Last post on Aug 11, 2013 at 6:30 AM
You are in the Saturn VUE
What is this discussion about?
Saturn VUE, SUV
#52 of 144 Re: 2006 vue won't start when hot [rem]
Feb 11, 2009 (4:59 pm)
A year ago I posted a problem with my 2006 Vue. They changed the ECM the first time and that fixed the problem.
The same thing has happen at least seven time I lost track. The symptoms are when I return to my car I inserted the key as usual. Ordinarily the dash instrument gages would activate. The security door locks are inoperative, the engine starts but will not stay running. I have taken it to the dealer and each time they could not find an problem. They even kept it for a week. This failure happens randomly and I can never predict when the car might not start.
I understand that it is the cars computer network. The fix is simple but who wants to put the hood up and remove the ground cable on the battery? I keep the tools I need in my car if and when the car will not start. It takes less the five minutes to re-boot the computer.
It functions fine for weeks until I try to start it. My car problem is a glitch in the ECM. Had Saturn engineer a remote re-set button I would not have to remove the ground strap on the battery for two minutes. I do want to caution anyone who has a vehicle that has the same symptoms. My cars problem could be different then yours. When you remove the battery cover stay clear of the positive post. If you drop a wrench between the positive terminal and ground you could get seriously injured. This is best left to a qualified mechanic.
I am thinking of installing a relay and a switch to remotely re-set the computer. from all the feedback that has been sent to me I can conclude Saturn needs to come up with a software patch. With the economy as bad as it is it is doubtful they will recall Vue's and come up with better software. I guess I am eligible to have the car deemed a lemon? Since I can resolve the problem and the fact I other wise like the Vue I'll have to live with the problem. Happy motoring Vue owners
#53 of 144 Re: 2003 Vue [jarheadwarren]
Aug 10, 2009 (9:56 am)
I am having the same problem, did you ever figure it out?
#54 of 144 Re: 2003 Vue [nozz44]
Aug 10, 2009 (12:19 pm)
The Saturn service techs could not find out what caused the computer program glitch.
I found by experimenting that removing the cars battery ground cable e.g. bolt and waiting a minute the computer system resets.
Keeping my fingers crossed that it does not happen again. I caution anyone to avoid removing the ground cable from the cars battery. You have to reset your cars
radio time and favorite stations.
I only recommend this ECM reset in a emergency. Since no one has up dated the cars firmware it might be done with the On Star link.
I can only suspect my ECM has been upgraded without going to a Saturn service center. It has been almost a year since the car refused to start.
I can suggest keeping the tools required to take the battery cover off and a wrench to back off the ground bolt at the battery in your cars tool box.
Warning if any metal like a wrench or watch band comes in contact with the plus terminal of the battery major injury can occur. If your not a electrical type then find someone who can safely remove the ground cable from the battery.
The whole process should only take 45 second or less. Be careful and double check the batteries polarity...
#55 of 144 Re: I have a 2006 saturn vue [shygirl1219]
Aug 11, 2009 (7:35 am)
I experienced the same type of problem with our Saturn 2006 Vue. The first time I had it put on a roll back to a dealer in Las Vegas 75 miles away.
They replace the electronic control module (ECM). The car had to be driven back the following day because a warning light (seat belt) was on. The tech forgot to
re-program the computer network. There are three modules that need to be in sync.
That lasted for a month and the car was hauled back to the dealer. NO problem was discovered. A few weeks later the car refused to start so it was returned to the dealer. They kept it for a week as I suggested. The service manager could not find any reason why the computer system failed.
I suspect they upgraded the firmware to correct the problem. It has not happened again for over a year.
I believe the problem is a software glitch that happens randomly. The last two times it refused to keep running I simply removed the battery ground cable. That resets the ECM computer.
When I reset the computer I also removed the error code stored in the module.
I carry the tools needed to remove the battery cover and the bolt on the battery ground terminal.
My honest opinion is the service techs do not want to troubleshoot a complex
system as in the Vue. I found by resetting the computer (reboot) that should solve the problem.
I must warn anyone that has not worked with a car battery to find someone who is skilled. If your wrench or metal watch band comes in contact with the positive terminal serious injury can occur. The ground cable need only be removed for one minute to clear all data out of the CPU memory.
I'm not sure if the upgrade of the Vue firmware resolved the problem or my re-boot
procedure resolved the problem.
We live 60 miles from Death Valley so in an emergency it is necessary to remove the battery cover and it's negative cable connection.
Other then that annoying problem our car with 26,000 miles has given excellent service.
If you have the same problem and need to get off a freeway or go for help then remember this. Attempt to start the car a dozen times. It will not start or run for more then a milli second. After 12 attempts the computer will change modes and allow the engine to start. That enables you in a emergency to drive a few miles.
Note the power steering will not work nor the power breaks. The car is extremely difficult to drive but allows the driver to seek help. So please be extra careful if you ever hav e to drive the vehicle in this way.
#56 of 144 Dont think I can back to my Saturn Dealer
Aug 11, 2009 (3:27 pm)
I have an oil change scheduled at a local garage tomorrow, I still have security issues with the Vue If I open the tailgate or side doors then shut them and I enter my side and start the car it will not start and the security light is blinking. I have learned that when this happens, dont curse Saturn , but turn the key off and turn to 1st setting and let the light blink and the stop. turn back off and the car starts fine. Any way I never use my emergency signals and a few moths ago when I did need them the button was stuck 1/2 way in, It must have been caused when they fixed the security thing and screwed up my mileage and now the button for the emergency signals. So for 5 years it was a great Vue after the warranty expires it starts to fall apart.
#57 of 144 2003 Saturn Vue 4 Cyl.
Dec 22, 2009 (5:52 am)
I have a 2003 Saturn Vue that won't start in the morning. I have replaced the battery, alternator, starter, cleaned all the wires, posts, and grounds. When you get in and try to start it, it makes a clicking sound. Everyone has said it's the starter. I have 2 perfectly good working starters so it's not that. Recently I figured out if I put the car into low 3 and then back up into park and turn the key 3 or 4 times it will start and it will start EVERYTIME after that for the entire day until it sets overnight. Then I have to do the same thing. I have read some stuff about the Neutral Safety Switch. Has anyone heard anything about this or know where I can find a diagram of where this switch is located? Obviously with the economy being the way it is... I can't afford to pay a lot to have this fixed. If I can do it myself, I'd prefer that! Any suggestions and thoughts are definitely appreciated! Thank you!
#58 of 144 Re: 2003 Saturn Vue 4 Cyl. [flirtee30]
Dec 22, 2009 (10:32 am)
Be extra careful using replays as a guide to solving a technical problem.
The Saturn Vue has a very complicated computer system. It requires all the modules to be in sync and communication data to each other.
Ours has not "glitches" for over a year. I made sure the system was reset by removing the negative terminal on the SUV battery and replacing it. Our problem might have been a bad connection at the battery. Note I really do not know why our 2006 Vue has been trouble free.
Service technicians have diagnostic computers to pin point most control module faults.
What your experiencing might be something only a Saturn engineer can resolve. It is not simple to diagnose a computer problem in a GM vehicle.
My point of replying is finding the right person to correct the annoying problem. I wish I could help other then we now own cars that are soon to become classics. I retired from GM Hughes am surprised that Saturn dealers can not support our cars.
Sorry that I can not be of any real assistance.
#59 of 144 Re: 2003 Saturn Vue 4 Cyl. [kingcat]
Dec 22, 2009 (10:46 am)
Well thank you for responding and at least I know I am not the only one out there having troubles with a Saturn Vue.
I have tried several things and my problem is just plain ole annoying. Having to take the car out of park to start it is a common sign that it is the neutral safety switch from what I have read and not just through "replies and forums" but actual car guides and mechanics.
I too removed the negative post on the battery first, so I don't think that is the issue at all. Like I wrote in my original post, I have replaced the battery (paying particular attention to the connection (it has a good connection), the starter, the alternator. All the wires have been cleaned. My next thing is I am going to get the neutral safety switch from the dealer and see if that helps. Do you know where I can get any "diagrams" so I can figure out where it is located? I saw a youtube video but it was for a "ford windstar" van, which I don't think will help me!
Well again - Thanks! For now I'm driving a (funny part, it's BRIGHT Yellow)! LOL
#60 of 144 this might solve the ECM problem with the Vue
Dec 31, 2009 (11:38 am)
It happened again after one year. My wonderful lemon 2006 Saturn Vue did it again. After using the remote transmitter to open the doors my Vue refused to start.
Once again I had to re-set my vehicles computer. I do this by removing the ground cable on the cars battery. After replacing the cable the car always starts and run perfectly.
Like any digital system glitches can stop data flowing to make the SUV operate. I might have accidently discovered what is happening.
Note that I am troubleshooting without the aid of a cal lab service scope and a print out of the computer program.
I stumbled upon a web site that was for ham radio operators. Someone in California had a shortwave transceiver that did almost the identical thing my Vue does. Here is part of what he wrote.
just when the rig is ready to start making sound, the lights flash and it “reboots” itself. This happens over and over several times until it either starts or you shut it down.
To best understand the problem in simple terms follow this. My Vue only fails to start after I use the remote transmitter to open the door locks.
Only after the computer system is re booted using the negative cable
method will it start. There is some similarity between the ham radio and my SUV ECM module.
A9 refers to the radio, it is a printed circuit board.
The A9 Power Distribution board supplies voltage to, among other things, the CPUs in the radio. note this reference is for a radio not my car.
Here is what solved his problem.
I’m no expert, but one of the crew on the reflector (a technical news letter for hams) says that this design is very hard on the filter caps, especially C6 and C9, both 470 uf, 16 Volt, 85° C electrolytic. These caps need to have extremely low Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) as well as excellent ripple specs. You can’t just pick up any old 470 uf cap from the junk box and expect it to perform. It would also seem logical that caps rated at 105° C with a higher voltage rating and with a larger physical size to dissipate more heat would make them last longer.
When he looked at the board, C6’s top was bulging, a sure sign it was the culprit. He determined that replacing all three of the 470 uf units, including C7, would make sense.
He searched around for premium caps for replacements and finally settled on ones from the Mouser catalog made by Xircon, model 140-ESRL50V470-RC. These units are rated at 50 Volts, 105° C and have excellent ESR and ripple specs. Even though they are physically much larger, the lead spacing is the same as the originals, so they fit perfectly.
I do not expect most of you to know what a capacitor like this is.
It is a $1.50 part that allows AC signals to pass through it. It blocks
or stops direct current.
In the case of the ham the manufacture of his rig knows they selected the wrong component. Yet, like Saturn they did not have a recall. In the case of the ham radio operator it is only a $2000. investment made in the US.
My best guess is a recall to replace components is not practical or safe for a SUV. That means those of us who are victims of what appears as a faulty design must suffer. The cost of solving a problem would be too costly
The only way we are going to have our car problem solved is having a
lab investatage if there are components in the Vue's computers that intermittently fail. I doubt if GM would volunteer to solve this unusual problem.
I can not positively state this is the correct answer to why my Saturn Vue and yours will not start.
Until someone sends their ECM system to a independent lab the mystery remains.
#61 of 144 2003 VUE starting problems
Jan 25, 2010 (1:22 pm)
My 2003 has recently developed a problem starting when it's warm. I can start it every morning without a problem, but once I've driven it, parked it, and turned it off it won't restart until the next day. The key turns and there is nothing. I tried replacing the starter, but that's not it. Any ideas?? I either have to leave it running when I go anywhere, or get my son-in-law to push it and pop the clutch.