Transmission Issue

  • 2003 SATURN ION
Four cylinder front wheel drive automatic 81,000 miles.

Engine runs, but none of the gears of the transmission function. Read posts on concerns of CVT transmissions. Is this a total loss of transmission, or are there other potential issues? I have the quad coupe Ion 2003. Please advise.
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 AT 4:59 PM

3 Replies

This guide should help

Here is a TSB from Saturn

Intermittent no movement in drive or reverse with or without diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) P0841, P1758 and/or P1882 (Replace VT25E case cover assembly, torque converter and oil cooler lines, If Nec.) # 05-07-30-004 - (Feb 23, 2005).

2003-2004 Saturn ION Vehicles with VT25E (Vti) Transaxle (RPO M75)
2002 Saturn VUE retrofitted with 2003 or 2004 VT25E (Vti) Transaxle (RPO M16/M75)
2003-2005 Saturn VUE Vehicles with VT25E (Vti) Transaxle (RPO M16/M75)



Some customers may comment on the vehicle not moving in the "D" (Drive) or (Reverse) gear selection positions. In many cases, the transaxle will also produce an audible grind or whine noise when attempting to operate the vehicle in drive or reverse.

The Service Engine Soon (SES) telltale may be illuminated with DTCs P0841, P1758, or P1882 recorded.

In many cases, the condition is intermittent and is not easily duplicated by the retailer.


The condition may be caused by an internal fluid leak allowing excessive belt slip at the sheaves or forward clutch due to low pressure. As a result of low internal transaxle pressure, the torque converter and turbine shaft seals can overheat due to low converter feed pressure.


Replace VT25E transaxle case cover, torque converter and oil cooler lines, if necessary.

Service Procedure

1. Drain transmission fluid.

2. Remove VT25E Transaxle Assembly.

3. Replace Transaxle Case Cover Assembly.

4. Replace Torque Converter.

5. Flush Transaxle Oil Cooler.

Important: Vehicles produced or equipped with prior design transaxle oil cooler lines containing the bypass valve will need to be replaced with the newer design transaxle oil cooler lines, P/N 22724408. Vehicles produced or equipped with the newer design transaxle oil cooler lines, P/N 22724408, do not have the oil bypass valve as part of the assembly and will not require replacement. The newer design oil cooler lines can be flushed at the same time as the oil cooler and re-used after proper cleaning.

6. Replace oil cooler lines.

7. Install VT25E Transaxle Assembly.

8. Fill transmission fluid.

Owner Letter

November 2009 (Letter for U.S. Customers)

Dear Saturn Customer:

As the owner of a 2002, 2003, 2004, or 2005 model year Saturn VUE, or a 2003 or 2004 model year Saturn ION Quad Coupe, equipped with a Variable Transmission with Intelligence (VTi), your satisfaction with our product is very important to us.

This letter is intended to make you aware that some 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 model year Saturn VUE, and some 2003 and 2004 model year Saturn ION Quad Coupe vehicles, equipped with a VTi, may exhibit excessive transmission noise or reduced performance.

Do not take your vehicle to your Saturn retailer, or GM dealer if a Saturn retailer is not available, as a result of this letter unless you believe that your vehicle has the condition as described above.

What We Have Done: General Motors has already provided Saturn owners with additional express warranty coverage for the VTi transmission. - If this condition occurs on your 2002, 2003, 2004, or 2005 model year Saturn VUE; 2003 or 2004 model year Saturn ION Quad Coupe, equipped with a VTi, within 5 years of the date your vehicle was originally placed in service or 75,000 miles, whichever occurs first, the condition will be repaired for you at no charge . Diagnosis or repair for conditions other than the condition described above is not covered under this Special Reimbursement Policy.
- If your vehicle is no longer eligible for the coverage above, but is within 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership, General Motors will pay 50% of the cost of the eligible repair to the vehicle's transmission; you will be responsible for the remaining 50% of the repair cost. In lieu of this assistance, at the first instance of a needed repair within these time and mileage limits, a $5,000 customer credit is available to you. If you elect this option, your vehicle will be purchased for a $5,000 customer credit (less any lien) towards the purchase of a new GM vehicle within 30 days. Your servicing dealer/retailer will assist you in the $5,000 customer credit process. If you select this option, a copy of your current vehicle registration and title will be required at this time.

What You Should Do: If your vehicle should require repairs to the VTi within the time and mileage limits listed above, contact your Saturn retailer. If a Saturn retailer is not available, please call the Saturn Customer Assistance Center for assistance.

If your vehicle does not require repairs to the VTi, keep this letter with your other important glove box literature for future reference.

Reimbursement: The enclosed form explains what reimbursement is available and how to request reimbursement if you have paid for eligible repairs for the VTi transmission. These repairs must have been performed on your vehicle on or after July 10, 2009. Your request for reimbursement, including the information and documents mentioned on the enclosed form, must be received by GM by November 30, 2010 (November 30, 2011 for California residents).

If you have any questions related to this Special Reimbursement Policy or a potential reimbursement, please contact the Saturn Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-972-8876 or 1 800-833-6000 (TTY).

We are sorry for any inconvenience you may have experienced; however we have taken this action in the interest of your continued satisfaction with our products.

Scott L


Customer and Relationship Services



There is a couple of thing's to help you with your repair.
Was this
Thursday, November 11th, 2010 AT 11:53 AM
i have read the above fixes for the Ion with a VT transmission.
Since mine has high mileage and not covered under the Saturn class
action suit. I would prefer to swap out to a different lower mileage engine with a five speed automatic, not another VT.
Anyone have any ideas/suggestions?
Was this
Sunday, March 25th, 2012 AT 2:09 AM
There are none that I know of if you find one please let me know. The only possible thing I can think of is if it will bolt in is put a Ion sedan transmission in it. They both use the same engine, but the cradle and body mount I do not know if that will mount up and give clearance. The engine in it will bolt up to lots of transmissions including a five speed manual just not sure about mounting in up. Then you have to change the computer wire harness etc.
Was this
Sunday, March 25th, 2012 AT 4:00 PM

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