I have a 2000 Saturn SL.
Currently it has 73,000 miles on it. I bought the car as a in 2003. I was a certified car with 27000 miles. For the first year the only problem I had was a motor mount came loose. After-market warranty covered it a Saturn Dealer made the repairs. The next year in 2004, I noticed that the car was running sluggish. I went to 2 Saturn dealers to look at and both stated that the manifold system needed cleaning. A 1500$ job. I then took it to an independent mechanic who is certified to repair Lexus and Toyota. The mechanic there put dye in the oil and had shown me where it was leaking around the head gasket. It took some patience, but the aftermarket warranty covered it. During this repair job the mechanic called me and said the piston ring on #2 piston cracked. Having never heard of a piston ring cracking I called saturn and was told that they can't do anything about it. More patience later and after market warranty covered it. Cost of rebuilding the engine with new seals rings and gaskets came to 2700$. Of that, 2500 was covered by after market warranty. This past December the transmission was replaced due to a seal leaking clutch fluid. Aftermarket warranty covered the bill for a "USED" transmission, but I was forced to replace the clutch on my own. Saturn even billed me the full price of a clutch replacement with labor even though the whole transmission needed replacement anyways. The cost of the clutch was 1400$.
Never again will I purchase not just Saturn, but GM and a whole.
A friend of mine, when having his car serviced at an independent shop, was told by the mechanic that the worst cars he had ever worked on were Saturns. He said they were incredibly cheaply built and had horrible reliability.
Proof, yet again, that American cars are made to the lowest legal quality standards they can get away with.
The only way you can blow diff pins is if you do burnouts and race. The wheels catch suddenly and the transmission jerks, blowing the diff pin. Essentially, you are damaging your own car.
My Grandmother's differential pin failed in her saturn.. must have been a result from her days at the track and all those burnouts!!!
My saturn is a tank I replaced the transmission at 160,000 miles it was original and to replace the clutch with it was no labor added. the whole transmission is out anyway. but now its doing some over revving crap. aside from the dealership always trying to charge me over double what it should I have enjoyed this car to its fullest. I am 20 yrs old and I have not babied this car but it has run fine. it is not an expensive car and you get what you pay for!!!
Comparing Saturn to Volvo doesn't make sense, or maybe Volvo are expensive cars with good handling power and comfort like Saturn's. On a Saturn the cost of repair is a lot cheaper than Volvo, and they generally don't break often.
I will never trade my Saturn (problem free @ 80K miles) for a Volvo. Maybe if I win the lottery (then I will have enough money to spend on failure)
I have over 230,000 on my Saturn SL1 and just replaced the clutch for the first time and no previous tranny problems. I have pulled trailers and an 18ft fiberglass boat. I agree that you should shop around with your mechanic and most cars last as you take care of them. $1400 for a clutch is unreal.
$1400 for a clutch you have got to be kidding. The parts are only about $250.00. That leaves the rest for labor $1150. You got ripped. This is billed as a 9 hour job, and at $70 an hour you are only at $630. For a grand total of $880. I believe you got taken to the cleaners.
I have a 1999 Saturn SL2. It has 210,000 miles on it, which is actually quite good, but the differential pin just blew. I do not race or beat the car. I am a sensible driver.
The engine also burns considerable oil, and two shocks needed replacing, along with the radiator and water pump and top engine mount.
I also own a 1990 Honda Civic DX. It has 248,000 miles, and has had no mechanical (engine or transmission) work done to it. The engine runs perfectly, gets 39 mpg, and burns almost no oil. The shock absorbers are original. The car drives smoothly and quietly (the Saturn hums slightly).
Many things have been replaced on the Honda, but they were all due to rust damage, and the car is over 20 years old. The items were: AC condenser, radiator, fuel tank, and both outer CV boots, and the tie rod ends and ball joints because the rubber boots failed, and I neglected to replace them. 20 years, though.
Now that I think of it, I've replaced both of the tie rod ends on the Saturn, too. Also, I have replaced the Honda alternator. These seem to be weak, and never buy a lifetime warranty alternator from Auto Zone. You WILL replace it EVERY year! If I lived in California, though, I think that the alternator would be the only item on the Honda that I'd ever have to replace, because nothing would rust.
I think that the Saturn is an okay car, but I wouldn't sing praises about it. At least it's not a Chrysler.
I bought my 2000 Saturn SL2 new, and I feel fortunate for the problems I have had!
The first 9 and a 1/2 years (about 145,000 miles), the only repairs were the upper motor mount in year 1 (the warranty covered that) and in year 7, I had to replace the clamp that holds the muffler in place. The front tires went at 72,000 miles and the rear tires went at 78,000 miles. Add a pair of headlight bulbs and a couple of turn signal lights, and a battery but that’s about it.
After 145,000 miles, I have replaced all brake shoes and front rotors, radiator, 2 radiator hoses, 1 air conditioner hose and a starter motor. My car currently has 154,000 + miles and all of the above repairs I consider normal with this mileage, but what I really wanted to point out is that outside of normal wear items (brakes, tires, etc) that any car will have, I went the first 9 and a 1/2 years and spent less than $200 on repairs!
Tell me about another car that can do that. I am very sad that Saturn went out of business.