Last post on May 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM
You are in the Saturn Outlook
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Saturn Outlook, Transmission, SUV
#179 of 689 2008 Saturn Outlook transmission problems
Nov 11, 2011 (6:44 pm)
I bought a 2008 Saturn outlook less than 90 days ago from an individual. It has 65K miles on it. I bought it from the original owner. It started acting up tonight and by the time I got home, it wouldn't go into reverse or shift out of low gear. I don't figure this will be under warranty, but what is the common problem?
I have never owned a GM product, I have always owned Mazdas and Fords, now I know why. A car with under 70K should not leave you stranded.
Someone give me some idea of what I am looking for......
#180 of 689 Re: 2008 Saturn Outlook transmission problems [roothawg]
Nov 12, 2011 (8:56 am)
It was the transmission control module. Had mine replaced last week and runs great now. Was covered under the warranty so didn't cost a dime.
Hope this helps.
#181 of 689 Re: Outlook transmission problems [ljandbucket]
Nov 12, 2011 (9:01 am)
For those experiencing similar issues (hesitation under load or incline, hunting for gear) here is everything that has been done to my car and as of now seems to have resolved the problem. The last time I had the car in I had a tech at the dealer spend some time in the car with a ride along. As soon as the car started to produce the reoccurring problem he pretty much new what it was. Even before the issue, he had a good idea of what the problem was. I think more effective resolution to problems, like in any field, can be significantly impacted based on experience. So my initial recommendation is to ask for a tech with experience working with Outlooks (or it's sister cars). Also, get someone to ride along and experience what you experience. They can always "try" to find the problem based on what you describe but I think the ride along can help save you a few repeat visits.
In lieu of that here is what I had done. What I don't know is if it was one problem that was solved with one fix or a combination of fixes. However, given the issue only started after about 60k miles I have to think there was one primary issue.
Things to bring up or have checked:
1. clutch wave plate - if you experience long and consistent shuddering, you likely have a bad or incorrectly installed clutch wave plate. This was not an issue with my car, but my great tech mentioned this as one source of problems he has seen with Outlooks.
2. Transmission was completely replaced - car wouldn't shift, would rev high and only stick in first gear. Had metal shavings and burnt fluid so they replaced the trans. While this happened soon after I started noticing the hesitation under load I think it was more of a coincidence and bad timing with the transmission (read on). It just went bad and had to be replaced. I wouldn't have expected that at 60,000 miles but glad for the warranty.
3. After the transmission was replaced, the hesitation started again almost immediately. This is why I think the bad transmission and hesitation were two separate issues. To help resolve the hesitation the dealer said they needed to apply the latest OCM and TCM updates. There is a TSB (tech service bulletin) out there for something very similar to this experience but as I understand it those hesitation issues were being felt early on in the ownership of the car. My issues didn't start to occur until around 60k miles. So if you have very few miles on your car this flash may help resolve your problem. It will also give you some more get up and go for passing as well better shift management under load. Car drives much better with this update but.....
4. Even with the flash and the new transmission the hesitation was still there. This last time with the ride along with the experienced tech he pegged the issue to either being an engine misfire or a wiring issue. He said often times these problems seem to show themselves as transmission issues but they are actually engine problems. This is why it takes more time to diagnose or resolve because they spend time looking for trans or trans related problems based on what is being described when the issue is actually in the engine. What finally (and finally is a relative term here) resolved our problem was a replacement of the ignition coil. Since that has been replaced the car drives like it did when we drove it off the lot, if not even better.
Hopefully, this is the end of this issue for me and that we've found a permanent resolution. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure if there was a combination of things that finally resolved this or if it was solely the ignition coil. In any case, I hope this info helps with any of your experiences and if for nothing else helps to get your car back to you that much faster. Experience here is key so I'd ask your service rep to either talk to the tech that will work on your car or ask for someone that has a depth of experience working with Outlooks, Acadias, Enclaves, Traverses as they will have a good understanding of the issues with these cars.
Note: all of this was covered under the powertrain warranty so other than inconvenience (and even with that I was able to get a loaner whenever I needed one) I didn't spend a dime.
#182 of 689 Re: 2008 Saturn Outlook transmission problems [roothawg]
Nov 14, 2011 (12:41 pm)
I'm sorry to hear that you're already experiencing some concerns with your Outlook. If we can assist in any way, including looking into warranty/recall information on your vehicle or assisting you in working with a dealership to resolve this concern, please email us your name/user name, contact information, and the last 8 of your VIN.
GM Customer Service
#183 of 689 Re: 2008 Outlook just died on the road 42k mi. [dimoutlook]
Nov 14, 2011 (7:40 pm)
The dealer that did my clutch wave plate (at 43,000 !!!!!) said they've done about twenty of them. Said they made the plate too thick (or too thin. can't remember). My transmission is still a little quirky. Not as bad as before.
GM will never make this right. Remember - they're too big to fail. They have the blessings of the US Gov't. A little thing like this won't stop them. The whole idea that US made cars are now on par with Japan is a total fraud. But with all the money that the Gov't sunk into these auto makers, they have to continue perpetrating this lie.
Maybe we need to start Occupy GM??
#185 of 689 transmission died
Nov 28, 2011 (8:10 pm)
2008 Outlook, without warning, pushed the accelerator and the car didn't respond, coasted to the side of the road, won't move at all. The engine just revs up when it is put in gear. Check engine light is on. Can I bring this to any GM dealer, or does it have to be a Saturn dealer?
#186 of 689 Re: transmission died [outlook8]
Nov 29, 2011 (6:39 am)
Dam sorry to hear that!
I just went through this roughly 3 weeks ago myself. The answer is yes!, you can take it to any GM dealer, as long as your vehicle does not have over 100k on it, they will fix it under the 100k mile warranty. Do not let them tell you differently either, the best thing to do:
1) If you have a friend or own an OBDII scanner, scan it and get the engine codes... I am 100% sure your issue is the r35 or 35r wave plate. Almost all of the Saturn Outlooks have that issue between 65-85k.
2) Don't let the GM dealer tell you or talk you into saying anything about the transmission fluid! The dealer I went to tried to double talk me into agreeing that the transmission fluid was dirty and had not been changed. This was an attempt to say it was my fault; this is a power-train issue that is quite common with this line of vehicles.
3) Ask the dealer to supply you with a loaner vehicle, as this issue usually requires them to rebuild the transmission, which in my case took 2 weeks. With that, do not allow them to give you a small car as a replacement, you need something of the same size and standard.
4) If you have already rented a vehicle, ask the dealer to cover the cost... I did, and they covered the rental, plus gave me a loaner.. top line Suburban with Navi and rear entertainment... I almost bought the sucker off them, they just wouldnt take my Saturn off my hands...
#187 of 689 Re: transmission died [outlook8]
Nov 29, 2011 (9:48 am)
I'm sorry to hear about your Outlook. There are dealerships certified to work with Saturns; if you wanted to find one in your area you can use the following website:
Keep us posted, and if you need customer assistance, please don't hesitate to send an email.
GM Customer Service
#188 of 689 2007 Saturn Outlook - HAD IT WITH GM Customer Service!!!
Nov 29, 2011 (12:05 pm)
Ok well here's my time to vent:
July 2010 (72K) - took in for service & they recommended a tranny flush as per maintenance recommendations. So had that done along with a few other things.
July 2011 (98K) - After getting stuck on the I76 bridge between Philly & NJ, i contacted OnStar to get the code for the check engine light & got the P0700 code. Once i got back to Springfield MA i took to my dealer (Balise Chevrolet) and they "couldn't replicate the condition" so therefore nothing was done (Notice how close to running out of Warranty - go figure right)
Nov 2011 (103K) - On way back to Philly for business and within 45 miles my check engine light comes back on, i call OnStar & get the P0700 code again. Well i continue on & then at about 150 miles i get a digital warning on my odometer display that transmission fluid is hot & to idle engine & start losing power & I call OnStar & get code P0634. So i pull into rest area & then after ten minutes i continue journey, then in about 30miles the whole process continues. Then on trip home after about 150 miles same issues. I then take to dealer (Balise) and they charge me $100 for diagnostic to only tell me that they found the codes and that my transmission oil appeared burnt & they recommend another tranny flush for $200.
So i contact customer service & let me tell you i think the only thing they are good for is working with the dealer to rape you even further over the coals. Not only do they not recognize there is a problem with the tranny but they only recognize diagnostics from a GM Certified Saturn Specialist & not a 3rd Party who would have your best interests in mind vs a "Company" dealership. Then I am told i have to do the recommend flush in order for them to even consider covering any issues down the road that might occur since i reported it before the warranty was up. However if they do determine there is an issue, im still stuck spending the $200 for the flush that may or may not help the problem.
Just for a laugh: I was also told that i need new rotors (again), which i will do myself at this point & replace right front sway bar link. I then asked them to check my 2010 service record & they replaced my left sway bar link. Then the service rep at Balise says "We usually replace both at same time". I just looked at him and said "It just keeps getting better doesn't it".
Is there anyone else out there that loves their Saturn as I do, but would appreciate GM stepping up & fixing a known propblem like our tax dollars fixed their problems? If so id like to know any recommendations on starting either a petition or even a Social Media campaign to "out" GM & their "Quality Customer Service"