Saturn Maintenance & Repair



  • jillw2jillw2 Member Posts: 3
    Hi everyone,
    I bought my 2000 Saturn SL1 last fall in a private party sale. The car is in good shape, it only has 65,000 miles on it. Since then it has sporatically idled rather high sometimes when I put the car in park (it's an automatic). Lately it seems to be doing it a lot more. When I put the car in park it shoots up to about 2000-2500 RPM. However, it still does not do it all of the time. We put brand new spark plugs, spark plug wires and a starter in the car last Sunday. It seemed to temporarily relieve the high idle completely, but today it did it three different times to me, all when I put it in park. Any ideas? I'd really appreciate the help!!! I'm a poor college kid- how expensive would it be to have a dealership diagnos this, and should I? Any other hints? Thanks!
  • almondalmond Member Posts: 1
    Hello All,
    My car recently hit 50,000 miles on it and has had relatively few problems up until now. While driving I've noticed that the rpm's will increase even while coasting on a flat stretch. That is what first brought my attention to this issue. I was going around 35 mph and coasting when the rpm's jumped above 2,000 and then fell to around 1,000. I should mention that the car is an automatic. I've also noticed that when coming to a stop the rpm's will again jump and I have to hit the brakes hard to avoid hitting the car in front of me as the car revs. What brought this to a head is I was coming out of the store, the car had been sitting for 10 min max, I go to turn on the car and the rpm's don't make it pass 1,000 and the car dies. I retry the car 3 more times before it finally starts and I can get it home. My fiance has driven it and the only thing he's noticed is that when the car is going up a hill, down a hill or decreasing rapidly it makes a griding noise. Any ideas what can cause this problem? On a side note the car was taken from California to Georgia in a moving truck and I didn't have this problem before I moved. Could that be related in any way? Sorry if this is long I'm just trying to give an acurrate picture. Thanks for any help you can give me.
  • bb33bb33 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem with my 96 SL2. I changed the idle air control valve and it fixed the problem. The IAC is located in the air intake manifold area. I don't remember the cost but they are available at places like NAPA and auto-zone. You might want to check out a Haynes maintenance manual to find the exact location and how to change it.
  • jillw2jillw2 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot for your help,
    My boyfriend installed the IAC valve today that we got from Auto Zone. So far, so good, I will probably post later if something comes up. Did you have any other problems after? Thanks again!
  • thomassky22thomassky22 Member Posts: 2
    Nice forum!

    I have a 1996 SL1 and a couple of days ago the battery light came on and it won't go off. I can't seem to find the manual so if anyone has any ideas of what I should do let me know. Thanks.
    I've tried resetting the battery and didn't seem to do anything.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Get a friend with a simple voltmeter and have him read your battery voltage with the engine running....if the needle on his meter doesn't go up when you rev the engine, or if the needle stays stuck under 13 volts or so, it's probably your alternator that is defective.

    Make sure your alternator belt is tight before you do this test.

    right now I bet you are running only on battery voltage so don't drive at night and don't go too far from home until you figure this out.
  • bb33bb33 Member Posts: 2
    It has been over a year since i changed the IAC, works good. I do remember there was a lot of sticky junk on the old IAC plunger, so after i changed the valve I ran a can of air intake cleaner through the intake. You remove the air intake boot and spray the cleaner in the intake with the engine running. It makes a lot of smoke and stinky stuff come out the exhaust, so if you decide to clean the intake make sure you follow the directions on the can. On the other hand, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • taggerttaggert Member Posts: 1
    Also having starting problems. My wife drives a 96 SL and has been having intermittent starting problems. Every now & then the vehicle will not start. When she turns the key, nothing, no lights, no interior lights and no noise when the key is turned. She has to bang on the battery or move the cables before it will start. I have replaced the battery and battery cables. Saturn service has not been able to find any problems. Any Ideas..............
  • thomassky22thomassky22 Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for the assistance. Well, I made it to work and it died today. I took it to my mechanic...still waiting for a response. But I'm sure you were correct about the alternator. I'll keep you up to date.
  • bdcasebdcase Member Posts: 1
    Any AC gurus out there?

    I have a 92 SL2 w/o a working AC...and its getting hot! I'm relatively confident that the clutch has gone bad, but otherwise the system is good to go. I've never work on an AC system before...can anyone tell me if I can simply replace the clutch or if I am better off to buy a new compressor w/ clutch assembly? If I simply need to replace the clutch, should I be able to replace it without pulling the compressor or opening the system?

  • garyb1garyb1 Member Posts: 1
    8 weeks ago i filled my tank at a new after the service light came on.i drained the gas and after a few trips the light went off.2 weeks ago i thought i would try the gas station again.i used a higher octane.soon after that the service engine light came back on.after draining the gas and filling up 3 times at my normal gas staton.the service engine light still hasn't went off.and in the last 3 weeks the car has been hesitating and boging after it warms up.its getting worse by the day.the only thing i can think of is the fuel pump or filter.but i suppose it can be anything.I'm not really sure if it was the gas i used or something car has the ca emission on it.what do you all think.the car has 30.000 mi on it.thanks for your help
  • pmatmpmatm Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 SL2 DOHC . The electric cooling fan does not come on unless the ac is turned on. I replaced the coolant temp switch (the one with 2 wires under the thermostat housing) but it still wont kick on. The t-stat works fine, there is plenty of antifreeze and the wires seem to be in good condition. Any suggestions would be appriciated.
  • itfchaositfchaos Member Posts: 1
    Ok here is my story, I got a new radiator, naturally the old transmission lines were rusted in there good, and ended up breaking off trying to remove them. So I purchased two transmission lines. While waiting for new radiator to show up in the mail I forgot which transmission line goes up top and which one goes on the bottom. On the transmission is two outlets they are side by side, and one is recessed a little. which outlet would go to the top connection on the radiator? or vise versa. Thanks for any help.
  • 93saturnsl293saturnsl2 Member Posts: 1
    My '93 Saturn SL2, DOHC was fine when I stowed it a year ago. Today I'm getting it ready to drive again and discovered water in my oil! I've always believed that only a bad head gasket or cracked block could cause this but I'm wondering if it could also be the intake manifold?
  • rundawgrundawg Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Saturn SL-1 with about 34,000 miles on it. Sometimes, not all the time, when I start it, it acts like it is going to die. Once I give it a little gas it is fine and runs fine. I had a similar problem with another car I had and had to replace the air control valve or sensor (I cannot remember what it was called). The car runs fine once I start driving it, as did my former car before I had the sensor replaced. Any suggestions before I take it to the dealership???
  • jen74jen74 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 94 saturn sc-1. it will not stay charged. i bought a new alt in jan 2005. ran great for 2 1/2 months then started to lose power. Cannot drive more than 30 miles without having to charge the battery. i'll be driving and the gauges just drop. it feels as if it looses power even if you floor it . please help. any suggestions?
  • jillw2jillw2 Member Posts: 3
    For three days I had no issues. Then the same one started to reappear. I really wish I could explain when/how/why, but it's really sporatic. One really hot day last week it idled high as I made my way slowly through construction. I turned the car off, then on again, and it was fine. Today I drove it six times, it idled high for two of those trips (when I'd stop at lights- it would be around 1000-1100 rpms). At first I thought it was happening after I drove long distances continuously, but then one day this was not the case. All of these times, when I turn the car off and back on, its fine again. I have an appointment at saturn for the middle of next week. Can anyone think of any possibly explanation?
  • starfoxstarfox Member Posts: 1
    I just replaced a fuse for the driver automatic seat adjustor and when I did this the radio will turn on however, no sound comes from the speakers also the automatic locking doors will not lock or unlock can you help?
    thanks steve
  • pookie3685pookie3685 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 SC2 (automatic) that i bought pre owned in 2003 at a private lot. The car had 42,000 miles on it when i bought it and now has around 72,000 miles on it. About a year ago my car began to randomly break down while i was driving. The RPMS would drop and i could not accelerate i could push on the pedal all i wanted and it wouldnt go. If i pulled over to the side of the road it turned the car off it would start again. Till one day it just wouldnt start, i got that fixed and it was my crank shaft sensor and since then it hasnt done it. But with in the last month i have noticed that when my car is in park the idle will not remain the same, it jumps up and down constently and sputters. And today my check engine light came on for the first time. I thought maybe it was my spark plugs and i am wondering if it is possible that my transmission might have anything to do with it, the car vibrates slightly when shifting from 1st to 2nd and shifts very hard when going from 2nd to 1st. Also the car once it warms up shifts really hard into reverse and it takes about ten seconds to actually shift into reverse.
    Anyone have any help for me?? :confuse:
    Thanks ~*Bobbi*~
  • kjhansenkjhansen Member Posts: 11
    Does anyone know where GM got that 3.0L V6 engine? Is it from Opel (Germany), SAAB, or US made? I'm interested in it's expected reliability. My 2003 VUE has the same engine with 34K miles on it and so far it has it has been quite reliable.
  • jimmyrayjimmyray Member Posts: 2
    2002 with 6500 miles, owned since new, about every 9 months dead battery strands us next morning when traveling. This 3 ed failure got Service Engine Soon' light on steady, and Security' light flashing. Also Speedometer dose not read now. After 1 st failure put voltmeter (Camping World) into front lighter socket. 14.4 run and 12.4 vdc park. Checked all fuses. Suspect battery (still under warranty) sent glitch down system that wiped out some module or bad common ground. Did you know there three computers on this LW. Two are in German and one changes to English. I am sure battery should be replaced. Thanks for any info. on sim. problem. Jim
  • kguthkguth Member Posts: 3
    I'm in need of some help on this one; I have a 1997 Saturn SL that has been one of the most reliable cars I ever owned but lately it's been a problem. In march I had the the ignition replaced because the car chime kept beeping like keys were in it. Mind you, I have never taken my car anywhere but the Saturn dealership for everything. Now a week after the ignition was replaced the chime would come on every so often. It kept getting worse until last week it was doing it everytime I opened the door. I called Saturn and told them about this and said I would not be able to make it in due to my work and overtime. I told them I was putting them on notice that the car was not fixed and It would be a couple of weeks until I would be in. Two days ago I started my car and smoke was coming from the steering column. I had it towed to Saturn where it sat for three days. I then called Tennesee and about an hour after that the service mgr called me explaining it was some power control board harness that had fried and the part is about $350 dollars but with labor a little over one thousand. He seemed a little ticked maybe because I called the head office but I wanted to know why I bought a part I did'nt need in the first place. He said, was the chime going off when you left the dealership? What kind of question is that? He then said his mechanic might have misdiagnosed the problem or he might have seen key shavings in the ignition causing the chime and now the board went. My question to the people on this board is; Should I be upset because Saturn charged me for a new ignition and that was'nt the problem and now Saturn is'nt standing behind there work. Could they have done somthing wrong when they put the new ignition in? This was done at the end of March and that service was around $1200. My wife owns a 2004 vue and she is experiencing service problems also(oil changed and we drive our 45min back home to notice that they broke the hood release. Then they fix it and they don't snap back the panel underneth the steering wheel) It seems that since they became "closer" to GM, service is horible. Lastly, do these power board harness' just up and fry out like that? Sorry for the rant, but I need help. Thanks
  • sue13sue13 Member Posts: 1
    when i try to hook up shift cable to transaxle and gear shift it is to long and will only go in drive and wont get out of drive until in park. to put it where it should be the end likes about one shift being to long can anyone help
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    WEll the two events certainly do sound somewhat connected but proving it isn't going to be easy.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    since they became "closer" to GM

    Saturn has always been a division of GM.
  • kguthkguth Member Posts: 3
    Yes I know Saturn has always been a division of GM. I'm only repeating what they said to me on the phone from Tennesee. "We've always had a relationship with GM but now its even closer". That's what I was told. If they don't make good on this with something even a "sorry we misdiagonosed your problem" I'm taking my business elsewhere and I'll buy an overseas car.
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Member Posts: 36
    po1o5 still in memory light off for now--when over one half on temp it will stick at 700 in gear and go up to 2000 in park -hit gas hard and it goes to 450 :confuse: :lemon:
  • dawkdawk Member Posts: 2
    Is the 1.9 liter SOHC engine a zero clearance engine? I am wondering if I will also need to replace valves as well as the timing chain and related parts.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    They usually bend all the exhaust valves.
  • aim112aim112 Member Posts: 2
    Yes, you should be mad. I only went to the Saturn dealer once for my saturn. They lied to me, charged me over $800 and didnt fix the problem. Then when I brought it back they admitted they didnt fix the problem and tried to charge me $300 more to really fix it. You need to find someone you can trust. The Saturn dealer the I went to sounds like the same one you went to.
  • aim112aim112 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem and it was the fuel pump. Read my other message about the Saturn dealer... Id take it to a mechanic if I were you.
  • dawkdawk Member Posts: 2
    Will a compression test indicate if any valves are damaged? I have just replaced the timing chain, both sprockets, tensioner and both guides. I would hate to have done all this work only to find out a valve job is required. I don't think the car is worth the investment we only paid $1,200 for it 2yrs. ago and it has 280,000 kms. on the odometer
  • kguthkguth Member Posts: 3
    I just got off the phone with Tennesee and they said that the service mgr will not do an adjustment or discount. She said that she'll send me a gift certificate for 100.00 dollars to spend towards anything at Saturn. She explained that Saturn used to be an independent subsiderary of GM, now they're just GM. Dealers are independent. So I told her that I have never had one problem with Saturn of Clarance since 1997. Now since the beginning of the year both my Saturns have had less then acceptable service. The funny part is that I talked to two service managers for Dodge and Buick over the 4th weekend and they both said they would discount the service and apologize because it sounds like they put in the wrong part. And to be honest, at the end all I wanted was an apology and it would have made the difference. BUT since the service manager at Saturn of Clarance would not own up to their mistake, I told tennesee I will never take my car back their again and I am through with GM and Saturn. I WILL buy foreign.
  • jimmyrayjimmyray Member Posts: 2
    Finely Saturn had to admit Battery problems.3 failures in last 2 years. They had to jump start (thats 4 times) at service shop. Battery had 2 more years but Saturn only backs battery for 3 years (LW300 April 2002) Got no credit for remaining 2 years. Would not put in another Delco (Booo). Gave them Optima Gel Cell. Cost $130 (sears). Saturn wanted $150 for a Delco! (Boo). They said over 20 'codes were in memory all from bad battery. Guys at shop were great, but 'Saturn won't admit or back bad Delco's.!!
  • earldavisearldavis Member Posts: 1
    I currently own a 2001 Saturn L200 with 89,000 miles on it. When it was around 40,000 the gas gauge started registering about 1/4 tank less that was was in the car. The car was under warranty and I took it to my Saturn dealer and had them to fix the problem. They told me that they replaced the assembly in the gas tank that registers the gas. At my last service at the dealership, I told them that I was having the same problem with the fuel gauge and they said that they would replace the part the next time I was in for service.

    Last week, my car died in the middle of the road. No warning, it just quite like I had run out of gas. I had the car towed to a local mechanic as the dealership is 50 miles away and the warranty expired a while back. The mechanic said that the fuel pump is not working and he also noticed that the gas gauge was not registering the correct amount of gas. He then told me that the part was all made together and located in the fuel tank. The part costs about $500 and he can only get a listing for the part from Saturn.

    Has anyone else had a problem with the fuel pump for the L Series?

  • jmaconjmacon Member Posts: 1
    My Saturn L200 has 49,000 miles. From time to time the brake pedal will go all the way to the floor and no brakes. If I pump the brakes, I have brakes. Ease the pedal down - all the way to the floor - no brakes.

    First time I complained - still under warranty - could not get it to duplicate it.
    Second time I complained - out or warranty - 43,000 miles - could not get it to duplicate problem - new pads and rotors.
    Third time I complained - 49,000 miles - could not duplicate problem at shop - new master cylinder - split cost 50/50 with Saturn
    Today it did it again - I stopped for lunch all seems OK??
    How can I sue Saturn after I die in a wreck? Or does anyone know what to do to fix the problem.
    What rights do I have as a consumer? I cannot get the car to duplicate the problem at my will it only does when it pleases.
    I once owned a fleet of 30 busses, never a problem like this.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    I read an interesting article by "Click and Clack" yesterday about a batterry dying very early. They attributed it to a bad voltage regulator in the alternator. The bad voltage regulator allowed to the alternator to overcharge the battery and reduce the life of the battery. Since GM has had well documented problems with their alternators in their mid-size cars, this could be the true problem. They say that you have to test the entire charging system to catch this problem.

    You may be able to do a Google search on Click and Clack. They are a syndicated automobile talk show.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Member Posts: 2,918
    If you are out of warranty, go find an independent mechanic to look at the vehicle. There is nothing "special" about the vehicle that only Saturn dealership can work on it. Stop messing around with the dealership. They are simply guessing at the problem.

    You can't sue anyone after you are dead so stop worrying about a lawsuit and call a competent mechanic to look over your vehicle instead. You also are responsible for your safety.
  • loganwolfloganwolf Member Posts: 3
    Yeah i have a saturn from 1993 and it overheats alot all the time, i also live in PR if thats any concern. im seeking to know what to do to stop it from overheating alot im not sure if its because it has a thermostat since most cars in pr don't have one down here so i'm not sure what to do if anyone does let me know... till then.
  • joshrockitjoshrockit Member Posts: 1
    What I assume is a plastic guard for where the oil tank is and other parts of the engine, is dragging because one of the clips holding it in place has broken off. Is there any way I can fix this on my own? Should I just bring it in to a repair shop or the dealer? any advice is appreciated.
  • ruthe1oneruthe1one Member Posts: 1
    i have the same problem with 2001 L series. i have the L200 with 69,000 miles and last week my car just died like it was out of gas. a mechanic check the gasoline pressure coming from the fuel pump. sometimes the car will crank back up if it sits. this is the second major problem with this car. my timing chain broke at 45,000 and caused major engine more saturns for me
  • dutchess_xdutchess_x Member Posts: 1
    i have a 97' 4 door SL2 also. my car has massive overheating problems. i can keep them under control by putting water in it every few days. also my car does the not starting thing too. everyone has told me to put oil in it. the first time this went on for a couple weeks, then i added a couple qts. of oil, and what do you know, it started up quickly every time :) that was about 6 months ago

    NOW, just the other day, i was driving on the highway, and some power seemed to be lost. so i pressed the gas pedal just a little, and my RPM gauge shot way up then went down to zero. the car never shut off. and there was gas in it. but when i pressed the gas pedal, it just would go straight to the floor, and no gas came through, no sound of reving enging, RPM gauge stayed at zero.
    i pulled off the highway, called AAA and had my car towed home. now it wont start. i put the key in, turn it, and it makes some kind of electricle noise.
  • loganwolfloganwolf Member Posts: 3
    I'm sorry but i am really in need of help. i have this saturn. had it for about two months the most.. it was running fine shifts were good didn't overheat. nothing... now about two weeks ago it just started overheating... and till three days ago it also started making this very very loud noise like birds chirping or something just very loud, and it does it till it get close to overheating then it runs just fine and then it overheats, so i stop for a bit let it cool off check the bottle for coolant and it like slightly pushes the coolant up. .I live in Puerto Rico, about for saturns are in the hole island i think. and no one knows how to work on it... now since i live down here i have been told several time(i mean alot) that cars dont have Thermostat down here i dont even know the name for it in english... but just cars down here dont have that and mine does seeing as it was imported. now i really need some help, i work and live alone, this is the only vehicle available to me, and i cant get a loan not 21 yet, lol.. so its either find a way to fix it or walk all the way to work, and i know this sounds needy.... and i am i really need help. please anyone. :sick: :confuse:
  • loganwolfloganwolf Member Posts: 3
    ah its a 1993 SL.
  • hdgt93hdgt93 Member Posts: 1
    Recently my 2003 Saturn L200 (45k miles) started hard shifting. Most noticeable when going from park to reverse, park to drive and when starting out going form 1st to 2nd. Tends to be somewhat intermittent when it does this, but is more frequent last couple of days. Check engine light has now come on as well. I also notice the fan seems to coincide with this problem. No problems are apparent when the cooling fan is not running, but as soon as it kicks on (and seems to be racing a bit too), the hard shifting starts. Any idea what this could be caused by? And....although this is outside of the 36/36 warranty, is there extended powertrain warranty which might help on this one? :(
  • kimberlitakimberlita Member Posts: 3
    check your radiator cap, it could be the seal is leaking. Happened to me
  • kimberlitakimberlita Member Posts: 3
    idling of car starts racing when the gear shift is put in neutral or park. gas pedtal is not sticking, only does this when it wants to. Can anyone help?
  • evajoesavevajoesav Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 Saturn SL for the past few weeks it has been making a loud banging noise when shifting. It is especially bad going into reverse. It also does it every once in a while when driving down the road and the gears shift. If anyone has any ideas what this could be please let me know. :confuse:
  • kimberlitakimberlita Member Posts: 3
    I had the same problem for about a week, would run fine then it would lose a little coolant and water leaked out when i parked the car. i thought it was the water pump leaking , it was not that. it was the radiator cap .the seal was broke i replaced it . works finee and no over heating....check the seal on cap for radiator...
    hope this helped...........good luck
  • 10kmaniacs10kmaniacs Member Posts: 1
    I have been tracking the very same syptom on my 2001 L100 (2.2L). I have noticed alot of 6 cyl L200 and L300 owners are finding that replacing the MAF sensor to solve this problem. The 2.2L doesn't have a MAF sensor but does use a IAT & MAP sensor. I replaced mine(The IAT) over the weekend (simple and cheap - 5 minutes and $10 parts), we shall see how it goes. There is a service bullitain on Grand AM's concerning the pigtail going to the sensor, I noticed the wirng to be kinda stiff also.
    here is the link
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