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Saturn S-Series



  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    I just checked the site and the article in Columbia Herald that Mr Wright (bash site owner) was pleased to quote as his publicity catch. It is indeed a hate site which is not indicative of my Saturn experience at all.

    Indeed, Saturn IS a different kind of company. I have had a lot of headaches with my 95 SL2 and did meet some incompetence at the dealer - but overall, I was always treated with respect and warmth. (except on two occasions - but that was sorted out OK)

    Contrast that with Mitsubishi, Lexus, and some Nissan dealerships who think they are the boss and powerhouse of knowledge about everything in life and make you feel like an intruder. (Note: this is my experience - and for you legal types - I could be totally wrong and admit it up front)
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    To those people who actually believed this rubbish posted by the site creator of , here is a general account of why Mr. Right had so many problems with his SC2 which were all brought on by himself alone.

    This is a direct transcription of a "statement of facts" as printed by saturn of KC. Typing errors are mine. I am merely
    copying information they are already disseminating.

    -----begin poor transcription----

    4/22/97 Vehicle was purchased from Saturn of Blue Springs

    7/23/97 1st oil change was performed at Saturn of Blue Springs, miles 4077,
    change was complimentary

    **/**/** Customer Installed sterio system at approximately this time. System included multiple amplifiers, in-dash CD, separate equalizer, upgrade speakers, and sub-woofer type unit in trunk of vehicle. Unit is wired directly to positive battery cable and other wiring is under dash
    fuse box.

    6/18/98 2nd service by saturn of blue springs performed, 6K recommended,

    real miles, 14825.

    **/**/** At some undetermined time, vehicle was involved in an accident.

    Full extent of damage unknown to saturn of KC. Repairs done at

    4/23/99 3rd service by saturn, car towed into saturn on Olathe, car died while
    driving, miles 27544, found lose battery cable, after market battery bolt.

    7/3/99 4th service by saturn of KC. miles 31336 found blown fuse on remote
    control entry module, also repaired power window regulator. Customer also
    complained of ABS light coming on, which would be consistent with vehicle
    losing electrical power.

    8/16/99 5th service by saturn. Customer drove to saturn of KC, miles 32949, said
    car would not start on previous friday, performed bulletin correction to ignition cylinder,
    test drove for approx. 137 miles. Complaint did not re-occur.

    9/1/99 Customer drove to saturn of KC, miles 34491, said car was intermittently
    losing power on rough roads. On 09/9/99 saturn of KC provided Mr Wright

    with alternate transportation, 1997 nissan sentra. Customer's car still has stall
    code in computer, saturn of KC was instructed by Saturn corp to run redundant
    ground to the fuel pump, and test drove the car for 227 miles. problem did not
    re-occur. The redundant ground was left in place ( concern was that wiring
    modifications might have affected ground to fuel pump ). Customer picked up car,
    returned 364 miles later, stating car had died 5 additional times. Saturn of KC
    drove the car an additional 121 miles, after which it did die for the service manager.
    Saturn of KC disconnected the after market sterio, and drove 260 miles with no problems.
    Saturn sent a field engineer to insect the vehicle. Field engineer could not locate a
    definite cause for the problem.

    **/**/** Saturn corp. contacted Mr. Wright on or shortly after 10/1/99, and began
    discussions regarding possible re-purchase of vehicle.

    10/7/99 saturn of KC requested return of loaner vehicle. Customer returned vehicle as

    It is the understanding of saturn of KC that Saturn Corp has offered to Mr Wright to
    repurchase his vehicle. Complete terms are known only to Mr Wright and Saturn.
    It is the understanding od Saturn of KC that Mr. Wright has decided not to accept
    this offer.

    As has been the case from the start, Saturn of Kansas City and our area stores
    hope that Mr. Wright and saturn corp can reach an equitable solution in the matter.

    ----end poor transcription----
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    If you're going to cut and paste something someone else wrote, it's considered good form to attribute the author/typist. :)

    I wanted to second norbert, i've used 4 different saturn dealers:


    They were all good, with the creme de creme being countryside, IL. Fabulous service, cheap prices, and open until midnight. The service was light years ahead of my saab dealer, and that car costs more than twice as much. They (naughty saab dealer) quoted us $200(!!!) to fix a broken foglight lens, if you can believe that. The albuquerque dealer is close in service and prices, but is only open 9-5, and doesn't do much on weekends. I now do the regular service myself, but I should go soon, though, just to have a general lookover, and to repair some wounds i've inflicted. :)

    neways, good to see you back.

  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    I'd say he does sound like a quack of they offered him a new car or to repurchase his old car and he refused. What more could he expect?

    What concerned me though were the many owner experiences and complaints about Saturn's reliablitly and the complete incompetence and lack of respect that owners experienced by saturn service departments and dealerships.

    Believe me, I am not trying to bash the whole company here, but many of these are similiar to the nightmare that I was put through by a local Saturn dealer, Saturn of Mt Laurel in NJ.

    I think that I may have posted my story here before but, in a nutshell, I bought a used car from them (a Ford) that was supposed be covered under a powertrain warranty for the first 3000 miles. Not long after I took delivery, it started running rough, burning oil, puffing blue smoke etc. I presented my complaints and returned the car to the dealer at least 2 or 3 times a week and all I ever got was doubletalk and sometimes ignored. The service dept and the used car manager passed the buck back and forth. Service dept said the used car manager had to make the decision about honoring warranty work. But the used car manager said he knew nothing about cars (the salesman also said he knew nothing about cars too) and I had to take it up with the service dept.

    The used car manager was always rude and fast talking to me except for one time when he assured me that I would not be left hanging because "that is not the Saturn way." Until of course, after 3 months of this the warranty ran out and then he suddenly claimed that he couldn't remember me telling him about all these problems.

    At one point Saturn told me that they could not diagnose the car because it was a Ford. So I took the car to my own mechanic who gave me a written explantion of all the problems. When I returned to the Saturn dealer they told me that my own mehanics findings were completley irrelevant because he was not a Saturn dealer. As I said nothing but doubletalk.

    It was a complete scam.

    I realize that this may be one bad dealer in a network of good dealers. The problem is that there are only 3 Saturn dealerships in South Jersey and all are owned by the same parent company, Holman Enterprizes.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    ... not only "with a vengeance," but with lots of facts, too!
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Thanks Satrunboy for the facts about the guy who is having a problem with the dealer about his Saturn. It appears that he doesn't do even minimal maintenance, and direct wiring a stereo system apparently without a inline fuse, its a wonder he didn't burn up the car by a electrical short.
    So far am pleased with my 99 SL2 and service from Saturn of Binghamton. Now have 23k+ miles and they replaced a broken exterior rear door panel. Now it has developed stress cracks in the outlet pipe of the long thin muffler beneath the car. Will let you all know how it gets resolved.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Yes, sounds like you've definitely got an awful dealer. It majorly sucks that they are the only one in the area. All I can suggest is that you take it up the food chain at saturn ( eg, call the corporate HQ ). They may be able to help. However, you probably already tried something like this, so it's probably not too helpful.

  • jjones7jjones7 Posts: 1
    I just got this car Sat. and I am noticing that if it sits for long periods of time idoling that the Temp. will go all the way to red then something will cycle and the temp will go back to normal. Then it works its way up again. Also this happens when I am in stop and go traffic in the city. After I get on the freeway the temp will stay right in the normal area. Just need to know if this is something you all have or if I have a problem because I only have a 3 month warrenty so I need to know what to do
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    I am sorry to hear about your stress cracks in your muffler? But what exactly are they, and why do they occur? I have a 98 SL and they just replaced my Electronic Ignition module with only 16 thousand miles on it. I was treated fantastic by the dealer, I only gave them a half an hour notice after my check engine light came on and they fixed it promptly with no appt. Hope your situation improves
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    First thing I would do is try replacing the thermostat. It only costs a few dollars and, on most cars, you can replace it your self in a matter of minutes. That may very well be the problem and is a quick fix. You said the needle is going almost to the red--is the fan coming on when it gets above a certain temp? If not, that may also be your problem. If either the fan is not coming on, or a new thermostat doesn't solve your problem, I would take the car back to the dealer and let them diagnose it before your warranty is up. Hope this helps.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Yes Dave I did take everything up with Saturn but it got me nowhere. I dont really care about that car anymore anyway since I got rid of it a long time ago. Now that I am in the market for a new car, I just don't want to get burnt again.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Ooops, just notice on your post that you said that "something will cycle" and the temp goes down, so I guess that means your fan is coming on. What is the climate like where you are? It is normal for four cylinder engines to run hot, causing the fan to come on, in stop and go driving when the weather is hot. I don't own a Saturn so I don't know how hot they normally run though. Personally, I'd still replace the thermostat and have it checked out just to be safe before the warranty is up.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I remember reading on the newsgroup that this is normal for older saturns, and caused a lot of worried owners, so they recalibrated the thremostat gauge to go only 1/4 to 1/3 up before popping down again. Can't verify this for a fact, though, BUT you can go to there is a tech talk there tuesday at 11am east coast time and some knowledgeable mechanics participate.

  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    stress cracks come from flexing or expansion and contraction of metal that is held rigidly in place. They are not uncommon on exhaust systems that have stiff hanger brackets that don't allow for expansion.
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Stress cracks are caused by flexing as macarthur2 said. The items were all replaced under warranty which I did not expect as how I understood the warranty material, exhaust system after the catalytic converter is not covered so I was surprised that it was.

    Also about post #222 the 93 sl2 overheating it also sounds like the fan control is not operating properly. My 99 sl2 fan cycles on long before the temperature gauge reaches the red portion in stop and go city driving.
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Forgot to mention the fan control is a temperature operated switch. I would replace it.
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Any Saturn owners in this site use synthetic oil in your engines and if so what do you use for oil and filter change intervals? I've had other people tell me that they change the oil at 20k mile intervals.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Oil changes at 20 k mile intervals!!!???.

    Sounds to me like they are asking for trouble. I think they say that with synthetic you only have to change every 6k but I use Mobil 1 in my Olds and still religiously change it ever 3,000 miles
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I use synthetic in my saturn and I usually do the oil change every 6K miles, but now that i'm using the puralator pure one filter I do it every ten. I'm not advising everyone do this, but it works OK for me so far.

  • claryclary Posts: 18
    I have used 5W30 Quaker State Ultra Premium synthetic forthe last 35 000 miles in my 1997 SW2 which now has 54 000 miles. Use an Amsoil oil filter and change oil every 6000-7000 miles. No problems and no consumption.
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    Thanks for the input about your experience with using synthetic. Decided to use synthetic and change at 6k intervals. Did notice a change during cold starts, no valve clatter in my sl2.
    Must be something better about synthetic vs the non synthetic oil.
  • tsagetsage Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Saturn SL2 with 127,000 miles on it, and it has burned a valve. This is very disappointing to me. I take very good care of my vehicles, and drove my 1987 Ranger 4x4 for 257,000 miles with nothing more than routine maintenance.
    When I called the Saturn dealership to ask about the cost of a valve job, the repair dept. told me that the labor would cost $1,000.00. When I asked about the parts, he told me he would have to switch me to the parts dept. What? Am I expected to know every gasket, fitting, etc. that goes into a Saturn valve job? Am I to believe he can't obtain that, or doesn't have any experience whatsoever in Saturn valve jobs? I've been to the dealership, and the parts dept is right there next to service.
    My non-Saturn mechanic said that I should trade the car in, not rebuild it, because the rest of the car is not that sound. Unfortunately, the car now won't start, so I'll have to do the rebuild.
    Has anyone out there had a Saturn rebuild? Should I have the timing chain replaced also. My
    feeling, based upon this experience, is that Saturn had better keep selling the warm-fuzzy "better family than the one you've got" line, because the cars sure aren't a selling point.
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    I certainly understand the aggravation that tsage is experiencing, needing a engine rebuild would test almost everyone's nerves when they don't or can't seem to open their wallet or pocketbook.

    However, 127,000 miles is very high mileage and getting thus far with out major problems is considered to be very good. Far above the average. I think that all cars go down hill after you reach 100k, some choose to keep their cars and put money in, and they will, and others choose to sell the problems to someone else and enter the new car market once more. Personally I would choose option number 2. Good luck tsage
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    A burned valve at 127k miles is not the norm for any car engine. Tsage did say he takes good care of his vehicles. I've had several cars that I drove even more miles than he has and have not experienced a burned valve. I've had two transmission rebuilds on two different makes. What I find hard to believe is that a 96 ie 4 year old car is not sound? Maybe his non Saturn mechanic wants the car to fix for himself or buy real cheap and resell at a hefty profit. My advice is to not go back to either place. Buy a used head from a reputable recycler and replace it himself. A good auto parts store would know which gaskets he needs. I dare say he could do it himself for less than 300 in total parts.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Maybe a burned out valve at 127k is normal for a SATURN but certainly not any car I ever owned.
  • ken1776ken1776 Posts: 41
    I went through the same B.S. with my 96 SL II. I also took very good care of my car, but lost the lower end of the motor at 83K. I was told by Saturn that this is also high mileage for a car. Maybe they only mean Saturn's. I did have the motor rebuilt, and have had no trouble related to the work done by Saturn. "I recommend you have the work done at a Saturn dealer". I also recommend when your ready to buy a new car, remember the fact that you got screwed by Saturn, chalk it up to experience, do your homework, and buy a good car next time. Saturnboy I thought you were out of here. High miles by toady's standards are in upwards of 175-200K for major motor work. But I guess that's only for quality cars.
  • ken1776ken1776 Posts: 41
    Saturn Corp. said on Tuesday it received more than $1.5 billion from parent General Motors Corp. to upgrade its factories for up to four future products, including one that is expected to be the first GM vehicle to offer a six-cylinder engine from Japan's Honda Motor. Co. What makes Saturn any different then any other G.M. product?
  • ken1776ken1776 Posts: 41
    Mental laps on post 240. It's a 1995 SL II.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    not much these days
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    When's the last time anyone here got 1.5 billion?

    April 25, 2000 - Saturn Corporation announced
    today that it has received more than $1.5 billion
    from parent General Motors to aggressively grow
    their brand with new products, new styling, and
    upgraded manufacturing facilities. Saturn will use
    GM's capital investment and worldwide component
    relationships to bring an expanded portfolio of
    larger, innovative vehicles to market faster.
    Saturn’s plan calls for the potential of four new
    products over the next four years, with more
    expressive styling and customer-attentive vehicle

    Future spring Hill vehicles include the 2002
    all-wheel drive SUV, the next-generation coupe, the
    next-generation sedan, and a fourth, unspecified
    vehicle. Trudell reportedly said that the fourth
    vehicle will use a high-tech V-6 engine developed
    by Japan's No. 2 automaker, Honda. Using the Honda
    engine will allow GM to bring the new vehicle to
    market quicker than it could have normally been
    able to, she said.

    Reuters News reported that Wesley Brown, an
    analyst at industry consultant Nextrend, said it
    would likely be a nontraditional, lifestyle pickup
    truck. "It will be a new interpretation of what a
    pickup can be, something that plays more to one's
    lifestyle and attitudes rather than its utility,"
    he said. As for the SUV, Brown described it as a
    crossover vehicle that melds minivan utility with
    SUV looks. The SUV will be powered by both a GM V6
    and Saturn's current L-Series 2.2l 4-cly engine.

    Saturn Chairman and President Cynthia Trudell said
    the new GM investment signals strong support from
    the world's No. 1 automaker for its 11-year-old
    import-fighting division.

    While Saturn has set standards for customer
    service and has earned high marks for its no-haggle
    sales strategy, critics point out that it has
    struggled to sustain sales in the sluggish small
    car market. GM has been criticised for starving
    Saturn of new products, causing it to miss out on
    the light truck boom of the 1990s.

    "Definitely, the investment that General Motors is
    willing to put into the Saturn brand is a vote of
    confidence that Saturn in the long-term has high
    equity for General Motors," Trudell said. The
    latest funds bring GM's total investment in Saturn
    to $6.5 billion, she said.

    "Saturn has established tremendous equity in its
    first ten years, and General Motors recognizes our
    ability to attract and satisfy new customers," said
    Cynthia Trudell, Saturn chairman and president.
    "Four out of five S-Series buyers and 68 percent of
    L-Series buyers tell us they would have bought or
    leased a non-GM vehicle had Saturn not been
    available. Further, satisfaction with the Saturn
    retail experience remains among the highest in the

    "Our challenge now is to keep up with customer
    demand for a wider variety of vehicles," said
    Trudell. "We intend to continue our commitment to
    small cars, but position Saturn as more than a
    small car company. And to sustain our viability as
    a unique car company, we need to deliver these new
    products to market more quickly."

    The strategic moves announced today include:

    GM has approved Saturn’s sport utility vehicle
    (SUV), which will go into production later next
    year at Saturn's Spring Hill, Tenn. facility. The
    all-new SUV will join Saturn's redesigned small
    cars and the new mid-size L-Series sedan and wagon
    at Saturn retailers as a 2002 model.

    GM is making a $1 billion capital investment in
    Saturn’s Spring Hill manufacturing facility through
    2002. This includes new equipment and tooling for
    the SUV and next generation small cars, paint shop
    refurbishment, and building modifications to allow
    both cars and trucks to be built on a split line.
    The investment lays the foundation for potential
    additional products to come on stream.

    Saturn’s SUV and next generation small cars will
    include GM’s new global four-cylinder engine.
    Spring Hill will be awarded GM’s third production
    module for this engine, including strategic
    machining and assembly. This represents an
    additional $500 million investment for new
    equipment and the construction of a 450,000 square
    foot addition. The SUV also will be available with
    a GM V6 engine.

    One of Saturn’s yet undisclosed future models will
    include a high-tech V6 engine from GM’s recent
    agreement with Honda. This will shorten the time
    frame for bringing this new product to market.

    Saturn will seek additional GM powertrain
    production business as it phases out the current
    transmission family. Saturn’s future products will
    include a combination of technically-advanced
    transmissions, such as an Aisin/Warner transmission
    and a continuously variable transmission (CVT),
    among other options.

    Saturn’s Sales, Service and Marketing (SSM)
    organization will align more closely with GM’s
    North American Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing
    (VSSM) team. This will allow both organizations to
    explore synergies to reduce structural cost and
    enable Saturn’s new product investment.
    "Saturn’s retail approach and sales, service and
    marketing team will remain intact," said Jill
    Lajdziak, vice president of Saturn SSM. "But we
    will share Saturn’s experience with GM, and glean
    from our parent company’s centers of expertise in
    areas transparent to the customer."

    Ron Hankins, president of UAW Local 1853, said,
    "The Saturn UAW team worked hard to earn GM’s
    global four-cylinder engine business. We have a
    commitment to producing high quality products, and
    this decision provides job security for our UAW
    members. It’s a win for GM, Saturn and the Spring
    Hill community. We also look forward to building a
    steady stream of new, competitive products for

    Summarizing the investment and product plans,
    Trudell said, "We’re gearing up with GM’s
    commitment to grow the Saturn brand. Our S-Series
    launch in the early 1990s was so successful that
    Saturn became synonymous with small cars. We now
    have a mid-size product to compete with the
    imports, and we’ll soon start building awareness
    for our upcoming SUV. And that’s just the

    "Overall, our strategy will expand Saturn, yet do
    so in a way that improves our operational
    performance and remains true to Saturn's core
    values. Saturn was born from a commitment to
    customer service and a partnership with our
    retailers, UAW partners, team members and
    suppliers," said Trudell. "These values will
    continue as we strengthen our brand equity in
    today's rapidly changing automotive marketplace."
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