28th Jul 2008, 23:06

I don't dislike Saturn's, but I'm not to happy with my 1998 Saturn SL1 right now. I've only had it about 3 weeks and today my coolant light came on, and I stopped my car and waited about 2 hours, and went to go fill the coolant back up when I noticed that brown muddy like stuff had over flown from my coolant tank. I didn't notice any problems with my car, it still had the same power and stuff, no weird smoke from my tail pipe and no smoke from my engine. It seems like my oil mixed up with my coolant, but I'm not sure if it's my head gasket or not yet, any advice?

30th Aug 2008, 09:44

Well I have the same car (98 LS) but I have made it into a ricer.. my buddy had the car for the last 3 years and ran into a car... so I got it off him on the low low 100$.

Only needed a RADIATOR and new hood. I've had it for about 6 months... I have made it into a ricer.. new header. Exhaust. Taken off the coolant pump. Cold air intake and a lot more...

It runs real good, now kinda fast for what it is. I can keep up with any V6 car that isn't fixed up to much like Mustangs, Camaros...

On the bad side my lights have messed up a few times; the wiring has burned up... but everything else seems fine.

The engine light is on and has been on for about 5 years now, but nothing wrong with the motor at all. Seems to be real good really, and I still get high 30's (mpg).

I like it really, but I think my head gasket is bad now. The last few days it seems to be getting hot.. I have put a new water pump few weeks ago and all that good stuff, but now it seems to be getting hot. It wasn't getting hot when the water pump messed up,it just leaked water around the pump...

But this car is a alright all around car. The motor has about 290k and it will need a new clutch before long... but no matter what, you always know when you get in it it's gonna start right up and make it where you're going, and with it getting 38 mpg, you can't beat it...

24th Sep 2008, 13:23

I came across this page as I was searching the web for a new tail light socket. I'm currently having trouble with the tail lights; but I also had the dome light fall out, the seat fabric ripped from normal wear and tear easier than any other car I've had, oil leaks, and antifreeze disappears somewhere into an alternate reality and needs frequent topping off. The windshield wipers are weak, but a little WD40 on the hydraulic arm fixed that problem. Overall, it's been a dependable workhorse; but it's chock full of little "gremlins" issues. Thankfully, I have manual transmission; and other than the shifter cable snapping, that's still going strong. 193,000 miles, and I bought it from a friend 30,000 miles ago. Cosmetically very poor, but fundamentally sound enough.

3rd Jun 2009, 18:42

I owned a '98 Saturn SL.

When I first bought the car 3 years ago, I loved it, deep inside I still love it, I think only because it was "mine".

I have had nothing but trouble with my Saturn. I bought the car in the winter so I was unaware of the constant overheating problem that it had. My car did not like the cold weather. I would turn my key for a good 30 seconds before it would turn over, only to find that when I pushed in the clutch, my car would rev up to 3000 rpms or higher, until I would let off the clutch to accelerate or turn it off and then back on.

Once summer hit it became even worse. I would still have problems starting it, I would turn the key and have to tap the accelerator to get it to turn over, only to have it spew white smoke, sputter, then stall. I was unable to let my car sit for longer than 15 minutes during the winter and no longer than 2 minutes in the middle of summer (Ohio). My car would over heat and my antifreeze would overflow.

I have a cracked or warped head or a gasket problem because one day I left it sit for about 5 minutes and it overheated. My fan never turned on, and my thermostat failed. Toward the end of the 3 years I was having to refill my antifreeze every 3-4 days, my check engine light would come on at random and stay on for months only to turn off at random. My car would leak oil not enough to make it a major problem, but it would leak out the back and side onto my serpentine belt.

My driver side door leaked when it rained, the driver side window crank busted, the driver side back seat window broke and would come off the track. The upholstery completely unattached from the ceiling. Anything I had to fix on my car was outrageous for a car that could barely pass itself, with that many problems.

All in all, I can't say that I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, because sometimes it's the luck of the draw, however, be leery. A deer jumped in front of my 98 Saturn and it was totaled, so I decided to try for another Saturn, despite my issues, thinking I was just unlucky. I test drove a 2002 Saturn SL and it revved to 2000 rpms sitting in park and started to overheat just as my 98 did. On that note let your Saturn sit for a little while to see what it does before you decide to buy, just in case, it tends to get pricey when having to purchase parts... Also when the deer hit my car it took out my driver side headlight and pushed in that side slightly, mashed in my hood also pushing it toward the windshield... my airbag never deployed.

10th Dec 2009, 10:20

173,000 miles on SL2. Car is bullet-proof. Uses a little bit of oil, other than that no real issues. Got hit by a Ford F-150 in rear end. Fixed it with a 2x4 and a big hammer. Can't even tell it was hit.

21st Jan 2010, 13:24

I bought a the 98 SL1 three years ago, with 235,000 on it, but everything worked except one dash light - for a lowly $1300.

Put on a new set of tires, and a couple of minor sensors.

Everything still works great with 255K on it - runs all day at 80 MPH, getting an even 40 MPG.

Finally losing a little coolant, but looks like radiator tank. (Will replace the radiator someday when nothing else to do.)

Feels sporty, comfortable all day long - None of the other comment's issues. LOVE THIS CAR!!!

11th Jun 2010, 00:03

I too love my Saturn. It's pushing 160,000. Nothing major in repairs. Air conditioning not as cold as one would like. Other than that, it went through two colleges students. Now Mom has it traveling from California to Florida and every state in between. Beats the covered wagon.

3rd Aug 2010, 00:25

My 1998 SL1 manual still is rolling after 236,000 miles. We had the clutch replaced 2 years ago which we felt foolish about doing. But we have got another 2 years out of it. The radiator leaks, but I have JB Quick on it and the problem has been reduced. I don't think it'll last past 250K. Every mile at this point is a bonus.

24th May 2011, 01:07

Thanks to you, that's pretty cool dude. I like mine too, and with yours at 290k, I am looking at my own, hoping it will do the same. Peace and long life to you and your car, LOL.

24th May 2011, 19:38

Glad to see other happy Saturn owners! I own a 1997 Saturn SL2. I bought it with a blown engine, and installed a new one with only 81K miles on it! Glad to see I can expect mine to last!

28th Jun 2011, 21:44

I believe I now own this exact car (rebuilt salvage title). If you do ever check this website again and want to contact me, call me at nine three 7 four 22 seven nine 9 9.