Vue CVT woes

I have a friend with a Saturn Vue that just had its third CVT transmission rebuild by Saturn.
Thankfully for her, when she bought out the lease, she got an extended
warranty and only pays $100 deductible on repairs. Still, a LOT of repairs for a fairly new car.
Anybody have experience with these? Is it better to stick with Saturn doing the repairs of go to a independent transmission shop? I've seen some issues where dealers will just rebuild with more of the same while independents will use aftermarket improved parts which address any OEM deficiencies.
At this point, she's thinking of trading in the Vue for a Subaru Forrester.
tia - Oppie
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On 9/26/2011 9:12 AM, Oppie wrote:

It would be better to get it fixed, then dump it asap. This tranny is known disaster no matter how many times it's replaced or by whom.
You say a fairly new car? 2005 model were the last year that Saturn put a CVT tranny in the Vue... 6 years old is not really a fairly new car. I have a 2006 4cyl, 5-speed manual Vue. It now has 140K miles on it with no problems *regarding* drivetrain. I did just have to replace the waterpump a few months ago, but it gave me plenty of warning and was able to drive it right to the shop. It was more expensive than I would have thought as it was an internal water pump, but other than that - since I bought it brand new it only needed an alt at about 75K and an new battery. Pretty good if you ask me. Everyone I talked to said I made the best decision regarding both engine and tranny for the car.
Now, as far as the rest of the car? erg...lots of minor, irritating issues. GM apparently can't make frickin windshield wiper for God's sake. I mean, only my drivers side works and the back wiper moves at a snails pace until warms up. Daylight running lights decided recently to stop working or sporadically work, even though the headlights are alright and come on when it gets dark. Just that when I turn the car on, the green DRL's flash, then go out or they stay on....Depends on the mood of the quirky car. The other complaint are the rattles and road noise. Brakes suck and have to be gentle...I've also replaced both front wheel bearing hubs myself. But, it's my daily driver back and forth the work and it gets me both places....and it's paid for, so...there it is.
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Oppie wrote:

The rule of thumb for those is to ALWAYS come to full 'wheel-locked' stop before changing from forward to reverse or from reverse to forward. If you are making a 3-point turn and you are impatient about coming to a stop you will dramatically shorten the life of the transmission by shifting direction before the wheels stop turning. That's true of any similar transmission by any maker. Full stop...then shift.

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I don't know much about the construction of the CVT unit but even the conventional automatic transmissions with fluid coupled torque converters have a pretty substantial jerk when Fwd/Rev changed at imperceptible speed. Takes its toll on bands and clutches.
Just looked it up and found this - Looks like a glorified go-cart transmission http://www.makcotransmissionparts.com/U33900K.html
Knew one guy that kept putting his car in Park while still moving and couldn't fathom why his transmission was broken.
Thanks for the reply Oppie
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