Is it normal for a Torque Converter to konk out on a 2 year old car with 45000 miles on it?



Our '05 Saturn Vue V6 AWD has a busted Torque Converter&front left Brake Caliper.Saturn is hinting these are normal problems&we should foot the bill. I feel shelling out a grand for repairs for a 2 yr old car is obscene! Anyone?


Saturns should have a powertrain warranty longer than 2 years. The dealer should fix it.

And no, it’s not normal.


No that is absolutely not within the normal range of miles for a torque converter to die. But, then again, it is also not within the normal range of miles for a powertrain warranty to be expired at only 45k/2 years.

I would suggest re-reading (or perhaps reading for the first time) the details of your various warranties. Unless GM has really cheaped out on their warranty coverage, I would think that you should be fully covered for this repair.


when we purchased the car it had a 3 year, 36000 warranty… saturn has changed things since to 100000 but will not cover our problem under warranty. latest is they will pay 100% for repair of torque converter but want us to pay 50% of tow!!! Which is over $200 since we had it towed, at Saturn’s request, to the nearest dealer…


Thanks… we agree… after a week of battling it out - Saturn is now going to pay for the torque converter and they have changed their powertrain warranty since 2007 i think, to 5 yrs/100K but it seems we are out of luck on that. Saturn is also asking we pay for half of the towing cost - over $200 since they had us tow it to the nearest dealership… even though they are paying for the repair! We also are left with a faulty left front brake caliper which we have to pay for!


Without knowing the history of the car, it’s hard to fault them for not paying the caliper cost.

But here’s my view: the torque converter failed prematurely and they’re covering that under warranty. That’s not normal OR your fault, and covering it under warranty is a pretty blatant admission of that. Had the torque converter not failed, you’d never have had it towed in. Those costs stem from the same issue which -it seems to me- is their burden.


Thanks, yes, as far as the tow and the torque converter my husband and I are beside ourselves. Saturn absolutely refuses to pay for 100% of the tow - the 50% they will pay is over $200 and Saturn has told me I cannot talk to a supervisor - my request was “denied”… and I have to write to Saturn for any further help. We are never doing business with them again. And getting rid of the car asap.


Seems I heard somewhere that he 05 Vue with a v6 had a Honda engine and transmission, and that is not normal for a Honda. Disc brake calipers don’t usually go out this soon either. You got unlucky with your Saturn.

When you bought this vehicle, it had a 3 year 36k mile warrantee, which ever comes first, not last. You are lucky that Saturn is paying for the torque converter. BTW, you don’t have a teen aged driver do you?


The warranty that was in effect when you purchased your vehicle is still in effect. They can’t change the warranty after you purchase a car. The dealer is BSing you. Don’t let them get away with it.

I’m not familiar with Saturn warranties, but I suggest you read the documentation that cam with the vehicle CAREFULLY and see what’s covered and what is not.

Good luck!


Ours has a 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty. All 2007 and newer Saturns have a 5 yr, 100,000 mile warranty. Saturn must recognize that the torque converter should not have failed at 45000 miles and they are going to pay for it 100%. Although we had the car in several times in prior and the dealer could find no problems when it was under warranty. From the nightmares I have heard, I guess getting stuck with an $800 bill for brake job, brake caliper and half of a $400 tow bill is better than the $2500 we were looking at…


Considering the Torque Converter should not have failed at 45000 - and how long it has taken for Saturn to take responsibility to pay for that - we are happy they are paying for the Torque Converter. We are unhappy to pay for 1/2 the tow cost… considering we would not have had to tow our 2 year old car if it weren’t defective. We do not have a teenage driver - we drive safely with our 2 year old… too bad our Saturn is a lemon and I am afraid to drive it anymore.


In the past 35+ years of owning cars and fixing them…I’ve NEVER seen a broken torque converter…EVER…Even on cars with OVER 400k miles. So I’d say it’s NOT normal.


You KNEW the warranty was only 3yrs/36000 miles when you bought the car. Saturn(GM) is doing goodwill fixing this out of warranty.

Quit whining while your ahead and pay the meager $100 for a tow.

Anything can fail at anytime on any car. Thankfully most of the time it does not happen.


if it were just $100 we’d have no problem… it’s over $200 for our half of the tow… which we would not havee had to take care of if the torque converter AND brake caliper were not shot. My parents have a Toyota and the engine was defective - much farther than 3 years old and after warranty - Toyota fixed it no problem, no question. Also, we have had the Vue into the dealership over and over when it was under Warranty - and Saturn did not fix the problem… that is why they are fixing it.


WOW! That is the general consensus. We will never buy another Saturn… or GM car.


Please note that the motor and trans in that car are sourced from Honda… They are not GM products.

You are getting a major repair fixed for free, under a good will policy. They would be well with in there legal rights to deny any coverage, but they are trying to do the right thing. They are doing this for many reasons, but primarilly to keep you as a cust in the future.

Many other companies would have told you, that you are out of luck. They are standing behind there products and just asking for you pay a few hundred $$$.

I think over all you are being taken care of very well, and although you have every right to be upset about these problems at this time you need to see the big picture.

Think about it what would your other choice have been?? Tow it to a local garage, and have them fix it… I guarantee you would have paid A LOT more in this case.


true, the engine is honda made… but it’s a saturn/gm car… they have not stood behind their product. they tried to blame us for the problems despite the car being to the dealer SEVERAL TIMES… before the parts finally konked out!


The factory is only obligated to repair a legitimate warranty problem for the terms specified when the vehicle was new.
If it was 3/36 then that is what you’re entitled to; no more.

If they are repairing it outside of that time/mileage frame then they’re good-willing it and yet you still whine about it.

It is not normal for a torque converter to fail in 45k miles but like any production item, even pop-up toasters, there are going to be a few.

You even state you have a “busted” brake caliper, which can mean anything.
So I’ll ask since no one else has.
Define this “busted” word. Worn out brake pads, frozen caliper, what?
Anybody been looking at or servicing the brakes?
There’s more to this story than you’re telling.

Good Lord. GM is good willing a major repair on an out of warranty vehicle and yet you bad mouth the entire company.
Your attitude is really beyond asinine. No problems with Honda Motor Co., huh?
Stick a GM badge on the trunk lid and the torque converter is instant junk. Jeez.


They are not blaming you for the problems due to that it is out of warranty they are doing it as good will to repair it and cover most of the cost. Would you expect lets say that your TV manufacture that has a 90 day warranty on it cover it when it breaks @ 1year NO they would tell that the warranty is 90days not 1 year. As a small business owner that does repairs and I work closely with my GM dealer They will sometimes do a repair that is out of warranty as a courtesy however somethings are just out of anyones control. I do business with many manufactures and suppliers and if and when I get a product that fails after the warranty period that is beyond there control. YOU bought the vehicle on your choice so it is not there fault that you decided to buy a Saturn. Yes its cheap but remember you get what you pay for! I for one am true to the GM following except for the GEO, and Saturn and anything that isn’t 100% by GM which is why I don’t drive the new cars.


I would also like to know a few more things about the converter problem, assuming the converter diagnosis is even correct.

CEL on or not, what are the symptoms, any history of fluid changes (and who did it), and if so, what kind of fluid (same special fluid as Honda cars??), or any transmission flushes at the Jiffy Lube, etc.

Details on this “busted” brake caliper are also still not known.