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Old 01-28-2008, 12:40 AM   #1
verucalise
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Hello everyone...
I just wanted anyone out there who has seen the current recall on the L-series timing chains to consider getting their 2.2L timing chain replaced along with the oiler nozzle before it becomes a serious issue. Some of us already have learned the horrible way. While driving in upstate NY, in 15 degree weather with my 3 children (6 yrs, 2 yrs, and 4 months) at approx. 55-60 MPH my reduced power light came on, and my gas pedal went soft. Within 2 seconds, my service engine soon light popped up. I drive a manual, so I put it in neutral ASAP, turned the ignition off, and coasted off the road. I sat for 1/2 an hour waiting for my mother to come pick my children and I up, it was freezing, just horrible. AAA came to get my car, brought it up the road to my GM dealership that I have service my car. At 117K miles (And maintanance done regularly) my timing chain snapped, head on my engine completely done in, engine ruined. Annihilated. I came home to my computer, to research that this is a definate problem with these engines. Now, I've been fairly happy with my Vue, honestly. But when I heard that it would be $3500 to fix my car, OH NO. This shouldn't of happened... I took care of my car, I loved it... I mean, just heartbroken. Luckily, I found an ION engine with 32K miles for $700, and my total cost including engine to replace was $1600. approx. Reading some other horror stories... I seemed to fair much better than some.
The reason I'm writing this, is because Saturn knew about these problems, and the dealership I had do my warranty work up to 91K miles never mentioned it, when it would of been covered by my warranty. Heck, I would of paid out of pocket to avoid a $1600 bill. An existing TSB, and now the recall... I'm not so much disappointed in my car (which is like my 4th child) but more disappointed in the company. My timing chain should of lasted much longer I've contacted NHTSA and filed a report, and I hope anyone else with a 02-03 timing chain failure regardless whether its a Vue, L-series, Ion... please report to their website. I'm in touch with Saturn, but to no avail on helping with the bill. I've owned my vehicle for 2 1/2 years, and I was just told by Saturn that I'm not listed as the owner of my car! I'd have to send them proof of ownership to be listed in their system, otherwise even if my car WAS recalled for this problem, I wouldn't of been notified. (What happened to following the VIN??) I'm so disappointed... There is actually a class action lawsuit against them at the moment for this problem, especially on my car since no recall has been issued. I had the local GM dealership fix my car, because they are fair priced and already had my car. Saturn wanted me to pay out of my pocket another $200-$250 to tow it to their dealership, without any guarantees on helping with the cost. "We'll take a look" was all they would say, and I was trying to come to a fair resolution. After a week of the service manager putting me off, saying "The district manager is on vacation" I mentioned this class action (not to say I wanted to join it, just to point out that this isn't just me) he said abruptly to me "You've mentioned the words lawyer, lawsuit, (etc...) and I can NO LONGER speak to you" and I was floored. I love my car, honestly. But this problem can't be set aside by us hard working individuals, and families with children. I truly believe in buying American made, and I believed Saturn to be a family oriented company... But not so much anymore. I trusted my Saturns, and I understand that things go wrong, recalls and such... but I could of gotten into a major car accident in that car, hurt my children, just horrible things gone haywire. I'm hoping that the district manager does call me, because I don't believe this is fair. All these families out thousands to fix an existing problem known with the 2.2L engine. So please, please... let the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration know about your problem, even if it was years ago. They can't help issue a recall and help refund people money unless they know about the problem with your car.... Luckily, we had the money to repair my poor Vue, but some people don't and aren't as lucky to have such a great GM dealership around the corner giving you a free loaner car, replacing an engine within 24 hours, and also diagnosing the original problem. I can't thank everyone enough for reading this.

...
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

I am sorry for all your troubles and expenses. I have an 2002 Vue (90K) and the replacement service interval for the timing belt (Do you really have a timing chain?) on the 3.0L V6 states 100,000 miles. My dealer has mentioned to me, (because it's a +$600 repair) and it is listed as scheduled maintence in the owners manual. Your sad story is not for nothing, as I'll will not put off replacing as it comes due. Ahead of that if I can get some bills lowered first.

ted

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Old 01-28-2008, 03:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Yes, the 2.2's use a timing chain.

Generally speaking, timing chains are extremely reliable and rarely need replacing.

Timing belts on the other hand...

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Old 01-28-2008, 04:15 PM   #4
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Yes, I had a timing chain. I completely understand belts should be replaced at about 60-70K intervals... My father is a mechanic, he told me the same, that chains are pretty faithful, and besides basic maintenance, do not usually need replacing. But I also found out I had a "zero tolerance" engine, meaning once that chain breaks... good bye, motor that has been all so faithful.
I chose a 4-cyl because I actually drive fairly often, (it got GREAT gas mileage, 24-25 city miles) though I do not work (at home mother). My husband drives a tractor trailer M-F, this car is my lifeline being home alone with children in the Adirondacks. I love this car, honestly. I was in tears finding out what happened, thinking "What did I do wrong??" I mean, it has higher miles... but with proper maintenance, this shouldn't of happened. Up until this point, I've felt nothing but pride owning a car with hardly any problems.

...
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And, That Has Made All The Difference." ~Robert Frost

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Old 01-29-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Thanks for the information. I have a 2004 Vue with a 2.2 engine, and I have not received a recall notice. Is this a problem with the 2002-2003 models only?

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Old 01-29-2008, 03:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

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Thanks for the information. I have a 2004 Vue with a 2.2 engine, and I have not received a recall notice. Is this a problem with the 2002-2003 models only?
From what I've read, there's no recall for the 04...hopefully they fixed the problem...

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

I know your pain. I car pool with a neighbor who has an l200. About 6 months ago his chain broke and scrapped the engine due to the oiler. Once he found out all the info he wanted to file suit. There's many more cases out there and this could probably go under a class action suit against GM.

His end result he had the engine completely replaced with another used 'guaranteed' engine.

I'm torn on this issue. If it was a timing belt and it broke 10k miles before the recommended interval who is at fault? Was the oiler problem a design flaw, yes. Should GM have notified owners of the possible issue, yes. This same type of thing could happen on an Enzo or a Yugo. That being said, personally I probably wouldn't purchase another GM product again if this happened to me.

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Old 01-29-2008, 09:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Well, generally timing chains don't usually need replacement. So there was the catch-22. The Tech Bulletin says while "changing" the timing chain, replace these parts with our new "updated" kit. But see, they were letting people's timing chains BREAK, claim that we weren't changing the oil on time, then secretly in the back, tear apart our cars, charging asonine amounts of money, and replace the defective oiler nozzle and timing chain per their bulletin. I've gotten over how upset I was at first, now I'm just MAD. I've already contacted the Better Business Bureau of Upstate NY and filed a complaint. I had a warranty on my car up to 91K. Back around Dec-Jan 2007 I was getting close to going over my warranty, and paid OUT OF POCKET for 1 hour labor to have them completely go over my car, and anything that my warranty would cover, please replace now. They told me my car was in great condition.... never even mentioning this problem. And of course, why would they admit fault, right? The sad thing, is that now in my Saturn Vue I have an Ion engine, which is fine... but this same problem could happen again if I don't get that updated kit. But I can't afford the $600+++ to Saturn, nor do I think I should pay it, honestly. I've never complained when things have gone wrong in my cars, which is thankfully not often because I maintain them pretty well. I had my old 1993 Saturn SC1 last for YEARS, up to 170,000+ just with proper maintenance.
This newer car should've lasted at least that. And I was going to trade her in soon for a new Vue.

...
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Took The One Less Traveled By...
And, That Has Made All The Difference." ~Robert Frost

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Old 02-03-2008, 07:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

What are the details on this recall? and do you have a link where I can check it out?

I drive and 02 with the ecotec and would like to find out if I need to get it into my dealer or not. I never received any recall notice but it's used so I might not be on that distribution list.

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Old 02-03-2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Sorry, there wasn't a recall on the timing chain (yet) for the Vue, but there was a tech bulletin that pretty much spelled it out without exactly saying it, that the oiler nozzle/timing chain aren't exactly a perfect design. Here is the bulletin:

Info - Timing Chain Design Change and Revised Service Procedures #03-06-01-017 - (Jun 9, 2003)
Service Information -- Timing Chain Design Change and Revised Service Procedures
2000-2003 Saturn L-Series with 2.2L Engine (VIN F -- RPO L61)

2002-2003 Saturn VUE with 2.2L Engine (VIN D -- RPO L61)

2003 Saturn ION Vehicles

General Manager, Fixed Operations Manager, Technician

Purpose
The purpose of this bulletin is to communicate updated service procedures to the timing chain and timing chain oiling nozzle due to design changes that have been made to both components. All timing chain kits now available in service will include the oiler nozzle. This new nozzle has higher flow rate characteristics that will increase oil flow to the timing chain under low RPM operating conditions. Whenever replacing a timing chain, it is important to replace the oiler nozzle.


If you haven't had a problem yet, I would definately consider either getting Saturn to help you with the cost of installing it, (Show them the tech bulletin and tell them you don't want these problems to happen to you) or else buy the timing chain kit and have a local shop (Who 100% likely is cheaper) to replace it for you.

Trust me, you don't want to be out in the middle of winter when it lets loose. Now, I'm not saying there is a problem with everyones timing chain, but I'm one to ride on the side of caution. I hope I helped.

Heather

...
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Took The One Less Traveled By...
And, That Has Made All The Difference." ~Robert Frost

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Old 02-03-2008, 10:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Cry whine piss mone ... lets start a class action law suite. Come on lets sue somebody.

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Old 02-03-2008, 11:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

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Cry whine piss mone ... lets start a class action law suite. Come on lets sue somebody.
Sometimes spelling counts.

I believe you meant moan. I could be wrong though.

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Old 02-04-2008, 06:25 PM   #13
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Idea Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

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Cry whine piss mone ... lets start a class action law suite. Come on lets sue somebody.
Good. I'm glad you've had such luck with your cars. No reason to have an attitude. I'm not looking to sue anyone, but thanks for insinuating it. When one of your saturns has a catastrophic engine failure, due to something the company knew about but decided against telling you, let me know. Better yet, tell me if your kids, grandkids, friends, were in the car when it went going 70MPH on an interstate. (Check other sites, I'm not the only one whose car died in the middle of driving.) Did anyone get hurt? Could they of? Clue me in on the repair bill, was it hundreds? Thousands? Did it cause financial hardship? How about why the company refuses to even speak to you anymore, even trying to politely resolve issues? Were you there sitting, scratching your head, saying "I did everything required as maintenance, why did this happen?" And the last question, I reinerate:

Why did the company not tell me about this before, when they knew?

I'm not against anyone's opinion, thanks for your two cents. But I've stated the facts, and I only posted this because I wouldn't want to see anyone get hurt. It's a problem that needs to be addressed. So, thank you for your perspective, its insightful. Really. Almost whimsical. Nasty, with a twist of sarcasm... yes, that's the way to go!!

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Old 02-06-2008, 03:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Sorry to hear about your problems. It is sad that the new Saturn's seem to be less reliable with the introduction of the 2.2 motor. I transport people with high medical need at work. I would be devastated if my engine would go south all the sudden when working. My SL2 has been great. Thanks for sharing your information so I will know what to avoid.

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Old 02-06-2008, 02:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

Does this issue affect any Ecotec's besides Saturn? My sister has an '02Pontiac Sunfire with the 2.2L Ecotec. I may have to give her a heads up.

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

I can't say for certain, I have a friend with a sunfire also.... The only advice I can give, is to go to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and check the site for reports on this. I haven't heard of any, but who knows. If anyone has reported a timing chain failure to them, the report would be online as a possible safety issue. I'd also google sunfire timing chain, see if anyone has had a problem. My friend hasn't, he's the one who pointed out he had the same engine. But I think the saturn engines and the pontiac engines were made at different plants, who knows! I hope I helped.

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Old 02-09-2008, 09:52 AM   #17
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

The document quoted by veraculise has no parts requirements listed, so I cannot say when a newer oiler nozzle was implemented on the L61 Ecotec. But the header addresses 2000-2003 vehicles, so I have to think the 2004 and up have this newer design in place. Personally have not seen a rush of these chains breaking, neither in high heat or extreme cold conditions. When I look at the oiler part itself in my system, it does denote 2003 through 2007 usage, and also notes to be used in early L series.

If it means enough to you, make noise!

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Old 02-10-2008, 07:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

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Originally Posted by BoDuke70 View Post
The document quoted by veraculise has no parts requirements listed, so I cannot say when a newer oiler nozzle was implemented on the L61 Ecotec. But the header addresses 2000-2003 vehicles, so I have to think the 2004 and up have this newer design in place. Personally have not seen a rush of these chains breaking, neither in high heat or extreme cold conditions. When I look at the oiler part itself in my system, it does denote 2003 through 2007 usage, and also notes to be used in early L series.

If it means enough to you, make noise!
All I know is that the oiler "hole" was made bigger in the parts update. I change the oil religiously every 3 months and it certainly isn't thick or gooey on draining. Most of her driving is urban and she doesn't stress or over rev her engine. She has 65K km on it so I'll just tell her to keep on driving. I haven't heard of any 2.2 Ecotec chains snapping in Canada. Maybe it's a high heat oil coking issue in the US caused by overheated oil clogging the small orifice, or then again maybe not.

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Old 02-10-2008, 10:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

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All I know is that the oiler "hole" was made bigger in the parts update. I change the oil religiously every 3 months and it certainly isn't thick or gooey on draining. Most of her driving is urban and she doesn't stress or over rev her engine. She has 65K km on it so I'll just tell her to keep on driving. I haven't heard of any 2.2 Ecotec chains snapping in Canada. Maybe it's a high heat oil coking issue in the US caused by overheated oil clogging the small orifice, or then again maybe not.
Maybe oil and climate is not relevant to chain failure. Maybe it's lack of lubrication at low engine RPM (idle), which would be more pronounced at low speed, urban use. Oil change frequency may not be relevant - the early oil nozzle design simply did not deliver a sufficient quantity to the chain at low engine RPM. I have heard of chain failures in Canada as well, and her location isn't exactly a very different clime from most of urban Ontario.

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: '02 Vue 2.2L Timing Chain Failure, Please Read!

I was doing a sales call at the Saturn dealer today and one of the tech's came up and got the parts for the timing chain recall. He told me that it only applies to 2001 L Series and not to worry about it on my '04 Vue.....not much of a guarantee but sure hope he is right.

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