2nd Jan 2009, 20:59

I have a 2002 Saturn Vue AWD V6. I purchased it in 2005 with 80K miles on it, mostly highway.

At 108K miles I replaced the timing belt as scheduled maintenance. It must be replaced by 100K according to the shop manual. Too bad that is not in the owner manual. If it breaks, the valves impact the pistons and you may ruin the motor.

I also replaced the water pump (recommended since if it fails it will take out the timing belt) and all the idler pulleys on the front of the engine.

The crankshaft position sensor had to be replaced at 110K miles.

The air conditioning compressor seized at 145K. Also, the center vent airflow almost stopped. It turns out that they put a very fine mesh screen behind the center vent. You have to remove the center console top to get at it. It is necessary to balance the airflow. Without the screen the air blasts through the center vent. So I cleaned and replaced it; a periodic task to say the least.

The wheel bearings have all had to be replaced. I endured the bearing noise until about 150K miles.

Both sway bar links had to be replaced to eliminate the clunk going over small bumps. Again, I waited until the clunk was too irritating. You can purchase them from local aftermarket stores now and they are easy to replace.

I have had numerous vacuum leaks from the plastic center within the intake manifold, which produced lean burn fault codes. Some high temperature RTV silicone sealer finally fixed that problem.

The cooling thermostat had to be replaced.

The engine ran so cold that a fault code appeared.

The Input Air Temperature thermistor in the air intake had to be replaced. That produced lean burn fault codes. I purchased a high-performance one and replaced it rather than buy the very expensive Mass Airflow sensor it is attached to.

It helps to have an interface to a laptop to trouble shoot specific problems. You can read the values of items like the O2 sensors and temperature sensors to determine if they are within range. Saves a lot of guess work.

I now have 175K on the Vue. There is an ever growing noise from the AWD rear end. I haven't found the exact cause yet. The transmission is starting to let the engine rev on some 3rd gear shifts. I want to service the transmission and replace the fluid, but the dealer says that they use DEXRON III. However, a service note says that only Type IV can be used. It specifically says in all caps, "DO NOT USE DEXRON III." It says that "Failure to use the specified T-IV fluid will result in poor shifting quality, and eventually transaxel failure". The fluid is very expensive (about $25/qt) and only about 3 of the 11 quarts can be drained since there is no torque converter drain. Not sure how to effectively change the fluid.

Otherwise, the Vue is fun to drive.

27th Jan 2009, 16:14

I have had my Vue since a little over a year now, it's a 2002 V6 AWD.

I have changed my auto ATF; FYI Toyota is the best place to get T4 ATF Fluid. I have also found out the new high mileage ATF lists as being T4 replacement.

I purchased my Vue with a bad oil cooler, thus oil in the coolant. I bypassed the cooler; now it runs so cool I get the SES light.

I have the creak in the front and the weird shift in 3rd high rev before engaging.

I too had to replace the crankshaft sensor just after purchase, but I'm at almost 130 and have put about 25k on it since purchase.

Now my heater control goes past hot and rotates all around. But for me it's paid and still keeps moving.

9th Feb 2009, 12:48

I have had my 2003 4-cyl Vue since late in '02. In that time I have replaced the struts on both ends (that common creaking you hear in your grandpa's farm truck), both rear bearings, and just finished getting one of the front bearings changed at the dealership ($500+). Sounds like I've got another $500 to go to finish fixing the bearing problem.

The worst part about the front bearing repair was that this morning, less than two weeks after the repair job, my CV shaft is somehow broken. Same side as the bearing repair job. Either an oversight on a worn component when replacing the bearing, or a bad job replacing it by the dealership. Very disappointing.

15th Nov 2009, 10:27

I bought my 2002 VUE in Oct 2002 & have had to replace the brake rotors 3 x (the 2nd time the dealership did it for free), had the sway bar links replaced.

The latest is the catalytic converter went out at about 83,000 miles. This is another common problem if you search online. The dealership would not replace part of it - only the entire assembly ($2400). Their experience has been that when one goes, it shoots debris into the next one down the line & it goes, etc. Hence, they refuse here to do a partial replacement. My mechanic purchased one part from the dealership, replaced it; then the 2nd one failed & he was able to buy the aftermarket part on that & weld it in. So far it is holding, but makes me nervous. The total repair was approx $900.

Now the lower control arm bushing needs to be replaced. Still, I have to say, I love my Vue. The dealership was great all thru the warranty and beyond. They refunded one car payment and gave me $100 in coupons another time, on top of the free brake job. They know the sound of my voice (for good & bad) & I have to say I am sorry to see Saturn dissolving. There are always problems with first year cars - I have learned never to buy another one, but I would definitely have bought another VUE.

20th Jan 2010, 12:43

I bought my '02 Vue used in '04 and I loved it. But that was then. I've actually paid more money in maintenance than owning the car.

Valve cover gasket.

Front bearing.

Calipers continuously fail.

Fan for air in the cab is out.

Little lights on the dash kept going out.

$85 dollar blinker switch to repair turn signals.

Steering column groans, and not from delight.

A/C leaks.

Engine revs for no reason sometimes.

Car pulls to the left, cannot be fixed?

And more...

Worst car ever, good bye GM, and thanks for all the fish.

4th May 2010, 16:07

In December of 2009, my husband I purchased a 2002 Saturn Vue. We thought this was a great vehicle. We have, since then, changed our mind. Our car has issues that no one can explain. We can be driving down the road, and REDUCED POWER on dash. Then it will not let us go any faster than 13 miles. We do not have a Saturn dealer in the city that I live in. I just wish we could figure out what is going on.

Our Saturn also will jump from 1500 rpms to 500 rpms and act like it is going to die, but never does. If someone knows what is going on, please email me at carlilefam05@yahoo.com

Thank you.