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Old 05-24-2019, 01:02 AM   #1
jillybean
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Default Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Hello everyone,

I've been having some issues with the steering on my 2008 Saturn Aura, and I hope you can help me figure it out.

Sometimes (not all the time, which is frustrating), the steering wheel shakes, and the steering gets a little weird, so I have to really hold the steering wheel tight so the car goes straight.

It FEELS like (and I know this isn't the case) the steering is stuck in-between 2 cogs on a gear, and it shakes back and forth trying to lock into place. It even happens when I'm at a full stop, too. The steering wheel visibly shakes. It goes for about 10-20 seconds, and then the steering is back to normal. This can happen a couple times during a 10 minute trip, or not at all...and it can happen when I'm on the highway, on a residential street, or at a full stop.

Any ideas about what the problem is? This has been happening for about a year now. The car is in really good shape, and it only has about 45,000 miles on it (it was my grandmother's car and she gave it to me when she stopped driving).

Thank you for reading my post, and I hope you all can help me like you helped me before.

Jill

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Old 05-25-2019, 01:06 AM   #2
SL2 Ride
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2009 AURA XR
2005 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

if i'm not mistaken, there's a recall on the Aura for a steering problem.
get your vin number ready, and call GM.
in fact, you might be better checking one of the popular recall sites first.

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Old 05-25-2019, 01:50 AM   #3
imaddicted2u
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Do you have hydraulic or electric power steering? Mine is hydraulic...
I had a similar issue, first there was vibration and slack in the wheel. The lower U-joint on the steering shaft was bad. Replaced.
Then the steering rack an pinion failed, it would jump teeth when turned without the car running.
The car still vibrated at low speeds. That was caused by 2 tires with broken belts on the passenger side. Replaced those tires and all is good.

Since your shake can happen at a full stop you likely have electric power assist.
There is an issue with electric power steering that causes the steering wheel to shake. It could be caused by a failed steering torque sensor, usually that disables the ESC. Others have found the electric power steering motor and module would need to be replaced.
Here is a video showing what can happen with electric power assist.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JCH0RoHwvc

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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Old 05-25-2019, 05:14 AM   #4
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Here are a couple of videos detailing electric power assist motor removal and torque sensor replacement...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6oqoLEdPYo
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmCO6vgOrZY

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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Old 05-25-2019, 05:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL2 Ride View Post
if i'm not mistaken, there's a recall on the Aura for a steering problem.
get your vin number ready, and call GM.
in fact, you might be better checking one of the popular recall sites first.
Yep, there was a recall for Electric Power Steering (EPS). The link states specific manufacturing date ranges. If your2 is not in those dates, as SL2 Ride says, contact GM anyway. (If you have a power steering pump, you do not have EPS)
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news...ms-040114.html
States 2008-2009 Saturn Aura.

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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Old 05-25-2019, 05:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

This is handy...
https://my.gm.com/recalls

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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Old 06-11-2019, 10:15 PM   #7
jillybean
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Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Hi! That video totally looks like the issue I'm having. Also, I checked my VIN number and there are no open recalls for the car, so the previous owner must have taken care of that recall. I also took it in to have GM check what the issue was, and they said there were no open recalls on the car, and the couldn't figure out the problem because they didn't see the shaking steering wheel.

So, is the next step to take it in and ask them to specifically look at the Torque sensor?

Thank you so much for your help!

Jill

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Old 06-12-2019, 09:50 PM   #8
imaddicted2u
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean View Post
Hi! That video totally looks like the issue I'm having. Also, I checked my VIN number and there are no open recalls for the car, so the previous owner must have taken care of that recall. I also took it in to have GM check what the issue was, and they said there were no open recalls on the car, and the couldn't figure out the problem because they didn't see the shaking steering wheel.

So, is the next step to take it in and ask them to specifically look at the Torque sensor?

Thank you so much for your help!

Jill
Unfortunately intermittent problems are difficult to find as components will pass testing unless the issue is present. In the EPS there are 3 components, the steering column torque sensor, the EPS controller and the EPS motor.
If GM hasn't, they should check for current, pending and history codes for potential clues. Ask if there is a calibration or tuning procedure they can do with their Tech Tool which might compensate for noisy torque sensor.

This explains how the EPS components work...
https://evwest.com/support
/General%20Motors%20Electric%20Power%20Steering.pdf


This shows how the torque sensor is replaced...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmCO6vgOrZY

This contains details of labor times and other details...
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...89834-2280.pdf

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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Old 06-12-2019, 11:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

In case the root cause is a bad electrical connection, you could unplug and re-plug the two connectors on the EPS unit. This video shows how to get to them and also how to change the the EPS unit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmnZxDfVATA

More info:
The complete EPS unit, includes torque sensor:
https://www.gmpartsgiant.com/parts/g...;t=MN5;m=ZZS69)

The torque sensor:
https://www.gmpartsgiant.com/parts/g...;t=MN5;m=ZZS69)

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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Old 06-13-2019, 01:00 AM   #10
jillybean
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Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Thank you SO MUCH. Now, I know what to tell them to check. Thanks again for posting so many helpful ideas and videos. That video of that shaking steering wheel looked JUST like my steering wheel, so I'm confident you figured it all out.

I will post again once I get it fixed (I watched a video on how to replace one of the components, and it's WAY beyond my level of knowledge and ability).

Again, I really appreciate it, imaddicted2u (and SL2 Ride).

Jill

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Old 06-13-2019, 08:53 AM   #11
imaddicted2u
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Default Re: Shaking Steering 2008 Saturn Aura 4 Cylinder

Something to keep in mind, if it comes down to replacing components and you opt to replace the torque sensor and it turns out that the issue is with the EPS motor controller you will be buying the torque sensor twice as it's part of the EPS unit assembly. This is why a dealer might try to sway you to replace the whole unit.
If it was me, I'd reach up under the dash and replug the two connectors on the EPS unit. This type of intermittent issue is often caused by a poor contact. They may be able to just remove the two screws holding the under dash kick panel and reach up without removing other dash panels.

...
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)

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