Howdy, Stranger!

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

Saturn S-Series



  • I don't have a good answer, but I'm sure someone over at would be able to answer your question...
  • I am looking to replaced my 250,000 mile 96 Corolla DX Sedan with an SL1 Sedan, 97-00. I chose 97-00 based on reliability ratings for those model years.

    I started looking at Saturns because they have a lot in them for the money and they do not cost as much as used Hondas/Toyotas/Nissans/Mazdas.

    I have seen SL1s and SL2s with 4-Whl ABS/Air/Cruise/Pwr Windows&Locks/AM/FM/Cassette/4-spd Auto for around $6,000-$8,000. Comparable Japanese models aforementioned are in the $12,000-$16,000 range, so the savings is obvious.

    My only concern is, after reading many of the posts in the Saturn forums, is that I will not see the same "bullet-proof" quality and reliability in a Saturn that i have gotten from my Corolla (see my post cheetah222 "Toyota Corolla" Oct 9, 2003 10:57am)

    My question to all of you, in all honesty, can I reasonably expect a good quality car that I can get 250,000 or more miles out of if I go with a Saturn?

    Do any of you have, or know someone who does have, a Saturn with over 200k miles on it?
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    I would say to buy one from a Saturn dealer. On the whole--from what I understand--Saturn dealers will not put a used Saturn on their lot unless it passes a series of tests and is in good condition. I would say that looking for the "bulletproof" reliability you seek is a crap shoot no matter what brand you seek. I know you had great "bulletproof" reliability out of your Corolla, but I'm sure you could also find Corollas with a ton of problems. The same can be said for all cars--Kias, Hondas, and yes, Saturns. Find one at a Saturn dealer. They will probably run a Carfax report for you. The dealer I use places the Carfax report on the car's dash so you can see when you are test driving it. Get it looked over. Try to find one with good miles. Good luck!
  • kmagkmag Posts: 98
    I bought my 02 Saturn SL this past May. I really like the car, my wife has a Cavalier and it feels acient in comparison.

    I am just warning anyone who is buyin a used Saturn 5 speed-replaceing the clutch is EXPENSIVE. Mine had problems and was replaced under warranty along with the master cylinder. It woould have cost over $1200 to if I had to have paid for it. My sisters 97 SC1 needs a new clutch after 110K and she is facing the same price.

    Just be careful with those high mileage 5 speeds. If it is shifting very stiffly clutch replacement is not far down the road...
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    You may be right about the clutch; BUT, an automatic transmission is even more expensive to replace. I may be wrong, but I believe manuals are noted as being less expensive to maintain and drive over the long haul due to the higher cost of replacing an automatic transmission vs. replacing a clutch.
  • kmagkmag Posts: 98
    I think for 1200 or maybe 1500 a person could have a used/rebuilt auto transmission installed. And GM's auto trannies seemt to have a long life. I suppose anyone comtemplating purchase of a used car had better be prepared for the possiblities. I was just shocked at the cost to replace the clutch, I hope mine lasts a long time now....
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    of a clutch costing that much to replace...but I suppose anything is possible. Good luck!
  • Mine is a 97 SC2 with 108,000. We love the car...quick pick up....great mileage. We occassionally have trouble getting the shifter into gear especially from reverse or sometimes from neutral....just doesn't want to go into first. We have to pump the clutch a couple of times before it will go. We have replaced the cables due to breakage. Had the clutch master cylinder replaced by dealer which did no good (good news is that Saturn reimbursed all money and left the new part on). What should we look at next as I see it getting worse, not better. Maybe it would be better to wait for it to go altogether and then a cure would be easier to detect. Thanks
  • kmagkmag Posts: 98
    My sister got a quote of 1026 to replace her clutch. I advised her to go to an independent mechanic, but I dont know if she did that or went to the dealer.

    Somewhere I read that it is an 8 hour job, 90/hr x 8 = $720 just for labor. I remember my dad had the clutch replaced in a Volvo around 1978 and that was $220 at the dealer, and he had a cow about paying that much. With inflation of about 3.5X since then it, maybe thats about right.
  • I have a 96 SL2 and I've been having problems with the belt squeeling something awful. Has anyone ever tried to install one yourself or would it best for a mechanic to do it? My husband seems to think it's going to be such a tight space to work in that it would be difficult for a non experienced person to change it out.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    well, i had a Taurus SHO that was notorious for going through clutches.....minimum 1000 bucks. But I have heard of ther front drive cars that it only costs about 400 bucks to replace a clutch.

    Depends on the design.
  • We have a 98 SL1 & it only took me about 10 minutes to replace the belt. Just get a wrench or socket to push down the tensioner. Take the belt off & install the new one. The hardest part is getting the new belt on the pulleys.
    FYI...this was the first belt I had ever changed.
  • Own a 2002 SL1 that I bought used. Still under warranty. Good thing since I have had a number of minor issues with the car.

    Looking for info on a roof rack for the car. ie is the factory rack a good one? Are there cheaper roof racks that can be used??

    Will appreciate any help/suggestions.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    For bicycles? The factory rack will be made to fit your car; but, I'm sure any aftermarket rack built for the purpose you desire should do just fine. Just try to remember that cheaper is not always better. Good luck.
  • I've read through a lot of messages, and don't see this listed specifically. My friend has a '95 S class and up until a month ago, had no problems whatsoever... suddenly the car stared shaking, vibrating and quit. She took it to a Saturn dealer who kept it for a day, said it was fixed and sent her on her way. They changed the spark plugs, gave it a tune-up and that's about it. Two days later, on her way to work, it did it again. Shuddered, and quit -- when it starts to shudder, all the dashboard lights come on and the whole car shakes violently. She then took it to Midas and they told her the vibrating was caused from worn engine mounts, which she had replaced. All was well for a month, now this morning on a hill, shudder, shake and quit. If she waits for five minutes or so, the car will restart, but now she's afraid that it's going to do it again and she has no idea when! Any help here???
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    It sounds like 2 professionals guessed wrong on this one--I don't know what kind of help you'll get here. How many miles on the '95? I had a 1995 SL2 and it ran fine--as did my 1999 SL2. It may be time for the almost 9 year old Saturn to retire. You can get an ION 1 with air and CD for about $179 a month. Good luck in getting it figured out!
  • I'd raise the question over at There are several Saturn experts that can probably figure it out. Certainly sounds strange. I don't really have a clue. Maybe a bad fuel pump or clogged fuel line? That's all I can think of. Good luck.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Was it a 2003 model or a a 2004? Many interior changes were made to 2004 models. The center IP does not take long to get used to. I had a 1995 SL2 and a 1999 SL2 and my 2003 ION 2 is a much nicer and more comfortable car than either of them. But, to each his own!
  • kmagkmag Posts: 98
    It was a 2004 quad coupe that stickered near $18,000. No doubt, it is a more comfortable and nicer car. Just not one that appeals to me.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
  • 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.
Sign In or Register to comment.