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Old 01-08-2016, 09:25 AM   #1
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Question Hello and Help! Saturn Vue owners!

Hi All! Just joined and I look forward to learning tons of things from this forum of wisdom! We just bought a 2008 Saturn Vue Green hybrid car to tow behind our class C camper and discovered that at the end of a long day of driving, the car battery on the towed Vue was dead. Of course we thought we did something wrong, gave it a jump and charge, and then, following the owners manual precisely, tried again. Long day of driving again, dead battery. Now having pulled a 2002 Saturn sedan for 3 years previous with not one problem, we felt we kinda knew what we were doing, but maybe not. After stopping at Walmarts (LOVE them!) every night on our long drive from Chicago to Corpus Christi TX and getting various chargers, extension cords, and jumpers, we decided to go to a GM dealership and ask their advice - useless! For $200 they would install a bypass turn-off ground switch. We said that doesn't really address the problem and we would get back to them. This solution doesn't really appeal to us as we think of the giant battery under the backseat that makes this car a mini-hybrid - how would this band-aid approach effect that?
Has anyone out there with a Vue had this problem before? Or someone with electrical expertise have any ideas? Thanks for any ideas!!
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

I don't know anything about the Vue so can't help with that! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxcheck View Post
Hi All! Just joined and I look forward to learning tons of things from this forum of wisdom! We just bought a 2008 Saturn Vue Green hybrid car to tow behind our class C camper and discovered that at the end of a long day of driving, the car battery on the towed Vue was dead. Of course we thought we did something wrong, gave it a jump and charge, and then, following the owners manual precisely, tried again. Long day of driving again, dead battery. Now having pulled a 2002 Saturn sedan for 3 years previous with not one problem, we felt we kinda knew what we were doing, but maybe not. After stopping at Walmarts (LOVE them!) every night on our long drive from Chicago to Corpus Christi TX and getting various chargers, extension cords, and jumpers, we decided to go to a GM dealership and ask their advice - useless! For $200 they would install a bypass turn-off ground switch. We said that doesn't really address the problem and we would get back to them. This solution doesn't really appeal to us as we think of the giant battery under the backseat that makes this car a mini-hybrid - how would this band-aid approach effect that?
Has anyone out there with a Vue had this problem before? Or someone with electrical expertise have any ideas? Thanks for any ideas!!
foxcheck
Try pulling fuse #41 in the engine compartment fuse box of your 2008 Saturn Vue.

On my 2007 Saturn ION I replaced fuse #41 in the engine compartment fuse box with an ON/OFF switch and 10 gauge wire with an inline fuse.
Turning the switch OFF before towing disconnects ALL 12V draws in the Saturn... (which prevents the Saturn battery from discharging while it's being towed).

Mel
'96 Safari, ('07 Saturn ION, towed 50k+ miles so fsr).
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxcheck View Post
Hi All! Just joined and I look forward to learning tons of things from this forum of wisdom! We just bought a 2008 Saturn Vue Green hybrid car to tow behind our class C camper and discovered that at the end of a long day of driving, the car battery on the towed Vue was dead. Of course we thought we did something wrong, gave it a jump and charge, and then, following the owners manual precisely, tried again. Long day of driving again, dead battery. Now having pulled a 2002 Saturn sedan for 3 years previous with not one problem, we felt we kinda knew what we were doing, but maybe not. After stopping at Walmarts (LOVE them!) every night on our long drive from Chicago to Corpus Christi TX and getting various chargers, extension cords, and jumpers, we decided to go to a GM dealership and ask their advice - useless! For $200 they would install a bypass turn-off ground switch. We said that doesn't really address the problem and we would get back to them. This solution doesn't really appeal to us as we think of the giant battery under the backseat that makes this car a mini-hybrid - how would this band-aid approach effect that?
Has anyone out there with a Vue had this problem before? Or someone with electrical expertise have any ideas? Thanks for any ideas!!
We have a 2008 Vue though not the hybrid, are you pulling the 3a ign fuse in the fuse compartment on the right side of the shift hump? We have installed a switch there so we don't have to pull the fuse. I can't remember the exact location of the fuse but the I think it is in the second or third row from the left towards the bottom of the row. There should be a diagram on the door of the fuse box. Our manual does not have this information, it was an added sheet of paper when we bought the car.

This is what we got on a separate piece of paper when we got the car.
Notice: If you tow your vehicle without performing each of the steps listed under
"Dinghy Towing," you could damage the automatic transmission. Be sure to follow all steps of the dinghy towing procedure prior to and after towing your vehicle.

Notice: Don't tow a vehicle with the front drive wheels on the ground if one of the front tires is a compact spare tire. Towing with two different tire sizes on the front of the vehicle can cause severe damage to the transmission.
1. Position the vehicle to tow and then secure it.
2. Shift the transmission to Park (P) and turn the ignition to OFF.
3. Set the parking brake.
4. Turn the ignition to ACCESSORY.
5. Shift your transmission to NEUTRAL (N).
6. To prevent your battery from draining while the vehicle is being towed, remove the 2 amp ignition switch fuse from the I/P fuse block and store in a safe location.
7. Release the parking brake. Once you have reached your destination, do the following steps:
1. Set the parking brake.
2. Reinstall the ignition switch fuse.
3. Shift the transmission to Park (P), turn the ignition key to OFF and remove the key from the ignition.
4. Release the parking brake.

Disabled Towing Information
To avoid vehicle damage, a platform or flatbed trailer (carrier) should be used to
transport this vehicle. Consult a Saturn retailer or professional towing service for more information regarding disabled towing. "

I thought is was a 3a but the procedure says 2a. either way it is the ign fuse and the box is located on the inside of the car on the shift hump. There is conflicting information on this being necessary but we have towed this car for over 30,000 miles and no problem with dead battery.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:55 PM   #5
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Oh my gosh - that sounds really promising!! We will try that, once we find the fuse box under the hood!
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:40 PM   #6
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The fuse box is inside the car on the passenger side of the center shift hump.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:55 PM   #7
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Look down by the passengers left foot. There is a fuse compartment. We no longer have our 08 Vue so can't take a picture. We made a switch for that purpose. On the Vue it also served as a theft deterrent as the car could not be started with the switch off.


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Old 01-08-2016, 07:24 PM   #8
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If… IF the electronics on your ’08 Vue Hybrid are similar to the wiring on my ’05 Ion-3, then pulling the fuse (or rigging an on-off switch) is the fix for a drained battery as mentioned
However, a Word to the Wise:

Keep a spare entry door key handy somewhere OUTSIDE of your Vue. (Either on your person, or somewhere inside the motorhome).
BECAUSE when the circuitry is re-established upon arriving at your destination after towing; AND IF the car doors inadvertently happen to shut - Or "WHEN" you get distracted before Step #3 above: All doors will lock by default. Ie, Locking You Out! Your other key will start laughing at you while it remains in the ignition switch.
Ask Me How I Know This.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:38 PM   #9
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Fuse 41? on the underhood fuse box of Saturn Vue

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
foxcheck
Try pulling fuse #41 in the engine compartment fuse box of your 2008 Saturn Vue.

On my 2007 Saturn ION I replaced fuse #41 in the engine compartment fuse box with an ON/OFF switch and 10 gauge wire with an inline fuse.
Turning the switch OFF before towing disconnects ALL 12V draws in the Saturn... (which prevents the Saturn battery from discharging while it's being towed).

Mel
'96 Safari, ('07 Saturn ION, towed 50k+ miles so fsr).
Hi Mel!
Thank you for that advice. We did find the fuse box under the hood on the driver side but not one of the fuses in there is numbered!! Do you happen to know what fuse 41 is called? Would it be the Starter Relay? It is the forty first 'fuse' on the list of fuses in the under hood fuse box. We have pulled the ING SW fuse in the passenger side inside fuse box and followed all the manual instructions exactly. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but we have been out of internet range. Thanks to all who took the time to write back with advice. We are being exact in following all the instructions, but don't know why the 12 volt battery runs down.
Thanks again Mel - any ideas would be appreciated!
Chris
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:03 PM   #10
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Guys instead of pulling a fuse or rigging up a switch that's easy to forget why not install a charge line from the chassis battery on the coach or a toad brake, link below then nothing to remember.

RVibrake Towed Battery Charger, charge line replacement
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:06 AM   #11
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I second Walt's recommendation.

Note, though, that we assume fuse-pulling is necessary to prevent battery drain. If the car manufacturer recommends fuse-pulling for other reasons, then installing a charge line may not alleviate fuse-pulling.

I believe your coach is built on a Ford E-series chassis. Please confirm. Ford provides a "trailer charge" line for these chassis, with proper fusing near the coach battery. If you have a 7-pin connector on the hitch, you will probably find the charge line there, ready to go. You would need:

1) a properly-wired umbilical cable between the coach and RV
2) toad wiring to the battery, with a fuse or circuit breaker at the battery end
3) (Optional) something like the RVibrake Towed Battery Charger

We installed the LSL Products Toad-Charge, a device similar to the Towed Battery Charger.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:15 AM   #12
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We've been using a simple fuse switch in our 2009 Saturn Vue for over 5yrs. without a problem. But it's not a hybrid, so the fuses might be in another place besides the side of the console. Doesn't your owners manual show where the fuses are and tell you which fuse to pull? Mine does. It's simple to pull the fuse, but more convenient to have the on/off switch.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxcheck View Post
Hi Mel!
Thank you for that advice. We did find the fuse box under the hood on the driver side but not one of the fuses in there is numbered!! Do you happen to know what fuse 41 is called? Would it be the Starter Relay? It is the forty first 'fuse' on the list of fuses in the under hood fuse box. We have pulled the ING SW fuse in the passenger side inside fuse box and followed all the manual instructions exactly. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but we have been out of internet range. Thanks to all who took the time to write back with advice. We are being exact in following all the instructions, but don't know why the 12 volt battery runs down.
Thanks again Mel - any ideas would be appreciated!
Chris
foxcheck
On my ION the under hood/engine compartment fuse box has a numbered drawing molded into the inside of the black plastic cover showing the numbers of the fuses and their locations.
Mel, '07 ION
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:55 AM   #14
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I have a 2014 Chevy Captiva, the same vehicle as a Saturn Vue, though not a hybrid. I had a switch installed next to the passenger foot well fuse box to turn off all internal power to the vehicle while towing. I can tow all day with the vehicle starting right up when we get to our destination. One additional suggestion, be sure to place a cover of some sort over the switch so that the passenger won't accidentally flip it with their knee. Don't ask me how I know this.
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