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Old 02-02-2015, 02:26 AM   #1
VueofBubbles
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Wrench Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Hi everyone. I am new here and hoping to find some help.

I just picked up my car from a dealer and noticed something weird.

I just bought a 2008 Saturn Vue XR. I noticed that when I am driving at 1100 to 1500 rpm's the car has a loud vibration seemingly coming from the rear, regardless of speed.

Does anyone have an idea as to what this could be?

I have a 6 speed v6 FWD. Thanks so much

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Old 02-02-2015, 08:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Vibration from the front 'may' be related to the trans which is a known weak link on these cars...but the rear? Can't think of a RPM specific loud vibration from the rear as the entire driveline is located in the front of the car.

Can you give us more information? Is it speed dependent as well. In a particular gear?...accelerating?...cruising at high speed in 6th gear?

Only under load?...or if the car is in neutral and reving the motor off idle?

Only thing I can think of is an exhaust rattle...resonance occurring coming off idle.

If you can provide more info about when the rattle occurs, this may help.

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Old 02-02-2015, 09:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by VueofBubbles View Post
I just picked up my car from a dealer and noticed something weird.
I just bought a 2008 Saturn Vue XR. I noticed that when I am driving at 1100 to 1500 rpm's the car has a loud vibration seemingly coming from the rear, regardless of speed. :
Have you gone back to the dealer to complain about this issue that wan't affecting the car when you test drove it?

DO you have 3 days to rescind the deal?

Any guarantees?

...
'05 ,2.2L, FWD,5-speed stick with transaxle death rattle is history,,,
'17 Suby Forester

245216 mi. VUe is off to the dealer auction
I'm a secondhand vegetarian.
Cows eat grass, I eat cows.

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Old 02-02-2015, 11:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

The dealer has washed their dirty hands of this. They said it was a parity between the engine and the transmission. 1&1 or something like that... Not fixable!! Or so they say.

Thank you for offering help.

It is an issue when the car goes into overdrive. This loud noise and lesser yet notable vibration from what appears to be the rear. I worked so hard to find a good family car. Have no clue what this is.

Please help if you can. Thanks so much everyone.

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Old 02-03-2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

I wish I could even give you a hint of the problem. I have no such issue with my 6 speed V6 Vue. Engine/trans issue when shifting into 6th sounds like the torque converter lock up. But don't have a clue what could be causing your issue in the rear...unless its a resonance through the exhaust causing it to oscillate due to the harmonic of a harsh OD lock up in front. An odd nexus.

Fixing this vibration if you can't live with it and the dealer can't direct you maybe more trouble than its worth. You may want to trade the car if the issue it either too annoying or you feel it may result in a durability or reliability issue. Repairing a torque converter/clutch lock up in OD on a 6T70 6 speed trans has to be expensive...need to pull it out and pulling a trans on these cars is labor intensive and therefore expensive.
Only try and only that would be to do a drain of the trans fluid. You can't change the filter on a 6T70 because it is internal to the trans and the trans halves need to be split to get it out. But this would be an outlier...but you may have some valve body blockage causing a harsh lock up. If satlite440 reads this, he may have a suggestion if you believe the vibration is specific to when the trans lock up occurs into 6th gear...he is the forum expert on these transmissions.
Good luck.

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Old 02-03-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by VueofBubbles View Post
The dealer has washed their dirty hands of this. .
How did they do that? Go back and complain loudly! Squeeky wheel alwys gets the grease.

DOn't get ripped off.

...
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Thanks GM7 for all of your help here! You are awesome!

To answer some questions with some more questions:

1) I think you have a good understanding of this issue. It is a beautiful and good driving car. I would like to fix it and have opened a case with GM.
When I give them the go ahead, they are going to request from the dealer - a diagnosis. But the dealer has been saying that "this" is a natural evolution of this car and cannot be fixed. "Some cars just get it like the land rover for example" said the owner in a really expensive suit! Ugh!

2) I purchased a warranty through Alpha Warranty when i purchased the car. I need someone to develop a diagnosis so it can be fixed/covered by the warranty.

3) I believe that you are correct about the torque converter lock up. Interestingly, the previous owner had the torque converter replaced at 39,296 miles. It now has 109,000. Could this fail twice?

4) The low RPM at varying speeds - is this engine lagging? If so, does this change this picture? I understand that engine lagging can cause a poor mixture of air and gas. Injure the engine?

5) How does one diagnose a torque converter lockup? And how much is a transmission flush if I can't get the dealer to do it?

Thanks for this!!

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Old 02-04-2015, 12:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

What I suggest you do OP since you somewhat ID'ed the trans as the root cause. Construct your best description of the issue and when it occurs out on the road, what speeds, RPM, what gear etc and send that to satlite440 who is member of this forum. He knows more about these transmissions and their tendencies that anybody here...and I worked in the auto industry in product development my whole career.
There is much that can be written about this subject which is referred to within the engineering community as NVH aka Noise, Vibration and Harshness. There are teams of engineers that scrutinize this for every major car company.
Noise and vibration is harmonic. Recicrocating engines working in tandem with a transmission are very susceptible and there can some variation even what is considered acceptable. I will tell you I am trained in this subject and my V6 6 speed Vue is about perfect in transition into 5th-6th gear and converter lockup...lock up in place to conserve fuel consumption. So the design is relativity robust for at least my car but manufacturing variation can spoil this equation easily.

If you can...and this may not be easy but you will need to put your engineer hat on...try to see if the vibration occurs when shifting into 5th gear. The reason is...your trans 'may' be suffering from the common wave plate failure which affects, reverse, 3rd gear and 5 gear clutch engagement. Check to see if there is a clunk when backing out of the garage or if the trans is slow to engage reverse. Also feel the shift into 3rd...is it as seemless as 2nd gear?...it should be. If not, then this maybe your root cause.

The other thing you want to check for is the calibration of your trans. The trans has a separate computer with a program flash. You may not have the latest level flash for best shift performance.

NVH issues can be quite nuanced. Even degraded engine and trans rubber mounts can contribute to your issue.

As to dirty fluid...could be a contributor. Contaminated fluid can block or impede fluid flow through the valve body which controls shift performance. Do not perform a flush. This can be problematic at your mileage. Do a dump and refill. Perform a search for how to do this. I have written a bit about it as well as I have done this and well within the capability of the average home mechanic...but there are some consideration like...the trans drain plug has a tapered thread and is torque sensitive. The trans is very sensitive to fluid level relative to overheating. Counterintuitive as it may seem, overfill the 6T70 can cause it to run hot...no good. So you have many options. Contact satlite400 and see what he suggests. You maybe confusing a converter lock up issue with a pending 3-5-R wave plate failure...or not. This stuff isn't that easy to sort out even for those trained.

Let us know what you decide.
My advice is first perform a drain and refill of the trans, and two, drive the car to the dealer and have them connect their trans code reader and see if you have the latest trans calibration program. When you dump the trans fluid, if you see fairy dust in the fluid when holding a sample in a clear glass up to the light, then your trans is likely suffering from a pending wave plate failure.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by gm7; 02-04-2015 at 12:30 PM..

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Old 02-04-2015, 02:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

First, I admittedly have zero experience with the Vue. However, in my experience I know that it's hard to tell where a noise is coming from while sitting in the drivers seat. The metal body will carry the sound all over.

Here's a possible way to diagnose the problem, but it doesn't always work. Using 4 jack stands put all 4 wheels in the air. Start the car and create the sound. Have a friend go around and try and locate the source.

Hint on how to deal with a dealer:
Go to his place of business when he is busy trying to sell cars. Stand in the middle of his lot/showroom, and announce your problem in a LOUD(!) VOICE! No matter how hard they try do not let them take you somewhere else to discuss it. They do not want potential customers hearing about your displeasure. Get a firm commitment in writing before you quit.

It's always worked for me.

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Old 02-05-2015, 01:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

So gm7, I took a test drive and listened carefully to the tranny. It was pretty smooth. I did not hear a "chunk" sound (this time) or felt bump feeling.

So, curious I tried to replicate the issue and observe as you suggested. I was able to replicate it pretty easily. The speed was between 40 and 50mph. Overdrive was the main culprit. As soon as the overdrive set in, the engine began lugging accompanied by the annoying noise. The engine was apparently lugging pretty bad. Once the rpm's fell to 1100 or 1200, the noise would show up.

I was able to repeat this in both manual-auto shifting (tiptronic GM style) as well s staying in "D".

Then I floored the gas pedal (while in overdrive lugging) and the car pretty much did nothing. No acceleration for about 5 seconds or so until it caught onto some real torque.

Is this the torque converter, a stuck overdrive or something else. When I asked the dealer they said that the 2008 vue does not have the last software update available to help with this as the 2004 update does. Hmmmm.

I know that if lugging continues, rods and bearings will most likely suffer.

i am new here so when I searched for satlite440, I couldn't figure how to make contact. Thanks for your help and I'll keep trying to find satlite440.

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Old 02-05-2015, 08:58 AM   #11
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

You need to contact satlite440 because your Vue when it gets up to speed, shift into 6th under light throttle when the engine is loafing under light throttle...and then when you give it more throttle, the trans is not downshifting to 5th or 4th...which is lugging the engine. So it sounds to me, either the trans calibration I mentioned earlier is off..or maybe you have a sticky clutch solenoid in 6th gear. You need to send a Private Message to Satlite440 and ask his expert opinion...type his user into the box up top on the RHS under Private Message.

Your other option is, take the car to another dealer. Drive it into the service bay and ask if you can get their best transmission tech to take a test ride to replicate the issue. Hopefully they will give an opinion free of charge.

What you wrote about the trans calibration of your '08 sounds wrong or off. I in fact checked that my '09 Vue had the latest calibration in it and it did. The knock on the 6T70 with 6 speeds is the trans tends to 'hunt' a bit for the right gear. Hunting is very different from downshifting under greater throttle because if your trans stays in 6th gear when you add throttle, its going to lug like you say and for some reason yours isn't downshifting. It maybe a bad clutch solenoid for 6th gear. Satlite440 knows the weak links on this trans.

Hope that helps.

PS: when driving the car in manual mode, does it shift perfectly up and down?
When you are in 6th gear and select 5th or 4th gear at low RPM and you give it more throttle does it shift instantly and therefore not lug the motor if you are in manual mode? If is shifts properly in manual mode without lugging and vibration, that leans more in favor of a valve body (clogged) or calibration issue.

Last edited by gm7; 02-05-2015 at 09:07 AM..

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Old 02-06-2015, 06:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

So, I composed this very detailed post that this forum deleted it and logged out. Ugh!

So, I'll be brief. Can this whole thing be a resonating muffler system, motor or
tranny mounts / heat shield? I can replicate this annoying sound when manually shifting in most gears.

1) How do I rule out the transmission?

2) How does one fix something like this exhaust issue (if it is that)? New muffler / exhaust system? Etc...

3) I hope this post isn't getting as annoying as the sound the Vue is making. I really do appreciate everyone's help with this!

Thanks,

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Old 02-06-2015, 06:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by VueofBubbles View Post
So, I composed this very detailed post that this forum deleted it and logged out. Ugh!

So, I'll be brief. Can this whole thing be a resonating muffler system, motor or
tranny mounts / heat shield? I can replicate this annoying sound when manually shifting in most gears.

1) How do I rule out the transmission?

2) How does one fix something like this exhaust issue (if it is that)? New muffler / exhaust system? Etc...

3) I hope this post isn't getting as annoying as the sound the Vue is making. I really do appreciate everyone's help with this!

Thanks,
The problem here is noise is very difficult to assess over the web. You could try to post a sound clip but this may not even help much.

As to ruling out the transmission...it really depends if the trans is shifting at the shift points it should be based upon throttle position/load and RPM. A lugging engine will induce more vibration. So it isn't clear if you are luggin the engine deliberately while manually shifting the trans.

The problem here is...if you don't have a lot of experience with working on cars or diagnosing issues, you may not have much success in spite of advice over the web.

This is why I suggested you take the car to another dealer and ask the head trans tech to drive the car and recreate the problem. Tell him to manually shift the trans if the sound can be more easily induced in this manner.

Good luck.

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Old 02-14-2015, 12:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

So, I went back to the dealer. The service manager drove the car and confirmed that the engine is not lugging and the tranny is working correctly. So now what? The engine and tranny mounts "looked good". They also inspected the exhaust and gave it a thumbs up.

Anyone have any ideas about how I figure out this noise? What's my next step?

The service guy stated that "harmonics" are tricky to identify (where they originate from.)

Any ideas???? I'm still saying the need help thing...

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Old 02-14-2015, 08:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

I would either take it to another dealer such as a GM dealer for a second opinion or just trade it for something else and take the loss. I recently bought a 2014 Chevy Captiva so I have a vehicle very similar to yours. Good luck with your situation.

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Old 02-14-2015, 08:46 AM   #16
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Question Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Okay, I tried to ask politely and got nowhere. Dutch uncle time; A vibration is something you feel. It may or may not be associated with a sound. A noise, on the other hand is heard but may not be felt.

Now the question is:
Is it a vibration? If so where do you feel it? The steering wheel, The brake pedal, the shift lever, your tukus, where? Does it vary with the speed of the car or engine, or do you only see it, say in the rear view mirror?
If it's a noise is it low or high pitched? What happens if just as it starts you accelerate does it get better, worse of no change? Does it change pitch?
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Thanks OldGuy:

It is a vibration and a sound. The vibration can be felt on the gas pedal, floor boards, steering wheel and front seats. It is a subtle vibration. My daughter said it is only a slight vibration i back. When it occurs you can feel it and hear it at the same time. The sound and vibration is similar to the buzzy warning pavemet on the side of the highway. Regardless of speed, it is RPM sensitive. Generally when the RPM's are at 1100 to 1300 is when this happens.

Also, I noticed that the steering wheel does not vibrate strongly at initial start up but o it is a much more noticeable

Thanks
J

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Old 02-15-2015, 04:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

FYI .......
10-07-30-004: Decel Shudder/Vibration (Reprogram TCM) - (Feb 9, 2010)
Subject: Decel Shudder/Vibration (Reprogram TCM)

Models: 2008 Saturn VUE
Equipped with 3.6L V6 Engine (RPO LY7)
and 6T70 Automatic Transmission (RPOs MH2, MH4)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Condition
Some customers may comment on a vibration, shudder or chuggle during an extended closed throttle decel / coast in fourth, fifth or sixth gear.

Correction
A revised transmission calibration has been developed to address this issue. Reprogram the transmission control module (TCM) with updated calibration files using the TIS2WEB Service Programming System (SPS) application. This is a selectable calibration labeled "Select this cal ONLY to address a customer complaint of a coastdown chuggle/vibration in 4th, 5th, and 6 gears." Refer to SI and Service Programming System (SPS) documentation for programming instructions, if required.

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Old 02-15-2015, 08:23 AM   #19
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Question Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by VueofBubbles View Post
Thanks OldGuy:

It is a vibration and a sound. The vibration can be felt on the gas pedal, floor boards, steering wheel and front seats. It is a subtle vibration. My daughter said it is only a slight vibration i back. When it occurs you can feel it and hear it at the same time. The sound and vibration is similar to the buzzy warning pavemet on the side of the highway. Regardless of speed, it is RPM sensitive. Generally when the RPM's are at 1100 to 1300 is when this happens.

Also, I noticed that the steering wheel does not vibrate strongly at initial start up but o it is a much more noticeable

Thanks
J
Okay, good start! Can you reproduce the vibration/noise (hereafter to be known as the V/B) with the car in neutral or does it have to be moving? Does the pitch change with RPM?

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Old 02-15-2015, 10:00 AM   #20
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Default Re: Loud vibration @ low RPM's - Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by VueofBubbles View Post
So, I went back to the dealer. The service manager drove the car and confirmed that the engine is not lugging and the tranny is working correctly.
BUt yet, you stated,"I was able to replicate it pretty easily. The speed was between 40 and 50mph. " YOU need to drive it WITH the service manager in the passenger seat or following your direction on how to duplicate noise. Obviously they didn't want to hear it or didn't follow your direction on how to .

GO back.

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