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Old 12-20-2005, 09:01 AM   #1
RichElswick
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Default Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

I am seriously considering buying a 2003 Saturn Vue today. Any thoughts on what to watch out for? It has about 62k miles. Drove fine as far as I could tell.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-20-2005, 11:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

I would be a little leery. Mine has about that many miles and small annoying problems have started to pop up.

-The rear wiper is malfunctioning
-the hazard light button popped freee and is inside the dash.
-there is a bad electrical connection in the shift column.
-A squeak has developed in the steering column.
-The hood release broke free, I had to take it to the dealership to get the hood open.

One of these happening could be just a fluke. But a growing list makes me wonder what happened to the quality at Saturn.

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Old 12-20-2005, 11:47 AM   #3
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7of69
The rear wiper is malfunctioning
This is a common problem unfortunately, and is expensive to rectify.
Quote:
the hazard light button popped freee and is inside the dash.
This is a $4.00 clip that can be easily replaced
Quote:
A squeak has developed in the steering column.
Most likely the Airbag clockspring... it could happen to any car by any make.

~D.J.~

...
2012 Mercedes Benz C250 Sport Sedan
2008 smart fortwo Passion Coupe 8/28/2008 - 3/12/2012
2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011

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Old 12-20-2005, 12:29 PM   #4
RichElswick
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Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

what malfunctions on the rear wiper blade?

What breaks on the hood release?

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Old 12-20-2005, 02:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

I have two of the AWD V6 and they are fantastic!

Hood release cable can stretch and would require a $.05 nylon tie to act as a spacer if it was a problem.

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Old 12-20-2005, 02:42 PM   #6
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

"Hood release cable can stretch and would require a $.05 nylon tie to act as a spacer if it was a problem."

The nylon zip-tie IS THE FIX for this. You wrap it around the 'plug' on the end of the cable outside the wire loop at the latch, under the hood. In the meantime, you can open the hood by yanking down on the cable which is accessible behind the hood release handle.

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Old 12-21-2005, 04:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

Excellent. Thank you all.

It is final, I am now the proud owner (err, my wife is) of a 2003 Saturn Vue, green V6 with most of the goodies. So, I expect to be visiting these boards a bit more often now.

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Old 12-21-2005, 04:29 PM   #8
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

How much did you pay?
I ask because I had a 2003 V6 and traded it in (almost 2 years ago)
with 17k for $16500 for a 2004 V6.

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Old 12-22-2005, 10:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

12,463 + all the other taxes and such, came out to a nice round about 13,400.

Here is the link:
http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail...2&aff=national

It is of some concern, because the others of this same vintage are between 13.5k and 16k listings on www.cars.com

hence all the questions, so if something is up, I can handle it. The www.kbb.com price is also about 15k.

hmmm... perhaps i can turn a buck and sell it for 14k to someone...

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Old 01-09-2006, 11:41 AM   #11
johnbasler
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

hope you have better luck with yours than we have with ours.

my weekend was consumed (again) with Vue maintenance.

'03 V6 FWD (even green like yours).

at 40k (but only 2.5 years of service), both valve covers started leaking oil. Saturn wanted to stick it to me on the repair, so I did it myself. You have to pull the intake manifold to do it, possibly one of the dumber designs I have ever seen. Not to mention that the local retailer was horrible to deal with.

Vue had been leaving periodic DexCool puddles underneath. Turns out the water pump was sporadically puking coolant. Dealer wanted $1k for water pump and timing belt replacement (at 50k miles). So, I purchased the water pump from a friend at dealer cost since my retailer apparently likes to charge a 200% markup on retail parts. Water pump was not too bad to change, but when the car was apart, i noticed a bad spot on the timing belt. This looked like a manufacturing defect that was there since new.

So, I had to go to my retailer to look for the tools to lock the crank and cams for doing the timing belt swap. The parts counter guy tells me that Saturn does not sell tools, only parts. The guy in service tells me that he has no idea where i could buy the tools even though they obviously have them there. none of the local parts stores carry the tool. So much for customer focus...

Accordingly, I had to do the timing belt swap by hand without the special tools, which took about 3 times as long as it should.

on top of this, the new rear bearing assemblies are still howling. parts are sitting in boxes, but that is a project for one night this week, i guess. On top of the oddball Saturn glitches (radio, etc) this just adds to my overall frustration with the car.

So, in this case, our Vue would have required over $2k in non-scheduled repairs in a 3 month window at 50k miles if done at the dealer. Hard to be excited about that on a vehicle that cost over $25k new.

To net out, I hope that it works out for you. If it were me, i would not consider an 02 or 03 V6, but only an 04 or newer with the Honda motor. In fact, at this point, there is a zero percent chance I would ever buy a Saturn again.

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Old 01-10-2006, 02:44 PM   #12
RichElswick
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Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

Thanks John, now I feel better.

I haven't had any issues to date. Put 1k miles on it over Christmas vacation and no problems.

However, the 6 CD changer did get stuck and won't eject the CDs. A couple of days ago, my wife on a whim hit eject and out the 4 CDs came. Weird. Oh well, I'll take it.

I suppose there is a reason they switched to a different drivetrain. Probably due to the first one sucking so bad. Well, if it ever gets that bad, perhaps I will just swap it out with an 04 drivetrain.

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Old 01-10-2006, 03:13 PM   #13
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: Planning to buy a 2003 V6 Vue - any thoughts

I know the changer has gotten stuck on more than one occasion. by yanking the radio fuse and then reconnecting it has always reset in on ours.

and i certainly did not mean to rant, hopefully you have better luck with yours.

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