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Saturn S-Series



  • jenc1jenc1 Posts: 5
    I went out looking at new cars recently and the Saturn was one of my choices. There is only one Saturn dealer near me so I went looking there. While looking at there extremely small selection of used Saturns the salesman came out and I asked him if I could test drive one of the cars. When I came back (it was a short test drive the dang tank was already on E), the same salesmen was with another customer. Is it just me or was that incredibly rude? Needless to say I didn't stay and didn't get a Saturn.
  • Thanks for all the good advice. The dealer
    started backpedalling when I went back to see
    him again the next day -- so I was really
    nervous. He said his mechanic saw it as
    a valve cover leak, and he said he took it
    to a local dealer (chevys) and their
    mechanic didn't find a head gasket leak
    either. So, he said, he'd get with *my*
    mechanic and see what was the story. Well,
    I checked back with my mechanic and he'd
    not heard from the dealer. So, I have
    left things on hold while I work on some
    loan issues. The mechanic is someone I
    trust, and he has no vested interest in
    me buying this vehicle or not. He did
    say it would be a great deal if, in fact,
    the dealer fixed the loose front bumper
    and the head gasket. Well, I only have
    so much to spend, and I am going with
    caution. I doubt I can find another
    Saturn for a price I cn afford. :-(

    Thanks again, everyone!

    Karin at Wells
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    How did your dashboard work go?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I heeded your warning about how hard it was, and just pushed it in a little and put foam tape in the gap. Took a few seconds, problem solved, can't see it.

  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Is the Saturn you're looking at being sold by a used car dealer and not from a Saturn dealer? When I was buying my saturn, the salesman let it slip either accidentally or on purpose but they wholesale some Saturns that come back in as trades. Another thought, have them do a dye test, if it is a valve cover gasket as they say, will see dye showing from where the leak begins. Only problem, if they do the test might be able to manipulate the result so that it appears to be coming from the valve cover. If it is from the head, it will show up quite low on the engine block. Does your mechanic feel that the dealer that is selling the saturn is honest?
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Poor salesman that would get involved with another customer while you are test driving a car. was he the only salesman?
  • mi297fmi297f Posts: 2
    Our '95 SL2 is a fairly good car, but I have some gripes about it:
    -seats are German-like: hard with lots of side bolstering, uncomfortable on long trips
    -only one cupholder with ashtray in place
    -while radio is good it has confusing controls and the controls for our A/C is cheap
    -materials are GM-cheap, but reliability and fit and finish is good for an American econobox
    -trunk not the best in the world
    -rear seat is not a nice place to be
    -high noise levels from wind, engine, and tires; but, hey, last car was Nissan
    -styling sharp in front but bland in rear, and Cd is a below-average 0.34

    These may seem like a lot of complaints, but just make sure to buy the much better 2000 S-Series and the great L-Series.
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Sorry about taking so long to get back to you, but so far mine doesn't squeak or groan as far as the interior plastic panels, console or dash. Hope this is not what I have to look forward to as car gets more miles on it. Have 23k on it now and at next oil change switching to synthetic oil for type of driving I do.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Has anyone checked out the website Many owners have written in to share their ownership experiences. The posts start out with things like..."My Red Saturn From Hell"...."I Rue the Day I Bought My Saturn SL2"..."My 14,000 dollar mistake"...etc. All posts cite Saturn's complete disregard for their customers
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    The guy who runs the site is a quack! I heard that Saturn offered the guy a new car and he refused it, instead opting to bash the company. Probably along the same line as the guy who runs a similar BMW site.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    I just checked the site and the article in Columbia Herald that Mr Wright (bash site owner) was pleased to quote as his publicity catch. It is indeed a hate site which is not indicative of my Saturn experience at all.

    Indeed, Saturn IS a different kind of company. I have had a lot of headaches with my 95 SL2 and did meet some incompetence at the dealer - but overall, I was always treated with respect and warmth. (except on two occasions - but that was sorted out OK)

    Contrast that with Mitsubishi, Lexus, and some Nissan dealerships who think they are the boss and powerhouse of knowledge about everything in life and make you feel like an intruder. (Note: this is my experience - and for you legal types - I could be totally wrong and admit it up front)
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    To those people who actually believed this rubbish posted by the site creator of , here is a general account of why Mr. Right had so many problems with his SC2 which were all brought on by himself alone.

    This is a direct transcription of a "statement of facts" as printed by saturn of KC. Typing errors are mine. I am merely
    copying information they are already disseminating.

    -----begin poor transcription----

    4/22/97 Vehicle was purchased from Saturn of Blue Springs

    7/23/97 1st oil change was performed at Saturn of Blue Springs, miles 4077,
    change was complimentary

    **/**/** Customer Installed sterio system at approximately this time. System included multiple amplifiers, in-dash CD, separate equalizer, upgrade speakers, and sub-woofer type unit in trunk of vehicle. Unit is wired directly to positive battery cable and other wiring is under dash
    fuse box.

    6/18/98 2nd service by saturn of blue springs performed, 6K recommended,

    real miles, 14825.

    **/**/** At some undetermined time, vehicle was involved in an accident.

    Full extent of damage unknown to saturn of KC. Repairs done at

    4/23/99 3rd service by saturn, car towed into saturn on Olathe, car died while
    driving, miles 27544, found lose battery cable, after market battery bolt.

    7/3/99 4th service by saturn of KC. miles 31336 found blown fuse on remote
    control entry module, also repaired power window regulator. Customer also
    complained of ABS light coming on, which would be consistent with vehicle
    losing electrical power.

    8/16/99 5th service by saturn. Customer drove to saturn of KC, miles 32949, said
    car would not start on previous friday, performed bulletin correction to ignition cylinder,
    test drove for approx. 137 miles. Complaint did not re-occur.

    9/1/99 Customer drove to saturn of KC, miles 34491, said car was intermittently
    losing power on rough roads. On 09/9/99 saturn of KC provided Mr Wright

    with alternate transportation, 1997 nissan sentra. Customer's car still has stall
    code in computer, saturn of KC was instructed by Saturn corp to run redundant
    ground to the fuel pump, and test drove the car for 227 miles. problem did not
    re-occur. The redundant ground was left in place ( concern was that wiring
    modifications might have affected ground to fuel pump ). Customer picked up car,
    returned 364 miles later, stating car had died 5 additional times. Saturn of KC
    drove the car an additional 121 miles, after which it did die for the service manager.
    Saturn of KC disconnected the after market sterio, and drove 260 miles with no problems.
    Saturn sent a field engineer to insect the vehicle. Field engineer could not locate a
    definite cause for the problem.

    **/**/** Saturn corp. contacted Mr. Wright on or shortly after 10/1/99, and began
    discussions regarding possible re-purchase of vehicle.

    10/7/99 saturn of KC requested return of loaner vehicle. Customer returned vehicle as

    It is the understanding of saturn of KC that Saturn Corp has offered to Mr Wright to
    repurchase his vehicle. Complete terms are known only to Mr Wright and Saturn.
    It is the understanding od Saturn of KC that Mr. Wright has decided not to accept
    this offer.

    As has been the case from the start, Saturn of Kansas City and our area stores
    hope that Mr. Wright and saturn corp can reach an equitable solution in the matter.

    ----end poor transcription----
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    If you're going to cut and paste something someone else wrote, it's considered good form to attribute the author/typist. :)

    I wanted to second norbert, i've used 4 different saturn dealers:


    They were all good, with the creme de creme being countryside, IL. Fabulous service, cheap prices, and open until midnight. The service was light years ahead of my saab dealer, and that car costs more than twice as much. They (naughty saab dealer) quoted us $200(!!!) to fix a broken foglight lens, if you can believe that. The albuquerque dealer is close in service and prices, but is only open 9-5, and doesn't do much on weekends. I now do the regular service myself, but I should go soon, though, just to have a general lookover, and to repair some wounds i've inflicted. :)

    neways, good to see you back.

  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    I'd say he does sound like a quack of they offered him a new car or to repurchase his old car and he refused. What more could he expect?

    What concerned me though were the many owner experiences and complaints about Saturn's reliablitly and the complete incompetence and lack of respect that owners experienced by saturn service departments and dealerships.

    Believe me, I am not trying to bash the whole company here, but many of these are similiar to the nightmare that I was put through by a local Saturn dealer, Saturn of Mt Laurel in NJ.

    I think that I may have posted my story here before but, in a nutshell, I bought a used car from them (a Ford) that was supposed be covered under a powertrain warranty for the first 3000 miles. Not long after I took delivery, it started running rough, burning oil, puffing blue smoke etc. I presented my complaints and returned the car to the dealer at least 2 or 3 times a week and all I ever got was doubletalk and sometimes ignored. The service dept and the used car manager passed the buck back and forth. Service dept said the used car manager had to make the decision about honoring warranty work. But the used car manager said he knew nothing about cars (the salesman also said he knew nothing about cars too) and I had to take it up with the service dept.

    The used car manager was always rude and fast talking to me except for one time when he assured me that I would not be left hanging because "that is not the Saturn way." Until of course, after 3 months of this the warranty ran out and then he suddenly claimed that he couldn't remember me telling him about all these problems.

    At one point Saturn told me that they could not diagnose the car because it was a Ford. So I took the car to my own mechanic who gave me a written explantion of all the problems. When I returned to the Saturn dealer they told me that my own mehanics findings were completley irrelevant because he was not a Saturn dealer. As I said nothing but doubletalk.

    It was a complete scam.

    I realize that this may be one bad dealer in a network of good dealers. The problem is that there are only 3 Saturn dealerships in South Jersey and all are owned by the same parent company, Holman Enterprizes.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    ... not only "with a vengeance," but with lots of facts, too!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Thanks Satrunboy for the facts about the guy who is having a problem with the dealer about his Saturn. It appears that he doesn't do even minimal maintenance, and direct wiring a stereo system apparently without a inline fuse, its a wonder he didn't burn up the car by a electrical short.
    So far am pleased with my 99 SL2 and service from Saturn of Binghamton. Now have 23k+ miles and they replaced a broken exterior rear door panel. Now it has developed stress cracks in the outlet pipe of the long thin muffler beneath the car. Will let you all know how it gets resolved.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Yes, sounds like you've definitely got an awful dealer. It majorly sucks that they are the only one in the area. All I can suggest is that you take it up the food chain at saturn ( eg, call the corporate HQ ). They may be able to help. However, you probably already tried something like this, so it's probably not too helpful.

  • jjones7jjones7 Posts: 1
    I just got this car Sat. and I am noticing that if it sits for long periods of time idoling that the Temp. will go all the way to red then something will cycle and the temp will go back to normal. Then it works its way up again. Also this happens when I am in stop and go traffic in the city. After I get on the freeway the temp will stay right in the normal area. Just need to know if this is something you all have or if I have a problem because I only have a 3 month warrenty so I need to know what to do
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    I am sorry to hear about your stress cracks in your muffler? But what exactly are they, and why do they occur? I have a 98 SL and they just replaced my Electronic Ignition module with only 16 thousand miles on it. I was treated fantastic by the dealer, I only gave them a half an hour notice after my check engine light came on and they fixed it promptly with no appt. Hope your situation improves
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    First thing I would do is try replacing the thermostat. It only costs a few dollars and, on most cars, you can replace it your self in a matter of minutes. That may very well be the problem and is a quick fix. You said the needle is going almost to the red--is the fan coming on when it gets above a certain temp? If not, that may also be your problem. If either the fan is not coming on, or a new thermostat doesn't solve your problem, I would take the car back to the dealer and let them diagnose it before your warranty is up. Hope this helps.
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