10th Mar 2012, 15:06

80,000 miles? I thought the Saturn had 192,726 miles on it, which is really not all that bad for something hopelessly unreliable.

12th Mar 2012, 19:10

Original Reviewer.

To the person responding about my old Saturn. Check that review again. I purchased the car with 183,000 miles on it with a BLOWN ENGINE. I replaced the engine and transmission with a new engine and trans. with only 80,000 miles. I didn't think I would have to explain that in my new review. But there you are people.

Yes, the odometer on my old Saturn read 192,726 miles when I sold it, but the engine and transmission (which gave me many problems after replacing them) had ONLY 80,000 miles on them when they were installed. I drove the car for 10,000 miles. Therefore, the engine and transmission only had 90,000 on them when the car was sold. That didn't make them reliable however, constant clutch problems were a headache for me with this car. Glad I got rid of it.

My Saturn's review is titled "Very impressed with this plastic wondercar," and I was when I first bought it...

12th Mar 2012, 19:19

Thanks for the information on your old Corolla's! Yes, I was actually a bit sad to hand it down to him (my '96 Corolla, now my brother's). It literally just turned 200,000 miles just a few days ago!

Not seeing any signs of issues with the EGR or intake manifold. I have had the valve cover off myself when the car had its first (yes, first) timing belt at 188,000 miles. I was amazed at how clean it was inside, and even more surprised by the fact that the cam lobes had almost no wear on them! It's running like brand new basically. It will be getting new shocks and brakes this week, but the engine is in tip top shape.

And wow! 356,000 miles?! I believe it. Unfortunately, our '96 won't be making it that far. The engine certainly could, but the New England winters and heavy road salt have taken their toll on the body. The rot has gotten a bit worse since I bought it, but it should easily go another 5 years before it fails inspection because of it.

13th Mar 2012, 16:17

That's what you get for buying used high mileage engines and transmissions.

Also, 183,000 on the original motor is a good life for any vehicle; I don't care what brand it is.

18th Mar 2012, 21:20

Original Reviewer.

"That's what you get for buying used high mileage engines and transmissions."

80,000 miles is high mileage to you? 183,000 on the original isn't bad, but I wouldn't call it real good either. However, the 80,000 mile engine I installed was not the problem. Thanks to Saturn's poor design of transmission quill seals, the original transmission soaked the clutch plate with transmission fluid and ruined it. I then replaced the clutch and installed a new transmission (yes it was used, no it was not installed at the same exact time as the engine, but by pure coincidence, it happened to have 80K miles like the used engine I put in.) The used transmission's quill seal also failed and ruined the clutch. The engine's NEW rear main seal also began to leak, which didn't help the clutch either. Why didn't I just replace the quill seal? Well, you can again thank Saturn for making a transmission that has to be completely disassembled by using SIX special tools (each costing over $100) in order to replace it. Again, a $150 used transmission with only 80,000 miles really just seemed like a much better idea.

And really, that's what I get? I paid $200 for the car, why would I waste my money buying a remanufactured engine and transmission for a '97 Saturn. Come on, for that kind of money I could've bought a newer car. In total, I paid only about $1,800 (that's the price of the car and all the parts that I installed) for that Saturn, and it wasn't in terrible shape (the car sold literally 3 hours after I put a sign on it.) I MADE MONEY by selling it, so while yes, I had planned on keeping it, I still don't think it was a complete waste of my time owning it.

I needed a newer car with a warranty that I knew I could rely on. I liked my Saturn, don't get me wrong. But I'm going away to college, and far away. I will not be close to home, so borrowing someone else's car to get to school (because I will not being staying right on the campus) is not an option. And if it hadn't been for my old Corolla while I was working on the Saturn, I would've been screwed!

I'm done talking about my Saturn though. I no longer own the car. This review is on my new 2006 Corolla. Why don't we ask some questions about that instead of defending a car that wasn't even yours?

19th Mar 2012, 23:23

I agree with the other commenter. Yes, 80k is high for a used engine or trans. Most salvage yards won't even sell them with over 70k, let alone give you some sort of warranty. Also, buying a used trans., no matter how cheap you get it for; it still should be opened up and cleaned out.

183k is not great? Are you kidding me? As a mechanic, I have seen many different models fail way before that mileage, including (brace yourself) Toyota.

24th Mar 2012, 21:03

Original Reviewer.

To the latest commentor: Well, hello to a fellow mechanic at least. However, I didn't realize that 80,000 miles instead of 70,000 was all of a sudden "high mileage." Both the engine and transmission came with a warranty. The engine was 6 months, the transmission was only 2 weeks, however. And did you not read my last comment on why I didn't disassemble the transmission? To take apart a Saturn SL2 transmission, you need SIX SPECIAL TOOLS COSTING OVER $100 EACH. In no way is that cost effective for a "great" 183,000 mile Saturn! Where are you finding these "low mileage" used engines and trans. I used Car-part.com to find my used parts, and these were the lowest mile engine and transmission I could find (and Car-part.com searches every scrap yard on their list across the whole country!)

Any who, to the people who are actually interested in my new car instead of my old one, my Corolla now has 65,647 miles on it. I've filled up twice, and have averaged 36 MPG in 75% Highway/25% City driving with the A/C on most of the time (we've had some very unseasonably warm weather.) I have finally gotten used to the driving position. I ended up having to use a seat pad to get my legs in a position they were comfortable in, but I finally got all the seat adjustments just right, and I'm perfectly comfortable.

Had some tire noise on the highway, so I rebalanced all 4 tires myself at my high school, and have had no tire noises or vibrations since.

Because I will be doing a lot of highway driving in college (the trip to the college is 1500 miles round trip, and I will be commuting about 50 miles of highway every day while I am there), I got a hood mask to protect the paint on the hood. I know that inevitably I will get some chips on the bumper as well (the full mask was just way to expensive), but at least the bumper is plastic and will not rust.

Since I've driven it more, here are some of the things I like and don't like so far:

The radio is a little weak, but I didn't expect much from a factory radio anyways. I'm not somebody who loves loud music and heavy bass, so I can easily live with it, but a little more oomph would be nice.

Passing power is a lot better than I thought it would be. Press the pedal halfway, and it'll zip right up to speed. Much improved over the old Corolla (but hey, the old one only has 105 horses).

I love the design of the steering wheel. I know it's just a wheel, but it actually looks pretty cool (three spokes, tiny center, awesome 9 and 3 feel).

Gas pedal is a little touchy, but I got used to it very quickly. Brakes are a bit strange, in that they have a bit more of a dead spot at the top than I'm used to. Stops on a dime though.

That's what I've observed so far. Will comment again after I take it on a longer trip (which I will be doing soon) and see how it does after a few hours driving.