1992 Saturn SL SL1 1.9 from North America
The Saturn is a well rounded vehicle
Okay, the tell all on my 1992 Saturn. MY head gasket blew at 196,359 miles. I took that opportunity to rebuild the entire engine. What a fantastic chance to save money and learn more about the car. I replaced the timing chain, piston rings, connecting rod bearings, all the gaskets, radiator, battery, had the cylinder head checked for trueness, and reground the intake and exhaust valves. The total cost was about half of what a new engine would have cost.
I am also writing about the tensioner guides. I wish I had replaced them when I rebuilt the engine. One of them recently disintegrated. Fortunatly it wasn't the one that the tensioner pushes against. Saturn took the time to look at the car and didn't even charge me for the diagnostic. They were very helpful. Bottom line, if you hear a noise and the engine is out of time you are getting a code 53 on the diagnostic machine. This most likely means that your tensioner guides are gone. They cost about $30 for both. I can't tell you why they would go bad, only that they are made of plastic and plastic isn't forever, especially when being used inside of an engine at high temperatures and stress. You want your Saturn to run as long as mine still is? Change your oil, learn more about your engine and anyime something goes wrong with it, you will be prepared to assess the problem.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th February, 2003