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The Saturn Vue is a good SUV that can last a long time. It’s known as a dependable vehicle that offers adequate engine power and acceleration. It also has a sensible interior, which provides comfortable ride quality. The Vue is no longer made, but most examples do hold whatever is left of its value well. According to AutoPadre.com, a 2009 model has a five-year depreciation rate of 6%.

Are Saturn Vues Reliable?

The Saturn Vue is a pretty reliable SUV. It received a 4.2 out of 5.0 rating on RepairPal, which is based on reviews and ratings provided by other Vue-owners. They have also shared that the Saturn Vue has a basic yet enjoyable driving experience. According to reports, this SUV can easily go over 100,000 miles with no major issues or repairs. Some owners have reported that it can last over 250,000 miles as long as proper maintenance and service is performed.

saturn vue
The Saturn Vue is known as a dependable vehicle that offers adequate engine power and acceleration. Image source: Greg Goebel | Flickr

Top Saturn Vue Problems

The Saturn Vue does come with its fair share of problems depending on the model year. Here are the most common issues you may encounter with different Vue models: 

Illuminated Check Engine Light Due to Faulty Gas Cap

One of the most reported problems for the 2002-2009 Saturn Vue is a faulty gas cap, which may come loose and cause the check engine light to turn on. Many owners have shared that the gas cap always comes off and does not seal properly even when they put it back on. Some have shared that their check engine lights stay illuminated despite tightening their gas caps. This issue may start happening when your SUV reaches 100,000 miles. Some have reported that they were able to resolve the issue by getting replacement gas caps. However, a check engine light may be linked to other component issues, so don’t hesitate to consult your mechanic for a thorough inspection.

A/C (Air Conditioning) Malfunction

The 2002-2009 Saturn Vue’s climate control problems usually stem from incorrect temperature gauge readings, which can cause the A/C to malfunction. Some owners have shared that the Vue tends to generate an “A/C off for engine protection” warning on the instrument panel’s display. This warning may be accompanied by cold temperature readings and an illuminated check engine light. This may happen because the power control module has detected that the engine is not warm enough to function properly. According to reports, this may be linked to a worn-out or faulty thermostat that is constantly open, which stops the engine from warming up to optimal temperature. Replacing the bad thermostat can help resolve this issue.

Transmission Problems

The 2008 Saturn Vue’s transmission problems range from erratic shifting to total transmission failure. Some owners have shared that their transmissions stuttered whenever they tried to accelerate. According to reports, these issues may be accompanied by an illuminated check engine light or a broken wave plate. Some have reported that they got their SUVs checked by a mechanic, but they could not find anything wrong. 

Some owners have decided to get their transmissions rebuilt or replaced. They have expressed their disappointment because their vehicles were still relatively new when problems started setting in. Getting all the necessary repairs to resolve these issues, such as a transmission rebuild or replacement, may cost a lot. The estimated average cost can range from $2,500 to over $3,000. If you notice signs of transmission problems, get your Vue checked as soon as you can to avoid expensive repair costs. 

2006 saturn vue engine
A faulty engine valve cover gasket is one of the most commonly reported 2006 Saturn Vue problems. Image source: Sfoskett~commonswiki | Wikimedia Commons

Leaking Engine Valve Cover Gasket

One of the most widely reported 2006 Saturn Vue problems is its faulty engine valve cover gaskets, which tend to develop oil leaks. This issue is also common with the 2002-2003, 2005, and 2008 Saturn Vue. According to reports, the oil leaks usually start when your SUV reaches around 132,000 miles. Some owners have shared that they discovered the oil leaks because of excessive smoke and burning odors coming from the exhaust. 

Some have reported that they went to their dealerships to get their valve cover gaskets replaced. However, the leaks kept on happening even after getting their vehicles fixed. They have shared that the oil leaks may be caused by a damaged oil filter housing or other failing components. If you’re experiencing frequent oil leaks with your Saturn Vue, you’re definitely not alone. It’s best to get your SUV checked to get an accurate diagnosis.

Defective Ignition

The 2002-2004 Saturn Vue is known to have a defective ignition, which makes the key removable even if it’s still in the “on” position. This defect increases the chances of your SUV rolling away and crashing. This prompted General Motors LLC (GM) to recall over 200,000 affected Vues in 2014. Owners with affected vehicles are advised to always put their SUVs in park (for automatics) or reverse (for manuals) position before leaving the driver’s seat. They are also advised to take their Vues to their dealerships as soon as possible, so they can get their ignition cylinders and keys inspected. If they are found to be defective, they’ll be replaced for free. 

Engine Misfire 

The 2003 Saturn Vue’s misfire problems are common and may be linked to different complications. The SUV’s misfiring may be accompanied by other issues, such as rough idling or an illuminated malfunction indicator light. Multiple technical service bulletins (TSBs), including NHTSA TSB #10176326, #10113418, #10114831, and #10144451, were released to help manage or repair engine misfiring. Some of them were linked to engine contaminants, cylinder damage, or other component issues. If you’re experiencing engine misfires with your Saturn Vue, consult a mechanic as soon as possible to get an exact diagnosis and to prevent further engine damage.

It’s good to do some research about the Saturn Vue model year you’re interested in and its potential problems before buying . Being aware of its common issues can help you manage them as they happen. Just make sure you clarify any important details with your seller before making any payments on your Vue.

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