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Old 11-30-2007, 01:28 PM   #1
eric.brown
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Default Electrical / Computer problems?

Anyone out there seen any problems with the "service traction control" warning light coming on and/or car dying on you?

I have a 2007 Aura XR.

Dealer is telling me they can't "find the problem".

Oct 3 2007

Car died on me.

Called On-Star and was told 2 hour wait for wrecker to take me to dealership.

Was able to get car started, engine light was on while I drove to Saturn of Plano.

Service Techs looked at car and said ‘nothing wrong’ and cleared the codes.

Drove the car off the lot and it started acting like it was about to die, so turned around and drove back.

Service Tech looked at car again and computer was non-responsive. Left car overnight got rental car for evening.

Returned to pick up car on Oct 4. Was told that nothing is wrong and to not plug my radar detector into the back of the mirror (i used the inviscord power cord for my detector and had it plugged into power on the mirror). Drove car home. Seemed to be working fine.

Oct 14 2007
Left radar detector unplugged.

“Service Traction Control” came on and car stalled. Was able to start car.

Nov 4 2007

“Service Traction Control” came on and car almost stalled. Drove car to parking lot and parked it. When I got back in it was fine.

Reinstalled radar detector since problem happened without it. Instead of mirror I ran a line down and spliced into 12V line from Cigarette Lighter & ground.

Nov 19 2007

“Service Traction Control” came on and car almost stalled. Drove car to parking lot and parked it. When I got back in it was fine.

Nov 28 2007

Service Traction Control light came on but didn’t stall. Drove car to dealership in the afternoon and left it there.

Returned Nov 29 to dealership and was told that my radar detector was the problem (even though radar detector wasn’t installed when it did this on Oct 14 2007). Was told that they would have to ‘return the car to factory condition before they could go further’.

Told them to do whatever they thought they needed to do. Got rental car for the night.

NOTE: Radar detector power wire is spliced into the cigarette lighter wire and ground wire is grounded.

Now...I'm waiting to hear from them.

Any thoughts on what the problem might be?

...
Eric Brown
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Silly question. Did it still do this if you turned off the traction control (the "TC" button on the front of the center console)?

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Old 11-30-2007, 04:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

One thing I didn't mention is that this error is intermittent.

But...your silly question isn't silly...I never even thought about turning off traction control....and they've never asked me that question either.

If they don't fix it this time and if I don't take the route of contacting the Texas Department of Transportation to start a lemon law case, I'll try to turn off traction control and see if that helps.

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Old 11-30-2007, 04:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Problems like this require some patience, unfortunately. If the car works fine in the dealer's hands, it's very difficult to diagnose. With the modification for the radar detector, it adds even more uncertainty.

I had an Accord that fried the ignition wiring harness. I tapped into it for a keyless entry module, and they said it caused the failure. Who knows if it actually did, but it seems plausible.

Computer problems also are difficult. It may work fine one minute, and not the next. It can make it appear that symptoms show some other failure.

...
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

very true..patience is a virtue.

I've had the dealer finally agree with me that the radar detector isn't the problem. They replaced the one wire I spliced into and the codes are still showing up in the computer.

so...they are keeping it for a few more days and trying to track down the culprit.

...
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:34 PM   #6
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2007 AURA XR
Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

I had multiple Service Traction errors happen about a month ago. My dealer fixed the car by replacing the engine control module (ECU).

In my case the ECU had logged multiple faults. The mechanic concluded (correctly) that there couldn't possibly be that many things broken simultaneously and the the ECU was the culprit.

The dealer said that the more typical cause of a Service Traction message was a bad wheel speed sensor.

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Old 11-30-2007, 10:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by circlotron View Post
I had multiple Service Traction errors happen about a month ago. My dealer fixed the car by replacing the engine control module (ECU).

In my case the ECU had logged multiple faults. The mechanic concluded (correctly) that there couldn't possibly be that many things broken simultaneously and the the ECU was the culprit.

The dealer said that the more typical cause of a Service Traction message was a bad wheel speed sensor.
This is semi-good news...I will call into the dealership tomorrow morning and pass this along and see if they've thought of this (I doubt they have).

...
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

same thing happened to me last week. I got the Traction control message and my engine power was reduced automatically. Since I was making a short trip I continued driving. When I got back in still had the problem. Tried turning off traction contol- no effect. Next day I had the service engine image light on, but had full power. Remote start would not work. After a couple days it was back to normal remote start worked again. I later called OnStar, the diagnostician said the car would probaly go no more than 35 MPH with engine power cut. He said if it happened in future on an expressway -"pull over, wait 15 seconds and then start it again".

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Old 12-01-2007, 01:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JA4CK View Post
He said if it happened in future on an expressway -"pull over, wait 15 seconds and then start it again".
I guess it must run on Windows. How many times has support asked "have you tried rebooting the computer" or something similar.

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

An udpate:

Car is still in the shop. Service Techs are trying to determine the cause. Coming up on 1 week in the shop with no success.

More when I hear something.

...
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Another update:

They've now had the car for a week and can't find anything. They are 'waiting on a part that will allow them to check connectors'..whatever that means...I would have thought that they would have had these parts/tools already. This part is due in on Monday....so another few days of driving a rental.

I've opened a case with the National Assistance center...hopefully i will see some movement soon.

BTW - I'm dealing with Saturn of Plano in Plano TX...I'd recommend anyone in the DFW by very wary of dealing with this dealership if you are looking to buy a new car.

...
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

We has a few of these in the shop a few months ago.

1.) If you have receipts for all of these visits you potentially have a vehicle that they may legally be a buyback under the "lemon law", depending on your state.

That being said we had a few of these "nightmare" cars in the shop a few months back. After many, many, many hours of testing wires, finding everything ok, driving again to get the vehicle to act up, testing more wires, etc for free since Saturn wasn't going to pay 10-15 hours to find the problem we found that the fuse block in the trunk on the passanger side had loose bolts where the fuse block bolts to the harness connectors. A month later another car came in with the same concern. We went directly for the fuse block bolts, and a different electrical problem was fixed..My guess is that a different connector at that same fuse block was loose. I think the first 5000 or so vehicles must have left the assembly line with a lower torque spec on those small bolts. We now check every aura's fuse block bolts in the trunk for proper tightness as part of our inspection when they come off the truck from Tennessee. Besides the very first couple aura's sold we haven't had this problem since....Just a flaw for the first few (relatively speaking) off the assembly line. I would start there.

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Old 12-08-2007, 09:52 AM   #13
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AuraOwner View Post
We has a few of these in the shop a few months ago.

1.) If you have receipts for all of these visits you potentially have a vehicle that they may legally be a buyback under the "lemon law", depending on your state.

That being said we had a few of these "nightmare" cars in the shop a few months back. After many, many, many hours of testing wires, finding everything ok, driving again to get the vehicle to act up, testing more wires, etc for free since Saturn wasn't going to pay 10-15 hours to find the problem we found that the fuse block in the trunk on the passanger side had loose bolts where the fuse block bolts to the harness connectors. A month later another car came in with the same concern. We went directly for the fuse block bolts, and a different electrical problem was fixed..My guess is that a different connector at that same fuse block was loose. I think the first 5000 or so vehicles must have left the assembly line with a lower torque spec on those small bolts. We now check every aura's fuse block bolts in the trunk for proper tightness as part of our inspection when they come off the truck from Tennessee. Besides the very first couple aura's sold we haven't had this problem since....Just a flaw for the first few (relatively speaking) off the assembly line. I would start there.
Thanks for all this info....good stuff.

I *think* the shop has it narrowed down to one computer and they are now waiting for a tool to check connectors for that computer. This tool will be in the shop on Monday and I hope to hear something on Monday evening or Tuesday.

Texas' Lemon Law is a pretty good one and I've already got my paperwork ready. Under this law, depending on how you interpret it, the car must have gone into the shop anywhere between 2 and 4 times before its declared a 'lemon'. This visit is the third trip so if it isn't fixed, I'm going to file and see what Texas says.

On a positive note...I feel like Saturn is actually listening to me now. I was contacted yesterday by Kyle Johnson, Director of Communications from Saturn and he has offered to help look into this issue. Coincidentally (and it may be exactly that) I received a call from the area manager handling my case about 15 minutes after the email from Kyle.

The area manager was quite nice and had much more information for me (e.g., he told me that they had narrowed it down to 1 computer) than the Saturn of Plano Service Tech was communicating to me.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I receive a phone call on Monday evening saying that they found the problem.

...
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Another Update:

Dec 10– Heard from the dealership. They received the ‘tool’ and have determined that it is the PCM. They have ordered a new PCM for overnight delivery and will call when it arrives.

Dec 11- Call received from the dealership. They received the PCM but were asked to not install it yet and have me pick up my car without it being fixed because they haven't diagnosed the problem yet. The Service Manager has assured me that she is having the PCM installed regardless what the technical people say and my car should be ready this evening.

I hope to be able to pickup my car tonight....and hopefully (*fingers crossed*) the issue is finally resolved.

...
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AuraOwner View Post
We has a few of these in the shop a few months ago.
We now check every aura's fuse block bolts in the trunk for proper tightness as part of our inspection when they come off the truck from Tennessee. Besides the very first couple aura's sold we haven't had this problem since....Just a flaw for the first few (relatively speaking) off the assembly line. I would start there.
Interesting, My Aura XR came form the Fairfax plant in Kansas City Kansas, not Tennessee. It was bought in Sothern California in Sept 06. I have had 0 problems, (in 15000 miles) though I do have rattle in the sunshade when open, I push it back hard and the rattle goes away.

Could I have something different than the norm?

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Old 12-12-2007, 09:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Picked up my car last night...time will tell if this problem was fixed.

...
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:24 AM   #17
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaeton Driver View Post
Interesting, My Aura XR came form the Fairfax plant in Kansas City Kansas, not Tennessee. It was bought in Sothern California in Sept 06. I have had 0 problems, (in 15000 miles) though I do have rattle in the sunshade when open, I push it back hard and the rattle goes away.

Could I have something different than the norm?
Maybe Tennessee is/WAS the Vue or Outlook...I get them mixed up.

We only had this problem with a very small amount (two) of 07 Aura's with 06 build dates. I wouldn't even mention this, except she was experiencing the same sort of issues.

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Old 12-13-2007, 07:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

The VUE and ION were made in Tennessee (the 08 VUE is made in Mexico), the Outlook is made in Michigan, and the AURA is made in Kansas.

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Old 12-27-2007, 10:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Just an FYI - The problem returned and the car is back in the shop. I'm waiting on a report back from the dealership tomorrow (Friday).

Also - I'm filing the Texas Lemon Law complaint with the Texas Department of Transportation if this trip to the shop doesn't resolve the issue.

...
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:11 AM   #20
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Default Re: Electrical / Computer problems?

Car has been in the shop for a week now with no response from the dealership. Saturn National Assistance has called me twice and both times have said that they can't get the dealer's service department on the line.

My letter demanding Saturn fix this car within 30 days (as per the requirement of Texas Lemon Law) is being mailed today.

...
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