Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • Me too. This is not good. I just found out my 2007 outlook transmission needs to be replaced at 74k miles. Just want everyone to know you are not the only one it is happing to. I am going to try to get help from GM or hopefully my dealership will help.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Let us know if we can look into anything for you in this situation with your Outlook's transmission. We can be reached via email at (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Just an update on my transmission problems. I called the GM/saturn customer service center and they did help me pay for my new transmission. My $3500 transmission ended up only costing $1400. Still a lot and a transmission should last longer than 74k miles but at least a little help was given. You do call a call center but they were nice and helpful, also my dealership was super helpful too. They gave me a loaner car while they were fixing mine. They also talked to the saturn call center to get a price for me.
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    I was wondering if you were out of warranty with your Outlook? We were two months beyond the 5 yr warranty and got no help what so ever
  • Our warranty expired in June/or July of 2012 so we were 8 months or so past its 5 yr. I called 800-553-6000. Good Luck I hope this helps.
  • jhookhamjhookham Posts: 2
    We have an 08 XR, and it's been a very good to us. Just two days ago my wife mentioned that the transmission was shifting hard into 3rd gear and shuttering in reverse. I went out to check the fluid. And after fighting with the "cable stick" and trying to decifer it... was found to be low on fluid.

    I tried to look in the manual to see if Saturn had put in any assistance in this. To my suprise... there is plent of instruction if you have a AWD version and how to check the transfer case... but NOTHING on how to check the cable.

    Well after adding a quart of transmission fluid, it seemed to indicate correctly. But after driving it, it still was shuttering. So I looked online and found some people with advice... and added an additional quart (yes.. while the engine was running and it was hot). Then I could see that there was the proper amount of fluid. I drove it around and, driving forward it now shifts good. There is still now some hesitation in reverse at first... I'm hoping it's just air stuck in the torque converter and needing to work it's way out.

    The angering part is I've check the fluid before, and seen fluid where I thought it should be... but with no clear instruction in the owners manual it was hard to tell. I now know what I was seeing was fluid being splashed up in the fluid well, making it look like there was enough fluid. After research of my own, I now know the little weight needs to be "coated" well in order to indicate correctly. I am hoping there is no permenant damage due to not having been give proper instruction from GM on this... and wondering if this could be a cause of the problems the car is having..... poor instruction from the get go. I've read through some of the posts that have includes good fixes (seeming mostly from non GM shops) and the parts replaced would have been first damaged by this.

    So a bit angry at this. I work on aircraft and they have to spell it out to a "T" on how fluids are to be checked and what the indication is to look like... otherwise the manufacturer will have a huge liability case against them. Yet here there is nothing.
  • Thank you for your post. We bought a use 2007 Outlook in Feb. 2011. The 5 year powertrain warranty expired in June 2012. While visiting family out of town this weekend, we got off the highway and onto a less busy road and while accelerating from a stop it wouldn't shift into 3rd gear. We were going to take it to a transmission shop where a friend of the family works, but after reading your posts and getting the GM number from you we called and were told to take it to a GM dealer. It won't get looked at until Monday. It only has 65k miles on it. Really hoping that we have similar outcome as you and get GM to cover some if not all of the repairs. Very disappointed this happened at such low mileage, but appreciate this forum and the iPhone that was able to give some guidance.
  • cocupidcocupid Posts: 14
    I was reviewing some posts here in Edmunds since my last visit in this forum when my water pump gave out a couple of days after having my 3-5-r wave plate (transmission) replaced. It occurred to me that there were several posts that had '07 Outlooks that still had warranties and a few '08 that warranties were expired. Some of these folks received assistance from GM and some did not (as in our case). Could someone please explain this to me and how this is possible? How does GM determine when your vehicle is out of warranty? I understand the 100,000 mile situations but I'm a bit baffled on the 2007 vs 2008 thing. Is this like playing the shell game where underneath there might be a warranty and there might not?
  • donmccdonmcc Posts: 7
    I can't address the warranty issue, but it caught my attention that your water pump failed after transmission replacement. I had the exact same situation this winter. GM spent almost four weeks repairing my transmission (08 Outlook) and two weeks later (last week) my water pump went out. Much cheaper to repair...
  • I dumped my 08 outlook that transmission and water pump went at 86 k. I receive daily notices still on issues with this car. I sold it before I was more in the hole since GM did nothing for me. It's a really issue with this car so I wanted to sale :) it before it was worth even less. Really surprised there isn't a lawsuit. I own a Toyota now! Never buying GM again. Goodluck!
  • jhookhamjhookham Posts: 2
    Well, after the transmission fluid checking episode was done, the transmission seemed to be getting better. But pulling into the neighborhood after church tonight the car sliped and the check engine light came on. I pulled out my code reader once I got home and P0717 - input speed sensor low message was given. Well at first I thought I'd just get a new sensor, but then decided to research is more. Aparently this could be a false code

    The easiest way is to either pull the sensor yourself, or a mechanic, and see if there is metal shavings onthe sensor... then the wave plate has broken... which apparently is a very common problem from my mechanic friends i've talked to tonight. They are very surprised this hasn't been a GM recall because if affects the Acadia, Oulook... and other Lambda cars. :mad: Either way I'm gonna have to call around some transmission shops (our local GM dealer cannot be trusted, tried to bill me "oil reclamation fee" for getting a copy of a key) and get estimates on possible repair/rebuild... but unless the plate is made of better material.. my mechanic friends tell me it could go again in another 65-80K miles.

    Maddening thing is, this is what my wife takes my 5 children around in... and we have dr apts that will have to be cancelled since she no longer has reliable transportation. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • I can't comment on the warranty differences. An update on where we are....basically nowhere at this point. Our transmission went out on Saturday, March 30. Took it to GM dealer and called GM Customer Service. On Monday dealer called to say it was a clutch plate or wave plate that failed, as so many have, and the transmission needs replaced for $3500 before taxes. Spoke to GM on Monday, they will look into it and "do something for us". It was escalated to a District Specialist who I finally spoke to today. We need to have the transmission torn apart a more thorough diagnosis made, on our dime! Then they can determine if they will help us. It has taken almost a whole week to get that far. Certainly hope they will do something since it is the clutch/wave plate. I do have the TSB printed off and so does the dealer, but we are waiting now.
    Good luck to anyone else dealing with this problem.
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    We had the same problem with our Outlook. Didnt take it to a GM dealer and it cost us $3500. Found out later its a known problem. GM wouldnt do anything for us since we didnt take it to them first. Transmission still broke at 87000. They didnt even call AAMCO and find out what the problem was. GM doesnt stand behind its products thats for sure
  • cocupidcocupid Posts: 14
    Sorry to hear about your trouble 07outlook. Many of us in this forum have been there and dealt with the 3-5-R wave plate already. Please do post again what your outcome endings up being with GM & whether they help you out or notin this forum. BTW, have they said whether you're still under warranty or not?? What is the mileage? Good luck to you!
  • I can totally relate to your situation. I have had my 2008 Outlook in the shop 5 times now for the same thing. Each time they fix something and tell me its done. Well now I have a non-working car that still does the same thing. So i assume they like guessing what it is and make us pay for their lack of experience/knowledge. I paid for the transmission to be redone, I paid for many :mad: things they told me were the problem. Now every warning light is coming on and I have no car. Good luck to you. GM seems to be trying to help me, but I have not gotten anywhere for 6 months trying. I still have a non-working car that I have to pay for and have poured over $2,000 into to fix the same problem.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi there,

    I read over your post and am interested in looking deeper into the issues with your 2008 Outlook. Did GM Customer Service by chance give you a case number to track your complaint? Could you also send me you VIN number so that I can research more about your vehicle issue.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Have read multiple posts concerning the Outlook's transmission. Anyone who has had theirs replaced notice any symptoms/abnormalities before the transmission went out? Our Outlook feels like the transmission is slipping/hesitating when driving on the highway (not so much in town). Have taken to dealership and independent mechanics but no one can offer any kind of diagnosis.

    So far we have replaced the following:
    Headlight wiring harnesses
    Crankshaft bearing and
    Exhaust Manifold

    Just passed the 100K mile mark - hoping it's nothing but experience with this vehicle tells me to prepare for the worst.

  • cocupidcocupid Posts: 14
    In hindsight we experienced what you are describing with our transmission too. When we first purchased our used Saturn (Late summer '12) we had just lost our T-boned V8 Ford Expedition. Having no prior experience with V6 vehicles (all of our other vehicles are V8 Ford's as well, a Mustang & an F150) we thought the hesitation when passing on the highway or accelerating in general was just due to being unfamiliar with the car. The day prior to the transmission failing completely I had trouble shifting into reverse but thought I had accidently shifted into neutral. Coming home the following day, after just pulling off of the highway onto my slightly inclining driveway, the car would no longer go forward. At the same time the 'check engine light' lit up and that was it. And there it sat over the weekend until it was towed to the dealer that coming Monday. I now believe that the transmission was on the outs from day one. Even though we had the car checked out by two independent shops prior to buying it & they never mentioned a possible problem with the transmission and one of those auto techs had 12+ years experience working on GM cars.
    Sorry to hear about your trouble. Hope yours isn't headed down that road. There are alot of posts in this forum for 3-5-R Wave Plate issues. Not only for the Saturn, but all the others vehicles that have this particular wave plate (i.e. Acadia, etc). And that list is rather lengthy. I'm not sure who to credit anymore in this Edmunds forum, but that person 'enlightened' me to that fact that we are unfortunately not alone with the link below several months ago.
    Please keep us posted here in this forum on your situation and good luck to you!
  • cocupidcocupid Posts: 14
    Oh did I mention that the water pump went out 4 days after we got the vehicle back from the dealer repairing the transmission? No, I don't think I did. That repair is unfortunately well documented in this forum also.
  • Your problems sounds a lot like mine. I had a slight jerking feeling while on the highway going 50-60 mph or so. Kinda felt like hesitation shifting. They have had my car 5 times in the shop each time telling me something different. Still had problem even after paying to have transmission redone. Now I am left with a big pile of steel that wont move.

    GM was trying to work with Rally who tried to fix my problem when it was under warranty, but now my estimate of $3,500 has increased to $4,800 and they will pay 30% of that. funny price goes up 1,300 dollars and they will pay 30%. Rally claimed I refused the service when I took it in. Big lie as I saved all paperwork and had everything fixed each time. They never got to the bottom of what was really wrong wtih my car. Now it doesn't work. I suggest checking that wave plate thing as that is probably the only thing that they did not do for me.

    Good luck and sorry about your car.
  • I have an 07 Outlook XR, just after buying it new in 07 got the "Traction control off" followed by the "Service Stabilitrak and Throttle control" message followed by Reducing power message. Went back to dealer, came back 4 days later okay saying they had to replace "transmission controller". Moved to different city just as Saturn was going out of business. In summer of 2009 without warning got the 4 same messages and the car just shut off while on fwy. Towed to designated dealer for repair. Waited 3 days, got it back saying "transmission fluid pump" was faulty, but car shut down on way home, incorrectly attached "something" dealer error. Towed back to dealer, waited 2 days, got it back fine. In July of 2012, started to get the same 4 messages messages again, went back to designated dealer, waited 4 days got it back saying they had to replace "gear save plate", got it back fine. In March of this year started to get the same 4 messages, called dealer to inquire on warranty from repair in July of 2012. Dealer said wasn't sure it was the same thing (like I don't know the problem since it's happened so many times before). Car completely quit today. Called Saturn, got a case # from Sheila. Had to pay $96 to have it towed to dealer (better get reimbursed). Also of note that 6 months after 2009 incident, the A/C started to blow warm, 5 trips to the dealer since, still not fixed. They fill it with Freon, it works for about 4 months, then blows warm. Dealer said they put infared dye in the system to try and trace a leak, only care about results. Car isn't running, isn't cool when it does run, and really frustrated right now. Wife and kids use car for everything, and I am very stressed about having this car leave them stranded. Any suggestions? I don't have the money for a big repair, and when the same thing keeps happening, shouldn't GM step up to the plate and really fix the issue? Bad enough that the Saturn went out of business.
  • jerry194jerry194 Posts: 7
    I have had the same problem with my 08 trans and A/C. Seems to be running okay now for a couple of months but worried about the A/C with summer coming on and long term what else will do wrong with the trans. Seriously considering getting rid of the GM junk while its still running. I do have 120k miles though and it has been reliable other than the trans and A/C issues. Feel your pain!
  • hagenbhagenb Posts: 5
    I feel your pain, my A/C has been to the dealer twice and they can't figure out what is wrong with it. Mine works sometimes and usually if I turn the car off if its blowing hot air then it will start working again when I restart the car. I just replaced my transmission in January after not even having the car for a year (it was 6 months out of warranty). After getting my car back from getting the transmission done my car rode very rough, like the shocks were shoot. I finally for financial reasons took it in to be looked at this past week and they said it needs 2 new struts. That bill will be almost $500. I am beyond frustrated with this vehicle, in just a year I have put way to much money into it and am paying $360 a month on it. This is the most I have ever spent on a vehicle and the most problems by far I have ever had with one. After fixing the transmission we tried to get rid of it and get something more reliable only to find out the value has dropped over $6000 in 1 year, are you kidding me and that didn't include the 3,000 we just spent to rebuild the transmission. This vehicle is an 07 with 74,000 miles on it this is ridiculous. I hope that everyone is reporting these problems to so that maybe they will finally recall the transmission especially and we can get some of our money back on this. If you have an outlook and can get rid of it I would go to the dealer today, I am not impressed.
  • Cocupid, thank you for your response.

    Bad news.

    Looks like we're gonna have to buy a transmission. My wife urged me to sell this car a few months ago, but I resisted b/c I was planning on having it paid for by the end of the year.

    Took the Outlook to an independent transmission shop today and was told the converter is going out and that we probably should just park the car until we can get it fixed. Unsafe to drive.

    We took to a dealership a few months ago (well before the warranty expired) b/c we were concerned about the transmission (c/e light was on as well). We were told by the dealership that we had nothing to worry about and they kindly cleared the codes. Would we be able to push this back on GM if we have the proper documentation that we tried to have this addressed before the 100K mile mark?

    I am certainly looking forward to being done with this.
  • I have a 2008 Outlook XR lemon and GM is not helping (less than 2 months off warranty) the wave plate went, $3600 to rebuild. Was told by the Service Manager at Ledingham GM in Steinbach MB, Canada that he would see what he could do but was doubtful in his words " where does GM draw the line on goodwill, they say 5year warranty and you are past it" I have been a loyal GM and currently have a 2008 Sierra priors were Saturn ION, Pontiac Montana, Pontiac Firebird. This is going to change pretty quickly. My drivaway is going to adorn two not GM vehicles in the very near future. Unlike GM I am going to have to pay for my bailout.....
  • After all said and done with GM and Rally (5 times serviced to not fix problem), I arranged for my car 2008 Outlook to go to another dealership service center and they told me there is nothing left of my engine and $4500 just for parts for a new engine. Thanks GM and Rally. I will be sueing GM and Rally as my car was in warranty when this started. Sorry Rally couldn't seem to fix or diagnose properly what was wrong with my car the first five times I had to take it back to them. Now I am stuck with a $15,000 pile of steel.
  • Our troubles continue. After taking Outlook to GM dealer on Easter weekend, we are now at the end of April and still no car back. Original quote had us having the transmission replaced at cost of $3500. GM then told dealership to tear transmission apart and find the problem, cost of $800 to us, if not something GM would cover. Turned out to be the 3-5 Wave Plate, which had a service bulletin issued on it, and I have a copy of that bulletin. GM agreed to pay all but $600-$700. That was on April 10. Part arrived dealership on April 15. Was told we would have the car back on April 19. On April 19 we get a call that they found something else wrong, a bearing I believe (they talked to my husband so I'm not sure) and the part would be in on Monday the 22nd and should be good to go. Got call late on the 22nd, found a problem with the valve. Order that part for delivery on 24th. Just got another call, more problems. Hoping for repair to be done tomorrow.
    Our cost will remain at $600-$700.....GM is paying for everything else! We don't have to pay for the tear down of the transmission, or the other problems. Basically if they would have just replaced the transmission to start with we would have our car back by now, but our cost might have been higher. However, the dealership has been very kind and helpful. It is good they are taking their time and getting it right. As hard as it has been, patience is the best way to deal with GM on this. They move slowly. I am hopeful we will get our car back soon and it will be completely repaired.
    The problem we are running into is that our other car is a Honda Accord and we have to take our sons to a baseball tournament 4 hours away this weekend, along with a teammate. Think about baseball equipment, luggage for the weekend and 5 people going 4 hours each way in an Accord.
  • lookie11lookie11 Posts: 14
    Here i go again back to the dealership,power steering pump that was replaced back in Jan 2012 is failing AGAIN! Dealership wants to look to see if that is the actual problem or maybe there is something else going on.....yeah want more of my money for GM's screw up on the truck....This is ridiculous again, GM needs to stand behind there products as myself and others should not have to go thru these problems with less then 75k on these trucks and that is a stretch too....Needless to say that I just had this truck in the shop for some other issues back in late part of Nov early Dec.....I didn't even bother to post into this forum and it seems GM does not and will not stand behind their many complaints and problems with this truck all under 100k at least and GM doesn't seem to think this is a problem? But I'm sure once something awful happens then they will want to step up to the plate......Appt on Monday to drop off the truck and have a technician take their time and look at it with a fine tooth comb....can you say "cha-ching"...will keep you posted on this...
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi lookie11,

    I can certainly understand your frustration and would like to look into this for you. Can you private message me your full name, address, phone number, Vehicle Identification number, and approximate mileage on your vehicle please? My email address is "attn Crystal" in the subject line. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Crystal L-GM Customer Care
  • Lookie11,

    I feel your pain. I had so many problem with my 2008 Outlook and GM wouldn't stand behind this product. It's a faulty product and they know it! I finally bit the bullet and traded in my GM for a Volvo. I just couldn't sell it to anyone knowing all the problems it had and also for potential problems in the future, which I know would happen again. I'm so relieved to be done with it and I will NEVER buy a GM product again! I hope it all works out for you. Good luck guys!
Sign In or Register to comment.