If any of you own a Saturn with an automatic transmission, please listen. The "slamming" into reverse you may be noticing is due to a defective spring inside the reverse valve body of the transmission. The spring is cheap, and there's easy access for the repair. It's simple to anyone with rudimentary mechanical knowledge and a repair manual. But there's a problem--you can't buy just the spring. You have to buy the entire valve body. This is my complaint. It's bad enough that Saturn used an inferior part/design, but now they've made it unreasonably expensive and difficult to repair their failing. Also, don't mash on the gas pedal until the reverse engages. That jerking and slamming that's caused by the late reverse engagement will be really hard on the drive axles if reverse finally engages when the engine is revving at high rpm. Just be patient and let it work up enough pressure to engage slowly, but surely--without a bunch of engine load waiting to be rudely wound through the cv joints. I have a '96 SC2. I've run the you-know-what out of that car, and have never had any major problems. Just routine maintenance. I'm knocking on wood.
Thanks for taking the time to comment on the reverse problem. When I had it looked at, I was told it was probably the External trans filter, which did more harm than good... the car is still driven like a $200,000 PORSCHE, It's just when I have friends in the car and it makes that noise, people might think the tranaxle is falling out the bottom of the car!!!
Hey, it still drives... I think my mom is going to trade it in anyway. My mom is pretty rough on the car also... quick acceleration, hard braking and tight turning. She's curbed the rear right wheel 2 times with me in the car. Can only imagine what she does when I'm not there!!! I'm thinking of buying a 92 Olds Cutlas Ciera S... Something to putt around in incase I'm called overseas... Go Air Force!!
I'm glad I found this site. I own a 1996 Saturn sc1. And I can say that I'm generally happy with my car except for a few things. The delayed reverse has been happening in my car for a fews years now. Now my service engine soon light is on. The clear coat on my spoiler has been peeling for years. And small plastics pieces are breaking off in the car.
But as far as how well it runs? It runs great. I have never had a major repair. It has been a great car to me. It's a little difficult with a car seat in the back and trying to get a baby out of the back seat is hard. But not too bad.
And thanks for you info on the delayed reverse issue. Now I know that it can be fixed without putting me in the poor house. By the way, is there an owners manual for my car. I can't seem to find the correct one in the 6 years I've had it?
I am considering buying a '96 SC 1 (stick-shift) from a private party. It's in good condition, nothing special, just a car that I can use to get around town for the next year or so. It's selling for $2K.
I test-drove the car and found that the power steering did not seem to work, as it was tough to turn. I assumed that it must be low on power steering fluid, but when I checked the reservoir it appeared to be full. The belt looked OK as well. I am wondering if this is a easy fix or will I be looking at a $300-500 repair job. Anyone have suggestions/experience?
Sorry I cannot help you out with the steering fluid. My thing is, get it priced by an auto. person that you can get a deal off of. But my Saturn is an SC1 '96 and it runs perfectly. it has 120K miles on it. great on gas, but eats up oil a little. Other than that it's a good car in the snow and holds up good in car accidents. The only down fall is the back really has no room.. but it works for me. If you buy it good luck with it! ;)
And for the other person.. if your service engine light comes on and you drive standard.. maybe its b/c you keep stalling the car. b/c I know when I first started to drive standard and my service engine soon light came on I figured out that that was the problem.
I have a 1996 Saturn SC1 Coupe. And my car eats oil too. Around 1 quart a week. I guess it's just the car. Other than that it is a great car to drive. It not all that slow, around 8.0 0-60.But under hard acceleration when shifting out of 1st, It will jerk then it will all be ok.I recomend this car to anyone,really fun to drive!