Saturn Maintenance & Repair



  • jjr8jjr8 Member Posts: 1
    Jeremiah87...I have a 94SL2 with 71,000 miles on it and the same thing is happening to me. My car thunks when I put it in reverse. Saturn took a look at it and is predicting a total valve body replacement. No estimates yet on what this is going to cost but it sounds expensive. Anybody had this problem and had it repaired?
  • pirellipirelli Member Posts: 3
    Seat belt retractor gave out , front wheel bearing, altenator, timing belt, rotors, windshield wiper motor, i guess when you pay full list price highest dealer markup, you get what you deserve.
  • rrobertrrobert Member Posts: 5
    Replaced alternator and tires. Everything else is perfect. Runs great. Guess I got what I deserved.
  • cofccofc Member Posts: 6
    I've been doing some on-line research for my friend trying to help him decide about a car. He found a 96 Saturn SC2 coupe fully loaded with power win/locks/sunroof and leather. It does have a lot of miles on it for a 96, 110K. They guy wants 6400 for it. I thought that didn't sound too bad, and he porb can talk him down to at least 6K, which didn't seem too bad for a 96, but then after reading all these posts, I am wondering if I should tell him go by a corolla! Are most sat urns really this bad? And is the oil burning really a problem if you check it every time you fill up the tank with gas? Should he go for it? He's planning on taking it by the dealership if he gets really interested in it and getting it checked out. Any other advice.. should he just bail, or do you think this would be a good car that he will get 5 or so years out of?
  • rrobertrrobert Member Posts: 5
    And the J.D. Power survey's and CR seems to bear this out for most people. I think a Corolla would ultimately be more reliable, but would cost more and wouldn't offer the bang for buck the saturn does. I have a 94 SL2 and a 2001 L300. Love them both, most trouble free cars I have ever had.
  • neiltekneiltek Member Posts: 2
    My SL1 now has 156000 miles on it. At 125000 I replaced the engine after it locked on me, then at 145000 the tranny went. I'm fairly abusive on it and sometimes neglect the maintainance. The engine and tranny didn't set me back too badly. (a local salvage yard had parts from a wreck) It runs great now and I put about 75 miles a day on it, but my next car will be a late model BMW convertible.
  • t56gen3t56gen3 Member Posts: 6
    My $.03 worth...... have a '92 SL2 auto with 171,000 miles on it. This car has had a rough life. Bought new in '91 by my mother, totalled 12 months later by mom (opted for repair instead, $13,000 later) (BTW, she plowed a concrete embankment at 65 mph, both front doors still opened freely and she walked away) She was/is very aggressive driver, and constantly runs back and forth from brake to gas (very hard on an engine and brakes). At ~90k my little sister takes over. Twice as bad a driver as mom, and her boyfriend drove the car most the time (I can imagine a 16 yr old driving the hell out of it, I found out later that he spent most of his time with it at redline). Neither one was very good about the oil changes (sometimes 10k between). Sis washed the car ONCE in year (no kidding). At 120k, I take the car (being the shade tree mechanic I am), give it a little TLC, and bring it back to life. At that point, it had gone through a couple sets of front brake pads (no surprise there, considering the drivers), radiator fan motor, coolant temp sensor, starter, and alternator. At 120k I replaced the tranny seal and fluid (for the first time!), oil and filter, timing chain, serpentine belt, struts, and gave it a bath and polish. (Many auto trannys have been known to go out when you wait that long to change the fluid, due to the lack of detergents over time, not to mention Saturn says to change it every 30k). It left me stranded one time (for the first time ever since the family bought originally) at the gas station at 135k when the fuel pump went out (not that uncommon, especially since mom and sis NEVER filled it up, only a buck or two at a time! It was always on "E" when they had it.) Since then, I have gone through another alternator (POS cheap remans are a waste of money, the factory ones are worth the cost and, as with most Saturn engine parts, are not real expensive, and will last 2-3 times as long), brake pads on the rear (at 140k for the first time), A/C compressor (which I could have prevented if I could have located a can R12 oil charge at the time), belt tensioner, and general maintenance (plugs, wires, throttle body cleanings, fluid changes, seat belt track lubrication, etc). The car is perfect for daily driving and commuting. I bought a '00 Alero (for sale, too, if anyones interested) because I wanted a bigger car, and I keep the Saturn around for shopping/errands (and for the girlfriend to drive). It has no door dings (love those plastic panels) and people have mistaken it more than once for being new (imagine that). The car is fully loaded, and everything still works fine (sunroof, no leaks, automatic seat belts, ABS brakes, etc). I plan to buy another as soon as my Alero sells. Anything that has been to hell and back three times and still idles PERFECTLY smooth at idle in gear with the A/C on at a light is great in my book). Did I mention that at 85k mom took the car in for really rough running engine? Saturn finds it to be stuck injector (again, no surprise, she never used additives to clean them). Since Saturn did not have the injector in stock at the time (and mom needed to get to work), the tech tried to clean it--just to hold till they could get one in (He didn't think it would last very long). At over 170k I am still on that same injector--never a peep out of it since (use that cleaner additive every 3 months or so). It says something to me about the quality of the components. Yes, it does use a little oil (supposedly the 92s were the most sensitive to the oil changes). We put 20-25k a year on this car, and I dump 0 to 1/2 quart a week in it. Feel free to email me with questions....... Hope this helps with some of your descisions! [email protected] (Sorry so long)
    P.S. I love ZAINO!
  • odyseekerodyseeker Member Posts: 1
    My 97 SL2 with 40k has intermittently started to vibrate excessively as I'm just about to come to a stop. Wonder if anyone has had this happen and if it could be the trans since the vibration stops if I shift into neutral.
  • t56gen3t56gen3 Member Posts: 6
    Ody, though I don't know how bad of a vibration you are referring to, the rough idle at a stop can be caused by several things......Assuming that the engine runs perfectly smooth and normal at any other situation (especially the right idle speed), I would suggest that you examine your engine mounts, if they are fatigued or broken they will cause all sorts of vibration, expecially under load at a light. (I have had this issue with my own car at one time.) A good way to check would be to watch the engine while you have an assistant swtich in and out of the gears and see how much the engine torques back and forth (a little movement is normal), if there is considerable movement, then that is probably your problem. Have your assistant stand on the brakes and switch between Drive and Reverse and watch the engine. Hope this helps!
  • 300silverbulit300silverbulit Member Posts: 60
    I have a 94' SL2 that I bought when it had 58K on it. Overall the car has performed well. it uses 1 quart between oil changes. The altenator went when it was still under warranty. The top engine mount also went but out of warranty. Both have been redesigned in the later models. I am currently at 105k miles and now the water pump is leaking. The Saturn dealer quoted me $230 for a new water pump. I checked some other repair shops and was quoted closer to $300 so I am suprised at the lower price from my dealer (only 2 hours labor) vs. 3 at other places. So that doesn't seem to bad. However the other problem is the muffler strap broke and my dealer wanted $125 just to replace the strap! I think I can get a new muffler with a strap for that price at a national exhaust chain shop. A fair price for a pain *** job like a water pump yet raked for a simpler muffler strap?
  • t56gen3t56gen3 Member Posts: 6
    As I am sure you are well aware, the dealer is not always the cheapest place to get things done. ESPECIALLY when it comes to things like tires, mufflers, batteries, etc. In your situtation, I would expect the hourly labor rate at the Dealer is higher than that of a muffler shop. Also, (in my experience) as with any manufacturer, not ALL parts are made by Saturn corp. Those that are bought from other companies cost a lot more, and then go through the typical dealer markup, which makes 'em real expensive. I would definately shop around for any repairs that are costly. My experience is that genuine Saturn engine parts last longer (almost all are made by Saturn) and are many times cheaper than aftermarket--it just depends on what it is (and supply and demand.) And to throw you another curve, the Saturn water pump is of the external type, and is driven by the serpentine belt (it mounts similar to any other accessory, like steering pump or alternator.) It is probably the easiest to change of any I have seen on any car. Many non-Saturn shops don't have much experience working on them, due to the overall customer satisfaction with Saturn and dealer loyalty. The quote they may have given you at the other shop might have been under the assumption it was like a standard water pump replacement job (which its not.) Anyway, theres my $.05 worth....

  • ks999ks999 Member Posts: 1
    Hellow to Saturn community. In a week or so I'll get Saturn SL2 '93. Can anybody advise what kinds of problems can I expect and what quastions shall I ask the owner? Any advise is valuable. Thanks.
  • t56gen3t56gen3 Member Posts: 6
    As long as it's been maintained, you should be ok. Oil changed every 3K, Tranny fluid every 30K (assuming its an auto.) Make sure it runs smooth, and listen for anything out of the ordinary. Really no major problems out of these cars as long as they are taken care of. Alternators are known to go out usually between 50-100K because of high heat from being on the backside of the engine, though I have seen several without ANY problems at all. Do you know what kind of mileage is on the car?

  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    I had a '99 SW2:
    Front rotor warpage every 12-15k. Top engine mounts are known to give. Temp gauge will go 3/4 before turning the cooling fan on ("fix" this by turning the AC on).
  • t56gen3t56gen3 Member Posts: 6
    do not warp themselves, only the driver can do that (granted some are easier to warp than others.) If they are warped to begin with, then they will remain that way until they are resurfaced (turned.) I have a '92 SL2 (with 173K, read post #58, car was abused regularly before I got it), an '01 SC2, and my mother has an '01 SL2--none of which ever have had ANY problems with rotors. The torque mount has been known to go on the old ones (replaced mine on the '92 at 140k.) The temp gauge in only an indication of cold/hot, not actual temp. When it gets too hot, the PCM kicks the fan on. Where the gauge reads when it kicks on is irrelevant (as long as it does so before it hits the red!)

  • 93saturnsl193saturnsl1 Member Posts: 27
    My '93 SL1 just flipped 170k on the odo, and it never ceases to amaze me. The original owner didn't take care of it at all...the oil was changed so infrequently that it stained the dipstick black. My Taurus SHO was dying though, so I had to get something decent, and fast. I flushed the engine once, and always change the oil at 3k, so no probs there. I check it about once a week, and it's never used more than a quart between changes. What I've had to replace... Alternator (was squealing because of bad bearing), coolant temp sensor (it idled a little over 1 grand, pinged, and the cooling fan wouldn't come on when hot), starter (it let me know it was going and gave me 3 more starts), and most recently the radiator because of a small crack. I do the regular maintenance: plugs/wires, oil changes, clean the throttle body regularly, and it always ran better than our '95 SL2 (presently dead after hitting a concrete wall head on)... with more than twice the mileage. My Saturn has never once stranded me, and regularly gets 35mpg and up, even with my lead foot. I still have the factory exhaust, suspension, engine, tranny, even a/c charge. I think so many people have problems because they don't do any of the maintenance, just drive it until it breaks.
  • slushboxjimslushboxjim Member Posts: 1
    I'm getting to this thread late, but I'd like to interrupt the Saturn love feast with my tales of woe, accumulated during over 151,000 miles of Chicago expressway commuting. When I bought my '92 SL2, I opted for the extended warranty. I felt like an idiot for a little while - until stuff started to break. At 10 months of age, the clutch master cylinder failed in the middle of a major Chicago intersection. A few months later the steering gear went. Then the alternator failed. One of those dopey plastic buttons holding the hood blanket on fell into the HVAC blower and had to be extracted. The muffler strap rotted off. The left rear brake caliper locked up (from boredom, maybe?) Three of the four ABS wire brackets have rotted off the struts; one of the wires wrapped around and sliced a CV boot, resulting in a halfshaft replacement. The front wheel bearings went. The A/C started going south; during the subsequent visit to my friendly Saturn retailer they sucked out all my R12 (why was Saturn using R12 in the first place, when they knew it was going away?), "found" a leak, and refused to return my Freon. I came in with a little air and left with none, and paid $36 for the privilege (they tried to charge me $100.) The engine mounts went away. The headlights stopped working when the wiring corroded through. A clutch job at 108K miles (good) cost $1050 (bad) - and then cost another $150 when the clutch hydraulic unit subsequently failed again (ugly.) All the IP bulbs burned out at once. The windshield wiper spindles seized solid in mid-winter. The driver's seat back broke off. The alternator failed again.
    The only reason I still have this car is that it's paid for and it runs. Otherwise, there's nothing to recommend it. Nine and a half years down the line, it's now inexplicably running hot, and the clear coat is starting to flake off the front end of the car. This car has received conscientious maintenance, with fresh Quaker State every 3,000 miles since its purchase. Nevertheless, it has burned/dripped two quarts of oil every 3,000 miles for years (the Saturn guys tell me it doesn't), and I carry a case of 5W-30 in my trunk. Its mileage has never been better than a mediocre 30 mpg; on the rare long highway run it'll get 33. And get this - on my plastic car, the little steel bars that split the back door windows are both rusting away. Who knows what else is rusting away under there?
    I've found Saturn retailer personnel to be the same creepy Scotchgard-and-Ziebart peddlers that you'd find at any other dealership (probably because all the Saturn shops are owned by the old-time hacks anyway), and that there's nothing in a Saturn service bay that you can't get at a local garage better and cheaper. Somebody else can have my share of Saturn warm fuzzies; next time I'm shopping elsewhere.
  • bmharkibmharki Member Posts: 1
    just bought a new Saturn 2001 L200 4 cyl.
    cold starts real rough so I took it back to service and they told me it seems to be losing
    coolant into the engine. This car has 6440 miles and I am breaking out. I want to give it back and get my money back............. any suggestion...
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    attempt to rectify the problem first. You'll never get a replacement car out of them under ANY lemon law in the country without giving them a chance to fix it. Check the VIN# with Carfax to see what it's history was.It may have been wrecked,a flood victim,a Saturn "buyback" for the same reason [which would give you leverage],or a previous rental. I think all of this has to be disclosed to you, if I'm not mistaken. Carfax will do a title search and will tell you at least some of what you need to know. Start your documentation NOW and keep EVERY receipt.Do the maintenance BY THE BOOK for severe duty if you distrust the car now.
    Was it purchased at a Saturn dealer or another brand? You should have at least the rest of the warranty at any rate.Did you buy it new or used? Take a deep breath and insist that if the engine IS leaking coolant into the oil that in a car so new, that they need to replace the engine at the least.Above all,don't go in there ready to burn the place down,that'll get you nowhere fast.
    There is a process to getting a buyback under the lemon law, but it'll take a little time. You have to do YOUR part and prove your case,just like in small claims court.
  • chasscchassc Member Posts: 1
    Let me start by saying I think these were pretty good little cars. In fact I just traded mine in on a brand spanking new '02 SL2, but I still miss MY little car. In the 6 years I owned the 93 (bought it in 95), I had some trouble, and it left me stranded a few times, but it was my first car, it was a used car, and after a while it was an old car, so I took these things as unfortunate but they never made me want to dump the ol' girl.
    The driver's pwr window stopped working a few years ago, mysteriously regained partial use of it's motor (like a stroke victim or something) which got it about halfway down and then back up again for a couple of years, but you had to watch it carefully and stop it in the right spots or it made unbelievably loud grinding sounds at the up or down limits. Recently it hesitated again on the way up so I retired it and had to get out at parking garages and drive-thru windows for the remainder of our relationship. It would have been a simple replacement, but I just never bothered.
    The moonroof motor started to fade within 6 months of the window and I promptly retired that one since I never really used it anyway. Again, a simple replacement from salvage that I didn't bother with.
    The weather stripping/seal on the roof leaked once on the passenger side about 2 yrs ago--glued it down and no more problems until mid-June. Then, while raining very hard, both it and the one on the driver's side gave way and I had trickling waterfalls in both seats. Glue would have fixed it if I'd kept her.
    Several battery problems with absolutely no warning of expiring life left me jumped, stranded, and towed from interstates more than once. Not a car problem, but a faulty battery problem.
    The gasket seals that cushioned the spoiler corroded away, so that rattled over harsh bumps and trunk closures, but it never leaked.
    The water pump went suddenly one morning, leaving my engine in the red and steaming as I finished the last block to work. Another tow. That same service trip resulted in a new belt tensioner and perhaps a new serpentine belt (I don't recall).
    The temp. sensor was replaced, but I think we overreacted because I didn't understand the gauge and got all freaked out that it was nearing the red while stopped on a warm day in interstate gridlock. Afraid to run the AC so instead blasted the heat because I was told the AC heats up other cars, but as it turns out, it also runs the engine cooling fan in Saturns. After that I just watched the needle in heavy traffic and cranked the heat or AC if it got too close. The needle quickly receded to midline every time.
    The bearings in the right front wheel went some time in 99, and replaced a CV boot (no joint) in 97 or 98.
    It had a habit of pulling to the right from the very beginning so had it realigned after a month or so, but to no avail. Figured I'd rather it pull to the right than to the left, so I just left it alone. New tires and alignment in Dec. 99 fixed the pulling problem -- great for me.
    My step-father did the maintenance while I still lived at home and for a while after I moved out, but I didn't really understand the importance so I usually went around 4K between oil changes and probably more like 6 or 7 a couple of times while the responsibility was transferring from him to me.
    Back in the spring, the engine idled high and revved high before changing gears until it warmed up completely. Thought it might be due to cool mornings, but it didn't stop as the weather warmed. It was something like a $50 fix at the dealer. Pretty cheap.
    Two weeks ago today a transmission fluid gasket blew out in the parking lot after work and I found an ever expanding bloody puddle under the engine. It looked like a crime scene. Easy, quick and cheap fix for my step-dad, but the last straw, so we went car shopping the next day.
    There were really no major problems with my little car though. Just minor ones, and probably in line with average life expectancies for those parts. It had 46K miles when I got it and 97K when I sold it -- high mileage in, average to low mileage out. And mine were mostly city miles. Lots of stop and go. I never replaced a starter, I think there was one new alternator, did the plugs and wires twice (the first was a precaution after purchase b/c of high miles), never a headlight, no trouble with the auto seatbelts, no transmission trouble, no worn engine mounts, no cracked heads, no ignition trouble, no random wire corrosion or replacement (blown dash light fuse once), no key trouble, no timing chain (though that might have been on its last links), no thunking when changing gears, no wiper fluid hose, no upholstry wear holes or tears, no warning chime problems, the steering wheel vibrated a little at idle, one intermittently rattling speaker in the passenger door, the plastic pieces that run from the roof to the dash have pulled free from the things that secure them but they don't rattle, and the dash finally got a small heat/sun crack in it a few weeks ago -- pretty good for 8 hot hot hot sunny and humid summers.
    I definitely can't say I babied the car. I didn't abuse it mercilessly, but I just didn't know how important it is to take care of it. I think it did probably consume some oil though, and I probably should have been checking that, but no problems as a result. Even right up til the end. For as much as I neglected it, I never complained about the things that went wrong. It should have been a lot worse in my opinion.
    I know you won't know how the one you're considering was treated in the last 8 years, but I ignored mine, and it was the faithful old hound dog that forgave me.
    93 was a good year.
  • eackermaneackerman Member Posts: 2
    My wifes car has 119000 miles and I have changed the oil religously every 3000 miles.After about 95000 miles I noticed I had to add about 1 quart of oil every 2 to 3 weeks.I E-mailed Saturn and asked them what their advice was, and of course they said to bring the car into the dealer to look at.RIGHT.The car does not leak oil, and does not smoke at all when we drive it, so I have no idea where the oil goes.I have been told by reputable mechanics that I know down here that that is a common trait with Saturn motors,the older they get, the more oil they burn.Otherwise, I have had to change the alternator,brakes,air filter,and plugs and wires,which is normal for a car with this many miles.Which,by the way,I had to change the plug wires because,believe it or not,rats got under the hood and chewed the wires up.So I can't complain too much.But if anyone else has had the problem with the oil,please respond.
  • amackenzieamackenzie Member Posts: 5
  • amackenzieamackenzie Member Posts: 5
    Does any one know the cure for a major steering wheel vibration in theses cars. New tires , balancing ect has not been effective. I need help!!!!
  • blackgtpblackgtp Member Posts: 19
    Just turned 32000 miles on my 01 SC2. One problem to date was the engine flooded at about 7000 miles.
    I am going to the dealer today to pick up my service manuals and talk about the following before the warranty expires in a few weeks: Cold start piston slap (generally not a durability issue, just annoying), hot idle valve tick (same comment), I have had to add coolant three times (maybe normal maybe not), noisy exhaust, and brake rotors that are warping. I also have a little paint peeling near the top rear of each door window. Overall I feel the car has been a good date. I am concerned about long term engine durability since I run the engine for 50 miles at 3400 RPM twice a day in heavy traffic with a lot of WOT accelerations, plus more miles at a slower speed. Oil consumption right now is 1 qt/5000 miles. With a K&N air filter I get an average 38 mpg or 36 running the A/C. The K&N filter seemed to give me 2 mpg more than stock.
    Just some comments, have a great day.
  • cwilkiecwilkie Member Posts: 1
    There are a couple of previous postings, for transmissions that thunk, when they go in reverse. I never saw any follow ups on the outcome of this problem I also have a 94, that is doing the same thing. Seems to be worse after driving on the highway for a while. Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • floridianfloridian Member Posts: 219
    cwilkie: The 1998 SC2 I had that just went back to the lessor did that from "day one". However, nothing ever came of it. As much as the car was a dud as far as I was concerned, poor quality interior materials,sloppy assembly etc. It was however, totally reliable and trouble free. NEVER used ANY oil @ all. The biggest complaint I had with the car was that it was so bland, no fun to drive.Good AtoB transportation but that's about it. Definately NOT a "car guy's vehicle". Glad it's gone.

  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Frankly, the 50 miles at 3400 RPM and WOT wouldn't bother me. That's much more kind on the engine than city driving.

    However, i don't think most of those other issues are acceptable. The piston slap and idle tick could be endemic of a serious problem. Peeling paint? Unacceptable, period. Coolant loss? BAD. I would INSIST on getting ALL of these issues fixed before the warranty runs out!

  • mclevelandmcleveland Member Posts: 1
    I purchased my brand new Saturn in December of 1998. Less than 3 years later, at 66K highway miles, before my car was even paid off, I heard a loud knocking in my engine. (unfortunately, I did not get the extended warranty)I took it to a Saturn dealer, paid $95 fee for a diagnosis. Diagnosis - "you have a loud knocking in your engine". For further diagnosis, $950. $5,500 for a new engine. I DON'T THINK SO!!!! I will NEVER buy another Saturn!!!!!
  • blackgtpblackgtp Member Posts: 19
    I was going to type a long post detailing my talk to the dealer but I don't feel like typing for a hour. The dealer was very nice and I talked to a tech. They offered to go into the engine and inspect and possibly change parts. At this time I have decided to have nothing done and see what happens. I do not feel that the piston slap or valvetrain tick is a durability issue. I can do the work myself so it is only a cost of parts issue. I feel much better keeping the engine factory at this time and keeping the dealership out of it. Many times the dealers just create more problems. Those guys are so pressed for time to make a buck that they do not work to my standards. So, I'm rolling the dice......
    I agree with you on your 3400 RPM comment. I just like the larger engines that run 2500 RPM at the same MPH.
    I can't complain about the car to date. For a highway runner it's a good car. I just need it to last at least 150,000 miles. If I happen to get a job closer to home, I will sell the Saturn and buy a truck.
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    I suppose you may be an engine expert if you can fix piston slap by yourself, but that'd worry me, and i'd make them fix it. After all, why else get a new car, if you don't exercise the warranty?

    How about the peeling paint and the other issues?

  • blackgtpblackgtp Member Posts: 19
    I don't mean fix piston slap. If for some reason the engine needed mechanical repair I would take care of it myself if the warranty expires and I need engine repair soon after. I don't feel that what is going on right now is an indication that the engine is heading towards failure. It is more of a noise issue that I would rather put up with then have someone in the engine. The piston slap is cold engine only under very light load. The tick is idle only, hot engine. During any other condition the engine sounds fine.
    Rotors - I feel that they should do something. I drive highway and country road miles, my pads look new. They said after 19,000 miles it's out of their hands. Anyway, for about $20 I can take them off and get them turned. That is a lot less trouble than taking the car in and wasting a half day while I wait for it.
    Coolant - They said it works its way through porous areas of the block/head. True or not, I don't know. They offered to put sealer tabs in the coolant but said that they were told to quit using the tabs at one time since they were causing hot spots that may have been related to high mileage oil use. I don't know. The tech thought that they were allowed to use the tabs again. IF this is the case, I will just top off the coolant at oil changes and leave it alone. Again, I'm trying to pick the lessor of two evils.
    Paint - The part that peeled is at the top of the piece that makes the back of the window frame. I think that I may be better off just using touch-up paint since only the edge paint came off. No more has come off in a couple months. A body shop would have to refinish the whole piece. Then the whole piece would peel next year.
    I like new cars and I like warranties but I have serious problems with anyone but me working on my cars. If something does break under warranty I will take the car in. My Grand Prix's heads up display is malfunctioning and it needs a new left rear interior light switch. I will be getting it in soon for those items.
    Like I mentioned earlier, I'm rolling the dice and only time will tell if I win or lose. At least I have no one else to blame but myself, which is how it should be.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    Some of the problems here have been discussed at length on I'm not saying don't use Edmunds, it's a cool board too, but a few of the answers I'm about to paraphrase were taken from there.

    Re: the engine coolant leakage. I read over there that it has happened and the solution is you get a new engine and a free extended warranty. Some people still aren't happy with that as non-matching car/engine VIN numbers are troublesome for resale.

    Re: the vibration problems. Have you had the bushings replaced yet? Apparently the bushings were the problem on some.

    Knock on plood, my 2001 LW200 is running fine. Only problem so far was a creaky front driver's seat, fixed by the dealer relubing it. And I didn't like the traction or noise of the Firestone Affinity tires so I replaced them with Michelin X-One's which I find to be completely satisfactory.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I wouldn't think a non original engine on a Saturn would matter at all for resale. Why should anyone care about that? If anything, an engine with less miles than the rest of the car would be a selling point.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    Yes, with proper documentation from Saturn I don't think it would be a problem. In general, however, I think new engines raise suspiscion in prospective buyers. They need to be assured that the replacement is a new engine, not an old rebuild.
  • 93saturnsl193saturnsl1 Member Posts: 27
    I posted this on here once, but doesn't look like it went through. Does anyone know if there's a way to adjust the clutch pedal on a Saturn? I had a new clutch put in about 2yrs ago, and it's always picked up real close to the floor, but now its getting a little worse. I dont think it's the clutch itself....I never ride it, and rarely downshift when I stop. Ive heard some cars have a place to adjust the pedal, just not sure if Saturn does. Thanks for any info.
  • 4x4man4x4man Member Posts: 222
    I don't know if the pedal can be adjusted, I can take a look at my wife's 98 and get back to you...but have you tried bleeding the hydralic line yet?? I did a clutch job for my sister in law a few months ago (toyota) and forgot to bleed the line and she had similar problems...bled the line and all was well.
    Anyway just another idea for ya.

  • 93saturnsl193saturnsl1 Member Posts: 27
    Hey thanks for the info 4x4. Someone mentioned bleeding the hydraulic line, but I have no clue how to do that. I hate to have to pay for a new clutch when I'm almost sure the clutch itself isn't worn out....and I know if I take it in to the shop, that'll end up being the problem whether it is or not.
  • 4x4man4x4man Member Posts: 222
    If you have ever bled the lines after doing a brake job, it is the same thing. You pump the pedal, in this case the clutch pedal, a few times and hold it to the floor. The second person loosens the bleed valve on the slave cylinder (located on the bell housing) and the fluid comes out. Tighten the bleed valve screw on the slave and then you pump the clutch pedal a few times and repeat the process a couple of times. Be sure to keep an eye on the fluid level in the clutch master as there is not much capacity in there in the first place.

    Another thing I just thought of, check the floor panel where the arm of the clutch master comes through and see if there are any leaks, this would suggest a faulty clutch master cylinder.
    Good luck!

  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    My wife's '97 Saturn SL (5 speed) has reverse lights that aren't working at all. I checked the fuse (even replaced it) and checked both bulbs (they look like they're still new).

    Anything else I can check? Just chalk it up to wire gremlins?

    Someone on the Auto101 link mentioned a switch on the tranny that controls the lights.

  • 4x4man4x4man Member Posts: 222
    I don't know if there is a switch on the tranny or not, but we just traded my wifes 98 sc1 with 5spd for a 2002 sl1 with auto so I can't check hers!!
    Hopefully someone else will be able to tell you if indeed there is a switch. If there is a switch disconnect the wires and make a jumper to connect the two together and have someone look to see if the lights come on. If not, the switch is not the problem and you will need to meter the wires to see if one of them has power going to it. If no power then the problem is before the switch. If there is power going to the switch then you will need to meter the switch or there could be a break in the other wire leading to the lights or bad ground at the connector or something like that. If you could get a hold of a schematic then you should be able to tell where everything goes.
    I don't know if I was much help (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once!!), but like I said I can't verify this on the wife's car as we just traded it in on a sl1 auto. I did run into a similar problem with my 80 mustang many years ago and had to track it down like I stated above, so hopefully that will help out.

  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    holiday inn express - lol!

    I think I found that 2 wire switch on the tranny last night. It's just about below the battery. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, but didn't try the jumper thing. I'll try that tonight.

  • dlgkar01dlgkar01 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone else had a problem with water leaks onto the floorboards after rain? I have a 01 SC1 & 99 SL1 and they both have had this problem. Anyone else?
  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Member Posts: 435
    Is there a fuse for the dome light in a 1991 SL2 ?
    If so what number in the fuse panel is it? Thanks for any help anyone can give. My dome light will not work with a new bulb. There is no light coming from under the dash either. Can't remember if there ever was.
  • theericharristheericharris Member Posts: 4
    Do you have a sunroof? I had this problem with my '97 SC2. It was caused by the drains in the sunroof being clogged up with dirt and dry leaves. I had the dealer clean the four drains out, which cost me $80. I have had no problems since then.

  • lawman1967lawman1967 Member Posts: 314
    My wife has a 2001 L200 automatic. 18,000 miles so far, and the only problem was caused by some a$shole in an SUV backing up and punching an exhaust-pipe shaped hole in the front of the bumper. Bumper replacement was reasonable at $500, which was for a factory-new bumper and excellent paint matching.

    Excellent car, smooth and comfortable. I recommend it highly.
  • crashtestdingocrashtestdingo Member Posts: 81
    I have a friend who has a '94 S-series with 120,000 miles. Her mechanic told her that it wouldn't pass the emissions test and would cost $1,300 to fix, but that the engine could fail at any time after the repair is done. Does this sound plausible? She's in the Army and was stationed in various places in Europe until last summer; now she's in Virginia. So I suspect that she doesn't know this mechanic well and he may be trying to sell her a bill of goods, to put it nicely. If he's being straightforward, how much would it cost to replace the engine, rather than repairing it? Thanks in advance for your replies.
  • 93saturnsl193saturnsl1 Member Posts: 27
    Sounds like that mechanic is full of crap! If the only problem with the car is that it's not passing emissions, it's more than likely carboned up - common on some cars, and especially if it sat parked for a long time. The throttle body/air intake can be cleaned with throttle body/air intake cleaner, and that should probably fix it right up if it's nothing more serious.
  • anderson20anderson20 Member Posts: 1
    I am new to driving a Saturn so I am wondering if anyone else is having trouble with winter driving and their saturn. I am having trouble braking in snow. My abs and traction control are working, I had them checked. I also had new winter tires put on recently also. I am just wondering if anyone can tell me what I can do to make sure I am driving the Saturn correctly and if there is anything else anyone is noticing with their saturn and winter driving. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • arora1arora1 Member Posts: 2
    Our 97 SL1 with only 37k miles was doing pretty good till about 6 months back. I've had to replace battery and alternator, put new brake pads, replaced the engine mounts (the car was shaking like crazy while idling). Now, the front door on the passenger side seems to shake and rattle (not to mention the whole car also shakes - the body integrity is awful). In addition, the belts make a constant loud squeaking noise...the dealer says its normal due to dust BS....Anyone else have similar issues with the squeaking noise with the belts???
  • 4346943469 Member Posts: 2
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