3rd Nov 2007, 22:45

I bought my 2003 Saturn Vue V6 AWD in July, and now I am experiencing the fuel indicator problem. It shows that the tank is totally empty all the time. The transmission is hesitating in shifting, and I am worried that any day now I'm going to be slapped with a humongous repair bill. I also have a chipped windshield, which I've seen mentioned on here, and rust on the running boards. I have an extended warranty... let's see what I can get them to cover.

12th Nov 2007, 12:54

23:17, I think you've had your first introduction to being caught in the vicious cycle of car dealers and financing. They will never give you fair value for a used car, and yet the car they give you $2,000 allowance for will be on their let in a month for $7,500. To top it off, the new car will be marked up $2,000 so you get nothing for your trade-in, anyway. It sounds like you bought your other cars new, so maybe plunging into the world of used car dealers wasn't for you.

The wheel bearings seem to be a common complaint, but I don't think you can complain about the brakes, because at over 75,000 miles, it is totally reasonable to need new brakes. You could have saved a few hundred dollars by doing the work yourselves, though -- brakes aren't that hard for a driveway mechanic to address. Ditto on the tune-up, it's just a matter of taking out spark plugs and replacing wires.

Regarding the transmission, look around for a transmission shop. More people get hosed on transmissions because it's the quintessential mechanical repair clichè: "Wuh-oh, looks like your transmission is shot! We better replace the muffler bearing, too! That's a big job!" The "your transmission is shot" is the stock line for mechanics who think they have a sucker on the line who doesn't know a thing about cars -- no offense, but a Saturn SUV screams that. Call every one in the yellow pages and talk to them -- don't bother with the "$50 evaluation will be waived if it needs to be rebuilt" because they will tell you that anyway. Find a local, privately owned shop and they will probably fix your transmission for 25% of what the dealer or a "national chain" will quote you.

Beyond that, I would suggest just keeping this thing running and treating it like a beater rather than trying to maintain it like a nice car. As long as it moves under its own power, don't bother with fixing little stuff. Also, it's time for you to start learning something about cars -- buy a Hayne's Manual so you won't be such a victim, and maybe even start doing some work yourself to save money. Another thing to consider, there are probably a lot of "Gulf Coast" cars showing up on used car lots that were flooded in the hurricanes, and they are bound to have all sorts of problems.

9th Dec 2007, 10:13

Wow! Reading all these comments about Saturn VUEs is sad.

I bought the very first 2002 FWD, 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual transmission Vue delivered to Tampa, Florida. Before I ordered this vehicle (all they had were the V-6 models on the lot) I jumped on the Internet and did some research. I discovered that the V-6 Vues had multiple problems, and with the 182 HP detuned Cadillac engine, the price for the power was not worth it.

I also read that the "Golf Cart Transmission" for the 4-cylinder VUEs did not work correctly and failed, and also in some cases over revved the engine until the engine failed.

So... the only option I could see if I wanted a VUE was to buy the FWD 4 cylinder with a 5-speed manual transmission. That engine/transmission combination had been around for years in other vehicles and had minimal problems. So I put a $100 down on the order with my local dealer and off to the Middle East I went.

When I returned a few weeks later I received a call from the Sales Lady that my Vue had arrived. I told her I would not buy it if it drove like an overloaded dump truck, and she agreed I would not have to buy it if I didn't like it. When I arrived I discovered the VUE had an options package on it I did not order, and inquired as to why it had that package. She told me it was an introductory offer for this particular model and my cost was a total of $230. This package included alloy wheels, 6 speaker CD system, sun roof, keyless entry and air conditioning with remote controlled mirrors and electric windows. I was impressed. On to the test drive. It drove much better than expected so I bought it.

I have had the vehicle for almost six years now, and after the first three months the car has had not one single problem. In the first three months I had an ignition module fail, had the windshield washer nozzles blow out on both front wipers, had a leaky AC box inside the car that caused condensation to drip onto the floor. That is it! Nothing else has ever happened that was a problem.

I did get a recall notice a few years ago to strengthen the rear wheel supports and that was taken care of in just a few hours.

I now live in the North where it is cold and snowy, and my old VUE handles the snow and ice very well and starts perfectly. It has been paid off for almost two years now, and I will keep her going as long as possible.

I do advise everyone out there to keep the oil and filter changed every 3000 miles, and if using synthetic oil like I do, use AMSOIL or Mobil-1 synthetic. AMSOIL is better in my opinion, and here in the North I use 0W-30 synthetic.

Change the manual transmission fluid too, and replace it with synthetic transmission oil. Everything helps to keep them running smoothly for a long time.

I also own a 1993 SL2 with 365,000 miles on it, and everything on that car still works properly including the AC.

I won't buy any Saturn VUE again after reading all these horror stories (I assume I was lucky in getting the only non-lemon VUE in existence), and doubt I will ever buy a Saturn newer than a 2007 model, since the 2008 models are all steel panels. No more plastic sides anymore, which I love... no more new Saturns for me.

Back to my 2002 VUE: I suggest you only buy vehicles with the least options possible. The fewer the options, the fewer the problems.

28th Dec 2007, 15:17

Do not Buy a Saturn VUE - this is why;...

I have a 2003 Saturn V6 VUE. Don't mind that you are still paying for your car and it is NOT under warranty.

I have also replaced my "sway bar", 02 sensors just like everyone else. That was at least $1100. Have you ever had to have your radiator replaced at 80,000? I have. Yes another $400. Now it is the ABS sensors, just as everyone else. Another $600.

Why keep the car - buy a Toyota. At least you won't live at the mechanics.

The only one winning is Saturn. They are getting away with this... and the consumer is getting screwed!