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Old 02-13-2021, 01:51 PM   #1
LolaAnnGram
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Dizzy Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Hi from Florida...have had my 1 owner (I'm 2nd) 2006 Saturn Vue for 3 years & love love love it! 120k miles..all maintenance records prove great running car. 5 months ago pulled out of parking lot onto water covered street. Right F tire went into a 12-14" pothole. What I didn't know is serpentine belt tore when hitting side of hole. As I drove home, car started rumbling..figured water that would clear (what can I say...dumb blonde 56 yr old woman). Drove to mechanic & literally 1/2 blk away, battery light came on so I coasted into lot. Men don't believe women & all said its timing belt problem. I told 3 diff mechanics what happened & none believed. When they took off timing belt cover, 6 month old belt perfectly intact. Said I needed new engine. Car sat for 4 months when neighbor found strips of serpentine belt jammed in lower gear of motor thats attacked to tensioner.

Who knew you can file a claim with city? They paid $1,800 & I found mechanic w/ 25 yrs of fixing GMs mostly cadillacs. Today, he's taking off head-sending to machine shop as no compression. He said if that doesn't work, then junkyard engine. Im afraid of junk yard engine & hope I'm not throwing away that check.

Can engine run as good as pre pothole? Any ideas/suggestions BESIDES throw it away?
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Updated photos. Mechanic tore down to send the Head ? to machine shop-only 2 pistons sealed. Also said minor water pump leak he will be replacing that. Gave him the insurance money & he said that is only going to go towards parts. Its going to be a long fix since I have to pay as much as I can each month....
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

With regard to wrecking yard engines, yes, you can find engines that are still worthy of giving many more miles of service. However, one has to be discriminating in order to find such an engine. Many years ago, my boss and one of his mechanics took the day off of work to search for a wrecking yard engine for a swap to be performed at our shop. This event took place after much research into where they would find the engine that my boss wanted. They traveled about 120 miles away to find it. They found a good one and the replacement worked out well. This could go well because each of them was a professional in the automotive repair business. They knew what to look for and listen for as they were able to run the engine.

3) How much money have you authorized for this job currently?
...
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaAnnGram View Post
...Mechanic tore down to send the Head ? to machine shop-only 2 pistons sealed. Also said minor water pump leak he will be replacing that. Gave him the insurance money & he said that is only going to go towards parts. Its going to be a long fix since I have to pay as much as I can each month....
I don't understand the highligted item in your quote. How has the mechanic determined which pistons have sealed and which have not? The water pump should've been replaced when the timing belt job was done. If so, there could be a warranty claim for a free replacement part.
...
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Old 02-18-2021, 10:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

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I don't understand the highligted item in your quote. How has the mechanic determined which pistons have sealed and which have not? The water pump should've been replaced when the timing belt job was done. If so, there could be a warranty claim for a free replacement part.
I'm going to speculate that because of bent valves due to the timing belt failure, only two cylinders had good compression. Just a guess. I know the Honda 3.5 is an interference engine.
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Old 02-18-2021, 01:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

^Sure, that's a sensible inference. What confuses me is how that statement relates to the original post where it states there is no compression. Perhaps that relates to only one bank of the V6, but it isn't fully clear. For me, clarity is everything in a post and that includes spelling and punctuation.

If it turns out that bent valves are the cause of the lost compression then the valve jobs should return the engine to a normal running condition once the job has been completed.
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Old 02-19-2021, 12:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaAnnGram View Post
When they took off timing belt cover, 6 month old belt perfectly intact. Said I needed new engine. Car sat for 4 months when neighbor found strips of serpentine belt jammed in lower gear of motor thats attacked to tensioner.

This doesn't makes sense to me. Do you have any pictures? I just don't understand how this could be caused by a pot hole impact.

Are you saying that you had the timing belt service 6-months prior?
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

....A decent low mileage engine should only be about a grand. [ i found a 72000 mile honda 3.5 , very clean ,shipped for that price]Then add in labor and other wear items like hoses, plugs, timing belt, etc. Keep that in mind when paying this mechanic, just my.02, DC
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

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This doesn't makes sense to me. Do you have any pictures? I just don't understand how this could be caused by a pot hole impact.

Are you saying that you had the timing belt service 6-months prior?
I think this was a water submersion issue accentuated by the added depth of a pothole.
We used to do water-fording tests (4 feet depth) on military trucks and while the engines were fine sometimes there was a problem with the belt drives for accessories.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Thanks for responses...In other words, NONE of the mechanics who checked out my car would believe me when I told them I hit a pothole with greater force than I've ever felt in a vehicle. They ASSUMED the timing belt broke but it intact. No compression discovered after neighbor replaced timing tensioner that also hit edge of pothole.

I found a knowledgeable and trusted mechanic who works on my doctor's hummer. He was employed at GM as ASE Mechanic for 25 yrs. He tore down to get to get to head/pistons after I gave him the insurance check to repair.

Thanks for assurances on potential replacement engine. I hate to consider it knowing how well this Saturn was maintained...like no other vehicle I've ever driven.

I will check into water pump warranty as I do believe it was replaced with timing. thanks for info.

I will get video taken by mechanic and post later this afternoon for further suggestions/comments. I was concerned when he suggested getting junk yard engine but your comments helped me come to terms with the possibility if machine shop grind doesn't work. Pls keep in mind I know NOTHING about vehicles but LOVE my Saturn Vue! Temp driving an old 2003 Honda Element. No compare to my Saturn. TYTYTY
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaAnnGram View Post
Thanks for responses...In other words, NONE of the mechanics who checked out my car would believe me when I told them I hit a pothole with greater force than I've ever felt in a vehicle. They ASSUMED the timing belt broke but it intact. No compression discovered after neighbor replaced timing tensioner that also hit edge of pothole.
Something is incorrect here. The location of the timing belt tensioner is too far away from the lower end of the engine (and is also covered) for it to have made contact with the pothole. Is any damage visible on, or near the tensioner?

There is a possibility that the serpentine belt tensioner could have been damaged as it is exposed and in a lower area not far from the crankshaft pully. Nevertheless, if that had occurred I would not be surprised to find that the crankshaft pulley could have sustained damage in this incident. Perhaps even to the point of slightly bending the crankshaft. (Remember, however, that this is speculation [from a distance] about what may have happened.)

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Pls keep in mind I know NOTHING about vehicles but LOVE my Saturn Vue!...
There are others like yourself here at SaturnFans. It's good to have you along "for the ride."
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Anyone know how I can attach video from mechanic showing bent valves & overall condition? He did send off to machine shop & now waiting on new valves gaskets water pump etc. I'm so excited I can't wait to get her back!

He is updating everything he can with OEM parts (whatever that means) & when I asked about oil pump, he said thats inside the engine and cannot be replaced...Thats the only fear I have about spending all this money for rebuild over just replacing engine....but it DID run perfectly before the pothole...and maintained better than any car I've ever seen for its age (I wish I maintained myself as good as the car maintained_
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaAnnGram View Post
Anyone know how I can attach video from mechanic showing bent valves & overall condition? He did send off to machine shop & now waiting on new valves gaskets water pump etc. I'm so excited I can't wait to get her back!
Videos cannot be directly uploaded to SaturnFans. You'd need to upload the video to something like YouTube and then attach a link to it in a new post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaAnnGram View Post
He is updating everything he can with OEM parts (whatever that means) & when I asked about oil pump, he said thats inside the engine and cannot be replaced...Thats the only fear I have about spending all this money for rebuild over just replacing engine....but it DID run perfectly before the pothole...and maintained better than any car I've ever seen for its age (I wish I maintained myself as good as the car maintained_
OEM parts: parts from the Original Equipment Manufacturer.

There are brands supplying replacement auto parts which do not have the Saturn nor Honda label on them - they are the Original Equipment Manufacturers in this instance - and are referred to as "aftermarket." They supply parts for many cars on the road today. I use them, but only those brands I trust based on my experience in the auto parts business where I sold such parts. In the pictures below you're looking at a part sold through an "aftermarket" parts company. (I have no disagreement with what your mechanic has chosen as his preferred parts to use in this service. He must be satisfied with the products he will be installing on your engine.)

It's likely that there should be no issue with the oil pump unless your engine quit due to the loss of oil pressure. The location of the oil pump is within part of the timing cover at the lower end of the engine through which the crankshaft snout exits and where the crankshaft pully is attached (which turns the serpentine belt). The part is not within the engine block, it's attached to the outside of it.

Part number look up at RockAuto https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...,oil+pump,5564

Picture of oil pump. See picture #3, the oil pump is underneath the cover with the eight four-point screws. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...432890&jsn=362
...
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain in such detail....VERY INFORMATIVE & glad to know you sell parts...i will let him know as you've been extremely helpful since my initial posting....here's what today's payment covered... He also showed me new bolts; old pistons (which I couldn't tell they were bent but glad to know all new anyway); gaskets; water pump & other parts I couldn't identify. Who knew mechanics need to know more than an actual hospital surgeon? My god, I think I could put together a body before ever attempting an engine! Where are you? Trying to learn how to navigate my way around here...it ain't easy being a dumb blonde! I love the emojis...I could just post those all day long and be happy! Have a great weekend!
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Awe California...couldn't be any further unless you were in Alaska! I just read your comments on crank shaft pulley...so after the pothole...the car drove fine til I stopped at traffic light 6 blocks away...at that point the car started gargling and sounded like someone tossing bolts into engine. I should have stopped immediately but....like every idiot you probably see on here, I figured it was nothing serious (never make that mistake again). Proceeded home....made it home about 2 miles. Car sat for week as I feared starting it. Neighbor/landlord said he would look at it but when I explained what happened he kept saying pothole had nothing to do with it - a coincidence! I was angry that he didn't listen to me about the impact felt/heard. After many weeks, I grew impatient at his lack of concern so I started car and actually saw the edge of serpentine belt flailing. Did i heed? no. figured car running so I surely could make it to mechanic a mile away. car gargled the entire time and literally 1/4 blk from mechanic, it just died - battery light came on first but as I literally coasted in, the rest of lights came on....

Now Im wondering if crank shaft pulley was damaged....the mechanic pulled off timing cover from top and saw intact so next he pulled cover off top (valve cover??) and learned no compression. So not what you mentioned crank shaft pulley, would those symptoms be indicative of crank shaft pulley? what are signs/symptoms? Its weird you mentioned that because the one recent issue I had shortly before pothole was air compressor blew hot air only after a rather long drive on interstate - something I did very rarely. I drove a few times to local grocer store and blew hot. Drove her to mechanic but suddenly blew cold air until pothole (maybe 3-4 weeks)....
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

correction: mechanic took off cover of timing belt and saw intact. He called to tell me he couldn't start car but obviously managed to get started cuz he then called and said I need new engine as no compression. It wasn't til I had car towed back home when another neighbor guy actually listened to what happened with pothole and actually the only person who lifted car and found strips of serpentine belt caught in lower gear attached to engine that timing gear worked with....he yanked it all out and told me to buy a timing tensioner-he couldn't get it installed so called another guy without me knowing who towed the car to a place I had no idea where and god knows whether he installed it properly with proper timing placement..I warned the experienced mechanic about that...now I wonder if it does have crank pulley damage and if this experienced mechanic would know before just starting up the car?

Also, so you are saying the oil pump could actually be replaced without digging into the 3.5L honda engine? Sorry for so many questions....opened up a whole new world to me....TYTYTY
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaAnnGram View Post
Awe California...couldn't be any further unless you were in Alaska! I just read your comments on crank shaft pulley...so after the pothole...the car drove fine til I stopped at traffic light 6 blocks away...at that point the car started gargling and sounded like someone tossing bolts into engine. I should have stopped immediately but....like every idiot you probably see on here, I figured it was nothing serious (never make that mistake again). Proceeded home....made it home about 2 miles. Car sat for week as I feared starting it. Neighbor/landlord said he would look at it but when I explained what happened he kept saying pothole had nothing to do with it - a coincidence! I was angry that he didn't listen to me about the impact felt/heard. After many weeks, I grew impatient at his lack of concern so I started car and actually saw the edge of serpentine belt flailing. Did i heed? no. figured car running so I surely could make it to mechanic a mile away. car gargled the entire time and literally 1/4 blk from mechanic, it just died - battery light came on first but as I literally coasted in, the rest of lights came on....
If while driving the VUE to the mechanic you did not see the Oil Pressure warning lamp illuminate, then oil pressure was okay. The loss of compression was the reason why the engine quit. We all learn things from our automotive experiences and some we learn the hard way...oh well... I've done things wrong also.

The sound of "bolts being tossed into the engine" was, in all likelihood, the impact of the valves and pistons contacting each other. At this point there was already a loss of compression, but not all of it. While driving to the mechanic I suspect that you were noticing a gradual loss of power before the engine simply quit. This was the end result of the valves becoming bent to the point that it resulted in the loss of all remaining compression.

Quote:
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Now Im wondering if crank shaft pulley was damaged....the mechanic pulled off timing cover from top and saw intact so next he pulled cover off top (valve cover??) and learned no compression. So not what you mentioned crank shaft pulley, would those symptoms be indicative of crank shaft pulley? what are signs/symptoms?
A damaged pulley would - minimally - be out of round and would chew up the serpentine belt in very short order. Beyond that, your mechanic should simply give it a good visual inspection and replace it if he has a doubt as to its condition. I have nothing more to add on that subject. Any other questions about what may happen with a bad crankshaft pulley should be directed toward the mechanic.

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Its weird you mentioned that because the one recent issue I had shortly before pothole was air compressor blew hot air only after a rather long drive on interstate - something I did very rarely. I drove a few times to local grocer store and blew hot. Drove her to mechanic but suddenly blew cold air until pothole (maybe 3-4 weeks)....
The air conditioner issue is not related to the engine repair concern. I'd just recommend having it inspected by a qualified mechanic who does a/c work.
...
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

The pictures of the cylinder heads after the repair look very good! It reminds me of what I used to see when our store's machinist competed his cylinder head repair work. (RIP, Chuck. You're not forgotten!)
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...He also showed me new bolts; old pistons (which I couldn't tell they were bent but glad to know all new anyway); gaskets; water pump & other parts I couldn't identify.
I think that you meant valves. The piston's top surfaces would still be visible while the cylinder heads are off of the engine, but nothing more can be seen of them unless one fully removes them from the block. At that point one is going towards a rebuild or replacement of the engine.

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Who knew mechanics need to know more than an actual hospital surgeon? My god, I think I could put together a body before ever attempting an engine! Where are you? Trying to learn how to navigate my way around here...it ain't easy being a dumb blonde! I love the emojis...I could just post those all day long and be happy! Have a great weekend!
I appreciate the self-deprecating humor - I'm all for it! It is true that mechanics must know a great deal about how things are moving within an engine, and how to make sure it will keep moving aright after it's all been apart and put back together again. A good mechanic is worth what he earns and then some!
...
350K miles - Holy canolli!
Biden/Harris predictions, '21 -'25: weak economy; weakened military; increased terrorism; an emboldened RED CHINA. I fear that I will be correct. I'd rather be wrong.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

I would just replace bent valves. Throw heads back on.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Pot Hole can actually ruin a Saturn Vue Engine. Who knew?

Thanks very much for responses! I brought to attention the crank pulley as the way you explained it made great sense. He's a very patient mechanic as I am no doubt driving him insane. I think the reason the 1st guy, my neighbor, suspected tensioner is because the serpentine belt was caught in the lower gear of engine that timing belt turns....and exactly how you described my driving to mechanic is exactly what happened...i did not see oil pump light - battery first then the rest of lights....sigh....i can only hope oil pump wasn't affected....all this work for naught....

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge....greatly appreciated!
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Never knew saturn was so popular 4dhtrs General Saturn Discussion 21 08-21-2004 10:58 PM


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