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Saturn S-Series

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  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    I do not notice Focuses on the road so much. They look like an ordinary car, nothing much. However, the Echos DO STAND OUT, they are so gross looking, IMHO. A narrow car with a pregnant trunk!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Have to admit that after reading your first post about the amount of damage I thought NO WAY!!! something is missing. Your second post added a lot of info to make it believeable. I do have to ask, were the wheels skidding or rolling over the curb? If skidding that would create a lot more force on the sway bar mounts. A note, the sway bar also works with the lower control arm to hold the control arm in position. Hope I don't have a freak accident like your daughters of going over a curb and having that much damage.
  • grif73071grif73071 Posts: 4
    Wheels were pretty much 90 degrees to the curb and the direction of travel was straight ahead. I agree, if the wheels were turned a lot or the angle of attack on the curb less than square that could have made some difference.

    This was exactly like straight ahead travel on a city street where the tire drops into a deep pothole and the lowest point of the auto scrapes the edge of the hole as the car rebounds out of the hole. Yes, we in Oklahoma City have potholes large & deep enough to loose a small car.

    As I pointed out to Saturns "customer satisfaction" person, hundreds of cars in America drag their bellies on the ground each year. They sometimes suffer bent parts such as brackets and sway bars, they get knocked out of alignment, they have bent wheels. They do not have collateral damage to this extent.
  • grif73071grif73071 Posts: 4
    Forgot to answer your first question. :-)

    Wheels were rolling. No skid marks approaching curb. Some rubber scuffed onto curb at area where tire first touched.
  • goldstromgoldstrom Posts: 4
    No I'm not realated to Saturnboy, I don't know who he is nor do I care. I do care about people that bash good cars such as Saturns!!!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    I'm in upstate NY and we get potholes in a big way. I hit one on a rainy night on the interstate and the sound it made, I thought I was going to lose a wheel. Stopped and checked and no damage to tire or wheel. Will be taking it to dealer for an alignment.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    Re: engine knocking problem we discussed two weeks ago.

    dave and fredfred3: you had a similar advice, calling for decarbonization of cylinders/injectors. Just to make sure, I first took my SL2 to my local mechanic, who first checked the oil and found it to be at the low end of the stick, at the "ADD" mark. He asked me to put in a quart of oil - but it did not fix the problem. However, then I went to Kragen and bought a 99-cent bottle of injector cleaner (akin to Techron) and put it in at the bottom of the tank at the next fillup. Hey, it seems to do the trick!! I did not notice any pinging after two days of use!

    traveler: if the mixture were too rich, I'd suppose this would be caught at the next emission check which is compulsory here in California every two years. My Saturn had been passing it with a lot of room to spare so far!

    Thanks again, guys. You are worth it!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Hey, I got something right! I better go tell my wife!

    Seriously.. I'm glad that worked for you. I do it periodically as a preventitive measure. My saturn passed the emissions test by a huge margin too.. You are allowed 103 parts per here, and i had 3. I was just a tad worried, because it does burn a quart of oil every 1500 miles or so. :)

    dave
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Sorry, if that sounded too challenging.. I was just curious, becauase I have beat up my car quite a bit. I still wonder if hitting a curb will really be like hitting a big pot hole, but i dunno.

    dave
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    I am a violently dissatisfied ex Saturn owner.
    I bought a 94 SC2 new, and loved it ... for the
    first thousand miles or so.

    After that, minor things went wrong. Throttle
    springs broke, the fuel door broke. All in all,
    about five times I had it back in the dealership
    for minor but annoying repairs. Catalytic converter failed. Spark plug wires failed. and and and. The ABS light on the dash would spontaneously come on. Still I loved it and was pro-Saturn.

    During my ownership, I offhandedly noticed that not much oil came out when I did the oil changes every 3000 - 4000 miles. I didn't think much of it, assuming that a new car wasn't going to burn much oil. Previously I had owned many different cars of ages ranging from 50K to 100K miles, of all different makes, and not one had burned more than a quart of oil per 3000 mile interval.

    I was thus unpleasantly surprised when I let an oil change interval slip to 4500 miles, and the engine failed, at 36050 miles. The dealership calmly told me it ran out of oil, and it was my fault for not checking the oil every time I filled it with gas. Note that the oil light never came on; what good is that?

    Saturn, in its infinite generosity, split the $4000 cost of the engine replacement with me.

    Doing further research I found out that burning a
    quart of oil every 1000 miles was "normal" for that Saturn engine.

    Saturn built an engine that when new drinks more oil than most 150,000 mile Toyotas out there, and they never took responsibility for that negligence.

    I now own a Subaru, and have had ZERO problems for 30K miles now. It simply is a far better designed and built car, in my ever so humble opinion.
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    I visited the www.saturnexposed.com web site and have to say that the collection of Saturn horror stories is impressive. Compared to the number of Saturns sold it's not many, but then again I am sure there are many who have similar horror stories and have not shared their stories with anyone.

    Posters on this board attempted to discredit the originator of this web site because he is an attorney and because he is trying to get money out of Saturn. I am no fan of attorneys in general, but how does the fellow's choice of profession discredit him? He *is* trying to get money out of Saturn corporation, just like I tried like hell to get Saturn to pay the full cost of replacing my engine. If he was trying to use his professional status as an attorney to get money out of Saturn, he would be suing, not publishing a web site.

    Which brings me to the title of this post. I believe that the reason Saturn is as high as it is in customer satisfaction is because everyone smiles and is so nice at the dealerships. The customers are brainwashed into thinking everything is terrific and wonderful, so they overlook reliability issues. When JD Powers contacts them, they forget about the repair issues and continue to say everything is wonderful. I fell victim to that brainwashing and just ignored all the little stuff that went wrong. When they sent me surveys I felt obligated to fill out "Excellent!" because I didn't want to criticize my Saturn family.

    Now that I own a Subaru, I know what ownership of good cars is supposed to feel like. I can't believe how many times I brought my Saturn into the dealer for repairs, and I can't believe I blissfully ignored those repairs when people asked me how I liked my car.

    This brainwashing reminds me of the brand loyalty my family had for Volvos. We suffered through a simply astonishing number of repairs, yet continued to say how we liked the car. I dealt with water pump issues in the 1971 we had; I later owned a 1980 and was shocked to find out the leaking water pump was still of the same flawed design. But still I Loved My Volvo. Another family member owned a much newer Volvo. The automatic transmission failed at 40K miles. Volvo said he was out of luck. So the guy bought a new Volvo on the spot! Glassy-eyed brand loyalty.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Nobody here is bashing anything. People are sharing their experiences that they have had with their cars--both good and bad. If there seem to be more negative posts than positive, that does not mean the person is "bashing" Saturn, but it is a relflection on the problems they have had.
  • claryclary Posts: 18
    Brainwashed? Gimme a break.
  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    It would be so nice to be able to talk about a car without the defensive people getting so hot under the collar. If you comment negatively it is Bashing - Saturnboy loved that term. And it sets them off on a tiraid that is tiring to say the least. Just talk about your experience with the car and have the decency to let other people discuss theirs. Stop defending the marque, if it is any good it will stand very well by itself. If it is not it will be gone in a couple of years.
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    Just don't drink the kool aid they serve at the Saturn dealerships!

    I should append to my comments: I feel that I was brainwashed, and I have observed brainwashing in my family regarding their undying and irrational love for Volvos.

    I don't know that other people have been brainwashed into loving their Saturns, but I am speculating that the "different kind of car" etc. stuff contributes to it. My speculation may be completely wrong, for you and for other people. It's just speculation on my part, and that's that.

    If you love your Saturn and are happy owning it, all the more power to you.

    If you hate your Saturn, I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, you have company.

    If you are shopping for an car, I urge you to consider all available options, at actual selling price (expect about 3-4% above invoice), before joining the Saturn family, or any other family for that matter. You will, I feel, be happier in the long run.

    One comment regarding resale value: a key mistake I made was to compare resale prices to original MSRP. On this point Saturn compared favorably to other cars. However, it's misleading, because almost all other cars sold for less than the MSRP. When you discount the original MSRP, the advantage disappears. Case in point: I paid $17.5K before TTL for my Saturn SC2 in mid '94. Just over three years and about 50K miles later, I sold the thing for under half that, and the car was in excellent shape. Not terrible depreciation, but not outstanding by any means.

    Good luck and happy motoring to all!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    I can understand your enthusiasm about a car that has not caused you any trouble. But I would not go so far as to call them perfect. If there ever was a perfect car, there would not be any negative posts about them. A review of the posts proves no manufacturer has a corner on a perfect car. I like my saturn and I hope that it lasts me for 150,000 miles with only replacement of worn out parts ie tires, struts, plugs and plugwires oil and filters etc. If it starts going into major problems, will cross that bridge then.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I think that's an exageration. Furthermore, people have not just discredited the purveyor of the saturnexposed site due to his being a lwayer trying to get money out of saturn, but because of his service history(not serviced well), the fact that his car had been in an accident, and the fact that his car had heavy mods to the electrical system for a custom sterio, and when THAT was unhooked, the car worked OK. I don't think a friendly dealer is going to make most people accept an inferior car, either--most people get small services done elsewhere anyways.

    I don't know if some of you people are counting me as a saturn brainwashee, but I am planning to upgrade my ride to a grand prix GTP sometime soon. Looked at the new saturn LS, thought it was ok, but thought the GTP was more of my kid of car. Although my sl2 has been very good until now, and amazingly economical, I just want something bigger, faster, quiter, with more "stuff." I did not even consider another sl2--been there, done that. Beleive me, if my saturn had been an unreliable car, it would have been gone long ago, i've been fiending for a faster car for quite some time. Now, my saturn does go through a quart of oil every 1500 miles or so nowadays(90K miles), and I did have to replace warped brake rotors at 75K miles ( maybe i could have turned them.. ) BUT, it's never left me stranded or had to go back to the dealer for an unscheduled trip. My major issue with the car is wind and road noise, which i find to be excessive; otherwise i knew very well what i was getting.

    dave
  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    I don't think you're a brainwashee by any means. Warping brake rotors at 75k miles would be nothing to complain about in my book.

    Perhaps the folks that have Saturn lemons feel betrayed because they thought it was a different kind of car and so violently turn against the marque, so thus you see such vehement posts.

    There is no objective data about cars' repair histories, as far as I know. Perhaps someday we will have car repair tracking by VIN, so we can view really good data about repair histories.

    My biggest beef is that Saturn knew about the engines' oil consumption and did nothing about it besides hide behind their recommendation that the oil be checked at every fill-up. If the company was indeed a different kind of company, why wouldn't they offer free oil changes every 3K miles with the best synthetic oils known to reduce oil consumption? At the very least, warn people that it happens so they know to check the oil at least every 1000 miles. Or change the oil pressure sensors so they are sensitive enough to warn about pressures low enough to cause engine destruction. Or fix the problem: Someone told me it was the valve seals and guides; someone else told me it was the rings. There are a lot of things they could have done, but they just hid their heads in the sand. Maybe they were too afraid of how they would look after their massive early life recalls.

    The evasiveness is what bothers me the most. For example, I never did an oil change interval longer than the recommended 7.5K miles; most were around 3-4K miles. Yet Saturn told me the intervals should be no more than 3K miles. The reason they cited was that most vehicles are driven in "extreme driving conditions". First of all, I used mine for totally vanilla daily commutes of ~10 miles. No dust, no one-block driving, no towing. Second, if most vehicles are driven in "extreme driving conditions" why not make that the default oil change interval?!?

    Had I been warned about it, I probably would be ambivalent about the car. I would have thought it was an okay car except it drinks oil. As it was, I assumed a brand new car wouldn't have excessive oil consumption. When I noted lower oil levels, I shrugged it off as a quirk and was surprised when the engine went ratatatatatabang. So now I think the marque is evil.

    Evil. Saturn: an evil kind of car company.
  • Those are the three models I'm looking at now, and the rap from the Saturn sales rep is that the 4-door Saturn SL2 is roomier, a bit cheaper, and as dependable. She dismissed the Civic as smaller and the Corolla as less dependable.

    Your thoughts, Saturn fans (and critics)?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I just wanted to let you know my small encounters with the 97-99 Grand Prixs. I am quite unimpressed with this car. My sister's mother-in-law bought a 97 Grand Prix new and loved it (as she should, seeing as she came from a 93 Tempo). However, within a few months, she asked me if it was normal for the car to stall after starting it in the mornings. Sometimes it took 3 tries and her foot on the gas before the car would stay running (she had the base 3.1 liter V-6). Next, I noticed a misaligned sticking rear door and told her to take it in and get it adjusted. She constantly has flat tires and yet the tire inflation warning system either never warned her or warned her after the tire was completely flat. What good is that? Just another pointless gimmick that doesn't work if you ask me. Her cloth split bench seats are some of the most uncomfortable seats I have ever sat in. It felt like a bunch of logs underneath me with little to no padding whatsoever. In this same time frame, my sister's 97 Maxima never had any problems, other then what she considered to be poor fuel economy (she left it idling for up to 30 minutes at a time).
    I also took a ride in a 99 Grand Prix GT coupe. I was curious so I asked my friend if it had been reliable. He said, "Oh yeah its been great, although I did blow the water pump already". That is pathetic! A water pump should not fail within a year. But what disturbed me the most was how poorly put together it felt. Driving on a relatively smooth sand road, the chassis flexed noticeably and the dashboard shook, squeaked, popped, and rattled something terrible! The doors felt heavy yet closed with a tinny clunk. The leather was some of the poorest quality I have ever seen. It looked and felt more like vinyl than leather. I think GM still has some serious build quality issues and I would think twice before looking into one of their products.
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