NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

2003 Saturn Vue (Page 2 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,051 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.

2003 Saturn Vue engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Feb 052009


  • 98,000 miles


2003 Saturn Vue. At 80,000 miles transmission went out and had to get it replaced. At 98000 miles 8 months later noticed sputtering and took it to dealership. Was told at first it was the ignition coil and the spark plugs and modules needed replaced for 682 dollars. 4 hours later they called and said they fixed it and it is not fixed I now have a bad #1 cylinder and have to get the whole engine replaced for 5400 dollars. Awaiting call back from Saturn corporate to see if they are going to help. It is pretty sad that a 5 year old can needs both the tranny built and a new engine before 100,000 miles. Should of kept my Honda civic with 230,000 miles. It runs better.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #17

Nov 302008


  • 120,000 miles
No warning. One day the car just stopped turning over. When we took it too the dealership they told us that the timing chain broke, the engine was destroyed and would have to be completely replaced.

- Rowley, MA, USA

problem #16

Jul 252008


  • miles
My 2003 Saturn Vue's check engine and service soon lights came on and the vehicle loses all power when you start to decelerate. My mechanic could not get any codes to register on his computer, however Saturn is telling me it needs a thermostat. I don't believe a faulty thermostat would render my car losing all power.

- Jordan, NY, USA

problem #15

Mar 102008

Vue 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 25,000 miles


This has been occurring just about since I've purchased my 2003 manual Saturn Vue. I drive down the freeway and suddenly the car loses power and the reduced engine power light and service engine soon lights come on. The car very suddenly and dangerously loses power on the freeway, I've had this occur on the 405/5 split where there were no shoulders to pull over to. I have to turn the car engine off and then restart to return to normal highway speeds. I've taken this car in 8 times for this same problem and Saturn has not been able to identify the root cause. Each time they attempt to fix it by replacing things, the last time they told me they replaced all electronic wiring. This is a dangerous defect as it only occurs at very high speeds! I know this has affected other Vue owners because I have read several blogs where people have complained of similar incidents.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 092008

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving approximately 70 mph with the cruise control activated, the engine began to rev without warning. While approaching a stop, the vehicle revved very loudly and then lost power. The contact depressed the accelerator pedal, but the vehicle would not gain speed. He turned the vehicle off for ten minutes and restarted it, but the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the repair would cost $6,000. The manufacturer stated that they would attempt to work out a resolution, but have not contacted him back in reference to the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 110,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #13

Oct 152007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle completely shut down. The vehicle would shake intermittently and stalled on the freeway several times. There were no warning indicators prior to the failure. The service light would illuminate after the failure. The vehicle had been back and forth from the dealer approximately five times. The dealer could not determine the cause of the failure. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 114,357 and failure mileage was 112,000.

- Laverne, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 092003

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles


Cv joints were replaced at 22000 now againat 37000 I need to replace them. Front rotors were replaced at 22000 and again at 33000 timing belt at 20000 needed replacement I replaced the main computer controller in Aug 2006. This car is a piece of crap and I will never buy a Saturn again I bought this brand new off the lot in Jan 2003 and have had major things go wrong. I also need to now replace the tires ( dullers) at 37000 because I am hydroplanng all over the place.I had a loud sound from my passenger window that took 2 years to diagnosis and repair and the rear end was recalled and the cooling fan replaced at 24000.

- Hull, MA, USA

problem #11

Dec 042004

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
I went out to start my car. It made a sound like it was a diesel truck engine. I had it towed to Saturn in norwood MA on rt 1. it was my timing chain. It was covered under warranty. I am just reporting this now because I saw you were investigating the belts on other Saturn's. I read that it hadn't effected the Vue but I wanted you to know it does. I am looking up problems with this car because I have had so many. The incident date is estimated. I pick my Vue up(again) today from the dealer I will get a print out of the exact date this occurred.

- Hull, MA, USA

problem #10

Nov 172003

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Saturn Vue failed to start. The vehicle made squeaking noises when the consumer made a right turn, in addition to various other rumblings. The consumer experienced problems with the rotors, bearings and transmission. A special wheel bearing had to be ordered as well as a special side cover and hardware for the transmission. The coolant switch was defective. The rear wipers would stick. The gas gauge would only read 3/4 full. The air condition stopped working and the hot and cold knob did not go all the to cool. The starter was replaced which was the reason the vehicle wasn't starting. The transfer case seal was replaced.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #9

Feb 182006

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,699 miles
Driving car started to blow oil from the cam cover gasket caused by moisture/water entering engine because of moisture build up in pvc hose. Water in engine froze causing gasket to blow. Total loss of oil in engine. I had my car towed to dealer. They rerouted pvc hose to prevent moisture build up again. Gasket was replaced.

- Milan, MI, USA

problem #8

Dec 242005

Vue 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 41,000 miles


Purchased my Saturn Vue used in March 2005...at that time I had 6K miles left on the original warranty...in June 2005 took it to my local Saturn dealership to take care of all normal issues & get a maint checkup...at that time they replaced the resistor- engine cooling fan (due to blowing hot air when air conditioner was on), head lamp assembly composite on front left (cracked where bolted to frame), obd system upgrade (recall), replacement of rear lateral link assembly (recall), and last the gear shift cable was replaced/adjusted & lubed due to going bad - at that time they never disclosed to me that the gear shift cable had already been replaced 3X's since Jan 2003. On Dec 24th @ 10:00am...my entire gear shift assembly failed and left me stranded...the car was towed to the dealership that I purchased it from...due to me being 5,000 over my warranty...they were not going to replace it...approx cost of $450. I went directly over to my local dealership....fort wayne, in Saturn...a service consultant pulled up the history of my Vue and displayed to me that the gear shift had been worked on 4 other times...his service manager stated he would not take care of it due to the warranty had expired & it was not his fault...I called Saturn's corporate office informed them of the issue...they informed me that they would get it taken care of with no questions asked...waiting to see what is done...my vehicle is currently at the dealership....as for the service manager @ fw, in Saturn dealership...I have heard numerous complaints about how he treats customers from friends that are also Saturn owners... 8jb

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #7

Jun 012003

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. She states that the vehicle will rev at about 35 mph. This problem is intermittent. The car will jerk and hesitate. She has noticed this on roads with a slight incline. She can travel the same road twice and the problem may or may not occur.

- Stewarts Town, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 252003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,358 miles
Consumer states: Took in vehicle on 5 separate times for transmission, whining noise was heard, almost like the engine was overheating. Was on highway, and no matter how much gas consumer gave it vehicle wouldn't move. When giving it more gas the engine would rev but still wouldn't go. Before problems with transmission, at a separate time, something with the computer went wrong. It completely shut down. Such as gas gauge showed empty tank and speedometer went to zero. When at a stop idle seems to drop and when accelerating from stop, vehicle hestiates and lurches. Transaxle speed sensor replaced. Transmission control module reprogramed due to whining noise. Hood won't open. Hood cable readjusted. Driver and passenger washer nozzle missing and replaced. Steering wheel making noise. Shaft boot greased. Service engine soon (ses) light on. Oxygen sensor was contaminated and replaced.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Aug 022004


  • 23,000 miles
While driving vehicle hesitated before accelerating. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #4

May 172004

Vue 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,200 miles
Vehicle stalled while driving at 45 mph, forcing consumer to pull vehicle off the road. Consumer was unable to restart vehicle, and it was towed to the dealership.

- Hillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #3

Apr 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,969 miles
1. recall transaxle 2. same day ---check ingine light would not go out. They fixed it and same day it came on again, they fixed it again 3. same day car is lurching shen coming to a stop. They fixed it. 4. next week the car is not getting any gas when press the excelerator. 5. car had to be towed in becasue it would not start at all.they fixed it. 6. same day after pick up hear knocking sound when turn a corner and then rattle when increase in speed. They said they donot hear anything.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #2

Feb 282004

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,500 miles
Several problems - gas gauge not working, numerous rattles and squeaks, weird engine noises, thermostat out, misc warning lights.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #1

Jan 222003


  • miles
Consumer states he has a rattling noise in the front of his vehicle that the mechanic in the service dept of the dealership refuses to acknowledge. He states the service tech has driven his auto and the noise was heard by him, then got out and they both got out and got into a new car, and the noise was not there, yet the service tech would not acknowlege that there is a problem. The consumer states he has had his auto in for various things nine times since he purchased the auto.

- Roochester, NY, USA

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