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Saturn S-Series



  • As far as i have found out by disassembling the saturn motors i have found them to have timing chains, and as far as the mileage goes i doubt it'll need it so soon.. unless of course its showing signs of needing one, also as long as the maintence was kept up with it shouldn't need one. but that is my opinion and advice.. if i was you i'd go get a second or third opinion.
  • i found out from the guy i bought my saturn from (he specializes in saturns mind you)that if you put anything bigger than the 185 65's you'll run the risk of rubbin the tire on the struts and as far as the rim sizes you run the risk of throwing off the speedometer calibration.
  • hey guys i have a 1996 Saturn Sl2 with 124k miles, and i purchased it back in august of 2004.. well aside from tranny differentials going out i've had only minor problems. i've replaced the following:

    Electric Fan Motor
    Belt Tensioner
    Brake Shoes and Pads

    Mind you everybody tells me i'm EXTREMELY rough on cars and well in the past the longest i've had cars was maybe 6 to 8mths and well i'm bout to go on my 3rd year of having this car.. I want to say also that i'm slowly learning from experience of having to do all the work myself and paying for what i do wrong that it doesn't pay to be rough on cars..
    As far as safety goes i've been really lucky with my car i was in a frontal collision about a year or so ago and i had kinda T-Boned a Ranger, to put it mildly i was able to drive away from the wreck, he wasn't. His back axle was lay in in the middle of the road.
    Also when i bought this car i bought it with a salvage/rebuilt title. i got a hell of a deal on it, blue book was like 3500 at the time, and i paid like 2000. i had always told myself i would never buy a saturn but after seeing how happy my friend was with her 2000 Saturn SL2 i decided to get a saturn and it has NEVER failed me, and as far as fuel economy not too shabby with my driving either i get like 30mpg average.
    Like i posted the other day about the Low Coolant/High Trans temp light the other day that is the only problem with it right now. For anybody looking for a good, safe, reliable used car i would GLADLY recommend them to a Saturn. I'll brag again and say it has NEVER EVER let me down even in cold weather.

    Thanks Saturn for a great, cheap to repair car... Although i'm a little skeptical on the user friendly part about buying the car but each dealer is different.

    Thanks Guys for your time.
  • LDegrelleLDegrelle Posts: 74
    Battery light started first - would go on when I started car and then after 2 minutes or so would turn off. Didnt worry too much - just thought battery needed to be changed - let it go until needed.

    The Service Engine Soon light came on. Was due to get oil changed in a week, so would have them look at it then. Two days of that and it went away. Today (next day) all gauges went wonky on me. While driving the speedometer first started fluctuating then dropped to ZERO, then gas gauge went to EMPTY, then thermostat went to C. Then after 3 more minutes the Tachometer went to ZERO. Two minutes later the car just sputtered out. Still have juice but cant crank engine.

    Any thoughts? Hoping its fuse or relay or something - anyone have ideas? 116k miles but dont feel like big bill on an old car.
  • I did the same exect thing you did,dry gas,injection cleaner,gas treatment,replaced fuel filter,spark plugs and wires,oil and air filters,I'm wondering if I should replace the coil pack,maybe the oxygen sensor,or a thermostat sensor,I've been reading everybodies common problems and have a good idea on what it is,the crazy part is the car passed inspection with flying colors,would like to hear from you
  • booboo6booboo6 Posts: 46
    '02 S-Series uses a fiberglass gasket that will fail. My '02 SL1 gasket was replaced at 60K miles. Used a premium $18 FelPro gasket and just under 3 hours time to install myself. If the leak is very localized, for example, the runner of cyl-1 at the head (most likely the site of failure), there will be local leaning that won't be compensated by the addition of fuel even if the vacuum leak is sensed by the MAP. The extra leaning, enough to misfire (run rough) will burn your intake valve over time. The average cost is about $450 for this repair. I have my gasket around and can shoot pics, but can't post here.
    - Bill.
  • wallacevawallaceva Posts: 1
    Has anyone had any issues with oil burning on the inside? My mechanic said that this was the case and that I should get rid of the car before it dies all together.
  • bambiebambie Posts: 12
    I have a 95 SL1 and it goes thru. a litre a week on in town drving.It hardly uses as much on the highway. It burned the same amount at 97K as it does at 260K.
    Still the best car I've owned.It cost me about $2000 in maintainance over a 12 year period.
    IAN B.
  • My 1995 SL2 which I bought new and has 188,000 miles did the same thing. The alternator was not charging the battery and so when the voltage got down to a certain point, the gauges quit.
    Replaced the alternator and a now weak battery.
  • halserhalser Posts: 20
    I have a 98 SL1 with a 5 speed manual and 135K miles. It has a rough feeling clutch. When I an in first gear and on an upward incline, as I let out the clutch it seems to hop or jump. The more rpm’s The worse it is. But when your on a hill, you need to give it gas or you will roll back and/or stall. On level ground at low rpm’s the transition is smooth. The clutch never slips. Driving through the gears is fine Is it a simple problem or do I need a new clutch?
  • brophbroph Posts: 85
    I bought a '97 Saturn SC with 82K for my daughter which is her first car. We came across a peculiar problem today which I never seen before. She drove about a mile with the emergency brake on before she noticed. After she released it, her brake pedal went to the floor and she had very little brakes. I thought maybe an air pocket but do not know. I got the brakes back by doing the old adjustment via backing up and hitting the brakes which brought the pedal back. I pulled the front tire and the pads were about 1/2 gone but I replaced them anyways. I still have to check the rears. In all my years of driving I have never had that happen (never drove that long with the brake on either). Has this happened to anyone else or heard of this? I would hate to let her drive this if it is unsafe. Thank you.

  • cgwynncgwynn Posts: 1
    2002 SC2 does the same thing... I lose a quart every 1000 miles. I'm almost empty at every oil change...
  • ok i ownd that same car till it was totaled, but anyways the thing with the saturn SC2 's are the transmition solenoid, wat that does is basicly tell ur car how to shift, until i found this out i whent through my motor mounts and to save u a lota lota money if u can do the work urself then u need to get a new transmitions solenoid or (air pressure solenoid) i think it might b called not to sure on name but if u just say the trans solenoid for ur AT SC2 1997 Saturn 2dr twin cam i believe they r all twin cams havent seen one not ; then they should know wat u mean... trust me the labor price is a rob... the part should cost around $80- or 80.02.... that is the problem with these saturns SC2's is that solenoid they always go but a new one should last u a long time depending on if ur like me and beat on ur little 4 cil saturn. . . and try to build it into a drifin car . . . but neways thats ur prob lem not major oh. . and the stallin, when ur car is off thats when u switchit out of performance/overdrive back to normal, and once replaced the stallin should go away, but until then if u wanna go some where take it out of performance and startit up then drive it like a standard until u get movin along hope i could be helpful ;)
  • Call Saturn and make a case. Say that they are aware that it is an issue and they should give you some help. They paid half for my intake gasket. I have a 02 SL with 42,000 miles. I paid about $300. for the replacement.
  • Alot of the retail facilities are very helpful with issues. If you feel stumped get the service manager to call in their area field engineer to look at your problem. I had the pleasure of working as a lead tech for Saturn for 8 years. I just found this forum so I will be frequenting them as I feel I might be of assistance at some point.
  • My 2002 Saturn SL intake manifold went out this summer with 42,000 miles. Saturn agreed to pay for half of the repair. It cost me about $300 with them paying half. I'd call Saturn and open a case. Say that they knew this was a problem and redesigned the gasket. I would ask for help with the repair.
  • About the intake manifold... Saturn has been known for faulty seals from day 1. For instance, the infamous oil rings, or the silicone RTV that's used to seal the oil pan and timing chain cover in both 1.9L engines and the valve cover gasket in the SOHC. One solution past going to the dealer where, although they offer to eat half the bill, is outrageously expensive and aggravating, is to go to your local auto mechanic's shop and ask them to install FelPro intake and exhaust manifold gaskets. FelPro is known for making gaskets that compensate for and correct manufacturing imperfections and shortcomings. I also found a molded rubber gasket for the valve cover that fits the SOHC 1.9L engines. Only avaliable through Auto Zone and made by a company called ROL gaskets. Hope that helped.
  • I got a 95 sc2 the tranny and engine are new about 40,000miles, the trans is shifting hardbetween 2nd and 3rd and on the downshift too. you have to run the rpms up to get it to shift and I was told either the trans/temp sensor or the shift sensor? it acts just like a bad vacumm modulator on the old cars. Any help would be great thanks!
  • I just had that problem and then the trans would not unlock, the steering colum has a lock on it along with the shifter. Each one has to unlock to work I just unhooked the shifter cable and that worked. Thats a possibility with the linkage being bad in the columm/ignition switch itself.
  • gar2gar2 Posts: 5
    I have a 2002 SC-2 that down shifts very hard from 3rd to second and sometimes very hard going into second. Soft throttle shifts or full throttle shifts are no problem and it does not do this all the time and seems to be more prone to doing this when cold. It first did this at 30,000 miles and I took it to the dealer where they tightened the input shaft nut and replaced the input shaft nut to the tune of $1200! now, at just about 65,000 miles, it has started doing the same thing again. I returned to the dealer who wants to replace the ecm again for $300. They do not even seem confident that this will fix it! The solenoid seems a logical suspect to me and I will replace it myself if someone can describe where it is on the tranny and the basic process of replacing it. :confuse:
  • Same thing happen to me today. Intake gasket replacement-charged me 470$ My saturn is SL1- 2002 model.
    What should I do, to get back atleast half my money. Should I call The saturn dealer. Any help would be really appreciated.
  • Hi 95 saturn sc-2 auto rebiult trans about 45G miles, getting a #25 code, no tourque converter clutch, hard shift 2nd to 3rd when it acts up but only once in a while mostls when cold. When it's left to warm up about 5 minutes no problems, thanks
  • Can not git it into gear. The clutch is working because I can grind it in. I have know idea how the hydrolics works on this and 100% sure this is the problem. when I push the pedal there is nuthing. can someome help or send dygram. thanks
  • Does anyone know what other years of Saturn engines will fit into my 1992 Saturn SL2 1.9 L DOHC besides the 1992 ?
  • 98sl298sl2 Posts: 2
    1998 sl2 173000 miles twin cam.has anyone had a hesitation when giving the car a little gas.and if you did what was wrong.mine does and i replaced the plugs/wires/tps/cleaned the TB and egr and checked for leaks.
  • kevsinkkevsink Posts: 2

    Went out to start my 02 Saturn SL DOHC and it sort of burped and will not start up. Turns over freely and every once in a while, it sounds like it will fire but doesn't. Fuel pump turns on and I pumped the gas pedal a few times and I smell gas. Replaced the timing belt, gears @ 20k miles back. Car has @94 k miles on it. No warning with this issue....has been running great. Please advise if someone has a solution. This is my first time using a forum....looking forward to it!

  • lancerfanlancerfan Posts: 17
    I have a 2001 saturn sc1 with about 75000km. Had it since about 50k. Been a very reliable car and has always started in weather colder than -40C except for if you get any snow spun up onto the starter cuz it will melt and once you shut the car off then it freezes solid and your gonna have to thaw it out. Once you do that its fine however and its only happened twice before. I have had problems with it burning lots of oil but the engine is still young and i don't drive it hard. I also had the head gasket crack and that cost about $1200 for parts plus labour. It shifts pretty hard into 2nd to. It is pretty quick off the line for 100hp haha but once you gotta shift into fourth its slow as heck. I would recommend this car to people plus its nice seeing these little cars instead of stupid sunfires, cavaliers, and neons all the time lol
  • shanjdshanjd Posts: 1
    I am not sure of how to better diagnose the problem, but it sounds very similar to what happened to my car, 1998 SL2. Sometimes it would start perfectly for weeks at a time, and sometimes it might take me 15 minutes of trying before it finally started. My son said that it sounded like the "Camshaft Position Sensor" was bad. I bought one at the dealer for about $35 and he replaced it. That was a year ago, when the car had about 250,000 miles; I now have over 280,000 and it has never given me trouble since then. He told me that it was very painful to be able to reach it, but with a lot of patience he loosened the bolt holding the old one and then plugged in the new one. I do not know what it would cost for a dealer to install it, but maybe they can at least try to diagnose it for you. Good luck,
  • bambiebambie Posts: 12
    I have a 1997 coupe SC!.I had starting problems.It was the starter.Went to the wreckers and picked up a starter and put it in myself and $75 later I was good to go.Hope it's that easy for you.

    Best regards
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    The Saturn engines don't have camshaft position sensors...most likely 1 of a couple of issues

    Crankshaft position sensor-tells the fuel injectors when to fire
    Corrosion on the coil packs you need to remove them and check underneath - no run....
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