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Saturn S-Series, Sedan
#131 of 1419 Saturn SL 2000 wind noise
Mar 15, 2000 (8:49 pm)
Is anyone else experiencing wind noise with their Saturn SL 2000?
The following is a copy of the letter my wife sent to Saturn...
We purchased a Saturn SL on 8-16-99 in Houston. On 8-26-99, I brought the car in for service. There was a wind noise from the door/window on the driver's side at any speed above 55mph. It sounded as if the window was opened a small crack. The service technician readjusted the driver's side door. The noise was still there, but not nearly as noticeable.
The noise progressively got worse and in mid-October I brought the car in to have the service technician check it over. And, now the noise was on both sides, front seats. This time they kept the car all day, instead of the half-day on the first visit. When I picked up my car, I talked with the technicians. They said they were frustrated that they could not locate the source of the noise. They had driven the car and the noise was evident any time the car was going 45mph or better. I asked them if this was common or normal for Saturns and they both told me no. They said they would contact a factory representative to have him check my car on his next visit to Houston. That would be in approximately 7-10 days. They would call me and schedule a time for me to bring in the car when the Saturn factory representative would be at my dealership. I called on November 12th to inquire if the rep. would be coming the next week, as it had already been three weeks since our conversation. I was told they expected the rep. the next week and would call me to schedule a service time as soon as he knew when the rep would be there.
On December 10th, the dealership made an appointment for December 15th. The car was ready by lunch. When I picked up the car, I talked with my dealership technicians, who said the factory representative had them check the drip rails, seals, door assemble and molding, and concluded that it was strictly an outside wind noise and there was nothing Saturn could do. I talked with the factory rep. and told him I knew it was an outside noise, but it still needed to be corrected somehow. He said there was nothing Saturn could do, it was just that way. I asked him if all Saturn cars had this problem. He did not answer me.
The noise was just as evident when I drove off as it was when I had brought the car in that morning.
Now, at 17,946 miles, the noise is very aggravating. I drive approximately 160+ miles to and from work every day. The only way to not hear this noise is to turn up the volume on the radio and/or turn up the fan speed for the air conditioning. Neither of these options appeals to me. I enjoy a quite drive early in the morning and I can not have that with this noise.
This is only the 2nd new car I have ever purchased, so I can only compare it to my 1992 Toyota Tercel. This Saturn just does not measure up in many ways. First, of course, is the noise factor. The Tercel has 210,362 miles on it when we traded it in, and it never produced outside wind noise.
Second, I was very unhappy to learn on August 26th (first service visit) that we could not have cruise control added to this car. I asked a service technician to get a price on cruise control installation while my car was in for service. When I picked up the Saturn, he told me he had checked with the factory and cruise could not be added to this model after it left the factory. What a shame. We paid cash for the car and hoped to add the cruise control after we had saved some additional money. We were not told when we purchased the SL that no options could be added. I do not fault the salesman because I do not belief he knew this either. We paid cash for our Tercel in 1992 and then added the cruise control a couple of months later. Almost 95% of our driving is freeway and cruise control is very nice.
Third, after taking our first long drive last month (7 hours), our legs became numb from the positioning of the seats. The seats are not meant for long drives. They are too low to the floor and have a poor seat design.
The car has a lot of good qualities, but it is very disappointing to have a new vehicle and have to tolerate the noise.
On a scale of 10, with 10 being the best, we would only be able to give this car a 5, at best. Our 1992 Tercel far exceeded our expectations; this Saturn falls far below our expectations.
I am sending this letter in hopes Saturn will be able to locate the reason for the outside wind noise (body design, mirror placement, etc) before coming out with the 2001 model.
It is very distracting to constantly feel like a window is cracked open.
#132 of 1419 Minor annoyances
Mar 16, 2000 (2:39 am)
At the risk of having a certain person claim that I am defending Saturn again, I will say my 2 cents anyway.
Saturn is an AMERICAN car. AMERICAN cars have fit/trim problems, sqeaky dashs/door parts, and weather stripping is traditionally bad. It is unfortunate that the person above has been so annoyed by often common problems. However most people do not veiw these as problems, rather just annoying at least, and so on. What is better about his Saturn compared to a Toyota Tercel, which is no longer made-replaced with that god awful "Echo", The saturn will have lower maintenance costs, and the Saturn is much safer then toyota's small econo cars, visit www.nhtsa.com to see for yourself.
Every new car may have minor bugs, but if you expect a mercedes at a 12k price, you will be dissapointed. IF you expect a safe/dependable running car, with low service costs and normally good service, you shall be pleasently surprised.
#133 of 1419 TO: SATURNBOY
Mar 16, 2000 (4:13 am)
Ok Saturnboy. Maybe you are right about American-made cars, and about that you can't expect anything for 12k, but if marketing says that it's the BEST car on the market and that everything is great, I would expect all of these things then. False advertising, you'll say. Yes, and what kind isn't today? But Why Honda Civic doesn't make any noises, and it is 13k too.
I have a used 94 SL2 Saturn and I know that 94 and 95 models make horrible wining noise coming from the engine. From the Saturn's point of view the noise is normal, but why is it that I don't hear those kind of noised on any other car? I was walking on campus yesterday, and somebody drove behind me in a car that made horrible wining noise. I turned around, and guess what? It was the SC Saturn! Looks cool and everything, but doesn't sound that cool. So...
When I buy a car, I expect my money's worth out of it, and not spend an addition $600+ on repairs. I can tell you one thing. My next car choice won't be a Saturn.
#134 of 1419 Saturn wind noise
Mar 16, 2000 (5:54 am)
The more I read these posts, the more that I am seriously reconsidering my idea to buy a Saturn. If even a loyalist like Saturnboy, who I am supposing may work for Saturn (I haven't been around here long ehough to know everyone), says not to expect too much from these cars that REALLY scares me. I don't expect a $12,000 car to be a BMW but I also do expect a new car to be free of trouble and to have any trouble taken care of by the dealer in a reasonable manner. The reason that I want to buy a new car is so I don't have to deal with headaches.
#135 of 1419 to 94saturn re stalling
Mar 16, 2000 (1:44 pm)
It is possible that the computer itself may have a problem of internal corrosion on the circuit board or of the chips on it. If the worker putting the computer together sneezed on it, it will mess it up down the road. Go to a reliable auto recycler or if you don't want to do that get another computer from dealer. Also, I said for you to clean alll the terminals with a good electronics contact cleaner. This way you know they are clean.
Mar 16, 2000 (2:05 pm)
I did not say to expect problems with the 12k Saturn SL base model or any Saturn model for that matter. It may have fit/trim/dash squeaks/rattles etc, but this is common of all amercian made cars. If you are that worried about it you should consider the Honda Civic Hatchback dx model with air , probably around 13k. Personally I would never drive a hatchback because of the reputation they have for letting people know your short on $$$. However it should be a reliable car with good fit and trim
However with the Civic you'll pay about a $1000.00 over 5 years in maintenance costs, and Honda uses the thinest sheet metal in the industry , you can ding a honda door by pressing your thumb against it. Also, the 2 door honda civic received a below average side impact rating, you have a one in four chance of serious injury in a civic 2 door apon being hit in the drivers side, www.nhtsa.com
There are flaws in every car made and sold on the market today, some are more noticable then others. The Saturn SL is a good car imo, still has above average reliability aside from minor trim/fit annoyances. A friend of mine has 80k on her 96 SL1, and hasn't had any problems. Good luck fred
Mar 16, 2000 (5:34 pm)
I tried to post this last night, but it seems to have not worked.
As for the wind noise, I got that eventually, though a lot later than you did. The weatherstripping around the door had gotten loose, and I rubber cemented it in place. The cruise control.. Well, cars are more complex now. Maybe an aftermarket place could do it for you. As for your legs getting mumb, maybe the angle of the seat cushion ( higher in front ) is cutting off blood flow or something. Doesn't happen to me, but maybe if you put a little cushion in the back of the seat, it will change the angle and alleviate the problem. I had an old tercel too, and I like the saturn more as being safer, more reliable(!!) and more fun to drive. OTOH, I've had a very good experience with mine, and obviusly not everyone has.
fredfred: I can understand some of these posts being offputting. I still think saturn is a good chance for your car $, FWIW.
#138 of 1419 Saturn pricing
Mar 16, 2000 (7:30 pm)
I looked at the LS2 two weeks ago when looking for a new car. While the car itself was nice, the price was a bit out of line and non-negotiatable. By the time you add ABS and a couple of upgrades, it gets pretty pricey. I ended up with an Intrigue GL for about the same money with more options and a better look (in my opinion).
I think Saturn better change it's pricing and/or pricing policy if they want to be competitive. With all the dealer invoice/cost type information on the net these days, most people know what they can get a car for anyway.
#139 of 1419 MSRP? Do you know what your really paying?
Mar 16, 2000 (9:42 pm)
Many people for example who buy honda's or oldsmobiles, what ever often think they got a good deal, but many forget to factor in the 2 or 3 percent dealer holdback, so the dealer is still making a profit that is unknown to the average consumer. So when you think you saved money, you have to ask yourself, DID I?
#140 of 1419 MSRP re #141
Mar 16, 2000 (10:57 pm)
I think anybody using the townhall here, knows about the dealer holdback. I do have a SL2 and it did not have as much equipment as the cavaliar LS which dealers her would not get for me as they had other models on lot they wanted to sell me. The Saturn is a good car, I have had no problems with it but some of the other people make a valid point when you can buy any other brand for less than msrp. As for Saturn, they profit even more because of the dealer holdback and msrp. Saturn could reduce the msrp across the board and really make them more cost competitive with the competition.