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Saturn S-Series

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  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Alternator, clutch, and CV axle replacements ARE serious repairs. The first 2 are expensive repairs and can leave you stranded and being left stranded at 45 and 52K is something I would not be happy with. Even traveler, a fellow Saturn owner, seems to agree. But, hey, if your happy with your low standards, than thats your right. You must have owned some real crappy cars in your lifetime though, LOL.
  • I think we are all begining to sound like Gore VS Bush in here , lol. We oviously each have veiws and sides that are split right downt the middle and will defend them till there is no tommarow.
    People, especially those who visit edmunds.com are very passionate about their automobiles as well they should be. Granted, no cars are perfect. My previous Toyota Celica leaked oil at 60 thousand miles, and had a faulty turn signal switch which Toyota wanted a few hundred dollars to replace. That led me to Saturn, which I has been near flawless in reliability (knock on wood), I simply wish that everyone would be as lucky as I am in regards to owning a Saturn.

    Ingtonge, I do realize that what you own (hyundai Accent) has nothing to do with your comments, I suppose that in defending the Saturn brand, I let my own opinions come through regarding this korean automaker. I personally do Really Like the new 2001 Elantra, and would consider buying one. However, I still feel that thier previous repuation would make people look at me as if I were cheap , kind of like how people veiw hatchbacks , aka horizon, colt, etc.
    I wish you luck with your accent,make sure you do every maintenance item at a hyundai dealer, if you miss maintenance they can and will void your warranty. Also, Hyundai has warranty exclusions , such as paint is only covered for 3 years, radio for a year, etc.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Don't let what other people think turn you away from buying something you like. What matters is what you like, not what others like. I have always been one that goes against current car trends. Example: I hate SUVs and would never buy one, but I absolutely love hatchbacks and currently own 2 of them. I honestly see no reason why hachbacks should be viewed as cheap. They have the versatility of an SUV (minus offroading) but wrapped in a car body. Hopefully Mercedes new C class hatchback will change that view some. It's one awesome looking car and far from cheap.
    By the way, the new 2001 Elantra is a nice car. I went and looked at one and was very impressed with its looks and roomy interior. Anyway, Hyundai does allow do-it-yourself maintenance on their cars as long as you keep a record and receipts of what you have done. I am one that will not bring my car in unless it is for a major service like the timing belt. Thanks for retracting your negative comment towards what I drive. That was very nice of you and I appreciate that.
    Here's something that ought to get a few laughs. I am hailing from Florida, the state of recounts and people who can't read a ballot, LOLOLOLOL. I'm so embarrassed to even say I'm from Palm Beach county, but thankfully, I'm not registered there so was not part of that stupid ballot. I'm just glad that my ballot may have been one of the few that kept Bush in the lead :)
    A side note to fellow Palm Beach citizens: Get a life, move on, and just accept the fact that Bush won Florida no matter how narrow the lead was. Enough of this dragging the whole country along with stupid and groundless lawsuits.
  • Every so often I drive by the Saturn dealer near me on a Sunday and look at the new SL2's. I think that I would like to buy one but am not in real need of a new car. My six year old car is doing fine. Then I think that maybe if I wait until next year the 2002 will have a new look and new features but I hear that Saturn doesn't plan to make any real changes until 2003. That seems like a long time when you consider the changes other car companies are making. Aren't the SL models getting long in the tooth for Saturn to wait until 2003 to make a major change? Does Saturn plan to make any changes on the 2002 model that will get people interested in looking more closely at the SL's? Then again Honda made some changes on their 2001 Civic that some car magazines don't seem to like. Any thoughts.
  • Chas

    If your car is only 6 years young, I would definitly hold on to it for a couple more years. Saturn has made improvements to thier original car line, quieter engines in 1999, better pricing on MSRP, and options for 2001. The SL2's Horsepower rating remains competitive with other current cars.

    The Saturn S series has not had a major makeover due to lack of investment dollars from GM. Dollars which are coming, and waiting for a 2003 Saturn S Series should prove to be worth the wait. I have a 98 Saturn SL, which has been great. I plan on leasing a 2001 SL to contiue to support the brand while waiting for completely redesigned 2003-2004 S Series which I hope to purchase.
  • Thanks,
    That sounds like good advice. I so like the car that it will be good for me to follow the changes and all the information I glean from this BB.
    I am becoming a Saturn Freak and enjoy collecting information on the car. I hope that GM really supports it because I definitely want to own one someday. I do believe they are a "Different Kind of Car Company."
    My mother owns a '99 SL2 so I do feel a little like I'm part of the Saturn family.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,746
    Let's face it. With a few exceptions there is very little difference between most small sedans. Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler all have pretty good offerings. Bluster all we want it still comes down to personnel preference. In the case of Saturn there are some very good reasons some people will buy one. Many owners that have other cars might say, "big deal" when scratch and dent resistant doors are mentioned, but most other small cars don't have them. It is one of the reasons a three year old Saturn, on average, looks newer than a three year old other car. The styling may look rather simple compared to many cars but remember how dated some more radical looking cars look after only a few years. Remember tail fins? The shape that cuts the air best will always come back so the wedge and rounded corners will always be in style.

    For me it comes down to the company itself. Think about how you are treated. Saturn practices what it preaches and that is what brings customers back time and time again. In the review pages I saw the comment that the Saturn may be priced better than some of the competitors but you might want to shop around because if you work at it you might be able to get some of the dealers to come down as much as $3000.00 due to rebates and incentives. I say why bother? I like being treated like a customer not a rube waiting to be took. Being treated with respect has to be worth something. When you look at all the customer responses Saturn is right up there with Lexus in customer satisfaction. Sales, service, parts all treat you like you are important. Not like many the other dealers I went to when looking to buy a new car. The Subaru dealer pretended that my trade in was only worth a " few bucks", and started out high planning on working down in price so I would feel I had been given a deal. Some sales people and dealers must not realize that we have access to sites like this, and Kelly Blue book also.

    Saturn is designed from the bottom up to believe the customer comes first and that being a horse trader is a thing of the past. There was no second sales person, meetings with the manager and last but not least the "closer". One man, pick the car, pick the options, and here was the price. Simple and quick. The company also offers classes on how to service your car, for free. " So what?" some might say? "`I already know how to service a car." Isn't it better that a person the does servicing for a living is willing to show you how it is done? More companies should offer this. Maybe if they did someone wouldn't feel that replacing a defective alternator was a "major" repair. My wife could do it. It is easy to be satisfied with a car, just pick what you like and take care of it. If you want to be satisfied with a experience as well as a car I believe you can't go wrong with a Saturn.
  • boaz47,
    I agree with you on that. The people at Saturn have been great to me and my wife. We have only had it in the shop three times for repairs since we bought it in 1994. They give us a loaner each time and treated us like kings. The last repair when i replaced a front axle they even replaced the windshield wipers for free and aired up my tires, washed the car and other stuff like that. I just bought a Chevy Impala and while I love this car the dealership I bought It from ain't Saturn.
  • The old VW beetle had the same body style for years and that didn't keep people from buying them. In my opinion, the less a body style is changed the better because I drive my cars for 10 years or 150,000 miles then get another. If body parts are needed, can always get another at a auto recycler at fraction of cost of dealer or body shop prices.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,746
    To Republican,
    When people complain about dependability they often aren't aware of what others that own the same model of car have to say. Often it isn't that the part broke but rather how easy is it to fix. I like you have had nothing but good experiences from my dealer. And I have had more than one dealer in my driving life. My worse experience was with Jeep. I doubt if I would ever get another one, and if I did it would never see a dealer. I like the idea that many repairs can be made on this new car by me. I also like the idea that they had a cross section of a Saturn engine for me to look at. I was shocked to see they had a real timing chain...not a rubber belt. It would seem that they expected to see these cars last.

    Traveler,
    I agree that some styles are classic. And the simple ones seem to be around for a while. Besides take one look at the PT Cruiser and you will see that smooth curves must have some appeal.
  • I must say that it is very nice to see so many happy Saturn owners in here lately. Saturn's core values are trust and respect for the individual, teamwork, and value. I have a 1998 Saturn SL and have only had one warranty repair done in 2 and a half years. My ignition control module was acting up , and apon 30 minutes notice I gave my Saturn retailer, they took me in right away and fixed it. I was very impressed.

    I personally like the way Saturns look , and appreciate the super low maintenance costs compared to the Corolla, and Civic. I intend lease a 2001 S series in a few months. I intend to wait till the new 2003 S Series comes out to purchase. Saturn of course isn't perfect, but what car is? Overall, I am very satisfied with my car and service.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,746
    I was looking at some earlier posts and I noticed how some people are more than willing to point out how foolish some of us were to buy a Saturn. Many tell us that we should buy a Honda or a Toyota, or even a Nissan. We might respond that Saturn has a 87 percent approval rating by it's owners and is second only to Lexus in Service. But they point out that their choice is so much better. They tell us we are blind to quality and have a false sense of brand loyalty. From those of us that have been around cars for a while maybe we could get a little respect for our choice if a few things were pointed out.
    I remember when Honda first started selling cars in this country. How many people remember getting a free Honda 600 when you bought a Olds? I remember a dealer doing that. And believe me I remember what a poor car that was. But people bought it. And they got the next two models also...remember just before the civic came out they had that little car with the fish bowl looking window? And people paid good money for them. They had their reasons I am sure but they were light years behind a good domestic car. Shoot, if they wouldn't have lowered the speed limit nationally they would never make it to the speed limit. Toyotas weren't much better. They were cheep little cars that may or may not have gone 50,000 miles. Nissan was just as bad. They were afraid to use the parent company name and decided to market them as Datsuns remember? Square, slow ugly little boxes. Some might say, "oh they weren't that bad," but I had a B-210 and I can confirm that they were that bad. You had to downshift to get over a cigar butt. And still people bought them. The companies didn't even offer a 3 year 30,000 mile guarantee. All they got was good gas milage, period. People stuck with them and today they are pretty good cars. Are they light years ahead of Saturn? No, and Saturn offers something very few of them do. Honest service and respect for the customer. I think it is time they can learn something else from us.
  • I have a first-year production 1991 SL2. It still looks new in-and-out. It drives exacty as it did new back in July 1991. It has just under 160,000 miles on it. It burns about 3/4 of a quart of oil every 3000 miles. I replaced the original alternator at 110,000 miles, the driver-side window regulator just last year, and the original brakes at 115,000 - just as a precaution. I've had to replace the oxygen sensor once, and the MAP sensor once - both were very inexpensive. It rattles at idle as it has from day one. I still believe that the 1991's are the best year. It came stock with aluminum wheels, hand-bent headers, aluminum valve cover, thick anti-sway bars, and it still has a tendency to peel out when shifting into second gear (only when the transmission switch is set to 'performance'). I've had this car for almost ten years, and I doubt another ten will make any difference - as long as I stick to the maintenance schedule. I know other people who haven't been as fortunate, but their cars weren't maintained or treated nearly as well as mine. FYI: If you're replacing the alternator, ignore the instructions! The alternator fits (just barely) over the transaxle. You'll still want to disconnect the negative battery cable. Only a few common tools are needed. It took me only 20 minutes from start to finish! I purchased my alternator through Autozone, with a lifetime replacement warranty for only $134.05.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,746
    Dependable is the reason many of us turned to Saturn. The owners tend to think Saturns are good cars, the car mags seem to think they are dependable and they place well in all the surveys. The dealers treat you like a person and parts are easy to get. I'm glad to hear that someone likes their ten year old Saturn as much as nice91sl2 does. Lets me know I have a lot of good years ahead of me.
  • tthnttthnt Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 SL1 and have had numerous problems, I've had the engine rebuilt at 80,000 miles. Not to mention all the problems before like a bad EGR valve, brake problems, etc. I'm looking for a second car and I'm not sure if I want to buy another saturn. Most likely it would be the L100. Not sure what else is out there for about the same price. Any suggestions let me know.
  • I have a 95 SL2 and also had numerous problems, but they occurred mostly in the first two years of ownership. Right now, I do have pinging on acceleration, and other times when the engine gets stressed out just a bit (like driving on level road at certain RPM before auto downshift and upshift). My mechanic told me to top up oil and it didn't help. In the last few thousand miles (the car just crossed the 50K mile on the odometer) I replaced the fuel filter, replaced oil and filter and replaced the transmission filter. I tanked up on premium gas. I put in the injector cleaner additive. Nothing seems to help.

    My question to you (and others who know): Should I replace the EGR valve next? Is it difficult to do it yourself?

    Thanks.
  • Hi All,

    I just joined this group because I'm getting to my wits end on my 95 SL2. We are the original owners on it and there have been odd things at odd times that have gone wrong with it. We have been noticing, and have taken it in about three times now to no avail, that the transmission is slipping. It's an automatic transmission. It all started when the car would get warm, putting it in reverse it would hesitate. Now you have to push the gas to get it to go into reverse, especially if it's really warm. If it's cold, no problem. And when I'm in traffic now if the engine downshifts odd the "service engine soon" light comes in. We have taken it in and looked at and it is the transmission. My question is, why at 100,000 miles would I have to have the transmission fixed and this all started probably around 80,000 also.

    We have twins now and are looking for a bigger car, more like a van instead, so we'll probably just trade it in. But with the past 5 years and the odd things we have had to have replaced (i.e., the medal bar that pushes the moon roof up got rusted and it was never left open during rain or anything and since we've had leakage that is obvious on the roof, and the lumbar support lever went out within the first year we had the car ... we never used it!). I'm not trying to sound upset, but it's just really been one thing after another with the car and now it's not under any kind of warranty. I just have a bad taste in my mouth from all of this. We also have a 92 Toyota Corolla that has only had to have the typical stuff repaired for it's age and mileage (150k).

    Any input or suggestions would be great!!

    Thanks!
  • Sorry to hear about your unfortunate problems, the best advice I can give you for someone considering a van is don't buy a Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge, you will regret it from day one. Look into a Honda Oddesy, or Toyota Siena. Also, a Saturn LW200 may fit your lifestyle very nicely.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,746
    I like Toyoya's in general. The V-6 3.0 has had some exhaust manifold problems, almost everyone I know has had to have work done on their V-6 Truck...but the 4 is bullet proof. But their Van? Everyone I know, not everyone there is I am sure, has had troubles with the Toyota Van. You must remember I live in a warm state with high freeway speeds...and Toyota has had cooling problems with their vans for at least three generations. I suggest you look at something else.
    Sorry to hear about the transmission problems. And your mechanic can't tell you what is going on? What does the dealer say?
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