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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • So, the transmission was rebuilt on my 2008 Outlook at 42k miles. But will it happen again?
    Was the original problem rectified with the rebuild? Any answers would be much appreciated.
  • Good afternoon Lisa,
    I am sorry that you were stuck over the New Year holiday. Could we get an update on your situation, please?
    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • My wife's 2007 Saturn Outlook is in the shop with transmission problems. Aarg ... she love's this car! It's her baby! GM warranty don't fail me now! Here is the timeline ...

    December 29, 2011 - with 58,000 miles and no major problems with our 2007 Saturn Outlook, we noticed some slipping in the transmission around 20 MPH and 50 MPH speeds.

    December 30, 2011 - in the morning we noticed more transmission slipping and decided to bring it to the dealer. Dealer was overbooked with appointments and couldn't offer us a rental car without inspecting the car first. We decided to keep the car for the New Year's weekend. Drove no more than 1/4 mile from the dealer when the engine light came on for the first time EVER. Two minutes later, as my wife pulled the vehicle into the dealer for the second time, the car had an awful "bucket o' bolts" noise in the transmission. We left the car at the dealer, and were not offered a rental for the long weekend (again, dealer insisted that they could not give out a rental without looking at it first).

    January 2, 2012 - called the dealer at Noon, said their diagnostic computers were down & were playing catch-up. Finally heard back from the service department later in the day that there are problems with the transmission, however the onsite car rental guys were not working on January 2nd so we'd have to wait until January 3 to get a rental. Service guy indicated that the transmission repairs would be covered under warranty.

    January 3, 2012 - showed up at 8 AM to pickup a rental, and were told by the onsite rental guy (Enterprise) that they did not have any Chevy products on the lot to rent at the moment. They said "by policy" they could only rent us a GM/Chevy car. I drove my wife back to the house, went to work and we returned at the end of the day to pick up a Chevy Impala rental (didn't know they still made 'em).

    The car remains at the dealer and is expected to be repaired by Wednesday or Thursday (but no promises of course).

    We are diligent with servicing this vehicle, and have always driven it conservatively. We love this car and were disappointed that it broke down so swiftly with very, very few warning signs. I will re-post with any new updates.

  • Hello, i had the same problem in October of last year after constant complaining to the dealership about the car overheating and not going in gear. They took the car and said there were alot of parts that came loose and apart inside the engine. This got acknowledged after i had that big 60000 mile service on it done and right after that, the water pump went out. The GM dealer did get me a rental car for a week while they worked on my car, if your car is under warranty politely ask for a rental they owe you that.The biggest thing i learned from all this was GM knows there are problems with there Saturn engines and transmissions, these incidents are not isolated. Please make sure when you take your car in for a problem, make sure the service rep writes down exactly what you said the problem was, not there interpretation and find out what your rights are under your state lemon laws.
  • I am glad to hear that your vehicle has been diagnosed and being taken care of. Please be sure to post an update for us when you get your Saturn back, and if we can be of any assistance don't hesitate to get in touch with us via email with more information.
    GM Customer Service
  • Continuing saga from me earlier posts.

    No one can fix my issue, have transmission issues I can only describe as failure to shift followed by heavy downshift and engine screaming and lots of hesitations. Also every morning I awake to a car that flashes all kinds of warnings, such as service traction control and a check engine light. usually after about a mile the traction control lights go out but the check engine light remains.

    Most recently, the dealer has been unable to find anything, first they replaced an ignition coil which seemed to resolve the problem, but within a week it was back. the dealer once again replaced the same ignition coil, this time it lasted a day. Last week I was at the dealer and they said they could not figure our the problem, the codes were bouncing around and they couldn't isolate the issue, but as a bonus the light was off, only to return later that day.

    Now its another day off of work to go wait at the dealer and hope someone can fix it. The car has 70K miles on it, I'm the original owner and these problems started about a year after I got the car. I have been through multiple dealers, two different Saturn dealers and two chevy dealers. I do not want to buy another car, but I'm running out of patience.
  • I'm glad your problems were resolved. I have experienced similar problems with the dealer attempting similar fixes. Unfortunately, I've been through two ignition ciol replacements. the first one lasted a few weeks and the second one lasted a day. Now the dealer is at a loss.
  • My husband bought me a 2008 saturn outlook XR in April 2011, I've had problems with the stability traction which was repaired. When it rain, there was leaking from the emergency brake which was repaired...apparently the recall was not completed correctly due to the sunroof drainage tubes. Now I'm having problems with hesitation and sounds as though the transmission is slipping slightly also when i go to put in reverse there is some hesitation too. I am having my car looked out this wednesday and as you would know it the warranty has ran out as it was either 12 mos. or 12k. However, will the powertrain warranty cover any issues found with the transmission? Is there anyway to find out the definite warranty/recall information on my vehicle? Any and all help would be appreciated.

  • Lookie11,
    We would be able to provide specific warranty parameters and coverage information to you if you were to email us the last 8 digits of your VIN.

    Generally speaking, the powertrain warranty on your vehicle will cover the following components:
    Engine: Cylinder head, block, timing gears, timing chain, timing cover, oil pump/oil pump housing,
    OHC carriers, valve covers, oil pan, seals, gaskets,
    turbocharger, supercharger and all internal lubricated
    parts as well as manifolds, flywheel, water pump,
    harmonic balancer and engine mount. Timing belts are
    covered until the first scheduled maintenance interval.
    Transmission/Transaxle/Transfer Case: Case, all
    internal lubricated parts, torque converter, transfer case,
    transmission/transaxle mounts, seals, and gaskets.
    Drive Systems: Final drive housing, all internal
    lubricated parts, axle shafts and bearings, constant
    velocity joints, axle housing, propeller shafts, universal
    joints, wheel bearings, locking hubs, front differential
    actuator, supports, front and rear hub bearings,
    seals and gaskets

    I hope this is helpful!
    GM Customer Service
  • Also, I forgot to mention, but please do keep us updated on the progress of your visit on Wednesday. We are available to follow up on this if need be.
    GM Customer Service
  • I will keep you updated on the visit and will e-mail the last 8 digits of my VIN.

  • so my 2008 outlook is in the shop today for a steering wheel issue and come to find out the noise is the steering pump and steering gear bushings which is going to be very expensive to repair....on that note we had our truck in, in september for a noise in the steering wheel and apparently that was corrected, but now I am being told that the steering issue now is on the outside (which is the pump and bushings) of the truck and the squeaking noise (back in september) is from the inside of the truck thus 2 seperate issues. Then I was told back in september when i had the steering noise that my truck was out of warranty which is incorrect, we bought this used in March with at least 27,000 miles and it was 12 mos. or 1 year and when i took in it only had 36,264 miles i don't know but i know how to do math and according to my math it was still in warranty then. Then as I was speaking about the steering issue and it probably was part of the steering issue in the first place, i got thrown in that the water leak issue was approved to complete without charges as it cost thousands and was out of warranty...well if the recall for the water leak was completed correctly the first time, then maybe it wouldn't have needed to be re-done....i know i'm probably talking in riddles but my husband is very, very pissed at this point as they never corrected the whole steering issue to begin with.......waiting to hear back on the transmission issue.....when it was test driven of course they didn't feel the hesitation.....we'll see.........
  • My car has been in the shop 4 times over the past 4 months for steering issues. I brought it in complaining about a loud whining noise, and the tech couldn't hear the problem--I took him for a test drive and we didn't even make it out of the parking lot, and he heard the problem. He replaced the power steering pump and I picked it up the next day, only to not actually take it back---the noise was even more pronounced. They replaced that pump as well, the next day, and they fixed it. I have to admit though that it's still very loud (as loud as it was originally. Brought it back because the steering made a clanking noise, and that turned out to be a rack and pinion problem. They fixed that, but it made a very loud pump noise again, and they had to keep it for another day, while they replaced another power steering pump. I have the car back now, and the tech told me I have the quietest outlook he's ever heard, but it's still the loudest car I ever drove. I suspect that there will be a recall at some point on the power steering pumps...
  • okay, just got a call from the dealership and they are covering the steering pump issues and gear bushings.... Also, my transmission needs to be rebuilt which is covered under the powertrain warranty.....thank goodness that this dealership is working with us on these issues....now my husband is kinda happy, but is very doubtful that we will not have any more issues with the transmission.......
  • This is great to hear! I hope that everything has been resolved for you, and if not we're here to assist.

    GM Customer Service
  • How is your vehicle running now that it's back from the dealership? We're available to follow up if need be!

    GM Customer Service
  • thank you....I'll keep you posted!
  • All I can say is that I am so happy as a car dealer in my town bought my Saturn from me after they wrecked it when taking it in for yet another repair so I no longer have to deal with such a crappy automobile that GM would not stand behind knowing that there are several issues and not just the horrible transmission! I have never been so disgusted with a company and their way of handling situations such as the faulty Saturn Outlook. I am happy for those who haven't had any problems but I would guess there are not many of you!

    Peace, Tracy
  • I am both disgusted and elated to see that I am not the only Outlook owner describing the same transmission issues. I have a 2008 Outlook with 67,000 miles. On January 10th, 2012, I pulled out of a parking lot at work into oncoming traffic, only to find that I could not accelerate past 20 mph! The RPM indicator escalated, but the car stayed at 20 mph. I pulled over, and looked under the hood to check my fluids (even though I didn't know what I was looking for). I got back in my car to take it back to work, and it drove fine! On January 14th, the engine light came on and the transmission issue recurred and remains. I purchased the car in August, 2007, so I have limited time to get this fixed under warranty (if it will be covered). My local GM dealer told me to bring the car in so they can break it down to see what the problem is (the scheduler had the nerve to hint that I may be charged for something, but could not say what, and told me I will NOT get a rental); however, from the previous posts here, I cannot afford to be without my car, nor can I afford the cost of a rental.

    I am really angry that Saturn/GM has not recalled this vehicle. Obviously, there is an established pattern of transmission issues which have NEVER been resolved satisfactorily. After reading these posts, I'm so disgusted that I don't know what to do with this car. Has everyone here forgotten the phrase "CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT??????"
  • so i received my truck back yesterday and all seems fine, it runs much better then when we first got.....everything was covered, although i have to wait until my husband actually test drives to see what he thinks. Hopefully i won't have to go thru this again....
  • Excellent! And how great that it runs better than when you first got it!
    Many happy miles,
    GM Customer Service
  • If you would like to get a Service Request set up through Customer Assistance, we'd be happy to get this set up for you. Please send us an email with more information, including your name/Edmunds Username, contact information ( phone and address, please), the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.
    The first step in our process is to have the vehicle taken in for a diagnosis with the dealer, which may involve a diagnostic fee. As your vehicle is a 2008, it is likely still within the powertrain warranty of 5 years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first), which provides coverage on certain components of the vehicle.
    Hope this is helpful,
    GM Customer Service
  • I am sad to join this 'club' but here I go...My mom works for GM almost 30 yrs now (in their safety dept. in Detroit) so needless to say we feel loyal to GM cars. This is our 3rd GM vehicle we have owned. Probably last! We have had one thing after another with this car. I won't list all the repairs and focus on what happened tonight. My son and I were getting mochas at Mcd's and the car began making a loud rattling noise. Then, it would not move forward. No matter what I tried...restarting it, going to different shifts, etc. The Mcd's line began backing up and the manager was yelling "Get this car outta here" How embarrassing! Two Mcd's workers had to push our huge Outlook out of the drive thru lane. It's now parked and we will be calling the dealership first thing in the morning. The vehicle was purchased brand new and is at 59,640 miles. We will keep you posted, but after reading all these posts...sounds like the transmission to me.
  • I am sorry for the frustration and embarrassment that came out of your Outlook's potential transmission mishap. Looking forward to an update, and if we can be of any assistance please don't hesitate to get in touch via email.
    GM Customer Service
  • We purchased our used 2007 Saturn Outlook less than one year ago. Just as it hit the 100,000 mile mark we have had one issue after another spending well into $2000 to repair power steering, etc. Thank goodness they did the recall for the low beam headlight issue however the dealer only fixed the one headlight rather than both so now we have one bright light and one less than bright light.

    Last night the transmission went out and we are being told the estimate will be between $3000-$4000. PERFECT!!!! When we purchased the SUV we were told everything on it is a GMC product. Tried to find a transmission for it in hopes of the GMC product line would carry over - no such luck.

    I do not recommend this vehicle to anyone as we have been dealing with issues and again we've had it less than one year.

    Off to the rental car business so we can go look for another car which won't be a GM product.
  • Thank you for your reply: We did call and while the dealership assured me they would be able to"get us in" they clearly had a full day. We never heard from them, so when I called (several times) I finally got a hold of somebody around 3pm and they said they would have an answer (diagnosis) by later that afternoon and would call me. When I didn't hear from anyone I called around 5pm and was told they did not get to it and would not till tomorrow at this point. Next day (Fri.) I waited till around 12:00 and when I didn't hear from anyone I called...again. I was told it was in the shop and they were diagnosing and would call me. Several hours passed, I called around 2:30. At this point I did inform the service guy that this is our only car. We need to know what is wrong with our car and if it would be fixed, more importantly covered. He said it would not be able to get diagnosed till Monday when their Transmission Expert could look at it. We did receive a loaner for the weekend and I hope to hear something by Monday.
  • I truly appreciate your patience and persistence in working with us towards getting your Outlook back in top shape. If you haven't already done so, please send us an email (my coworker Christina responds to our incoming emails from the Edmunds forum) with more information (your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership). We'll set up a Service Request with you and move forward from there.
    Hope that the diagnostic appointment goes well today,
    GM Customer Service
  • I'm sorry to hear about your Outlook's transmission going out. Is it being repaired with a dealer, or are you pursuing other alternatives?
    GM Customer Service
  • jen65jen65 Posts: 1
    My husband and I purchased a 2008 Saturn Outlook last month, had the water pump replaced within 3 weeks. 2 days ago the traction control came on while driving on a short trip multiple times while going up hill. Today while driving up a slight incline the vehicle hesitated jerking very hard and loosing alot of power. Within a few more miles it did it again. We are still within the power train warranty period and would like to know what is wrong.?? Any suggestion??
  • As you are still within the warranty, are you planning on addressing this at the dealership? We're available to assist in the process, if you like.
    GM Customer Service
  • Hello Sarah, Just wanted to update you. I picked up my Saturn last night from Jim McKay Chevrolet, A Saturn Authorized Dealer in Fairfax, Va. I picked it up at 6:30pm. My son and I had the most frightening experience as we broke down 20 mins later in rush hour traffic. The General Manager (Bud Carroll) was excellent. He ordered a tow for us and waited past his store closing to get me back into a loaner car. While I appreciate this, I am not happy with what I have been told today. I was told the reason the car broke again, was a part malfunctioned. And their plan was to basically redo what they had just done. The service person (Rickie) told me their hands are tied and this is all they can 'approve' by GM standards. I told him this is our only vehicle, I have 4 kids and we live in an area (DC) where driving a safe vehicle is imperative. Furthermore we are close to paying off this car and didn't expect this to happen at 59K miles. My question is what are GM standards? After my near accident last night I am uncomfortable to say the least with your "standard" at present. Please advise. Thank you. How can I speak personally with a Customer Service Rep?
  • How many Outlook/Traverse/Acadia/Rendezvous transmissions have to fail before GM does something? We all know how this works. They'll do nothing until they are forced to. This is just one forum. The tip of the iceberg. The fat cats at GM are pulling in their million dollar bonuses, on top of the gov't bailout. Meanwhile they leave people like poor Sarah in the trenches trying to stem the tide of complaints.


    If you have any say, any power at all, I urge you to work on behalf of us hard working people who, in dire times for US automakers, put our faith and our precious, hard-earned money into General Motors. There needs to be a recall on these vehicles!!!
  • Good morning,
    It looks like Christina has set up a Service Request for you (71-1033243188) and will be contacting your dealership this afternoon to learn more from them about your vehicle situation. She will likely be escalating this case to you district specialist after this contact is completed, and they will be getting in touch via phone (probably early next week). I'll be sure to let Christina know to update you as soon as she can, and thank you for allowing us to look into this!
    GM Customer Service
  • I second that dimoutlook...you cant really blame the customer service reps because im sure their hands are tied...what it will probably take is a number of us breaking down while going 70 in the fast lane and a tractor trailer runnning us over and killing us plus innocent passer buyers. Unfortunately GM has more lobbying power then us 99%. Only thing we can do is for our next vehicle buy another manufacturer & next time GM needs the 99% to bail them out, we rush Washington and say NO!!!
  • I do hear you, dimoutlook, and Christina and I are doing what we can to work between and represent GM, the dealerships, and the customers all at once.
    Though change can be slow, we do hope that we can deliver improved service to our drivers behind the wheels of our automobiles.

    GM Customer Service
  • Thank you Sarah.

    BTW - I wasn't yelling at you with the caps. It was more like feeling stranded in the desert and calling out. I'm sure you are very dedicated to your job.
  • erw3erw3 Posts: 6
    Seems like all GM vehicles have their share of problems...I still think it will take many, many , many,many of us getting injured or worse in our vehicles before they are FORCED to do something....I have had my Tahoe in the shop for 47 days (off and on; at times they have had my vehicle for 2 weeks) and still they cannot fix the problem... service bulletin and everything on the problem... but no fix! So frustrating..I wonder if the fat cats at GM actually drive GM's?? They'd be just as ticked off as the rest of us if they did!!!
  • is there anyone out there looking into a class action against GM regarding all the issues with this car??

    Mine is in the shop again after they had it for four days for the same problem??

    I hate this company and this car!! :lemon: :mad:
  • I was tired of the issues with my 2007 Saturn Outlook. It was on its third power steering pump and steering gear, second water pump, second transmission and it only had 75,000 miles on it. The moon roof leaked from when we purchased the vehicle and it was never fixed. I have always been a loyal supported of GM and their products BUT I traded the Outlook in and bought my first Toyota yesterday. It was worth the piece of mind. We never knew when the Outlook would break down again. Sorry GM, you lost a good customer.
  • just picked up my outlook from the dealer, after two weeks of service for the intermitent check engine light, service traction control and service stabilitrac lights I was receiving. During this latest go around they have replaced, ignition coils, water pump, two cynindar heads, two cam shafts, and timing chain. This work is on top of the previous work since we bought the vechicle which includes heads, cams, timing chains, transmission work, water pump ignition coils. See a pattern. All this work was covered under warranty, but that ends in July. How can I keep this car? If faced with that type of repair work it would be cheaper to scrape the car.

    These cars have serious problems, and GM has doen nothing to address them, look at the other boards (acadia, traverse) same cars with the same problems. The rental I received during latest repairs was a 2012 Acadia, car looked great and was fully loaded. But when I drove it, I could tell the transmission was going, as it made the same noise and vibrations as my 2007 Saturn.

    By the way I have a case file with GM customer service, after getting the run around from them (they conveniently call at odd hours and leave messages, but do not pick up the phone when you return their call) I managed to speak to someone who basically blew me off, just said he would contact the dealer, no help, no follow up. I guess the only thing left for me to do is buy another car. However, GM lost a good customer, I used to be loyal to GM but not after this experience.
  • lam48lam48 Posts: 1
    edited February 2012
    I have a 2007 Outlook (purchased new) which I've taken into the shop no fewer than 5 times since October. First, it started off with service Stabilitrak / Traction Control and the service Brake System light. Although the dealer got multiple codes off of the car, they could not find an issue until about the third (maybe fourth) time in. They replaced the Master Cylinder since brake fluid was leaking out causing the lights to activate. So, they thought the problem was fixed. No sooner was it fixed, that the lights were back on (within 48 hours) and the Stabilitrak and Check Engine Light were on. Although there were multiple codes in the system, the dealer had a hard time figuring out the issue. They ended up replacing the fuse box. So far so good, but in the meantime, I had also been experiencing transmission issues which they quickly dismissed as not being an issue with my year Outlook. The car actually stalled when switching from Drive to Reverse. In switching from Park to Drive, the car, on numerous occasions, won't go, and I have to switch back to Park then Drive to get it to go into gear. Other times I've waited, put my foot on the accelerator which just revs the engine and the car will hesitate and then lurch forward after 5-7 seconds. Last night, my husband and I were driving home and we were just turning a corner after being stopped at a red light and as we were picking up speed (around 30-35 mph), the car would not accelerate any faster. We both panicked because it felt like the car was just going to cut off. I am scheduled to visit the dealer tomorrow but this is COMPLETELY unsafe. This is the car I take the kids around in, and I am extremely nervous driving it now. Of course when the service techs go on road tests with me, the issues do not replicate, but this is ridiculous. I have a video of the issue occurring right in front of my house which I will show them on my NEXT visit. Apparently this is not a new problem and GM should take the appropriate steps and address customer complaints regarding transmissions quickly. This is a true safety issue. We'll see how tomorrow's visit goes, but I have spent a lot of time in my dealer's waiting room and just need them to do what needs to be done which is replace my transmission. Shame on GM for not issuing a recall on this and the stabilitrak issue and not putting notice to the dealerships that these problems are widespread. I feel like I'm looked at with suspicion as I describe ALL of my car problems whenever I go in, like I'm making this stuff up. I really have better ways of spending my time. BTW, my neighbor bought the same car as us, had transmission and other issues and I just saw them drive home in their new non-GM car this morning. They could not stand the unreliability. Sorry GM, although you maybe the #1 seller right now, you are last in my book.
  • I've been watching your posts over the past few months, and had wanted to trust your case to your agent. However, I would definitely like to follow up with your agent on this - as Christina generally sets up the cases would you please get me your case number? If nothing else, I can get you an update on what your agent is/has been doing.

    GM Customer Service
  • I hope that today's visit goes well, and if you are interested in opening up a service request with us, please send us an email with more information (include your name/Edmunds username, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership).
    GM Customer Service
  • sjraffsjraff Posts: 1
    edited February 2012
    I have read most of these concerns on this website with this particular vehicle and I feel your pain people! I've dealt with it all...Service Stabilitrac, Service Traction Control, Service Engine Soon, Replacing the timing chain, Leaking steering rack, bad power steering pump, Washer fluid heater disconnected, headlight issues, radio issues, broken gas gauge...you name it. Not to mention I was treated poorly by a local Chevy garage at the beginning of these issues. They did not want to touch my Saturn. Which meant I had to have it worked on 45 minutes away at a more friendly Chevy garage. Many times the vehicle had to be towed in. That vehicle was so unsafe and GM was unable to provide me any real solution to fix it.

    After countless visits to the garage and hundreds of dollars dropped into my 2007 Saturn Outlook, my relationship with it is finally over! Along with my life long love affair with the General Motors Product. I was able to safely drive away from the dealership last night in my new Honda Pilot!

    Good luck guys!
  • I'm sorry that, in the end, we weren't able to restore your confidence. I hope that your new vehicle serves you well!
    GM Customer Service
  • fkarasfkaras Posts: 14
    I bought a new 2009 Outlook in 2009 and it did all the same issues........ what a lemon... i was also happy when i drove off the lot with a new Toyota 4 Runner. never to return for break downs again ...
  • i guess i spoke too soon about my truck all fixed.....here i go again back to the dealership (Monday, Feb. 20th) for basically the same problem i brought it in the last time....driverside front end knocking noise when slowly pulling in/backing out of my drive way, parking spot, etc......of course i'm out of warranty so this one is going t cost me....i just can't believe i'm going back to the dealership thought by them replacing the steering gear bushings - FWD and the power steering pump that the issue was resolved but i guess not....There is also the rattle noise back by the steering wheel as well.....UGH!
  • Thanks for the update, lookie11. As you're going back in for the same concern you were just at the dealership for, we would get a Service Request set up for you and then to your District Specialist. If you would like to get this done, please send us an email at the address located in my profile with more information (please include your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership). My coworker Christina would advise you from there.

    GM Customer Service
  • Okay...will do
  • fkarasfkaras Posts: 14
    garbage can type sound is the timing chain and adjusters. had it done it
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