Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Saturn S-Series



  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Why don't you get in touch with Saturn corp. Although you vehicle is WELL out of warrenty if you can document the correct maintinence Saturn may kick in a little to help with the repairs.

    I would be pissed too if I were you - but have you taken the car to a Saturn retailer and gotten an estimate? I would also suggest you go to an independant with a good reputation and get an estimate.

    Sounds like you just got a rotten car. Recognizing that it is YOUR car that is bad while many other people are very happy and have never had a problem doesn't make YOU feel any better - what does going to another manufacturer going to do? Just make you feel better. Imgaine if you had bought a Camry in 99 and needed a new engine at 30K but it wasn't covered under warrenty because you didn't service at the dealership?

    No car is perfect - how is the engine and tranny doing on yours? We have a car in our showroom with 292,000 miles on it. Original engine and transmission.

    Again I would contact Saturn corp - it doesn't cost anything but time -

    Hope things work out for you...
  • meuumeuu Posts: 2
    I have just purchased a 2002 Saturn SL with the manual 5 speed. My question is does anyone else have one that shifts a bit clunky? I have drove manuals all my life and this one seems to click or clunk into gears most the time. I was hopeing it was just a breakin thing but it has gotten no better. Before the dealer gives me some B.S. I just wanted to know if anyone else thinks their car shifts this way? Thanks for any help....

  • My 1999 SL2 also shifts a little "clunky." But, I don't really consider it a fault. I think that once you get used to it, the "clunkiness" actually helps you make sure the shifter is going where you want it to go. Of course, yours may be doing something different than mine--so, by all means, have the service department look at it. You say you just bought it--did you not raise a concern during your test drive?
  • meuumeuu Posts: 2
    Yes I did kind of notice it during the test drive, but hoped it was a breakin thing. I will bring it to the dealers attention. Other than the shifting thing I really like the car so far. I hope some of the stories I have read hear are not very common. I hope to run 150,000 to 200,000 miles without major problems. I ran 203,000 miles on a plymouth horizon without one major problem. Just an alternator and tires/brakes, very depenable car....
  • birdman579birdman579 Posts: 151
    I'm now at 117.5K miles (Feb 19, I was only at 115K; damn I drive a lot) and just took my car to the dealer for some service. They told me $1600 of work should be done! Is this a load a crap? Here are the major issues: new front brake pads and rotors ($350), fog light replacement ($140), replace spark plugs and wires, clean throttle body, to correct and prevent carbon buildup ($300), flush automatic transmission fluid ($350), replace upper engine mount ($250), and some other minor issues.

    I had the brakes done, which I now feel was a mistake. According to dealer, the front pads were at 5/32, according to my Haynes repair manual, 1/16 is the minimum thickness. They feel better, but could have gone longer. I love the fog lights so I replaced it. The housing was completely rusted and stopped working even after replacing the bulb. What's the story with spark plug wires arcing? I can't figure out how to diagnosis this. I declined this and figure I'll take care of when I do the 120K mile service myself. Flushing the automatic transmission fluid? I've been changing it as scheduled so I declined this as well. Replace upper engine mount? I did this 18 months/25K miles ago. It looks fine to me and I remember what a collapsed mount looks like. My car is running fine so I'm not terribly concerned about any of the issues, but would appreciate some feedback.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    most of those repairs can be done with basic auto tools . And an average comsumer can do a better job performing that work .
  • birdman579birdman579 Posts: 151
    wwhite2: what repairs specifically are you calling expensive? The brakes were $250 in parts so $100 doesn't seem outrageous for installation. The fog light replacement was $70 in parts, but it was all rusted and a pain to get to (I have changed the bulbs on several occasions) so I decided to have the dealer do the dirty work. Replacing the spark plugs and wires seemed really high to me so I'll do it myself. The auto transmission flush also seems pricey. Can a mechanic do that for less? The engine mount replacement is also too much. I did this myself as well. The part was $70 and only took about 30 minutes to replace. Very fun and easy to do. What's the going rate for a 120K mile service? I'm going to do it myself, but am curious. The dealers in my area (Balt/Wash) want $325-350. That seems expensive. I will say, the dealers all seem to know what they're doing. Any problems I've had, all have been fixed the first time. Never a repeat trip to the dealer.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    You said..

    "I'm now at 117.5K miles (Feb 19, I was only at 115K; damn I drive a lot) and just took my car to the dealer for some service. They told me $1600 of work should be done! Is this a load a crap? Here are the major issues: new front brake pads and rotors ($350), fog light replacement ($140), replace spark plugs and wires, clean throttle body, to correct and prevent carbon buildup ($300), flush automatic transmission fluid ($350), replace upper engine mount ($250), and some other minor issues."

    I'm not an expert on service issues. The prices you mentioned are about right for a Saturn dealer to charge - except they are on the very HIGH side of what I have seen. In particular $350 to flush the tranny fluid and (I assume) replace the filter. Thats about a 70 dollar internal job.

    My advice would be when it comes to big repair issues or when your car is still low in miles and worth more its not a bad idea to pay the extra money for actual Saturn dealer work.

    When your car has that many miles I would suggest you find a local reputable mechanic who can proably do the same work for

    New front brakes and rotors (200)
    Fog light replacement (80)
    Spark plugs and wires - clean throttle body (100)
    Transmission flush and new filter (100)
    Replace top motor mount (80)

    Also if you are handy at all you could do the majority of the above work at home. The most difficult part would be new front brakes and rotors - and thats not too hard.
  • Hey Saturn owners. I just bought a Saturn SL2 about 3 weeks ago. While I have no complaints with my OEM Affinity tires, I am thinking about replacing them. I think it is just the lack of goodwill associated with the Firestone name. I know the problems were with the truck tires; and, that there have been no problems with the Affinity passenger tire. How have you liked your Affinity tires? Have you replaced them--and if so, with what? Have you not even thought about it? I went to and read some posts from people about a couple of tires. Generally all bad reviews of the Affinity. The most popular tire Saturn SL2 owners bought to replace the Affinity tires was the Dunlop SP Sport A2. The reviews on that tire are great. I may go with them. sells them for $55 each, but you have to get a shop to install them at about $20 each--plus shipping. Sears sells them for $80 each, so I may just go there. It may all be in my head, though. Any thoughts?
  • I can't believe how little interest there is in Saturn around here!

    I guess I will keep the tires. I went out over the weekend and tried to make them squeal or slide in turns (not in heavy traffic), and they would not. Maybe the Affinity is a good tire for the size and weight of the Saturn SL class.
  • birdman579birdman579 Posts: 151
    My 93 SL2 originally came Firehawk FTX02 tires. They were very sticky, but also rough riding. Snow/wet traction was decent. At 45K miles, they were replaced with Affinitys. I was extremely disappointed and can't believe Saturn now sells new models with them. They have zero grip, squeal at every turn, and have no wet/snow traction. The backend was always sliding out unexpectedly. This would happen while traveling on straight, flat roads at low speed. After an accident that I spun out and broke my front and rear knuckle joints, I decided it was time for a change to something better. A bulge also appeared on one of the sidewalls. When I made my way to the Firestone dealer, they inspected all 4 tires and said they were all dry-rotting. They only had 60K miles on them and are guaranteed for 80K miles. I got $75 towards my new tires. A set of Firestone SS20s ($250 installed for all 4). They are dramatically better in all road conditions. Dry cornering is great, but more importantly wet/snow grip is light years ahead of the Affinitys. I would never want to drive another car with Affinitys.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    Next week the 2003 Ion is unveiled, can't wait.

    Then it's bye-bye S!
  • My 97 Saturn SL1 Has been a great car for the 2 1/2 years and 70,000+ miles i have owned it just recently it has begun stuttering and hesitating while driving, it happens the most when accelerating but sometimes when just crusing also.
    Ive tried several remedies including having the fuel injectors cleaned and changing the spark plugs, but nothing seems to help. If anyone can help me please let me know!

  • birdman579birdman579 Posts: 151
    In the past few weeks, my timing chain has become somewhat loud. You can hear it while the car is idling. The dealer told me this shouldn't be a problem and to make sure the oil level is always full. The engine also occasionally (once a week) will run rough for a few seconds while waiting at a light. I'm thinking this might be related to my bad spark plug wires.
  • ochsskochssk Posts: 52
    Our '95 Saturn SL2 had stuttering problems and started stalling at traffic lights. After searching a few forums I found out Saturn has some problems with ERG valves. I had Saturn replace the ERG valve and haven't had a problem since.
  • jpelderjpelder Posts: 235
    I agree...most likely it's either bad plug wires or the EGR valve.
  • I had my 1999 SL2 serviced at Saturn of Gwinnett in Duluth, Ga Monday. They changed the oil, replaced the wiper blades, inspected the brakes, adjusted the parking brake, washed the car and had me out the door in 45 minutes. That's pretty good in my book. Saturns may not be the most exciting cars on the road, but the dealerships show why people buy them!
  • Clay, that's good news to hear...I close to hitting my 3000 mark (ALREADY!) and will need to go for a change! Glad to know that the service extends itself beyond the delivery!!!!
  • Saturn has just released a tiny number (1,000 cars?) of SL Special Edition sedans, which are the base model 5-speed SL with air conditioning in a very pretty metallic blue. I stumbled onto one of these by accident at my local Saturn store, they state this is the only one they will receive from Spring Hill.

    The clincher with the SL Special Edition is Saturn is selling these for a price $2000 below the standard price for the base SL (although you cannot get the 0% financing promotion). I made an offer to buy the one they have, and they will have it prepped up today. It will replace my 1995 white SL which has almost 180k on it.

    Besides noticing that the newer SL has power steering and a drivers-side mirror, I notice the ride quality is smoother and the interior noise is substantially quieter than my 1995 which is still in good shape.

    Is there any reason I should NOT buy the 2002 SL Special Edition as a reliable daily-driver commuting car?
Sign In or Register to comment.