace them. I had same problem. go online and order a generic one dont order GM part....

    Transmission --- broken wave is in shop now...prob about 1400.00

  • Sounds exactly like what happened to me. GM is QUITE familiar with this issue. Others have had a broken "wave plate", but In mine, they replaced the Transmission TCM (transmission control module). Basically, it is both the electronic and hydraulic part of your automatic transmission that controls all shifting. ie, the computer tells the TCM to shift, and it actuates a valve that changes the gears. Anyway, they knew immediatley what was wrong. I had the extended GMAC warranty so it was covered. Good luck with yours....
  • I have a outlook 2007 and all it has given me are issues. I am a value customer for New Rochelle Chevy in NY. I brought a new 2009 Malibu with 4 miles on it. no issues. Then my family size changed so I went to that very same dealer I just paid over 26,000 in car for the malibu to trade and get my outlook. Not only did i not get Half the money down in my trade, but they gave me a lemon. THIS outlook has leaked from day one. They fixed it once and now want to charge me $250 just to tell me where the pour, YES pour of water from my roof is coming from. I replaced the front head lights seven times and received three tickets because when it was replaced, it blew right out again. To NOW get a recall about the wiring!!!! then the Transmission went in the car this year, They replaced it, but NOW not even 7 mons later, it's going again!!!!!! of course I'm out a warranty because I take my Handicap child to therapy four times a week 30 mills away from my house and I put too many miles on the car. The Dvd's they installed in the vehicles broke a week from getting the vehicle. I pushed the button to turn it off and the button went straight threw and fell in the Unit. All the buttons are broke. If it wasn't made to push, why install them? I have always gotten all my work done at the dealer. All oil changes, tire rotations, tune ups, etc... I hate my vehicle. At this point I PLEA PLEASE don't get a Saturn, or GM vehicle. They don't work with you. They take your money!!!!! I'm stuck with this vehicle that they can't fix or will charge you every time they fix the same item.. LIKE MY LEAKY, NO POURING inside till I have a puddle in my car and they act like they don't know where leak is coming from. a customer that will NEVER get another car from GM again!
  • Get rid of it ASAP! Outlook is junk! Ours stays in the shop! I will never buy another GM product!
  • Hello bgin2love1,

    We're sorry that you have had such a negative experience with your Outlook. If we can look into this further for you, please email us the following information at your name and Edmunds username, your phone and address, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Amen we have a 2007 and the transmission recently broke. Got it fixed by AAMCO. Now GM turned down my claim because I didnt go to the dealer. It had 87000 miles so within the mileage requirement. It was two months beyond the 5 yrs. I agree with you and say dont buy GM they dont stand behind their products.
  • Our 2007 Outlook transmisson broke this last July. It had 87000 miles on it and it was two months beyond the 5 yr requirement too. I didnt take it to the dealer because it was out of warranty. As an afterthought I filed a claim with GM for the cost. The turned it down because I didnt go to a dealer. I even offered to have them only pay half. They couldnt even do that. They sure dont stand behind their products. We bought a new car recently and you can bet it wasnt a GM. They said that they are not aware that the transmisson is a problem with this model. I said how could they not know. They just dont have to do anything since they got out money already. I am out of luck on the cost. I will be sure to tell everyone I know about the bad customer service GM provides.
  • I purchased my 07 outlook pre owned in nov of 2010 with 75250 miles on it loved the room loved the smooth ride but had a clunking noise when i got home i brought it back they say the steering gear is bad and needs to be replaced since i had just purchased it i said well who is paying for that service manager says you need to talk to your salemanan which turned into me getting the run around. After finally getting the gear replaced under warranty the noise is still there so me being a car guy and being the field for 10 yrs now i kept saying to the service manager sure sounds like a banging strut top or a sway bar link he kept saying tech said they were fine get in the shop i work for had a bad sway bar link i fixed that replaced them with some moog sway bar links as the ones from factory are not greasable than evrything seemed fine than the check engine light came on po446 replaced gas cap reset code came right back a week later accompanied with reduced engine power service traction control service stabilitrac take it back i have a broken wire to the throttle body they replaced the harness and the throttle body assembly than it seemed fine but light came back p0446 again so i called them they said bring it back but i just was sick and tired of spending my days off at the dealer so i just drove with the light about a yr later i was on my way to work when the check engine light start flashing and the engine made this horrible noise got it to a gm dealer by my house this time since the dealer i purchased it from was an hr away and i obviously couldnt drive it and didnt wanna pay for the huge tow bill so i take it to COLEMAN BUICK CADILLAC GMC LAWRENCEVILLE NJ they had it for an hr i get a call and the dealer is asking me when i replaced the motor and im like i never replaced it so the servce writer says my warranty is void the engine was replaced and id have to consult my dealer PINEBELT CHEVY EATONTOWN NJ so I called them explaining my dilemma first the service manager didnt wanna talk to me than the sales manager didnt wanna talk to me so finally i called gm customer care they were helpfull with in a couple of hrs they sent a tow truck up and towed my truck to there dealer found out that it jumped time on cylinder 3 and bent a valve they said they were gonna replace it with a remanufactured gm 3.6 ly7 so id get some warranty again i got back like 6 months ago now the trans has a shutter on the highway at 65 plus and sometimes at lower speeds i take it to PINEBELT CHEVY EATONTOWN he tells me to have a seat and that they will road test it within minutes he comes back and says that i have a trans problem but he didnt have time to diagnose it that day cause it was the friday before labor day so i brought it back that wednesday and he says that the dealership is closing and that he will do all he can do with the diagnosis but if the transmission has to come out i will have to take it to another dealership so he road tested it dropped the pan inspected the fluid found no issues he wrote as follows road test vehicle on light accel can feel issue check fluid no metal no codes in system vibrates all gears call tac (whatever that is) check ratios shift point match spec check slip speed less then rpm call tac nack calibrations all correct. perform dissasemble check 3-5 wave plate and valve body if ok replace tcm case# 71-1104585338 due to shop closing not able to remove and disassemble . advised customer to take to another dealer. so i take it to COLEMAN BUICK CADILLAC GMC and they have it for a week but nothing is wrong with it since they road tested it and found no shutter but never disassembled like the first dealer said so the internals could be inspected while picking up my keys notice the service advisor filling out the vehicle mutil point inspection sheet i thought techs do that maybe my service advisor does evrything but upon entering the on ramp to the highway its starts shuttering away and is adamn dog i have to like floor it evrywhere just funny and now im stuck with this pos DONT BUY GM i cant even trade this damn vehicle in cause i owe to much so im stuck
  • I located your Customer Assistance Case, aj2009p, and have notified your agent of your post.

    Kind regards,
    GM Customer Service
  • I also have a 2007 Saturn Outlook. Last week the RPM's started reving up at different speeds and then a few days ago it started slipping real bad but then would drive fine. Took it to the dealer and they said they put all updates in it and its still not working. Now I have to take it 2 hours away to a Certified Saturn dealer so they can look at it. Also, the 5 year powertrain warranty ran out in june, perfect timing. Not happy at all.
  • Good morning eeej123,
    We're sorry that the updates done by the first dealer did not resolve the transmission concerns you're having with your Outlook. If you would like for us to look into this further with you and your dealership(s), please send us an email with more information at (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealerships).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Hello-
    I am having transmission issues as well. I took my car back to the dealer I bought it from which is now owned by Acura cause I trust them more than the GM dealer next door. I took my car in for transmission to GM in July and they supposedly did a diagnostic and only found a gasket leak...of course out of warranty by 4 mo. Then Monday I start feeling the transmission slip so I take it back to where I bought it and they can't get any codes off it so they refer me back to GM dealer I don't trust in case its a software issue. So then I leave and plan to return the next day to get robbed of another diagnostic fee from the GM dealer and the I break down in the middle of an intersection! So I have it towed back to where I bought it cause the transmission won't move or go into gear. Of course its out of warranty now as of March and has only 83,000 miles.....I can't believe these cars transmissions don't last for what you pay for them I have a year left to pay on this thing and now I'm dumping money into before it's even paid off. I am so disappointed in this product and the fact that obviously GM knows they have these issues with these transmissions yet they let the consumer pay out their pockets for a faulty transmission. I won't be buying GM again and that's all I've ever owned. They should back their products!!! It's out of warranty so what is the point taking it to a GM dealer especially if they are just gonna charge you for something that wasn't gonna last to begin with!
  • Good morning chico53969,
    We're sorry that you've encountered these transmission concerns with your Outlook this year; did you have the gasket work performed in July? Are you planning on working with your dealership or are you seeking alternative solutions at this time for your current transmission concerns? If you want for us to look into this further, please email us more details at, including your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
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