Last post on Jan 12, 2009 at 2:47 PM
You are in the Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Saturn VUE, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), SUV
#72 of 84 Re: Is this correct? [hybridvue]
Nov 13, 2008 (11:27 am)
One funny story. I take our vehicles to the local gas station a block from work for routine stuff like oil changes and inspections. I have taken our automobiles there for 10 years.
When I took my GreenLine in to the station for an oil change they couldn't figure out how it worked because it (engine, BAS, and battery) didn't look like a Toyota Prius or Ford Escape. The GreenLine would't move on the electric motor. They wanted to know why the gas engine kept coming on. Talk about confused mechanics. They had never even heard of a mild hybrid.
I ended up giving a 30 minute course, which included a Q&A session on the BAS system.
It was such a low cost alternative to a 2 stage hybrid when I purchased it in 2007. Better performace than a typical 4 cylinder, with better gas mileage. I sometimes wonder what the future of the BAS concept would have been if Saturn hadn't alienated so many customers following the electrical harness and battery issues.
#73 of 84 Re: Is this correct? [chmsomm]
Nov 14, 2008 (8:35 am)
That is a good story.
You are absolutely accurate - it is/was a low cost alternative to a 2 stage hybrid back in 2007. With the marginal extra cost over the regular model and improved mpg's - those of us who weathered the recalls, learned to drive it to the fullest, made out very well.
As with the EV some good ideas just never reach their full potential. In the mean time, may you have many more happy miles with your Hybrid Vue. (Mine will pass 60,000 miles on Monday and turn two years old next Month.
Nov 20, 2008 (2:22 pm)
Great messages recently on this board. Glad everyone has some interesting stories to tell. Our GL has treated us well and we're very happy owners. I'd like to clear up one thing about the BAS operation discussed earlier--it does NOT run the A/C off of the hybrid battery. While in auto-stop mode, the battery operates accessories like the radio, the HVAC blower, lights, etc, including the auxiliary transmission pump and coolant pump in the hybrid electronics system. The A/C compressor is a traditional, belt-driven system that will come to a stop if "eco" mode is selected. Therefore, the air coming from the system will begin to become less cool as you sit in auto-stop mode. I find that it doesn't ever become "warm" and the eco mode is sufficient. However, we live in IN and don't experience horribly hot weather.
Kip, I admire your efforts in researching cars prior to purchase. That seems to be a lost art anymore, and I feel it's important. In our case, we drive mostly in rural and town situations and only occasionally on the highway. Our total MPG since new, including ALL tanks, is 28.6 mpg. We have seen a low of 24.5 and a high of 34.9, which allowed a 539 mile tank range. This is within the old-method EPA estimates of 27 city / 32 highway, and we're very pleased with this mileage. I should also point out that my wife primarily drives the car, and may be a bit less careful about MPG than I am. She LOVES the car. We have roughly 32,000 miles on it and have had the battery and harness updates done. The car did experience loss of hybrid activity prior to the recall, but the car performed fine (just no assist). Our dealer kindly gave us a rental in spite of its ability to run normally. We have always been pleased with Saturn service. This is our second Saturn.
I should also note that our GL was rear-ended recently and came away amazingly well. The other car was totalled, but the VUE only needed a new rear bumper cover, a little paint work, and a new tailpipe assembly. It's a strong little SUV. In terms of size, I think the CR-V and VUE are pretty close. I've ridden in both. I must honestly say that the CR-V's back seat was superior to the VUE's in comfort, but they had similar room. Fortunately, I rarely sit in the back.
Like chmsomm, we purchased our VUE at a good time, including 0% financing, a Pres. day incentive, and GMS discount. The price was MUCH lower than the 2008 VUE GL. Would I buy a 2008? Honestly, probably not. I prefer the polymer panels, the overall appearance, and better cargo capacity of the 2007. I'm also disappointed that the new model is assembled in Mexico while ours is a domestic product. But the real reason is price. I don't see it as such a good value anymore. That said, I haven't driven a 2008 GL (I have driven a conventional gasser 2008), so it may be better in some esoteric ways.
Good luck with your choice!
#75 of 84 Re: [tackepj]
Nov 21, 2008 (4:06 am)
That was a very good and informative post!
#76 of 84 Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions?????
Nov 24, 2008 (11:01 am)
This is an email I sent to Saturn:
This is a technical question for someone working with Saturn's Hybrid Vehicles.
I currently own a 2007 Saturn Vue GreenLine. Great gas mileage. 26-28 mpg in my 26 mpg roundtrip commute.
There are currently solar chargers available on the retail market (2-5W) that can be plugged in to cigarette lighters to keep automobile batteries charged. Very inexpensive. $20-30. I was thinking of using one of these when my Vue GreenLine is parked to assist in keeping the battery pack fully charged, and therefore fully available for use in the assist mode.
I have used small portable panels to charge 12v car batteries that I use for powering 12v astronomy equipment during the day (for night time use when I am in the field). They work reasonably well. In other words, they actually do help charge a free-standing car battery during a 8-10 hr day.
1. Would one of these panels work with my Vue GreenLine to charge the existing battery pack during the day?
2. Is the Vue GreenLine electical system compatable for this type of charging?
#77 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [chmsomm]
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
Nov 24, 2008 (11:06 am)
Isn't the cigarette lighter operated off of the 12V battery and separate from the hybrid battery pack? Just my first impression, but I don't think you'd be able to send any charge to the hybrid battery pack through the cigarette lighter.
#78 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [pf_flyer]
Nov 24, 2008 (11:25 am)
It is a question of how the GreenLine is wired
I don't have the schematics, so I dont know. I don't know where and how the voltage is regulated in the GreenLine.
If current runs to the cigarette lighter when the vehicle is off (eg.cell phone charger) it may work.
Some Prius owners are now using solar panels to help their batteries charge, even if it is limited. Again, I don't kow if they are hardwiring of if it is through the cigarette lighter.
#79 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [chmsomm]
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
Nov 24, 2008 (11:39 am)
Certainly it possible to solar charge batteries, but even if there is some physical connection between the hybrid battry system and the cigarette lighter, which I kind of doubt, you'd still have to go backwards through a voltage regulator. Just not sure if they have it set up to do so or not. Sounds more like a hard-wired modification that some Prius owners are using.
There's an interesting video on plug in hybrids on CarSpace
#80 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [pf_flyer]
Nov 24, 2008 (1:01 pm)
Oops, forgot to mention the GreenLine doesnt have a 12v battery. Just the battery pack.
#81 of 84 Re: Solar Power Battery Charging-Opinions????? [chmsomm]
Nov 24, 2008 (5:53 pm)
Yes this is a good and cheap and easy way to use less gas, I have one for my 12v battery (yes the Vue has a 12v battery system). It helps get 2 mpg and better per tank. In fact I also am happy with it I am putting together a 36v solar charger for the Hybrid system.
Just be sure you get the ones with the built-in diodes (to prevent back voltages) my Saturn dealer took 2 hrs checking mine to make sure it did not cause the 36v battery pack to fail. They did decide it was OK in the end.
A 4 to 5 watt one is all you need.
Look at this one: http://www.batterystuff.com/solar-chargers/BSSE6W.html
or look around sometimes you can find them on-sale.