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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 2008 XR AWD which we've owned for about 6 weeks and driven for about 4......

We really enjoy this car but are having enough issues with erratic transmission shifting that we're wondering IF we've made the right choice....

The symptom involves the transmission downshifting on VERY light grade situations; sometimes it will initially drop 2 gears, then go back to 6th and then possibly back to 5th for a while and then back to 6th.... Dealer has re--programmed both the transmission AND several other items which supposedly will cure the problem - NOT on our car. THEN they decided to blame the Michelin tires we had installed because we will NOT risk our lives (and those of others) on the POS Goodrear tires that come on the car..... After I told them to measure the circumfrance and tell me if there was any significent difference, they backed up on that process and didn't say any more about it.... Since this is the 2nd trip to the shop for the same problem, they are dragging their feet on giving us a copy of the service ticket - picked the car up Tuesday (1/6/09) and as of this evening they still haven't faxed me a copy of the ticket. I will be paying them a visit LIVE AND IN PERSON tomorrow to get a copy of the repair ticket.....

Anyone else having this problem?????? I understand there was a problem with the '07 cars but I'm NOT finding anything on the '08s.... HELP!
 

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The issue with slugish tranny performance is valid for both 07 and 08 models. I guess it is in 09's too. Here is the deal - this is actually not a problem, but intensional thing so the car can come at least closer to the stated MPG numbers. 07's as well as early 08's were suffering most. They got somewhat improved shifting pattern/behaviour at one point, but still far from what most people expect from a normal automatic transmission. There is special custom programming which dealer can install for you, but you will suffer a hit in the mileage, which especially in stop and go traffic could be significant. Ever since I got the custom programming I have no complains about tranny behaviour, but MPG is 15 or so at best (winter city - Toronto - driving). I don't have the buletin number with me right now, but you can find it on this forum.
 

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You also need to be a little patient with it while the computer learns your driving habits. Each flash that is done makes the tranny relearn your driving patern to that it can better anticipate your reactions. This will last a short while but can also be very annoying.
 

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It's never perfect, though. Price of a car this large being set up for maximum MPG. You need to start adjusting your driving habits to the car, also, or you are always going to be a bit frustrated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, we're going back for the third time for the transmission problem - it downshifted on ice last week and scared the poop out of my wife - I think we're dealing with as much a safety issue as we are a acceptable drivability issue.

I have composed my thoughts in the form of a letter which I will deliver to the Service Manager of the dealership - summarizing our experiences to date and reqeusting prompt and thorough repair. AND, I have listed the fixes noted on this forum simply because I can't see anywhere on the Service Invoices where these fixes are listed by job number.....

So, my guess is that it's going to be an interesting week!
 

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Chris K said:
Well, we're going back for the third time for the transmission problem - it downshifted on ice last week and scared the poop out of my wife - I think we're dealing with as much a safety issue as we are a acceptable drivability issue.

I have composed my thoughts in the form of a letter which I will deliver to the Service Manager of the dealership - summarizing our experiences to date and reqeusting prompt and thorough repair. AND, I have listed the fixes noted on this forum simply because I can't see anywhere on the Service Invoices where these fixes are listed by job number.....

So, my guess is that it's going to be an interesting week!
The vehicle has a 6 speed tranny in it. That is not very common in the industry. It is to try and improve fuel mileage in a larger vehicle. It is something that my wife and I are just starting to adjust too after a few months of ownership ourselves. I was a little disappointed at first but it does help on long trips in the MPG department, so all is good now. My wife had the cruise on the other day and it slipped for a minute too but kicked the cruise off right away which I thought was a GREAT safety item. Also she was well aware of the slippery conditions so it was no big deal.

Not trying to be a bad guy here but if your wife is driving and there is a possibility of ice, I don't see how your so upset when it slipped. Thats what happen when theres ice on the ground. ???If the cruise was on when it happened then its not the Outlooks fault either. Sorry to pee on your wheaties but thats the truth.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All righty then; possibly I should have explained myself a BIT better - I left out a couple of details! AND, I too am NOT being argumentative BUT I've got 30K invested in a vehicle that we can drive sometimes...... I didn't see that clause in the purchase agreement!

The vehicle has a 6 speed tranny in it. That is not very common in the industry. It is to try and improve fuel mileage in a larger vehicle. It is something that my wife and I are just starting to adjust too after a few months of ownership ourselves. I was a little disappointed at first but it does help on long trips in the MPG department, so all is good now. My wife had the cruise on the other day and it slipped for a minute too but kicked the cruise off right away which I thought was a GREAT safety item. Also she was well aware of the slippery conditions so it was no big deal.

Not trying to be a bad guy here but if your wife is driving and there is a possibility of ice, I don't see how your so upset when it slipped. Thats what happen when theres ice on the ground. ???If the cruise was on when it happened then its not the Outlooks fault either. Sorry to pee on your wheaties but thats the truth.
[/color]

Actually, 6 speed trannys are becoming MUCH more common - our Outlook is the 2nd six speed in our family - my 2008 Taurus has one too! AND, it doesn't act ANYTHING like the mistake which is in my Outlook - even with 5 people on board! So, (and it's really kinda' hard for me to admit!) it would appear that Ford has done it right and GM (at least with the Outlook) has a bit of work to do (in my opinion!)! I have yet to be able to discern any real highway fuel mileage improvement - on our latest road trip it got 17 mpg - the same mileage my '02 Tahoe used to get on the highway (AND coincidently the same mileage my 85 Buick LeSabre gets WITHOUT cruise control!). That also is the same that we got on our last road trip in the Outlook....

AND, I wasn't clear about the circumstances that my Wife experienced last week; she was NOT on cruise, she was going up an incline (and YES, it was icy) and the car did the 'ole double downshift (from 6th to 4th) and she was thrown sideways before she could get her foot off of the accellerator.

I might add that we drove an '09 Outlook as a loaner and it didn't exhibit the excessive downshifing games that our car has; evidently a solution was 'quietly' found and integrated into the '09 version of the car.

I *WANT* to like this car - it's perfect for us - size is great and comfort is good. Not particularly concerned about fuel mileage at this point because since the transmission has never shifted properly, I can't honestly evaluate HOW it does!

The service manager at the dealership and I went for a 20 mile 'drive' the other day; he said he sees and feels what I am talking about but doesn't know what it is..... At this stage of the game, I'm a bit concerned that unless it tosses a code of some type, NO ONE is going to be able to figure this out!
 

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Chris K said:
AND, I wasn't clear about the circumstances that my Wife experienced last week; she was NOT on cruise, she was going up an incline (and YES, it was icy) and the car did the 'ole double downshift (from 6th to 4th) and she was thrown sideways before she could get her foot off of the accellerator.



Not that I am telling you how to drive, but one of the features I like about this transmision is the manual option. If I am in a hilly area I leave it in 4th and it usually does not down shift on me. If I am driving in icy conditions, I do the same thing. The vehicle does not know that you are on ice, it only knows you are going up a hill and thinks it needs to down shift. Driving in the manual option helps eleviate that problem.

The Outlook is not the only one that has had this problem. The Acadia and Enclave have also had the problem. My wifes Aura has the same tranny but does not exibit these problems like mine and yours does.

I know what you are talking about with the down shifting, I have just learned to anticipate it. In fact, on the highway I use the manual setting all the time so that I am in control. I have managed to get 25 to 28 on the highway. The best speed to get that MPG is 65 to 70. For every 5 mph over that I go I loose about 1 to 2 mpg.
 

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Chris K said:
All righty then; possibly I should have explained myself a BIT better - I left out a couple of details! AND, I too am NOT being argumentative BUT I've got 30K invested in a vehicle that we can drive sometimes...... I didn't see that clause in the purchase agreement!

The vehicle has a 6 speed tranny in it. That is not very common in the industry. It is to try and improve fuel mileage in a larger vehicle. It is something that my wife and I are just starting to adjust too after a few months of ownership ourselves. I was a little disappointed at first but it does help on long trips in the MPG department, so all is good now. My wife had the cruise on the other day and it slipped for a minute too but kicked the cruise off right away which I thought was a GREAT safety item. Also she was well aware of the slippery conditions so it was no big deal.

Not trying to be a bad guy here but if your wife is driving and there is a possibility of ice, I don't see how your so upset when it slipped. Thats what happen when theres ice on the ground. ???If the cruise was on when it happened then its not the Outlooks fault either. Sorry to pee on your wheaties but thats the truth.
[/color]

Actually, 6 speed trannys are becoming MUCH more common - our Outlook is the 2nd six speed in our family - my 2008 Taurus has one too! AND, it doesn't act ANYTHING like the mistake which is in my Outlook - even with 5 people on board! So, (and it's really kinda' hard for me to admit!) it would appear that Ford has done it right and GM (at least with the Outlook) has a bit of work to do (in my opinion!)! I have yet to be able to discern any real highway fuel mileage improvement - on our latest road trip it got 17 mpg - the same mileage my '02 Tahoe used to get on the highway (AND coincidently the same mileage my 85 Buick LeSabre gets WITHOUT cruise control!). That also is the same that we got on our last road trip in the Outlook....

AND, I wasn't clear about the circumstances that my Wife experienced last week; she was NOT on cruise, she was going up an incline (and YES, it was icy) and the car did the 'ole double downshift (from 6th to 4th) and she was thrown sideways before she could get her foot off of the accellerator.

I might add that we drove an '09 Outlook as a loaner and it didn't exhibit the excessive downshifing games that our car has; evidently a solution was 'quietly' found and integrated into the '09 version of the car.

I *WANT* to like this car - it's perfect for us - size is great and comfort is good. Not particularly concerned about fuel mileage at this point because since the transmission has never shifted properly, I can't honestly evaluate HOW it does!

The service manager at the dealership and I went for a 20 mile 'drive' the other day; he said he sees and feels what I am talking about but doesn't know what it is..... At this stage of the game, I'm a bit concerned that unless it tosses a code of some type, NO ONE is going to be able to figure this out!
You are correct, more vehicles are coming with 6 speeds. It was only in 06 however that GM started to release vehicles like this and I believe 07 for Ford. As for comparing your Taurus to the Outlook, is like apples to oranges. The curb weight of the taurus is 3643lbs and the curb weight of the Outlook is 4722lbs with a gross weight of 6400lbs. This should be some indication as to why they shift and act differently.
As for the icy stuff I have been in plenty as I am in MN and have not experienced the same issue as your wife. We have slipped and it has been very controllable. My family and I also just took a trip to Pittsburgh, PA in the snow, sleet and wind 2 weeks ago and our Outlook performed flawlessly even with the POS Goodyears. As the name states, I am a tire guy and HATE Goodyears but can't see spending money on new tires if there is tread left. We averaged 23.8mpg also.
As for the initial problem, I understand you are not happy. Have you had the May update done for the transmission problem? If not then do a search and print it off to take to your dealer. This is what I did and it did help with the shifting problem. It is also not something the dealer automatically does, as it is a customer interest issue. If that is done then I don't know what to offer for info other then maybe try a different dealership. I do wish you luck and hope things get better. I know we love ours and hope you get to that point with yours

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, it would appear that the majority of our problems with the Outlook shifting are over.....

After dealing with the Service Manager at the dealership, things began to happen in a bit more definitive fashion! The car is still VERY busy shifting but not near as busy as it was! It would appear that the fix was the 'May Update' - the car is much more pleasant to drive in town and now when it downshifts at highway speed with the cruise set - it only drops down a gear or so and then STAYS there 'til it's built enough road speed to upshift - then it stays upshifted!

So, at this point, we're pretty happy and feel that, YES, we're going to have to learn to live with a bit more active up and downshifting then we're used to. AND, I seriously question that this type of 'activity' will do anything but contribute to accelerated transmission and lock up torque converter wear. BUT, as long as everything else stays as good as it is now, I'll probably just buy an extended service agreement to 'cover my bases' with the tranny and drive the car!

Anyone know the price differences between buying a service agreement early in the life of a car vs later (as it nears base warrenty expiration)?? I've traditionally not purchased these types of products BUT they saved our BUTT with a 2 transmission failing Honda CR-V!
 

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Chris K said:
Well, it would appear that the majority of our problems with the Outlook shifting are over.....

After dealing with the Service Manager at the dealership, things began to happen in a bit more definitive fashion! The car is still VERY busy shifting but not near as busy as it was! It would appear that the fix was the 'May Update' - the car is much more pleasant to drive in town and now when it downshifts at highway speed with the cruise set - it only drops down a gear or so and then STAYS there 'til it's built enough road speed to upshift - then it stays upshifted!

So, at this point, we're pretty happy and feel that, YES, we're going to have to learn to live with a bit more active up and downshifting then we're used to. AND, I seriously question that this type of 'activity' will do anything but contribute to accelerated transmission and lock up torque converter wear. BUT, as long as everything else stays as good as it is now, I'll probably just buy an extended service agreement to 'cover my bases' with the tranny and drive the car!

Anyone know the price differences between buying a service agreement early in the life of a car vs later (as it nears base warrenty expiration)?? I've traditionally not purchased these types of products BUT they saved our BUTT with a 2 transmission failing Honda CR-V!
Go to gmoutlet.com to get quotes on an extended warranty. If you buy right before 1yr or 12,000 miles you can get the "new' price. Basically I got a 6 year warranty for the price of a 5 year. Since I waited a year, I only needed to purchase a 5 year warranty. The prices are unbeatable as well. Only thing to be aware of, is prices change on Oct. 1st no matter where you buy. Wherever you buy, buy a GMPP(GM Proctection Plan), not a Saturn Warranty. With a GMPP you can go anyone for warranty work once your 3yr/36 month expires. There is rumor that this has changed already and you can take your Saturn to any GM dealer for service already. I've not tried to verify this.
 
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