14th Mar 2008, 15:40

I took my 2003 Saturn Vue (4 cylinder), AWD, with the CVT to the dealer this morning because of a variation in rpm at constant road speeds. The whining/whiring noise (always had it from the time I bought it new) was real bad. The car has 97500 miles on it and is over 5 years old (bought it in Nov-02). Fortunately, I bought an extended warranty out to 100k miles. They are going to rebuild the transmission. I did not know, until now, that the CVT was poorly designed and possessed inherent reliability problems. Other than having a bad lifter at 60K miles (they replaced the cylinder head), the car has been good to me. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. The vehicle is paid off and I am considering dumping it. This is a real disappointment for me, since I am a Saturn fan due to buying an SL2 brand new with the 5 speed manual in 1993, that my son is still driving (over 250k miles with the original clutch). That was/is a great car (only paid $10500 new).

23rd Mar 2008, 23:31

Just bought an 2003 Saturn Vue, 2.2 4-Cyl, VTi Transmission, with 79,000 miles on it. Thought it was a good deal. Purchase price below blue-book, ect. Today, it started leaking transmission fluid on the right side (after one week of ownership), so here I am after doing some on-line research. And I can now see what I am in for during the duration of my Saturn Vue ownership (Search: "Saturn Vue Complaints" on your search engine). Two points to make:

1. Do your homework! I failed to look into this Saturn Vue I purchased and any of its history, up to this point. If I had, I would not have made that purchase. Period! You see, even on new vehicle product lines you can get some indication of prior issues specific to that model or brand by looking into past performance or previous owner issues. In this case, all I needed to do was look!

2. The VTi was a failure on GM/Saturn's part and instead of dealing with the problem (it would have been cheaper for the company to buy them all back, as opposed to, fixing them until all until the warrenties expire). You see, GM would have done durability testing on the Vue with the 2.2 4-Cyl/VTi Transmission Powertrain line-up prior to any kind of production launch (both OTR and lab testing) and that testing would have indicated the flaws so many owners have had/or are currently experiencing. Yet the decision was made to go forward with it anyway. This tells me a lot about GM/Saturn.

I have owned GM vehicles of many varieties, for many years and never experienced a show stopper like what I am about to go through with the VTi issue. They have performed at or above my expectations. You see, like others on this board and elsewhere on-line regarding this issue it would be difficult for me to "dump" this vehicle into someone else's lap. So I will go at Saturn until they have resolved my issue or not (being the second owner, more likely not!)

I will post my efforts in this matter as they arise.

25th Mar 2008, 10:23

Hi All.

Not sure if you are all dealing with this problem in the US or in Canada. On Saturday night our 2003 Vue 4cylinder VTI transmission broke down.

We brought it to our dealership where we purchased it new in 03. I had not idea about the transmission issue and never had any warning of this happening (ie. lights, sounds, etc), the acceleration just stopped but the engine continued to run.

The dealership mentioned that I was outside of the warranty kilometers (100,000) as I had 132,000 kms on it (about 80-85,000 miles if you are wondering), but still under the 5 years.

The dealership tore the transmission down and contacted GM Canada/Saturn to see if they would cover anything.

All I was asked was if the transmission fluid was ever changed. It was checked everytime we had an oil change and was fine. I looked in the manual to see why they would ask. On Page 353 (I think) it says that the transmission fluid that can be used is one specific type. It also mentioned that in certain conditions, the fluid does not have to be changed until 100,000 miles /166,000 kms.

GM Canada agreed to replace the entire transmission which was apparently 6500.00 brand new. I just had to pay for 8 hours of labor. I confirmed with the service manager that the transmission is new and not rebuilt or my old one repaired. I agreed to paying my end as I thought it was a fair deal.

We will see how it goes with the new transmission although I was under the impression that the VTIs were no longer manufactured.

9th Apr 2008, 11:13

I have a 2004 vue 4 cylinder - when I go under 10 miles an hour in a parking lot especially it makes this whining noise and sometimes hesitates. I brought it to saturn and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it just regular wear and tear on the vehicle. My car is only 4 years old and I am not rough on it and it shouldn't sound like that until its like 10 yrs old or older. Does anyone else have this issue?? My car has 62,000 miles on it right now. Thank you??

9th Apr 2008, 11:59

I have been have tons of problem with my 03 V6 Vue. I have about 62000 and had to replace the Accelerator Sensor, Throttle body, and the Main computer. I just got the truck out 2 weeks ago and I started to have problems again yesterday. It seems to be running real rich and than it died again. So now I'm waiting to hear back from Saturn to see what the problem is. Has anyone else had to replace this sensors?

10th Apr 2008, 20:27

2nd time around I had to replace the ignition coil, a few gaskets, catalytic converter, and the computer had to be replaced again. I can't wait to trade this piece of crap in.

17th Apr 2008, 09:55

I have a 2004 4 cylinder with the hesitation problem. This usually happens at very low speeds between 10-20 mph. Of course the dealership cannot "duplicate" the problem. I can see from all of the postings that this is a very common issue. It does make me angry that the dealership does not acknowledge that this is a common problem.

22nd Apr 2008, 19:18

I am a college student in Texas. I bought a 2002 AWD Saturn Vue LAST MONTH. As I got into this vehicle after class today, it would not turn on. I have been noticed the hesitation at the after a complete stop in the past few weeks. After a "health test" from the repair shop, I learned that the throttle actuator control system and the transmission control system FAILED THE TEST. This is the first test I have failed since being in college. Needless to say, I do not have the funds to fix the probem right now...?? We'll see what the dealership tells me.

7th May 2008, 13:55

Please help. 2003 Saturn Vue transmission problems, so I see that I am not the only one. If anyone has info on the law suit, please let me know. My car is in the shop at 8500 and it is going to be 5,900 to get out. Hmmmmmmm, guess what; for the transmission.