16th Feb 2006, 19:18

I just bought a 97 Saturn SC1 with 82K. Now I am scared.

Could not afford a Honda and definitely do not want any Chrysler product or Ford, not much choices out.

I figured I picked the lesser of all the evil cars out there, the car seems to be OK, no oil in the coolant, transmission shifts fine, just tad slow.

10th Sep 2006, 10:25

I read a few of the comments on the first page, and I would like to state that preventative maintenance is a must on ANY vehicle you own. This does not just include oil and filter change. Your car is a machine, every fluid needs to be changed in intervals according to the manufacturer. Including, oil, transmission fluid, radiator flush, power steering system flush, brake system flush, gear box if any. Also, many parts including ball joints need to be greased. and doors, body parts etc. Many people think they buy a car change the oil and that's it. There is a lot of maintenance that needs to take place. Things break when they aren't taken care of.

Air conditioning at 36,000 - that can happen... out of the 1,000s of cars built in a day at the factory a few lemons or any not so great parts can happen.

Brakes at 60,000 - yeah, you should have done those a looongg time ago.

I think its time a few of you become educated in the maintanence of a vehicle, try opening the glove box and reading the manual.

A car COULD last you over 250,000 miles.

Just my two cents.

Good Luck.

P.S. - Try taking your car to a A.S.E. Certified TECHNICIAN not just any mechanic. Also, you get what you pay for, don't buy cheap parts.

23rd Jan 2007, 22:58

I also have a 96 SL2 Saturn! I received it as a graduation present in 2003. At first I had no real concerns with it because it was a present. But, after a year major problems started occurring. At first it was my starter which was a $900 job! Then I find out my head gasket is cracked and I'm leaking oil in my engine, which will cost me another 900! I understand that every car has wear and tear, but come on... I have many friends that own their cars and never have as many problems as I do with mine. I would never suggest buying a Saturn to anyone. It is a cheap car!!! You end up spending a ton of money in maintenance fees. My next car will be a Corolla!

6th Feb 2007, 14:58

So last year around January my dad bought me a SC-2 for my birthday. $2500.

Looks great and was running OK for the first while. After about the 140000 mile it started making a funny pinging sound. I took it to mechanics and my auto tech teacher and even a performance shop owner. They all said connecting rod bearings.

I was very angry with Saturn because those are extremely hard to replace and almost impossible to find to buy. I'm debating on a buying a new or used engine. I also lose oil very fast. So I'm beginning to think Saturn tries to screw us over after so many miles. Should I replace the engine or just fix this one? Any suggestions?

8th Jun 2007, 07:56

I also have a 1996 SC1 and the head cracked. My son works for a dealer that owned a Saturn dealership also. So he asked those mechanics and they pulled a service bulletin out that showed it would crack and where. Ours looked just like the one in the bulletin.

29th Jul 2007, 13:28

I have a Saturn SL2. It was bought about 5 years ago with about 60,000.

The man I bought it from, worked at a Saturn dealership as a salesman. Soon after I bought it, I had to put it in the Saturn shop because the the guy agreed to help me have the rear window fixed. It was a problem he didn't get to address before I bought it.. (While I was there I agreed to an OIL CHANGE.) I waited for three hours!! Just so they could fix the rear window that had slipped off track... and an oil change.

Three hours later I found out what took so long.. they did a diagnostic check and checked the engine; the motor mount was loose and missing some screws (I think). Then they plop down a bill for over $300. I said I was only here to get the window fixed that (the guy had already called and said he was paying for that) and an OIL CHANGE.

After I called the guy and told him what they did, he agreed to pay half of the bill and for the window being fixed. So I still had to pay for more than just an OIL CHANGE. I said then I wasn't going back to the dealership for anything...

When I bought the car, the clear coat on the hood had one tiny spot. In four years the entire hood has peeled off and the bare metal is exposed. I quit washing it at car washes and avoided scrubbing the hood, but to no avail. I took it last year to a paint shop to get one of their specials. They said since the clear coat was off and it was down to the metal and the door curtains were also exposed, it wouldn't be the $299 job. It would have to be the $599-899 job. I said no and I'm just living with it.

A couple of years after I bought the car, I had a light come on.. it was a wrench (that meant service) I took it to a local place and they put it on the computer and it came up with NOTHING. The guy suggested that I take it to the dealership (I told him about my bad experience, but he said they would know what's wrong more than he). So I went had the $89 Diagnostic ran. An hour later they come to tell me that the results where that a ABS bulb was out. I said how much will that cost me. He said Oh it's $6 for the bulb, but $86 to have it replaced. I asked was it necessary? The guy said not really, it's just the light that comes on when you need a service. I said so it's like crying wolf then. He agreed.

Also, while I was there, I had them address the sunroof, which had become off track and leaked water all in my car. That was a $800 job that I refused. They also did their complementary car wash and helped my hood to the last of its clear coat!

Now my service light comes on randomly, and so does my airbag light! This actually scares me (I envision I'm driving down the road and my air bag will deploy, causing me to wreck and killing me and probably some innocent passerby).

My sunroof is closed up for good. I pushed it down because the motor gave out and I have never opened it again (My headliner has water stains and is coming apart). More recently I've had my oil changed and found, like the others one here, that my oil is being burned up or just disappearing. I was told buy the local mechanic that I needed my head gaskets replaced and resealed. For $149 my brother tighten them up and seem to be doing fine.

My interior also rattles, but it didn't until I had my CD player installed (the kit that goes with a Saturn, I bought at Best Buy; the guy had a hard time finding one, and that's all they had was one) and I have to touch it to get it to stop.

NOW for the reason I came on here:

This is something completely new to me and I can't really find anyone else with a Saturn SL2 that is doing this. My horn has been going off at random times. It at first sounds like I've locked the doors. Then it will just start going crazy, many honks in a row, like someone is pressing the horn button. It was so bad one morning (7am) my husband disconnected the battery. My brother got a computer and it came up with nothing. After we disconnected the battery, it stopped until a few days ago, and then it started up again. Today (7/29/07) it has been going on and off for about 3 hours.

I first noticed it while driving down the road. I thought maybe my hand piece needed a battery change, so I changed it.. it seem to help.. but then it started doing it while parked. Then for whatever reason my trunk would be open when I'd come out to go to work. I thought maybe my 2 year old daughter was playing with it and popping the trunk the night before, and I'm not knowing it until the next day. THEN I was at work. I can see my trunk from my desk and it started to pop up by itself.. I got my keys out of my purse and set them on the desk. I went outside and shut the trunk; before I could walk back inside it had popped up again. It did this for several hours, about every 6 minutes. So when my husband came to drop off our child, I had him disconnect the trunk.

I've also had the tension pulley break on me recently, which it happened on a Friday night and I had to pay for a tow twice, once to my house (Fri night), and the second time to a place that could fix it (Mon morning). Lucky my insurance, at least, paid for one (it would have paid for both if I had called it in as a separate event... not connected).

Should Saturn have a recall on all these problems??? I've called the dealership about the trunk and the horn and the tech. They had never hear of such a thing, and had not a clue as to how to fix it.


So a breakdown of all my problems is this:

The sunroof will not work ($800 to fix)

The ABS bulb is not working correctly ($94 to fix) ($89 Diagnostic)

The trunk seems to have fixed itself, for now, but the horn still is messed up

The hood and the door curtains has exposed metal ($599-$899 to fix)

The headliner needs replacing ($150 to fix)

Brand new tensionpPulley and another part that goes with that; I can't remember the name of it right now ($250). That includes the tow.

It still had "Magical Disappearing Oil".

BOTH Rear windows jump off track randomly (so I don't open them).

Head gaskets replaced and resealed ($149 to fix).

The back seat floor boards are probably rotten, because of the leaks I get when the rear windows are off track.

I bought this car for about $2600 with roughly 60,000 miles on it four years ago. Today it's probably worth between $50-$800 ($50-for junk, $800-if I sold it), and it only has 133,094 miles on it.