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Discussion Starter #1
In late 2005 I started conducting my own reliability research. I'm reporting absolute stats like "times in the shop" that will make the differences between cars much clearer. Relative ratings obscure too much--how large is the difference between "better than average" and "worse than average"? I’ll also be updating results four times a year, so there will be information on new models sooner.

For example, TrueDelta will have the first reliability information on the Acadia and Outlook, in August. The owner/admin of this forum also owns an outstanding GMC Acadia forum, and I am very grateful for his help informing people about this research.

But our sample is still small, so more participants will help a great deal.

To encourage participation, panel members will receive full access to the results free of charge.

Details: Vehicle reliability research

Comments, questions, and suggestions welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
TrueDelta received 127 responses covering 351 months of ownership for the 2008 Enclave, Acadia, and Outlook. (The sample was about 3/4 Enclaves.) The result of 44 repairs per 100 cars is a bit better than the average for a 2008, and about half the repair rate for the 2007 Lambdas.

The survey covered through the end of 2007. Any repairs that were completed in January or February won't be included until the next update, in May. With TrueDelta's process, we'll be able to report any change in repair rates soon after it happens.

For the 2007s, we received 113 responses covering 675 months of ownership. This makes the Lambdas the first model with over 100 responses per year for multiple model years. The stat of 89 successful repair trips per 100 vehicles per year (0.9 per vehicle) is worse than average for a 2007 model.

The analysis only includes successful repairs; so those Lambdas with unfixable water leaks (just a few out of the 113 2007s and 127 2008s) did not affect the results.

The full set of results:

TrueDelta Vehicle Reliability Survey results

Others won't have reliability info on the 2008s until June or even October. TrueDelta first posted a result three months ago. Everyone who has been participating -- thanks for helping TrueDelta provide this information first, by a wide margin.

We can always use more help. You can join by following a link on the results page.
 

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We purchased a Saturn Outlook XE in April of 07. We had the dealership add a DVD player.
As of 9/07 the system has been replaced twice, and is beign worked on again as I write this.
The ysystem scratches DVD/s on load. The DVD remote control works sporadically. (Don't get dealer installed stuff)
During this visit the computer was reflashed based on a recal notice from the factory regarding rough shifting of the transmission.

The bigger issue is the trucks electrical system.

In December of 07 the battery died while sitting in the garage. The day before I had driven over 100 freeway miles. Nothign had been left on.
An apparent feature on a dead battery is that if you put the key in the ignition and try to start the vehicle, the key cannot be removed from the igniton again. It will loock in the ON position.
We called GM, it took one hour for a tow truck to arrive, and 2 hours for the poor guy to figure out how to cables long enough to jump start it. As soon as it was started the computer began pulsing error alarms for air bags, emissions, etc. Just about evfery alrm on the truck was flashing, and could not be cleared.
The car was towed to the nearest Saturn dealer. THree days later it was returned as having had a bad battery.

On Feb 15 I parked the car at Detroit Airport and retunred on the evenign of Feb 19. Guess what. DEAD.
It took a while to get the car jump started again.
I got the car home, it appeared to be cahrging the battery for the 45 mile trip home. THe next morning DEAD.
Took the car to the dealer I purchaed it from, after another jump start.
Saturn of Troy started working on the car 2/20. (The car has 10,400 miles)
So far they ahve confirmed a constant 1 amp drain on the electrical system while parked.
They have confirmed it is not the aftermarket DVD.
They have been in contact with the factory to try and isolate the problem.

On Friday 2/22/08 the dealer gave me the good news. They had determined that there were no wiring issues. I had two bad computers. They had repalced both systems and my truck was ready. (They called at 4:30 pm)
When I arrived at the dealership at 5:00pm, the Service Manager assured me my truck would be ready in a few minutes.
I sent my ride home, waited in the lobby for almost an hour. Just before they closed at 6 pm, and very upset mechanic came looking for me. Neither of the new computers are working after they turned off the truck and tried to restart it.


Atleast they got me a rental car so I could get home.

Not a happy Saturn Owner.

By the way, I talked to a Saturn Outlook and an Acadia owner at work.
They have both experienced what I call sudden battery death in the past few months.
 

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We have a 2008 Outlook that we purchased in the end of May. When I picked it up at the dealership and they went to start it for me to take it home the battery was dead. Red flag!! They jumped it and I thought nothing of it. The car wasn't even a week old and I was out and had the kids watching a DVD while the car was off (it was dealer installed). I went out to start the car 20 minutes later and the battery was dead (I never had that kind of problem with my prior SUV). I was not at home, but thank goodness my husband wasn't at work. The dealer replaced the battery. About 4 months later my husband was at work and went to come home that morning and the car wouldn't start again and he couldn't get the key out the ignition. The dealer had the car for nearly a week. At first they thought it was the DVD player and then it turned out to be a relay for the heated seats. On the way home from the dealer (it's an hour from our house) we discovered that the heated seat on the passenger side didn't work. We are not taking it back any time soon!!
When this lease is up we won't be getting another Saturn!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are certainly a few horror stories with the Outlook. When they're bad, they can be really bad--as in the dealer can't fix it. I've seen this in accounts like these and in others about water leaks.

TrueDelta has released updated Car Reliability Survey results for the Saturn Outlook and the other Lambdas. As noted three months ago, the difference between the 2007 and the 2008 has narrowed, and both are now close to the averages for those years.

We don't have enough responses for the 2009 yet for a full result, but so far the repair rate appears to be very low--so better than the 2007 and 2008. Note that the 2008 had a very low repair rate initially, though.

A big thanks to everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in May, August, and November, so additional participants would certainly be helpful.

TrueDelta now has a separate results page for each model that includes the scores of competitors for easy comparisons. The one for the Saturn Outlook:

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
 

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mkaresh said:
There are certainly a few horror stories with the Outlook. When they're bad, they can be really bad--as in the dealer can't fix it. I've seen this in accounts like these and in others about water leaks.

TrueDelta has released updated Car Reliability Survey results for the Saturn Outlook and the other Lambdas. As noted three months ago, the difference between the 2007 and the 2008 has narrowed, and both are now close to the averages for those years.

We don't have enough responses for the 2009 yet for a full result, but so far the repair rate appears to be very low--so better than the 2007 and 2008. Note that the 2008 had a very low repair rate initially, though.

A big thanks to everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in May, August, and November, so additional participants would certainly be helpful.

TrueDelta now has a separate results page for each model that includes the scores of competitors for easy comparisons. The one for the Saturn Outlook:

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
mkaresh, I do want to participate in your survey but when I click on TrueDelta's site my PC security says (High Risk leave this site immediatly). I dont think that your site is secure and do not want to risk my PC.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is news to me. What software do you use? I have some from McAfee myself that shows my site as "green."

I should chase this down an figure out what's going on. The site itself is secure, but the connection is not SSL. Maybe in the future, but we don't collect credit cards and such.
 

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mkaresh said:
This is news to me. What software do you use? I have some from McAfee myself that shows my site as "green."

I should chase this down an figure out what's going on. The site itself is secure, but the connection is not SSL. Maybe in the future, but we don't collect credit cards and such.
I have the product from my ISP which is CA security, everytime that I click on TrueDelta I get red High Risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
6Sixathome said:
I have the product from my ISP which is CA security, everytime that I click on TrueDelta I get red High Risk.
This is some exceptionally stupid software. They're saying the site is high risk if you use a proxy service to register it, which I did because godaddy recommended it and because it was free.

I contacted CA Security, and my webhost vouched for my legit identity. Has the "high risk" thing gone away?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We've updated the results for the Lambda crossovers to include owner experiences through March 2009. In terms of successful repair trips per 100 cars per year:

2009: 33, better than average, but the 2008s had a similar repair frequency this time last year

2008: 71, about average--sample size of 241, best in the survey--thanks, guys!

2007: 70, about average

A big thank you to this forum and everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in August and November. Additional participants always helpful.

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We have updated results for the Outlook and the other Lambdas based on owner experiences through the end of June. In terms of successful repair trips per 100 cars per year:

2009: 34

2008: 76

2007: 80

The 2009 is better than average so far, while the others are about average. The 2008 was also better than average a year ago, so it remains to be seen whether or not the 2009s will go down the same path.

A big thanks to this forum and everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in November and February. The more owners participate, the better the information we can provide.

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We have updated results for the Outlook and the other Lambdas based on owner experiences through the end of September. In terms of successful repair trips per 100 cars per year:

2009: 34

2008: 76

2007: 80

The 2009 is better than average so far, while the others are about average. The 2008 was also better than average a year ago, so it remains to be seen whether or not the 2009s will go down the same path.

We've also introduced two new statistics, "Nada-odds" and "Lemon-odds," to indicate the percentage of cars with no repairs in the past year and those that required 3+ trips to the repair shop.

With the Lambdas the percentage with no repairs is about 44 for the 2007, 57 for the 2008, and 77 for the 2009, and while the percentage of lemons is about 5 for the 2007 and 2008 and less than one for the 2009.

Nada-odds and Lemon-odds car reliability stats

A big thanks, once again, to this forum and everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in February and May. The more owners participate, the better the information we can provide.

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We have updated results for the Outlook and the other Lambdas based on owner experiences through December 31, 2009. In terms of repair trips per 100 cars per year:

2009: 43

2008: 76

2007: 91

The 2008 and 2009 are about average, while the 2007 has declined a bit and is now again worse than average.

We have two additional statistics, "Nada-odds" and "Lemon-odds," to indicate the percentage of cars with no repairs in the past year and those that required 3+ trips to the repair shop.

With the Lambdas the percentage with no repairs is about 40 for the 2007, 53 for the 2008, and 74 for the 2009, and while the percentage of lemons is about 3 for the 2007, 5 for the 2008, and less than one for the 2009.

Nada-odds and Lemon-odds car reliability stats

A big thanks, once again, to this forum and everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in May and August. The more owners participate, the better the information we can provide.

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We have updated results for the Lambdas based on owner experiences through March 31, 2010*. In terms of repair trips per 100 cars per year:

2010: 65

2009: 48

2008: 75

2007: 96

The 2007 is worse than average, while the others are about average.

We have two additional statistics, "Nada-odds" and "Lemon-odds," to indicate the percentage of cars with no repairs in the past year and those that required 3+ trips to the repair shop.

With the Lambdas the percentage with no repairs is about 32 for the 2007, 50 for the 2008, and 63 for the 2009, and while the percentage of lemons is about 5 for the 2007 and 2008 and less than one for the 2009.

Nada-odds and Lemon-odds car reliability stats

A big thank you, once again, to this forum and everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in August and November. The more owners participate, the better the information we can provide.

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
 

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So it looks like the 09 is the MY to have?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The 2008, 2009, and 2010 are all close enough together to be roughly the same. I wouldn't read much into the differences among them.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We have updated results for the Lambdas based on owner experiences through June 30, 2010.

Other sources of car reliability information won't cover the more recent months until the summer or even fall of next year.

Repair frequencies, in terms of repair trips per 100 cars per year:

2010: 38

2009: 59

2008: 73

2007: 92

The 2007 is worse than average, while the others are about average.

We have two additional statistics, "Nada-odds" and "Lemon-odds," to indicate the percentage of cars with no repairs in the past year and those that required 3+ trips to the repair shop.

With the Lambdas the percentage with no repairs is about 33 for the 2007, 52 for the 2008, and 62 for the 2009, and while the percentage of lemons is about 2 for the 2007, about 4 for the 2008, and about one for the 2009.

Nada-odds and Lemon-odds car reliability stats

Thank you, once again, to this forum and everyone who has been helping. We'll have further updates in November and February. The more owners participate, the better the information we can provide.

To see how competitors compare and to sign up to help:

Saturn Outlook reliability comparisons
 

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I initially leased my 2007 Saturn Outlook XE AWD in July 2007 from Saturn of Spokane. It was on a 39 month lease. This was my second Saturn, as I traded my 1999 Saturn SL-1 (with about 65,000 trouble free miles on it) in on the Outlook.

As of this date, 22 September 2010, we have approximately 24,500 miles on the Outlook. Absolutely NO mechanical repairs of any kind have been made to the vehicle. We're still on our original wiper blades (windshield and rear window). The sole "repair" we had to make on our Outlook was the replacement of the rear window. It was broken by accident--please don't ask how. We took our original Fortera tires off the Outlook early this past winter and replaced them with Hankook studded snow tires. (The Fortera's still had approximately 40 to 50 percent of their tread remaining.) But as I've been driving with Michelin tires since 1968, I ordered a set of new take-off Buick Enclave wheels with Michelin Latitude Tour tires on them. The Michelins are great on the Outlook--as I expected they would be. And the Enclave wheels look far better than the much bulkier OEM Saturn Outlook wheels, at least in my opinion.

Our Outlook has had oil and filter changes three to four times a year since we initially leased it. We have used Mobil-1 in the car ever since its first oil change at about 500 miles. No oil has ever been added to the engine between changes. Although we have the tow package on our Outlook, we have never used it for towing.

Our Outlook did have the upgraded software for the transmission installed by Saturn of Spokane after we had the car for a year and a half. I'm sixty-two. My previous Saturn was the most reliable car I've ever owned, but this OUtlook has been one hundred percent reliable as of this date. Our next vehicle will be either the Acadia or the Enclave now that Saturn is out of business. (Note: My wife and I love the Lambda so much--even in XE trim--that we did an early termination of our lease this past April and bought the car.) Andy McKane, Missoula, Montana
 

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Andy, welcome and glad to hear you've enjoyed so many trouble-free miles. Please post some pics of your ride with the Enclave rims on it. Would like to see that.

Regards,
/BTV
 
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