I have a 2004 Saturn L300 and have had continual fuel issues with it. My tank gets just below the 1/4 mark and will hesitate going up a hill (like it is going to run out of gas), or if parked at just a small incline will not start. I have had it in numerous times for service and the dealership (under warranty). Saturn has replaced the fuel pump, the fuel tank and lines, to no avail. I think this is a design issue and now I'm stuck with a vehicle I have to fill up with before it gets to low. Anyone else having this problem? Maybe this is why they discontinued the model?
I have all those same issues. I have a 2004 and I cannot go below 1/4 tank or it struggles to start. My air conditioning broke the first week I got it. I hope this is all that's going to happen! I am convinced too I also got a lemon!!! I had a 2003 Hyundai Accent stick shift no air no nothing and it ran better then this car.
Saturn 300L 2004: I have had all those problems, but mostly with the dealership. Recently, wind noise problem dealership ordered the door gasket in May 2007 (while under warranty) received the gasket in Dec 2007 (117,000 km Off warranty) dealership refused to replace under warranty. Fuel, stalling problems can be fixed by replacing the catalic converter, draining (pumping) out automatic transmission fluid and replacing with clean fluid. Dealerships cannot wait to tell you Off Warranty and we're not doing anything. Dealership owner admitted that wind noise problem is a problem with this design. I believe a lemon automobile.
Bought a "pre-owned" 2004 Saturn L300 wagon as an alternative to a Subaru Outback this spring.
The original Firestone tires treads were about 3/32 inch with 38K miles on it. The vehicle soon began to shimmy and handle very skittishly on the highway - noteably over 60 mph (you have to keep up with traffic...). Replaced all (4) tires with Bridgestone Potenza G009 tires - these are really great tires and have a snazzy tread as well, and the ride is much improved, although it still needs an alignment.
A day after I had the (4) brand new tires put on, a wheel center cap "popped off" somewhere along the road and it cost $30 and 2 weeks to order a replacement form a Saturn dealer. I'm now looking for Saturn's 2004 "sage green" touch up paint. Anyone know? Even the dealership was clueless on that one.
I also bought it with a 6 inch dent in the driver's side rear (those fiberglass body panels can so dent), which knocked about a grand off the used price from the dealership. Better not mess with trying to fix that.
Other than a few scratches and the dent, I'm pretty happy with it. It's crisp, clean European styling really reflects the German touch of the Opal - without the pricetag - I like that.
This vehicle does have wind noise - it's not very sealed like a Volvo. I tried to put up every window thinking one wasn't up all they way when they all were - it's like that.
But the thing I love the most is the V6 engine - after a lifetime of driving 4 cylinder cars.
I purchased a 2004 L300. Overall I am really happy with the level of comfort and features that the car provides. I have had some of the same problems listed before me.
The car hesitates when the fuel is below a quarter tank. It sputters like it wants to stall but does not. I have run 93 octane fuel through occasionally and that seems to help it a bit, but not what it should.
The shimmying and shaking thing has not been an issue until a couple of weeks ago when I took an unplanned 3000 mile trip. It happens only under acceleration between 45 and 65 mph.
The pollution control light is also an issue. It turns itself on for probably 1000 miles, and then it will be off for another 800-1000 miles.
The dimmer switch acts as if it has a short in it.
Has anyone noticed issues of the cruise control where it "guns" the engine then lets off the car slows down and it then "guns" it again? There has also been a slight leak in the trunk in heavy rain as well.
It is also interesting to note the number of recalls on older model L300s, but none on the 2004. Oh well, back to the dealer it goes.
Don't buy one of these things. After having been a happy Saturn owner of four previous S-Series cars, I ran headlong into the L-Series with blind optimism. I have a 2003 L300 sedan, and have never been so disappointed in a car. The power is nice, and I like the features of the car, but it's 'nickel and diming' me to death. Things keep breaking and failing, and it's only got 50k miles on it. The steering gear went out at 30k, and then AGAIN at 50k, along with a host of other failed parts. After over $2000 for that little adventure, I rue the day I bought this thing.
No shimmying (yet), but plenty of road noise, and the automatic climate control is anything but. I haven't used it in 'auto' mode since I learned how crappy it really is, which was about a week after purchasing the vehicle.
Would love to get rid of it, but hey... it's paid for, and I don't want another car payment.
If you're considering buying any Saturn L-Series car... THINK AGAIN!
I bought a Saturn 2004 LW 300-2 new in January 2004 (3.0L). Now at 116K. It's amazing to see all of the similar problems listed here as the ones I have had:
Shimmy as approaching 65 MPH, transmission solenoid, wheel bearings, fuel pump, internal lighting acting as if it has a short, steering column replacement - you name it, I've had it.
The car is currently in the shop for the thermostat - 2nd time since mechanic messed up on the first attempt due to trying replacement without correct part (needs correct housing also).
Stay away from this car - it's a shocker. Stuck in a similar problem as previous person: It's paid for, but I'm saving for something else. Just need this to make it through the next 6 months (winter) and this thing will be gone. I'll take the loss vs. pouring more money into this. Quite a disappointment to me as a lifelong GM purchaser.
I JUST bought a 2004 L300. I have had it for 6 weeks, and it has not started 6 times. It has stopped running 3 times while in park, and once at a stoplight. Mechanics can find nothing wrong.
My 2004 L300 sedan had the same problem of stalling out. Found out it was the crankshaft position sensor. $100 and change, and it runs perfect.
Had the "shimmying" effect when I first got the car new tires, and a front end alignment fixed that. I also had the problem of the leaking trunk in hard rain storms.
As for the gas tank thing, I've never had a problem running low on gas. I've stalled my car a few times running out of gas. Maybe water leaked into your gas tanks?
I had my Saturn L300 for about a year or so, and my motor just went the other day. And that's after me putting over $600 in it. The car still turns on, but it makes a crazy noise. It's really upsetting, being a single mom trying to make ends meet, and being told this was a great car and it wasn't. It was good while it lasted. I did maintenance to my car like it required. And all it did was kill my motor.
Oh, I also replaced the back struts and it still sounded horrible. So unhappy about this car!!