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Saturn S-Series



  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Struts do take longer to wear out than the shocks used to. Their life depends on type of roads you travel on the majority of time. Gravel roads are hardest on any suspension part thus lower life span of the strut. The old tried and true jounce test will show which strut is not working properly. As far as the engine, with regular oil and filter changes every 3000 miles I'm hoping to get 150,000 miles on it before I replace the car.
  • claryclary Posts: 18
    What is the jounce test?
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    The "jounce Test" was a suspension test perfected by the late DR. Siegfried Jounce a respected automotive engineer that worked for Borgward GMBH for many years. It is a test to determine the performance of automotive suspension systems. Put in layman's terms the car is "drop tested" by pushing it off a 100 foot tower. If it "jounces" (German for bounce)it passes. If the suspension collapses then it's back to the drawing board. Dr. Jounce was killed doing one of these tests. It seems he forgot to exit the car before it became airbourne. Too bad, he was in line for a big job at Porsche.

  • sloan2sloan2 Posts: 8
    I was suspicious of post 318 as soon as I read Dr. Jounce's last name. My suspicians were confirmed as I read the part about the 100 foot tower. Floridian, that is the funniest post I've ever read.

    Someone please explain what the Jounce test really is. I think it has to do with how many times a car bounces when you go over a bump or when you push down on the car above a particular wheel.
  • j_colemanj_coleman Posts: 143
    I think it's a good idea to replace the battery around 50K miles. You might also want to replace belts and hoses around this time too if they have any cracks. An ounce of prevention...
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    You obviously didn't get the jist of my message, so I will explain my point a little more clearly to you. Wouldn't you be ticked if someone clicked on your profile, saw you provided an email address and decided that because they didn't like you or your comments, to send you a nasty little stupid email? I think you would! No, someone does not need permission per say as it is posted clearly, but most people would ask if it was ok to email or the person would say clearly that "if you have further questions, please feel free to email me". I did not post my email address to listen to some lunatic bashing me outside of the forum I am involved with. It is there so people who I WANT to converse with can get in contact with me. He took this forum too seriously by doing what he did. Lastly, I did not threaten to send him emails, I just posted the email address to allow others to do the job for me :) If you think that is petty, fine. But my point in doing that was to let him know that I did not take kindly to what he did and would let everyone else know about his actions. It was also done to scare him. Kind of like disciplining a child, lol. So, now do you understand the point surrounding my post?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I do get what your'e saying. I'm just pointing out that it's silly of you to call him immature for something you're doing, or trying to do worse by getting others to e-mail him. Usually children don't discipline other children, right?

  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    You stand by each corner of the car (one at a time) and push down on the fender and try to get the car to bounce up and down then on your last push downward, lift your hands off and see if it stops almost immediately. If it bounces more than once the strut or shock is wearing out and should be replaced. Be careful, I was pulling up on the fender lip on a 88 Aerostar I had and slightly crinkled the fender doing the jounce test. The metal is just not as thick as it used to be in the 60's.
  • timc1timc1 Posts: 2
    my dealer says he can't find a 2000 sl without a/c in minnesota, wisconsin, north dacota, south dacota, or iowa.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    When I was new car shopping a few months ago, I also noticed that every SL on the lots here in New Jersey had air.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    Now you guys have gone and done it. Killed off Saturnboy. Where will I get my daily LOL now?? I bet his "spirit" is still lurking out there tho. We may be "haunted" by him yet again, count on it.

  • shannonlshannonl Posts: 1
    Is it just me or does it seem like Satarn's have more problems then usual?? Right now I own a 87 chevette that has 218000 miles on it need less to say it doesn't look good but I have never had a problem with it!
  • grif73071grif73071 Posts: 4
    I am new here and can not find a reference to my particular problem.

    I bought a used 95 SL1/5spd from the local dealer in Oklahoma City. Car looked and ran great with 88000 miles. My daughter drove over a curb 2-3 inches high at 10 miles per hour. The front sway bar bracket touched the curb. This impact was similar to hitting a pot-hole or a rough railroad crossing on a city street.

    The right front k-frame buckled and the engine block cracked. I approached the local dealer service department about participating in the repair since this seemed to be some kind of design flaw to have that extensive damage from such a minor event. They ran backwards and gave me the factory 1-800 number and said the factory would have to make that decision.

    I talked to a customer service representative in Tenn. I had the car towed to the local dealer for their techs to examine the damage. They gave me an estimate for parts and labor that exceeded the value of the car. The service manager also explained that the crumple zone of the car worked just the way it was supposed to work.

    I called the factory representative I had dealt with and she said the local dealer had decided the car had performed as designed to perform in that situation. I commented that I was receiving two different stories and she repeated hers. She also explained how the car had done what it was designed to do.

    They did not want to look at the photos or drawings of the event and did not seem interested in how the damage occurred before washing their hand of the problem.


    Has anyone else had a similar experience?
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Speaking of Saturnboy, has anyone noticed that all of his postings from the time of his (last) announcement that he was quitting the list have suddenly vanished. Anyone know how this happened?? I didn't know that you could erase messages. I guess Saturnboy didn't want there to be any permanent record of his "I admit Sautrns are not perfect" post
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    neat little job of sabotage eh ?

    Floridian, heh,heh,heh
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    My sister and her then hubby bought a 1992 used Saturn 5 years ago. I and they thought it was a good car.

    Now, 5 years later, they are splitting up and she doesn't want the Saturn, which is sitting somewhere dead again! Turns out that her 1991 Escort that she got in 1992 has proven to be more reliable!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Enough already, I don't care to hear about why or why not he is not at this site anymore. I'm more interested in how well or bad someones experience with their Saturn SL is. So far I have just over 28,000 on my SL2 in 13 months. Only thing I have had done was a muffler replaced as the original developed stress cracks and was replaced under warranty at about 22,000 miles. Hope the replacement lasts a lot longer. I do plan on driving it for 150,000 miles or more with little more than normal maintenance and replacing items that need to be.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Seems like I have heard a strongly bimodal distribution of saturn problems. A lot of the people either have no problems or a lot of problems. I tend to think there are a lot more of the first group, from comparing the breakdown of people I talk to about the cars in real life vs on the web, and I theorize that it may have something to do with having it serviced at the dealer or not ( might be sensitive to bad service ) but that's just a theory.

    10mph=loss. I dunno. My car has more than 3 inches clearance ( i looked ). Were you actaully there, and looking at the odometer? How exactly did you measure the impact?

  • grif73071grif73071 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the comeback Dave.

    I am a police officer (desk bound now in admin.)who specialized in traffic accident investigation when I worked the street. Seen a few crashes.

    In short, the vehicle came to rest approx. one vehicle length from the area of impact, which was determined by a scratch in the concrete which corresponded with the concrete residue on the bent sway bar bracket. Further, the hub-cap remained on the right front tire, the tire bead was not broken loose and the wheel rim had only a quarter inch deflection out of round. The resting place of the vehicle was indicated in the lawn by a bare spot where my daughter spun the wheel taking off (new driver in her first stick shift) in the slick grass. All this was photographed and diagramed by myself at the time of the incident.
    I believe the facts support the stated speed of the driver at 10 mph.

    But since I don't trust myself to be completely objective here (my kid you know) I have asked a friend of mine to look over the vehicle and scene.
    He is an accident reconstruction specialist with a local department.

    Sorry I left out the details on the original post, but it seemed a bit long as it grew in the telling. I figured I could fill in the gaps if anyone came back at me.

    I will post new info if my reconstructionist sees it differently. Also, I sent a nasty e-mail to Saturn yesterday. The reply was as smooth as butter - but without substance.
    Thanks again for the response.
  • goldstromgoldstrom Posts: 4
    This is response to all you whiners out there, get a life! I have had the great privilege to own 2 Saturns in my life, I owned a 94 SC2 and was delighted when my wife decided she wanted a 2000 SL2. In my opinion they are the perfect car, I had no problems with my 94 and so far none with the 2000, and by the way no rattles either.
    As for all the supposed auto experts that seam to blast Saturns, I have looked at quit a few cars and can't seam to find any that are as attractive as the SL2 and for that fact all Saturns. The Focus and Echo are just plane ugly. The Cavalier and Sunfire are Okay but I just prefer the Saturn.
    I closing while all you whiners sit and complain I'll just sit back and enjoy my trouble free, born and built in the good old USA SATURN!!!!
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    I do not notice Focuses on the road so much. They look like an ordinary car, nothing much. However, the Echos DO STAND OUT, they are so gross looking, IMHO. A narrow car with a pregnant trunk!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Have to admit that after reading your first post about the amount of damage I thought NO WAY!!! something is missing. Your second post added a lot of info to make it believeable. I do have to ask, were the wheels skidding or rolling over the curb? If skidding that would create a lot more force on the sway bar mounts. A note, the sway bar also works with the lower control arm to hold the control arm in position. Hope I don't have a freak accident like your daughters of going over a curb and having that much damage.
  • grif73071grif73071 Posts: 4
    Wheels were pretty much 90 degrees to the curb and the direction of travel was straight ahead. I agree, if the wheels were turned a lot or the angle of attack on the curb less than square that could have made some difference.

    This was exactly like straight ahead travel on a city street where the tire drops into a deep pothole and the lowest point of the auto scrapes the edge of the hole as the car rebounds out of the hole. Yes, we in Oklahoma City have potholes large & deep enough to loose a small car.

    As I pointed out to Saturns "customer satisfaction" person, hundreds of cars in America drag their bellies on the ground each year. They sometimes suffer bent parts such as brackets and sway bars, they get knocked out of alignment, they have bent wheels. They do not have collateral damage to this extent.
  • grif73071grif73071 Posts: 4
    Forgot to answer your first question. :-)

    Wheels were rolling. No skid marks approaching curb. Some rubber scuffed onto curb at area where tire first touched.
  • goldstromgoldstrom Posts: 4
    No I'm not realated to Saturnboy, I don't know who he is nor do I care. I do care about people that bash good cars such as Saturns!!!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    I'm in upstate NY and we get potholes in a big way. I hit one on a rainy night on the interstate and the sound it made, I thought I was going to lose a wheel. Stopped and checked and no damage to tire or wheel. Will be taking it to dealer for an alignment.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    Re: engine knocking problem we discussed two weeks ago.

    dave and fredfred3: you had a similar advice, calling for decarbonization of cylinders/injectors. Just to make sure, I first took my SL2 to my local mechanic, who first checked the oil and found it to be at the low end of the stick, at the "ADD" mark. He asked me to put in a quart of oil - but it did not fix the problem. However, then I went to Kragen and bought a 99-cent bottle of injector cleaner (akin to Techron) and put it in at the bottom of the tank at the next fillup. Hey, it seems to do the trick!! I did not notice any pinging after two days of use!

    traveler: if the mixture were too rich, I'd suppose this would be caught at the next emission check which is compulsory here in California every two years. My Saturn had been passing it with a lot of room to spare so far!

    Thanks again, guys. You are worth it!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Hey, I got something right! I better go tell my wife!

    Seriously.. I'm glad that worked for you. I do it periodically as a preventitive measure. My saturn passed the emissions test by a huge margin too.. You are allowed 103 parts per here, and i had 3. I was just a tad worried, because it does burn a quart of oil every 1500 miles or so. :)

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Sorry, if that sounded too challenging.. I was just curious, becauase I have beat up my car quite a bit. I still wonder if hitting a curb will really be like hitting a big pot hole, but i dunno.

  • ewessonewesson Posts: 24
    I am a violently dissatisfied ex Saturn owner.
    I bought a 94 SC2 new, and loved it ... for the
    first thousand miles or so.

    After that, minor things went wrong. Throttle
    springs broke, the fuel door broke. All in all,
    about five times I had it back in the dealership
    for minor but annoying repairs. Catalytic converter failed. Spark plug wires failed. and and and. The ABS light on the dash would spontaneously come on. Still I loved it and was pro-Saturn.

    During my ownership, I offhandedly noticed that not much oil came out when I did the oil changes every 3000 - 4000 miles. I didn't think much of it, assuming that a new car wasn't going to burn much oil. Previously I had owned many different cars of ages ranging from 50K to 100K miles, of all different makes, and not one had burned more than a quart of oil per 3000 mile interval.

    I was thus unpleasantly surprised when I let an oil change interval slip to 4500 miles, and the engine failed, at 36050 miles. The dealership calmly told me it ran out of oil, and it was my fault for not checking the oil every time I filled it with gas. Note that the oil light never came on; what good is that?

    Saturn, in its infinite generosity, split the $4000 cost of the engine replacement with me.

    Doing further research I found out that burning a
    quart of oil every 1000 miles was "normal" for that Saturn engine.

    Saturn built an engine that when new drinks more oil than most 150,000 mile Toyotas out there, and they never took responsibility for that negligence.

    I now own a Subaru, and have had ZERO problems for 30K miles now. It simply is a far better designed and built car, in my ever so humble opinion.
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