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Saturn Maintenance & Repair



  • I have a 2002 vue and the horn wont sound nor will the alarm sound and I had the fuses and relay switch checked. I can't even find the actual horn :confuse: under the hood. And when I place the key in the ignition I have to jar it around before I can get it to turn over. :mad:
  • araylaarayla Posts: 1
    Hello -

    I have a '96 Saturn SL1.
    My brake pedal takes forever to finally "catch". The brakes are fine, pads, fluid and all. The thoughts are that it may be the master cylinder, or it may not. If it is great, if it isn't I'm out over $200 for nothing. Everyone I have talked to about it says Saturns are weird and it may not be the cylinder at all, including my mechanic.

    So - I was wondering if anyone else had experience with a problem like this - or if someone may just know if the cylinder is the problem or not.

    To replace or not to replace - That is the question!

  • I just got my car jumpstarted, and now the passlock system was engaged :mad: , do I have to take it to a Saturn service center, or can I un-engage it myself? :confuse:

  • My 96' SC1 has been dropping gears for well over a month now. The first occurrance happened on my way home from work (a 45 min drive) and all gears besides second were lost. Since I was less than a block away from a mechanic, he got the keys and the car. Seems the shifter cable had snapped. Since the part has been replaced, it seems the car only goes for about six or seven days before losing all the gears besides one, except this time it is in the shop with only 1st, 3rd, and 5th working. I no longer have any faith in this mechanic's ability to actually fix the car, but since his work is under warranty and I dont' have the money right now to take it to someone I trust a little more, it's gone back to him. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should tell him to look at? Obviously, this whole breaking down every weekend thing is getting to be a huge problem, as my car being in the shop is keeping us from getting our other vehicles fixed (two of which need work) and has left us this week without ANY vehicles with which to get to or from work. I'm rather desperate for answers (or a skilled mechanic) :sick:
  • My 2003 Vue has begun displaying the ABS indicator on the dash. When the ABS light is lit, the Traction Control is off and cannot be re-activated. Obviously, a correlation. Sometimes, the ABS light is off and my Traction Control light is on (indicating feature active). Before I have the dealer diagnose, are there common problems associated with the ABS I should know about?
    Quick Specs: purch new 10/02; 4-cyl; 5-speed manual; FWD; <50k mi.
  • One day about a year ago, I started my car and a "reduced power" light came on. I reversed out of my spot, only to realize "reduced power" meant no power. I turned my car off, then back on and it seemed to be working fine, besides the "Service engine soon" light being on. That same week, I tried to start it, and it seemed like it wanted to start, but wouldn't. I eventually got it to start and took it to the dealer. They replaced the ECM... a month later, they replaced it again. After 3 new ECM units, they then decided it was the fuel pump. It has been a year now, and after my most recent visit to the dealership, the assured me this would not happen again. Today, it did.... :mad: Any suggestions on what it could be??? :confuse: My car is (thankfully) covered under an extended warranty, but that is about to expire. I need help fast!!!
  • All of the flashers are controlled from the flasher button on the dashboard. There is a control module built into the button assembly which controls the flashers and the turn signal. If any of the flashers are on, you can feel the flash by touching the button. The panel can be snapped out of the console and pulled away far enough to access the flasher assembly. The flasher can be (carefully) snapped out and replaced in 5 minutes. It's about $30 from a dealer.
  • often when I brake, all my dash gauges drop but the car continues to maintain power.... Its not the battery or alt. Any suggestions?
  • I had a 2002 L100 which had the entire right front wheel assembly including brake, axle strut etc come off while driving down an interstate. Saturn claims an object got under the front bumper and then took out the entire wheel assembly then disappeared as the police responding could not find anything in the road. I had to ride guard rail to stop. I wonder if anyone has had any similar or partial problems. Car had 73000 miles on it and has been totaled by insurance company. Thanks. :sick:
  • eejayeejay Posts: 1
    Has anyone had any luck changing the relay on 2002 Saturn Vue? I was able to pull the hazard (flasher) button out of the console & see the assembly & light bulb, but there was no way it seemed like it was going to be snapped out.

    We've been having the same problems with the turn signals as the original poster.

  • Hello Everyone,

    I'm new to this site. Also new to Saturn.
    The below posts frighten me about what I had originally thought a Saturn to be ... caring, comfortable, family like, and incredibly safe and flawless.
    Speaking of safe, I just purchased a Saturn LS2 yr 2000 not even a full year ago.
    I chose not to elect the "WARRANTY" unfortunately.
    and today on my way into the office, my brakes didnt work.
    By "didnt work" I mean, I was lucky to not have hit another vehicle or a pole for that matter. (i was going 55 mph).
    I pressed and pressed and then suddenly, my brakes were normal again.
    I tried again a few moments later, they didnt work.
    Moments later, yet again, they worked.
    On and off. On and off.
    So of course, I go to show to a co-worker upon arrival to the office and they drive it for 5 minutes. AND THERES NO PROBLEMS.
    now i cant determine whether i should drive it to the dealership for repair, if i should drive it at all (or get it towed?) or if i should take it somewhere else altogether????

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    chances are you need to have the brake system inspected and bled of any air and contaminents and new brake fluid put in.

    i have heard that brake fluid picks up moisture over time and that affects it's ability to transmit hydraulic force for actuating the brakes. i've been told the system should be serviced at approximately 2 years or so intervals.

    if there is a leak, it's possible air is getting into the lines, and air is much more compressible than fluid (water or brake fluid).

    or you may find, the master cylinder isn't working properly and needs to be replaced. as you pump the brakes, it in turn applys hydraulic force through the brake fluid to the brake actuators. if it isn't working properly, then your braking force is greatly reduced.

    you may find the brake fluid resevoir is well below its recommended level, probably because of a leak somewhere.

    these sorts of things can show up where you apply the brakes 10 times (picking a number out of the air) successfully and confidently, and the 11th time (again, just picking a number out of the air), your pedal goes to the floor and you have to pump the brakes to get it to stop.

    yes scarey.

    look at the brake fluid resevoir. if low, top it off (to the fill line) with brake fluid recommended in your owner's manual.

    then get the vehicle serviced, perhaps at a dealership or an independant shop. call around and ask how much a diagnostic and flush might cost you.

    if you have a hand brake in the vehicle, you can prep yourself to use it to slow the vehicle down as you pump the brakes.

    don't delay getting this fixed.
  • jmi8jmi8 Posts: 1
    My emergency brake light comes on every time I put my car in drive. It also makes an annoying noise. This problem just started, and I have been driving it for about a year and a half. It has around 30,000 miles on it and is a 2002. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have looked through the manual, but there is no help in there. The light and noise seem to stop when I hold the emergency brake up just slightly, not to the point where it is activated, but about an inch above where it should be if it were not in use, however, it is quite annoying to have to do that constantly. Thanks for your help.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    A reporter from a large daily newspaper is looking to speak to current or previous Saturn owners that went to the homecoming events in Springhill, TN sometime around 1994 and 2000. Please provide your daytime contact info to no later than Friday, October 20, 2006.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Hello. I have a 99 Saturn SL2 with about 85,000 miles. I've had it for 6 years. Over the past few months I've started to see a lot of electrical problems occur and I was wondering if anyone could help with any of the following problems:
    1) When I turn the headlights on, the dashboard lights and the light on the stereo go out. Even the odometer light is out. When I turn the lights off, both the odometer light and the stereo light come back on. The headlights, taillights and interior dome light all work fine.
    2) The passenger window has been dead for a while, and now the driver's side window won't go down or up sometimes (electrical).
    3) The door locks (electric) try to lock or unlock without anyone touching any of the door lock/unlock buttons on the doors or the remote. I'll just be driving along, and the locks try to open, but they can't unlock all the way. I puch the unlock button, and they still flicker, trying to unlock what has already been unlocked. It did this one night and drained my battery. Know, I can't even use the lock/unlock buttons, they're dead too.

    Any help on any of these subjects would be much appreciated.

  • Hi I have a saturn that is having similar problems when I step on the brake as yours did in june of 2005. was wondering if you had found out the solution.
  • hi Im having a very similar problem with my saturn, when I hit the brake it will occasionally kill the electrical power for a split second. not enought to kill it (yet) Please let me know if you found the solution

  • Was surprised to read that someone had a good experience with the Saturn L300. my 2005 model, purchased new, has been nothing but a headache. I have replaced a tie rod, for heavens, sake. The service guy said, "well, you must have hit a pothole". Heck, yeah, I hit a pothole; I live in Michigan, for heavens sake. Today, with just about 250 miles left on the 36,000 mile warranty, I made my FOURTH trip to the dealership to get to the bottom of a problem with the motor (actuator) that runs the defrost/heat mechanism.

    It took four trips to the dealership and some nasty customer service reviews on my part before they would take me seriously. "It's normal", they would say when I said that it sounded like ping pong balls in the dash every time I moved the dial from defrost to heat (or visa versa). It was not a sound I heard for the first 18 months I owned the car, but they told me it was something common in the L series car. As if that would be okay!! It also had a burning smell that happened only about 15 minutes after I started up a cold car. They didn't want to fix it, as it was "a ten-hour job". Heck, it's under warranty?!?! It's not like they won't be compensated for their time.

    So now, I am three days without my car (to their credit, they did finally offer a loaner), as I live in one town, work in another and my dear spouse works 50 miles in the opposite direction.

    I bought this car b/c I needed something affordable, dependable and reliable. I work in affordable housing and don't make much money, so I wanted a car that wouldn't nickle and dime me to death. Next time, maybe I'll just buy a $4,000 beater and skip the financing charges. Any ideas what I should buy next time?

    Anybody else have this noise in their dash of the L300? Don't mess around if it is still under warranty. A buddy who is a truck mechanic says these actuators go regularly and will little mileage on the trucks (semis) he services. He knew what it was before Saturn would even agree to check it out.
  • I have been experiencing starting problems with my 2002 Saturn LS (44000 miles) for the past few weeks. The car will run fine, but after parking and restarting, it will turn over and die. The powerlocks or alarm will not work, and the gearshift will not come out of park. If you let it sit for 4-5hours, it will start like nothing happened :confuse: , and it does not shut off while driving. I took it in to the mechanic (non-saturn dealer), and nothing could be detected because the car was running fine. Therefore I can only drive to work and drive home, because if I make stops in between, it will not start for me to get home from work. When I drop my daughter off to school, or pick her up, I have to leave the car running to avoid being stranded.

  • I am new to this forum. My 2002 L-Series sedan has been trouble free (52,000 miles) until now. The fuel gauge is unreliable goes all over the place with a low fuel warning on the empty side. Also the audio warning for seat belt and low fuel is a weak pulsing sound compared to when it was normal. And last but not least the instrument lights flicker when the auto - headlights activate. I suspect that there is a common ground point for all of these items and it is either dirty or loose. Has anyone had similiar problems?
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    02 - possible battery / alternator issue.

    is it a maint-free battery? does it have an indicator window?

    i'd go to an autozone or similar parts store and have them put their battery / alternator tester on. it will load down the battery and alternator and determine if either is going or gone.

    however, first - i'd check the condition of the battery terminals: if you see any corrosion you could remove the GND (-)lug from the battery first which connects to the chassis somewhere, then the POS (+ is normally red).

    use a steel brush to remove any corrosion. re-connect the POS first, then the GND.

    also check that GND from the battery and make sure it's bolted securely to the vehicle frame.

    hope it helps.
  • Thanks for your reply. It is a maintenace free battery, it was replaced about a year ago. I do not have abny other symtoms indicating a fault in the charging system. I have checked the terminal condition at the battery +/-, chassis ground and power lead at fuse box. I am looking for the specific ground location for the fuel gauge and instrument lights as I believe that is the culprit.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    then perhaps you have a faulty lead as you say going somewhere to the instrument panel. perhaps a wiring harness that has worked it's way free of some plug sure.

    i guess i'd look specifically at the fuse / relay compartment and anything w.r.t. the instrument panel, i'd pull the fuse and re-seat it firmly. i'd check for good mechanical connections to the fuse relay compartment itself.

    if i could find a wiring diagram, i'd trace the wiring to the back of the cluster and make sure all mechanical connections were sound.

    i wonder if your ignition switch may be a possible cause. is everything in the vehicle having intermittents, or just the gauges / lights?
  • I feel your pain on this one :mad: I have the same problem sometimes with my 2001 SL2. I bought the car used with not even 30,000 miles on it because people said Saturn built good cars, I was mislead big time. The people at the dealership tell me nothing is wrong and that the car is fine, bull. I thought it was a certain kind of gas I bought, it wasn't that, they say I shouldn't change the fuel filter because I don't change that until 65,000 miles I have 57,000. I have owned it for 4 years and have had nothing but problems with it. It pays off in April and I'm buying a house, so as soon as I buy the house, I'm buying a new car. I'd rather make a monthly payment on a reliable foreign vehicle, than have to constantly fix this one and worry about it. Saturn lost another customer.
  • I'm having the same problem with my wife's car. Did you ever find out what is causing it?
  • I have a 2005 Vue V6 AWD 13,000 miles and have been fighting with them since the first month the steering column freezes and wont let me have my key I found if you wait 10 min. it finally lets loose . they thought I was crazy and it finally did it for them. They changed the ignition, 3 weeks ago and to night I had the vue in dr and shut the engine off and pulled the key out. tried all positions and key pulls right out without it being in park. Did you have this problem?
  • I have checked the fuse panel and replaced the fuse with no joy. I agree with your recommendations and plan on going behind the instrument panel next.
  • to add to my other post - no other problems. Just the fuel gauge and instrument lights.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    sometime a fused link, or inline fuse is also used in some ckts. you need a wiring diagram for the car. it might be worth the $18 for a haynes manual.

    did you try googling for a wiring diagram?
  • I bought my car used, everything checked out good and then it started having trouble starting...i took it to the dealership and they had to replace $700 worth of stuff. It ran great until latley. Now the Security light comes on while i'm driving, shortly after that the Service Engine Soon Light comes on. I'm not sure if its b/c its colder out and its from the cold start or if somethings really up. Any Suggestions?
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