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Saturn Maintenance & Repair



  • #494 of 549 95 SL2 Automatic - dies or almost dies after accelerating by satyrn Oct 20, 2005 (1:50 pm)
    I have a 95 SL2 1.9L DOHC with auto transmission. Car has been stalling while driving every month or so for the past year. Recently started stalling more frequently and eventually refused to start. Took it in and had the fuel pump replaced &f uel filter checked. Car now starts fine and runs fine mostly, but the stalling while driving still happens on occasion.

    Last night happened again while on the freeway: while cruising around 55 mph, acceleated to pass another car. Car hesitated to accelerate, then after a few seconds did accelerate, then downshifted into 3rd while accelerating. After passing the car, my car shifted back into 4th. 20 seconds later while cruising around 65 mph, the car started to buck a bit. Put it in neutral and RPM dropped to about 300, then engine died. Was able to restart. I am unable to make the car stall on-demand.

    There is a hill near where I live. When I accelerate to go up this hill, car does fine, but once I top out and begin to come down the other side and begin slowing to come to a stop, the car often stalls (4 out of 8 tries). Once, it came to a complete stop and did not die but idled very rough for a few minutes (which means it can't be the Torque Converter Clutch, right?). Engine Warning Light came on for a few minutes but then went off.

    Any ideas what's wrong? The mechanic who replaced the fuel pump thinks it might be the torque converter clutch or the solenoid-driven valve used by it. I am wondering if it isn't the Throttle Position Sensor.

    I am considering unplugging the Torque Converter Clutch as a way to rule it out. Any concerns in doing so?

    - Michael

    ******** My Question ***********

    I have 1998 SL2 with similar problem as described above.

    The car stalled on starting and while driving and with the foot on the acceleartor maintaining a steady speed, all of a sudden acceleration slowed by itself and lights dimmed out. Happened a couple of times. Fuel engine was replaced a year ago.

    Could it be bad gas? or water in the gas?
  • bnbbnb Posts: 2
    Can any one send me directions on how to program a remote keyless entry?
  • jenmacjenmac Posts: 1
    I feel I am extremely fortunate after reading all of these posts. I have a 1993 saturn that I have had since April 2004 I bought it in Southern California for $800. I believe that it has never seen snow. I decided to move back to Ohio, I drove my little buddy across the country in November. it went through mountains and it's first snow just fine. When I got to Ohio all it needed was an oil change. I have been driving it ever since.

    I am just now having problems with it, fuel line freeze up, and just common problems like the oil burning and the roof leaking. The odometer stopped at 176,450 miles about 8 months ago and I drive an hour to work 3x a week. So I bet I'm pretty close to 200,000 miles.

    As long as you take care of it, there shouldn't be too many problems. Best car i've ever had!! :blush:
  • i have a 2005 ion quad cpe 3 i bought it in feb of 05 after 15 times to the dealer i called my consumer protection agency well finally after 11 months of dealing with this lemon of a car saturn decided to buy it back ,so i needed a car and i told my husband i would never buy another gm we went out and bought 2006 chrysler pt cruiser ,the cruiser is more comfortable and has more room than the ions ,im just glad i dont have to deal with the ion always breaking down and the dealer saying they cant fix it for all you people having problems go to your states consumer protection agency they can help you just as well aas a lawyer can
  • Hi, I just bought a '96 SL2, and my doorlocks have stopped locking or unlocking all of a sudden today. Only one works, and that is my driver's side door. it only UNlocks. When I try to unlock or lock it, I can hear the mechanism try, but it doesn't work for some reason. I made sure the locks were totally open with my key, because I thought they might be caught between a state of lockedness and unlockedness, but it didn't do anything. I have no idea what it is, any help to point me in the right direction would be greatly appriciated.

    Ian Campbell
  • My 06 ion quad coupe 2 just recently started doing this: when i come to a complete stop, and then accelerate, the car jerks fairly hard when the gears change. the car only has 4000 miles on it, and the check engine light just came on for the second time in a week (both times going right back to saturn so they can deal with it.) im scared as a first time buyer, i may have had the luck of buying a lemon. how did you turn out?
  • Help!
    My brand new ion, with only 4000 miles on it had the check engine light come one twice this week! On Monday, when i got in my car for the first time since the beginning of the weekend, the service engine light came on. I drove it 40 miles to a saturn dealer by my parents, they gave it back that night, told me that codes P0700 and P0717 were present, they reprogramed the ECM and cleared the light. Well, surprise, surprise, 24 hours later, the light came back on. Now the dealer is telling me that an external sensor on my transmission needs to be replaced and will take almost a week. Im not too happy with the way the cars driving, or the service at saturn...any suggestions??
  • I have other problems solved--transmission fluid was dirty--map sensor was set off by trans--company did not change filter or clean screen--put cleaner in then later did both Now I was wondering if you know why one rear door will stop working--left rear --no noise--door does not lock and will open but will set off alarm --will lock manually but will not open with others--child control not engaged if fuses-all would not work Bob Billieux :lemon:
  • Change trans fluid immediately and filters flush too-drop pan and clean if this does not do the trick Bob Billieux
  • I have a 2005 Ion with about 7000 miles on it. It is developing a very loud rattle in the dash somewhere to the left of the steering wheel. Has anyone else had this problem or know what it might be?
  • drymerdrymer Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1991 SL1 for a work vehicle. Shortly after purchase the car stalled going down the highway. Upon investigation, I found the DIST 7.5 amp fuse located under the hood had blown. I replaced it and the repair lasted for approx. two weeks before the same thing occurred again. The car runs great and gives no indication of a problem until the car just stalls. Does anyone have any ideas of what could be causing this?
  • I have a 2003 Saturn Ion that started making a rattling noise underneath. It just got louder and louder. I carried it to my Saturn dealer and they said it was the resonator and that it was not covered under the warranty. They also said I had a bad oxygen sensor and that it would be covered. They had to order the parts and so I waited for about 2 weeks and went back for our scheduled appointment. Well after the standard we'll get right to it hour and 15 minutes, they put it on the rack. After cutting the old resonator off, they decided to take an hour lunch while my wife and I and our grandson waited. Then they come to me and tell me that they will have to keep my vehicle because the new resonators made by Saturn will not fit the old mufflers....huh? They will need to order another $240 some odd dollar new one. After looking into the shop and seeing the old muffler lying on the floor with a sledge lying on it, I figured out why it wouldn't fit. This was the most unpleasant and dissatisfying experience I have ever had with a dealer anywhere. And I am still waiting on my vehicle. Anything similar with an exhaust system?
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    A timing CHAIN slipping is a common problem ? I can't understand how a timing could actually slip. It could break and cause this kind of damage -- which is extreme damage and completely unacceptable, don't get me wrong -- but can a timing CHAIN actually slip ?


    Rick D.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,319
    Not "slip" but it can "Jump" a tooth, yes, if it is slack enough...or it can jam and break. Generally a slack chain is something that makes a good deal of noise prior to jumping or breaking.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The chain guides are aluminum with long nylon slippers attached. The nylon deteriorates and breaks off, resulting in excessive chain slack. The chain jumps, the camshaft timing retards, and the exhaust valves become intimate with the piston crowns. I've done more than I can count, but have never had to replace other than the exhaust valves, and chain/guide/sprocket kit. The divots in the pistons aren't a problem and won't adversely affect durability.

    As far as being "completely unacceptable", you can choose to accept it or not. As Mr. Shiftright said, the rattle from the front (right) side of the engine should be a major clue that there's a problem. They'll rattle for a while before the chain jumps. Ignore it and pay the price.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,319
    Latest report from the Detroit Auto Show on this interesting new vehicle, in the Edmunds blogs----right here:


    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I've had my 2006 Vue V6 FWD for 2 weeks and when I come to a full stop at a light, the engine "surges" forward, and it idles very hard, making the steering wheel and dash vibrate. It stops when I put it in neutral. This occured first at 350 miles and the mechanics can't find anything wrong. No codes are returning with the diagnostics and it doesn't occur at every stop. They recallibrated a computer, and weren't able to recreate it, but as soon as I picked it up, it started again.

    Has this happened to anyone? I love the car, but I'm thinking about exchanging it within my 30 days. Mine's pretty loaded and there aren't any others in the area so I'm going to have to pay the tranport fees. I wouldn't normally be this way, but 350 miles? Come on!!!
  • jst4jst4 Posts: 4
    I have a 2003 Saturn L200 that has less than 30,000 miles on it, and it has recently begun to make loud noises when I steer left or right. It is not a consistent noise, but it does happen often, and it is driving me nuts. I took it to the dealership to repair, and of course they could not replicate the problem and could find nothing wrong with the car. Yet after I got home, it started making those noises again during turns. Has anyone else had that problem and does anyone know what's wrong? The mechanic initially thought it might be the intermediate shaft, but without being able to replicate the noise, he was unwilling to peform any work. If I turn a full circle left or right, the noise does not generally occur. It just happens at random times, and it happens more often during initial use (but not so much after it's warmed up). Any ideas?
  • i just bought an 03 VUE and cant for the life of me find out why the engine is sounding like a remote control car .. or a whinny vaccume cleaner.. has anyone experienced this.. PLEASE if so let me know what i can do. It almost sounds like something is winding out.. but when im on the highway it sounds fine.. Thank you in advance !!! :confuse:
  • they are buying it back ,i contacted the consumer protection agency here in pa and they told me what to do ,i would call the cosumer protection agency in your area and file a claim with them,if the dealer where you bought yours from is like the dealer i had they will call you a liar and tell you theres nothing wrong with the car but legally after you take a car back 3 times for the same problemits considered a lemon ,good luck but file soon
  • my 05 ion quad coupe 3 did the same thing and they could not find out why it did this either but there buying it back after admitting its a lemon ,i would exchange it
  • well, after the same problemss as many people here, i finally discovered what the problem with my car is.

    after a few weeks with the car, it started to have a rough idle at high speeds. i could be going 80mph, with NO change at all on the accelerator, and the RPMs would shift, from like 2 1/2 to 3. You could feel it when driving. Then, when I hit 3800 miles, the check engine light came on. Took it to the dealer. They gave me a $40 oil change, and apparently just turned the light off, and said good as new (thanks saturn!) it came on again two days later. took it back to the dealer. two days later, they decided it was a sensor on the external part of the transmission, and they would call me later that day and tell me what time to pick it up the next day. Well, later that day came along, and as soon as the phone call started with 'do you have a few minutes?' i knew it couldnt be good. Apparently, coolant and moisture contamination was found inside my transmission. At first, the sales consultant told me that saturn would either replace, or rebuild my transmission, whatevers more cost effective for them...ok, so you expect me to pay for a brand new car, and accept a rebuilt transmission? I filed a complaint with saturn customer care, and demanded an explanation. Obviously, i got a call later saying they would replace my transmission, and they gave me a free upgrade on my warranty. Any more problems with this piece, and im gonna demand they take it back.
  • rob176rob176 Posts: 2
    My 97 Saturn SL1 (70,000 km) has difficulties starting when the engine is warm. Cold starts are fine; warm starts are fine if the car has been just shut off *or* has been sitting for over an hour or so. But warm starts if the car has only been off for, say, 20 minutes are difficult. It always starts, but only after cranking for a long time. The hotter the outside temperature is, the worse the problem seems to be.

    Any ideas????

    Thanks for any thoughts.....
  • I just tried to start my car this morning and it would not start, I eventually got it started after 15 mins of trying. I got to work and it started for maybe 5 seconds and died. It won't start at all now and smells like gas when I try to start it. Any idea what's wrong?!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,319
    Well if you have coolant in your transmission make sure they replace your radiator as well.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Remove the vacuum hose from the fuel pressure regulator and check for the presence of gas in the hose. If so, the regulator's leaking and requires replacement.
  • I don't have an answer for you, but wanted to tell you that mine does exactly the same thing, with the added bonus of honking the horn like a car alarm (which I don't have) if you leave the key turned on in between trying to start the car. It's done this from day one, and for a while I lived in the Mojave desert, so you can imagine what a pain in the butt that was.

    My Saturn SL1 is also a 97 and has 97K miles on it. Recently it has started being very loud, but I can't tell what is causing the noise. I'm a widow (my husband was a mechanic) and I don't want to take it to a shop and have them tell me all kinds of bs that I don't need. I guess I will have to get a guy to go with me or something. Is yours loud too by any chance?

  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    If it's a rattling noise at the right (passenger) side of the engine, it's probably the timing chain. The mileage is about right for it. If the chain jumps a tooth it'll result in expensive engine repairs.
  • rob176rob176 Posts: 2
    That's interesting that yours does the same thing. Mine first started last summer when it was hot. The problem went away in the fall when temperatures cooled down. We had some unseasonably mild weather last week, and it happened again, inspiring me to write this post.

    I did take it into the dealer last summer, and the service rep. at first didn't know what to make of it, but he spoke to a mechanic who said right away it was the engine thermostat. Guess what? That wasn't the problem. I haven't taken it in since then. Perhaps the reply given to me by Alcan is worth pursuing.

    I haven't had the horn problem or the noise....although this morning on the way into work (it's gotten cold again, about -15C), I noticed a bit of a rough a rattle. I imagine it just doesn't like the cold (can't blame it).


  • The same thing happened to my 2003 VUE at the millage!! We were able to muscle it to the dealership, I say muscle because the power steering was out. BCM had blown at a $530 charge-YIKES! I've asked if Saturn to help out in the cost since it's just past warranty, still waiting for their answer. This is the 4th dumb thing to happen with this car, the other 3 were under warranty but I have little tolerance to cars going to the shop. Thinking about trading in!!
    Not thrilled with my VUE :(
This discussion has been closed.