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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • Good luck with your problem Chico 53969.GM doesnt back anything out of warranty. I had a Saturn Outlook 07 that had the transmission replaced at 87000 miles and two months out of the 5 yr warranty. They were not interested in doing anything for me Eventhough it's a known problem
  • Sarah I am having the same problem with my 09 Outlook, I have had it in for service 4 times now and it still is having this problem. Last year when we had the issue and the dealership didn't seem to be able to fix it GM stepped in and it finally was taken care of but here we are one year later and we are experiencing the same problem. The dealership found a service bulletin and fixed that issue but within 1 week the issue was back. I took the car in they hooked up the computer but it would not throw a code but you could feel the chugging/slipping/hesitation.
    Can GM step in again and set up a case so that this issue can be resolved? I am on the edge of just getting rid of this vehicle since this issue cannot be resolved once and for all.
    Thank you. :(
  • Good morning timkandy,

    We'd be happy to set up a Service Request for you to check into what's been going on with your Outlook; please email us more details at (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and approximate mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Thanks Sarah. The Dealer called yesterday they had a round table discussion with their mechanics and finally called in one of their diesel mechanics and now believes it to be the "intake coil" . They will be replacing it to the tune of over $400.00. On 3/23/2011 they believed it to be the "ignition coil" and replaced that to the tune of $357.00. I am worried about what it will be next. After reading other complaints of this same problem I have to agree with the other folks on this site that this is a systematic problem and should be covered by GM. :cry:
  • Thank you for the update, timkandy. We appreciate your patience in giving us a chance to continue looking into this for you and look forward to hearing from you via email (again, that's

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • Hi Sarah, I sent am email to you on the morning of the 22nd. I will send further updates there.
    Thank you.
  • I Just had my transmission rebuilt on9/21-24, I picked it up on the 24th. they said a clip in the transmission had broke. I have the half of the clip that broke. I have a Saturn Outlook 07 with 61000 miles. I paid $3000.00 to have it rebuilt. Now i don't know if I should keep it or
    get rid of it. I'm going to call GM & complain.

  • Gmcustplatt73

    We have a 07 Saturn Outlook that had the transmission replaced in July 2012, it had 87000 and was two months past warranty . We complained to GM about it and of course they did nothing. I wish you the best of luck with your case .
  • Good morning gmcustplatt73,

    I hope you were able to get a Service Request started up when you contact us! If you haven't done so and would prefer to get one started electronically so we can contact your dealership, please send and email to us at with more details (including 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
  • dompdomp Posts: 24
    Might want to compile a list of the problems the '07ish outlook/traverse/enclave/acadias have (headlight wiring harness, water pump, transmission, sunroof leaks, etc). If you haven't already had the issue, are that you will. I'm at 90k miles and have had just about every issue I've read about on this forum, other message boards, and the nhtsa except the transmisssion rebuild/waveplate issue and power steering failure issue.

    If you have a sunroof, and haven't had the clogged drain tube water leak onto your fuse box or power steering failure issue, might want to consider getting rid of it before those happen - those are pretty expensive and I'm pretty sure neither of those are covered by recalls.
  • Sarah,
    I have an 2007 Outlook with 74,700 miles and my transmission just went out as well. I have called Saturn yesterday but since my 5 years was up in June and there is not a recall I was unable to receive any help from GM. I have owned many GM vehicles in the past but I do not plan on purchasing another since this is a common problem and GM does not seem to care. Also I have had this vehicle in the shop over 6 times. I have lost faith in GM. This transmission should not have went out with less than 75,000 miles.
  • I have a 07 Saturn and the transmission broke at 87000 this lasy July. It was two months out of warranty and of course GM didnt do a thing. I agree that these transmissions break at way too low of a mileage, GM doesnt stand behind their products either. We just recently bought a new car and you can bet it wasnt a GM
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    edited October 2012
    When you called us, were you issued a Service Request number? If you wanted to forward that, or the last 8 digits of your VIN, our way at we can check it out.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • Is everything operating okay with your Saturn after the transmission repair in July? Let us know if we can follow up on the repair - we can be reached at

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    We had the transmission repaired at AAMCO since the warranty ran out on the Saturn. Its working finr thanks
  • I am the proud owner of a 2007 Saturn Outlook. We absolutely love the vehicle, but had a transmission failure at 81,000 miles. I took it to the dealer and I was advised that my Power train warranty had run out 2 months prior, even though I was 19,000 miles short of the mileage warranty. I discussed the fact that a transmission wears out over the life of the vehicle and I should have the mileage taken into consideration. GM paid half =(. I am very disappointed by this and feel that GM should cover the entire cost of the repair due to the low miles on the transmission. I have all scheduled service and maintenance preformed and have not abused the vehicle in anyway. It seems to me that GM is more focused on minimizing their costs at the expense of their customers. I have been a life long GM customer but was totally saddened by my experience.
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    I would consider yourself lucky that GM paid anything at all. I didnt take it to the dealer because it was two months beyond the warranty. I even called the dealer and they said yes you bought it in May and its out of warranty. No mention that they could help me out. So I was stuck with the whole $3700 bill. I agree that they should pay for this known problem. We recently bought a new car and it was not a GM car. GM DOESNT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS.
  • Sorry for the long story but this is just too unbelievable.
    My wife was on errands with the kids in our 2007 Saturn Outlook, which she loves. Well, it just stopped moving. Couldn't put it in forward or reverse. She called a friend to get it towed to his service shop. At the shop, he got it to move a little then it stopped again. He said he recently had an Acadia in which a part in the transmission broke and shredded the gears and got into all the innards. As it cost about $3500 to repair, he suggested that we call GM to see if they can help out with it.
    I found a number and spoke with Heather, who was great, calling me back every step of the way. She put me on the line with Denny, the head mechanic for Matthews Auto Group where we bought the vehicle and where we have the Outlook serviced. We spoke of the incident when it stopped working and he said he would get to it in a few days, which I said was OK.
    He didn't remember but we spoke before this when the vehicle was brought in for the timing chain recall. It took four times to get it right, but Matthews treated my wife so nice, we felt comfortable with them. So this time we called OnStar and had it towed to Matthews so Denny could look at it. When he called back he said that it was a broken wave plate in the transmission, and in a roundabout way agreed that it may cost about what the other mechanic said, about $3500.
    By calling my friend the mechanic for an explanation, he said that the wave plate is cheap $20 part that is known to crack and destroy the transmission. He had called a friend at Country Club Auto who said that he works on an average of 2 GM transmissions per week between Outlook, Acadia, and Traverse.
    The Matthews customer service rep called the next day and said that they drained some fluid and found metal shavings. I asked how did the mechanic diagnose the problem as a bad wave plate if he didn't open it up?
    The customer service rep said he had an offer from the district supervisor of GM, to give us $3000 off of a new vehicle or split the cost of repair 50/50, approximately $1750 plus tax our cost.
    When asked for a breakdown of the cost of services and materials he got uptight and refused, stating only that the transmission would come out of the box and into the vehicle and the fluid would be added. The old transmission would go into the box and sent back to GM. It was then presented as a one time offer, take it or leave it.
    I said that I was disappointed in GM for not doing the right thing. This is a known problem with Outlook, Acadia, and Traverse. It's all over the internet.
    I went on to say that the tow truck operator for OnStar that picked up the vehicle said, “Oh, an Outlook. Transmission, right? I've been picking up a lot of those lately. And Acadias and Traverses”.
    I also said to the rep that we were totally surprised by the breakdown since the last OnStar Diagnostic report that we got stated “Based on our diagnostics check on 08/19/2012, all systems are normal.
    Diagnostic: Complete. No action needed.
    ” Four days later, my wife and kids are stranded on the roadside.
    The rep repeated that the offer was a one time offer, one that he did not have to give since the vehicle was five months out of warrantee. If it did not make me happy then he would save the money to make someone else happy. I honestly said that of course I am not happy with having to spend $1800 for a new transmission that only has 73,000 miles on it (27,000 miles under warrantee limit). He seemed to be a little taken aback by my knowledge of the wave plate issue with these transmissions, how a $20 part could self destruct and wreak havoc with the transmissions. Take it or leave it was the answer, that is all the GM district manager was authorized to offer. I would get back to him.
    The next day a GM rep named Keith called to offer the same, but more politely. As a lifetime customer of GM vehicles, I repeated my disappointment in GM, but said that I would get back to him. He asked if I would like to file a complaint with GM. I said no, but I would like to file a complaint against the Matthews rep. The next day Keith the GM rep called and asked of my intentions, and I said that I guess that I would take the 50/50. He left off saying that he would get going on making it happen.
    The following day I missed a call on the cell phone that I thought was the Matthews customer service guy so I called him. He said, no it wasn't him. I said well, you've got me by the balls (pardon me) so I guess I am taking the 50/50 offer. He replied that it was rescinded. I got off the phone with him and called Keith the GM service guy to ask about it but he was not in. The next day Keith reversed himself and said that indeed the offer was revoked. I asked if there were anyone else that I can speak to. He said he would have his manager call me. The next day a curtly speaking person called to say that they are not willing to budge on their decision.
    This is not the customer service that I have come to enjoy and depend on for my family from GM and the Matthews Auto Group. What can be done?
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    Both service and product stink with GM. They don't stand behind their product as you found out. I had my 07 Outlook repaired elsewhere because it was 2 months out of warranty . Told GM we would pay half of the repair if they would. Since its a known problem. They wouldnt do it. We bought a new car and picked it up today. Not a GM car !
  • fkarasfkaras Posts: 14
    i had a 2009 outlook 6k on it and the timing chain destroyed motor. started to use oil..on a trip to FL,, from NY ,,,transmission would fail to shift near washington. that was it. I traded for a new toyota fourunner and i can tow all outlooks to the GM dealership for service...
  • Thank you for sharing... This whole experience seems unbelievable =). I was able to find out that there was a class action lawsuit in regards to the transmissions on our vehicles. This lawsuit was terminated once GM filed for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy court ruled that the "New GM" was not responsible for "Old GM" financial obligations and judgments. What a joke!
  • I have a 2008 saturn aura that has 102,000 miles and it is at a gm dealership and i am awaiting the answer to see if GM will help us with the cost of this problem. We do not have the money to pay for this if GM does not help out. We still owe $5,800 on the car and have had to in March buy a rebuilt transmission for my husbands Chevy Silverado in March. Does anyone out there know or have experience in GM helping out.
  • I have a 2008 saturn aura that has 102,000 miles and it is at a gm dealership and i am awaiting the answer to see if GM will help us with the cost of this problem. We do not have the money to pay for this if GM does not help out. We still owe $5,800 on the car and have had to in March buy a rebuilt transmission for my husbands Chevy Silverado in March. Does anyone out there know or have experience in GM helping out.
  • I need Sarah from GM customer service to contact me regarding my transmission in Saturn Outlook.
  • I have experienced with my Outlook every problem that has been reported on these forums. My timing belt was having issues and I had to take it to the dealer twice, finally they pulled my motor, replaced all belts and gaskets. Then my sunroof drains (which had supposedly been fixed with the recall) began to leak. After a heavy rain, my fuse panel shorted out and my car would not turn off (key out still running). I had to fight tooth and nail to get any of that fixed by the dealership and they kept changing their story about what the problem really was. A few days later water was dripping in the back of my car from my rear cargo light and I had to take it back again. In August, my air conditioner began having issues, running fine, then all of the sudden white fog coming from the vents and then not working. Now my transmission, which was working fine (just had it serviced in August) need to be replaced, a part broke and sheered my gears and other parts in my transmission. At this point GM is telling me there is nothing they can do for me. Completely frustrated. I was a loyal GM owner, Suburban, Tahoe and now the Outlook. I don't remember my dad ever owning anything that was not GM the entire time I was growing up. I'm not sure that either of us will ever own another GM after all the problems that we have had with this one. More than once I've been stranded on the road with my kids because of these issues. I've always taken it to the dealership where I bought it, Mccosh Chevrolet, and honestly, I will be happy just to never have to take a vehicle there again. They are slimy. One person tells you one thing and then as soon as they think they might have to cover something, they lie and tell you something else. When I broke down last week I called them and they said "what do you want us to do." Maybe offer to come get me or call a tow truck would have been nice. Being stranded stinks, feeling like the dealership that is supposed to fix your vehicle doesn't care makes it even worse.
  • outlookdriver,

    We would like to check into this further to see what happened with the 50/50 offer; would you please send us either your Service Request number (71-**********) or the last 8 digits of your VIN to

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    Good luck as you know GM wont do anything for you
  • If you had wanted for us to check into this further, leakyoutlook, please email us at with more details (including your 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
  • Good afternoon chrissyh2,

    Had you sent us an email already ( Or had you called the Customer Assistance Center? I only ask as my coworker Christina typically responds to incoming emails from the forum. Let me know if you have yet to get a response and I will check with her to make sure we received it.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • kmp420kmp420 Posts: 7
    It is unbelievable the number of Outlook owners who are having to replace their transmissions with such low mileage on their vehicles. You will notice that the GM Reps on here seem to be sincere in wanting to help you by offering to check into it further. Make no mistake, they are only trying to buy time. You will not be satisfied. While I would never wish anything bad on them, I would like for them to know what it is like to place their trust in someone only to be completely let down. This should be criminal! How they get away with it, I don't know. Possibly a class action might be the best avenue. I have run into other Outlook and Acadia owners in our area. So many people have had issues with the wave plates. Just the other day as I was driving out of my neighborhood, I saw an Outlook on the side of the road with the hood propped up. Guess what? Needed a new tranny and they only had 68,000 miles on their car. Shameful!
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