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Old 02-05-2019, 12:14 PM   #1
Caro42
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2009 VUE 3.6L
Default 2009 VUE - Advice needed on repairs (burnt/stuck valve, no compression)

I've owned my 2009 VUE for ~2 years. The body and interior are in amazing shape considering the age (I swear the previous owner must not have had kids or pets!) and it's got <70k miles.

I had sporadic engine light flashing/solid, then occasional Service Stabilitrak/Traction Control lights. Mechanic diagnosed no compression in cylinder 2 and probably burnt or stuck valve, but need to open up to be specific. Service agreement company adjuster won't say whether they'll cover it yet -- requires 6.5 more hours to open it up, and then if it is indeed burnt or stuck valve, it won't be covered. Mechanic estimate is ~$3,500. If I decide not to proceed after they open it up (say, if they determine it's definitely a burnt/stuck valve, which the service agreement doesn't cover), I'll be on the hook for ~$1,150. I've incurred ~$270 in diagnostic labor fees.

FWIW, this is a GM dealer mechanic. Car is in good condition aside from this issue, but KBB value is ~$3,700 if I'm lucky.

Any advice?

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Old 02-05-2019, 07:55 PM   #2
gm7
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2009 VUE Red Line
Default Re: 2009 VUE - Advice needed on repairs (burnt/stuck valve, no compression)

Which model engine? If V6 versus in line 4, is it the front cylinder bank or the rear? Rear is harder to access if a V6...engine is of course mounted transversely in the engine compartment...crankshaft runs East and West.

Does it run and describe its symptoms if it does run. Is coolant mixing with the crankcase oil?...aka cracked cylinder head and/or blown head gasket?


Find a cheaper mechanic. A 'ridiculous' quote for a stuck or failed valve. Nothing special about working on a Saturn Vue...straight forward.


Another option is an engine replacement from a junk yard...this is a common strategy for example if there is a timing chain failure. You just need a short block and can use all your existing engine ancillaries if entire engine needs to be replaced but a stuck valve does not rise to the requirement of a low miles, used engine replacement.


Let us know. Devil is in the details. You can guestimate labor hours and even cost of a used cylinder head from a junk yard if your current cylinder head can't be refurbished.

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Old 02-06-2019, 07:48 AM   #3
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2009 VUE Red Line
Default Re: 2009 VUE - Advice needed on repairs (burnt/stuck valve, no compression)

You haven't responded but...here is a video for greater perspective relevant to some of the dynamics involved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZAtURN5gFw

First of course you have to isolate which cylinder bank. The video is related to a Camaro with North/South 3.6L engine block orientation. A Vue is transverse aka East/West. This is more ominous for rear cylinder removal. The engine 'may' have to be rotated forward to remove the rear cylinder. More work and cost. Quite a bit of teardown to get the cylinder off.

Here is the thing you should be aware of. This relates to the 'lead up' to your engine failure. Why did it fail.

Describe in detail what the 'lead up' symptoms were. In weeks prior to the failure, describe the engine's symptoms. Was there a rattle? Did the engine run rough? Did your check engine light come on? If so did you have the codes run?

Also how often did you change the oil and air filter as you owned the car. How often did you check the oil? Did the engine consume oil between oil level checks?

The reason all this information is relevant is there is a quasi common failure mode of this engine. Run it low on oil or not change the oil frequently, premature timing chain/guide wear can cause the chain to stretch and jump time which can cause a bent valve. The 3.6L is an 'interference' engine. That means if the valve timing falls out of phase, a piston can hit a valve causing a belt valve and loss of valve seal creating loss of compression you describe.


If above is the case, then likely best course is an 'engine replacement' from a junk yard. You can watch the video and see how much labor and cost is involved to fix an engine with bad timing chain and broken head/valve. A lot of work. Best in that case to find a low miles engine replacement and pay to have the engine replaced.


If you answer some of the questions posed, this would tell more about why the engine failed and from there can determine best course of action.

Last edited by gm7; 02-06-2019 at 07:53 AM..

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