NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,128 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.

2004 Saturn Vue engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 222004

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 216 miles


New 2004 Saturn Vue(2wd) with 3.5 liter V6, purchased in July 2004 1st symptom: Poor fuel efficiency 16mpg city instead of 20mpg; worse during rain 22-24mpg hwy instead of 28mpg; 19mpg overall average -dealer response normal for first 5K miles, I'm now over 8K 2nd symptom: Engine backfires after cold start; worse during rain -dealer response no trouble found, changed oil 3rd symptom: Slow to start when parked on slight upward incline -haven't notified dealer yet 4th symptom: Low coolant light came on but coolant level was ok -will be taking it in to dealer I'm concerned about taking it in for service after reading similar reports on this vehicle and numerous tales of poor resolution. Please notify or post about any new bulletins or resolutions that may be helpful.

- Redlands, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 182004

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,040 miles
I purchased a 2004 Saturn view, new, August 21, 2004. On September 18, 2004 I drove through water on the road, ankle deep. The engine stopped, and it had to be towed. The car had 2,000 miles on it. The mechanic who was sent by Saturn's 800 roadside assistance number looked at the car and said I probably burned out the alternator because it's on the bottom. He said the problem was to be rectified on the 2005 model. When I called the service department on 9/20 the service person (either jacob or brian) I spoke to said that the air intake, near the bottom had sucked road water into the engine and damaged the engine. It was probably because when I drove through the water it created a wave and the wave water was sucked into the air intake. They wouldn't know what was wrong until the engine was taken apart. He also said it would not be covered by the warranty because it is not a manufacturers defect (although I would beg to differ since what manufacturer puts an air intake where road water can be sucked into the engine) and he also said the L300 model also have their air intake at the bottom of the engine. I contacted Saturn in Tennessee (claim 1-13554677) and an area service manager named marcia told me that after they reviewed my situation they were not willing to do anything for me. What I have is an SUV with an air intake that is in a position where every time there's water, I risk damaging my engine, and the last 3 years we've averaged 103 inches of snow each winter). I did ask Saturn to get me out of this vehicle as it is not fit for performance as warranted for an SUV, but they said no. This vehicle, by explanation from the mechanic and service person, was defectively designed which caused the air intake to suck water into the engine damaging it. I would appreciate your looking into this and hopefully being able to offer me a solution to my having to retain a defectively designed, unreliable vehicle.

- Lake Ariel, PA, USA

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