Howdy, Stranger!

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

Saturn Maintenance & Repair



  • The intermittents are always the damnest don't know whether it is based on ambient conditions or whether it is a component or a combo of both.

    Well if indeed we have good fuel delivery and good compression, we have to suspect an electronic component such as the ignition module or the pickup in the distributor (I really don't know this car that well, so I'm not sure how your engine is engineered for ignition.
  • greamergreamer Posts: 8
    This was posted on another board. Saturn Tennesee does not help me. Dealer knows nothing. Can anyone help me?

    My car will be illegal to drive in New York State next year unless Saturn can fix the problem. They have had it 11 times on this all dealer maintained car. The problem started at 12990 miles 2 days after warranty and car now has 17600 miles. I may have to give this car away to charity.
    Following is a long saga of dealing with P0442 code on a 2000-Saturn

    Saturn has yet to fix this vehicle with reliability or credibility;
    the manufacturer doesn't seem to have the answer, either. Problem
    started 2 days after 3-year warranty was up: Last visit, car was in
    shop for three days. Car has never been to an outside mechanic.
    Notice repeat part replacements on this low mileage car. Come
    4/1/2005 this car will not pass inspection in New York State. In
    fairness, Saturn has not charged me, but I can't even get another
    dealer to take this car as a trade-in.

    Any suggestions on what Saturn mechanics failed to do? They claim car
    passes pressure tests and smoke tests -- that the car is mechanically
    sound -- that there is no leak.


    Date Miles Part and Part serial number and job

    >04-Nov-2002 10622 PCM Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor 21025106 Replace
    >04-Nov-2002 10622 Connector 12117087 Repair ALDL/DLC/SES
    >02-Jun-2003 12875 State Inspecrion
    >10-Jun-2003 12996 None No Repair
    >17-Jun-2003 13113 Seal-F/PM 21008100 Replace Fuel Pump Seal
    >07-Jul-2003 13339 Solenoid, Evap. Emiss. Cannister Purge 10293954 Replaced Valve ASM
    >07-Jul-2003 13339 Solenoid, Evap. Emiss. Cannister Purge 21007370 Replaced Tank ASM
    >23-Jul-2003 13509 Fuel Vapor Pressure Sensor 16238399 Replaced
    >11-Aug-2003 13773 Solenoid, Evap. Rmiss. Cannister Purge 21008461 Replaced Solenoid
    >16-Sep-2003 14242 PCM Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor 21025106 Replace
    >21-Oct-2003 14605 Tank ASM 21007370 Replace Fuel Tank
    >21-Oct-2003 14605 Cannister 17098073 Replace Fuel Vapor Cannister
    >21-Oct-2003 14605 Valve ASM 10293954 Replace Vaklve for Evap. Emiss Cannister Vent Solenoid
    >21-Oct-2003 14605 Pump Kit 21015152 Replace in tank Fuel Pump
    >06-Jan-2004 15467 Fuel Tank Filler Neck 21008388 Replace fuel tank filler neck
    >04-May-2004 16672 Engine Control Module (PCM/ECM) 21025128 Replace Computer
    >14-Jun-2004 17217 PCM Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor 21025106 Replace
    >14-Jun-2004 17217 Fuel Tank Cap 22660002 Replace
    >27-Jul-2004 17567 Fuel Vapor Pressure Sensor 16238399 Replace
  • crbcrb Posts: 10
    I have recently had problems (well, I've always had problems with the car, but these are ongoing) starting my saturn. It cranks and cranks and won't turn over. I had this happen back in April, and they replaced the fuel filter and fuel pump. Then it started a couple weeks ago and they replaced the "crankshaft position sensor" to the tune of $200! That did basically nothing. now they have no real idea, only that it might be the ignition cylinder which would cost $400 to fix. has anyone else run into a problem like this?

    Just a break down of the car, in case it helps:
    - 2001 Saturn L300 (V6)
    - 120K miles
  • I have a 2003 Ion 3 Quad Coupe and had a few minor problems with it. The front fog light help moisture, which Satun gladly fixed and now the paint on the driver side has started to chip off. I don't park next to people in parking lots and I don't open my doors up into other peoples cars. The paint chips are small but they are all down the door. Anyone else had this problem?
  • OK! give me your opinion on this one: have a 2000 LS-1 81,000 and change on odometer. 1st engine locked up at 20,000 and change. Cause: main bearing failure on crankshaft. Saturn DID replace under warranty! 2nd engine gone at less than 62,000 miles on it. Cause: Timing chain broke on Interstate- valve's and piston's met-end of engine! Now, Saturn wants $5,000 for a NEW engine installed! I use Castrol Syntec oil, and change it and filter every 3K.(My father was a mechanic-taught me importance of filters and maintenance.)
    Q: Do you think I should be 100% responsible for the replacement cost of this failure? AND when I go to trade it in, or sell, how do I explain THREE engines in 4 years to the buyer/sales person?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    It's usually not the timing chain that breaks. The nylon rubbing blocks on the chain guides wear out, allowing too much slack in the chain. The chain jumps a few teeth and the rest is history. If it lets go at low speed it's usually just a matter of pulling the head and replacing all the bent exhaust valves. If it jumps at high speed there might be piston damage. Common Saturn problem.
  • There is a Service Bulletin concerning this problem and recommends that the computer need to be re-programmed. I had the same problem, and this is what the service tech said was needed. Hope this helps.

  • I have had a 95 SL1 going on 9 years now. It have been burning oil for the past 7 years. The dealership can not find out why it is burning oil. I have been putting 10W 30 in it every week or two or three, depending on how much I drive it. They seem to not be able to come up with any solution. I recently have been having trouble getting the shift out of park, any problems with that?

    I have a 95 SL1 and I have had it for 9 years. For the past 7 years it have been burning oil. I fill it up with 1-2 quarts of oil every 1, 2, or 3 weeks, depending on how much I drive it. They can not find out what is wrong with it. The dipstick is completely black before I am able to get it into it's regularly scheduled 3,000 mile FREE oil change ($7 for the air filter) that I have been receiving for the past 9 years.


    NOW I can not get my shift out of park. I can not get my car into the shop into the following weekend because they just went back to work after the 10 week strike. I have been leaving my car in neutral w/ the emergency brake on with the key in the ignition in my garage. Otherwise I am risking not being able to make it to my destinations. Is anyone else having this problem?
  • Oh, if your oil is getting dirty fast you have blow-by from the combustion chamber into the crankcase. Worn rings probably.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Not sure who "they" are but any tech familiar with Saturns knows both problems well. #1 cause of Saturn oil consumption is the oil rings seized in their grooves in the pistons, especially in old single cam engines. The compression rings aren't affected so a compression test shows normal. A soak in GM Top Engine Cleaner as per instructions *might* free up the rings, otherwise it's a teardown with at least new rings but probably a rebore and new pistons.

    Re the shifter, they like to break just above the support for the Park - Reverse detent. Shifter repair is possible but requires labour intensive disassembly, welding of the lever, and reassembly. Better to find a used shifter assembly in a recycling yard.
  • The headlights and interior lights on my NEW 2004 with 4125 miles on the car began to give problems. I would be driving down the road and the lights almost go out. They dim so much that it is impossible to drive at night with any confidence. It was almost as if the alternator was going out. I took it to the Saturn dealer and they immediately gave me a letter from Saturn saying that this was NORMAL????? This is my second Saturn and I have never seen this before. The excuse was an electrical transient current passes through the car. And this was supposed to make me feel better? I have an electrical current that is randomly traveling through the car and they have no clue as to how to fix it, so they claim that it is normal. Buyer Beware. The GM dealer said that this was a safety issue and needed attention, but he wasn’t a certified Saturn dealer so his opinion didn’t count. Saturn offered me a 50K warranty for free, but if it isn’t broken then how is a warranty going to help? I read a similar issue on Edmonds the other day, so this seems to be a repeating issue. Saturn needs to fix the problem rather than saying it is normal. But, it is hard to force them to fix what they say is not an issue. I am very disappointed in Saturn and the Dealer for not addressing the problem. I will never buy another Saturn and I would like others to know what I went through before they buy Saturn and get messed over like I did.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Blinkng headlights are not a normal function of the car.

    The alternator is a very common problem with some of GM midsize vehicles. I thought GM had re-designed the alternator a couple of years ago. The new one should be in your 2004 L. I would keep pushing the service department on this issue. The only way to fix this problem is a new, re-designed alternator.

    If they continue ignoring the problem, start writing letters up the food chain, eg District manager, Regional Manager, then corporate. If no luck there then get a lawyer and push for a buy back. Do a search in in the Saturn and Oldsmobile forums and you'll find a ton of compaints like yours. Some have been solved with a buy back of the vehilce or a new alternator.

    Good luck.
  • Not sure what is going on but noted Consumers Reports now claims Ion's are below average and Vues' way below average wrt reliability. What happened to Saturn QC ? Factories too old? Production volume too high ? A few folks have had good luck with theirs - is that an oddity?

    My brother's old SL1 saturn (1996 or so) which provided a durable car, was the reason I considered the ION in 2003. The service at two dealers was bad and the cars themselves (first one had to be replaced within a month), while good freeway cruisers, had every ION problem referred to in this forum.

    Now supposedly Saturn wants to go UPSCALE. With what? Are they trying to become another Volkswagen or Mercedes (technically clever, unique cars that are some of the least reliable in the world) ? If so, goooooooooooooood luck!
  • My 2004 ION develops a strange chemical film inside the windshield. It could be from coastal fog here in So. CA. Does any other 2004 ION owner have this problem? The film is not oily in nature, but it is very difficult to clean off the glass,which has me concerned. Also, the A/C unit does not turn all the way off. There is a constant stream of air from the system. This is my mom's car. I think Saturns SUCK.
  • I also own a Saturn with the headlight dimming problem. It is a 2001 L200 with 65,000 miles that has always had this problem and 3 different dealers have called this "normal". I have almost been run off the road by semi's thinking that I am flashing my lights at them (thinking that, while passing me on the turnpike, they have successfully cleared my frontend). I am also convinced that it is a bad alternator - specifically the voltage regulator portion that is not reacting fast enough to boost output when a new electrical load starts up - like your radiator fan kicking in. Does anyone have a specific alternator part number that you KNOW fixes this problem? I know the 2002 and 2003 versions still had this problem.
  • I just purchased a new 2004 Saturn Ion. Its a great car but i was curious to know some of the problems that I might run into down the road.
  • My experiences: Water leaks in headlights, rattles in dash/doors/roof/rear deck, rough cold starts and idle, abrupt/harsh shifts in/out of third gear.


    Good passing on hills, though, for its size. And little wind noise or vibration on freeways.
  • I don't know if you solved your problem yet. I've heard a few people have resolved this issue by installing an Optima or other high end battery.
  • lee14lee14 Posts: 8
    I have a 2000 LS2 model and ever since it passed the 14k I has the air flow sensor (oxygen sensor??) replaced under warranty 3 times. And after the 36k warrenty I started to have majot problems with the saturn. It started to have intermittent electrical problems at 40k and I had the engine control module replaced twice! Each costing over 1k. And I had my window switch replaced and my windshield wiper switch replaced twice!!! I never heard of a window switch breaking nor a wiper switch... Anyways now i have 80k miles on the car and the car has the service light, service engine soon light, and the reduce power light on!!!! This car is costing more than the car it self (bought it for 20k). My saturn was soooooo unreliable. Is there anyway I can get my car repair for free from Saturn or make them buy the unreliable car back?? I'm having problems after problems despite it being out of warrenty it was fixed more than enough times with my money!!!!!!!!
This discussion has been closed.