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Saturn S-Series



  • Wow, that's too bad. I guess whoever had the car for the first years may not have been too kind to it. You know, improper break in, negligent in maintenance, etc. Saturn redesigned the engine in 1998, so hopefully many of the sounds you have will be less frequent now. I know I don't have them in my '99.
  • cwo4cwo4 Posts: 90
    Saturn has a special I didn't know about until I entered the dealership today. They call it a "Springtime Special" and what it is is a blue Saturn SL, base engine, 5 speed, 4 door with AC and CD player with AM/FM. What makes this really stand out to me is the price, $9995! And the SL1 has 0% financing. Now if I can talk the Mrs. out of a Toyota and into a Saturn, I'll save money!
  • jeff186jeff186 Posts: 95
    OK, the dealer I'm leasing from said to change the oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months. I read the owners manual for my '02 SL1 and it says 3,000 for Severe conditions, which I'm not operating under. My question: under normal driving conditions, what does Saturn recommend for oil change interval. I believe it's when the oil change light comes on. I'm looking for Saturn's base requirements for mandatory service. Thanks.
  • danili19danili19 Posts: 7
    Oil changes don't really vary that much. With a car as new as yours, don't use synthetic- wait until about 25k. At that point, with syn. oil AND a syn. filter, change every 6-7k. With regular oil in any car though, I wouldn't go much more than 4k. There are myths all over the place about having to change at 3k 'if you want your car to last.' True, oil breaks down after a while. But as long as you're not driving a cab, I don't see why you couldn't bring it out to 4000 between changes. Also, I'm sure your car is past this point already, but it's always recommended that when you buy a new car, change the oil after 1000 miles. When the aluminum in a Saturn engine is new, sometimes there are rough edges in the cylinder housings and/or on the pistons, and the friction can cause small pieces of metal to enter the oil stream and clog the filter much faster. Even though it's just another myth, I'd rather spend 20 bucks changing it early one time than 200 or more fixing worn seals or compression leaks.
  • Go by the owner's manual. The dealer wants you to use 3000 miles because they make big bucks in the service department. That being said, city stop and go driving is considered "severe" is it not? Do what the book says and you'll be just fine.
  • There was another post a week or so ago about a guy who found one of these. It sounds like a heck of a deal. Have your wife drive it and see what you can do!
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    My blackberry 99 SC2 5spd now has 90,000 miles. Since 45-50k miles it uses 1 quart of mobil 1 every 1k miles >I change the oil every 3to 4k and use a mobil 1 filter. Car is used for a 142 mile commute which is 99% highway mile. Have replaced many driving lights (they burn out fast))Yes i dont touch the bulb)Have to clean the throttle body assembly every so often )its easy to do) replaced the resonator assembly, front hub bearings failed about 70 to 75 K the dealer replacement lasted 15K the tech was a horror show seems he used a hammer to press the bearings in . Got them replaced but now i noticed they drove a screwdriver through the CV joint boot, I am done with them. There are no more good techs out there ,They talk a good game, but its all talk , and the service managers just try to cover up the techs mistakes by blaming ANYTHING else but the real problem .. PS The car still looks great the plastic panels are a good idea
  • soggydogsoggydog Posts: 67
    I Just changed oil on my wife's 96 SL2 with 51K. The oil level was right up on the full mark. I never have had to add oil between changes. I use Castrol GTX 5W30 and use the Saturn or AC Delco filter. Most all miles are short trips in and around town and I stick with the 3K service schedule.

    So far so good, However I understand that the oil use problem usually shows up after 50K. I think this would be a good time to trade for a VUE, But my wife is happy with her SL2.
  • My 94' SL2 has 118,000 miles and uses about a 1/3 qt. every two weeks as a commuter car. Oil usage is supposed to be more common with the twin cam SL2/SC2 engines. It isn't as bad with around town driving but highway driving it tends to use more oil. I also had the serpitine belt and tensioner replaced along with the water pump. My engine runs smoother now than ever before. Another common problem with the s series is top engine mounts breaking down. They cost about $150 for a dealer to replace. Early 90's S cars will also wear out altenators.

    Saturn is offering special equipment packages on the base SL with a/a for 10k. They also have a base SL "sport" with sunroof, SL2 interior & alloy wheels, a spoiler, A/C and maybe a CD player??
    I think the price was around 13k.

    There is also a special SC2 with added leather, alloys and upgraded stereo for under 17k.
    I think you can order one of these specials with ABS and or side air bags.
    These are the final days for the S series before spring Hill retools for the new ION this summer.
    Those are some good option packages considering how ultra expensive options are on the s series.
  • green_obgreen_ob Posts: 10
    What are your recommendations for four new tires on my 1994 Saturn SL1 (P175/70R14) ? I'm an average driver spending most of the time on the highway. I don't need super-handling but I would like a smooth and quiet ride.

    How about Yokohama Avid T4's ($269 otd) ?

  • birdman579birdman579 Posts: 151
    This weekend I'll be performing the 120K mile service on my 93 SL2. This will include change oil, filter, AT fluid, AT filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, spark plug wires, and cleaning the intake manifold. Any tips? I assume it should be pretty straight-forward. I've done a bunch of oil changes before. Also done a coolant flush, engine mount replacement, and minor body repair. I should change the oil pan seal, cam cover gasket, and timing chain, but that will all have to wait for a less time consuming service. Saturday morning should be fun!

    My only concern is the fuel filter. Do I relieve the fuel system pressure by just running the engine until it stalls with no fuel pump fuse? I'm a little concerned about this. My Haynes book says to leave the gas cap off. This should trigger the "check engine" light. Will this go off after I get everything reconnected and back in place? I hope so because its NEVER been on before.
  • wwhite2wwhite2 Posts: 535
    The leading surface of my 99 SC2 oilpan has developed something considerably more than surface rust Is the a problem with this car?
  • Hey, y'all.... Don't know if this will benefit anyone here, but we just joined the Saturn Family with the introduction of their SL Limited Edition.

    We got a brand new 2002 SL base model with air conditioning for $9995 (including destination). After our trade ins, lien fulfilments, taxes, etc., we paid about $100 less.

    According to the salesman, they're only making 300 of them, 5 per dealership. They sold the first one they got two days after it arrived. We had to set a deposit to claim the next one.

    Overall, it was an awesome buy. Maybe we can keep a little equity in this one and trade it in a couple years for something a little nicer... We'll see. :)

    Great car for young, new manual transmission driver or for getting to and from work.
  • That sounds great. There have been a couple other posters mentioning this special edition SL. I'm sure it'll do just fine getting you to work and back--for the price of a Rio, no less!
  • has a catch from GM. A 8.0 intrest rate. I checked out the special myself to replace my 94' SL2 that needs something replaced evry other month. In contrast there was 0.9 intrest on a SL2. Basically a wash in monthly payment for a 60 month loan.

    I decided to wait for the ION. The saturn dealer only offered me $500 trade in for a carwith only 120,000 miles no body damage, clean with auto trans and A/C. That was totally taken care of by thier service dept. since I bought it.

    Since they can't haggle with sticker price. I guess they wanted to haggle with my trade but I wasn't that driven to get another S series.
  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Posts: 534
    I can't blame you for that! As the Ions start rolling in, I'm sure the dealer will find a way to mark down any remaining SLs on the lot.

    I can't believe they would not give you more than $500 for your 94 SL2! Maintained at that dealer? With auto and AC? I would have talked to someone about that. My local Saturn store gave me $1500 for a 1995 Kia Sephia 5 speed needing cosmetic work. I was expecting them to offer $500--maybe they got our cars mixed up?
  • I have bought 3 cars there. (they are a 5 minute walk from my house)

    the salesman actually told me "I talked to the service wrtiter and she said it was maintained by us and in good shape" They still only offered me $500. I have asked and gotten more from previous trade ins at this dealer. I just diddn't feel like playing the game for another S series. Even with low intrest rates. I am tired of sitting so low to other vehicles in traffic. I will shop around my SL2 with dealers for trade in price if I get the new ION to replace it.

    It's tough looking for a good deal and being a "car guy" at the same time. I'm sure alot of other town hallers feel the same!!

    When you wan't a certain car..but can afford only a....
  • Hi,

    I just joined the website. I was reading the postings about servicing a Saturn and decided to sign up so I can share my story about my Saturn. I am currently in college and drive a 1996 Light Plum SL2. My mom gave it to me when my blazer died in 1999. (Because she gave me her car, she went out and got herself another Saturn). My Saturn currently has 150,000 miles. She has been used for every type of driving: city, country, dirt roads...Since my parents purchased the car new, we have had very few problems with it. We have replaced the battery, alternator (both due to a dealer mistake so they replaced them for free), water pump, a hose (do not remember what it was for), and the spark plugs. We also had to clean the fuel injectors once. The other repairs were because of normal wear and tear (tires, a set of breaks, wipers...). As to oil usage, our Saturn dealership has changed the oil about every 3000 miles. I never need to add any oil between changes. She is a very reliable car and I trust her enough to drive anywhere. (This summer I am even planning to drive it across the country to visit a friend).

    This Saturn in not the first Saturn in my family and it wont be the last. We have been loyal Saturn owners since our first red 1991 Saturn coupe (We still have it). I hope you like your Saturn as much as we love ALL of ours.

    I do not know if this will help anyone, I hope it does.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    If you want a 9995 SilverBlue SL do this:

    1. Obtain your own financing. If you have excellent credit you should be able to get 6-7%.

    2. Sell your 94 on your own. If it runs well you should be able to sell it for 1500 in about 1 day or hold out for 2500 (should take less than 30 days). If you REALLY want to hold out for top dollar you can sell that puppie for 3500-4000. This assumes it runs well and you can prove all the maintinence was done.


    Try a different dealer
  • A co worker offerd me $1200 for it this week. I won't sell it to the public. Because of personal/family reasons, but it is good to know someone wan'ts my SL2 and understands how well it has been taken care of. Actually I proably could get it for a good price to a teenager/first time driver because of the Sony stereo & speakers I have in it and the other aftermarket (but not over the top mods I have done to the car, It's not a honda wannabe)

    I am really just waiting for the right time to buy, and get somehting different. The S series sits way to low to the ground with all the tall, suvs and trucks on the road. I can't even see past the parked vehicles in my town. To make a turn on to a street without creeping out and taking my front end of my car into jeporady!! Low riding cars that take corners and off ramps while sticking to the road. Aren't what american drivers wan't I suppose. They would rather have a truck based sedan that can go into deep snow the few times a year they need to then actually be able to have a car that turns and handles sharply. I don't think my SL2 even shows up in thier side view mirrors. If you can't beat them...... :( :(
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