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Saturn Outlook Transmission Problems



  • Recently in Oklahoma--1000 miles from home. Car started making noise and "skipping" during acceleration. Made it back to SC by towing it. Car would not move 2 days after returning home. I took it to a shop. I was told that they did not have any good news for me. Tranny needed to be rebuilt ($2500 --$2700). On the positive side, the shop is familiar with the problem because they have replaced several trannys In Acadias and Enclaves. I have 69000 miles on it and 7 months out of warrantee. I have not approached GM yet.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi willyo1,

    We understand that you're having problems with your transmission and apologize that you're facing a repair. If you'd like for us to start a case for you within our system, please send us your name, VIN, contact information and dealership you're working with. Please also reference your screen name here on the forum. [attn Amber]

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • I am normally a very calm and collective individual but the customer service I have received between yesterday and today reassures me as to why some US companies are not rated high in customer service.

    I will start with saying I have had a few issues with my 2009' Saturn outlook which I bought brand new in 2009."

    1st the car would not start randomly in my driveway and the keys would not come out of the ignition, however it was covered under warranty, I was told the brand new battery was no good also some wiring issues. The dealership said it would not be done till the evening or next day and would not give me a loaner, go figure. Big inconvenience missed a days work.

    2nd Had to go in for software issues twice. Afterward I explained that my car was really loud at startup and idling now that this had been done. Stated they had no fix, disappointed but I lived with it.

    3rd Back windshield wiper broke while in the garage. Took it in to be fixed the part had to be ordered. Had to bring it back again to have replaced dealership broke replacement upon fixing had to bring back a 3rd time, finally replaced

    4th Leads us to yesterday on my way to clinical rotations @6am my Outlook's heat would not work I thought that was strange.. but said maybe it needed a fuse. About 3 more miles the "car shut the radio off and said engine overheating, a/c hot turn of vehicle" I pulled into the lot and walked. Upon finally paying someone to give me a ride home I contacted GM"s customer care and I explained that it had to be the water pump or thermostat as there was coolant in the vehicle. The young lady said it was probably the water pump as with my vehicle there were special considerations outside of the warranty, and the water pump was one of them. I also asked about any recalls or other issues pertaining to my vehicle as I was having other problems. She said "there were none" I said "well my car jerks when being put in reverse, shifts gears when it does not need to (yes I know about the auto feature, it is not that) and stalls driving on the road, which is very dangerous, it is also rattling I think a shock, strut or mount and it is still loud!" She then said "there are some special considerations in regards to that as well." I said "what, I just asked you about that!" She then stated "they only let you know about it if you complain about an issue." with more being said I wont get into. They picked up my suv this morning. The dealer said it was the water pump. I explained the other issues to them as I was instructed by the GM rep, they acted very nonchalantly and said it would be $100.00 to check the other things as GM wont cover it. Stunned but not surprised I said "forget it when will my vehicle be completed", he said" hopefully by closing." I said I have meetings I need a car. He said there is an enterprise up the street you can go up there and rent one. First of all if I could go up there and rent one I wouldn't need a vehicle. Second GM said it would be covered. After going back in forth with what I thought was basic common sense they arranged a vehicle with neighborhood enterprise. By the way I will not return to this dealership again. Needless to say I have missed one mtg and I am still waiting on a vehicle and the additional issues still have not been addressed. Sadly I feel as if GM is making it hard for you to obtain service, therefore once it is out of warranty they don't have to replace it. Can it be the dealer, who knows but you never get direct answers from either. Before something else major goes wrong I will take it through another avenue if it doesn't get resolved as I have been extremely patient and cordial up and to this point.
  • Welcome to the club. Just wait til your transmission and torque converter go out.

    This whole situation sounds very familiar to me, as far as your dealership goes. You wouldn't happen to live in Indiana would you?
  • No, I'm in Ohio and it was a Chevy dealer. Sad to say I for see the same.
  • marqmanmarqman Posts: 4
    edited September 2013
    This is my second post to this site. My earlier post (#748) told the saga of my 2008 Outlook and its transmission and torque converter problems that have resulted in the vehicle being driven to the dealership 3 times and towed in twice. Last week I managed to limp into the dealership once again. My new GM case number is 71-122-5451459 and, after multiple communications with the service representative, Goober-mint Motors has blessed me with a brand spanking new 2013 transmission and torque converter! All covered by the warranty.

    I will pick up the Outlook next Tuesday (9-24-13), Here's hoping this fixes the problem and this will be my last post on this site.
  • I have 3 words....Class Action Lawsuit? Hello, anyone? Reading all these posts makes me sick. GM can and should do better! My Saturn is in the shop with our 3rd transmission repair. Hoping GM comes through like they should.
  • Amber or whoever else is monitoring the GM Customer Service. How does one go about getting a claim started? I fear I am heading down the path of a second transmission already in my 2008 Outlook. I am out of the original warranty, and I am now also about 15,000 miles out of the rebuilt transmission warranty, but total the rebuilt transmission has gone about 27-28K miles, and now it is sputtering again as it gets ready to shift. I fear for my family's safety when someone other than myself drives the vehicle, but have no other real choice for them to use it when taking a trip of any disctance. I am not real happy with the dealership here in Rockford considering the first transmission went out within 5 months of me leaving the lot with the vehicle. Thank you.
  • Sorry...should state that this would be the third transmission for the vehicle (at least since I have owned it) and my second transmission replacement.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    edited September 2013
    Hi mgierach

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this frustrating issue. You can send us an email containing the information that you posted here and please include your name, VIN and mileage. Send the email to We look forward to hearing from you.

    GM Customer Care
  • Did you ever hear of any CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS re the transmission problems? I am interested. We are experiencing our 3rd failed transmission and a huge $$$ to boot!
  • Hi ya all, I have the 3-5-r problems as well, just had my transmission rebuilt, and now Im getting 13-15 mpg. Anyone know why and what I can do about this??? Gm and was suppose to get back with me a week ago Ill be calling first thing monday.
  • ceelo13ceelo13 Posts: 4
    edited September 2013
    I would love to take part in a Class Action lawsuit. I have a 2007 Saturn Outlook with less than 36,000 miles on it and the transmission went out. I had both my kids in the car one with a disability (Autism) when this car decided to once again break down. No transmission should go with less than 36,000 miles on it. Ready to sue with or without "Class" action.
  • Just got word that my 2007 transmission is gone now too .. looking at 2-3-4000 repair item.
    Any help for the Canadian folks?

  • Nope. My 2007 cost $3800 to repair. GM will screw you too
  • Our woes with our 2009 Saturn Outlook are echoed by so many people here.

    We have suffered from sluggish shifting, problems going up hills, and shifting gears for a long time. Not to mention 2 summers ago, water pump going out, having on two separate occasions having to fix a leaking sunroof that actually had our car starting on its own.

    So in March 2013 we bring the car in, it is having trouble shifting, going up hills, making a 'chunking' sound. My regular mechanic for routine maintenance said the transmission was going. SO I bring it to our local authorized Saturn repair. They take OVER A WEEK (after making an appointment) to even LOOK at it, and we had to pull teeth to even get a loaner car. And tell us, the transmission is fine, we just need new hoses and a transmission flush. Cost us close to $700. I ask them specifically if the wave plate is alright, and to check the transmission fluid for metal shavings. Mechanic says nothing is wrong. Minute we drive off the lot check engine light pops on and I notice we have the same issues we brought it in for.

    We can't afford to bring it back in for the same wallet raping so we have to wait a couple of months. Fast forward to June. Problem is starting to get worse, so we make an appointment with a different dealership. Drop it off, next day they call us - Wave plate is broken, there is no way the last dealership should have let the car off the lot with the car in the condition it was. Got us a loaner right away. Took 3 week to fix, and we were told not only was the wave plate broken but there was chunks of metal embedded in the transmission. Something the previous dealership should NOT have missed.

    We get the car back for a week, something else goes wrong, car goes into the shop for 2 months, we get a loaner (Not transmission related) 2 weeks after we get the car back, my husband is driving to work. Car starts to shake and stutter, and won't go over 45mph. Thank goodness he decided to come home. Soon as he gets to the driveway he hears a loud THUNK. Car now will not go into reverse or go anywhere. We have to pay to have it towed to the dealership the replaced the transmission under warranty. And they now have no loaner for us.

    Then I find out, the case holding all the gears into the transmission broke, which was the thunk my husband heard. Imagine what would have happened if he was on the highway during rushhour and that happened. Someone could have gotten seriously hurt.

    My 10 year old beaten up little Toyota has not even 1/4 of the problems this expensive newer car has.
  • FYI - called the Canadian Support Centre - no help there .. having to pay out of pocket and keep the receipt. If there ever is a recall you can make a claim. This and water issues .. man oh man.. crap.
  • frs929frs929 Posts: 51
    GM knows about this problem. yet will do nothing about it.Doesnt stand behind their products
  • I have a 2007 Saturn outlook it was baught in the summer of 2010. That christmas I noticed a sluggishness to the car and while driving it completely stopped in the middle of the road. Since then I have had nothing but issues, I have been in the shop at Hutchens Chevrolet here in newport news, every 6 months since then for always a major issue. I baught the car for $23k and have put in thousands more to keep it running. I have stabilitrak issues, wave plate, timing chain issues, serviceable air bag issues, lift gate issues, water pump issues, musty smell continuously and here again after being in the shop in july I have it in once again for a code that told me "oil pressure low, shut off engine now!!! I am beyond pissed off an I want my money back from all the repairs and my $23k back! I have filed a complaint with the government with a link i found in this forum, and will not stop until this car/money pit is recalled...
  • Well after a 392$ and no help or call from AMBER OR SARAH, and the automated messages, which I see every one on this site gets, I am now deciding on selling this car to carmax where I baught it from, so after giving my old car for a trade in and $23k for the car in 2010, then all the bills from Hutchens chevrolet(UGHHHH) they only offered me $9k. What a joke! I was told by Hutchens that I have engine sludge, which is supposedly my fault, I do my oil changes and always have the car into this crappy delearship. But after researching it, it is the problem of this crappy :lemon:!!!! Engine sludge is due to... A restricted or malfunctioning crankcase ventilation (PCV) system can contribute to sludge formation by not allowing moisture vapor and fuel vapors from the crankcase to be drawn away while the engine is running. :lemon: I am told that I need a new engine to the tune of $7-8k because they cant get all the engine sludge out! I am sick to my stomach and at a lost for patience anymore. How can this car not be recalled, gm should be utterly ashamed...I have faught for this car and told others how i loved it, so now I hang my head in shame for being duped. DONE WITH THE MONEYPIT :lemon:
  • this message is for customer service/Sarah. we too have the same transmission probs along with the battery drain issue and leaking EVERYWHERE. We are so done with this vehicle. please message me so I can provide you with our information. We have contacted GM about the issues but no one ever responded. Not sure of the case number.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello the_hatfields,

    We understand your concerns and apologize that you've also experienced problems with the transmission on your vehicle. We would be more than happy to take a second look into your case to see what options are available to you. Unfortunately, since there is no messaging system here on the forum, the best way to contact us is through email at [attn Amber]. Please include your name, VIN and contact information.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • I too had problems with my 2007 Saturn Outlook transmission. It had 34770 miles on it when the transmission went. I was told it was a 3.5r wave plate which I believe controls the reverse in the vehicle. I fought with GM for weeks as warranty or not I was NOT paying close to $4000 for a new one. After 3 weeks and $700 in rental fees GM agreed to pay all but $500 for the new transmission however I am still pursuing my legal options for rental reimbursement. GM is well aware that this is a major problem with this vehicle yet they are refusing to recall it. I advise everyone to contact their local Better Business Bureau and Dept. of Consumer Affairs. I also believe that a class action lawsuit be researched as this is definitely not a random issue. If anyone is interested please post it here. Here some links to other forums regarding Saturn Outlook problems. For give me if some are repeated...;all aspx
  • I've had it with this car. Every major problem that happened with the 2007 Saturn Outlook we have had to deal with. Last night the transmission died. Metal shavings found in the transmission fluid. Total cost for a new one for a car that has 72,000 miles on it...$3600. I have a 1999 Ford Explorer with 186,000 miles the only major repair was the cv joints at 160,000 miles. I can't believe GM refuses to stand behind a product that it knows a defective part in it. I will never own another GM product as long as I live. I will do my best to dissuade anyone I can from ever buying a GM product as they could care less about their customer satisfaction.
  • Recently, my 2007 Saturn Outlook was unable to shift out of 1st gear. I found it extremely odd because the night before, I had no issue whatsoever with shifting. I let the vehicle sit for about a day, and the next time I drove the vehicle, I did not experience any issue. I drove the vehicle for about 2 months after that, and then all of a sudden, I experienced the same issue. The vehicle has now been towed to a GM repair center and they are telling me I need a new Transmission Control Module and a new Wave Plate. Has any one experienced a similar issue? It seems odd to me that the issues I experienced were sporadic in frequency. I would assume if the TCM or Wave Plate was bad, the issue would not go away, and then come back .
  • I did have this issue with my 2008, though I did not give it a chance to sit a day before I had it fixed. Its been a few months but I think I paid about $800.
  • marqmanmarqman Posts: 4
    edited December 2013
    I feel your pain. The transmission in my 2008 Outlook failed at 64,000 miles. I went through new wave plates, new valve assemblies, and, finally, after a 6-month battle, a new transmission. I was lucky - I have a very good dealer in Gaithersburg, MD. The service department manager supported my fight with GM for 6 months. GM finally gave in and covered everything under warranty.

    I am very disappointed in Government Motors - but I owe an very big thank you to King Buick in Gaithersburg for all they hard work they did to get GM to honor their warranty.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hi rakerley25,

    We're sorry that you're facing a repair on your transmission. We understand your concerns surrounding this situation, and we apologize that you are experiencing this. If you would like for us to build a customer assistance case for you within our system please feel free to send us your full name, VIN, mileage, contact info and dealership. Please also reference your screen name. We can be reached by email at [attn Amber]. Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • I had the same problem, yet GM is feigning ignorance to the issue. I suggest everyone who has had this problem contact the Department of Justice in your state as well as Washington DC. GM gave me a price of nearly $4000 then $1800, I finally got them down to $500 because they could not explain how a vehicle with such low mileage - 34,400 - could need a transmission. They tried to hide behind my vehicle being 6 years old, but when I asked them to go on record and publicly admit that their vehicles are crap after six years, naturally they would not oblige. I am still awaiting reimbursement for 20 day car rental. Again this is a major SAFETY issue with this vehicle but unless everyone gets together and brings GM to task, NOTHING is going to be done to help GM vehicle owners such as ourselves.
  • We are owners of an '07 Outlook with ~75,000 miles. The transmission died yesterday evening when we were nearly 100 miles from home. Had to put up the family in a nearby hotel then rent a car to get home today. We got the same diagnosis (transmission failure) and repair estimate ($3,800). We contacted GM today to request that it be considered a warranty repair and received a lukewarm response. I hope they will eventually come to their senses and take care of their customers.
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