1995 Saturn SL SL1 from North America - Comments

2nd May 2009, 22:39

I bought a 95 a Saturn SL a month ago, and am having a problem with it overheating. Comes close to redlining. Flushed it out twice and changed the thermostat. Figured out if I turn on the A/C, the fan will come on and cool it down (otherwise not). Don't know much about Saturn's, any help would be great thanks.

15th May 2009, 21:18

I have a Saturn 95 SL1... my transmission is slipping and needs to be repaired. Cost $1600.00 for rebuilt. Has anyone else replaced their transmission and was it worth it.?

I don't have the water leaking problems nor the oil problems. So that is strange.

Should I put this much into it? Not sure what to do.

9th Jun 2009, 21:38

Wife bought our 95 SL1 back in 95 off the showroom floor... paid $13K out the door... it was our primary commuter car for a number of years.

We live on a small ranch and it was used as a substitute pick-up truck for a few years when we did not have one... no telling how much weight I loaded into that car... now it has almost 400K miles and has all sorts of issues... wonder why. Overheats, burns oil (on the second engine), windows get stuck halfway and the road noise is ridiculous.

Its been through many alignments, but still it eats tires like they were breakfast biscuits, engine idles rough and high, Service Engine Soon light has been on for years and the master cylinder leaks brake fluid.

BUT it passes inspection every year, gets incredible gas mileage and I can park it anywhere at the airport without concern for its well being. It's about to go into the shop one more (hopefully final) time for the overheating - the fan simply will not come on (even when I turn on the air conditioner). Which is crazy... for all these years, the air conditioner has been stellar.

If I had to, I'd buy it all over again. If your thinking if its worth putting money into your SL1, re-read this. My goal is to get another 2 years out of mine and then send it off to charity.

2nd Jul 2009, 19:35

My windows don't roll up either, service light is always on too, and mine is overheating too.

I just left a review like a minute ago, any of my problems yours too?

I can't even drive my car today because it's probably going to blow up.

8th Jul 2009, 10:16

Oh Great! I just bought this 1995 SL1 Saturn last night and now I am very worried - I guess I should have read reviews before I bought it.

No car is perfect and older cars will need repairs. I got a good deal on it and am hoping it lasts for a year. it has a new alternator and battery, but the engine has a burnt rubber smell.

It has a manual transmission, but when I try to downshift into 2nd it doesn't always want to go in. I haven't read any reviews about how the stick shifts work, but I'm wondering if the clutch or stick is about to go out...

The car rattles, but I'm not worried about that. It's a noisy little car, but it's older...

Please let me know if anyone has had problems with stick shifts or clutches.

Thanks.

13th Jul 2009, 09:23

I recently bought a 1995 Saturn. I had oil change with new filter, brakes, new plugs, shocks, etc. I am pleased with the car except for the rough idle and loud engine. Is there anything that can be done about that? Is there a foreseeable problem with my transmission or some other factor?

4th Aug 2009, 17:31

I have a 2001 Saturn wagon and we have had it about 4 months. It has just started going through fluid left and right, and I'm not able to tell where it is leaking, and then in the last couple of days it has started to give me a really hard time with the gear shift wanting to move at all, and sometimes it doesn't move at all. I don't know if these are related, but that's what is happening, does anyone have any clue what this would be?

15th Aug 2009, 14:25

My 96 Riviera caught fire last year and I needed a quick car for work, so my brother gave me his daughter's (my niece) old 95 Saturn SL1 Automatic. It has the leaky driver door, the squeaking serpentine belt/tension pulley problem, the oil on the spark plug problem, the vibrating problem, the sometimes shifting into a lower gear by itself and getting stuck until it feels like shifting into the next gear problem, the overheating problem, and that's about it.

I replaced the plugs six months ago because they were soaked with oil and not firing due to the gasket on the valve cover leaking. That fixed that problem, but now it is doing it again, so I cleaned the plugs and wells but it is still running real bad cutting out, causing it to shift weird, too. Should I replace the plugs again?

5th Sep 2009, 14:21

To the above comment: on my Saturn, after replacing the plugs a couple times I ended up having to re-gap the spark plugs and replace the EGR Valve (the car kept stalling) which seems to be a common problem as per the other comments. Also, I have the some overheating problem, but only during the hot summer months and is fine during the winter. A quick fix, I've found, if you're driving and it's overheating open your windows and blast the heat for a few minutes. It always cools the car down quickly.

29th Sep 2009, 10:49

I have a 1995 Saturn SL1 single cam 4 cylinder auto trans. I have been noticing when I step on the gas, it likes to stay in first gear a bit too long. I have to let off the gas, then it shifts.

I also noticed when I start it or shift into reverse, it makes a loud bang. I was told it was the engine mount, which was broke. I put 160 into that and got it fixed, but it still makes that bang. Anyone else know why it would be doing this?

29th Nov 2009, 17:05

My 1994 SL1 is the second best car I've owned. My '71 'Cuda was better, but didn't last forever.

This site: http://www.saturnfans.com has been a tremendous help the past couple years. Check it out.

18th Dec 2009, 12:06

Purchased my 95 SL1 Saturn last spring 2008.. with 130,000 miles, it is a GREAT car... have had few issues, had to put in a toggle for the cooling fan, replaced passenger side front ball joint assembly, one window has issues, but it still is on the track.. It gets about 30 mpg (5 speed). I use a 10-30 oil, and when oil is needed between, we use Rotilla.

This car was purchased through a vehicle auction. This is a very reliable vehicle. It is great in the Michigan snows. Short coming is it sits LOW to the ground to get in and out of.

Perhaps this Saturn SL1 was put together on a Good Hair Day!

11th Jan 2010, 19:40

Bought my Saturn SL new in 1995, and still have it, albeit I just bought a new battery, and started it up for the first time in several months this winter.

The passenger side outside mirror was an option, and we elected to pay extra for it.

Upgraded to AM/FM cassette as well, and cruise control.

Yes, leaky roof problem.

Yes, burns lots of oil.

Yes, replaced many front brake pads, but have not touched the back brakes since I've owned the vehicle.

Yes, replaced alternator, but hey it's a wear part.

Yes, had to clean EGR pintle (notice I did not say replace).

Yes, clutch slips in summer.

Yes, had trouble with cruise control not working (works now).

Yes, had to tape part of door back on after piece 'broke off' in my brother in law's driveway. My advice is to never back up with the driver side door open and next to stacked railroad ties lining driveway, plus do it sober.

Yes, had to replace serpentine belt during tensioner pulley replacement.

Let's take a break for now. The car is a manual 5 speed, 1.9 liter and has a bit of pep still.

It's been a great great car. I need 4 tires and an alignment to get it inspected and back on the road.

The headliner is completely torn to shreds, but by owner children abuse. Also I've managed to replace and lose the back bumper passenger side reflector. They are not cheap.

It is running quite rough at the moment. I'm sure it needs plugs and wires. Also I've been wanting to replace the fuel filter.

I can't ever remember being stalled on the side of the road with this vehicle. The few breakdowns have been in work parking lot and home. It has been very reliable, and when running in top shape, easily gave me 35+ mpg... really, even a few years ago.

Wow, I can't believe I wasted all of this time writing about my car. I must really love that little sucker.

I've tried to remember most of what I've had to repair on this vehicle, but may have forgotten some things. I hope this helps.

I drive a 1994 Jeep Cherokee Country at the moment.

Good luck!