15th Dec 2006, 19:57

Two months ago, My Saturn L200 with under 75K miles wouldn't start. Mechanic determined that it skipped time and I had to adjust the timing. This cost me $1K. Just last week the same has happened, but this time, valves have been bent and I need the entire timing assembly replaced. This will cost me $2K.

I am very concerned with the safety of my family driving this Saturn L200 because the timing mechanisms don't seem to be reliable. Add me to the list of people that think there should be a general recall.

My mechanic's opinion is that the engineering of the timing system could be faulty. With all of the common problems that I've read here, I don't find it difficult to agree.


8th Jan 2007, 16:46

You can add me to the list. On Saturday, 01/06/07, the timing chain broke on my 2001 Saturn L200. It also damaged all of the surrounding parts, and bent a few valves. I only have 58,000 miles on the car. My mechanic said this should not happen, and suggested that I contact Saturn. His estimate was $2500.00.

Saturn wanted me to have the car towed to the dealership at my expense, which is 30 miles away, for a "Saturn diagnosis" to determine if they would consider doing anything. I considered this to be a big gamble. Now after reading all of these comments, I consider it a HUGE GAMBLE! Why won't Saturn acknowledge the problem and take care of it. This was my first and last Saturn.

10th Jan 2007, 10:00

I am also a timing chain survivor. I own a 2001 L200 and mine went out while driving in a rural area with my teenage daughter, so towing it was $$$. However, I was one of the lucky ones, and it went out without tearing up the valves. Still cost $1200 to have it fixed, and a week at the Saturn dealer. Now I have a sensor going out that tells the engine when to shift. That will cost another $1100, although the part itself is just $130. Seems they have to take out the entire transmission to replace the little sensor. I also had to replace the turn signal since my bright lights were coming on & staying on, (yep, had to replace a battery too.) That was a nice $130. I had a computer go out on it a little over a year ago. $2200. Oh, and I had to replace both tail lights since the assemblies were faulty. The dealership didn't bother to tell me until AFTER I had already paid, that they were under warranty. So now I'm waiting on a reimbursement. I love my car, but I can't see buying another Saturn if these are just a few of the problems they have. Now I know why I've always bought Nissan & Toyota.

23rd Jan 2007, 11:07

I have a 2001 Saturn L200 and so far have been lucky aside from dead batteries. The first one lasted 3 years, this one 2 years. Based on the posts on this site, I am wondering if I should be proactive and get the timing chain replaced before I have the same issue of it breaking that others have had. Does anyone know how much that would cost?

23rd Jan 2007, 14:37

Add me to the list. Just last night, my timing belt went out on my 2002 LW200. With only 49,000 miles, I wasn't pleased to begin with, but am even less pleased after reading all of this.

I'm currently waiting for the "Saturn Adjuster" to come by my dealership to give the OK on a full engine replacement since metal shaving were found in my oil. Supposedly, this is required on any extended warranty repair above $1000...riiiight.

Luckily, I purchased the extended warranty and the dealership service manager seemed confident that it would cover the engine replacement. However, if GM hasn't addressed the design flaw in the 2.2L, I'm worried that a new engine will only buy me another 49,000 miles and not correct the problem to begin with.

In any case, the response from GM to everyone on this board is ridiculous. It's this kind of behavior and attitude that is causing the decline of the American auto makers, and they have no one to blame, but themselves.

9th Feb 2007, 12:25

Add me to the list also. My wife's 2001 LW200 with 80,000 miles on it left her stranded with a broken timing chain. The local service center diagnosed the problem and called the nearest Saturn dealer for information. The dealer told him that the 2.2 was not an interference engine. So he proceeded to spend the time and my money to replace the chain with the new and improved chain kit. Got the chain installed and had no compression. I am looking at replacing the motor with a used 50K miles for $1700 or even more to do the valve job or new head. This car has been nothing, but a disappointment and I (and anyone I can convince) will never buy another Saturn. Guess I should have bought a Honda.

19th Feb 2007, 16:55

Add me to the long list. My 2000 LS2 with less than 57,000 miles died on Friday because the timing chain blew. It bent the valves, etc. so now I have to replace the motor. Thankfully I made it to work before it completely died, but it would not restart again. Reading some of the stories I am glad it didn't. My car is at a mechanics who has offered to put in a used motor for about $700 less than the Saturn dealership offered to do the same thing for. The service guy said he had only ever heard of one other timing chain breaking on a Saturn in 6 years, yet knew without me telling him that the valves would be bent and the motor would need replacing. Hmmmm. Makes you wonder how many he really knows about. I will report to the NHTSA.

20th Mar 2007, 13:16

Add me to the list of timing chain problems, 2002 Saturn L200, 4 cylinder. Driving along and power cut out. It is in the shop right now. I still don't know if I will need a new engine. I will admit I have 111,000 miles on the car, so maybe I should not be surprised. What is surprising is how much $$$ it is going to cost to FIX it!


31st Mar 2007, 14:31

On March 29, I was sitting in my 2001 Saturn L-100 waiting for traffic to clear. I stepped on the gas and the engine revved up as usual, and the car accelerated almost to highway speed. At about 45 mph, the car completely lost power and I coasted it to the side of the road. The problem? You guessed it, timing chain failure. I will be going to the local dealership on Monday, but I have very little hope that the problem will be solved to my satisfaction. I will be keeping you all posted on the results of the visit.

1st Apr 2007, 01:46

OK. Yet another one. Friday morning my L200 wouldn't start - made a whirring sound and the engine didn't turn over. Had it towed to the dealer and same story.

1400 to take apart the motor and see what the damage is. JUST TO SEE WHAT IT IS. 4k to fix it probably.

They also said that it would be worth something as a trade in if I want a new car.

Fine. My car is paid for- I'm going to go there this week and sell it to them for whatever they want it as a trade.

I'm probably never going to buy a Saturn again.