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We bought a 2008 Outlook about a month ago. We are experiencing a strange, fairly loud grating noise coming from the driver's side when you are at low speed, turning into a driveway or entrance. The sound does not come everytime, which makes the problem even more mysterious. The dealer says it is the ABS activating...but we have never heard any other abs system go off at such low speeds and in completely dry conditions. We have had the car in 3 times already. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it normal for Saturns to make this sound when turning and braking.
 

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I have a 2008 XR FWD. For about 2 months now, but only 750 miles so far. I get a sound/feeling that seems like something spins a quarter turn then stops. It comes from the driver side, engine compartment. I notice it most when I leave for work in the morning. But I also noticed it when I left work early today to stop by the Naperville, IL Saturn dealer so they could have a look. In both cases, the sound/feeling occurs after I've driven forward about 100 feet. I say feeling because it seems I can feel it through the floor boards. The service advisor said it was the ABS engaging. I've not had this same sensation driving any other ABS equipped vehicle.

Don't know if it's related, but I also hear a high-pitch vibration/rattle coming from the driver side engine compartment when I close the driver door after getting out of the car. Not slamming the door. Just a normal closing. The vibration/rattle doesn't happen when you close any other door. The service advisor said they traced the noise to the seatbelt assembly. I'm not able to trace the sound there nor can I get it to not happen if I pull the seatbelt out all the way and keep it tight. I can easily hear the vibration/rattle in my garage but it's easily masked by any sound or wind noise. The service manager said they had to take by car to a quiet location before they were able to duplicate the vibration/rattle and trace it to the seatbelt assembly. I'll keep looking for it and will take it back to dealer for a fix when I find the loose part.
 

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I have a similar noise and clicking when I first start moving forward after being parked for a while. Our Outlook has just reached 3000 miles and we are going to have it checked when we take it in for the oil change. I will post if they give me the same explanation or not, but in a way I am happy to see I am not the only one that has this going on.
 

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The ABS ingaging is true. On the outlook it sounds like running over a man hole cover. It only happens when you first drive after turning it on. Completly normal.
 
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Dealers almost always say that your problem is normal. I have the same problem but I have never taken it to a dealer. If it is normal then why is this the only vehicle I have driven in 50 years which makes this noise? It is normal for a Saturn Outlook because the Saturn has a flaw that GM would probably tell me is "normal". I'll just keep driving it because I would rather have three rooot canals done on the same day than go to a car dealer to try to get something done under warranty.
 

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Disgruntled said:
Dealers almost always say that your problem is normal. I have the same problem but I have never taken it to a dealer. If it is normal then why is this the only vehicle I have driven in 50 years which makes this noise? It is normal for a Saturn Outlook because the Saturn has a flaw that GM would probably tell me is "normal". I'll just keep driving it because I would rather have three rooot canals done on the same day than go to a car dealer to try to get something done under warranty.
I have a 97' Blazer that does the same thing. The SA said that it was the ABS checking itself.
 

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I've been told also that it is the ABS, but that it is also a series of other checks by the vehicle to make sure that everything is working and calibrating it self including the fuel system and tranny. It has never caused any problem for me, and in fact I have gotten use to it and don't even notice it any more.
 

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For what it's worth, my VW Passat does the exact same thing, it is mentioned in the owners manual as perfectly normal and for that matter DESIRED as it tests the functionality of the ABS system before you get up to any significant speed each time the car is started and put into a forward gear.

Be more concerned when it stops doing this self test.
 

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I was just about to post that my VW Passat is doing this and I noticed the last poster has done it already :cheers:

Couple of clarifications though - in the Passat this thing happens once per ignition cycle, upon reaching 4 km/h. No matter forward or in reverse. Link to that discussion if anyone cares.

The other thing - I have not noticed this on the Outlook. I probably am so used to this in the passat that I didn't notice it. Will pay a bit more attention next time I drive the Outlook and will report back.
 
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