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I own a 2007 Saturn Outlook XR AWD with 61K miles. I recently had it at my local authorized GM Service Center to replace a leaking water pump, power steering gear (2nd time for this vehicle), apply a software update to fix the NAV “MAP DVD Read Error” (didn’t work), and have the Transmission Control Module (TCM) updated per TSB 08-07-30-022A. Also at this visit, recall 10287 “Premature Timing Chain Wear – Reprogram ECM” was performed.

Driving away from the service center, the lower gear shifting due to the TCM update was immediately obvious and a huge improvement. At light (normal) acceleration in lower gears, pedal response was crisp and peppy with the shift points now at higher speeds and no feeling of double shifting or slipping due to the Torque Converter when it shifted into 2nd and 3rd. Going onto the freeway onramp and giving it the gas, the lag/hesitation in 3rd or 4th (depending on speed) was much reduced to an acceptable level. I was very pleased I had it done!

Later that day on our spring break trip, approx. 200 miles after picking up the vehicle from the service center, we were traveling on the interstate at approx. 70 MPH and the vehicle lost full drive power to the wheels and went into some type of limp mode. It felt as though you were pressing both the gas and brake pedals at the same time, but the brake pedal was winning (even though the brake pedal wasn’t being touched). The DIC displayed a message about reduced engine power (something to that effect, there was a lot going on to remember exactly what it said) and the check engine light came on. Fortunately, I was able to safely get the car to the rightmost lane, then shoulder and to the next exit. At the exit, I stopped and tried to put the transmission into low “L” mode, but it wouldn’t go. I turned the car off, checked underneath for leaking fluids, waited a few minutes and then started it up. The “L” mode was now working again, as well as the normal drive “D” mode. We drove to a somewhat nearby Auto Zone (thanks Garmin, as our GM NAV doesn’t work) and they ran the codes P0700 and P0741. The printout noted the codes for GM as P0700 = “Transmission control module (TCM) requested mil illumination” and P0741 = “TCC stuck off”. Since we were in the middle of nowhere on a Friday evening and it now seemed to be running OK, except that the low speed shifting felt like it was back to its sluggish pre- “TSB 08-07-30-022A” behavior, we continued on our trip without further incident.

The next day, the check engine light turned off by itself, but the low gear shifting remained sluggish (and still does). It feels like the Torque Converter is back in play during 2nd and 3rd shifting, even though the shift points are approximate to the new calibration speeds noted in the TSB. We returned from our trip and brought it back to the service center. They had the vehicle for several days but could not find anything wrong. As the report states, “performed transmission system diag., no DTC’s, fluid full and in good condition, reviewed freeze frame failure records & found nothing, test drove and contacted [GM] assist for other cases and no other cases found, could not duplicate concern.” I was told they dropped the tranny pan to ensure nothing unusual (vehicle also had “3-5- Reverse Clutch Plate Replacement” at 57K mi).

Regarding the loss of drive power… Has anyone else had a similar experience with code P0741 or similar loss of power to the wheels? If so, was it resolved, how, and what were the findings? As I hope you can imagine, we are now leery about travelling with this for fear it will happen again.

Regarding the TCM update… After having the update as noted, has anyone else experienced the transmission feeling like it reverted back to its old sluggish ways in low gears even though the shift points seem to be per the TSB? If so, was it resolved, how, and what were the findings?

Also, the TSB for the TCM update gives a labor code for warranty repair. Does anyone know for certain what part of the warranty applies to this? Is it only the 3yr/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, or is it covered under either the 5yr/100,000 mile Powertrain or 8yr/80,000 mile Emissions Control System (the TCM and ECM are listed as emissions items in warranty book)? I’m asking this because I was charged $100 by my service center to have the TCM updated with this TSB (they were also going to charge me for the water pump until I pointed out that it is specifically noted in the Powertrain warranty). I called GM Customer Assistance and the person I spoke with was of no help. I gave the CA the TSB # and GM Document ID (2177083), and they had no knowledge of it. The CA then just called my service center to find out if it was covered and reported back to me that the service center said it wasn’t. Wow!

I’d greatly appreciate information from anyone that has had similar experience and any findings or resolutions!
 

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Mr. T,

I have read your post about your visit to the dealership with your 2007 Saturn Outlook. I completely understand the frustration that you have expressed in your post.

To address your statement about the agent that didn’t know the information about the TSB information that you provided him/her; we are unable to provide information about TSBs. This information is for the techs at the dealerships. It is up to their transgression to provide this information to you, the customer. Since we are not certified technicians, the guidelines for the Customer Assistance Agents, do not allow them to provide this information to the general public. I apologize for this inconvenience.

During any point in your conversation with the customer assistance agent, did he/she provide you with a case number?

When you took your vehicle back to the dealership did you request to take the tech or advisor out for a ride with you so that you could show them what was going on? If this was not done, this is a viable option for you.

You can also take your Saturn to another dealership for a second opinion and a clearer understanding of the parts that are covered under the warranty. The dealerships have all the specific information about what is covered under each warranty.

I look forward to reading your responses to my questions. This will allow me to know which I avenue that I need to take to further research your situation.

Sincerely,
Michelle P., GM Customer Service
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Michelle P.,

You have misinterpreted my post. My frustration is not with my dealership! To date I have had great service and support from them.

Any frustration I have right now is for the lack of knowledge/assistance I thought I could receive from GM Customer Assistance, and of course with the issues with my Outlook. My call to GM Customer Assistance was to clarify what part of the warranty applies to the specific work that was done, nothing more. This is nothing that a Tech at the dealership should be concerned with. Nothing of a technical nature was asked of the CA. My mistake for thinking that calling the Customer Assistance Center listed in my warranty book, with what I felt was a simple warranty related question would yield such results. Yes, I was given a case number. However, I'm not interested in providing that (you will ask) as it has already become a muddled mess.

Regarding the TCM update and perceived change in low gear shifting... At the suggestion of my Service Advisor, I did stop at my dealership yesterday (04/11) after posting and the lead tech rode with me with his OBDII scanner connected. The data on the scanner showed that the torque converter was in fact active in 2nd and 3rd gear shifting. He is going to research why this has happened and a resolution. I’ve scheduled an appointment next week to bring the car in to have this taken care of. For others that may have the same issue, I will post any findings as appropriate.

Regards,

Mr. T
 

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Mr. T,

I apologize for my confusion. I was not implying that you were having a bad experience with your dealership, but providing you with other options that are open for you to explore. It is awesome to read about people that have great dealerships to take care of their vehicle needs.

I was only providing you with the information as to why we are unable to provide customers with TSB information.

Once again, I apologize for offending you.

Michelle P., GM Customer Service
 

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Mr. T said:
I own a 2007 Saturn Outlook XR AWD with 61K miles.
...
Also, the TSB for the TCM update gives a labor code for warranty repair. Does anyone know for certain what part of the warranty applies to this? Is it only the 3yr/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, or is it covered under either the 5yr/100,000 mile Powertrain or 8yr/80,000 mile Emissions Control System (the TCM and ECM are listed as emissions items in warranty book)? I’m asking this because I was charged $100 by my service center to have the TCM updated with this TSB (they were also going to charge me for the water pump until I pointed out that it is specifically noted in the Powertrain warranty). I called GM Customer Assistance and the person I spoke with was of no help. I gave the CA the TSB # and GM Document ID (2177083), and they had no knowledge of it. The CA then just called my service center to find out if it was covered and reported back to me that the service center said it wasn’t. Wow!

I’d greatly appreciate information from anyone that has had similar experience and any findings or resolutions!
Mr. T.,

The TCM reprogram isn't a 'recall' per se and is more of a drive quality issue. Reprogramming the TCM to solve shift behaviour isn't really a powertrain warranty item unless the TCM itself was failing. The powertrain in essence isn't broke, the transmission just shifts at a point you'd rather it wouldn't. So I could understand why they would charge the $100 fee for hooking up their TECH II and flash upgrading the TCM. If your vehicle was within the B2B factory warranty, GM would cover loading in the latest calibration as part of the factory warranty. The powertrain warranty is only going to cover *failures* of powertrain components. A good example of this is the torque converter issue you encounter, of itself - that may be one such item covered by powertrain warranty. Having the transmission recalibrated to alter shift points however likely won't be covered by warranty no matter how the component is categorized.

I've worked through the customer assistance process (not in relation to my Outlook), and though at certain points was incredibly frustrating to me - ultimately in my case I came out ahead. Though probably difficult, staying calm and working with the non-tech person at the other end is part of the drill. They are your proxy with GM, the Service Manager at the dealership and the District Manager.

Certainly opening a case with GM and articulating your concerns with the customer assistance agent may yield some results. Maybe they will 'goodwill' a portion of the repairs. But that's something that's up to the Service Manager and District Manager to sort out if your past the factory warranty, not for the CA agent.

Hopefully your issues get resolved. Thanks for the great info on having the trans recalibrated based on the TSB. I have been considering getting this done and was hesitant to do so for fear of not liking the result (there's no going back once you've upgraded to a newer TCM calibration).

Regards,
/BTV
 

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Hi,
Took my 07 Outlook in for same transmission power shifting issue, they did the new oil life recall issue and said this update of the ECM took care of this also. I have only driven it a little and am not sure I see a difference yet. Does anyone know - Is the Engine control module (ECM) the same as the Transmission control module (TCM) or does flashing/updating one update the other? If so an awful oot of people will get the transmission shifting update if they don't already have it. By the way I have majorgaurd extended warranty and they were not going to pay for this, but the recall gave them reason to update the ECM for free.
 

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The TCM and ECM are two separate modules; updating one doesn't update the other. Also realize the ECM update is not a recall; see BigTallV's response above
 

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mr said:
Hi,
Took my 07 Outlook in for same transmission power shifting issue, they did the new oil life recall issue and said this update of the ECM took care of this also. I have only driven it a little and am not sure I see a difference yet. Does anyone know - Is the Engine control module (ECM) the same as the Transmission control module (TCM) or does flashing/updating one update the other? If so an awful oot of people will get the transmission shifting update if they don't already have it. By the way I have majorgaurd extended warranty and they were not going to pay for this, but the recall gave them reason to update the ECM for free.
Reprogramming/flash updating is done via the under-dash port using a TECH II. This tool is capable of upgrading the Engine, Transmission and also Body control modules. These modules are connected by a high speed bus (LAN). Much like an upgrade to the operating system of your computer, there may be certain 'dependancies' or requirements. But the tool and the method to upgrade is relatively the same for each of the modules.

Dealers will usually charge $100 labour for hooking up a TECH II and flash upgrading a module. If it's covered under a TSB or recall, then makes sense that any other update could be applied at that time without additional charges as the labour involved is already absorbed/covered.
 

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Dear mr.

Thank you for posting your experience and questions on the forum. I see that AA/78U has provided you with the information that you were looking for. There are many members on this forum that have great information to share.

Michelle P., GM Customer Service
 
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