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Old 06-09-2009, 01:45 PM   #1
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Conflicting towing info for 04 Saturn Vue AWD

My dilemma. I just bought a 2004 AWD Saturn Vue automatic v-6 strickley for a toad. Motorhome magazine dinghy towing says the automatic is ok but does not mention the AWD. The owners manuel states the following (this is cut and paste):

Dinghy Towing (All-Wheel Drive and
Front-Wheel Drive with VTi Transaxle)
Any all-wheel drive vehicles or front-wheel drive vehicles
equipped with the VTi transaxle should not be towed
with all four wheels on the ground.

I'm hoping I didn't just throw money in a car that's not 4 wheel flat towable, but does anyone have experience towing this vehicle? I was just about to buy the towbar setup but need to make sure. Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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All I can tell you, is I have a 07 AWD vue I tow it and the dealer said it was ok to tow,
don't know any thing about the VTi Transaxle mine must not have it the owners manuel says I can tow. hope this help.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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If the manual states it's not towable, then it is not towable.

However, Remco Towing may be able to help.

Give them a call.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:14 PM   #4
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Remco says no to tow

I checked with remco and they said the o4 Vue is to be trailered only. In 2005 Saturn started changing the transmissions to the newer style so midyear 05 and on are ok to flat tow. Guess I'll have to put my 04 up for sale. Thanks for your replies.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:21 PM   #5
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Sorry it's not going to work for you.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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Don't give up yet.

Your manual states that any AWD or Front wheel drive equipped with a Variable Transmission VTi is not towable. The VTi only came in a 4 cylinder. Your V6 is a Honda engine and Honda transmission which is towable. The switch to the Honda engine/transmission occured in 2004.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:04 PM   #7
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Yes, only the VTI (Variable speed) transmission is not towable four wheels down. Saturn Vue's with the V6 engine and automatic transmission are towable in either all wheel or front wheel drive models. Any Saturn dealer can tell you what engine and transmission you have. Good luck...
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Old 07-03-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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Theirs hope yet

Thanks for the encouragement. Maybe I'm reading to much into the owners manuel and thinking the all wheel drive or the front wheel drive with vti is not towable, but it does say and not or. I'll check further with the dealer, just don't want to burn up a transmission I hear their mega expensive. Thanks again.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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Your 2004 3.5 V-6 AWD automatic is fully towable.
Here is a copy of the Saturn Service Bulletin regarding your VUE.
Just make sure your VUE is the same as called for in the Bulletin

Bill


Bulletin No.: 05-00-89-014b

Date: January 12, 2006

INFORMATION

Subject: Updated Recreational Vehicle Towing Information and Procedures for 2004-2006 Saturn VUE Vehicles

Models: 2004-2006 Saturn VUE Vehicles with 3.5L V-6 (VIN4 – RPO L66)

Attention: Sales Manager, Fixed Operations Manager, and Technician

Supercede: This bulletin is being revised to add a step in “Once you have reached your destination.” Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 05-00-89-014A (Section 00 – General Information).

Important: This bulletin includes the towing procedure for Saturn VUE vehicles with 3.5L V-6 (L66) engine and supersedes the information found on page 4-47 of the 2004 Saturn VUE Owner’s Manual and page 4-51 of the 2005 VUE Owner’s Manual. The current towing procedure is already included in the 2006 VUE Owner’s Manual. This bulletin is to be used in conjunction with Corporate Bulletin Number 03-00-89-033B.

Purpose: The purpose of this bulletin is to provide updated procedures for towing a 2004-2006 Saturn VUE with a 3.5L V-6 (L66) engine and 5AT automatic transaxle (RPO MJ7/MJ8) behind a recreational vehicle with all four wheels on the ground (dinghy towing).

Based upon engineering analysis of field exchange transaxles, it has been determined that inadvertent transaxle damage may occur during dinghy towing if the appropriate steps are not taken during and prior to towing. As a result, the procedure for dinghy towing has been changed.

Copies of this bulletin should be made available and inserted into the 2440 and 2005 VUE Owner’s Manuals for those customers considering recreational vehicle or dinghy towing. (This information is already included in the 2006 VUE Owner’s Manual.)

The new Procedures include additional information regarding:

Maximum duration for towing: Due to transaxle fluid drain back, the transaxle lubrication procedure is required every seven hours after the initial procedure has been completed, regardless if vehicle is being towed or parked. Once the procedure is performed, the transaxle is adequately lubricated and can be recreational vehicle towed for seven actual hours prior to repeating lubrication procedure.

As an example, if you initially perform the lubrication procedure and tow your vehicle for three hours, then park for four hours, the lubrication procedure will need to be performed again, prior to dinghy towing the vehicle. Failure to observe these time limits may result in transaxle damage.

Final shift before towing: Care should be taken to ensure that the final shift during the lubrication procedure must be from “D” (Drive) to “N” (Neutral). Failure to perform this final shift may result in internal damage to the transaxle assembly.

Procedure: Dinghy Towing (Front-Wheel-Drive and All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles with 5AT Five-Speed Automatic Transaxle)

1.Position and attach the vehicle behind the recreational vehicle.

2.Turn the ignition key to ACC.

3.Turn fog lamps and all accessories off.

NOTE: Start the engine and shift through all gear positions. The FINAL shift must be “D” (Drive) to “N” (Neutral). Failure to perform this final shift may cause internal damage to the transaxle assembly. NEVER shift from “R” (Reverse) to “N” (Neutral) as the final shift, to avoid internal damage to transaxle.

4.Perform transaxle lubrication procedure:

4.1Set the parking brake.

4.2Start the engine.

4.3Apply and hold the brake pedal until the end of Step 4.5

4.4To ensure proper automatic transaxle lubrication, shift transaxle through “P” (Park), “R” (Reverse), “N” (Neutral), “D” (Drive – Automatic Overdrive), “I” (Intermediate), “L” (Low).

4.5Shift to “D” (Drive), then to “N” (Neutral) and let the engine run for 3 minutes. If you tow or tow and park the vehicle for more than seven hours in one day, you must repeat the procedure.

4.6Turn off the engine, and leave the key in the ACC position.

4.7Release the parking brake.

Important: Before performing dinghy-towing procedures, remove the large IGN fuse from the underhood fuse block. Failure to remove this fuse may result in low battery voltage after towing.

5.Locate and remove the large IGN fuse from the underhood fuse block.

After seven hours, repeat Step 4 if you intend to continue dinghy towing.

Once you have reached our destination, do the following steps:

1.Return the shifter to the “P” (Park) position.

2.Set the parking brake

3.Turn the ignition key to LOCK and remove the key from the ignition

4.Reinstall the large IGN fuse.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:48 PM   #10
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Hi : I went thru the same process re: towing 4 down. I have an '03 4cyl VTi that will not tow 4 down. Saturn said I would destroy the transmission. I now have a Roadmaster 3111-1 base plate complete for sale & a road master Stowmaster 5000 for sale. I tried to eliminate an extra vehicle by using a Vue. If only I'd bought a manual tranny. For sale one system.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
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04 Saturn Vue 4cyl 5 speed manual Tranny

I just bought a vue 5 speed 4 cyl. I have towed alot of cars but this is a first for this kind. I lucked out and picked up a base plate and already had an assortment of tow bars. all Roadmaster. Do I need to do anything special to this one other than put in neural?
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