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Saturn Aura Transmission Issues



  • Bill,

    Just curious how you diagnosed your intake vacuum and coil failure issue? Was this something you figured out or did a shop identify these issues?

  • This car has had issues ever since the day I bought it 5 years ago. To name a few... Replaced the alternator, brakes work opposite of how they should ( when I press the brake pedal the lights go off and visa versa), problems with the starter (still haven't resolved), cruise control doesn't work, Radio doesn't turn off when I turn off my car or open the door, "service airbag" light is almost always on and today spent over 2000 dollars to have the wave plates replaced in the transmission. The transmission problem started about two weeks ago. I could feel there was a jolt when I put my car in reverse and there was a rough transition from 2nd to 3rd gear and 4th to 5th gear. Two days ago the car wouldn't move at all which resulted in me having to tow the car to the dealership. Ive read through all the forums and it appears that a lot of people are having the same issues. At what point is there a recall on some of these items.
  • I have a 2007 Saturn Aura with 88k miles in great condition until two days ago. When i shifted the car in reverse it made a jerking movement in the car. As I was driving to work the RPMs flew well over 3k after hitting 30mph and then the car would no longer shift past the 1st or 2nd gear. The car no longer goes in reverse either. Was able to limp the car over to AAMCO and they ran diagnostics and told me the P0776 code came up and they were very vague in telling me how much it would cost to fix. They told me it would cost $700 to just open up the transmission and to diagnose the problem but I wanted to ask here what the best thing going forward would be for me. The mechanic told me I was looking at a potential $3K repair to fix what is most likely the 35R wave plate. I am just puzzled why this happened to a relatively young car. Even though the car past the 5 year mark, its under 100,000 miles and I am trying to find information if Saturn will help at all. My family and I have been loyal GM customers and I am just looking for some help and advice. Thank you in advance.
  • vitorebeeca,
    Call Saturn customer service ASAP. Have the car tolled to a GM/Buick dealership. Customer service has been very helpful. There has been an issue with the waveplate:(!
  • j_gj_g Posts: 3
    Go to a GM Dealership...

    Try to be patient with them but ask them to involve GM Customer Service and get the name of the GM District manager.

    I had the same issue and the original estimate was over 4K.

    The trans was chewed up when the part broke. The thing takes 16 to 18 quarts of fluid which is cooled through the radiator which also needed to be replaced because it was clogged with metal parts.

    It was a big deal and it too more then 2 weeks to figure out but GM stepped up and covered all of the parts and a big chunk of the labor.

    Cost me about 1,000.00 to get it fixed. My car had 106K miles and was a 2007. More then 5 years old and over 100K so the could have said sorry and done nothing.
  • Thank you so much for your quick reply! I have been calling GM customer help and Saturn customer help but I can never get beyond the electronic voice recording telling me to check the website. I am currently in Tampa and unsure which GMC dealership to go to. I contacted one by phone but all they were interested in was whether I wanted to trade in my car as is for $3K which is ridiculous. Thank you for any help you can provide.
  • Just wanted to give an update on my status. I dropped off my 07 Saturn Aura to a GM dealer, they will be diagnosing the issue either today or early next week. Was also contacted by someone from GM customer care who will be communicating with the GM Dealer about my case. Fingers crossed they will step up and help with some of the repair for the wave plate. If they don't, depending on the cost of repair I may not be able to afford the potential $3-4k cost (i am a 26 year poor grad student barely surviving on a stipend) I still also owe $9k for this car!?!. Can anyone suggest anything else I can do to help my odds in getting GM assistance? Should I try contacting anyone to bring more attention to the situation? Just wary of only relying on the GM dealership i randomly brought my car into based off who was closest. Thank you all and best wishes.
  • Bought Saturn in February of 2013 with 79,000 before I even bought it the dealer said it was at the shop for the transmission has the auto for 2 weeks and it started to only stay in first gear in the morning after I shut it off it was ok but took it back to shop and they had it 3 days supposedly had fixed it got it back had it working for about 2 months now it will get hot after about one hr. of driving when it gets hot it will not want to go at a stop light or sign so I will be stuck hope I do not get hit in the [non-permissible content removed]. no luck getting it fixed again the tranny shop that fixed it the first time will not give us a rental but I have a disabled mother that I have to get around to dr. and other stuff they told me that was not there problem if anyone has any kind of solution please contact me at Thx Doug
  • I took my car in for what also seemed like a transmission problem. They found the brake light stayed on once in a while. They replaced the brake switch with the comment that the defective brake switch caused the transmission to downshift.

    Two weeks later, I took the car back to authorized Saturn with the BCM technical bulletin to review and told them my car smelled like gas and the same transmission complaint. They followed the tech bulletin and reconnected the wires to the BCM and also found the fuel pump leaked. After they reconnected the wires and replaced the fuel pump, the car worked good as new. My guess is that fuel wasn't getting to to the car causing the transmission to act up and the cruise control/brake light not working was a separate issue. The car runs fine now.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi mdcrsc,

    We're glad to hear that your dealership was able to find the cause of your transmission issues. If there's anything we can look into for you in the future, or questions we can answer please feel free to reah out to us.

    Amber N
    GM Customer Care
  • I was having problems with my 07 Saturn Aura XR, I was told that there's metal shavings in my transmission. What can I do? Can that be fixed or do it needs,replacing?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi djghost,

    Sorry to learn that you are having trouble with your transmission. Have you already had your vehicle diagnosed by a Certified GM dealership? If so, we'd like the opportunity to speak with you further regarding this issue and work towards finding a resolution. Please feel free to email us your name, VIN, mileage, contact information and preferred dealership. We can be reached at [attn Amber].


    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • jay808jay808 Posts: 1
    Here I go, adding to this thread. I purchased my 2007 Aura XR in 2010, with 37k miles on it; fast forward to present day, I now have 58k. Within those miles, I've experienced a broken drivers seat brace, water pump & wheel bearing failure; the last two covered repairs.

    It's unfortunate to say, that my transmission has also failed a couple of days ago; shifts from 2-3 causes over-revs and a hard shift, same goes for 3-4 and downshifts. My CEL has not yet come on, as I refuse to drive it any more which would create more of a problem. Or, I may be too late.

    What's heartbreaking is, i only have 58k miles on this vehicle and my GM factory warranty had expired 12-months ago. Honesty, I really enjoy driving my Aura as it's far from the usual car you will see on the roads, especially here in Hawaii.

    I am well aware of the cost to repair the transmission, but I'm wondering if GM could lend a hand in getting my vehicle in to a GM/Chevrolet dealer to have my transmission diagnosed and repaired, allowing me to be back on the road. Any help would be greatly appreciated and could possibly retain me as a GM customer.

    Thank you! :sick: :cry:
  • I to had the same problem when I bought this in January 24 2 weeks to the day it did it I was told that a shop in town rebuilt it and to take it there did that after 3 months it did it again and is still doing it I went to gm. and they had me take it in and I was told it needed a remanufactured and that gm. would not cover it all they told me they would give me a 2000 for a new auto LOL but I did go to the attorney generals office about this but no resolution yet come to find out my paper work for the car was allured it says I bought it with 55000 and it was 73000 but I bought a after market warranty the same time and that paper says 73000 so I might get lucky I don't know but this has been a stressful year for this car.
  • I bought a 2007 Saturn aura last year from Ron marhofer "supposed to be a great dealer and have a good customer rating" 1-10 ..... I give both the car and dealership a 1 ... I purchase the car and felt that something wasn't quite right at first after the first three weeks well ron marhofer has a 30 day return policy... So I called after owning my 2007 Saturn aura for three weeks and asked them to look at the car because I would put it in gear and when I gave it some gas to go it would not move and then slam into gear and when I say slam I mean it felt like the engine dropped out of the car and slammed into the concrete! So anyway I called and took the service manager what was going on and he said ya bring it in but we are backed up right now ... Under the impression that they would still stand by their word I had to wait two weeks before I got it into the service center. Then they tell me that what my car was doing was normal and the car was "functioning fine" there is no way that is normal but since I did not get it in until after the 30 days even though I called before they would not do anything. So since then I now have a 2007 Saturn aura with 65,000 MILES ON IT WITH A BLOWN TRANSMISSION! Since I am the second owner there is no warranty and no one will help me out. I am currently trying to get ahold of someone at gm to hopefully try to help me with this problem and am praying for somebody to help me.
  • Buying a Saturn aura will be the worst decision you will ever make ... Since all of the problems with these cars I have now lost $10,000+ in one year! Probably just better off scrapping it for the metal. Purchasing this car was the worst decision I have ever made.
  • I am very upset that my 2008 Saturn Aura XR transmission is gone. I have noticed the last 3-4 days it won't quite slip into gear very well. I took into a mechanic shop. The shop is made up of guys that worked for Saturn of Salt Lake. They test drove it and it stalled on them. Wouldn't go in reverse. They ran a diagnostic and came up with code 0776. Transmission is gone. In fact last night I went to this website and read all the problems people are having. I am not working right now and am taking care of my granddaughter. When it rains it pours. I don't have warranty left. When it rains it puurs!!!
  • Well finally I got something done about my car I got so lucky apparently when I bought the car they had messed up on some of the paper work with the mileage and got the attorney general in on it and now they are replacing the transmutation with a new one so check your paper work carefully.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi cupid50,

    I'm sorry to hear about what has happened with your transmission. If you are interested in working with a GM dealership, we would be more than happy to see what options are available in resolving this issue for you. If you'd like our assistance, please email us at [attn Amber]. Include your VIN, exact mileage, contact information and preferred GM dealership.

    Thank you

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Let me start out that I have always been a supporter of GM Products. My father and husband worked for GM for more than 30 years each. I grew up with GM Products and have always bought them. I even provide friends and family discounts as allowed on the GM Family First website. I find it strange that there is a transmission recall on the 2008 Saturn Aura and no one has ever contacted me or notified me regarding this recall. Wake up GM, all vehicles are registered on some state, so it can't be hard to have the various States DMV provide you with an address of the registered owner. Needless to say, what I experienced today and its outcome my change my perspective on GM products all together.

    Out of the blue today my 2008 Saturn Aura started shifting weird. I know this vehicle because I bought it brand new and have done all the recommended maintenance with a Certified GM Dealer. So I took my minor child to an appointment and on the way back home to drop him off at school, the vehicle began not shifting. Pulled off the side of the road, put vehicle in Park and was able to shift into gear and proceed back into traffic but engine was reving and vehicle was not shifting again. Got into left turn lane to turn left at stop light and had to stop. When light turned green Saturn would not even move. Of course this was a major road and my son and I were nearly rear ended numerous times because the vehicle would not move. A gentlemen did stop and asked me what was going on and even backed up behind me to help move the traffic over. He also nearly got rear ended numerous times. Both of us had our 4 ways on. Got ahold of OnStar assistance and soonest they could get tow truck to me was an hour. So I requested Emergency Assistance to help move the vehicle to a safer area and State Patrol showed up. Now check engine light came on. Called dealer and asked if I should shut engine off with check engine light on and informed that it would not hurt. So I shut engine off. About 10 minutes later I turned vehicle back on and surprisingly was able to shift to drive and move. Let State Patrol know so turned left at light heading to a safer location. Wasn't even going to try to make it 3 miles home, just wanted to get to a safer location. Within 1000 feet after turn, vehicle would not not shift and was only reving again. State patrol was able to have me put vehicle in neutral and push me into parking lot.
  • Now that the dealer has had a chance to look at the vehicle its been determined that a medal plate broke off and the transmission is shot. So, lucky me, I get to replace the transmission. A question I would like to ask the Engineers/Logiticians at GM is: Based on your research on the transmission and life cycle costs for the transmission placed in a 2008 Aura, What is total lifecycle costs a GM owner could expect to pay to fix their transmission or any other part that GM decided to use that had a short life span? I am not a young driver and have been driving more than 30 years, and I do not hotrod my vehicles. So for a transmission to die on a vehicle that has been maintained 100% per GM recommendations and this to happen at only 78,000 miles is not acceptable.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello becky9560,

    I'm sorry that you are facing a transmission replacement in your Saturn vehicle. I recognize your dissatisfaction with this matter and would like to try and help. Although I am not a technician, I would like to further investigate your concerns. If this interests you please email us your name, VIN, contact information, and dealership, as well as reference your screen name. We can be reached at [attn Amber].

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Sent the information to the email you provided with attention to Amber. Please let me know if you do not get the message.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Thank you-- just received your email.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • The recall for the Shift cable is 11175 or 12106. I have a 2007 saturn aura V6 (3.5 engine, V6 with a 4 speed transmission. It is the powertrain: automatic transmission: gear position indicator. Check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrtion (NHTSA) US NHTSA Campaign ID: 12V460000

    I hope this helps! I have had my saturn for 6 years and have had electrical issues, cataylic converer replaced, rack and pinion going out now, now the ship cable. The most expensive things to fix. Also, have to put rotors on twice. I ignore all the other notices like the popping in the steering column. -
  • I had a very similar experience to Becky just two days ago. I had just left my house and had stopped at an intersection. When I went to make a right hand turn, my car drifted into the intersection and would not accelerate. We were in the middle of the intersection and could not move forward or backwards. I called OnStar and they called for police help. In the meantime, about 50 cars swerved around us and we are so lucky that we did not get hit. By the time the tow truck arrived, the transmission light came on. I bought the car brand new. I have only ever owned Saturn vehicles because I was a true believer that they last forever. I have 62,000 miles on the car and my five year warranty expired in April of 2013. I have kept up with all required maintenance. When I called the dealership, they were pretty clear that I was out of luck. If anyone can offer assistance or help, I would truly appreciate it. I see that some are emailing Amber at GM Customer Care. I emailed and hope somehow some way GM will make good on this what seems to be a reoccurring situation.
  • I have a 2007 aura xr and I just now got the place I bought my car from to put a gm remanufactured transmission in my car but I had to go all the way to the attorney general and they got it done. I tried by myself to get this fixed for 10 months
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello karenc8,

    I apologize that you experienced this with your Saturn and am glad to hear that you and your family are all safe. I would be happy to look into your situation for you. If this is something you would like my assistance with email me at Please include your username, karenc8, full name, address, phone number, VIN, current mileage, and dealership.

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Jonathan A.
    GM Customer Care
  • I have a very similar issue, I was merging onto the freeway yesterday and felt the car have a rough shift. Since then, the transmission is jumping and hesitating when shifting into 3rd gear (also seems to be 5th gear too, but I notice 3rd gear more in stop-and-go traffic). Today, it also started hesitating in reverse, and the shifting was getting worse. Luckily I decided to avoid the freeway on my drive home. As it was, I decided to pull off into a Chevy dealer halfway home because I didn't trust that the car would make it home without putting myself or others in serious harm. Reading these other posts makes me glad that I was able to do so without causing an accident or other traffic disruption!

    I've kept up-to-date with all of the recommended maintenance and only had the vehicle serviced by authorized GM dealers. I'm especially disappointed realizing that the resale value of the Aura is a good 30% below an equivalently equipped Malibu from the same year, so a new transmission could cost half of the trade-in value!

    The dealer is going to investigate tomorrow, but I'm afraid it's probably the same transmission issue that others are having. Unfortunately I got the car just under 6 years ago (new), so the warranty has been expired for almost a year (although still well under the mileage limit at ~78,500 miles). This was my first brand-new car purchase, and I definitely had hoped that this car was going to last me at least a few more years without any major issues since my last GM vehicle was running strong at 11 years old and 200,000 miles when I sold it to buy the AURA.
  • The dealer called and confirmed my suspicions - the transmission is shot - my options are either spend money for them to take it apart, diagnose the problem, and overhaul it (with a high labor cost and unknown cost to repair it), or to just replace the transmission with a GM remanufactured transmission that comes with a 3 year warranty. I decided to go with the remanufactured transmission because it's a set price (no unknowns related to repairing pieces inside, which could easily increase above the remanufactured cost), and because it comes with the warranty. Now I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'm making the right choice and this is the end of major issues for the next few years.
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