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Old 04-04-2019, 03:06 PM   #1
northwindone
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: California High Desert
Posts: 1

2003 VUE 3.0L
Default New 2003 3.0 V6 Vue Owner

Hello from the California High Desert!

My wife needed her '09 Town and Country back for kid stuff and errands. My other vehicle is a '99 Crew Cab 4x4 6.8 liter V10 F-350 that is out of commission due to a bad fuel pump and smog issues and was costing me a fortune in gas (8-9 MPG on California gas). I started looking for a "temporary" daily driver that wouldn't cost much, would get me the 20-mile round trip to work every day, get decent mileage, and tow a small trailer (<1200lbs max) to the dump or Home Depot as we are remodeling our home.

I stopped by our small town's Toyota dealership last weekend and they had just received a Silver 2003 V6 AWD Saturn Vue with a hitch already installed and nothing wrong with it other than needing new tires and an inoperative A/C. It has almost 170k miles on it, but I've had vehicles with much higher before. I made an offer way under what he wanted (or full price with new name brand tires), he accepted the lower price as it would have gone off to auction anyway.

I have already replaced the front brake rotors and pads due to steering and brake pedal vibration, which took less than an hour. The front suspension makes some noise on our dirt roads, so next will probably end links and maybe some bushings. The serpentine belt or tensioner is whining a bit, so I'll probably replace that soon. Due to the mileage and lack of maintenance records I'll also be doing the timing belt/water pump change here in a few months. This will be the first timing belt change I've done since doing my 85 Golf Diesel as a teenager (I'm not saying how many decades...I mean years it has been). My 8-year-old daughter is actually excited about working on it with me and she already helped me do the brakes.

I have been driving it to work and it's a great vehicle! This is really a surprise to me as I'm not a huge fan of 2000 or later GM vehicles. My dad is a mechanic in Alaska and sees lots of these up there, but hardly ever works on them (which is usually a good thing). He had a Saturn sedan come in a few weeks ago driven by an older lady who was a bit upset and told him this was its first trip to the shop other than routine maintenance since her and her husband bought it new. He looked at the odometer and was surprised to see 260k miles on it. Now I'm not so sure if it will be temporary as I'm really starting to like driving it. I might end up keeping it after the F-350 is replaced with a newer F-150. The forums have already answered tons of questions just by browsing and given me ideas for future upgrades and preventative maintenance.

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Old 04-10-2019, 02:26 PM   #2
alordofchaos
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central MI
Posts: 12,758
 

2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: New 2003 3.0 V6 Vue Owner

Welcome to the forums! Do you know what model sedan your dad saw the lady drive in?

I've always liked the Vue and may consider one in the future. I have 3 S-series (I don't need to tow, just get me back and forth to work)

Right now, I am driving my son to his work in another city, then driving back to my work an hour away (doing 220 miles a day). Wasn't planning on this, but pretty happy that I am not driving a lower mpg vehicle

That's only about 6.5 gallons a day

...
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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 141k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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