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Old 06-06-2005, 07:27 AM   #1
PCF
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2004 VUE 2.2L
2005 VUE 2.2L
Dizzy Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

I tried to open my rear hatch on the 2005 and it won't open. This has the power package and there is no keyhole slot in the liftgate handle.

I am assuming I must get to the latch from the inside. Can this be done without destroying the interior plastic panel?

Any advice appreciated in advance.

...
2005 Vue / 2004 Vue
Both with 2.2L 5 speed

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Old 06-06-2005, 07:53 AM   #2
eugenem
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2006 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

I've been having a similar problem with the rear hatch on my 04. The latch seems to stick more frequently in the summer than compared to winter.

I have found that if I jiggle the latch a bit and give it a good tug, the hatch usually opens. I will have the dealer take a look at it during the next oil change.

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Old 06-06-2005, 11:05 AM   #3
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2007
Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Are you hearing the latch unlock when you unlock it with either the keyfob or from inside the car?

...
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Old 06-06-2005, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

The following is an example of what you would see on a Service Invoice from Saturn of Colorado Springs: (I am not bashing anyone here...you all can draw your own conclusion from this one

Customer states:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCF
I tried to open my rear hatch on the 2005 and it won't open. [possibly have to get to latch from inside]
"Check and advise"

"To get the panel off, the liftgate has to be open."

"Could not duplicate concern at this time."

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Old 06-06-2005, 01:03 PM   #5
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2004 VUE Red Line
2002 SL2
Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnVUEShadow
The following is an example of what you would see on a Service Invoice from Saturn of Colorado Springs: (I am not bashing anyone here...you all can draw your own conclusion from this one

Customer states:



"Check and advise"

"To get the panel off, the liftgate has to be open."

"Could not duplicate concern at this time."

LMAO ouch...

So far as I know, you're going to have a hell of a time getting to that latch from the inside. If it's not unlocking, that's one problem. If it is unlocking, and just won't open, that's another issue entirely. At either rate, sounds like it's time for a trip to the dealer. *le sigh*

Good luck.

...
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:56 AM   #6
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2005 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

You can open the latch from inside????????????? Where????? I looked everywhere to find the open button .....Only way i found is with the remote.....

...
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Old 07-16-2005, 03:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

DANG!!!! Mine just did it too. It's been acting funny the last few times when trying to open it.

Sounds like this latch was a cost cutting item..and I'm going on vacation this week..so it's going to be a real PITA trying to get luggage in and out.

I'm getting tired of going to the dealer and giving them a list of 3 things to fix.. I've got a sueaky steering wheel and the rear view mirror vibrates too ...grrr!!!!

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Old 07-16-2005, 07:28 PM   #8
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Sad Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

The more I read these " problem posts " about the VUE, it seems like the quality of the SATURN brand has taken a turn for the worse
Haven't have a problem with ours yet, but you can be sure I goanna soak it with WD40.
Can't say I would buy another one especially if they move production to Mexico.

BulleT

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Old 07-16-2005, 07:52 PM   #9
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet
Haven't have a problem with ours yet, but you can be sure I goanna soak it with WD40.
Use some White Lithium grease... never use WD-40 anywhere on the VUE, it'll just wash out the correct grease.
~D.J.~

...
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2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011

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Old 07-16-2005, 10:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

I don't think the problem has to do with lubrication. It feels like whatever attaches the handle to the latch broke..I can hear a (very small and weak sounding) piece of metal rattling.

I started noticing that I had to push in the hatch/handle to get it to work..I just thought it wasn't shutting well

Whatever happened to engineering to 150% of expected use/abuse???

My VUE could have been assembled in Japan, Germany, Mexico, Sri Lanka, or Afghanistan and it still would have broke.

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Old 07-17-2005, 05:09 AM   #11
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Wrench Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by sspeer
I don't think the problem has to do with lubrication. It feels like whatever attaches the handle to the latch broke..I can hear a (very small and weak sounding) piece of metal rattling.

I started noticing that I had to push in the hatch/handle to get it to work..I just thought it wasn't shutting well

Whatever happened to engineering to 150% of expected use/abuse???

My VUE could have been assembled in Japan, Germany, Mexico, Sri Lanka, or Afghanistan and it still would have broke.
So now, is this going to become it should be a " RECALL " issue?
Now maybe some ppl will understand why a " EXTENDED " warranty isn't all a bad idea.
I am waiting for 1 of the " CHEAP " plastic door handels to bust off in my hand.

Last edited by Bullet; 07-17-2005 at 05:14 AM..

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Old 07-17-2005, 11:25 AM   #12
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet
I am waiting for 1 of the " CHEAP " plastic door handels to bust off in my hand.
Aah, so you missed the "cheap" plastic door handles on your test drive?
~D.J.~

...
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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 07-17-2005, 01:09 PM   #13
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2002 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by sspeer
I don't think the problem has to do with lubrication. It feels like whatever attaches the handle to the latch broke..I can hear a (very small and weak sounding) piece of metal rattling.

I started noticing that I had to push in the hatch/handle to get it to work..I just thought it wasn't shutting well

Whatever happened to engineering to 150% of expected use/abuse???

My VUE could have been assembled in Japan, Germany, Mexico, Sri Lanka, or Afghanistan and it still would have broke.

I pulled the panel loose on mine to take a look for ya.

The panel is secured by two screws at the bottom of the panel near the latch. It will be impossible to remove these with the hatch closed. The rest of the panel is just held by clips, so you may be able to pull the panel loose near the middle to reach in to trip the latch. Then remove the screws when the hatch is open to remove the panel completely. There is defenitely a possibility of damage to the panel, so I did not attemt to remove mine with the hatch closed, but I did entertain the thought of it, sorry.

The two screws look like #2 phillips, but are actually #2 posidrive. Despite the similarity of shape between these two types of tool and screw, it is important to use the right tool to ensure you don't damage the screw. See HERE for info on the difference between the two. Here is a pic of the bottom of the panel of the latch and screws. Only one is visible in this photo, far left. Not the ones in the painted area. the second one is to the far right just off of the pic.



Now here are some pics of the latch from the inside. The last pic shows 5 areas that are probable break points. The Handle itself is plastic, there is a plastic clip that connects the handle to a short rod, then an adjustment clip that connects the rod to the rocker linkage. then another clip to a rod and then the rod to the latch connection is made with a plastic clip.

The clips used here are also used in door lock and latch mechanisims, and are prone to breaking or popping loose. The problem most likely is one of these clips, but could just as easily be the handle itself or the latch.










The pics are also in my gallery. Hope this is helpful to ya.


dugg67

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Old 07-17-2005, 01:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet
So now, is this going to become it should be a " RECALL " issue?
Now maybe some ppl will understand why a " EXTENDED " warranty isn't all a bad idea.
I am waiting for 1 of the " CHEAP " plastic door handels to bust off in my hand.

The majority of extended service contracts do not cover items such as this, although there are policies that do. As far as the cheap, plastic handles go, even if it were metal, there would be some risk of failure. Toyota Camry's are notorious for a spring to break inside of the door latch making it impossible to open the door from the inside or outside. The spring is metal, and it breaks. To get the spring, you have to replace the whole latch.

Usually the replacement parts costs are higher when metal parts are used as more stuff tends to get bent and broken when they do fail, so aside from the trouble to get inside the door or hatch, a broken clip is surely less expensive than having to replace bent rods and linkages due to damage caused by a metal part not giving way as easily.


As far as a recall, probably won't happen, I don't see it as a safety concern, but if Saturn sees enough of them, they may improve the replacement part and issue a TSB on it.


dugg67

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Old 07-17-2005, 02:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

I had to replace a liftgate that was badly damaged from a rear end crash. Lock mechanism and handle had no problems however the latch pin the liftgate locks onto was destroyed

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Old 07-18-2005, 08:32 PM   #16
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2005 VUE 2.2L
Dizzy Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Since first posting this, it appears the problem is intermittant. If I cycle the locks closed and then open, it goes away and I can access the hatch. It has probably happened about 5 times in the last month or so.

If you try to pry the panel away from the interior before removing the two screws at the bottom, you might damage the wiring or connecors to the hatch lights located near the bottom of the interior panel.

...
2005 Vue / 2004 Vue
Both with 2.2L 5 speed

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Old 07-19-2005, 06:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCF
Since first posting this, it appears the problem is intermittant. If I cycle the locks closed and then open, it goes away and I can access the hatch. It has probably happened about 5 times in the last month or so.
Sounds like the lock actuator inside the latch is sticking, and not unlocking the hatch. Looking back at my pics, it looks as if the actuator and the latch are all one piece. It will probably require replacing the latch, as it appears to be sealed asides from the linkage from the handle.


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Old 07-19-2005, 08:43 AM   #18
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Wow Dugg...

Thanks for taking the time to take the photos. You get the gold star for the day!

I'll try cycling the locks, but I kind of did that already.

If something's gonna break to fix it, then I'll let the dealer do it!!!

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Old 07-19-2005, 03:51 PM   #19
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Arrow Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by dugg67
As far as a recall, probably won't happen, I don't see it as a safety concern, but if Saturn sees enough of them, they may improve the replacement part and issue a TSB on it. dugg67
I would THINK it to be a Safety concern if you can't get to the spare tire standing on a Interstate in the middle of RUSH hour???

Better yet, a GOOD law suit!!!

BulleT

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Old 07-19-2005, 07:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: Help! Rear Hatch Won't Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullet
I would THINK it to be a Safety concern if you can't get to the spare tire standing on a Interstate in the middle of RUSH hour???

Better yet, a GOOD law suit!!!

BulleT
The spare tire is under a panel in the rear floor ahead of the the threshhold for the hatch, although a little more cumbersome, it can be removed without opening the rear hatch. Just fold the rear seats and pull it out from the rear seat area. Oh, I forgot, the seat latches are on the rear of the seats, so you would have to open the hatch to lower the seats.

Besides, changing a flat on the side of an Interstate highway is not safe no matter how ya look at it, whether you can get your hatch open or not. Take it from someone who was stuck on the side of I-77 a few weeks ago for 6 hrs (long story, don't ask), a constant flow of traffic only a few feet away at 65-70 mph plus is not a good feeling.

There is a huge difference between something being unsafe or just an inconvenience. If the hatch would not close, or sprung open unexpectedly due to a faulty latch, then yes, it becomes a matter of safety. In this case, it is no different than a broken door latch or door handle. Lots of cars are using plastic parts that break easily in some instances, but all things break eventually, and ya have to fix them when they do. If it is a clear safety concern, then yes, by all means issue a recall, but not because of something that could just cause an inconvenience.


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