22nd Mar 2011, 09:42
I bought a 95 SL1 in 2003, I now have 185,000 miles on it.
The very first thing was overheating, CPU wasn't telling the fan to kick on, so now the fan is ran straight to the battery. Leaking both front doors, have replaced 3 tensioner pulleys, had head work done in 2007, goes through a lot of brakes, EGR valve replaced. It started kicking hard when you would go in reverse. I took it to the shop and told him to replace the transmission fluid, put blocks behind back tires, put car in reverse and let run for 30 minutes. It's called reverse slam and found it on the internet, Saturns usually have this.
You name it I have replaced it, but am looking for a different car, tired of it raining inside.
26th Jul 2013, 20:46
What kind of oil do you use? Synthetic blend or full synthetic, to be able to go 9 months between oil changes?
18th Jul 2014, 01:33
I just happened on this site as I was searching for Saturn problems. I purchased a 95 SL1 new from the showroom in late 94... a four door standard... no frills. The only option was the cassette player.
This has been without a doubt the best car I have ever owned.
Now in 2014, the car has 485k on it and the only problem I ever had was the wipers quitting... the gearbox had seized up. Replaced that 7 years ago and have not had a problem since. It has never burned oil or ate anti-freeze. Replaced the clutch twice. I did above and beyond regular maintenance... changed the oil every 3000k, and brakes as needed etc.
This car got excellent gas mileage, and drove and handled well through all weather and road conditions during several trips from the Canadian west coast to eastern Canada, summer and winter.
I had to say good-bye to the car only after an idiot ran a red light and hit it hard. The airbags worked and there were no injuries (thank goodness).
I really do wish they still made Saturns. I would buy a new one tomorrow. Farewell to my old Saturn... it served me well.
27th Jul 2015, 01:50
I just bought my Saturn used at 234,000 miles - and it seems to run hot during city street driving - it goes up to the 3/4 mark. So to avoid it overheating - before it passes that mark (I haven't really let it go that far for fear of blowing out the engine) - I throw the car heater on - which immediately puts the heat level to half way - though I bake on a humid hot summer day in southern Ontario. On the highway it's fine.
My great mechanic checked it and he didn't see any leaks or anything. We changed the hose (45$) because the old one was mushy - but that didn't make a difference. He also checked the fan - and it seemed to be working... he said it's okay to let it run into the red - but I don't want to take any chances.
I was going to pay the 30$ fee to get the air conditioner checked (previous owner said it worked - ya right!), but my mechanic said it might run hotter if I get the air conditioner refilled etc - so I am skipping that for now and will brave 2 months of heat.
This is a big lesson in buying a used car (my previous 80 Volvo was a walk in the park compared to this) - however my mechanic said it's in pretty good shape and thinks I should get a few years out of it - which is all I need - so hopefully it will all be worth it.
The other thing is the problem on hills - if you put your foot down to make it go faster - the car shakes and jerks - very scary - I thought the car was going to sputter out on this 8 lane highway up a hill! So you have to put up with irate people behind you as your car slowly goes from 10 to 30 etc... My mechanic said if I put STP fluid in the fuel tank - this will help get the gas cleaner.
We're also going to change the fuel filter in a month or two when I get it oil sprayed for the winter.
9th Dec 2015, 12:40
Check your gas cap; mine did come on after I got gas. I was told to check it, and voilà, new cap, no more engine light. Good luck.
9th Dec 2015, 20:32
Your mechanic doesn't sound like much of a mechanic. Did he even think about replacing the thermostat?
10th Dec 2015, 17:18
Wow I think it's brave buying ANY front wheel drive car over 120,000 miles. Especially if I don't know them. I'd buy my Mom's 2002 Acura TL Type-S with 180,000 miles only because I know how it was maintained (not well, but good enough LOL). That doesn't mean higher mileage FWD cars are rubbish; rather use sound judgment when making that kind of decision. Oh and bravo for Saturns running over 200,000 miles; I didn't know they made them that well.