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-   -   Goodbye Saturn, Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010) (http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162331)

david314 01-05-2011 09:41 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Well, I can't say the service was particularly good. I had good and bad, the bad being all the years I had to fight Saturn to get the oil use problem dealt with on my '93 SL2 5 speed. There were certainly no recall parties that I ever knew of.

And I disagree with Charlie about the need for more models. The original sold nearly 300,000 copies in '94 or '95 and the combined sales for all the four or five models that Saturn had subsequently never came close. Had they simply taken the gen 1 and improved the quality, including especially the engine, and had they offered more power, but kept the styling as it was, I'd still be driving a Saturn. In my opinion, the death knell was sealed when gen 2 came out. Anyway, to see my article on Saturn go to
thetruthaboutcars-dot-com/the-truth-about-saturn/

23winding390_ 01-05-2011 09:55 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
I took a few pictures of a rather sun bleached SATURN on a nearby used car lot that features final solutions. I used the new camera my online friend sent me as a present for my birthday. Then when we went to the laundry and later to the supermarket I saw two immaculate SATURNs in bright primary colors. What a recruiting job on my senses!!! So today I went back after my walk and took pictures of a few SATURNs with tow bar rigs in the RV park I live in in Winter. I see I'm a few posts short of a 15 so you'll have to imagine what I saw.

ngrome 01-05-2011 11:00 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
I just joined Saturn ownership with purchasing a used 95 Saturn SL1 for my son for college. I will work on it to get it in roadworthy or reliable condition by next fall when he takes it to school. I was just wondering if this forum could still be a good source of information for Saturn ownership or will it be shut down for the fact that Saturn is no longer being made? Thanks.

Durham03VUE 01-05-2011 11:05 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
I really enjoyed the history of Saturn. I've had one since 1992. I've had some problems with them, but the dealership always helped me out. I, too, have had the experience where the GM dealership in town sent out letters saying that they now were the ONLY authorized Saturn repair service in town. The original dealership is still in business, but under a different name. Now that they have been forced to branch out, the attitude is just not the same anymore. Though, I am told that all of the mechanics are still there. Seeing all of the Saturns on the road in my city, I have no fear that there will be mechanics for my car for some time. I really hate this change. It is such a shame that the business model did not survive.

kevinmmccormick 01-05-2011 11:17 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Thanks for running such a great site!

I owned a 2006 ION Redline, a 1996 SC2, and convinced my parents to purchase an Outlook and a VUE as well. My brother owns a Chevy, my grandfather only bought Buicks, my sister owned a Pontiac, my uncle owns a Corvette and a Trailblazer, and my mother worked at two different GM dealers. Needless to say, we've been a GM family for a long time.

After my Saturn dealer closed, my car was still under warranty so I had it serviced at two different Chevy dealers. It wasn't until then that I realized how different Saturn really was from the rest of GM's offerings. I gave both dealers an honest shot at meeting my expectations, but both fell way short. In fact, my experience was so negative that I decided that my Redline, which I loved, would be my last GM car. I moved on to a Subaru, and from what I can read, I am not the only ex-Saturn owner who has moved to other imports.

Interestingly, my brother, who owns a Chevy, couldn't understand my disappointment. He then went on to tell me all the horror stories of dealing with his dealership and the quality of his car! I suppose there is the domestic buyer who expects little, who will probably keep buying the cheaper domestics, and there are the import buyers (some of which who bought Saturns) who will immediately go right back to Honda and Toyota.

While I don't think it was a bad idea to close Saturn, it is clear that GM still doesn't understand that it can sell more cars and have more loyal customers by focusing on more than just the quality of the car. In some respects, they are back where they were in 1990 with aging dealerships, a middling lineup, and customers who, if loyal, are loyal for the wrong reasons (i.e. because their cars are cheaper). The problem with these types of customers is that they follow the dollar and as soon as a cheaper car comes out, they are gone.

From what I understand Saturn from the beginning was a bit of a rogue effort which probably came about because GM didn't want to change their ways and improve their core brands. It probably would have made more sense in retrospect to try for a spin-off much earlier in the brand's life-cycle, but I doubt that really would have happened.

As an American, I really want to see our economy grow, and I would really want to increase exports and see more domestic cars on the road. I think all Saturn really did was prove that a new, better run car company can be very successful. Only GM can be blamed for not allowing Saturn to become the runaway success it could have been with more regular model updates and advertising support. Maybe instead of infusing the dinosaurs with money, the government would have been better off supporting new domestic car companies.

Who knows. It was fun while it lasted! Thanks for all the memories, SaturnFans!

RicksVue 01-05-2011 11:30 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Charlie,
Thanks for everything you're doing for the community. While Saturn will be missed, the forums will continue to support the faithful.

Personally, I already miss Saturn. No Christmas card this year from the retailer. Having to bring my cars to the Chevy dealer seems just wrong.

To demonstrate how helpful this forum has been - our daughter's '94 SC2 popped a CEL. I showed her how to read out the codes using a hairpin on the OBD connector. Turned out to be an EGR problem that she fixed using instructions from this site. She went around bragging about fixing the car with a hairpin. :)

My history:
91 SL2
94 SW2
00 LS2
03 Vue
07 Vue Green Line
94 SC2 (Daughter)
08 Astra XR (wife's, our last Saturn)

Bruno 01-05-2011 12:47 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
I bought my '96 SW2 back in 1996 as the previous owner sold it after 4 months of use. I have to admit it was the best car I had purchased. Not only was it incredibly trouble free, but it always got me where I needed to be. It was fun to drive with the 5-speed manual (Save the Manuals!) and the engine was willing to move it out quickly. After SPS came into existence, I upgraded multiple parts in the car to increase the fun factor for the daily commute. When things did break, it was easy for the shade tree mechanic to fix most problems. I never got the smoking problem (oil burning) that some 1.9s were known for. But it certainly did eat brake rotors. I would warp them like crazy until I purchases some slotted rotors that lasted much longer. I will miss Saturn as I loved being unique on the road. So long, Farewell, Aufwiedersehn, Goodnight.

cent66 01-05-2011 09:31 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
2006 Vue owner who still loves his vehicle. The dealership people were awesome. When I think about my dealership, I think about the commercial about they guy who was taking a road trip acroos the US. He would stop at all the Saturn dealership so they could fix his vehicle. The only reason he stopped there was to eat their donuts. They didn't have the cherry filled donuts in my dealership. They had chocolate cover ones which I always had with my coffee. :)

dantucker 01-05-2011 11:00 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Just wanted to say to all the folks out there that posted their advice, knowledge & wisdom for all us do-it-yourselfers; thank you. You've made a lot of our lives a little easier and a lot more affordable; lest we forget a learning experience. I cannot thank you enough.

davissc 01-06-2011 12:12 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Great article - Love, Love, Love my Astra, no regrets, a little jewel of a car, plan to drive it til the wheels fall off or something goes irreparably wrong with the great big gorgeous sun roof - whichever comes first.

Appreciate a place to get current info from other Saturn owners.
Thanks for all you've done and for keeping the forum going

jabear 01-06-2011 08:54 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Many thanks to all that you have done with this site, you have saved myself countless hours in repairs alone, as well as making some life long friends introduced thru the site.

When we (wife and I ) started this it was with a 94 SL1. We gave up on it after 275,000+ miles, because it needed a new air conditioner condenser (figured after 13 years it was time for a new car). Then there was my 97 SC1, after 187,000, it was still running strong, but when we traded in the SL1 the wife got an '04 REDLINE and after driving that for a little while I had to have one too! I couldn't let go of the 97 though, my (just starting to drive) daughter and I did a total rebuilt on the engine and a major suspension update and she drives it now. Thanks to the site the few questions we had were answered here.

We are both still driving the '04's, both are blue, one with a gray pin stripe, one with a red pin stripe, both are just solid as they can be...we cruise the north dallas area daily, so if you think you see us give us a REV or a BEEP.

Thanks for the years, I have no idea when these will be traded off but I dont think that it will be for a few years considering our past experience with other cars vs. these.

I will check in periodically as always, THANK YOU AGAIN for all you've done and Saturn, you will be missed. .j.

johnjay 01-06-2011 10:57 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
GM had the ball and didn't know what to do with it. We have two Saturns a L300 and a Aura, love both of them. Thanks for the web site.

mike08vue 01-06-2011 11:23 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Charlie, its truly been a ride. My first Saturn was a red metallic SL a stripper with no options other than a radio. It was to be my work car,saving my Cadillac from the inevitable dents and dings. However, I found that it was much more fun to drive and comfortable to sit in. I ended up trading the Cad. for a 1994 SC2--arguably my favorite car. I trade for several coupes after that-1996,1999(the honeymoon car when I married in 2002). I finally had to give in the the practicalities of married life and traded the 1999 for a 2004 Vue. I had a 2001 L300 so my wife got the vue. Actually, I had 2-L's; I totaled the first, an L-200 5-speed after only 2,000 miles. I finally traded the Vue for a 2008 Vue in Oct 07 and it now has 73,000 troublefree miles. The L300 went away for a 04 Saab 9-3 that was one of the most unreliable cars I've ever owned---it was traded for the CTS I drive now.When I got your e-mail, I thought at first that you were shutting down the site---HORRORS,but the I sadly realized that you were just saying goodby to us as an active poster.Please come in and tell us how you and your family are doing from time to time and thanks for this great site. Just like they said about Saturn-"its a different kind of site".

yankeefan10 01-07-2011 12:48 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
My wife and I are still loyal Saturn owners. She drives a 2008 VUE, while I drive a 2008 AURA. In all, we've owned 9 Saturns! None were purchased due to poor performance, but bought because of changes in styling. We now service our Saturns at Paradise Chevrolet in Temecula, CA. If anything, it appears that the personal touch the Saturn brand was known for has been infused into other GM brands. I almost 'enjoy' bringing my car in for service.

So although the brand is gone, one look at Malibu, Cobalt, Equinox, Traverse, the 'new' Regal and the other Saturn 'clones' I know Saturn will always live on.

This site is a wealth of knowledge for me, especially when I owned my ION. It was, for me, probably my last play toy. Thank you.

DrPimper 01-07-2011 09:02 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
I recal it being 1991 and the buzz was all about Saturn and I really despised the cars, didn't like them one bit. I did meet many saturn owners that would praise they car to no end and really share how much they love their reliability of their Saturn. I was more of a Ford / honda guy and thought Saturn was a lame attempt for GM to be more like a jap car.

When I met my now wife she had a 1994 SL2, the storys she told me (like all the other saturn owners) saying how reliable her car was and how great is was. That Saturn really proved it self to me. This car was in 14 accidents, 100k miles and many aftermarket mods thru the years 1994 to 2002. When the car was finnaly totaled she decided to go with saturn again.

The used car we got was the 1997 SC2. Wow what a car, after she had it a year I took it over as my daily driver, I had that car from 2003 to 2008 I put 100k miles on it tons of performance mods and lots of good times. unfortuanly I totaled that one.

We purchased another Satrun we have a fully loaded 2010 OUTLOOK XR man what a truck. We plan on having this car a very very long time. We considered the Chevy Traverse, Buick enclave, GMC acadia. But after trying all of them the Outlook really seemed to be nicer and more well rounded. never really looked at the Caddalic SRX but we are sure the Outlook XR is perfect saturn for us.

Cant belive I am such a convert from disliking Saturn to becoming a huge fan, I would like to Thank SPS performance the "saturn performance specialists" for helping to offer saturn owners aftermarket performance parts specific to Saturns

Sky King 01-07-2011 10:20 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
While a bit late in seeing this entry from Charlie, I too must add my thanks for one of the best forums on the internet. Many others often have "members" who are rude and very critical of new people who just need information. That was VERY rare here. The members here could also be described as Saturn was, different.

I stumbled on this site several years after my wife and I purchased our first Saturn in 1995 from Saturn of Memphis. I too had studied the brand for a few years before buying my first Saturn. We still have that 1995 SL-2 and is still driven daily. It is approaching 280,000 miles and is still a reliable car, a true testiment to the Saturn goal of inexpensive, reliable, easily maintained cars.

My Saturn store, Saturn of Memphis was the first Saturn retailer to break ground and the second to open. They hung in there as long as possible. However with the official closing of Saturn by GM, they too have now ceased to operate as Saturn. The temporary signs cover the old Saturn signs and logos announcing that they are now a Saab dealership.

The parts manager, who I have known since 1995, still works there and said that they will continue to sell what remaining OEM Saturn parts they have untill they are gone. However, since they are no longer an official GM Saturn retailer, they will not be able to order anything. Saturn support, warranty work and parts have now been moved down the street to the Buick dealership. How sad.

I will continue to drive my 1999 SC-2 and my wife will continue to drive the 95 SL-2 as long as we can get parts to keep them running safely. My biggest concern and fear is the day when parts will become impossible to find OR some idiot demonstrates the typical Memphis driving habits and totals one of them. There is no way I will ever be able to replace either of them. An insurance settlement for a total loss would never come close to buying another on IF I could find a used one that is in good shape. And I will apologize in advance to those who like other car brands out there but I just don't think there will ever be a car out there that can compete with what my "S" were and still are.

Thanks for the ride Charlie

Sky King 01-07-2011 11:01 AM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
[QUOTE=david314;1698245]Well, I can't say the service was particularly good. I had good and bad, the bad being all the years I had to fight Saturn to get the oil use problem dealt with on my '93 SL2 5 speed. There were certainly no recall parties that I ever knew of.

And I disagree with Charlie about the need for more models. The original sold nearly 300,000 copies in '94 or '95 and the combined sales for all the four or five models that Saturn had subsequently never came close. Had they simply taken the gen 1 and improved the quality, including especially the engine, and had they offered more power, but kept the styling as it was, I'd still be driving a Saturn. In my opinion, the death knell was sealed when gen 2 came out. Anyway, to see my article on Saturn go to
thetruthaboutcars-dot-com/the-truth-about-saturn/[/QUOTE]


Well David, I am sorry you feel your experience was not stellar but I think your observations are wrong. I don't know when you bought your first Saturn and therefor how far back your experience with the company goes. Did you buy your '93 new?

The oil consumption problem with the "S" series engine is well known by those here on this forum. For what I would consider a majority of the members here, it is just considered more of a nuisance than a real problem as the general cause is pretty well known. It has often been stated on these boards that if you are just willing to keep adding the oil, nothing is going to fail. Along with that, many remedies have been posted here.

I disagree with your assesment on the need for new models. GM choaked Saturn. Many of the other divisions were jealous of the large sums of money GM was putting into Saturn and complained greatly. The most evident sign of the lack of funding was in the '95 and '96 model years. A redesign was in the works but due to a lack of funding, (IMHO) the best of the SL's was a result. A generation 1 body with a generation 2 interior. The generation 2 body didn't come untill '96. For the SCs, the change didn't happen for a year or so later.

No car company is going to survive with only ONE product line. Take ANY brand, Honda, Nissan, Chevrolet, pick one. Then tell THAT brand that they can only market ONE of their models. How long would Honda last if they could ONLY sell the Accord, that's it, just the Accord? Or Chevrolet if they could only sell the Malibu? It wasn't untill later in the 90's that Saturn was allowed another model and it wasn't a REAL Saturn. It was a rebadged Opel.
They FINALLY woke up a bit and realized that Saturn needed a broader product line and the fastest way to get another car on the showroom floor was to rebadge. To design, engineer, test and get a new car in the line would take time and money and GM wasn't going to give Saturn either one.

After that even the Spring Hill plant which had been "SATURN", was redesignated as a GM assembly plant as Saturn was slowly being assimilated into the rest of GM. Eventually all cars with a Saturn badge were pretty much rebadged Opels.

Everything that Saturn WAS that was just the thing that attracted the early fans was GONE. When I bought my first Saturn I swore I would never buy another GM product. Everything from product quality, service, reliability, customer satisfaction all the way to just cookie-cutter clones with different badges just turned me away from GM and Saturn was NONE of that, they were a DIFFERENT car from a DIFFERENT company.

Could the "S" have been improved? Sure, and there were improvements to the basic engine design over the years. But MAJOR changes would also have involved expense, expense that GM was just not going to put into Saturn.

Many of the older fans, myself included, feel that with the introduction of the other models, the "S" should have remained in the line, (with some of the improvements you mentioned) as an entry level Saturn. Let's face it, look at Honda as an example. I remember the Accord as far back as 1976 or 77. And todays Accord is nothing like those cars back then, but the model is still in the lineup, just with the normal updates and improvements that time requires.

EnjoytheVue 01-07-2011 01:21 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
Thank you for the great story and all you've done with this valuable site. In just the past 6 months this site has saved me well over $1,000 on my '07 Vue. I found out here that my wheel bearings were under warranty even with 47,000 miles on the vehicle (something no GM dealer would say to me when I called asking about estimates for the work) and I found a couple great posts about fixing a seized rear window wiper motor which I was able to fix myself.

My Saturn history includes a '92 SL-1, '94 SL-2, '04 Vue V6 AWD, and '07 Vue V6 FWD. I bought the '07 when I heard Saturn was dumping the polymer panels in '08even though we were happy with our '04....I wanted the newest polymer paneled Honda V6 vehicle I could have. I was a 30-year GM man until GM finally did this to Saturn.....we now have our Mazda 3 that we love, a Corvette I've had for 25 years, and our '07 Vue. My next car will probably be a Mazda whether we are replacing the Mazda 3 with another or replacing the Vue with a CX-7 years from now. Bubye GM......oh, and our closest Saturn dealer is now a Kia dealership.

T-boneSW1 01-07-2011 01:50 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
thanks for a great site and story.

I bought my saturn in 1995. My first new car. I had a baby on the way and needed something that would run, safe, be cheap to maintain, and good on gas.

Well that baby is learning to drive in that car that brought her home from the hospital! it now has 182K on the odometer. collectively I have spent 3K in repairs not counting 4 sets of tires and countless oil changes of the 15 years of ownership. That car will have to explode for me not to fix her when she needs a helping hand.

It still runs like a champ getting 40mpg on the highway. Best 13K I have ever spent!

What else is there to say other than GM could have taken this model of awesome and reinvented their entire process of making and selling cars but they went a different way.

bbarbulo 01-07-2011 02:02 PM

Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)
 
[QUOTE=Charlie;1696521]A new story entry has been added:

[drupal=3472]Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)[/drupal][/QUOTE]

Many thanks for the site and your involvement with the community.

I'll dearly miss Saturn and their unique and outstanding vehicles; but I will def keep my 93 for as long as i possibly can (many many more years I imagine - it's still pretty mint)


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