1998 Saturn SC SC1 1.9 SOHC from North America


Looks can be deceiving!


Engine consumed motor oil.

Windshield wipers occasionally stopped working.

Valve cover leaked, even after having the mechanic try to repair it twice.

Cylinder head cracked at 115000 kilometers causing oil to mix in with the engine coolant. Replaced by a mechanic with a rebuilt head that had the same problem right out of the box. Replaced a second time with a supposedly good cylinder head – which lasted until 175000 kilometers, when it cracked in the same way as the other heads!

Original Belt tensioner for accessory drive belt would squeal, replaced with a dealer part that also started to squeal shortly afterwards.

Muffler Hanger Bracket rusted off – Dealer wanted $140 for replacement hanger. Replaced with a wire coat hanger.

Front Brake pads worn out at 120000 kilometers.

Rear wheel bearing assembly failed at 100000 kilometers.

The paint on the car looked nice when I purchased it, but stones and road debris chip it very easily. The front of the car looked like it had been sand blasted by 150000 kilometers.

General Comments:

The car handles like a go-cart with a different set of wheels and tires on it. With the stock tires and wheels it does not handle nearly as well however.

The car never left me stranded, but it did cost more than half of the initial purchase price for repairs within 16 months of buying it.

The seats are very uncomfortable for me, however I am 6 feet 2 so this is an issue in many cars.

The dashboard and console look cheaply made, mostly because they ARE cheaply made! The plastic surrounding the radio is held on with 2 plastic clips which break off quite easily, leaving the plastic parts to shake around freely.

The car squeaks and moans a lot in cold weather, I attribute this to the plastic body construction.

The rear defroster is next to useless, although I never did have it checked out to see if there was something wrong with it.

The car was religiously maintained in the time I owned it and I still had many problems. I would not buy another Saturn with a 1.9 liter engine. Had I realized the oil consumption and cylinder head problems that seem to plague the older Saturn cars, and the kind of money it would cost me to keep this car going, I probably would have spent my money somewhere else.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th June, 2006

10th Aug 2006, 13:55

Who ever wrote this review needs their head examined. I am at 100,500 miles and I have only put oil and gas into it. This car is a tank that from my driving experiences has topped out at over 145 miles an hour. Safe, quick, dependable, and a beauty to work on. Thank You Saturn...T_Fraun12.

1998 Saturn SC 1 1.9 I4 from North America


In one word, dependability.


Passenger door rattled, all I did was tighten the bolts on the door.

The car use to vibrate every time I came to a complete stop, after my mechanic could find nothing wrong, I brought it to Saturn and they told me that the top engine mount usualy goes bad, and you get that effect, they sold me a redesigned model at about $70.00.

General Comments:

Great little car with a commendable reliability record. The paint still looks like new, and the insurance is fair. The only complaint I would have, the rate of depreciation is ridiculous! I paid $4,000.00 about a year ago (it was worth about $5,000.00) the going value is now $3400.00, and that's for a loaded car in great shape with low miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2005

1998 Saturn SC 1 4 cylinder from North America


I will NEVER buy another Saturn and have told numerous people never to buy this brand


My 1998 SC1 had a blown head gasket at 101,000 miles.

The car now has a ping after getting head gasket fixed.

General Comments:

At 84,000 miles, my "check coolant" light came on. I took it to the dealer. He stated the head gasket was worn. They replaced the head gasket. I continually had problems with losing oil and coolant. Every time I spoke to the WI dealership, they were very rude and uncooperative. At 101,000 miles, as I was driving home, my car overheated and I had oil mixed with my coolant. I replaced the head (big mistake, what a waste of money) and now with a few thousand miles on the car, it pings.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th July, 2005

1st Feb 2006, 14:03

Just an FYI to Saturn Owners looking for comments: I own a 1998 SC1 - I have had problems with my transmission - will not engage the gears/slams itself into reverse when backing up. eventually the transmission gave out - mechanic said there was a bulletin by GM to change the valve body, he stated that if this was not done by the first owner and mine was bad this is what could have caused the trans to go. GM will not consider paying for any of the $1800.00 to fix because I didn't take it to a GM dealer. GM dealers in my area charge $65.00/hr just to tell me what's wrong - no way can I afford for them to fix it. Anyway, Just to mention I have a 1996 SL1 that also blew a Tran - did not have that re-built, but replaced with a used - not good either - would I recommend buying a Saturn - NO.

17th Dec 2008, 05:05

Just bought a used 1998 Saturn SC from a used car dealer, for my son. Dealer advertised no problems and said nothing was wrong with the car. Sold as is. We now know better. He won't get my repeat business.

Took the car to the local Saturn Dealer. Said the head gasket was blown. Was told it would cost $900 to fix. Called Corporate office to find out any recalls. Corporate talked to mechanic and now not $900 to fix. Will cost much more and now mechanic recommends replacing the engine; wonder why we have two different repair stories. Saturn Corporate office was told when almost every customer was told their repairs would cost at least $400. BTW, sales people were in waiting room recommending taking car repair money to buy a new car. Geeze. Guess with no loans from the gubment, they are desperate. Maybe car repairs would be cheaper if their CEO flew coach and not in a private jet.

Having the car taken to an independent mechanic that is trusted in our area. We'll see what he says. IMHO I No longer trust Saturn mechanics.

I also have a 1998 Saturn SL. Runs great.

Had a 2002LS that caught fire. Dealer sent us a postcard to buy car back. It was still on their back lot. Guess they don't check their records.

Also bought 2000 Saturn LS that had almost everything replace due to defective parts including transmission that went out a few days after new car purchase.

If the head gasket is a normal problem with these cars, why doesn't someone do something about this? You would think if head gaskets were a problem on fairly newly built cars it could be prevented. This is 2008-2009, not 1941.