15th Sep 2005, 14:49

It seems the problem is not so much the car as the dealership's technicians.

I had a 1997 SC2 which had its engine coolant temperature sensor go bad around 3 years/60,000 miles. (The ECTS is one of the parts that fails most often on a Saturn.) It took four trips to the dealership to get it fixed - including (eventually) new plugs, new plug wires and a new oxygen sensor, for a total of $600 in repairs because of the failure of a $12 part that wasn't diagnosed right on the first, second or even third tries!

As others have described, the techs just hook the car up to their computer and make no attempt to actually diagnose problems; they don't even test-drive the thing after they're done! Then, they don't compensate you when they've replaced something that wasn't broken - to say nothing of the annoyance factor of having to make repeated trips to the dealership because they keep not fixing what's wrong with the car.

22nd Oct 2005, 00:32

WOW...I've been looking around for an 94 or 95 Saturn Wagon. You guys are blowing my mind. I've heard good things about the Saturn. There are too many of you saying the same story.

Denver, Colorado.

21st Nov 2005, 00:09

I just bought a 96 SL2 Saturn last week for $600. The car has an odometer reading of 130k miles. The owner advised me that the car need a clutch replacement as it slips at high rpm while transmission is in gear. The other day, the transmission clutch was replaced with new parts. I did the work myself and it took me 3 days to complete the clutch job. Yesterday, I noticed the service engine soon warning light was coming on and off. I also noticed some engine misfire while accelerating. Today, the service engine soon warning light was on all the time. I haven't checked whats causing the service engine soon to come on, but other than that the car runs great.

2nd Dec 2005, 23:14

After reading the first comment from the X-Saturn owner, I thought I had wrote this myself. I am going through this right now. My car is a 2002 and had 70,000 miles. It now sits in the dealership because engine failed due to no oil. Now mind you, I have kept up with all oil changes like Saturn told me. There answer to that was that I should have checked my oil each and every time I put in gas. I find that a ridiculous statement. Who does that? If I would have known I had to that each time then a Saturn would not have been my choice. I am also being told to pay $5500 for a new engine. I am still paying on this car without the benefit of being able to drive it. I now kicked myself for not buying a Toyota, but I fell for the Different Kind of Car marketing. Now their customer service has been nothing, but horrible.

21st Feb 2006, 21:03

I own a 99 SL2 with about 85000 miles. The engine just blew the other night, stuck in -20 degree MN weather. I really hadn't had many problems with the car, just normal maintenance. I had been using a lot of oil since last summer. I thought it was because I was driving a lot of extra miles. I was beginning to wonder what I did wrong, now I see that I probably didn't. I found a neighborhood mechanic that can replace my engine for around $1500. No, it's not the dealer, but who cares. I almost donated the car to charity! The car is still worth more than that, so we'll probably sell it.

I just bought a 2004 L300 with 11,000 miles. I hope that there won't be any problems. I got an extended warranty.

Also, read the earlier comment about the high-performance spark plugs. I plan on making sure that we only use the better parts for oil changes and maintenance for the new car. I did more research on that one before I purchased it on Saturday. I didn't see anything, hopefully it's not an issue.

22nd Feb 2006, 23:32

I picked up a 95 SW2 with 180K. The car was cheap enough that if it blew in 3 months it would be fine with me. The person I purchased the car from told me that the only reason he drove the car was to blow it up. He never changed the oil, or serviced it in any way. I changed the oil flushed the transaxle, coolant change etc.. The car burned 1qt per 1K now after a flush and multiple oil changes it burns 1qt per 2500. Basic maintenance is KEY CHECK YOUR OIL!!! Change your oil. These cars are loud, uncomfortable, ugly, but very reliable if you maintain them.

23rd Feb 2006, 08:25

To the person who just bought the L300--check out the reviews for that car on this site. The 2003 and up models fare pretty well, with a good repair record. I own a 2005 and have put 26000 carefree miles on it. Just be sure to keep up with tire rotations (every 5-8k miles) to make sure the tires wear evenly. Otherwise the later model L300s are very good cars to own and drive.

Don't be concerned about the problems associated with the earlier model years (2000-2002), because most of those issues have been addressed. Also, the timing chain problem is associated only with the 4-cylinder model, so your V6 model isn't affected. Good luck.

10th Jun 2006, 00:11

I currently own a 94 Saturn SC2 which I got for $100 with a bad water-pump and 160k on it. I've put 30k on it my self and needed coolant related repairs and a new fuel pump. My check engine light has never been on. I just finally changed the oil far over due. This is my second Saturn SC and I learned a lot on the first. A word of caution from personal experience NEVER use a poor quality oil... these engines run hot and some oils can't take it. My first Saturn was a 91 SC that I crashed after 320k still running great.

10th Jun 2006, 09:43

My sons each owed a 1994 Suturn S series. Neither car needed anything (but one clutch at 120,000 miles) and both cars drove nicely to over 165,000 miles with only oil changes every 5,000 miles. Finally one of the cars blew a head gasket and I sold the car to a junk dealer for $75. I'm very glad the car didn't nickel and dime us to death. This car often drove from Cape Cod to Penn State U. and back.

8th Jul 2006, 18:56

I own a 1998 Saturn SW2 with 199,000 miles on it that we bought new. I just had to have the original clutch replaced, as well as the radiator. The service engine light was on for the past 100,000 miles. When I took it to the Saturn dealership after it turned on, they gave me a list of things to fix (sensors, wires, etc.) and told us that the head gasket was leaking and would all cost over $2600 to fix. There was no real indication that the head gasket was leaking, so we ignored every bit of that advice and took it home. We have replaced brake pads, spark plugs twice, and the spark plug wires twice, PCV once, changed the oil occasionally (only 6 or 7 times, not responsible of us). In short, routine maintenance here and there. The car runs great. We do check the oil every other week or so, just to be sure. Otherwise we treat it very poorly and it still doesn't let us down. The car has been wonderful, even though the dealership service left much to be desired in knowledge and honesty. I would not hesitate to buy another Saturn.