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Saturn Maintenance & Repair



  • That film you refer to is probably the interaction of the plactic parts in the interior with the sun. The sun beats down on the dashboard and forms a gas which sticks to the wiindshield. All cars and models suffer this problem... Some more than others. The cure is to clean the windshield. The film will return. Sorry, I wish I had other answers to the problem.
  • Hi all! I need help! My 2000 Saturn SL1 just reached 97,000 miles and the check engine soon light came on. I also notice a hesitation when I step on the gas, and it seems to be getting worse. Any ideas about what could be causing this? I will be going to the shop on Mon, and I want to go there informed (lone female going to repair shop--ohh yeaa). Thanks!
  • Hi, I am surprised and sorry to hear about your problems with your Saturn. My wife and I are on our FOURTH Saturns, and are former Honda owners. I too, am an outside sales professional, and I purchased a 1997 SL1 and proceeded to drive it from Miami to Key West on my first sales calls for a new sales job. 300 miles away from home, the car just died. I sat in the middle of the road cursing myself for having switched back from Japanese cars. The dealership (Saturn of Kendall) was wonderful and towed the car back (a $300 tow for sure, minimum). It turned out that the 97's had defective fuel pumps, and that is exactly what was wrong with the car. I drive over 100 miles daily in unforgiving Miami traffic and I drive the car HARD, and I never ever had a more wonderful, reliable, and enjoyable car than this Saturn. After the first time, it never stranded me, and would always find a way to get me home if it was going to break down, and THEN die in the garage. I can also tell you, I maintained the hell out of that car. Because of my job, it was taken in to the dealership every 3000 miles (5000 max) for oil changes, tire rotations, and all scheduled maintenance. Oh for sure, I helped build the new Saturn dealership with my service money, but folks, a car is a machine and needs to be maintained. Another thing I will suggest is that yes, you will pay more by taking the car to the dealership However, independent mechanics often due not have the computer diagnostic equipment that Saturn uses that is located on the left underside of your dash near your fuse box, that they plug into their computer at the dealership to check the vehicle systems. Always remember, mechanics are SUPPOSED to find something wrong with your car, or they don't work and they don't get paid. This past December, I stupidly drove over the median trying to get out of a traffic jam and ripped up the underside of my SL1's radiator. The car had 178,000 miles on it and I was trying to nurse it along since I had paid it off two years ago. I sat down and tallied the amount I paid for service last year and it came out to $2400 or over $200 per month, which is 60% of a car payement. So, I was walking the lot and fell in love with the 2005 Ion Quad Coupe 3, automatic, leather interior, bigger engine, sunroof..and I took the plunge and I ADORE THE CAR. Keep the faith.
  • Sooooo - how did the new battery work out? Did it solve the dimming problem? If yes - which battery specifically. If not - will you try the alternator next?
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I replaced my battery on sunday with the Advance Autoparts 78-2 Titanium. Cost $74, 3 yr. replaement warranty. I did notice last night as I was shoveling snow and cleaning off the car that my headlights did look brighter. So far so good. I'll have more opportunity tonight and the rest of the week to see if I have any more dimming problems.
  • drdavedrdave Posts: 4
    Thanks! Please keep us updated - I practically got run off the road recently by a semi who thought I was flashing my lights at him to safely change lanes in front of me. I've got to find a solution - battery, alternator, or RPG.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Well even after the battery change, the headlights still flicker. Not near as bad as before. It happened under load (goig up hill with the car down shifting). I noticed it because I was looking for it. I guess the next step is the alternator.
  • storm2storm2 Posts: 3
    I have a saturn 2000 LS the timing chain went Jan 28 2005 damage the piston and valve I have been in touch with saturn corp they do not want to know anything there is a problem from resarhing this on the internet the oil nozzle is causing the flow to the motor to be stop because its to small and the motor is not getting enough oil and the timing chain is going. any out there with the timing chain problem even if you have fix it report it to the report it to the NHTSA Complaints and defects investigation
  • kgbean00kgbean00 Posts: 6
    I currently have a 97 SC1 with 137k miles on it. I don't know much about cars which is why I'm writing...I would like to know if my problem is a big one or small one, mainly so I'll know if I can afford to fix it or not. Back when it hit 122k, some kind of gasket broke and caused the oil to mix with the antifreeze. The dealer tried to fix it but I drove it once and had to take it back because whatever they did didn't work. They then replace the engine with a "new" engine. Since then, I have concluded that I was better off with the one I had before. I have several things wrong with my car but I'm an unemployed college student so I'm only trying to get the things fixed that will make the car run. Please note these problems all came about after the "new" engine was put in. I noticed that Saturns seem to burn oil fast...mine burns oil faster than normal. I drive about 400 or 500 per week and I have to fill my oil once a week. It's very irritating and costly...I buy the generic oil from Walmart since my car uses so much but it still adds up when you're buying in bulk. My guess is there's an oil leak because I do see exhaust coming from my tailpipe when I accelerate and I can smell exhaust in the car sometimes when I am stopped for a while (i.e. in traffic). There's no oil leaking outside of the car (I don't leave oil spots anywhere). Also, the "service engine soon" light is on. It flashes every now and then whenever I get on the highway (which is great because the majority of my driving is on the highway). My car also shakes and rumbles when I accelrate to higher speeds (around 60 or 70). I read the manual and it says the flashing light is because of an engine misfire. Does anyone know what could be causing my problem and about how much it will cost to get fixed? Would it be worth getting fixed or should I just give up? I am planning on taking my car in soon before it dies on me. Thanks!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The original problem was probably a cracked cylinder head at #4 cam tower. The current oil consumption problem is probably stuck piston rings. Both are common Saturn problems. The "new" engine isn't as new as they'd like you to think. Sounds like it needs major internal work. Any chance of them stepping up to the plate and covering the required repairs or replacing the engine with a decent one?
  • kgbean00kgbean00 Posts: 6
    When I take my car in I plan to let them know that I'm not satisfied at all with the service I received from them. I'm not really looking forward to taking it in because when I took it in for the orginal problem, the dealer had it for a month and a half and it cost more than the car is actually worth (it was my parents decision to get it fixed instead of getting a new car). I'll have to let you know how it goes...hopefully it will go well. Thanks!!!
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Also chekc your receipt for the engine. If it was a "rebuilt" engine, it should have come with some kind of warranty. I would check into that first. If you are out of warranty, you probably have no recourse.
  • iw433iw433 Posts: 1
    Help! We bought this car used from the Saturn lot with only 22K miles, but they said it came from a rental company.

    We get split-second 'slipping' (as though it was my old '63 VW manual tranny), during which of course the tach goes from 2000-4000 rpm. The slips occur during gear CHANGES. They are very imtermittent, like 2-4 days apart, not constant. They have happened on straight-ahead driving as well as around corners. They have occurred between all gears, not just at the same spot. I have tried to MAKE it happen by stomping on the gas at various speeds, and while making lots of turns (as if the hydrauics would affect the trans shifting) without luck.

    The dealer cannot replicate it either, and says there is no 'entry' on the onboard computer. As far as they know, we're making this up! They have refreshed the 'TMC' software twice, and now my only option is to convince the corporate field service guy (make it slip again!).

    Am I alone with this problem?
  • johnakajjohnakaj Posts: 1
    The car just instantaneously died, no warning or anything, about 10 minutes after starting it one morning and driving maybe less than a mile down the road.

    The engine turns when the ignition key is turned but does not 'catch'. All the lights are bright and the interior displays and lights looked ok. But there doesnt seem to be any spark coming out of any of the spark plugs, which might explain maybe why the car just cut off so instantly with no warning.

    Ive heard this could be a problem with the Ignition Module? I am no mechanic and know very little about cars so any advice on what the problem would be much appreciated. All I do know is the battery is in good condition.

  • Ok, now I know just enough to be dangerous around a car. However, I did ignore my front brakes warning "sound". I drove on it (for financial reasons) through this stage, into the loud pounding stage and finally into the front wheels locking up. I had the car towed home and today took the front left tire off to find the brake pad completely gone. There is lots of rust around and on the wheel. Any advice on how much it would take for me to repair this on my own and what an estimate would be around as far as money? Thanks in advance!
  • mschuckmschuck Posts: 2
    I take care of my niece's 2000 L series.I've seen no idle problems but we are going though throw-out bearings. The first at 12000 miles and second at 45000 miles.
  • mschuckmschuck Posts: 2
    I maintain my niece's 2000 L series.The throw-out bearing went at 12000 miles.Clutch was replaced at that time.Now at 45000 miles the throw-out bearing is making noise again.My initial feeling was Saturn had a design problem or mfg.problem with throw-out bearings.Your note was the only one I found on clutch issue so now I'm not sure what the problem is.I checked the driving style of my neice and she is doing everything right.I expect a clutch to last 80000 miles,at which time it should start to slip.Throw-out bearings are not usually the reason to go into clutch.
  • ldslds Posts: 1
    I have 2002 Saturn SL1. It has 80,000 miles. Recently the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. I've checked air filter, changed gas brands, made sure the gas cap was on tight,etc., but don't really know what else I should check. It seems to run smooth, we don't take long trips, just city driving for the most part. It does seem to use more gas than it did previously. What do I need to do?
  • bbarneybbarney Posts: 1
    Husband has a 2000 LS and the CD player constantly skips CDs. Often times it will play just fine, and then start skipping and doesn't stop. Saturn wants $400 to replace the factory dash CD player. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • ybob97ybob97 Posts: 1
    I've got a '97 sedan, and the interior fan died. I popped it out and it's on my bench hooked up to a 12 volt power supply via allegator clips. Apparently there is a loose internal connection. When the fan's plastic housing for the electrical connection gets jiggled or wiggled the fan cuts in and out. Can (and/or how)does a mechanical person like me, take the fan apart to make the internal electrical connection repair? Is the fan repairable or is it a "replace the fan unit" because it's 'pressed together? The Help/Info will be greatly appreciated. Regards//yBob97
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    You need to get the stored diagnostic trouble codes retrieved (AutoZone will do it no charge), and post the code #'s.
  • Hi! Yes, it's now a decade old, but my Saturn, with just under 80,000 miles on it, never gave me a problem until about 18 months ago, when one thing after another has gone wrong. I put about 2 grand into it since, and that's why, when I was recently told that there is oil in my coolant, that I am a little leery to just 'junk it' as many have suggested I do...

    Has anyone had this oil mixing with the coolant problem? If so, was it worth fixing, and to the tune of what (estimated) cost? What was the actual cause of the problem, and was it something that could be fixed permanently, or something that was likely to reoccur?

    I'm hoping someone out there can give me some info to use when I take my car in to be looked at, so that I can be somewhat informed and make wise decisions.

    I'd appreciate any educated and experienced input on this issue. Thanks much!
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    It's usually a crack in the cylinder head at #4 cam tower. Common problem, requires a new head, replacement of all hoses, cooling system flush.
  • amakasuamakasu Posts: 1
    I have a 97 saturn and one of the air codition vents stopped working. Everything else works, but the one.
    Can someone help me?
  • 00ls1kid00ls1kid Posts: 1
  • Hi there!I am a employee of a Saturn dealer in Ny.
    The differance between a LS AND a LS1 is just power stuff like windows and locks.They were not avaible in a Ls.The Ls name was only used for 2000 and 2001 in 2002 it was know as the L100.The Ls1 than became the L200 and Ls2 was the L300.Saturn did away with the Base model in 2002 and in '04 re-named the cars again L300.1,L300.2 AND L300.3.For 2005 the last year of the L car Saturn only offers The L300 with a V-6 engine.I hope this helps you.Good Luck with your new Saturn!
  • oshioshi Posts: 1
    Hello to all of you with the headlamp failure on
    your L series. The dimming is caused by a software
    failure a body control module, we have identified
    a load dump that is created when the module turns
    both radiator fans on high creating a full load dump
    on the altenator (GM regulators have always been
    slow to react to this) creating a voltage drop out.
    The fans will turn on just above 145 degrees as the engine warms up and cycle at random. Don't bother asking the dealers about it, the only thing they will due is replace the module with another oem defective one. General motors corporate admits they have a problem but do not have a clue how to fix it
  • hello! this is in response to lightning1976's post.

    i have a '94 SC1, and i recently replaced the head gasket due to an oil and coolant leak, at about 82,000 mi. the oil and coolant hadn't mixed together, (it was caught in time luckily), but i still had to replace the head that was leaking nonetheless. the total came to about $1100.

    my advice to you is DO NOT DRIVE your car until it is fixed. this is what i was told: if the coolant and oil mixes together, it turns into this nasty whitish waxy substance that gets everywhere inside the engine and takes forever, (and lotsa money) to clean up. since you said your car's oil has mixed with the coolant, you don't want to mess it up even more. plus your engine could overheat which would cause even more damage, or your engine could seize from the oil leaking out which would be very bad too.

    you should check out your car's value, (try and if the repair cost is more than the value of your car, you should just scrap it.

    my car has had this done once already, (at about 4 years old with the previous owner), and it lasted about 6 years after that until the head gasket had to be replaced again (with me as the owner, obviously). i am hoping it will last me a few more years, or at least until i am out of college, otherwise i probably wouldn't have had it fixed.

    anyway, i feel your pain. i've put in close to about $2500 into my car, and i feel like it's practically new with everything i've replaced. and it ran just fine with the previous owner for 9 years, and me 1 1/2.

    good luck, and i hope everything turns out okay.
  • grantlgrantl Posts: 1
    I really like my LS1 its a great vehicle, but Iv'e had to replace the rear brake light assembly almost half a dozen times. Most of the time the dealer has paid for this repair, but recently they charged me $110.00 for the unit and labor. My thoughts were that since they have replaced this unit before and paid for it, they must know that there is a systemic problem with these parts. I have seen several other LS1s exhibiting the same fault. (Headlights on, one side rear lights go completely out when the brake is applied.) Does anyone know what causes this condition, and has Saturn developed a policy to address this?
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    Hello everyone,

    Is there a forum that is just for Relay owners?

This discussion has been closed.