26th Aug 2006, 20:47

I too am an owner of a 2000 Saturn LS, bought used in 2003. I was putting some new speakers in the doors to go with my new stereo (CD player on original equip failed), and when I finished I noticed a shockingly large puddle of oil where my car had been. I immediately opened the hood to see where it was coming from and found an approximately 3 inch crack in the valve cover right over... the timing chain. Although they lack teeth, timing chains can apparently saw through cast aluminum.

I bought the repair book for my car, removed the valve cover and noticed that the upper timing chain guide looked nothing like the one in the book. It was a vertical piece of metal with nothing hanging over the chain. Apparently when the chain started it's "eat the engine" mission, the upper guide was the first to go. I looked at the chain, looks very nice, but a little droopy between the two upper sprockets.

I am not thrilled to have to do this repair myself, but I am suddenly thrilled that I caught this before the chain broke and put me in the same plight as all these other people. 250$ for the repair kit and a day of my time is a lot better than the multi-thousand dollar repairs I've read about earlier in this list.

This is an unreasonable issue to have to deal with on a car with only 83000 miles on it, and reminds me of another car that I used to own that had a timing chain problem... my 1991 Saturn SL1. I've owned 6 vehicles and the only ones I have ever had a timing chain issue with were my Saturn vehicles. I WILL NEVER, NEVER BUY ANOTHER SATURN. I wanted to support an American car company.

If anyone wants to contact me regarding a class action suit or reimbursement for the timing chain kit and band-aids, feel free: Jvermillion@charter.net.

2nd Sep 2006, 18:50

My timing chain broke on me yesterday at about 82,000 miles.

I was driving home in a residential area, about 25mph, and all of a sudden my wheel locked on me and I started to lose speed and control of the car. Luckily I missed two parked cars that were in the parking lot where I was able to pull in before the car came to a stop. I had it towed to a private mechanic and the preliminary estimate is around $1500. Not good. This isn't counting the possible damage done to the pistons and engine. Unfortunately, it's the holiday weekend, so that will delay the repairs even longer. I've only had this car for a year. This will be the first and last Saturn I'll ever buy.

6th Sep 2006, 13:49

The same is happening with the L300 series timing belt. The timing belt on my Saturn 2002 L300 went out this morning on the way to work. I was going 55 mph, no indicator lights or anything, the car stalled - lost all power steering etc. I was able to shift into neutral and glide to the shoulder. It left me stranded on a country road. I checked with my dealer. The belt had been replaced at 108,000 miles. It was not due to be replaced for another 40,000 miles. Regular maintenance and oil changes had been done through the dealership. I will be passing along my information to the NHTSA.

7th Sep 2006, 07:15

If you look carefully, your car is the ONLY instance, on this board, of timing BELT failure (I assume you have the V6). All the other issues are for timing CHAIN failure on the 4-cyl models. The V6 belt has no history of premature failure.

By the way, don't waste your time. NHTSA has no interest in hearing about a timing belt breaking, or ANY major (non-safety related) problem for that matter, on a car with 168,000 miles on it.

15th Sep 2006, 21:17


I found this board after (surprise, surprise) my 2001 L series died on me. I was doing about 70 when all power cut out of the car. I managed to get over to the side of the road and had it towed home. I assume it's the timing chain, but this just happened earlier tonight and haven't had a chance to get it checked out. My car has 219,000 miles on it.

22nd Sep 2006, 17:59

Hey all you fellow Saturn heads out there..

I have a 2000 LS200 with the 3.0L V-6 engine... My car started making a loud noise coming from the timing belt compartment... The timing belt was about to break...now, my car does have 105,000 miles on it so it was not unexpected to have timing belt issues with this mileage...however, there IS a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) for the timing belt linkage on the 2000 LS Series with the V-6 engine... the linkage (pulleys, tensioners, etc.) on the timing belt track have to be replaced with the belt or your next timing belt will not last for 100,000 miles.. I have had several Saturns over the years and drive them as courier cars... put a lot of miles on them.. the most reliable series is the SL series from a the late 90's...got almost 300,000 miles on them with the ORIGINAL timing chain on them.. and NO major problems at all..

4th Oct 2006, 13:07

Just want to point out, I am another unhappy customer. I own a L2 2001 Saturn. I will never buy Saturn again. A lot of my problems happen in Austin, TX. The dealership in Austin (Research Blvd) is unbelievable, I strongly suggest never going there, read below for a good example! I am now in Chicago, the Hoffman Estates dealership is much better.

No problems with the timing belt! After reading this discussion I am very worried.

Here is my list of fixs before 50k miles, I am not exaggerating:

-The BCM computer needed to be reprogrammed

-Eventually the BCM computer needed to be replaced

-Blower fan broke

-All circuit cards for back brake lights died and were replaced

-Speakers died

-Factory radio died

-Driver seat adjustment electronics died

-There are 2 or 3 big expensive fixs that were needed before the car had 35k miles, I forgot what they were and my lunch break is over.

Austin, TX dealership story:

Over a 18 month period I always took my car to this dealership for repairs mileage was under 55k. During this time I had 5-6 different repairs, each costing between $800 - $1800. The last problem was my blower fan, the blower fan never worked. You could lightly feel heat or AC, but the blower fan would not turn on. I dropped the car off, dealership calls and says everything need to be replaced, the quote was $700-$800. I said no way, I will not spend that much, I have already spent to much on repairs for this car. He asked, how much do you want to spent? I told him no more than $100 and added if this is not possible I will live without a blower fan and deal with the heat. He said he would need to talk with his manager. He called back 10 minutes later and said after talking with his manager we can bring the price down to $500. I said no way! I already told you no more than $100. He said OK I need to talk with my manager. He called back and said it can be done for $300. I said this is ridiculous. You are wasting my time. What do you not understand about no more than $100. At that point I told him I will pick up the car and take some where else. He then put me on hold, after he returned he said he had a technician look at it, the technician can fix it for $60. I said do it! Work was done. I paid under $70. Its been almost three years and the blower fan works!