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Old 07-12-2019, 02:48 PM   #1
JimRice
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2008 AURA XR
Default Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

I inherited my father-in-law's 2008 Saturn Aura XR 3.6. It's in great shape, garage kept, only 73,000 miles. As far as I can tell, the steering gear was replaced, but it never had the transmission fail so the original 3-5-R wave plate is still in it. Is that an when, not an if it fails part? I've spoken to a mechanic and a transmission shop and neither wanted to get into the possibility of replacing the wave plate before it fails.

As far as I can tell with the receipts, the car has never had the transmission fluid flushed. The transmission shop suggested a flush and a flash with the latest software for this transmission.

I expect I'll be driving this car quite a bit in Washington, DC area traffic. Does anyone know a shop nearby that will replace the wave plate before it fails? Should I not worry about it?

Also, is there anything else that should be taken care of on these cars outside of the scheduled maintenance? I've got a turn signal lever and the trunk support struts to replace.

Thanks for all of the information here - it's helped a lot.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:16 PM   #2
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

I hear a voice in my head saying...If it ain't broke...Don't fix it.
On my '08 XE with 146k miles, I just do regular maintenance and fix things up as they break.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

Welcome to SaturnFans, JimRice! I hope that you'll be sticking around here for the "ride"!

As one can see from my login information I do not own an Aura, but I was really interested in them when they came onto the market! I too agree with the old line - "if it ain't broke don't fix it."

I would perform a tranmission drain on this car. I'm presently not a fan of the transmission flush as it brought unnecessary trouble to my transmission for a while. Now, if a flush is actually recommended in your Factory Service Maintenance schedule then, by all means, go ahead and do it. With respect to a wave plate replacement now, that is an elective procedure. If you expect to have the car for more than a year or two then you might consider doing it, but know this - it's a major repair job and typically very expensive. Find out how much it may cost. Considering that the factory was repairing or replacing a significant number of 6T70 transmissions on various GM products, I'm inclined to think that this is a matter of "when" it will fail and not "if" it will fail. (Others can disagree with me. That's fine. It's merely my opinion. It is interesting to note that this particular transmission was developed jointly between Ford and GM, but Ford didn't have the recall problem with it that GM did.)

The trunk supports shouldn't be difficult to replace yourself. I don't know anything about replacing the turn signal/headlamp switch on an Aura. (Replacing that switch on an L-Series car is fairly easy.)

Otherwise, simply follow the factory service maintenance schedule. Doing so has served me well.
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Last edited by pierrot; 07-13-2019 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:05 AM   #4
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2008 AURA XR
Default Re: Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

Thanks for the encouragement. The turn signal switch and the trunk supports were easy. However, I also found a burned out headlight. I was already planning on taking it to my mechanic for brake rotors and pads and the drive belt squealing on start-up, so I'll probably ask him to replace the headlight too. I don't have a place to do any real car work here.

Otherwise, this is a great car and I expect to hang on to it for a long time.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimRice View Post
Thanks for the encouragement. The turn signal switch and the trunk supports were easy. However, I also found a burned out headlight. I was already planning on taking it to my mechanic for brake rotors and pads and the drive belt squealing on start-up, so I'll probably ask him to replace the headlight too. I don't have a place to do any real car work here.

Otherwise, this is a great car and I expect to hang on to it for a long time.
May I suggest you search this extensive forum to read of other Saturn Aura XR 3.6 owner's experience and mechanical wisdom. I have found this place a great source of information that has helped me get my Saturn running well, whether I do the work or pass it onto a mechanic.

You obviously will find great sources on youtube as well, such as richpin06a.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
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2008 AURA XR
Default Re: Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

I agree with a trans drain and fill, and would not use the manual shift mode as that puts pressure on the wave plate. Up to 108k, without issue
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

Welcome to the forum! Glad to see another AURA XR owner in the DMV.

I've had my Aura for 10 years (purchased new in 2008, traded in 2011, bought it back a year later). I'm not much of a DIYer when it comes to cars but the forum has been an invaluable resource. There are many knowledgeable and helpful folks here who are quite willing to share very useful info.

Hope you’ll enjoy your new AURA XR and visit the forum often!
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:13 PM   #8
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2008 AURA XR
Default Re: Inherited an Aura, preventative maintenance

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Since we got the car up here, I've replaced the turn signal switch, the trunk lid support struts, and installed the front license plate holder.

My mechanic has replaced:
  • Water pump and flushed coolant system
  • Alternator
  • Serpentine belt
  • Headlights and turn signal lights in front
  • Third center brake light

Brake pads are good, rotors have a little shake when braking, but not enough for me to replace them now.
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