17th Jun 2008, 07:19

I just purchased a 2000 LS1 from the dealer, an immaculate, 1 owner, with just 51000, on the clock, now I discover this timing chain issue! Am I sitting on a time bomb here? Should I try to go back on Saturn for letting the dealer sell me this car while knowing of the defect? Now I'm afraid to drive it!

18th Jun 2008, 09:27

Does anyone have any updates on this issue, I just bought a 2000 LS1 and just discovered the Timing chain problem with these engines.

29th Jun 2008, 17:55

I have a 2000 LW1 with 120,000 miles on it that ran like a top. The car quit on the freeway going about 65-70 mph. The car up and quit with no warning and me and my family coasted into the median. After towing the car home, I found out the timing chain failed or should I say it ripped apart. These engines are built with zero tolerance and I bent all the valves. After $1100 dollars invested in parts with my own labor, the car is now running. I have always changed the oil around 3500 miles. When I tore the motor down it was super clean. The machinist that rebuilt the head told me about the recall and how his business is doing a lot of work with these echo tech motors. I kept all the parts and recepts in hoping Saturn will do whats right. I wish I would have checked the net before buying. Too bad Saturn won't own up for their faulty chains. I have always heard positive things about Saturn but after this silent recall I will probably pass on another Saturn. It is a simple fix for Saturn and they put my family in danger.

1st Aug 2008, 14:35

I own a 2000 L series saturn that has only 51,000 miles. I have not experienced a timing chain failure yet, but if I make it to 75,000 miles, I will change mine. This is off the subject, but Saturn makes it nearly impossible to buy parts for your car from an auto parts supplier. Try changing the 3rd brake light bulb (Saturn has to make 6 bulbs) for this unit. I was at a saturn dealer for a recall & they wanted to charge me $31 just to change 1 bulb. These bulbs are the most stupid design of all time. These little bulbs are encassed in a plastic tube that costs $7 each from the dealer. No part store carries these. You now have to buy these from the dealer. I bought 1 & changed my bulb in 1 minute. What a rip-off that Saturn wants $31. I will never recommend a Saturn car to anybody. The trade-in value of my 2000 L series car which I paid $21,000, might be $2,000.

25th Nov 2008, 00:29

I own a 2002 Saturn L100..The car was running a little funny.. accelerating hard, stalling when I would switch gears. Then one day I went to start and and nothing... We finally hauled it down the the closest auto repair shop and they informed me that my timing chain had slipped. The mechanic said I was lucky because the chain caused NO damage to the valves or anywhere else in the engine. Should be around 600 bucks to fix.

After reading all these comments I feel pretty damn lucky! But sick at the same time because I still owe 4k on this car and nothing else better go wrong with it.. I just thank God I wasn't on the interstate when this happened!

25th Nov 2008, 18:32

This is going along with the comment I left of 11/24.. after further investigation the mechanic found that my valves ARE in fact bent... I am having the engine replaced... still lucky.. going to run me about $1500. We found a used motor with 55k miles on it.. the one in my car has 88k miles on it. Let's hope this "new" engine doesn't do the same thing!

20th May 2009, 11:17

Just to help some folks having this timing chain/tensioner issue: I have a 2000 Saturn LS1 and I had the same old 'car just wouldn't start one day' problem. Luckily I work at a VW/Audi/Mercedes/Porsche dealership and my Mercedes mechanic friend helped me diagnose the problem. The timing chain did not break, however it was loose, causing it to jump a couple teeth and of course bend some valves.

I went to the wonderful Rock Auto website and got the upper timing chain guide, tensioner, oiler nozzle, head gasket set and head bolts, all for about $250. I just sent the head out to get machined and have new valves put in which will cost between 250 and 300. So it really helps if you can AVOID taking it to a dealership (Saturn) where you don't know the people working on the car. Talk to friends and or family if there is any possible way to find a trusted mechanic that will advise you on getting only the parts you need, and who is not more concerned with making a fortune off of your issue.

Also, try to avoid getting the parts from a dealership... being a VW/Audi parts consultant at a very respected dealership, I can tell you that the dealership is the most expensive place to get parts, and getting them online at places such as Rock Auto will save you TONS.

13th Jan 2010, 23:02

Well I'm a college student going to school, and my aunt was thinking about purchasing me a 2000 Saturn LS, but after hearing all these problems, I might have to reconsider because I don't wanna get a messed up car that will break and have problems on me. The person who we are buying from wants 2000 for it, and it has 142000 miles, so I'm kind of on the fence about it. I wonder if I should even get this car?

9th Jul 2010, 20:11

I have a 2000 Saturn LS1 with 120,000 miles on it, and I haven't had any major problems with it at all.

13th Aug 2010, 17:31

I have a 2000 Saturn LS1. Up until an hr. ago I have had no problems with the car. I bought it used in 2006 with low miles on it. My husband was only about a mile from our house when the check engine light started flashing. Immediately the car lost any horse power that it had. He basically had to coast home doing 5 mph with his hazard lights on. He said the catalytic converter was so hot, that it was glowing cherry red.

I do not know if this is what it is, but I am reading an old recall from 2003. I wonder if the original owner of this car had all of the parts on that recall replaced?

It is very irritating how the check engine light came on, and then BAM, the car just lost power. No warning!

23rd Aug 2010, 19:19

I have a 2000 LS 1 purchased used with slightly over 24K miles. I now have nearly 149K miles and haven't had any troubles with the power train. I've followed the maintenance schedule that the car came with. Now that I've heard of these timing chain stories, I'll try to get that replaced when I can. I do a lot of commuting.

I've had a rear door lock fail due to a wiring problem. The bulbs went out on the AC controls and the radio, except for the time/station screen. These two have been annoying things, since you can't replace the lighting in these units without replacing each complete unit!

As for replacing the center brake light bulbs, there is a solution to avoiding the dealer supplied items. If you have needle nose pliers, you can separate the the contact wires of the bulb from the plastic body contacts they've been soldered to.

Purchase a generic miniature bulb from any parts store, no. 161 I believe. Take the contact wires from the new bulb, separate them from the bulb at the point where they bend up towards the body of the bulb and straighten them. Insert the bulb into the plastic body and bend the wires onto contacts. I've done this every time I've needed to replace these bulbs, and it's worked. It takes a little more time, but it's cheaper than using the Saturn style bulb units!