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Old 01-19-2013, 05:42 PM   #1
evenbogey
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Dizzy How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

I am purchasing a VUE for my daughter. It is a 2005 with the I6 I have seen conflicting information on whether the tranny is the dreaded VTI or not. How can I tell the person I am buying it from definately does not know how to tell. So how do I tell? It is in great shape but worrying about tranny after searching this board.

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Old 01-19-2013, 06:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

If it's a 6 cylinder (V6 not I6), then there's no way it could be.

If it's a 4 cylinder from 2002-2004 or maybe 2005, then it will.

An easy way to tell is to to drive it. Accelerate hard an watch the RPMs- if they go up to about 4000 and just sit there while the speed increases, then it's a VTI. If the RPMs fluctuate with gear changes, then it doesn't have one.

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Old 01-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

If it's a 2005 I4, it would only have a VTi if it's all-wheel drive. Most obvious way to tell is if it has an "AWD" badge on the tailgate, unless that fell off or was removed...

But I don't believe there were many AWD 4-cylinders made in 2005.

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Old 01-20-2013, 06:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Thanks you two it is a 6 cylinder but it is also 4WD. I will tell her to go drive it again and look for the RPM. Unfortunately she does not live near me.

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

That should be AWD

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Old 01-20-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

If its a 6 cylinder then there is no possible way that it is the VTI.

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Old 01-20-2013, 09:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

A lot of web sites like autos.aol or cars.com have reviews and information on used vehicles and you can research features there as well.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Thanks Everyone dealer gave her a warrenty so she looks forward to her new VUE.

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Old 01-20-2013, 08:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Good to hear. 2004-2007 V6 Vues have Honda engines and transmissions. They're a very good combo.

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Old 12-28-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Dizzy Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedGeminiPA View Post
Good to hear. 2004-2007 V6 Vues have Honda engines and transmissions. They're a very good combo.
I have several related questions. I'm looking at a VERY low mileage 2005 Vue AWD and it has the VTI (says so on the old original window sticker). Sounded/felt fine on a test drive. Thrashed it a bit on the interstate to see how it behaved and the RPMs didn't stay high (came down quite quickly and held at <=2250 RPM at 65 mph). Holds at a dead stop on a 5-7% grade w/barely any pressure on the throttle (no pressure at all allows it to drift back).

-What is the life expectancy on the VTI? (It's difficult to tell if anyone got decent mileage out of them since there were so many failures and unhappy Saturn owners. It's difficult to tell if there ever were any successful VTIs )
-Is there anything that can be done to reduce the likelihood of the VTI failing, or failing sooner?
-Are there signs or symptoms that would allow me to better spot a VTI that was more risky versus one that was less so?

Thanks very much!

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Old 12-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfire View Post
I have several related questions. I'm looking at a VERY low mileage 2005 Vue AWD and it has the VTI (says so on the old original window sticker). Sounded/felt fine on a test drive. Thrashed it a bit on the interstate to see how it behaved and the RPMs didn't stay high (came down quite quickly and held at <=2250 RPM at 65 mph). Holds at a dead stop on a 5-7% grade w/barely any pressure on the throttle (no pressure at all allows it to drift back).

-What is the life expectancy on the VTI? (It's difficult to tell if anyone got decent mileage out of them since there were so many failures and unhappy Saturn owners. It's difficult to tell if there ever were any successful VTIs )
-Is there anything that can be done to reduce the likelihood of the VTI failing, or failing sooner?
-Are there signs or symptoms that would allow me to better spot a VTI that was more risky versus one that was less so?

Thanks very much!
Some VTIs exhibited slipping before failure. Many didn't exhibit any symptoms until the stopping providing movement in a busy intersection (this actually happened to someone's wife IIRC).

Some have made it to ~100k miles. Others have died at 20k miles. Many seem to die between 40-70k miles. Unfortunately, there's really no telling.

IMO, it's best to just avoid the VTIs all together. You might get a good one, but your chances are probably better you'll get a bad one and regret it.

I think it's telling that GM destroyed the vehicles that were affected by its lawsuit/recall/whatever. Even they saw no good way to fix them.

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Old 12-28-2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Don't do it! Do not buy it!
Have you wondered why it has such low mileage?
I suspect it has failed once then it sat for a year till it was sold at a loss. Someone bought it cheap and put a junkyard transmission into it, now hoping to sell it at a profit. You can not buy this transmission new. The supply of new transmissions are gone and Saturn has gone out of business in 2009 (nearly 5 years ago and the trans was last made 9 years ago.)

There are so many better choices out there!

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Old 12-29-2013, 09:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrw1621 View Post
Don't do it! Do not buy it!
Have you wondered why it has such low mileage?
I suspect it has failed once then it sat for a year till it was sold at a loss. Someone bought it cheap and put a junkyard transmission into it, now hoping to sell it at a profit. You can not buy this transmission new. The supply of new transmissions are gone and Saturn has gone out of business in 2009 (nearly 5 years ago and the trans was last made 9 years ago.)

There are so many better choices out there!
XRL & jrw1621, thank you very much for your swift replies

Yes, I've certainly wondered about the low mileage, price, and excellent condition. Might be too good to be true, as you caution. Hadn't considered that it might be showing the first symptoms of failing, shelved until it behaved, then traded. I have access to the CarFAX on it and will take a hard look at it to see if there is any evidence it was repaired "off the books". I've seen the maintenance records the previous owner had and they seem consistent w/the CarFAX. But nothing would detect a surfacing problem that hadn't been dealt with. The high number of problems w/the tranny have certainly put me off this one. Shame, really, as it's excellent in all other respects. I was hoping it would be a late 2005 one w/the standard 5-spd replacement, but no such luck.

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Old 12-29-2013, 10:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: How to tell if VUE has dreaded/hated/bad designed VTI transmission

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfire View Post
XRL & jrw1621, thank you very much for your swift replies

Yes, I've certainly wondered about the low mileage, price, and excellent condition. Might be too good to be true, as you caution. Hadn't considered that it might be showing the first symptoms of failing, shelved until it behaved, then traded. I have access to the CarFAX on it and will take a hard look at it to see if there is any evidence it was repaired "off the books". I've seen the maintenance records the previous owner had and they seem consistent w/the CarFAX. But nothing would detect a surfacing problem that hadn't been dealt with. The high number of problems w/the tranny have certainly put me off this one. Shame, really, as it's excellent in all other respects. I was hoping it would be a late 2005 one w/the standard 5-spd replacement, but no such luck.
As a follow-up, I went back to the CarFAX and noted that the car had "Drive belts replaced" at around 28k miles (7K miles ago), which sounds suspiciously like a VTI tranny rebuild, followed by dumping the car in trade rather than accepting the $5k credit offer from GM.

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