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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an outlook yesterday and I noticed when we drove it home that the outlook rolled back when on our driveway that has a moderate incline. It still stops in park but not in drive or reverse. Has anyone else had this problem??? I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow to see what they think.
 

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The other day I picked up my daughter at a friend's house. They have a very steep driveway. When I went to back up the driveway I noticed that I had give the accelerator quite a bit of gas to keep it from rolling forward. I figure this is a rather heavy vehicle and will need a fair amount of power to get it started on a steep incline.
 

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You're supposed to set the parking brake when you park to avoid this from happening. If you don't, then you will make it hard to shift out of park when you want to go again. This happens in my Azera as well...anytime I park on an incline...I set the parking brake first, then shift into Park. From my understanding...it's much easier on your transmsission as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I posted the problem originally and talked to my local Saturn dealer and tested another outlook to see if this was normal which I was assured it was. It turns out that the outlooks, enclaves, and acadias have a flat-towable transmission which is better for fuel economy and for other various reasons I would imagine as well. It seems unsafe but I don't live where there are alot of hills so I didn't return the vehicle or anything.
 

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We bought an Enclave in September and have experienced the same roll back, both forward and reverse, on a slight grade. We got no help from the dealer nor the GM representatives, who are dismissing the issue as completely normal. we feel that the rolling back is a serious safety issue, and would like to mobilize an effort to have the manufacturer correct the design flaw with a hill side assist technology, similar to what the competitor same class cars have as standard safety features (see Lexus, Mazda)

We are interested in parties who have experienced the same problem...
 

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My 2008 XE does this. The effect is like going from Neutral to Drive or Reverse in a manual transmission. Very scary in my opinion.
 

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I don't really understand why someone would consider this to be a design flaw or safety issue, if the vehicle is in park it doesn't move correct? You would expect the car to move on a flat surface when not in park and not having you foot on the brake so how is a hill any different? Sounds more like a user error if you have your vehicle on a hill and it start rolling backwards because you either don't have a brake on or aren't pressing on an accelerator. This would be an issue for everyone with a manual transmission, so should all manual transmissions be banned because they are not safe?
 

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Except most cars don't operate this way. The idle speed on an automatic is enough to pull the car in reverse, weather the accelerator is pressed or not. It should not, roll forward.
 

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Reading this thread made me curious so I went out today and tested my Outlook XR FWD.
I found the steepest hill I could find drove half way up and stopped.....took my foot of the brake and I slowly began rolling backwards....and continued to roll until I applied the brake. I had to find a steep hill because when I tried it on a flat road or on a slight incline, it rolled forward as I would expect.
I guess someone on this site (or maybe the sister site Acadia) called it correctly when they said the idle speed is set such that if you are on a flat road or on a slight incline the car will move forward like most people who drive automatics are use to. However if the incline is high enough the force of gravity on this heavy vehicle applys more force than the set idle does thus you roll backwards...
Personally, it's not a problem for me.... if this is the required transmission tuning that it takes to get better gas mileage.
Key1
 

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This will happen to every automatic, it is just a matter of combination between hill incline and weight of the vehicle. Heavier the vehicle is, easier to roll at idle while on hill, for Outlook with it's 2.5 tons this means rolling on not that steep hill.
I've experienced this not in one or two cars (other brands), I consider this normal.

About safety/design flaws ditto what akpeper says couple of posts above.
 

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I found this to be common in many brands with an automatic
transmission. Our 2000 Dodge Durango did this, Our 2001 Honda Accord did this,
and my 98 Plymouth Grand Voyager did this also. Having the idle fast enough to
hold you from drifting back on an incline is actually hard on a transmission, it
keeps the torque converter engaged. That is what brakes are for.
Regards Big O :)
 

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This behavior is how the torque converter is designed - the "liquid coupling" between the engine and transmission.

The torque converter (TC) is like two fans pointed at each other. One fan is connected ot the engine and when spun fast enough, it turns the other fan connected to the transmission. Instead of these fans moving air, they're moving transmission fluid. The movement of the fluid creates heat - the biggest killer of transmissions and TC. By having a 'loose' TC at idle, the movement of fluid is at a minimum which keeps the temperature down as well as wear on braking components (slowing down to a stop takes less braking power if the engine isn't trying to keep pushing the vehicle forward. Fuel mileage also increases while driving in town because the vehicle coasts better - the speed isn't as affected by the rpm of the engine (in city driving).

I noticed this behavior immediately when my wife and I test drove the Outlook, it just takes a little getting used to.
 

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We have a 2009 Outlook XR (FWD) and have been towing for years with our former minivans (several Pontiac Montana's) and prior to that a Toyota 4Runner (RWD). As an example, our 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6 did not experience this problem under typical driving conditions, but it would experience the problem if we were towing. The added weight (of a trailer) combined with the road conditions has this effect. Thus a much heavier vehicle than what you otherwise have driven previously will likely exhibit this same behaviour.

I've driven both standard and automatic vehicles and live by the fact that if you remove your foot from the brake pedal - you should be ready for the fact that the vehicle can and may roll. Drivers that operate a vehicle with a manual transmission expect this rolling behaviour to occur and in fact 'play' with the pedals to hold their vehicle position. Drivers with automatic transmissions may not necessarily expect it, nor be used to it... but they should at a minimum be aware that it can happen! Just keep your foot on the brake until you're ready to go.

Once you move off the brake pedal and make slight use of the accelerator pedal, your Outlook will "hold" its position, much like how someone driving a manual transmission vehicle would "hold" their vehicle at a traffic light on a slight grade.

Regards,
/BTV
 

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BigTallV said:
We have a 2009 Outlook XR (FWD) and have been towing for years with our former minivans (several Pontiac Montana's) and prior to that a Toyota 4Runner (RWD). As an example, our 2005 Pontiac Montana SV6 did not experience this problem under typical driving conditions, but it would experience the problem if we were towing. The added weight (of a trailer) combined with the road conditions has this effect. Thus a much heavier vehicle than what you otherwise have driven previously will likely exhibit this same behaviour.

I've driven both standard and automatic vehicles and live by the fact that if you remove your foot from the brake pedal - you should be ready for the fact that the vehicle can and may roll. Drivers that operate a vehicle with a manual transmission expect this rolling behaviour to occur and in fact 'play' with the pedals to hold their vehicle position. Drivers with automatic transmissions may not necessarily expect it, nor be used to it... but they should at a minimum be aware that it can happen! Just keep your foot on the brake until you're ready to go.

Once you move off the brake pedal and make slight use of the accelerator pedal, your Outlook will "hold" its position, much like how someone driving a manual transmission vehicle would "hold" their vehicle at a traffic light on a slight grade.

Regards,
/BTV
I've got a 2009 Outlook XR and I have run into this same thing. I'm normally driving a manual transmission car so I am used to some roll and 'play' with the clutch/gas as you describe to keep it to a minimum.

On the Outlook this kind of thing happening is a bit unsettling as it happens when you least expect it. Usually it happens on an incline when switching from reverse to drive (say parallel parking) and there's always some roll.

Sometimes on steep hills, you have to give it a lot more gas than you would expect to get the TC to engage and it's hard to get it just right; too little and you roll backwards, too much and it kicks in and launches you forward.

Perhaps the stall is set too high in the TC?
 

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Any car/truck I have ever owned - standard or auto - has done this. Don't want it to happen? Engauge the emergency brake before removing your foot from the brake pedal, I was taught to do this in any vehicle when parking on an incline.
 

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I avoid this from happening by using two feet. Keep the left foot on the brake, and with the right foot, give it just a little gas, then when you let off the brake, it won't roll. I also use this in traffic, at a stoplight, when the vehicles in front of me don't get moving very fast. If I just move from the brake to the gas with one foot, it will take too much pedal to keep from rolling back, or keep from not moving at all, which is not what I'm used to, all other automatics I've had creeped forward without pushing on the gas, but with the Enclave I have to push the gas, or it will just sit, in most cases. Also, I think it's a good idea to either apply the parking brake on small to medium grades, or slowly release the brake after putting in park, don't let it just roll and catch hard in park, not sure if this could damage something. Keep trying different things till you are comfortable to how the vehicle reacts, it's nothing wrong with it, just different.s
 

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I have noticed it and do find it annoying. I also have a 2003 VUE and have not noticed this in that auto. This rollback seems to be excessive in my opinion. :
 

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09Enclave said:
I avoid this from happening by using two feet. Keep the left foot on the brake, and with the right foot, give it just a little gas, then when you let off the brake, it won't roll. I also use this in traffic, at a stoplight, when the vehicles in front of me don't get moving very fast. If I just move from the brake to the gas with one foot, it will take too much pedal to keep from rolling back, or keep from not moving at all, which is not what I'm used to, all other automatics I've had creeped forward without pushing on the gas, but with the Enclave I have to push the gas, or it will just sit, in most cases. Also, I think it's a good idea to either apply the parking brake on small to medium grades, or slowly release the brake after putting in park, don't let it just roll and catch hard in park, not sure if this could damage something. Keep trying different things till you are comfortable to how the vehicle reacts, it's nothing wrong with it, just different.s
Catching the tranny hard into "Park" could certainly cause damage to the parking pawl in the transmission. Correct parking procedure is to apply brakes with right foot, then while brakes are applied - engage parking brake firmly with left foot, then ease off from the brake pedal and shift vehicle into park. This ensures that your parking brake is engaged correctly (i.e. firmly) and is holding the vehicle as opposed to the transmission taking the weight/pressure on the parking pawl.

Out of curiosity, were your other vehicles (that "creeped forward" when idling off the brake pedal) as large/heavy as the Outlook? This could be a factor in the equation.

Regards,
/BTV
 

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BigTallV said:
Catching the tranny hard into "Park" could certainly cause damage to the parking pawl in the transmission. Correct parking procedure is to apply brakes with right foot, then while brakes are applied - engage parking brake firmly with left foot, then ease off from the brake pedal and shift vehicle into park. This ensures that your parking brake is engaged correctly (i.e. firmly) and is holding the vehicle as opposed to the transmission taking the weight/pressure on the parking pawl.

Out of curiosity, were your other vehicles (that "creeped forward" when idling off the brake pedal) as large/heavy as the Outlook? This could be a factor in the equation.

Regards,
/BTV
No, all have been cars except one Silverado pick-up, but that had a V8, and was very light in the back end with no cargo, so not really a fair comparison. What worried me was when my wife was driving (the Enclave) the other day, and we pulled into a parking spot that had an incline backwards, she just put in park, and took her foot completely off the brake, and we rolled back a little, and it caught abruptly. That's what I don't think is good on it. Told her to ease off the brake next time. :nono:
 

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09Enclave said:
No, all have been cars except one Silverado pick-up, but that had a V8, and was very light in the back end with no cargo, so not really a fair comparison. What worried me was when my wife was driving (the Enclave) the other day, and we pulled into a parking spot that had an incline backwards, she just put in park, and took her foot completely off the brake, and we rolled back a little, and it caught abruptly. That's what I don't think is good on it. Told her to ease off the brake next time. :nono:
Admittedly the odd time this has happened to me as well. Not a big deal. But obviously don't want to make a habit of it either.
 
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