17th Oct 2009, 18:35

1997 SL2 1.9L with sun roof ___ OWNER.

1. The water from a sun roof goes down 4 drain hoses, 2 front, 2 rear, if it leaks the likely hood is that the drain hoses are clogged down by the floorboards - located behind non removable body panels (outside the car) - drop part of the headliner and take an air hose and blow air though the hose connections to clear them. This is a total pain to do, but is the only way they are and can be cleared.

2. Can't close the sun roof? You CAN physically close it if the tracking is broken, if it's broke it's broke! Use a helper while you press the close button and physically close it while pressing the button. You might as well force it closed the rest of the way if it's broken anyway!

I've had to replace temp sensor (easy), starter, camshaft position sensor (done from underneath the vehicle and a royal pain).

30th Oct 2009, 18:46

I have a 97 SL2. It has 220k miles. The automatic transmission failed at 190k (input shaft issues). The alternator died at 100k and again at 200k (I see a pattern).

The radiator was replaced at 180k. The brakes have had problems the entire time I have owed it. Mileage has dropped slowly from 32 mpg to about 25 on the freeway. It burns a quart of oil every 400 miles or so. If you do the math on the extra oil and the poor mileage, this is not a cheap car to keep driving. The dashboard around the instruments is warped and the speedometer needle does not below 12 MPH. The AC will sometimes make the carpet on the passenger side wet; I have to unplug the drain hose when that starts. The plastic body panels don't dent, but they do crack.

The Saturn was a nice little car, but they wear out. PERIOD. They are disposable cars, just get rid of it before it has 100k miles.

My other car is a 1984 Nissan 300zx. 360,000 miles and doing fine. One starter, one alternator. (4 timing belts because they wear out). I think I'll stick with Nissan.

10th Mar 2010, 13:18

Help, I have changed the valve cover gasket TWICE, it is still pouring out oil, is there a trick to replacing these? Used RTb last time, my Saturn has been OK if I put a band-aid over the service engine soon light that has been on for 4 yrs. I don't have to be reminded it is on. If you put a coat hanger down in the windows they will stay up.

I wish I could afford to dig for oil; it might be cheaper than all the oil I buy, but all in all, it has been pretty good. I wish I could fix the oil leak so I can get back on the road.

16th Mar 2010, 17:02

I bought my 1997 SW2 last year with 71,777 kms on it - it now has 85,000. Doesn't burn oil, but I find gas mileage is not the greatest - any one have any tips for improving this?

Today when I started the car, it made a funny noise (loud squealing). I left it running while I scraped the windows, and the noise didn't subside and started to smell (to me like an overheated rad) and steam coming from under the hood. Anyone else have this problem? I'm thinking from reading that it may be a water pump? Are they hard to change by a layperson or should this be done in shop?

Thanks all.

26th Sep 2010, 22:52

I own a 1992 Saturn SL 2 and I am actually quite happy with it it. I bought the car off my buddy for 200$ with 150,000 miles, immediately I changed out the oil and spark plug wires, replaced all the sensors. The car runs great.

Now the car is at 230,000 and the only thing I had to replace is the clutch that cost 130$ (and normal maintenance). Other than that, the car has given me no trouble what so ever!

As for the performance, I think it's an exceptionally fun car to drive and it has a lot of kick for a supposedly 'economy car'.

I also noticed that most of the people with issues own a 1997 model, maybe that year they messed up production or something.

Thanks all. Happy driving.

6th Nov 2010, 15:47

I own a 1997 Saturn SL1 that just turned 420,000 miles. It uses less than a quart of oil between oil changes (3000-4000) miles. I've replaced the water pump, starter, tensioner pulleys, and the ignition tumbler set.

I've been through several sets of tires, a couple of sets of spark plugs, and Auto Zone has provided many free sets of brakes! LOL.

All-in-all, I'd say the car has been very good to us, and I keep driving just to see just how many miles it will get before it dies.

The car still looks good, and is a daily commuter car for my wife and I.

Now the 2001 Chrysler T&C we own is another matter, It's constantly under the wrench or up on the jack!

31st Dec 2010, 13:37

I just bought a 1997 Saturn SL2 about a month ago with 124k miles on it. Having no knowledge of these cars, I figured with miles like that on a 1997, it would have some life left. Well little did I know; I'm getting ready to replace the starter, and there is a coolant leak. I guess these aren't made like your Hondas and Toyotas. I will never buy another Saturn again, unless it is still under warranty! Otherwise not a bad looking car!

9th Apr 2011, 14:26

To the owner of the Saturn with 420,000 miles (Post 6th Nov 2010, 15:47). Please let us fellow Saturnphiles know how many more miles your Saturn has done, and let us know when it finally succumbs (and from what).

I own a 97 Saturn SL2 approaching 210,000 miles. It will definitely fail its next inspection (muffler, 'Service Engine Soon' warning light, probably other things also), and depending on the cost, am wondering if it's worth putting any money back in to it. Personally I think it is!

9th Apr 2011, 14:28

You have to expect some work to be done on any car with 124K miles on it.

8th May 2012, 23:04

I have a 1997 Saturn SL2. I am the second owner of the car. It had 122,000 miles on it when I bought it in 2005, and it now has over 200,000 miles on it.

I would take nothing for her. I love this car, and will keep her and take care of her till the wheels fall off! She is the best car I have ever owned!

I hope that I too get over 400,000 miles out of her!

Dixie Rose.