1996 Saturn SC 2 from North America - Comments

18th Dec 2003, 08:36

At 40,000 miles the belt tensioner broke. At 50,000 there went the alternator. The sunroof is inoperable, the headliner/liner on the slide roof, sunvisors is a mess. The leather seats were all cracked and worn after 56,000 miles. Didn't put on my first set of front brakes, though, until 138,000. The EGM Module went out (whew, was that one costly), then the water pump, and the O2 sensor. After about $1000 in a month, the car still runs rough. It's OK until I slow down and then try to give it gas again. I don't know what's causing it. Could be transmission? Could be fuel filter? Not sure... afraid to take it to any more dealers... been ripped off. One dealer put on new plug wires and the car was running rough after 1 day, so I took it south to another dealer on my way shopping and they told me never to put in after market plugs. Enough said? The car is not worth what I owe. I was told after repeatedly asking questions if it was a lease... that it was not... it was simple interest loan. WRONG... it was a loan. I had a very bad experience since the time I bought it. But... with all I owe on it, can't get out from under it. It now has 155,000 miles and the one good thing (hold my breath) is that it uses no oil. I have that changed every 3000 miles without fail. Another Saturn? NOPE!

22nd May 2004, 07:32

Kind of interesting, because I've never known anyone who has owned one to have these problems or bad experiences with them. Our family has three of them, a '96 SC2, 99 SC2, and 99 SL1, both 99's have high mileage and run like the day they were driven off the lot. Although the '96 uses a decent amount of oil, I drive it about 800mi/week. Everyone I've ever met who owns one says they'd consider buying another one. Good luck with yours in the future.

1st Aug 2004, 09:48

I have to say that I am surprised with some of these comments. My car may have a few problems, but nothing like was is mentioned here. I have never had any major problems with mine. I own a 1996 sc1 and its great. It still runs like new. My next car will be a Saturn.

5th Nov 2004, 08:52

Hey I just bought a 1996 sc2 and so far every thing's good on it it has 78,000 miles on it the only problem I had with since I bought it was one of the front light when it closes it makes some noise and that's it.

29th Dec 2004, 02:31

I would like to say that Saturn's are very nice cars. Me my mother and brother own saturn's. Me and my brother own Sc2's. Mine is a 96 his is a 94. They run perfect never had any trouble with them. They do consume oil, but that is normal. It consums oil because the motor has really high compression which makes the motor last a lot longer and run fast. Saturn's are very nice cars and as long as you take care of it, it will take care of you!

20th Mar 2006, 18:44

I have a 96' Saturn, and it has taken very good care of me. I've only had minor problems with it. I have also noticed that the better you take care of it, the better it'll run. The people who owned before me took very good care of it. I find that Saturn's are very good cars.

16th Jul 2006, 01:22

Wow, I own a '96 Saturn Sc2 now for 6 years and have never had these many problems on it! Yes, alternators, oil consumption, and small backseats that would be uncomfortable for anyone over 4 feet tall is all well and good. Like some of the other comments a lot of these problems can be corrected or prevented with simply maintenance. My mother owns a '95 SW2 for which I maintain as well, and again no major problems with it also. I guess the bottom line is don't treat your saturn like a formula 1 race-car and keep it maintained on a regular basis and you can get a good 300,000 miles off the original engine and trany! My SC2 has 160,000 and it drives like I just rolled it off the dealers lot. I would definitely buy another saturn!! I have my eyes on the all new '07 saturn sky.

27th Sep 2006, 18:45

I have a 96 SC-2 that's been running fine for the last 60,000 miles. But every now and then, the car rough idles after coming down from a fast acceleration. I've always just revved the engine to get the idle to stabilize.

It's stalled out on me maybe three times over the last year or so. The problem has always gone away in the past, but it seems to recur frequently now.

I also noticed that the electric fan don't seem to be running no matter how hot the temperature gauge indicates. It only comes on when the AC is turned on. So I've had to keep my eye on the temperature.

Also, my speedometer has begun to bounce and sometimes stop altogether. I know this probably means I need a new speedometer head. I had the same problem with my Nissan Maxima.

I must admit that I have not taken the car to a mechanic on any of these problems. I know I really should. But before I do, I'd like to know if anybody have any similar experience or any idea on what caused some of these problems?

9th Oct 2006, 09:46

I’ve owned both a 95 and 97 Saturn SL2. I sill own the 97 at it has 255 000 km on it.

1) If you don’t clean the drains on the sunroof, you will get water in the car and it will mess up the head liner. This is the SAME for any car with a sun roof.

2) If you don’t get the transmission serviced regularly it will break down.

3) If the carpet is wet, you’ve not cleaned the drains on the sun roof, or the heater core has a leak. Fix it.

4) The tracks on the sun roof need to be lubed on occasion.

Sorry most of the complaints sound like they are from people you does little preventative maintenance on their cars.

15th Oct 2006, 19:41

I have a 97 sc2 and I haven't had much trouble with it besides the oil consumption. But just the other day my clutch cable broke (it's a 5 speed manual). so now I have to come up with the money to get that fixed and I should be on my way again. Oh yea, and my sunroof won't close, open, or anything else, it just sits there, cracked open for the rain to come on in. This is my first car and I hope to get it fixed up before it breaks any more.

18th Oct 2006, 00:05

I purchased a second back up Saturn 1996 sc 2, my other car is a Saturn 2001 L 300, I like the older Saturn 1996 more than the younger Saturn. The 1996 its cute fast and fun! Yes its old, but I love it! The air runs cold, the motor is sweet, yes it has a loud engine sound, and its been worn in the seats, but I like it more than the Saturn 2001. I think they made a better car 10 years ago.