1997 Saturn SL SL2 4 cylinder from North America
The car is good
I bought a 97 Saturn SL2 from a Ford dealership October 2007. I had a 97 Ford Escort, but it died on me, so I bought the Saturn; it only had 59,400 miles on it.
I had to replace my front brakes at 70,000, and my back brakes at 110,000.
I had to replace the water pump at 112,400. My mechanic told me they had to take half of the engine out to get to the water pump. I took the car in at AM, and they didn't get it done until 2:30pm. It wasn't a Saturn dealer, it was a Ford dealer. I don't have a Saturn dealer near me.
Every time I start the car when it is cold, it squeals. My mechanic told me that air gets underneath the hood, and the belt gets cold and it squeals until the belt gets warm. When you close the hood, there is a crack under the hood where cold air gets under the hood, and also when it is really hot outside, the belt sweats and it will squeal until the belt dries out. Sometimes when it rains, the belt squeals.
I also had to replace a sensor.
So far it has been a decent car. I had a job in Urbana Ohio, which was 57 miles away from where I live. So I drove 57 miles to the store, and 57 miles home, and it got me there and back for a year and 7 months.
This is the first Saturn I ever owned.
Will I buy another one? I don't know.
The squealing drives me nuts. It doesn't eat up oil. I change the oil every 3,000 miles.
I have driven it on the highway for 3 years; it never broke down on me.
I have seen worse cars than mine. The body is in excellent shape; someone even thought it was a new car when I bought it in 2007.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th January, 2011
Your mechanic must not be too "bright". The entire underside of the engine/transmission is exposed to the cold air. There will be cold air on the belt regardless of whether the hood is on. More likely the belt tensioner is weak. A serpentine belt should never squeal.
Or you should just replace the belt...