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Old 03-21-2020, 06:09 PM   #1
LSP
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Default 2003 Vue 2.2L AWD Automatic

New owner here, so forgive me as I'm new to this car and site.

When cold, trans slips and engine revs up to 4000 rpm to go 30 mph, does that for 8-10 minutes, then trans starts to engage better and it will go 60 mph at 2600 rpm on the highway.

I pull into a quick car wash, shut it off for 5 minutes, then start it up and it does the exact same thing even though trans is at operating temp..

I've rebuilt my own transmissions before, but never one of these, any ideas what I should dig into first?

Thanks
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Old 03-21-2020, 06:26 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2003 Vue 2.2L AWD Automatic

Is your automatic a CVT (continuously variable transmission)? GM labeled these CVTs as VTi. If yours is a cvt, bad news. Unrepairable. Search past threads or use the Similar Threads tabs on the bottom of this page to find threads about Saturns with poorly made cvt xmissions.

There's one 8 or 9 part youtube video from a xmission shop showing the ugly details of this xmission, repair hints and mods but never followed up on whether success was achieved or not.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 Vue 2.2L AWD Automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Is your automatic a CVT (continuously variable transmission)? GM labeled these CVTs as VTi. If yours is a cvt, bad news. Unrepairable. Search past threads or use the Similar Threads tabs on the bottom of this page to find threads about Saturns with poorly made cvt xmissions.

There's one 8 or 9 part youtube video from a xmission shop showing the ugly details of this xmission, repair hints and mods but never followed up on whether success was achieved or not.
Thanks for your quick reply.

How do I determine if it is a CVT? What is VTi?
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Old 03-21-2020, 08:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Vue 2.2L AWD Automatic

GM/Saturn attempted to introduce a different automatic xmission. The universal xmissions are either manuals rowing gears or conventional automatics with several gears. Very high end automatics using paddle shifters electronically force shifts using a double clutch, a la Formula-1 design adapted to Ferraris and Lamborghinis. McClaren and a few others may have these expensive bu still conventional xmissions since they use gears that must be selected. Continuously variable xmissions eliminates gears by adapting similar xmissions used in snowmobiles. Snowmobiles use a very fat and wide drive belt with two sets of pulleys, one on the engine and the other on the xmission. No gears.

The continuously variable xmission in Vues designated VTi use a segmented steel belt between two pulleys. Electronics and hydraulics adjusts both pulleys for infinite drive/driven ratios without needing gears. A simple way to observe and know the difference between cvt and conventional automatics is by observing the tachometer, the engine rpm indicator. Every automatic with gears shift from one gear to the next as a steady gas pedal is applied during acceleration. You can see the tach needle rev up then drop rpm as the next gear is automatically selected. The drop in rpm between upshifts indicates a higher gear. CVTs don't have gears to shift thru.

CVTs simply keep the engine rpm at one value, depending on accelerator pedal position, as the speedometer displays speed changes. The cvt keeps the rpm at one value as speed increases. Many feel a very smooth ride as the lack of gear shifts and associated slight lurching is missing with cvt vehicles.

I'm not in any way an expert on xmissions but can associate the descriptions given when driving a relative's Subaru Outback with the same cvt. I observed the tach remaining at one value as the speedometer displays increasing speed. In my Saturn L300 with a 4-speed auto, the tach revs up then drops rpm as the next gear is automatically selected with a slight lurch while in motion. As each gear is selected, the rpm drops a few hundred rpm as speed increases. Each gear selected does this until the fourth gear is selected. The drop in rpm during each gear shift is seen on the tach.

Your VIN or owner's manual should display markings as code for year of manufacture, where it was assembled, color, engine, xmission and other specifications. Your owner's manual lists the standard features and should describe Saturn's VTi xmission. Threads within these forums can help you understand and made aware of peculiar issues, repairs, recalls, and diy solutions. Unfortunately, the Saturn cvt was a complete fiasco with possibly a design unsuitable for Vues. Subaru, BMW, and many other manufacturers have similar cvt units with varying success. I do not know nor follow cvt faults in those brands. The used Subaru I drove is a 2017 and very smooth for a 4cyl/cvt drive train in a heavy wagon.

VTi is GM/Saturn's designation for the cvt.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:09 PM   #5
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2003 Vue 2.2L AWD Automatic

New owner. 4cyl auto. Bummer, you got snookered
03-04 4cyl autos were only CVT. You have one. Sorry.
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