NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,133 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.

2002 Saturn Vue engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #6

Aug 022008


  • 110,000 miles


My vehicle lost power and would not exceed 10 miles an hour.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #5

Jul 182007


  • 75,000 miles
Timing chain failure causing engine damage.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 252008


  • 92,000 miles
Over the past year, I have had several instances where the "check engine" light comes on and the car just shuts down and won't start up. I have also had the low coolant light come on and was leaking anti-freeze, which I kept on filling up. Once it was towed to the dealer and when they went to look at it the next morning, it started right up and they could not figure out what was wrong. Another time I left it and when I came back, it started right up. In both of those instances, I was driving less than 40 mph and was able to get to the side of the road safely. The 3rd time that the car died, I was traveling 65 mph on an interstate when the car suddenly died, without any warning. I had just enough time to pull over to the side of the road and avert an accident. I bought a new car, because I was afraid to drive this one and it has been sitting in my driveway for 8 weeks. I recently had the Vue towed to a different dealership. They said that I need a new timing belt and water pump. They also say that I need to have an I-bolt pulley, belt tensioner, alternator, and serpentine belt replaced. Other repairs that are needed are a front sway bar links and the bearing on the drive shaft. This car has only 92,000 miles.

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #3

Jan 182008

Vue 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 117,000 miles


While driving my 2002 Saturn Vue 2.2L 4cyl last night at approx. 55-60mph, my reduced power light came on, along with the service engine soon. I had no forewarning noises or indication my car was going into failure. I immediately put my car into neutral, shut the ignition down, and pulled off the road as safely as I could, still at approx. 50 mph speed as I had my 3 children in the car with me. After the car was shut down for 5 mins and speaking to my GM dealership, they advised me to try to turn the car over in case it was just a "glitch" in the computer system, to no avail. It wouldn't turn over. After being towed to my GM dealership, I was told my vehicle had a "zero tolerance" engine, and that my timing chain had broke. I was told my engine was most likely blown, and that I needed to have my engine replaced. The minimal cost of this timing chain error is $3,000 even with a used engine going into my car. I see many complaints about Saturn's 2.2L engine in the approx. 2001-2002 range, and I believe my vehicle is part of this. I am contacting Saturn on Monday the 21st to see if I can get some sort of help in replacing my engine, as this is apparently an obvious problem with their engines.

- Stratford, NY, USA

problem #2

May 142007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,000 miles
2002 Saturn Vue 4 cylinder engine. Catastrophic engine failure at 74,000 miles. Timing chain broke without warning, shutting down vehicle while driving. Caused damage to eight of the sixteen valves. Have to replace chain, have cylinder heads machined and other work done (still in progress). Parts are only available from Saturn.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #1

May 222002

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,800 miles
When coming to a stop the vehicle chuggs (surges) and acts like it is going to stall. This problem has been looked at by the dealer and they basically say "all systems operating as intended". this situation is very similar to complaint number 567762.

- Covington, GA, USA

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