I have a 2004, 3

Tiny
BOSEMAN13
  • 2004 SATURN VUE
  • 100,000 MILES

I have a 2004, 3.5 liter V6, automatic, AWD Vue. In the morning when it is cold out I put it in drive and it goes into gear fine. When I start to drive it seems to have a hard or abnormal shift. After that it goes through the gears just fine. I am wondering what would cause this? I recently bought it and don't know when the fluid was last changed.

thanks

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 8:38 PM

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Tiny
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You could be having the beginning of a transmission failure. What color is the transmission fluid an how does it smell?Also is the fluid full?

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 8:50 PM
Tiny
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How do you check the transmission fluid? I looked under the hood and didn't see a dipstick for checking fluid level. I am thinking about bringing it to a garage to have the fluid flushed. Is is possible to do it yourself on the Vue's

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 9:05 PM
Tiny
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Yeah there is a dipstick down real low on the right side of the engine.I believe its checked idling in park.I wouldn't flush it though I don't believe in those. You just have to be careful filling them. If you pull the wrong plug you have to take the transmission out and apart to fix your error.

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 9:40 PM
Tiny
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I'm worried now. I thought the 4 cyl. Engines were the ones with the bad transmissions. Is there a certain mileage range that the transmissions on the V6's tend to go out?

Also, so I don't have to have the transmission flushed, but just add fluid myself you're saying?

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013 AT 11:36 PM
Tiny
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The 6 cyl Honda transmissions can still have a problem what if the fluid was never changed or the transmission is just having a failure. The fluid should have been change at 50,000 miles we don't know if it was. If you don't change the fluid in most Hondas like your supposed too transmission is toast.I have seen tons of them burned up from lack of maintaince. Yeah I was talking about you changing the fluid yourself if you wanted too. Let's first see what the fluid looks and smells like pull the stick and find out. Also see if there is any codes in the computer?

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Friday, January 18th, 2013 AT 3:05 AM
Tiny
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Thats good to know. I will check the Carfax report to see if any fluid change was performed. How do I find out about computer codes?

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Friday, January 18th, 2013 AT 9:03 PM
Tiny
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The car facts isn't always going to show all work done not all places report to car facts. See what the color smell and fluid level looks like?Also for codes if you don't live in California go to a auto parts and have them scan for codes. Let me know the exact code numbers not code descriptions?

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Friday, January 18th, 2013 AT 10:00 PM
Tiny
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Is a code going to show up even though the check engine light is not on?

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Friday, January 18th, 2013 AT 10:19 PM
Tiny
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Yes I found plenty of codes where people need mentioned the light on.

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Friday, January 18th, 2013 AT 10:33 PM
Tiny
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I checked the Carfax report for any indication of a fluid change. The closest thing to it says "Maintenance inspection completed". So I don't know if the fluid was changed.

I went to Autozone and had them scan for codes. Eight different codes showed up. Here they are:

P0300
P0301
P0302
P0303
P0304
P0305
P0306
P0453

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Saturday, January 19th, 2013 AT 2:43 PM
Tiny
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You have random miss fire cylinders 1-6 and code P0453 is fuel tank pressure sensor circuit high. Non of those codes should cause a transmission issue. Have the codes cleared and let's see if any of them come back.

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Sunday, January 20th, 2013 AT 1:06 AM
Tiny
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How do I get the codes cleared?

Also, when there is a transmission problem in Vue's, does a code normally appear to indicate its failure?

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Monday, January 21st, 2013 AT 3:55 PM
Tiny
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You would have them clear it with the same tool they read the codes with. Also to answer your question sometimes there is codes when there is a transmission problem and sometimes there isn't.

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Monday, January 21st, 2013 AT 6:43 PM
Tiny
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I checked the transmisson fluid level. It was low so I added some more fluid. I am bringing it to a shop next week to have the fluid replaced. Saturn has it recommended for 100,000 mile scheduled maintenance. I will see how it drives after this is done.

Also, there is another issue which is unrelated. When I start the Vue, it turns over and starts fine. Right at the end of the starting process, there is a short grinding sound. Could it possibly be the starter going?

Thanks

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Thursday, January 24th, 2013 AT 7:47 PM
Tiny
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Yes it could be the starter/ and or flex plate chipped up.

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Thursday, January 24th, 2013 AT 8:07 PM
Tiny
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If the starter is bad, is it hard to get to for changing?

What is a flex plate? Is it more severe than a bad starter?

Thanks

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Thursday, January 24th, 2013 AT 11:33 PM
Tiny
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No the starter isn't that bad to replace. The flex plate bolts to the crankshaft and the torque converter bolts the flex plate. At the outer edge of the flex plate is a ring gear the starter engages to spin the engine over. To replace it you would have to remove the transmission.

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Friday, January 25th, 2013 AT 5:14 AM
Tiny
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Is there a way to test to find out for sure which one is bad? Do you have an idea of about how much it would cost to fix, if the flex plate is bad?

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Friday, January 25th, 2013 AT 5:29 PM
Tiny
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To know for sure you would have to remove the starter and turn the engine over by hand while inspecting the ring gear on the flex plate. Most of the time its just the starter. The flex plate would be really expensive probably over 1,000 in labor plus parts.

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Friday, January 25th, 2013 AT 9:15 PM
Tiny
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I had the fluid changed and it shifts noticeably better. But I am wondering, should the first shift normally occur at around 3,000 to 3,200 rpm's?

Also, is the starter easy to get to? I am going to attempt to look at it later this week and im wondering how difficult it would be.

Thanks

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Monday, February 4th, 2013 AT 11:51 PM

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