1996 Saturn SL Reviews - Page 20 of 24

1996 Saturn SL SL1 L24 1.9LL4 from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission L24 1.9LL4 Manual
Distance when acquired58630 miles
Most recent distance73185 miles

Summary:

Very Bad Car

Faults:

My head gasket blew at 73,000 Miles.

Engine Oil and Coolant Mixing.

Head Cracked.

General Comments:

I have found that this is a major design flaw in the Saturn 1996 SL1 cars. GM also has issued a TSB on this issue to its dealers to be done free of cost for 6 years, 100, 000 Miles.

My car is over the warranty in years, but not in mileage. Saturn tells me they will not bear any costs as the car is over warranty. Their Area Manager told me that if they have to cover the costs outside warranty they have to build a business case. Manager also told me that since I have not serviced the car since 1999 at a Saturn dealer they cannot make a business case. I have done all the maintenance work at a local mechanic and have all the documentation.

Saturn quoted the service costs as $2400. I don't know what to do please advise. If any one wants to pursue a class action suit against Saturn, I would be happy to participate. My email siddmca1@yahoo.com.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th June, 2003

31st Jan 2004, 09:29

My head gasket blew as well, although I escaped the head getting cracked. My car is a "1997", although I've had it since 1996. I have no idea how the head remained intact, as the car leaked oil for a long time before my mechanic figured out what was wrong. Per my experience with Saturn customer service, who wouldn't pay for my alternator replacement when it went out 2 days after the warranty ended, you are out of luck.

1996 Saturn SL SL1 1.9L from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.9L Automatic
Performance marks 0 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.8 / 10
Distance when acquired75000 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles
Previous carSaturn SL

Summary:

High maintenance with expensive failures

Faults:

The transmission slips.

The head gasket blew.

The car uses 1 qt. for every 300 miles driven.

General Comments:

The dealers response to the failure of there products are espensive repairs at your espense.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th May, 2003

5th Jun 2003, 07:12

Just to let you know, Saturn admitted that a bad design caused head gasket problems with this model. They were replacing the head gasket for free up to 100,000 miles. My first replacement was at 40,000 miles. At 65,000 miles it went again, and I refused to take the car back, and walked out with a new Saturn. It became someone else's problem. Definitely a case of buyer beware with this year and model.

14th Jul 2003, 13:27

Please advise how you achieved this success! I'm also having head gasket issues, but Saturn is refusing to pay for the $1,200 repair because the 6 years on the warranty are up. If they've admitted a design flaw, and my car hasn't reached 100,000 miles, why are they refusing to cover the repair?? I'm trying to pursue this up the chain, but don't know what kind of success I'll have. Please post any links to documentation or other information we can use in our struggle with Saturn... (so much for customer service!). Thanks!

1996 Saturn SL SL2 Twin Cam from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Twin Cam Automatic
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.2 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles

Summary:

Very Unreliable Car

Faults:

Lots of things have gone wrong with this car, here are just a few things that I can remember:

Alternator, transmission, engine, breaks, many oil leaks, temperature gage.

General Comments:

I currently still own this car, but I am looking to get rid of it.

It is a money pit, it's in the shop every other week.

Everyone knows mechanics try to scam you, but my mechanic gets mad every time he see's me bringing in my car again.

I tell all my friends and thier friends never to buy a Saturn or an American car!

Spread the word! Saturn's are a bad investment!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th May, 2003

1996 Saturn SL from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.2 / 10
Distance when acquired20 miles
Most recent distance36000 miles

Summary:

A hole you throw your money into

Faults:

My Moon Roof leaks constantly, and at 36000 miles I have a gas tank that leaks. The cables connecting to the battery were worn through from a leaky battery that Saturn put in the car.

General Comments:

I am buying a Honda in the future and I won't be getting another Saturn!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st April, 2003

Average review marks: 6.5 / 10, based on 84 reviews