2003 Saturn Vue



May, 16, 2010 AT 11:30 PM

Transmission problem
2003 Saturn Vue 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 110000 miles

Hi there,
I have this strange noise coming from under the hood, but only when NOT in gear or while in Park.
It sounds like a " wha, wha, wha" noise, almost like a loud engine idle sound.
I first noticed it after a routine oil change, the first oil change where I started using full synthetic oil instead of the bled I was using before (all been performed at a local reputable shop).
since it started (6 months ago or so) the car runs great, and performs as you would expect every other way.
I've been reading and looking at online videos and best I could come up with is a similar noise a manual transmission is making with bad throwout bearing.
I visited my trusted mechanic who pulled out his " stethoscope" and listened around while in gear and out and he says the noise is coming out of the transmission.

Before I go to a local trans. Shop and get milked, I wanted to be armed with some more information about possible problems/solutions.

Thank you in advance : )



5 Answers



May, 17, 2010 AT 6:56 AM

Hi there,

thank you for the donation,

If your mechanic feels that this noise is coming from the transmission, go get a test and report done at a transmission shop, this way you will have a better idea as to what costs you may be up for, rather than going in blind and hoping for the best.

Mark (mhpautos)



May, 17, 2010 AT 12:28 PM

Hi and thanks for the " expert answer" : )
I didn't really need anyone telling me to just go to a transmission shop and have it checked out, this is kind of a given!

I was kind of hoping that based on my description, i'll be able to go to a shop armed with some information so i'm not gonna be taken for a ride.

Basically a waste of my $5 donation as I already KNOW that a shop will test and diagnose the problem.

If you have any USEFUL suggestions or ideas i'll be happy to hear them.



May, 17, 2010 AT 3:08 PM











i know it says its for a grinding while in gear while driving slow speeds but it still applies to your vue.its the first step for repair and if that doesnt work then you will have to get a pressure test performed on your transmission if ur pressures are good then you will only need a internal filter and a side cover which is your input shaft,output shaft,and your belt between the two shafts.its like a rebuild kit for your vue.if your pressures are low in your transmission then you will need a pump or valve body depending on the pressures and a side cover and internal filter.as long as they dont find anything else wrong in your transmission.I have worked for saturn for over 16yrs iam a trained tech for saturn.the transmission u have in your vue had alot of problems thats why they stopped using them in the 04 vue.if they go into your transmission it will get real expensive and you will have to decide if u want to keep it or get something else.let me know if you have anymore questions.also thank you for your donation and for using 2carpros.



May, 17, 2010 AT 4:02 PM

Hi again and thank you for the much better info this time around : )

You said you were a Saturn tech, that's great, I bought my car second hand and prior to purchase I car faxed it and it came clean, I called Saturn dealer with VIN and he said transmission in my car was replaced one year after original purchase, so i'm pretty sure I got the " better" transmission (but I might be wrong)

I even performed the following test: Start the car, noise is audible, loud and clear, put it in gear, noise goes away immediately, start driving get to about 20 mph, shift from D to N, no noise, letting the car come to a stop, as soon as the car gets close to a halt, noise is audible again (transmission is still in N), shifts to D or ANY other gear, noise goes away.
Noise ONLY exists in P and N which is the exact opposite from any known transmission problem that VUE (or any other car for that matter) has.
When the car drives, the ride is VERY SMOOTH, no missing gears, hard shifts or grinding sounds at any gear.

That is what puzzles me about this issue.
I will definitely have it checked out soon but if you EVER heard of anything like this, I will appreciate your input : )



May, 17, 2010 AT 5:07 PM

Unfornately even having your transmission replaced one year after the car was bought they still put the same cvt transmission in with the same problems. Yes I have seen the same problem you have and I flushed it and did the recal like I posted for you then I had to replace the side cover.I have seen more then one vue do the same thing yours is doing with noise in n or p shifter postion. Thats why I posted the flush recal for you to start with then its gets ugly from there if that doesnt work.I have replaced many of those transmissions also rebuilt many of them.I have even seen the same transmission get rebuilt three times in the same vue. When I went to training for the vue and saw that transmission design I knew I was in for trouble they even said at the time that everyone that tried that design had failed. They said that design transmission started out as a dry clutch design on the fiat and the biggest engine used was only a 1.9. They used the cvt transmission in the saturn ion quad coupe also but I have seen few of those fail.I belive the reason the vue has a much greater failure rate is because it has alot bigger tires and vechile to be pulling around.I wish I had better news for you but with those transmissions when ever you have a problem its never good news. Let me know if u have anymore questions thanks again for your donation and thank you for using 2carpros.

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