2008 Saturn Outlook drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Saturn Outlook (Page 4 of 6)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,394 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2008 Saturn Outlook drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Saturn Outlook Owner Comments (Page 4 of 6)

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problem #44

Oct 212013


  • 89,000 miles


While driving on the highway at 60 mph, the rpms went up to 6000....had to slow down to 20 mph on highway....thank goodness it wasn't rush hour! took it to dealer and the transmission is out!

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #43

Oct 062013


  • 85,000 miles
After having stopped at a store, and putting my car into drive, it would not shift out of 1st gear / maybe 2nd and the check engine light came on. There is approximately 85,000 miles on the car and the transmission is gone! I have looked online and it appears to be a major problem with this vehicle.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #42

Aug 242013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 70,999 miles
I was driving my Outlook at approximately 30 miles an hour and it would not shift into the next gear. I had to pull to the side of the road and limped the car into a parking lot thinking maybe the transmission fluid was low. That was checked and was found to be at a normal level. Leaving the parking lot we learned that there was now no reverse. The only gear that functioned was first gear. We drove at low speed to the dealership and on 8/26/13 I was told that the car needed a new transmission at approximately $3500 - $4000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #41

Sep 202013


  • 66,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Outlook. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, the vehicle began to surge and lunged forward. The contact attempted to put the vehicle in reverse in order to park in his driveway but the vehicle would not accelerate while in the reverse. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 66,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #40

Aug 112011


  • 65,000 miles
Could not shift to next gear and the car jumps/shakes when shifting. Going on 3rd repair, its just costing me to much money to fix and still need to drive the car...

- Hawaiian Gardens, CA, USA

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problem #39

Sep 082013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Was driving my in-laws 2008 Saturn Outlook at about 40 mph and then engine revved and would not shift. Was on busy highway and had to pull over. Turned car off and back on and tried to drive and engine would not shift past 30 mph and then starting going in and out of shifting and not moving at all. Had to pull back over and then get a tow. This happened with no warning.

- Milwaukie, OR, USA

problem #38

Sep 022013


  • 57,000 miles


Vehicle transmission failed while on 500 mile trip home to dallas. After pulling off the freeway in wichita for dinner, the vehicle wouldn't accelerate and slipped out of gear at about 30 mph. Had to tow it to a dealer. Was told the transmission had "fallen apart" and needed to be rebuilt or replaced at a cost of about $3,600. I have done some research and found this to be a rather common problem.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #37

Aug 232013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 73,648 miles
After having 2008 Saturn Outlook acting "oddly". my husband took for a ride. At stop sign went to accelerate onto road. Car would not move. Had to call for tow. And wave vehicles to pass. Five days without a vehicle and counting.

- Hawley, PA, USA

problem #36

Jul 092013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
Was driving on the hwy & the vehicle started lurching & the engine light came on. The vehicle then started running rough. I took it right away (same day) to an auto shop & had a diagnostic done. On the way home the vehicle locked in the 1st gear & I was only able to go approximately 10 mph. It showed the speed sensor was out. I took it to a transmission shop to have the repairs done where it was found that the whole transmission needs to be repaired. The wave plate is bad, which is a known issue with GM with these models. It is a cost of $3500 to repair & could have had serious injury to myself & my children. I want to know why a recall has not been done on this" and why GM is not be held accountable for these repair costs"

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #35

Jul 082013


  • 92,650 miles
The vehicle makes a rubbing/grinding noise that interferes with turning (especially left). It feels like you cannot complete the turn or stop. This caused problems when the gears would shift also. Feeling like you cannot accelerate or stop in a reasonable amount of time. Mechanic says the entire transmission needs to be replaced.

- Powder Springs , GA, USA

problem #34

Jun 162013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 56,318 miles


While accelerating in speed after being stopped at a red light the vehicle went to shift and the engine rpms went up excessively, and the jerked hard when shifting. It progressively got worse as we tried to make it home. We added transmission fluid because it looked low. The next day the engine light came on. I took it to a transmission repair shop who put it on the diagnostic machine. The said that it showed a solenoid stuck open, but was concerned that the fail safe didn't work properly. They said I should have had reverse, and second to get me off the road safely. However, the reverse didn't kick in unless the vehicle was rolling backwards. They are telling me that the whole transmission will need to be replaced. The car has less than 60000 miles on it.

- Azle, TX, USA

problem #33

Jun 202013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Vehicle has not been shifting correctly for the past year or so. Took it to a GM dealership last week and was told the wave plate in the transmission was cracked. Began researching this problem and found a forum where hundreds of other GM owners have experienced this problem. After reading, it appears that when my car would not shift into reverse two years ago, it was the beginning of the problem. I didn't recognize that as a transmission problem and when I mentioned it to the dealership (which is no longer a GM dealership since they no longer have Saturn), it was dismissed because it only happened one time. I continued to have issues with the shifting but didn't take to authorized GM dealership so they don't have record of it. Recently, RPM's were randomly jumping above 4 on the highway every 10 minutes and I felt lucky to make it home from a recent trip in the mountains. Of course, GM is not willing to take any responsibility and will not provide any financial assistance to repair car but I don't understand how so many people can be experiencing these problems and it not be a recall issue? really upset that my two children were in the car and scared to death we were going to wreck or get stranded!

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #32

Jun 132013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 117,680 miles
While in a stopped position, I tried to accelerate and my transmission would not go into gear. I was stuck not being able to pull over to get out of traffic, because my car wouldn't go into gear. I put it into park, then back into drive several times, and I finally got it to creep enough in low gear to get it to the side of the road. This could have been a disaster if I were trying to pull out into traffic. The car was in the shop prior due to the transmission slipping. This was not covered and cost me $3000. I am still not sure this corrected the problem and I don't feel safe in this car. This car has been in the shop several times for a front leak at the driver's door from the sunroof, which still leaks with heavy rain. Also, the constant squealing when turning the wheel which no mechanic will acknowledge. Nothing has ever been done to correct this. I assume it is the power steering pump. The car doesn't have good acceleration power compared to any other SUV model. It drags with no pick up.

- Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #31

Jun 032013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Was driving on hwy. At 60 mph when engine began to rev and then when I came to stoplight and took off, the car would not go over 30 mph.and would jerk and then as I continued to try to get speed because of others behind me-it would not go. Had to drive 30 mph for two hours to get only 40 miles. Transmission needs to be replaced and GM is not standing behind their product. This is a hazard and there are sooo many complaints with problems just like this and no recall yet-really-so will one be made when someone is killed in an accident. Also when this began I had a 1/2 tank of gas, when I got to dealership-2 hours later-the car was on E!!!!!!!! horrible gas mileage on this too now. Passenger airbag says needs to be serviced-was like this when we purchased and dealer said they would fix-never did and this is a safety concern because it means the passenger is not safe in this vehicle, but then again, none of us are because of GM-am going to begin process with small claims court regarding all of these issues. Horrible vehicle and GM should be ashamed-no wonder I always bought non american made cars-shame on us for thinking GM would be good since it was made in usa.

- Callao, VA, USA

problem #30

Jun 062013


  • 58,800 miles
Saturn 2008 Outlook started to have problems when shifting gears. Feels like going into 3rd gear is the problem and sometimes in reverse. Sounds like a rev of the engine and then a hard shift into the gear. There have been many posts online about this and unfortunately GM is not consistent with how they resolve. This sounds like it should be a courtesy fix or recall.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #29

Apr 182013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
We were passing another vehicle on the interstate and the transmission stopped working but the engine continued to operate at full RPM's. we slowed and pulled over across traffic. The transmission would engage for a second but the car did not move more than a few feet.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #28

May 032013

Outlook 8-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
My 2008 Outlook started to jerk driving down the road and then had very high rpms but no acceleration in the middle of an intersection I could not move and then the check engine light came on. I took it to a Chevrolet dealership and it had a broken wave plate and the transmission had to be rebuilt which took 2 weeks. I was lucky enough to still be covered under the powertrain warranty by only 2 weeks. The service manager told me they have seen hundreds of these as it is a known problem with this car. Why has there not been a recall yet if this is happening to everyone.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #27

Jun 012013


  • 108,000 miles
While accelerating vehicle abruptly reduced speed and did not move this caused vehicles following my car to immediately slow down to nearly miss rear ending my vehicle.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #26

Apr 132013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 53,500 miles
Vehicle transmission slips when shifting from 2nd gear to 3rd gear.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #25

Mar 062013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
We were traveling down a highway when all of a sudden the vehicle RPM revs up and the engine gears are no longer engaged. We could only drive 30mph to prevent the RPM's from going too high. Also, no reverse gear. Towed into GM dealership and transmission broken down and the wave plate is what was damaged. Wave plate replaced and GM refused to pay for all of repair. Said it was not their problem since powertrain warranty went out 2 months ago. They have a service bulletin out, but still refuse to acknowledge this is a problem with this vehicle. There should be a recall from GM on this faulty part since they refuse to admit that there are issues with these model's transmission. The following is the service bulletin listed for this problem. Bulletin no.: 09-07-30-012A date: January 12, 2010 subject: No reverse, 3rd or 5th, check engine light illuminated, dtc P0776 (replace 3-5 reverse clutch plate (waved) models: 2008-2009 Buick enclave 2008-2009 Chevrolet equinox, Malibu 2009 Chevrolet traverse 2007-2009 GMC acadia 2007-2009 Pontiac G6 2008-2009 Pontiac torrent 2007-2009 Saturn aura, Outlook 2008-2009 Saturn vue all equipped with 6T70/75 6-speed automatic transmission (rpos MH2, MH4, MH6 or MY9).

- Duson, LA, USA

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