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Old 04-04-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
jhonky
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1998 SL2
Default Good idea or bad idea?

Got a saturn with 154k on it...some of you might remember me posting problems in the past. it still runs

anyways I have been drinking some tonight, and working up the nerve to take it to a shop tomorrow to tell them to fix it.

I had some tests done in january of 2011, because it was throwing a misfire on cylinder 3. first a compression test. they were 150 across the board. second an injector test. they were spraying good. finally, a "differential pressure" test(which you can hardly even find anything on google to explain what that is), and they told me cylinder 3 is 15% off and anything over 10% throws the SESL.

Guy still couldn't tell me definitively what it was, but said he'd bet a bent or burnt exhaust valve. For not knowing what the problem was, he sure was keen on wanting me to spend like 850(thats what they quoted) to fix it

someone on here, either fdryer, or oldnuc, told me he didn't like their diagnosis, and that he seemed really confident getting a new head would fix my problem.

I bought the car for $250. I've spent roughly 1200 on fixing things(somethings i did, and did not need to change/fix).

Some guy that works at a stealership and is a friend to my former roommate told me like 2 months ago that I have a new engine. or some kind of factory rebuild, or something, idk

Why i think its a good idea: i hear so many stories of people that take care of their car, including on this sit, and it has like 290k miles on it and still runs like a champ. mine is just shy of 154k. So I could potentially get another 140k miles out of it. I love saturns, and especially mine. I knew practically nothing about cars before I had one, now I can change oil, and many other things. So far have like 1400 into the car, so still not a lot. a few other reasons that either some of you could probably point out, or that i'll remember later

why I think its a bad idea: you should see this vehicle. The sunroof was ****ed before i got it, and so when i purchased it(jan of 2010), there was a 2 inch block of ice in the back floorboard. ie: there use to be moss. sunroof is caulked now, the radio area is just a bunch of wires...i hook up my iphone to play music, have radio apps to play radio if i desire, but still. essentially, the car looks like dooky. more importantly, i've heard driving it the way i have is not good, because extra gas gets on the cat con, and burns the precious metals. and i hear cat cons are like lots of money to fix(would get that professionally done). i feel like the "smart" thing to do is to save the money i'd spend fixing my car, and use it toward a newer car(downside to that is, i can't find many "for sale" saturns around me, and hondas are a dime a dozen, but already have like 250k on them prob)

Whatever the fix may be, I want to get the timing chain fixed while they are doing it, since they couldn't add that much in labor if all the other stuff is being fixed.

i am so freaking tore up by this. tips? I live somewhere else now, and i wouldn't go back to the "bent or burnt exhaust valve" place anyways. I think i can trust where i am going(have gone there before and got good work done, at least i perceived it as good). I planned on telling them the history i've had with the vehicle, as far as what i've fixed and what others have told me. I use to have someone I trusted that could work on the vehicle for me, but i don't have the cash to pay up front(this would go on cc) and don't have his contact info anymore etc.

pm me if you want.

...
98 SL2
202900 miles
40mpg @ 93% hiway 63ish mph
MP2 Swap, Gen 1 Valve Cover, AEM SRI, OBX Header, Thermal R&D Exhaust

If it ain't broke, fix it some more.

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Old 04-05-2012, 07:56 AM   #2
blue92
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1992 SL1
1998 SC2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

If the compression is 150, then I would say its in need of a rebuild. minimum is 180, so its well below. Was the compression test done correctly? Maybe have it done again . Look on this site, I beleive OLDNuc has the proper test procedure for doing a compression test.

...
92 SL1 original owner
94 SL2 Homecoming
98 SC2 White Hot
02 SC2

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:39 AM   #3
jhonky
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

well i went up but they were busy today, so i'm going back tomorrow at 8am. i told him about the 150 on compression test being low and he said "well it depends on how they did it"

...
98 SL2
202900 miles
40mpg @ 93% hiway 63ish mph
MP2 Swap, Gen 1 Valve Cover, AEM SRI, OBX Header, Thermal R&D Exhaust

If it ain't broke, fix it some more.

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Old 04-05-2012, 10:01 AM   #4
madpogue
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Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 25,032
 

1996 SW2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

^^^^ True, actually. The right response is to do the compression test correctly.
- Fully charged battery, good connections (250 RPM crank speed)
- warm or hot engine
- ALL plugs out
- wide OPEN throttle
- at least 8-10 revolutions, until needle stops moving up
IOW, don't just assume that the readings were low because the test was done incorrectly; confirm it by doing the test correctly.

As to the question in the title of your post - forum posting after drinking at 10:44PM is definitely a "bad idea" .

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Old 04-09-2012, 01:53 PM   #5
jhonky
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

Overslept my 8am appointment- cleared my sesl about 50 miles ago and took it up to get inspection- said I had an exhaust leak near the cat and welded it for $50...not that I think it will help much- always wondered what that noise was down there. When I'd change the oil I would always have to be wary of the frayed metal that's woven in a pattern- thought about putting a pic on here- maybe I will take a pic now to see how different it looks

...
98 SL2
202900 miles
40mpg @ 93% hiway 63ish mph
MP2 Swap, Gen 1 Valve Cover, AEM SRI, OBX Header, Thermal R&D Exhaust

If it ain't broke, fix it some more.

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Old 04-09-2012, 02:19 PM   #6
TomM96
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Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

It would be relevant to mention the vehicle specifics... .

The price of gas is likely to remain at the present level , or rise -- possibly significantly -- unless the MidEast nations become cooperative and govern responsibly , neither of which are likely. While gas is relatively expensive , the price of used , fuel-efficient vehicles will remain high.

A new engine might cost $2/$3000 (maybe half that if done DIY) with additional fees for R&R.
Maintaining the remainder of the vehicle might be adequate for occupying your spare time.

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Old 04-09-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
10Miler
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

jhonky,
Where are you located? There may be cars fairly close to you at reasonable prices.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
jhonky
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

27215 zipcode- going to look at a 91 accord tomorrow- wants 2800 for it- kbb is ~2500, edmunds says tmv is 1500- from a used car lot

Thinking I will start at 1800 after I test drive

Would sell my saturn for 500 firm on cl

...
98 SL2
202900 miles
40mpg @ 93% hiway 63ish mph
MP2 Swap, Gen 1 Valve Cover, AEM SRI, OBX Header, Thermal R&D Exhaust

If it ain't broke, fix it some more.

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:09 AM   #9
10Miler
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhonky View Post
27215 zipcode- going to look at a 91 accord tomorrow- wants 2800 for it- kbb is ~2500, edmunds says tmv is 1500- from a used car lot

Thinking I will start at 1800 after I test drive

Would sell my saturn for 500 firm on cl
You're not too far from me! I generally find them pretty cheap around the DC area.

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Old 04-11-2012, 05:16 PM   #10
jhonky
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

so i sold my saturn and got a 98 sl2 manual trans...looks just like richpins car(that blue color)

...
98 SL2
202900 miles
40mpg @ 93% hiway 63ish mph
MP2 Swap, Gen 1 Valve Cover, AEM SRI, OBX Header, Thermal R&D Exhaust

If it ain't broke, fix it some more.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

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Old 04-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #11
10Miler
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Good idea or bad idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhonky View Post
so i sold my saturn and got a 98 sl2 manual trans...looks just like richpins car(that blue color)
Mine is the same blue except it's an SL1, not as nice. Plus it's an auto.

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