1992 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 multipoint DOHC from North America

Summary:

It was a good decision to buy this car and I still like it even after 18 years

Faults:

5 alternators - but Saturn allowed warranty on many.

Upper engine mount needed replacement at 80,000 miles.

Failed HC emissions - mostly due to ring blowby.

General Comments:

This car is very comfortable to drive, and handles exceptionally well in hard cornering.

Engine and transmission work well together, and don't hunt on hills or medium load when accelerating.

I still own the car, because I wouldn't give it up to a dealer for only $1000 credit.

It is not perfect, but is perhaps one of the best American econo-boxes.

Overall reliability was good, but not excellent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2010

1992 Saturn SL SL1 1.9L OHC 8v from North America

Summary:

I cannot kill this box

Faults:

Fixed speedometer at 96000 miles.

Car started eating at least a quart every 1000 miles at 115000 miles.

Engine has been running cold and idling high since 127000 miles.

Engine developed a valve tap at 139000 miles.

Mass air flow sensor fixed at 147000 miles.

Clutch fixed at 155000 miles.

Radiator fixed at 178000 miles.

Alternator at 182000 miles.

Check engine light on all the time since 202000 miles.

CV joints fixed at 223000 miles.

General Comments:

I am pretty impressed that this car has lasted, especially how bad I am with maintaining it and driving it right. I change the oil every 6000 miles pretty much and I drive it pretty hard too; I usually shift at 3000 to 4500 RPMs, depending on my mood. The car also gets about 40 mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th December, 2008

1992 Saturn SL from North America

Summary:

It should go to hell and never come back!!

Faults:

When I got the car, I was told that the fuel filter needed to be cleaned or replaced.. I didn't do it, all that was done was my dad cleaned the spark plugs because no one had ever changed them in 16 years.. and it was running fine for about two months.. then the car started to stall.

I changed the plugs and wires, and changed the oil and it still stalled.. within two weeks I could not drive the car more than a mile without it stalling, and sometimes it would just not start.

When it did start the rpm would idle at 4 and slowly drop down to 1.5, and then would want to accelerate a lot on its own.

When I would brake, it would drop gears way harder than it should have.

The fan for the engine sometimes decides to not work, and the car will over heat, and I can never tell when this will happen cause it has a mind of its own, on when it works and when it doesn't.

General Comments:

I got my car for free from a close friend.. it ran fine for a while and then went to hell.. a 17/18 year old girl should not have to deal with this stuff.

I would actually be able to afford a decent car right now if I didn't have to deal with all of the repairs on all of my three cars. I owe my dad 600 dollars because there was a lot of times that I couldn't afford the things I needed, and he needed to spot me or I wouldn't be making it to school or work.

I love Saturns, I really do, but just not this one. It has made my life hell. I just want to cry all the time cause of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2008

17th Feb 2009, 10:11

I was about to ask the same thing about the fuel filter... you would think that if something didn't work... you would actually do what was originally suggested. Filters are designed to help filter out things... but they will clog up if not changed and restrict the flow of fuel, air or oil.

I too received a free vehicle once... problem with that is you never know what you are getting or the history behind the car. You also don't have any idea what maintenance was done to help with the up keep. Besides, why would you give away something that was working beautifully? Just a thought.

16th Mar 2009, 10:10

I was just reading your review and this came to mind:

You can rarely get a car for free and not expect it to need repair. If your friend said the fuel filter needed to be replaced, and you didn't do it, that's not a negative point about the car. Plus, if it was idling at 4,000rpm cold and 1,500rpm hot, and you ignored it, that is just neglect in automotive care. There's a difference between parts being poor quality and parts failing at normal times and ignoring maintenance schedules.

If you're a 18 year old girl and don't want to deal with automotive maintenance, don't own three cars, perhaps?

8th Apr 2009, 16:49

A good chance the engine is overheating is because the Coolant Temp Sensor needs replaced. The originals were plastic and should be replaced with brass. It is really easy and the price will be only around $20.00. Google Saturnfan, they actually have a video on how to change it.

11th May 2009, 09:01

Just a reminder, it is a 16 year old car.

12th Jul 2009, 21:09

Er, you have a 1992 Saturn SL with an automatic transmission... which Saturn didn't OFFER for the SL base models in '92? I'm thinking most, if not all, of your problems stem from using a modified engine... not because of the car itself.

13th Feb 2010, 15:40

You need a coolant temp sensor.