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Discussion Starter #1
So another unsuccessful trip to the dealership. I say "unsuccessful" meaning "there's no way I'm paying that much for that".

About a month ago my wife took the Outlook in to the dealership to have an intermittent issue with the air bag light. I don't remember the exact figure but it was way more than sounded reasonable to fix. While it was there, they noted a water pump leak and we had it done. When we got the car home, there was a notable whine. Having owned plenty of junkers I knew immediately it was the power steering. I checked and the fluid was a bit low. I filled it to the full line but the noise continued. Fast forward to today (about a month later) when we finally had time to get it back in. They did a "diagnostic" for the power steering (for a charge of course) and stated that it was a leaking seal. I brought up the point that the issue started when they replaced the water pump and it was dismissed as unrelated. "It's on the other side of the engine". This may be true but I find it a strange coincidence. After doing some digging I found the PIT#4537 about the overfilling to address the issue. I haven't checked it yet but if the fluid level is at (or close to) where I left it, I'm going to overfill it and see if it addresses the issue. Seems a bit better than the $1300+ I was quoted for the power steering pump replacement. I find it disconcerting that this fix was not suggested or possibly not even known to them.

To add insult to injury, there was also a problem with the remotes. They both are only working intermittently. We had the battery replaced in one (at the dealer) and it didn't seem to fix the issue. They "ran a diagnostic" and determined the one remote they had tested bad. I explained that it was intermittent and neither remote worked but was told "the remote tested bad". Repalcement cost? $159. Oh.. plus the diagnostic fee.

So the outcome for today was that we got a worthless trip to the dealership. Well not completely but it turned into $150+ for an oil change.

I've pretty much written them off at this point. Not only are the "diagnostic" fees out of hand, the conclusions are questionable and the repair prices are ridiculous. These are the same guys that quoted $600+ to do the front brakes on this car. I ended up doing it myself. It took me about an hour. I miss the actual Saturn dealer. They always took good care of us and I never felt like I was getting overcharged.

It's tempting to drop kick this vehicle before it completely falls apart. It's kind of sad because it only has 60k miles on it and it's not even paid off. At the going rates we probably can't afford to keep it though...

Oh.... in case I actually need to do it, how bad is the power steering pump to replace? I'm guessing not $1000 worth of difficult (assuming parts to be ~$300)?

/rant (?)
 

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Power steering is a pita to get to and get out. Then you need special tool to pull the pulley off and then press it onto the new pump. I found a GM dealer to do it for under $500. It took them about 4 hours to complete the task. Bleeding the air out of the system isn't easy either from what the tech said. The steering still felt choppy at first but after about a week it's good as new.

Now it's time to save up for the up and comming rack replacement and transmission replacement!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Trans already went once. Is this a repeating condition?

I wonder what the actual book time is on it. Seems like they're rates are about 250-300/hour.

I did check the P/S fluid. They did overfill it. The noise didn't go away completely yet but hopefully it'll dissappear in the next day or two. Will have to watch the level to see how bad it's actually leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We decided that with the existing issues and maintenance needed it would be cheaper in the short term to just get something else. We got a decent price for trade-in and a pretty nice end of year deal. While we'll be making an extra 4 years of payments on the new vehicle, the payment is actually less and cash in pocket increased dramatically. (1 month with no payment, no new $1200 set of tires needed, no $1300 powersteering fix...etc). A merry Christmas it will be indeed. :D

Our conclusion was that it was a "pretty good" vehicle which we probably paid a bit too much for. Very spacious and while the model we has was a bit basic, it never felt that lacking in features. Even with the issues it treated us pretty well. Our Saturn dealership always treated us very well. The transition to the GM dealership was less than thrilling and we won't be returning there.

For all of your Outlook owners, I hope your issues are taken care of and your vehicles treat you well. For us it just wasn't worth the risk.
 

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That remote that is only working intermittently, has a worm out rubber piece. It's the little rubber thing inside the plastic case that holds the battery. That rubber piece can be replaced for about $5.00 online. There are companies that sell new remotes and parts for them. I had the same problem and replaced mine and it works perfectly. No big deal. No need to spend big bucks! :thumb:
 

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@crypt, we’re sorry to see you go, but understand you had to do what was best for you and your family.

Michelle, GM Customer Service
 

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What did you trade it in for???
 
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