Last post on Aug 01, 2013 at 6:53 AM
You are in the Saturn S-Series
What is this discussion about?
Saturn S-Series, Sedan
Dec 26, 2002 (1:26 pm)
Hi, lets see.. years to avoid on the S Series... the more rounded looking S Series sedan and wagon came out in 1996, with the redesigned coupe a year later. I have heard that 1998 is the best year S Series, and 1999 and 2000 weren't too bad either.
The most important thing is to make sure the vehicle has been well maintained, with maintenance records. Also, it is always a good idea to have a carfax history report done so you can check for possible accidents and problems..
Consumer Reports states that nearly all years of the S Series are reliable and I believe this to be true. (excluding hardware issues). I checked a local retailer www.saturnofalbany.com and found these late model S Series sedans for sale..
1999 Saturn SL2 Gold 40,981 $8,495
1999 Saturn SL2 Green 65,761 $6,995
1996 Saturn SL2 Green 69,996 $5,495
Maybe you could check out www.autotrader.com as well, but I would stick to buying a Saturn from a Saturn retailer. If you do buy from a Saturn retailer , you will get at least a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty in most cases as well as roadside assistance. I personally am on my second Saturn, and haven't had any major problems with either one. Plus, you can't beat the polymer door panels/ and low cost of ownership . Happy Hunting
#1024 of 1419 Thanks for message #1023!
Dec 26, 2002 (5:49 pm)
Thanks for your quick response! I left a question on the Toyota Corolla board a few minutes before posting my message #1022 here and have not received a response pertaining to my inquiries about problems I am having with my 89 Corolla.
Thanks also for going to the trouble of checking the saturnofalbany.com site. The 96 in green would have best fit my budget; unfortunately, I live in Northeast Phila. so Albany would be quite a hike. Now I just need to pinch some pennies and check a couple dealers down here, especially the one where my friend got his champagne (or gold) colored 98 (would need to be an automatic). (He had traded in a Honda Accord!) When you said if I stuck to a Saturn retailer, you said I probably would get at least a 12 month, 12K warranty - I assume you're talking about previously owned vehicles? I would also hope that a Saturn retailer would use the touted no-haggle policy on used vehicles as well as on new ones? I am not much for haggling on things and since this would be my first purchase (and being a single woman) I get apprehensive about being ripped off! I'm also impressed that this is your second vehicle by this make so it's obvious you know your stuff.
#1025 of 1419 find common faults
Dec 27, 2002 (9:22 am)
FIRST !!! Watch out for oil consumption CAREFULLY .....If you can have contract state that excessive oil consumption is a reason for complete repair or they will buy it back ...less mileage you put on it . Look up saturn forum it,s more than just a small isolated problem . other than that the car is ok for a low priced car
Dec 28, 2002 (4:06 pm)
The 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty is available on most used cars sold through a Saturn retailer, and yes the no hassle, no haggle policy applies for pre owned Saturn's as well. It's always a good idea to check the cars expected retail value (the price you'd expect to pay at a dealer) at www.kellybluebook.com.
You would of course be able to save money by purchasing from a private party, but make sure to get maintenance records, have a carfax report done, www.carfax.com (need the vin #) and of course check the value on kellybluebook. Also, if you buy from an individual it couldn't hurt to have the car checked out by a local mechanic (usually costs around $ 50-100.00 at a Saturn retailer. If you have any other questions , don't hesitate to ask
Dec 31, 2002 (1:37 pm)
It has been quite a while since I visited this site. Alot of new names. I have a 99 sl2 bought new in april 2000. I now have almost 83,000 miles on it. I have ac, auto, am/fm cassette as far as extra options. I got just over 76,000 on the original tires and replace them with goodyear allegra tires. Have changed the trans fluid and filter twice at close to the recommended 30,000 mile interval. My only recurring problem is the resonator as it developes stress cracks at the welded joint between it and the exhaust pipe, on the third one. Otherwise original rotors, struts.At last oil change, noticed that it was down about a quart so its possible the engine has developed the using oil syndrome. I do most of the routine maintenance myself and changed the oil and filter between 3000 and 3500 miles. Also replaced the front pads at around 54,000, they still had some life but it was close to the yearly state inspection time so decided to replace them. Will add that about 60 percent of my driving is on highways. Gas mileage varies from a low of 33 to a high of 38. Overall, it has been a economical and reliable car asit has always got me back home.
Jan 05, 2003 (9:00 pm)
Zapcat; My wife has a 96 SL2 automatic with 56K. She was having problems with the transmission shifting, It would slam into gear on acceleration and would not downshift until about 5 mph, then it would be very harsh. Service department said it was probably a bad valve body, est cost $1,000+ but recommended waiting until it got worse. It was also surging during heavy acceleration. This went on for about a year. I changed Trans fluid and filter, plugs and wires, added fuel Injector cleaner, etc, it would act better for a little while then start shifting hard again. I was considering trade in, but then I decided to check the fuel filter. I removed the filter and tried to blow through it and found a lot of resistance. I even cut it open and noticed a real fine black coating on the paper filter. I replaced the filter and everything is back to normal, no surging now and the transmission shifts as smooth as it did when new.
#1029 of 1419 brake pedal sticking, 2001SL and shifting problem
Jan 10, 2003 (9:28 am)
I just purchased my 2001SL Saturn three weeks ago, and this morning while driving on the highway my car began shaking hard once I hit 50mph, and felt like it wasn't shifting. I had a very hard time going any faster than this. Then when I exited the highway and stepped on the brake, the pedal was already halfway depressed. The brake pedal has been sticking kind of randomly for about a week, but I have never experienced anything as severe as this. I am taking it to the dealer on Monday morning, but has anyone else had a problem like this?
Jan 19, 2003 (12:10 pm)
The closest thing I can come up with is my 2001 SL1's brake pedel pulsated when I was braking from around 50mph or so, and the steering wheel would shake a bit. The rotors were warped and were resurfaced for free at Saturn.
Let me know how everything worked out...
#1031 of 1419 oil consumption
Jan 23, 2003 (10:28 am)
Saturn "s" series with sohc heads (sl,sl1 and sw1)tend to burn oil IF they don't get their oil changed often enough, the residue formed when Hydro carbons get into the oil on all cars tends to get caught in the piston rings on these saturns and lessen the piston rings' less effectiveness. The problem is not very prominent on dohc engines (sl2,sw2) maybee because their owners payed more for them and are better at keeping to the maintenance schedule.
ALSO NOTE THAT 1995 AND 1996 SATURNS seem to have more problems, their quality seems to have dipped at that point, which I think is when G.M. started sticking their nose into Saturn's affairs, plus there were union problems at the assembly plant at that time, cars were purposely being delivered to dealers with miss matched parts and such at times.
As far as the CRACKED CYLINDER HEADS that someone was asking about,this was on sohc engines only. The journal for the last camshaft was cracking(part of the head) and coolant was getting into the oil. This required replacement of the head and all rubber hoses, pumps seal in the cooling system, which can swell when in contact with oil.
This would not affect oil consumption, unless the oil was getting into coolant and that would be obvious, 'cause the coolant looks like mud when it occurs! Any more questions?
Jan 26, 2003 (4:54 pm)
Many perfectly maintained saturns including mine(SC2) have developed serious /severe oil consumption problems . You sound like a service writer to pass everything off on to the customer(consumer)