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Old 09-30-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
lunareclipse02
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Default Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I own a 2006 Saturn Vue with the 4cyl and auto trans. I recently bought this vehicle a few months ago. Bought it in early spring and didnt use the a/c much. Within the last month I have been using my a/c a lot more and I noticed that the vue is very weak. It has a hard time going up hills and keeping highways speeds. It has to down shift one or two gears just to keep while on any incline. I decided to see the difference between the a/c on and the a/c off on the same hill on my daily commute. While climbing up this highway hill the vehilce struggles and soon as I hit the a/c button to turn it off it seems like I just hit the nitrous button. HA HA sad to say but its true the car just picks up and go as if it has the twice the horsepower. So my Vue has 140 hp a/c off and 70 hp a/c on???? I know thats not correct but thats what if feels. Is this normal????? Any other Vue owners can chime in please.....
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

It's not particularly abnormal. It's a 2 ton vehicle with an engine that produces a meager amount of horsepower and torque. I hear they're a lot more tolerable with the manual trans because it's easier to keep the engine in a more usable portion of the power band. The sweet spot for the 1st generation VUE was the Honda 3.5L V6 with the Honda 5-speed automatic trans. It wasn't uncommon for those to get 28+mpg on the highway.

But don't worry...forums abound with folks who are in your shoes...buying heavy crossovers with the base 4 cylinder and then wondering why they don't perform very well or get great gas mileage.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Unfortunately your combination of engine/transmission are the worst in the Vue body. The addition of the AC will affect the engine output, fairly significantly, depending on grade you are climbing. In any vehicle I've owned you can certainly "feel" when the AC is on and the less HP per pound of weight, the more you will feel it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I would imagine that's just the nature of a 4 cylinder, I've always had v6 vehicles but always figured that something like ac isn't as harsh on an engine with more torgue.

Like everyone said it's a heavy vehicle with a small engine, good on gas mileage when driven properly but at a cost.

How you drive a vehicle affects gas mileage a lot. I saw a top gear episode where they took an economy car and drove it full bore around their race track then took something like a bmw m5 which is rated much lower on mpg and kept pace with the econ car. In the end the bmw had a much better mpg then the econ car.

This is an extreme to show that a maxed out econ car will get worse gas mileage then a moderately driven performance car. Not real world but you get the idea.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I do pretty well on mpg, I average on the low of 25.7 mpg all the way up to 29.5 mpg average. Which my normal driving is 60% hwy and 40% city. I drive her easy and coast much as I can. But it just seems to me that the a/c unit uses more power than I am used to. I have always owend 4 cyl vehicles and really enjoyed them until now with this ecotec junk.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

The Ecotec is far from junk... you have the most robust and troublefree powertrain that you can get in the VUE, hands down.

You have unreasonable expectations of 143HP/155TQ + 4 hydraulically damped ratios stacked behind it motivating 3,400lb. A proper test drive under varying conditions (including with A/C) would have solved your issue up front.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I had the manual transmission. When running the AC, I would have to give it more throttle when starting from a stop to keep from stalling.

It's no rocket ship, but it'll get you there.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

My other car is a 2000 Civic HX (economy-tall-geared) the a/c button robs way more power than you could imagine.


This 2.2L ecotec is a pretty darn smooth operator and performs as one would expect.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Routs View Post
Unfortunately your combination of engine/transmission are the worst in the Vue body. The addition of the AC will affect the engine output, fairly significantly, depending on grade you are climbing. In any vehicle I've owned you can certainly "feel" when the AC is on and the less HP per pound of weight, the more you will feel it.
Unfortunately, this post is not accurate. The worst was the VTi... You've got a reliable motor and transmission that you don't need to change trans fluid and filters or timing belts nearly as much as with the 3.5. But... you do have a motor that is equal to and nothing better than getting the body moving... A 3.5 surely does a better job of this.

My 2.2 has a turbo button as well in the summer. I make fun of it when my wife is in the car because it is surprisingly that much different with AC on or off. When stopped, I turn it off until I get up to speed. Its just one of those things you learn to account for without the 3.5 power.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdough View Post
Unfortunately, this post is not accurate. The worst was the VTi... You've got a reliable motor and transmission that you don't need to change trans fluid and filters or timing belts nearly as much as with the 3.5. But... you do have a motor that is equal to and nothing better than getting the body moving... A 3.5 surely does a better job of this.

My 2.2 has a turbo button as well in the summer. I make fun of it when my wife is in the car because it is surprisingly that much different with AC on or off. When stopped, I turn it off until I get up to speed. Its just one of those things you learn to account for without the 3.5 power.
Ha Ha exactly.... This is my new habits I leave the a/c off till I get up to highways speeds or a flat plane and then turn it on. It saves me the hassle of the slowness.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I've never driven a 2.2 AT, but I have no problem getting up to speed in my 06 2.2 MT even with the A/C on.
You should go test drive a low mileage one in your area for comparison. Maybe there is something wrong with your car making it "abnormally" slow.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I have 153k on m 2.2L 5 speed and I don't notice a huge difference with the A/C on or off, but my A/C is always on. However, I do have to usually give it 3/4+ throttle to get up to the speed of Florida roads/traffic which automatically shuts off the A/C anyway. I wouldn't say that the 2.2L Vue is a rocketship, but my 5 speed isn't slow either. I "raced" a turbo VW Beetle of similar year and mileage and I stayed in front. (Abandoned housing development near me has a loooong stretch of road aka drag strip for me and my friends )

The biggest thing that irks me about the 5 speed is the low ratio of 5th gear, it could be much higher and get better fuel economy. I hate going above 70 which translates to 3,200k RPM which is ridiculous seeing as my Dad's car does like 1,800 on a 5 speed too. Granted that's a V8, but still, it could be 2,500 and make a huge difference.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle51895 View Post
I have 153k on m 2.2L 5 speed and I don't notice a huge difference with the A/C on or off, but my A/C is always on. However, I do have to usually give it 3/4+ throttle to get up to the speed of Florida roads/traffic which automatically shuts off the A/C anyway. I wouldn't say that the 2.2L Vue is a rocketship, but my 5 speed isn't slow either. I "raced" a turbo VW Beetle of similar year and mileage and I stayed in front. (Abandoned housing development near me has a loooong stretch of road aka drag strip for me and my friends )

The biggest thing that irks me about the 5 speed is the low ratio of 5th gear, it could be much higher and get better fuel economy. I hate going above 70 which translates to 3,200k RPM which is ridiculous seeing as my Dad's car does like 1,800 on a 5 speed too. Granted that's a V8, but still, it could be 2,500 and make a huge difference.
The gearing of the auto is no better. At interstate speeds I am close to 4k rpms. A little excessive but thats probably what that motor needs to get that huge brick down the highway.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Which transmission? I had heard from someone with the conventional automatic 4 cylinder that 70 was somewhere in the mid 2k range once the torque converter locked and it was in top gear.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle51895 View Post
Which transmission? I had heard from someone with the conventional automatic 4 cylinder that 70 was somewhere in the mid 2k range once the torque converter locked and it was in top gear.
With the 4 speed auto, it should be dropping down about that low.

The low ratio of 5th in the manual is purposeful - it is getting the Ecotec closer to the bottom of the torque peak. If 5th were a higher ratio, damn near any highway passing or any hills would require a downshift to maintain speed/accelerate.

Raising the ratio will drop the revs, but it would result at more instances of less RPM + larger throttle opening + more fuel being injected which would result in higher loads being placed on bearings and such.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I thought so. But when you think about it, that auto is dropping down to accelerate as well. It's really not much of a hassle for me to drop gears, I mean if you need to get up and go when rolling in 5th as it is usually I have to do a 5th to 3rd shift. (Not at 70 of course)

Of course our variant of the F23 is the one with the lowest 5th gear because of the higher torque required.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getrag_F23_transmission
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle51895 View Post
I mean if you need to get up and go when rolling in 5th as it is usually I have to do a 5th to 3rd shift. (Not at 70 of course)
I seem to remember running 3rd out to around 70 mph, maybe 75, on multiple occassions. Because of that, I remembered thinking how versatile 3rd gear was- it could be used from around 20 mph up to 70 or 75 mph.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Holy crap, 3200 or 4000rpm to run 70mph?

The J35 engine/transmission combo is somewhere around 2000 for that speed. My Corvette sits at like 1700rpm at 70mph. Even my 5.7L Jeep was around 2000rpm, and the 3L Outlander is like 2250rpm.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:01 AM   #19
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

I actually took a picture today going highway speeds (Heading home from Orlando on I-4)



I didn't intend for the flash to go off, but it ended up being the best photo of the two haha. I used just about 3/4 of a tank driving 65-75 with the A/C on 50% of the time over a 230 mile journey. Not too impressed, but I think thats about in line with the actual MPG I should expect, I think we're supposed to get 310 miles out of a tank. Still, I think the 4 cylinder could handle 75 at 2,700 rpm just as well.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:05 AM   #20
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Default Re: Is My Vue Abnormally Slow??

Driving from Wichita to Des Moines/Denver/Minneapolis/Green Bay.... my VUE saw a ton of interstate miles when we lived in KS. I would gas up, get on the interstate and not stop until it was time to get more gas. At 75 mph or so, a 4 cylinder VUE will only get 22 mpgs. If I were to have taken the side roads/highways and could slow it down to 60 mph, it would do MUCH better- at the expense of time of course. To pay a few bucks more to get there a little quicker always seemed worth it.
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