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Saturn S-Series



  • Started a few weeks back a couple days after an oil change/fall servicing. Coolant warning light came on and stayed on. Occasional minor coolant smell but no leakage in the driveway. Started monitoring the coolant level which was lowering slowly but steadily. Called to set up an appointment and after telling them the symptoms, they advised it might be the intake manifold (gasket) leaking coolant.
    Well, they were right. Just got back from servicing. They did a coolant pressure check, and found it necessary to replace said gasket and also the coolant cap. The whole process took a little less than 2 hours. No bill, still under warranty.
    So I'm just wondering how common this repair has been. Thanks for any thoughts....
  • Just purchased a 1999 SW-2. The car seams to be idling to fast. When in Drive its at 850 RPM's and in Neutral about 1000 to 1100 RPM's. When shifting from Drive to Neutral the RPM's will go from 850 to 1200 to 1300 briefly and then back to 1000. Is this normal? Any suggestions.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    There should be a sticker showing the proper idle speed. It may be in the manual as well.
  • I have a 2002 SL2 and yesterday I noticed that when you turn the headlights on the lights on the dashboard and gear shift don't come on anymore. This makes driving at night very difficult. Today they came on twice but didn't stay on very long. I called the Saturn Serice shop and of course they told me to bring it in. Has anyone else ever experienced this and if so how do I fix it. I'd hate to pay a mechanic $200 to replace a fuse or something.

    Please Help
  • Bought a used 2002 SL1 that is still under warranty. 18k miles. The keys I received from the Oldsmobile dealership only work for the ignition and drivers side door. Do not work for the truck or passenger side door.

    The local Saturn dealership has cut new keys from the car code a number of times but the new keys do not work either. The locks may have to be fixed but the Saturn dealership will not cover under warranty. They want to charge 6 hours @ 75/hour plus parts plus tax.

    Has anyone else had warranty problems with saturn??? It was ironic that the service manager was standing under their sign "Number one in JD Power Rating of Customer Service" when she told me that I would have to pay for warranty work. She also gave me an option to continue using the keys as I have been. This however is a real hassle.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Are you sure the dash lights are turned up? There should be a way to adjust the brightness. But, that should not affect the gear selector lights. Your car--assuming you have under 36k mi--is under it's bumper to bumper warranty. You should not pay a dime to get it fixed. Good luck.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    It sounds like you have the valet key for your car and the dealership cut you a new one. I don't see how they could say that the locks are not covered by warranty. You should talk to the dealership's general manager and also to Saturn. I don't see how they could not fix it for you. The good news is that at least you can enter your car and start it up while this is going on!
  • The sunroof on my 98 SL2 refused to close the last few inches. The dealer found a broken PLASTIC track. Cost to repair, after a 15% discount, is $1000 to replace the entire module (motor and tracks). This is outrageous! If anyone out there is considering buying a Saturn, think twice, and if you want the sunroof, better start saving now for the eventual repair bill. The dealer's technician told me his Aunt lost hers after just four years of use! What a piece of junk.
  • townhometownhome Posts: 104
    I was so excited to buy my new Saturn SL2, and the buying experience was great. But when the car started breaking down and leaving my wife stranded,I figured I got a lemon. I can understand that machines break, but what I couldn't stand was the dealership. When we went in for maintance, they were great. They always left a rose on the seat when we went to pick it up. But as soon as the car began having problems, they grew rude and unhelpful. Finally, when the car wouldn't accelerate beyond 20 MPH and they told me what the problem was without even opening the hood or driving the car, I gave up. I opened the hood and found two spark plugs covered with oil which was leaking from somewhere. The extended warranty was going to expire in 50 miles, so I drove to the VW dealer across the street and traded it in. I'm not mad about the car breaking, but I am furious with the dealer ( and with Saturn -- they ignored all of my emails, letters, and phone calls.) Don't believe the hype!
  • townhome: did you try going to a different dealer? My dealer has been nothing short of outstanding in 11 years and 160K miles. They fix every problem the first time and for a very competitive price. There were a few items that required a repair shortly after the warranty was expired so they gave a discount on the repairs. Knock on wood, it looks like my car will easily get to 200K miles. It seems like you got one of the few bad Saturn dealers out there.
  • townhometownhome Posts: 104
    It's true that I didn't go to another dealer with my last problem, but in the time I had the car, I visted 3 dealers within the L.A. area, and I wasn't pleased with any of them. They were all fine for maintance, but they were either just "regular" or rude and ugly when it came to fixing any of the many problems I was having. I would say they were all equal to the bad Toyota dealers I have visited with my old truck, but way below the high standards of the two VW dealers I have used for my Jetta. The part that really makes me mad is Saturn Corp. not caring at all about my complaints.
  • I tried 3 times to get an answer to questions I had about one of the "internet specials" the dealer had on a 95 Saturn sedan and nobody even bothered to reply. So much for Saturn's caring about the customer. Talk about being turned off even before setting foot at the dealership. What gives? I just wanted to know if the car had power windows. Maybe they didn't want to give me the $400 off the already low sale price!
  • I own a sl2 2000 model it is wet on the passenger side of it. water is dripping in from the handle above the door on the passenger side, some one said it could be the drains, what do you think? joe
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
  • jumpnjoejumpnjoe Posts: 34
    I have had a 95 Saturn SL2 for the last 6 years. I've only had rountine maintenance (oil changes etc.) and two mufflers over that time. It was always reliable and a great point A to point B vehicle. Only complaint was that it is too low, not a great feature in deep snow in MA. Just decided it is time for a new car. Now that I can afford it, I'm getting an Accord V6. Nothing against the Saturn experience, it's a solid car, just not very exciting. The Accord has much more get up and go, handles better and has a luxury interior. The Saturn kept me out of the service station for 6 years and without payments for about 4 of them. I did like the plastic door panels, helped to keep the car looking good.
  • kdarmkdarm Posts: 4
    I'm looking for a new to me car and have found a good deal on a 98 SL2 loaded with twin cam and automatic transmission. Can anyone tell me their history of gas mileage and problems with this particular model?

    This one has 85000 miles on it. The garage has replaced a valve cover thought to be causing the leaking oil. It has about a 5 inch crack in the back fender panel near the trunk.

    It sounds like a good car, though I'd rather drive a standard, but would like to hear about the mileage first. I drive 58 miles most days and 75 on others.

    Thanks for your input.
  • sm821sm821 Posts: 1
    I too have a 98 SC2 and have had to repair the plastic sunroof track twice. Along with that the air conditioning has broke, the water pump, the thermostat, belt, new ignition, and numerous other problems all in the past year. Once I hit 100,000 miles things just started breaking right and left. Currently the transmission is getting stuck in park (automatic) and the key is getting stuck in the ignition. They told me that I need to replace the ignition and a new transmisson which would cost more than the car is worth. The dealerships rip you off with the repair costs and were pretty rude. Im trying to get rid of it to be replaced by a honda accord, and I will never own a saturn again. Beware!
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    Although not exactly the same, I had a 5-speed 2000 SW2 for a while. The SC, SL and SW shared the same 124 hp DOHC engine during the 2000 year, and I assume for 1998. The gas mileage was good (listed 28-37 mpg, measured 40 on about 10 occasions with all highway driving, averaged about 34 with mixed driving). For the 2000 model year, at least 15 % of the vehicles had the intake manifold gasket fail (reasonably cheap $300). The AC Delco battery will unexpectedly fail and leak. I also had some transmission problems (quill bearing). I traded the car in about a year ago. A "good" deal on this vehicle would be < $3,500 if the mileage is under 80,000 and the body is in perfect condition. Otherwise, try for a Geo Prism. You get the reliability of a Toyota Corolla and the undeserved American car type depreciation of a Chevy Cavalier (good if you are going to buy it used).
  • sattoolsattool Posts: 1
    For a while now the oil and coolant lights have been flashing. However, no real problem has been found with the car until the other day. Driving down the highway it started knocking. Pulled over and discovered it was short 3 quarts of oil. Oil change just 1000 miles ago. Checked drain plug and its secure. No obvious leaks. However, looking in the coolant reservoir tank I see a sludgy mix of something. Someone told me the head gasket may need to be replaced and may be causing the oil and antifreeze to mix. After one day of driving I still have oil and things seem to be normal, except for the flashing lights. Thoughts?

    On another note, one day i entered the car using jus they key and not the remote. The car went into panic mode as if I had hit the panic button on the remote. Putting the key in the ignition didnt resolve. I had to use the remote to lock the doors to get it to stop. Thoughts?

  • I have a 1999 Saturn SW2. Back in November I noticed oil sludge in the coolant side of things, but no coolant on the oil side. I assumed that the head gasket had failed (@ only 72K), so I pulled the head, had it resurfaced, put in a new gasket, used the old bolts, and zipped it back up. I noticed right away that there was now lots of coolant in the oil side of things, and no oil in the coolant. I pulled the head off again, had the head pressure checked, and it was fine. I got in a tiff with the local Saturn dealer about whether I should have used new head bolts. Another engine, a long block, became available, so rather than mess with the original block/head, I dropped the long block in. I zipped it up, ran it, and it began to leak oil profusely. Again, there was lots of coolant in the oil side, no oil in the coolant. The excess oil/coolant was going overboard at a port just below the intake manifold near cylinder #1.

    Here is my question to Saturn home mechanics who might know the answer. Is there any other interface, besides the head gasket plane, where oil and coolant can come together? For example, the intake manifold, a radiator with side oil coolers, etc....I find it hard to believe that I've got another failed head gasket on a totally different motor. This motor came out of a wreck that had only 29K miles on it.
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