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Old 12-05-2018, 10:52 AM   #1
DaveK1951
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advice/opinions wanted on possible purchase of 2003 VUE

I'm looking at the possible purchase of a 2003 Saturn VUE 4 cylinder with MANUAL transmission. I plan on taking it to a repair shop for a pre-purchase inspection. I have read online about some of the problems encountered with these cars (i.e. head gasket leaking oil). This is to replace a 1996 Chevy Lumina totaled by a hit and run driver. I don't do any long distance driving anymore and want something reliable and efficient to operate.

It seems online reviews from VUE owners is 50% hate them, 50% love them.

What possible problems can I run into with this vehicle in terms of repairs that would be expensive to fix? Is this a car I should stay away from?
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:23 PM   #2
Blue Bowtie
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Re: advice/opinions wanted on possible purchase of 2003 VUE

The manual trans will be a major benefit over a CVT. The rest is fairly straightforward. There are no major deficiencies with the general design of a Vue. It is a different vehicle from a W body, with a short wheelbase and higher CG, but if you can adjust to that there is nothing generally wrong with the design.

A couple of oddities I've experienced with the Vue are the aftermarket brake parts can have fitment issues, particularly with the rotor/caliper positions.

The front stabilizer links are a unique design and subject to wear. It's not a major task to replace them, but they seem to fail often. Good quality replacement parts can resolve that.

The front door interior trim is quite thick and heavy, and if the doors are slammed, the lower edge can jar loose. The position they take at that point can cause them to drag and bind on the threshold, making them difficult or impossible to open. The note here is to NOT slam the doors. I've seen several with very long sheet metal screws and trim washers added to the lower trim as a permanent "fix" to that potential problem.

Again, nothing major or drastically wrong with the design, and having a manual is a big benefit over either of the auto transmissions.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:47 AM   #3
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Re: advice/opinions wanted on possible purchase of 2003 VUE

Blue Bowtie, thank you for your response. If I end up purchasing the VUE is there any work you think I should have done pre-emptively to ward off any future possible engine failures? I found this at another website:


http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=234013


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