I will also never buy another Saturn. My LW300 (2001) has been in the shop so many times that my kids are always asking me weather we have our car or a rental! I have had four leaks causing the coolant light to come on (withing 3 months) and a major part of my transmission was replaced last year. On a smaller scale the power seats, air conditioning vents and wipers have all broken. Finally, today I left it at the dealer again because the entire transmission needs to be rebuilt again and there is another coolant leak - I just picked it up a month ago and here I am again with a rental car. I spend too much time at the dealer fixing this car. The people at Saturn are very nice and helpful, but that does not help my problem. I feel I bought a faulty car and I am telling everyone I know to stay away from Saturn.
We have a 2002 LW-300 that is makes a mockery of American craftsmanship. The transmission is now shot, the dealer wants $5500 to put in a new one. We can't afford to buy a new car, but we will never go to a Saturn dealer again for service. I will have it rebuild somewhere, anywhere, but Saturn. We've never been to the dealer, even for simple repairs and paid less than $500. In the 4 years we've owned the car we've spent over $10000 in repairs. This was our 3 and last Saturn. Not only will we never buy another Saturn, but I will never buy another American made car again. Thank you Saturn for destroying my faith in American cars.
We bought our first Saturn, a 2000 LW2 wagon new from the Saturn dealer. It has been the most problematic car we have ever owned.
While under warranty, the car had all its tires replaced by the dealer because of a recall issue involving defective strut bolts. What started out as a small problem with one tire wearing unevenly led to the dealer revealing that the struts on the car could maybe fall off under speed. New bolts were intealled and all 4 tires replaced no charge. All without us asking or anything. I had to really probe them to get them to reveal why they were being so "generous"!
How Saturn let such a major safety issue get out the door is hard to understand.
At around 10K miles, the tail lights and brake lights started to burn out routinely. Every time I took it to Saturn for replacement, they said it must just be bad bulbs. They would put new ones in. They ignored my repeated requests to check the wiring and housing because its rare that multiple bulbs will burn out unless there is a underlying problem. Only after the car was out of warranty did Saturn come back with a recall correcting some kind of electrical problem with the housing.
Shortly after our car was out of warranty in 2003, we started to have problems with the transmission. It was notchy and at 79K in 2005 the tranny failed.
The transmission shop was a decent shop where they do only tranny work and rebuilds are done in-house. They determined tranny pump shaft has a collar on it that sheared off, and very small amount of junk metal in the tranny caused the TCC solenoid to lock ON. This in turn caused a loss of cooling and subsequent overheating. Sad thing is, the problem with the tranny is known to the industry; a new pump shaft with reinforced collar is put in by knowledgeable shops. If your pump shaft fails, make sure they put in an improved over OEM shaft. However, you ask Saturn about a recall on this obvious recall situation and they look at you like deer caught in the headlights. They "claim" to know NOTHING about this weak tranny.
This last foray into Saturn hell cost me $2400 for a complete rebuilt tranny with new pump shaft and planetary and solenoids.
I'm really fed up with all the problems, no more Saturns for me. A friend bought an LW2 based on my recommendation at the time in 2000, and they have had similar expensive problems with their car.
No wonder Saturn ended making this POS line in 2005. They made their name with the S series but the stuff they make now is junk.
I have the 2002 LW300 and drive it since 3+ years daily with great pleasure! Not one single problem; absolutely reliable car to me, and on top of it a good looking one. I just wish they would build such a car as a hybrid, because 21 miles per gallon is in these days no more fun...;-)
I was referred by a friend, who's driving Saturn 2 years longer than I and still is satisfied, too.
I agree with a lot of the issues that people have mentioned. This is my last Saturn (owned a SC-1 and SL-2) with very minor problems. The tires wear unevenly, the car never aligns, the light fixtures consistenly burned out (until recall). My car was in the shop 14 times in the first 18 months, but since they were "diffferent" problems never qualified under Mass. lemon law. People @ the dealer are incredibly nice, doesn't make up for their awful product.
RE: My LW300 that I have owned since new. Now 11,000 miles odometer. But it has been towed many miles behind my Coach. It has been a good car. Except Intermittent electrical problems caused by a intermittent Del co battery.
Switched to Optima battery no problems since (about 2 years). As an retired Engineer I suspect other Saturn intermittent electrical problems are from bad grounds. I have only had one bad relay contact on rear gate lock.
Like to hear of 'fixes' on other LW problems. Like Suspension. Suspect tires and shocks may be marginal.
My car does have a slight engine vibration at a stop, and in gear. Some from out of balance heating fan blower. But my 6 cly. Isn't balanced well. Saturn says it is "normal"
To date I have owned 8 Saturn's, between my wife and I we have put over 525,000 miles on these cars, that is recorded miles, I have also towed all, but one of these cars behind a 37' motor home, generally above the suggested miles per hour. We have probably put approximately 90,000 miles in tow. I have never had a major problem with any of these cars, and I do drive a car hard! I had some tire wear on one car, Saturn replaced the tires did an alignment, and added some shims to correct the problem. I have had excellent service, the ride in the cars is very comfortable. We bought a new fully loaded VUE 2006, have put almost 20,000 miles on it to date and not a single issue. I am currently selling my 2001 LW300, it has 75,000 miles recorded, ab out 24,000 tow miles, has had all necessary recalls (I think tail lights and a couple other items) completed with no issues.
The car is in excellent mechanical and beauty shape, it also has all available options installed at time of purchase.
We always kept our cars routinely maintained by the dealer.