Last post on Sep 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM
You are in the Saturn S-Series
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Saturn S-Series, Sedan
#955 of 1418 Rough Idle In SL2 or SC2?
Jul 04, 2002 (12:38 pm)
I just bought a 2002 SL2 5-speed and have noticed a rough idle in it from the day I bought it until now (approx. 3K mi.). I asked the dealer to look at the problem with about 150 mi. on the car, and he said to wait until the first oil change at 3K and the idle would smooth out. Well, I did, and it didn't, so I asked the dealer to look into the problem and fix the rough idle.
According to the service tech at my dealership, and according to the Saturn helpline area manager, the rough idle is caused by sticky exhaust valves, but is completely normal and within specs for the SL2's engine. The official Saturn "fix" for the issue was for the tech to drive the car at 5K rpm for a few miles to reseat the valves. That didn't do a thing. When I called the customer care line, Saturn's response was that this is a totally normal feature of the 5-speed engine, and that there is nothing which they can do to fix it. I find this hard to believe, so I wanted to post here to see if anyone else who has an SL2 or SC2 (which have the same engine, as far as I can tell) has experienced this rough idle, too.
Also, if anyone could point me to some other Saturn forums where I can do further research on this issue, I'd be grateful.
Jul 05, 2002 (7:50 am)
My SL2 does not have a rough idle. Mine is a 1999 model, but I believe they have the same engine--changed in 1998, I believe.
You say it was like that the day you bought it? Was there any reason why you didn't test drive it before you bought it? It would seem strange that it drove smoothly on your test drive, then got rough after you signed the papers for it, IMO.
#957 of 1418 RE: Rough Idle response
Jul 07, 2002 (6:19 pm)
Well, at first we didn't notice the idle problem (guess we didn't stay in neutral at too many stoplights), but we noticed it the next day. We brought the car to the dealer to have some excess epoxy residue cleaned off the running board, and mentioned the idle then.
Thanks for the input.
Jul 10, 2002 (12:24 am)
bought a new sw2 in nov 97 (98 model)
use mobile 1 always, changed every 3,000 mi.
it now has 73,000 and has been very reliable. the motor mount (upper) does have a problem, and i think it's due to heat transfer from head. i am
experimenting with fixits for this. there is no oil burning at all. i am getting a few rattles in the interior around dash. saturn has been great to me in san diego area, but saturn usa says there is no problem with motor mount. they should check & see how many people have to have them changed. i think most of the vibration is caused by this mount. mine typically last about 18,000 mi & then the vibration starts. oil breakdown is not a problem, its the acid that builds up in the oil that causes problems. i have installed pirelli touring tires in size 195 60 15. much more traction, but not the quietest or smoothest. this size has almost exactly the same circumference of 185 65 15. they dont rub & work well. i really like the car & have respect for the way saturn has treated me.
Jul 12, 2002 (7:55 pm)
My 97' SW1 and 94' SL2 both needed new engine mounts. I think it is the engine is tuned for low end power. It pushes back on that mount at every input so it just wears out. Early models also went through altenators that had no air flow to them and would cook themselves to death. I just got rid of my 94' SL2 last week and it was really starting to use oil but ran quite well after a new water pump and belt tensioner last summer. It was just to cramped and low to sit in to keep. But the polymer body panels looked brand new.
#960 of 1418 motor mounts
Jul 16, 2002 (4:20 am)
I got 2 springs from the hardware store, removed the mounts and cut a slight amount of the numbs
where they start to touch the metal. (more clearance). I then placed the springs under the
mount to raise it back to stock position. it works pretty well! not to brand new standards, but this eliminated most of the vibration! If you check the condition of the rubber of a new mount against a bad one, you will find that the rubber gets very soft. movement will breakdown rubber, but heat will do more damage. Torque is not the problem, it is in the design of the mount. Before I buy a new mount(3rd time), I am going to try to make an insulater to divert heat. I'll post how it works. Saturn is really letting us down by not doing something about this problem. They certainly have the resources to fix this weak spot, but continue to ignor it. A real shame!
#961 of 1418 Rust on frame
Jul 28, 2002 (10:02 am)
I am considering the Ion. I know that the engine is new. my concern is with the frame. Have alot of you had problems with rusting frames. If so was Saturn able to help you. I noticed a couple of post regarding rusty frames. Why consider the Ion. Well, GM has had time to work on the 4cly ingine Quad 4, Saturn 4 ect. Hopefully the Ecotech will be good.Because of the amount of computer control and sensors in cars, all makers are going to have thier share of lemons. I am hoping that Saturn has improved the spaceframe in the second generation. My main reservation would be a rust problem with the frame that hasn't been adressed. Any reports good or bad would be nice.
Aug 06, 2002 (5:02 pm)
Yes engine mounts are a common thing. But would you rather a unreliable car with good motor mounts. I will say I work far a saturn dealer. Out of all the dealers I have dealt with saturn is the best. So stop your complaining and start wishing that were more car companies like Saturn.
I am pretty sure when it comes to service and warr. items Saturn exceeds the rest by a million miles. www.saturnfans.com for picks of the new ion.
Aug 07, 2002 (2:38 pm)
The 2003 Ion should be an excellent car, way beyond and above the 2002 S Series. I myself am on my second Saturn S Series, and haven't experienced any rusting or engine problems. The 2003 Ion is said to have a stronger frame for "better occupant protection" whether this means it is less likely to rust, I cannot say. The main engine in the Ion is the 140 hp ecotec engine, the same one now used in many GM cars, such as the Pontiac Grand Am, Saturn L Series, Saturn VUE, Olds Alero, Chevy Cavilier, Pontiac Sunfire, etc.
I believe it is a good engine, and a bit more refined than previous GM four cylinders. The 2003 Ion features many innovations not found on other cars in its class such as head curtain airbags, electronic power steering for better road feel and control, Traction control, On star navigation systems, and a cvt transmission for better fuel economy. The sedan may look a bit conservative from some views, but it'll be a hoot to drive. Hope this helped
#964 of 1418 rough idle
Aug 08, 2002 (4:29 am)
Our 1999 SC2 5spd with 102500 mi has never had a rough idle but it has had many other problems . It uses a qt of Mobil 1 approx every 800-1000 mi .Car does a 140 mi highway commute. The transaxle is becoming increasingly louder (The ASE =read 4th grade reading skills with some auto jargon thrown on top ) mechanics guessed and changed the hub bearings and both half shafts to find that the problem is the transaxle.They even wanted to replace a steering knuckle thinking it was causing the noise I stopped the BS here . Have rusting on the trailing trim on the tront doors .Need to clean sticking throttle body every month. Have replaced the exhaust resonator and a few more minor problems. The oil usage and transaxle problem are major inexcusable problems . So much for the commercial I saw where the guy drove 300000 mi and only needed to replace the drivers seat. Positives - The firestone tires are still going strong ( I run separate snows 4 months per year ) Rotate as directed . The paint and alloy wheels have held up nicely. We do keep it clean. The interior is still in good condition even the seats . Oh well After we max out the mileage of this car We dont think we will be buying another new Saturn