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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • hiya, seems like i'm late to the party. my wife and kids were just out driving with our 07 outlook and the transmission went out on it. reads just like the symptoms i've seen on this thread. wondering what i need to do. we're well under 100k as well. please help.

    thank you
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    Let GM look at it first. I didnt take it to a dealer and now they say they can't help me because I didn't
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    We're sorry to hear about your transmission! Have you made any progress on this since you posted? If you're planning on working with a dealership, or have any questions about that, please let us know! We can be contacted at (include your name, contact information, and the last 8 digits of your VIN with your inquiry).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • br4509br4509 Posts: 4
    Yeah send them all your info so they can say, oh sorry we can't help you.

    If you can get rid of your saturn do it! The only way you will get anything out of GM is through a lawsuit!

    We are still out 2,000.00 because of bad transmission that ALOT of saturn owners have had same problem.
  • Sarah

    Thanks for your response. The dealer looked at it this over the past two days and is recommending a total replacement of the transmission. His original estimate was between 2800 and 3800 and he's now at 4k or more.

    My concern is multifold: this isn't a 'hard miles' situation. We are still at 91k miles and are outside of the warranty period but only since July. If we were outside of the mileage I would understand, but this has been a gently driven car - my wife drives the kids to and from school in it and not much more.

    We have had a myriad of problems including the headlight issues and airbag issues. The headlight recall came out after we had replaced both sides multiple times. We have an issue with the airbag but the same dealer refuses to even acknowledge that there is a recall out dealing with that system (Recall 01 - ID # 07V062000 - AIR BAGs:FRONTAL:SENSOR/CONTROL MODULE).

    The net is rife with posts about transmission issues. To be honest, the tow truck driver who picked it up identified it as an Outlook and then said 'Transmission go out?' This isn't an uncommon problem and I'm hoping you might be able to help toward a positive resolution. I believe that GM stands behind their products and appreciate whatever help you can be.



  • The dealer looking at ours wants 4k. Maybe you were lucky they only charged you 2k?

    I'm hoping they can see reason here. I don't think that's impossible.
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    If its out of warranty GM will do nothing. We had 87000 miles were 2 months beyond the 5 yr warranty. They did nothing for us and we paid $3700 to get the transmission fixed. Good luck
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    We would be happy to see what we can do, Jason, but I can't promise anything up front. If you haven't already, please email us at (include your name, contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN, and a summary of the situation so far).

    GM Customer Service
  • I had mine go at 83k they did nothing! It's a k own problem as I get a notice everyday from anyone like yourself that posts this issue. The waterpump also was going when they got in their to replace the transmission. GM didn't cover anything for me and my car isn't even paid off for another year. Can't wait to unload it before something else goes. Pretty crappy this is a known issue and GM turns their cheek. BTW mine was 5 mo out if warranty and a new transmission is only covered a year.... Pretty guarantee down the line a new one will go to cause their too
    Small for this car. Goodluck!
  • Good luck with the new transmission if you get it. A new transmission sounds great but if it also has the same problem with the 3-5 waveplate you will be back in the same situation again.

    April 2011 I had a new transmission put in my 2008 outlook at 63,000 miles. I thought this would resolve the problem but a year and a half later my transmission went out again. Luckily I was still under the powertrain warranty. This time they didn't give me a new transmission. They fixed the 3-5 wave plate and a couple other things.

    New in this case is not always better especially if a new transmission has the same problem as the old and if you are out of the powertrain warranty chances are it won't happen again until after the 12 months 12,000 mile warranty.

    I also had airbag issues. I had more error codes than GM specified in their recall and they refused to cover them even though the initial errors caused the other errors. I had to end up paying $1,000 for the airbag repairs.

    GM customer service was no help to me at all
  • hagenbhagenb Posts: 5
    I bought a 2007 Outlook last February, I absolutely love the vehicle. That said I have had nothing but problems with it. Since February we have had to put all new rotors and brakes (wear and tear I know but shouldn't have to do all of them). We have had to have the passenger seat replaced cause the air bag sensor wasn't working, the heat doesn't work right, sometime the air wont work, won't blow in the back sometimes. Oh and I am sure much to your surprise the transmission left me stuck 1 hour from home, thank god I didn't have my 2 year old cause it was about 15 degrees outside. I am so frustrated with this vehicle. Mine is doing the same as I have read on the forums, about 40 mph it runs about 4-5,000 rpms and won't shift. Today it felt like it fell out of gear revved up really high and then shifted. I don't even know what to do I don't have 3500 to put in it, still owe 16,000 on it cause I have owned it less then a year and like everyone else I am about 5-6 months outside of my 5 year warranty on the vehicle. This is crazy if this is a known issue why has it not been recalled?
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    It hasn't been recalled since they don't make the Outlook anymore. That and they got your money. I have been round and round with GM to no avail . I even offered to pay half and they declined
  • This is my story exactly with my 2008 outlook. In the course of 3 months I had to replace the water pump, power steering pump and the fuel pump. They covered the water pump, but the other two cost me $1500. A year later I had to have the entire ac system replaced (they quoted $2000 because it is "so difficult to do in the Outlook"...they did not think of that when they built the car. When I was at the dealership and I said that the Outlook is a poor quality product if all of these things go wrong in a car that was only 3 years old. I was told (this is a quote) "it must have been build on a Friday", are you kidding me, the robots know to do a bad job on Fridays, they are smart. I will never buy another GM product (and this was my 5th Saturn...I am a loyal customer...or should I say I was).
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    That's why they had to be bailed out lol
  • I purchased my 2007 Outlook new in August of 2007. It currently has a little over 55,000 miles on it and I just had to have the water pump replaced (warranty out 4 months ago) costing me $467.00 at the dealership. I don't drive the vehicle much as it's my wife's vehicle. On the way back from the dealership I noticed a vibration in the steering only after the vehicle shifts into overdrive. Has anyone experienced this problem? Hopefully, I don't a major transmission issue but I have had the same shifting problems mentioned by numerous folks in the previous posts. I too was told that there was nothing that could be done for the shifting issue so I've lived with it. I really like the vehicle but it appears that I'm just BEGINNING to experience some of the known common problems with this vehicle. It's really sad that after paying over $33,000 for this American Made vehicle that one can't get over 55,000 miles out of it before having to start dumping more money into it. I'm going to have the dealer look at again tomorrow and if they tell me that it's going to be a costly transmission repair or replacement the Outlook is gone and it will be the absolute last GM product that will ever be in my driveway.
  • Yep, you have the "Over-warrantee Bug". That is how our Outlook transmission behaved a few months before major melt down. We were told that we would have to have it flushed on the next visit and perhaps get the computer checked. Turned out to be a bad 3,5,R wave plate that broke up and fouled-up the rest of the transmission. Be sure to take it to a qualified dealership otherwise you will not get reimbursed when it is recalled.
    I have been in contact with the NHTSA to be sure that they recognise that the problem is more widesread than just the Outlook, that it also occurs in the Acadia, Traverse, Enclave, and many other GM vehicles. This transmission was a design collaboration between Ford and GM, but the independently manufactured Ford version has not experienced the wave plate disintergration issues.
    Please file a complaint with the NHTSA to help facilitate a recall for all of us.
    There are three methods you can use to contact the NHTSA if you suspect a safety-related defect in your vehicle. You can take any (or all) of the following actions:
        Call the U.S. Department of Transportation's Vehicle Safety Hotline: (888) 327-4236 or (800) 424-9153, toll free from anywhere in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
        Report the issue online at the NHTSA's vehicle safety Web site:
        Send a letter via U.S. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210) 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE Washington, DC 20590
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    I already filed a complaint against GM and the Outlook
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Have you made any progress on this since your last post? I realize it's been a few days and wanted to check in to see if you had a plan of attack or not. While I can't provide any technical insights, we're available to check for recalls or work with you through the process of getting this looked at by a dealership.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • hagenbhagenb Posts: 5
    We are still in limbo with this. From everything I am reading it looks like this is a major problem that something needs to be done about and I will do my part to get this recalled however what do you do in the mean time? I am way upside down in this vehicle because it is loosing a crazy amount of value and it appears the chance of this happening again are pretty good, not good for the owners great for GM. My biggest question is if I take it to an individual shop to have it repaired and they recall it 6 months from now can we still get reimbursed or does it have to be done by a GM dealer? We all know the dealerships are going to tattoo us with a hefty price tag.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Is the situation with the AC system current or has this already been resolved? do you have any current concerns on your Saturn?

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    How did your visit with the dealership go today? Please keep us posted!

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I am posting this to inform any 2007 outlook owner to beware of replacement transmission. I have had my car for 4 years 11 months. I drive quite a bit, mostly highway. At 72k miles I started having slipping in my transmission. I was informed no code was found, that I should try having flushed. I had done at 48k, but $120 vs. a new transmission seemed like a good investment. At 91k miles and 3-1/2 years old the transmission went out on a steep incline and I nearly was rear-ended. The dealer finally agreed to replace or rebuild. Now 1-1/2 year and 40k miles later it is failing again. I service my car regularly and use high-end fluids. My dealer passed me off to GM, who in turn said "sorry, we are not doing anything for you". To make matters worst, I have a 2009 Outlook I bought before the 1st transmission failure on the 2007, because I like it so much for my wife. This car is now in the shop for ignition coil and computer failure. 2 outlooks, both undriveable. I am driving a rental Malibu and my wife is using my son's car, another GM vehicle, a 2006 Equinox. My oldest son drives a 2001 GM Sierra I bought for him prior to that. I can say that this should be a testament to GM should've gone bankrupt vs taxpayers saving them. This is not how you take care of your customers. I have a 68 cougar that my son and I rebuilt, which is my best running car at the moment. What a shame! They know they have a problem, and they just want their customer to live with it. I wish I could've told them sorry, when they needed saving. By the way my 2007 Outlook had a rack replacement at 98k, power steering motor at 102k, water leak in the sunroof, and back wiper motor failure after my wiper heater was pulled and a radio/navigation system replacement because the disk runs even when key is out. Think twice before you buy GM. I am thoroughly disgusted at the lack of responsibility taken by a known engineering flaw.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Do you have a Service Request (71-**********) number you could forward us at

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I had no idea so many people were experiencing the same issues I was. My wife drives our 07 outlook back and forth from work to daycare and home. About two years ago this 07 outlook left her and my 4yo son stranded at night in February on a busy road. The transmission had completly failed and would not engage. Had it not been for the kindness of some strangers she would have had to stay in the car in the middle of the street. Thankfully, these strangers pushed the vehicle to a relatively safer side road.

    We ended up taking the vehicle to the dealer. According to the dealer they ended up having to replace the transmission with a new one. The saturn had only 30,000 miles on it when the transmission failed.

    So now here we are almost two years and 33,000 miles later and the transmission is starting to do the same thing. Slipping and not engaging properly from a standstill. Called the dealer a few hours ago to find out that they want $80.00 up front in case we decide not to repair the transmission with them and that the new transmission is out of warranty. In other words, we'll also have to pay for the repairs.

    I am very dissapointed in GM and plan on fighting this all the way. Especially since I just found out the so many other Saturn owners are experiencing the same problem.
  • hagenbhagenb Posts: 5
    I am starting to wonder if the dealerships aren't ripping people off thinking that it is the wave plate. Or maybe we are getting ripped off I don't know but we called our local transmission guy and he doesn't think it has anything to do with the wave plate he is taking it monday to pull it apart and he thinks that just replacing the valve system in it will fix it. I hope that this works however he said if it has done to much damage the whole transmission will need to be rebuild at a max cost of 3000 still cheaper then the dealership the down fall is if they decide to recall it we won't be able to get a refund. Guess that's the chance we are taking doesn't sound like a recall is in the near future which floors me after seeing how many people are having the same problem. I don't have the 3000 much less 4000 or more the dealership wants. I am not impressed with GM and hope and pray I can get a couple more years out of this car because it has lost an insane amount of value since we bought it 11 months ago.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I know that the diagnostic fee can be burdensome. Are you thinking about working with your dealership still, and are you already engaged with Customer Assistance?

    Please let us know if we can look into anything further for you! We can be reached at (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a brief summary of the situation thus far).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • drslimdrslim Posts: 3
    edited January 2013
    My wife is currently has about $7k of negative equity with our Saturn Outlook. Now, a $3500 (or more) new tranny sure wasnt expedted. Her waranty ended in November 2012...the day before our son was born :_( We need this vehicle to haul around our 4 young children.

    Can you help me understand how a recall might affect my Outlook? We need a new transmission. I know we cant be sure, but for the purposes of this question: if a recall somehow occurs with anything to do with the tranmission and I have had the transmission repaired or replaced by an independent service professional, will this vehicle still be covered under any recall? Is it necessary for the purposes of a recall to only have a GM shop do any or all repairs? What if the new transmission was purchased directly from GM. I could really use some guidance on this issue.
    I fear putting another $4k into this car with a tranny that has a history to not last very long may not be a wise decision. I have not contacted any legal advice on this matter, but wonder what others have found out???
    Thanks for all your help.
  • drslimdrslim Posts: 3
    did you have your transmission replaced by a GM dealer? do you still have the vehicle? if so, how is it running now? I am trying to decide if we should put the $$ into fixing it or cutting our losses.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    If you were to have this repair work performed and a recall were to come out afterwards, we could definitely look into reimbursing you for partial if not full cost. This would apply even if you worked with a non-GM shop before the issuance of a recall.

    If you did purchase the parts from us and had them installed elsewhere, we would still have a replacement parts warranty on a transmission for parts only.

    I hope this helps!
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
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