1992 Saturn SC Reviews

1992 Saturn SC 1.9L DOHC from North America

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.9L DOHC Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 0 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.8 / 10
Distance when acquired180000 kilometres
Most recent distance195000 kilometres
Previous carToyota 4Runner

Summary:

I only tolerate this car because it was given to me for free.

Faults:

I've had many problems with this car. This car was given to me for free and it wasn't in the best shape and it cost a lot to put it on the road.

The power seat belts may have been considered to be innovative when they first came out. Now all they are is a safety hazard. The seat belt motor no longer has the power to pull the shoulder belt back without helping it along with your hand. I simply disconnect the shoulder strap and reconnect it after it latches into place. The cable that drives the shoulder belt connector has come out of it's track on a couple of occasions causing the belt to jam in place. Currently the shoulder belt will only move half of the distance forward before getting jammed and I have to force it backwards so that it will latch into place. I'm looking for a normal seat belt to install in the drivers side of the car.

The steel parts on my car are rusting out. So much for a rust free plastic car. Both of the flip up headlights rusted and the edges of the trunk lid also rusted. I sandblasted, filled the holes and painted, but my regular paint supply store didn't have the saturn paint codes and the color match isn't exact.

The door chime circuit is fried causing the car to ding at you when the lights are off and you open the door and the keys are not in the ignition. When the key is in the ignition the dinging stops.

The gears in the manual window crank stripped and finding a replacement at a scrap yard was difficult and expensive because this seems to be a common problem. $260 for the parts.

The trunk leaks like a champ. I pulled out all of the insulation because it had milldew. I "shop-vaced" about half a gallon of water out of the spare tire well.

As for normal wear and tear, the clutch has been replaced $700, the rad started leaking and had to be replaced (before I acquired the car), the front struts are shot and have to be replaced.

General Comments:

I'm 5'11" 190lb and I do not find the car to be comfortable at all. It is difficult to get in and out of and the seats are too small. No one over age 7 who has legs can fit in the back seat unless the front seats are jammed forward. The car is also very rattly and has a harsh ride.

My wife, who is 5'6" 120lb also drives the car and doesn't find the seat to be too small.

The engine and trasmission are really good, the only problem is that it's hard to enjoy using the drive train when you can't get comfortable.

In the past I've owned a number of old vehicles:

'86 Toyota Camry (Free)

'84 Nissan 300ZX (Free)

'88 Ford Ranger 4x4 ($1500)

'93 Ford Probe ($4000)

'90 Chevy Tracker 4x4 ($2500)

'88 Chevy 2500 diesel 4x4 ($4500)

'91 Dodge Dakota 4x4 ($2800)

'90 Toyota 4runner 4x4 ($400)

The Saturn is my least favorite of all the cars I've owned and the most frustrating.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th September, 2007

1992 Saturn SC 1.9 DOHC from North America

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.9 DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired204000 miles
Most recent distance212500 miles
Previous carPlymouth Duster

Summary:

This car is absolutely one of my favorite cars

Faults:

The fuel Pump went out at 209,000 miles.

The alternator went out at 212,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car is quick for an economy car and handles like it's on a rail!

I like the dashboard layout, everything is within reach. I don't have to reach for anything.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2006

1992 Saturn SC 1.9 liter, L4, Fuel Injection from North America

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership1992
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.9 liter, L4, Fuel Injection Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired7 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles
Previous carGMC Camaro

Summary:

Wonderful car!

Faults:

I bought this 1992 SC brand new from the dealer. Almost 15 years now and still love it. That said, here’s what’s happened over the years (some of it probably my fault) :

1994: Developed vibration while idling. Remedied by replacing torque motor axle mount (free, under warranty).

1995: Driver’s side power window and cigarette lighter stopped working. Both repair/replaced (free, under warranty). The alternator went. This was the only time this car let me down while on the road. Alternator and battery had to be replaced (Just out of warranty, cost $430)

1996: Vibration at high speeds due to warped front brake rotors. Replaced the rotors (free, under warranty).

1997: The cigarette lighter broke again and the housing had to be replaced (free, under warranty). The power seat belt began to act erratically, and it needed to be repaired. Also, it wouldn’t pass the smog test and a valve plus catalytic converter had to be replaced (free, under warranty). Then it began to consume too much oil.

1998: The power steering pump was leaking and caused the serpentine belt tensioner to be soaked with power steering fluid. Power steering pump and serpentine belt had to be replaced (repairs cost $600). The “Service Engine Soon” started to come on intermittently, but mechanic could not find any problem.

1999: The torque axis mount was sagging and had to be replaced ($95). A radiator hose had to be replaced ($38). Knocking noise caused by front wheel bearing, and bearing had to be replaced ($85). Upper coolant hose leaked, and had to be replaced ($71)

2000: Temperature gauge showed temperature rising when idling in heavy traffic. PCM engine coolant sensors had to be replaced. ($76). Spark plug wires were arcing and had to be replaced ($70). Then, the battery was leaking from positive terminal, and alternator not putting out. Replaced bad battery, cables, solenoid, generator assembly, and other miscellaneous parts ($650)

2001: Oil was leaking, and had to replace camshaft housing cover/gasket ($146)

2003: Air conditioning stopped blowing cold air due to freon leaking out. Recharged freon and it lasted for another four months, enough to get through the summer. :) The cloth headliner on the ceiling began to separate from the foam, and I re-glued it with Super 77 spray glue.

2004: Battery died and had to be replaced. The trunk wouldn’t close, so the trunk latch had to be repaired ($141). One brake light went out and had to be replaced ($16). Serpentine belt was worn/cracked and had to be replaced ($58). The engine was idling rough, and it was found that the lower trans-axle mount was broken, and the top engine mount was sagging. Replaced lower trans-axle mount only ($115).

2005: The plastic clips holding the door frame broke, and the top of the door frame is loose, but not too noticeable. The water pump was found to be leaking (but I chose to not repair it).

2006: The cloth headliner is coming down again, so I guess a little more Super 77 glue is in order. The SES light continues to come on intermittently, but I’ve been told repeatedly by the mechanics to just ignore it. And, just last week, the little door to the gas tank wouldn’t close, apparently due to a broken latch. I’ll be taking it in to have the latch repaired, and also plan to have the sagging top engine mount repaired.

General Comments:

Before this car, I owned four Camaros, which although cool-looking and powerful, gave me constant headaches and major repair costs. Considering that this Saturn is already almost 15 years old, the occasional problems listed above have been nothing compared to the horror stories I’ve heard from owners of other brands. Never had a problem with the power sunroof, or locks, or seats. I always take it to a Saturn dealer for all service and repairs, and the customer service I’ve received has always been excellent, regardless of location.

I have taken this car on several highway trips, treks through hot deserts, on bumpy dirt roads, and through winding steep mountain roads covered with sleet. This car has performed beautifully under all conditions. It has good power to pass on the highway, and handles curves extremely well. Great gas mileage! My friends are always amazed at how well it does, and they marvel at how it doesn’t just fall apart from all the rough terrain I subject it to. On the other hand, maybe all that driving on rough terrain has been the cause for the various broken parts over the years. I was broadsided at an intersection by a big SUV, and the whole front bumper of the SUV ended up on the ground and leaking some kind of fluid, but I suffered no major injuries and my car only needed the passenger door and rear fender panel repaired (thank you steel cage frame!). Another time a truck put a gash on the front fender, and this was quickly and inexpensively replaced.

Even after all these years, the original paint finish looks great, except a tiny chip on the rear bumper that I put there while loading a heavy piece of equipment into the trunk). And I still get compliments from people on how cute/cool my car looks. I love this car, and when I become wealthy, I plan to have it completely restored to new condition. :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th September, 2006

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 7 reviews