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transmission hunting for gears

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2008 - 2013 Saturn VUE
JDBrown

Our 2008 Saturn vue AWD automatic trany acts up when cold. About 30 mph it starts hunting for gears, downshifts way too soon, tac quits and slippery road symbol comes on. Then when it has run for 20-30 miles, and I shut off the engine and restart it, it will reset and be fine. There is an oil smell from time to time as well. Any ideas? I did read that the 06 and 07 years responded positively to changing the transmission fluid.

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Response from Member5455

11:57 am June 5, 2017

That is a very strange problem. Thankfully, mine has had no such issue. The 2008 is a complete redesign and has very little in common with the 06 and 07 models. If you have the six-speed automatic transmission, there is a manufacturing defect in a part called the 3-5-R waveplate which can cause the transmission to fail completely. I am not sure if that is what is happening here, but if a dealer diagnoses the problem as resulting from the 3-5-R waveplate, there is a special 10-year warranty that GM issued on this transmission and GM will pay to fix or replace it. See this page for more details:

https://gm.oemdtc.com/1870/14404-transmission-clutch-wave-plate-2007-2009-buick-chevrolet-gmc-pontiac-saturn

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