Last post on Aug 01, 2013 at 6:53 AM
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Saturn S-Series, Sedan
#680 of 1419 My First Saturn (Here's Hoping)
May 17, 2001 (5:00 pm)
So,I bought myself a Saturn (and so far, no buyers remorse)!
I owned a 1993 Ford Escort that has done well for me for the past five years, with nearly 100 thousand miles on the clock. I was going to keep it a while longer, but the automatic seat belt system broke on the drivers side, leaving me without a shoulder belt. I was given an estimate of 500 dollars to fix it! Forget it, I thought. It was time to buy a new car. I was going to buy a Ford Focus, but the Ford dealer didn't seem to want to deal with me (their loss). I checked out the competition--Civic, Corolla, Prism, Protege and Sentra. OK, but a bit on the boring side for me. On the way home, I decided to stop by my local Saturn dealer. Two hours later (with little BS), I drove away in a 2000 SL1 and got 25-hundred dollars for my Escort. I love the car; it's quiet (though a bit noisy when revved up); handles well (it has larger tires and wheels) and is comfortable. The car was owned by a couple who traded it in after 12-thousand miles for the larger L series. (It still has the balance of the factory warranty; I was pushed into buying an extended warranty but I've decided to wait for now.)
I will check back in the months and (hopefully) years to come to let you know about the "Saturn Experience". One thing I was very pleased about: My new car will cost the same to insure as my old Escort did, thanks to its safety features. Believe me, peace of mind lets me sleep a little better as I make those payments for the next five years!
#681 of 1419 Buying a Saturn
May 20, 2001 (8:58 am)
I am going tomorrow to buy a 2001 SC1 coupe and I wanted to get some feed back has anyone purchased a 2001 and what do you think. What was you finally price and did you get the optional package on there?
May 20, 2001 (9:16 am)
Can be due to carbon build-up in the pistons.
Supposedly the best additive is techron. Chevron markets it and pits it in their gas, though i don't know how much. I use chevron gas, and i have never had carbon build-up.
Revign the engine high blows ther carbon out as well. As a frequent visitor to mr. redline, that's likely another reason i never have carbon build up.
May 22, 2001 (7:16 pm)
Congrats on your SL1. I have a 94 SL2 with 105 on it and it runs like new, the ride is a little harsh but it is a compact car. Don't bother with the extended warranty. For the money (what a grand or more) it is not worth it just to extend the warranty for another two years. Just absolutley change the oil/filter every 3k miles and your Saturn will run for a very long time.
#684 of 1419 93 SL1 Still going strong!!
May 27, 2001 (12:56 pm)
I own a 93 Saturn SL1 that was bought new. It only has 60,000 miles on it and it still runs fine. Sure it doesn't have much power, but you know what, it's an inexpensive compact car. I've read so many posts by people complaining about how cheap it's made, how flimsy it is... please give me a break! If you wanted a top-line, no-problem vehicle, it doesn't exist. As for orangelebaron, you really shouldn't have taken apart your car. Just because you've had experience doing it on other vehicles, they are not all alike. Now you want to sell a car you messed up. Funny. For those of you thinking about a Saturn, I say do it. It may no be the absolute best vehicle out there, but for the money and service, you can't go wrong with Saturn... just my two cents
Jun 03, 2001 (7:04 pm)
Only 60K on a '93?? Mine just flipped 168,000 on a road trip the other day, and still running like new. I played leap frog with a new Focus on the interstate, steadily running between 95 and 98 mph for about 30 minutes with the a/c on.. and still managed to get 37.2 mpg when I filled up. I just replaced the EGR valve, which was making it ping.....thanks floridian. I always thought it was bad, but it's a heck of a lot harder to get to on the SOHC vs the DOHC... and more expensive also. This car still never ceases to amaze me; its been more reliable than some of my friends' '99 and 2000 vehicles.
#686 of 1419 '96 SL2 Problems
Jun 03, 2001 (9:36 pm)
I recently purchased a '96 Saturn SL2, 5-speed, 66,000 miles. I've heard very mixed reviews on it- especially that model year (being the first year of the redesign). I've noticed a few problems so far, and other saturn owners seem to have had the same ones over and over again, so I was wondering if anyone could diagnose exactly what's going on.
1) from the day I got it, the idle has been rough. It idles normally at 700-800rpm, and the idle doesn't waver at all. However, when at a stop in Neutral when the car has been driven for 10 minutes or more, (especially rested on an incline), the engine seems to "sputter." It has never died, and the RPM's have never dropped significantly, but it shakes pretty badly every few seconds. It may be unrelated, but every so often, I lose quite a bit of power in the upper rev's, and basically all the time there's no power under 5,0000...I have had the plugs and wires replaced (bosch platinum +4)
2) I think it's the heat shield, but whenever the engine vibrates (when you first rev the engine for acceleration or after you let off the gas and the idle returns to normal) significantly, there is a metallic "clanging" sound. I hope it's not the motor mounts...
3) When coasting to a stop, only with the windows shut and the car silent, there is an intermittent "scraping" noise coming from the front left wheel well that speeds up/slows down with the speed of the car.
4) I've heard these cars are naturally loud, but this is not normal...The exhaust has been replaced from the catalytic converter back, and there are no holes in the head pipe---yet especially when at idle, it sounds like there's a hole in it. Could it be the mounts or is this just a normal thing? I heard they improved noise for '97...
5) Whenever I go over an uneven or ridged spot in the road when cornering at over literally 5mph, the car seems to lose control and "jump". Is this normal, or are my rear shocks gone?
6) The brakes have a HORRIBLE shudder when braking from over 50mph...My friend has the exact same problem in his '93 SL2, as does my other friend in his '94 SC1...The front pads and rotors were just replaced. Is this normal?
If anyone could answer any or all of these questions, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!!
Jun 04, 2001 (9:59 am)
I had almsot the exact saem car ( mine was an automatic )
You definitely have warped brake rotors.. Happened to me twice, and i'm easy on brakes.
Sounds to me like the engine mounts are bad.. Normal because the engine vibrates so much.
I'd suggest fixing those, then seeing which other problems persist.
Jun 04, 2001 (6:34 pm)
I think the 1st problem listed could be the EGR valve. They're pretty notorious for going out in Saturns. It went out in our '95 SL2 at about 50k. It all of a sudden lost power going up a hill, and idled pretty rough until we got it replaced. The 3rd problem is probably the wheel bearing, which also seems notorious for going out. Mine has never gone out, but it did on a friend's '92 SL1 with about 155k on it. It was so bad it sounded like a train....they let it go way too long. And lastly it does sound like the rotors need to be turned, that's usually the 1st culprit when there's shuddering from high speed braking.
#689 of 1419 scraping sound
Jun 05, 2001 (8:24 pm)
I have the same problem with my 96 SL2 with only 45K. It is the right rear wheel bearing. I jacked the car up so I could spin the tires by hand, I could hear the same noise and it does not spin as freely as the the Lt side. Just to make sure it wasn't the brakes dragging, I took off the brake drum, same thing.
The bearing is pressed in and you have to change the spindle assy. I called saturn, they said $130. for the part and about $70. labor. He also said it is common problem, in fact on that day they had already replaced two spindles. Don't know if the spindle is available from other parts stores.
I live about 50 miles from the dealership, It's such a hassle to make an appointment, take time off work, take the car in and then go back and pick it up. I'm going to see if I can have it replaced locally.