I bought my 2003 Vue in November of 2003 as a new car. The first five years and 40,000 miles went fairly well, with only minor issues covered by the warranty. Jump forward to early this year and only 62,000 miles. The tranny is noisy (unfortunately it's the Vti), and I just spent $700 on a new body control module within the last month. The steering wheel is shaky, suspension is terrible, and today my SES light just came on. I can't afford a new car, so I am stuck with this lemon.
Because Saturn no longer exists as a brand, and GM has "assumed" them, they are no longer complying with the court order to replace the tranny at their cost. They have offered to cover half the cost, but that still means I have to come up with $3500+. It sticks in my craw when I read about GM's record profits. What I don't understand is the people who are still buying cars that have lousy track records and were made by a now-defunct manufacturer. I won't touch another GM car.
To the poster on 10 October who reported "... The steering wheel is shaky..."
We had that problem with our 2002 Vue and my daughter completely lost steering! I mean the steering wheel spun freely. By the grace of God she had made a wrong turn, pulled into an empty parking lot to turn around and that's when it went out. She was a hundred miles from home and about to get on the Garden State Parkway, a major thru-way. We had it towed to a local service station and they told us the electric power steering assembly had shattered. An $1800 repair. But I still shudder to think about what could have happened had she been in motion.
Please - have the assembly checked to avoid a tragedy.
We bought our 2002 Saturn Vue in January of 2008... problems from day 1.
Had to have the sway bar and all kinds of parts replaced on the front end, thank God those were covered by the warranty.
The check engine light has been on and off so many times, I can't count over the past few years. I've heard everything from the catalytic converter to thermostat. We had the thermostat replaced and it went out. Not two days later, it was back on.
Been on since, went off for about 2 days, in which I was able to get it to pass inspection, then came back on immediately after.
Most recently, today in fact, I went to get an oil change and air filter replacement, and I told them I had been smelling a "rubber" smell and seeing a little smoke from the front end. Came to find out it's a cracked head, and to replace that, means replacing the entire motor to a tune of around 3,000 or more including labor. I wish this car was paid for, I'd burn it to the ground!
The tires wear out really fast too, even after balancing and alignment! It's just a total money waster. I drive 150 miles round trip 5 days a week, just to get to work in this thing, and every morning when I leave, I wonder if "this is going to be the day it completely breaks down"... So this weekend, I'm putting it in the shop and hoping to get this thing fixed... bad thing is I had an oil change, and was charged for that with them knowing that it would have to be done again once the engine was fixed, that and the antifreeze! It's just money down the drain.
If you're thinking of buying a Saturn, I hope you read these comments and go TOYOTA all the way. Definitely going to be my next car!
Have your catalytic converter checked. Mine was bad and I lost power, and could only drive 20mph, and started getting hot. Before this, I replaced the thermostat and water pump because of it getting warm, and it was the converter.
I also have a 2002 Saturn Vue with the SES light on. Had several mechanics look at it. It gives no codes. Now a year later, the thing won't run. Considering the junkyard.
I am the head technician at a large used car lot, and I have run into your problem before. It is either a blown head gasket or the engine oil cooler in the center of the block has sprung a leak, forcing all the engine oil into the cooling system. I have had it happen on 2 different Saturn Vue 3.0 ltr engines and one Cadillac CTS 3.2 ltr. I would put oil back in the engine, and if it is not knocking, replace the oil cooler and flush the cooling system.