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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

Been a lurker here since 2007, and I really appreciate all of the great information. The employee pricing promotion finally made me take the plunge and buy an ’08 Outlook XE two weeks ago. We absolutely love the vehicle EXCEPT for an intermittent annoying minor vibration in the pedals and steering wheel that comes and goes at idle and at RPMs primarily in the 1400 – 1800 range. Sometimes it is silky smooth, but it is usually noticeable. Sometimes you can turn the steering wheel slightly at idle and it feels more pronounced.

We bought the car from a dealer 200 miles away (it was his last ’08) since it was the closest one with the options we wanted. I took it to our local dealer yesterday and they could feel the vibration. The Service Manager says he has seen this on a couple of other Outlooks and thinks it the source may be the power steering pump or cavitation in the P/S hoses. He said he has been unable to fix this in the past with replacement power steering pumps and even a steering column replacement. He brought around another XE that had similar but less noticeable vibration. His recommendation was to wait and see if GM would release a TSB on this.

I’ve read a few threads where people have had a similar problem, but I haven’t found one yet where the problem was actually fixed. Sounds like certain unlucky Lambdas have the “right” combination of parts/tolerances that result in this problem.

My dilemma is this: do I just live with it, with the unlikely hope that GM releases a TSB to fix it, or do I exercise the Saturn 30 day vehicle exchange option and take my chances with another ‘08? We had a difficult time locating this vehicle to start with, so I’m not sure I’m ready to trade eliminating the admittedly-minor vibration for a different car with the wrong options. However, I hate to pay this much money for something that isn’t quite right (and my wife doesn’t want to hear me complain about it every time I drive!) Plus, the car had a build date of 12/07, so it sat in the dealer’s lot for about eight months, which seemed kind of strange to me. Maybe others drove it and didn’t buy because of the vibration.

So…what would you do?

Thanks,
Brent
 

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Webraven has the same problem (check out tranny reflash). It don't know if I could live with the vibration, that's seems like a risky gamble. What if they don't come up with a TSB for awhile?

I'm sorry this happened. Good luck!
 

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Get rid of it and exchange it for another vehicle. If you don't, it will drive you crazy everytime you drive it. That's not a good driving experience from a new car.
 

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JBG said:
The Service Manager says he has seen this on a couple of other Outlooks and thinks it the source may be the power steering pump or cavitation in the P/S hoses. He said he has been unable to fix this in the past with replacement power steering pumps and even a steering column replacement. He brought around another XE that had similar but less noticeable vibration. His recommendation was to wait and see if GM would release a TSB on this.
Brent,

There is a preliminary info document on bleeding the air out of the power steering system: #PIT4537A: Whine Or Moan Noise From The Power Steering - keywords air bleeding fluid gear hose pinion pump rack turn turning wheel - (Aug 28, 2008), Document ID: 2182966

You might have your dealer try this first before bailing on the vehicle if your service manager thinks its related the the power steering system.
 

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mckcab said:
Webraven has the same problem (check out tranny reflash). It don't know if I could live with the vibration, that's seems like a risky gamble. What if they don't come up with a TSB for awhile?

I'm sorry this happened. Good luck!
Web can speak for herself, but I think her vibration came at a certain speed (like 45 mph) and not a certain RPM (1400 – 1800).

I would give the dealer one chance to fix it, and if it is not perfect, drop it like a hot potato and wait for your next option.
 

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Initially the vibration only occurred while accelerating on a slight incline to 45mph. This was after the October 2007 flash. It occurred regularly. After the May 2008 flash, it was a world better. Still there on occasion, but hardly noticeable. Until this past weekend. Now it vibrates at several different speeds while accelerating and on any surface, not just a slight incline. I don't know what would have caused this to revive itself.

The vibration can be felt in the steering wheel and the gas pedal mostly, but also in the floor boards (front and rear) as well as the gearshifter. However, it goes away as soon as you let your foot off the gas pedal. From what JBG describes, it does not sound like the same issue I am having. His is perhaps more power steering related and more than likely fixable. I had the power steering issue last year, but don't recall if it caused a vibration... I just remember the excessive whine that it produced. Anyone familiar with power steering would have recognized it as a power steering whine immediately.

I say give the dealer a chance to make it right, but do it soon!
 

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Whatever you do dont keep something that you arent happy with. When you spend that kind of money you should be completely happy with it and not just reasonally happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, everyone, for the input. I called the local service manager today and requested that he get the GM Techline involved, as I would like to resolve this one way or another in the next couple of weeks while I still have the exchange option. "I'll see what we can do" was his response, so I'm not overly hopeful. Unfortunately, he doesn't have nearly as much incentive to resolve it quickly since I would have to exhange it at the other dealer 200 miles away. :(

I haven't noticed any power steering pump whine, so I my first inclination was that a motor mount could be the problem. Since there is vibration in the pedal at idle, I've ruled out wheels and drivetrain as the source.

We'll see...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update - My vehicle spent most of last week in the shop. The Area Service Rep came by and finally came to the conclusion that the only thing abnormal was vibration in one of the cooling fans. They changed this out (not an easy process, BTW), but this had absolutely no affect on the vibration. I still feel it, primarily in the gas pedal but occasionally in the steering wheel also. It almost feels like you are driving over pavement which has been milled for road construction, though not quite as severe.

Looks like my options are:
1. Live with it :(
2. Order an '09, which would cost me about $4K more (ouch!)
3. Convince the dealer to exhange for an '08 I found about 300 miles away (he's already said this is too far away, but may willing if I go get it)

I've done a lot of searching on various Lambda forums and have found several others who have what appears to be an identical problem. There's even a poll in the Enclave forum on the subject. Unfortunately, no one seems to have found a solution, or at least reported it if they did. My guess is that this is somewhat of a design deficiency that shows up more on some cars than others, since the 2009's have a revised engine mount system.
 

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I'd go with #3; as long as no additional money changes hands!
 

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This almost sounds like a tire issue.
Have them check the tires for balancing, tread damage,
etc.
 

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If I recall, WebRaven had this issue for a long time which the dealer could not locate driving her 07. She got the May 8th transmission flash and vibration went away. Correct me if I'm wrong Charlene.
 

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JBG, sorry to hear about your dilemma & thanks for the update. As mentioned your brand new CUV has been in the shop for "most of last week" and the vibration issue still not remedied. IMHO this is an issue I would not be willing
to live with.

Is option #3 a straight up exchange? Good luck on whatever you choose and please let us know the outcome.
 

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teetertotter said:
If I recall, WebRaven had this issue for a long time which the dealer could not locate driving her 07. She got the May 8th transmission flash and vibration went away. Correct me if I'm wrong Charlene.
JBG, I would also consider the "exchange". That's a good distance to go obtain a new car, but if it were offered to me, I'd spend the $50 on some public transport and go "have a new car" - leaving yours with it's troubles with the dealer. That way you have at least a 50/50 chance (or much better) of not having that issue for who knows how long.

Teeter... you're right about WebRaven. But, I'm pretty sure that she also reported that the vibration did return after a short while following the tranny flash. Charlene - correct me too if I'm reporting this incorrectly.

Smooth <><[/color]
 

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Smooth said:
teetertotter said:
If I recall, WebRaven had this issue for a long time which the dealer could not locate driving her 07. She got the May 8th transmission flash and vibration went away. Correct me if I'm wrong Charlene.
JBG, I would also consider the "exchange". That's a good distance to go obtain a new car, but if it were offered to me, I'd spend the $50 on some public transport and go "have a new car" - leaving yours with it's troubles with the dealer. That way you have at least a 50/50 chance (or much better) of not having that issue for who knows how long.

Teeter... you're right about WebRaven. But, I'm pretty sure that she also reported that the vibration did return after a short while following the tranny flash. Charlene - correct me too if I'm reporting this incorrectly.

Smooth <><[/color]
You are correct, it's back and worse than before. It's definitely not tire related. My dealer was able to duplicate the issue back when I was first experiencing it, but they chalked it up to normal operating conditions of the vehicle. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'll have to live with it. If I'm not so easy on the gas pedal, you don't feel the vibration as often. If I do go easy on the gas pedal, it can be felt around 5-10mph, 20mph, or sometimes 25mph. Again around 35ish mph and most at 45mph. These are total guesstimates as I just glance at my speedometer when I feel the vibration. I'm by no means writing this down and tracking it carefully. So those could be off a bit. Except for the 45mph, that's a definite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My problem sounds very similar to Web Raven's, and I agree that it is not tire related. It seems more pronounced when the engine is under more load (i.e., cruising along at a set speed and starting up a hill before the transmission shifts down). Let off on the gas, and it gets better. I suspect when the engine is under load that it twists slightly in the mounts and for some reason transmits more vibration. My theory is that the May '08 transmission flash might appear help the problem somewhat but only because the engine spends less time in the 1300-1800 RPM range where the vibration is the worst. However, I tend to drive the car for maximum fuel economy and don't want the flash for that reason. Neither of the dealer service departments has mentioned it, BTW.

I stopped by my local Saturn dealer yesterday, and the service manager and I went for a ride in an '08 XR. Perhaps because I am getting very sensitive to the issue, I did feel very slight gas pedal vibration at engine speeds similar to mine, however, the vibration was not nearly as pronounced and almost not noticable. It was certainly acceptable to me.

I'll probably pursue the exchange option today. It is more or less a straight up exchange since the cars have almost an identical price. I'd be exchanging the trailering package for red jewel tintcoat paint.

Thanks everyone for your input. This forum is a great resource. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I went ahead and exhanged the vehicle for one that didn't seem to vibrate as bad. It was a process that involved hundreds of miles of driving on my part, but the dealer was willing to work with me on it. In the new Outlook, I still notice some vibration in the gas pedal between 1300 and about 1600 RPM under load, and I feel it in the steering wheel as well. I still love the car but the luster has faded somewhat due to this annoying vibration. I'm really surprised that this is considered normal for this vehicle, even if it is just minor. None of my other cars vibrate like this. Of the four Outlooks I have driven, I noticed some vibration in three. I just hope that I get used to it over time. I know I'm probably overly sensitive to it right now.

FYI, the Saturn Vehicle Exchange program does actually work; however, it is supposedly only for vehicles in the dealers stock, even though it does not say this on the form. My dealer was willing to work with me to exchange for an Outlook from another dealer. The selling dealer keeps the vehicle I turned in, gets $1000 from GM, and sells it as a used vehicle since it was titled, but it is eligible for any existing new car rebates.

After going through the exchange process, I'm not sure it was worth it since it didn't completely resolve the problem to my satisfaction, but I do give Saturn a lot of credit for at least making the exchange option available. Anyway, thanks everyone for your input on this.
 

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If it is similar to what I'm experiencing, I think you will eventually adapt to it. I'm either learning to drive around it so that it doesn't vibrate as much, or I've just accepted it's there and no longer pay much attention to it. Since the tranny has a 100K warranty, I guess if it should fall out of the truck, at least it's covered. (obviously that's an exaggeration. :D )

Glad Saturn was willing to work with you to some extent.
 

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Web,

What is this?

>^..^<

Sorry for the hijack
 

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Copperhead13 said:
Web,

What is this?

>^..^<

Sorry for the hijack
It's a kitty cat. Can't you see it's little eyes, ears & whiskers? :p It really has nothing to do with anything except that I <3 cats.
 
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