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Old 01-28-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
newSC2driver
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1998 SC2
Default New Saturn Owner

Hi,
I'm from Niagara Falls Canada. Until a week ago last Friday, I had been driving a Honda Civic DX hatchback for 23 years! I was rear-ended, the car was written off, and I had a dilema on my hands...
I decided to try buying a Saturn car, as I was always interested in them, even way back when I decided to first buy the Honda.
A great little car dealership called MoMo Cars, had a beautiful looking Saturn coupe.
I nice red 1998 SC2 with a black interior. A/C, auto transmission, stock tape cassette stereo, power doors, locks, cruise control.
The odometer is 216,000km, which translates to 134,000 miles, roughly. No rust that I can see, no interior damage to speak of, and the test drive was sweet.
I did notice I had to try twice to turn the car on, but in turned right back on again when I turned it off. The only real issue is the fuel door. It sticks. Someone has to tap on the door while you pull the latch.
The used car dealer told me that it needs a spring and he will track one down for me and install it.
I pick the car up tomorrow and that will be my first official day of ownership.
I have scoured the net for reviews on the 1998 SC2. Good and bad, with a common thread revolving around oil consumption and leaking valve cover gaskets, and future engine repairs.
I have read on this forum that it is ideal to check the oil level often and keep the level full. I plan on doing this and using a quality oil like Castrol GTX.
I'm looking forward to visiting this forum and finding useful info about my Saturn.
I must admit that I'm no backyard mechanic. I have long-suffering mechanic that has kept my Honda on the road for the last 15 years and now I will enlist him to keep the Saturn going.
It will be good to find tidbits of info out here that I can pass along to him to aid him in repairing my car.
Best regards,
newSC2driver

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
anmasher
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1995 SC2
1996 SL2
Default Re: New Saturn Owner

Welcome to SaturnFans!

First up check out the New or Returning S-Series owners' checklist Version 3.0.

134k miles is - or can be - relatively young for a Saturn S Series. One thing I want to point out with the automatics is that they require fluid changes every 30k... not too many normal drivers know or do that.

If you want to fix that valve cover, follow this:
How to Replace 96-98 DOHC Plastic Valve Cover With 93-95 Aluminum v. 2

One thing that can help with the oil burning (not the primary cause or even a major one) is the PCV, you can replace it with a fixed orifice PCV for some improvement. If the previous owners used good oil and changed it frequently then you shouldn't have much of an oil issue. Otherwise expect to burn more (sometimes significantly) than 1qt/1k miles. Other than burning massive quantities of oil, these engines are pretty tough.

I would start off with replacing each of the following as you have time/money:
ECTS
Thermostat
Serpentine belt (unless in great shape)
Spark plugs (with NGK BKR5E-11)
Spark plug wires
Coolant
Oil
ATF
Fuel filter
Upper motor mount (OEM only)

Goodluck and have fun!

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:23 PM   #3
newSC2driver
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1998 SC2
Default Re: New Saturn Owner

Wow!
Thanks for the great welcome to the forum! That's a great list of info to get me going and I really appreciate it!

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Old 02-02-2013, 02:47 PM   #4
newSC2driver
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1998 SC2
Default Re: New Saturn Owner

Just to report on my progress with my new (to me) Saturn SC2. The motor is excellent and runs very smoothly. No issues with other systems on the car. I've used up a tank of gas, driving all over my area's highways, to test things.
Only issue is the ignition switch. Sometimes the key slides in easily, other times you have to jiggle and jimmy it. As per the owner's manual, I used some lock graphite, but it didn't seem to help.
Next I went to a GM dealer and had a VIN key cut. The key works but the issue of sticky entry and withdrawal are still there.
Two times, before I got the VIN key, the key was stuck and wouldn't turn, until I jiggled the steering wheel.
This is all well and fine as I am always getting the car started, but it's a nuisance to wrestle off and on with the ignition system.
The dealer parts guy told me that there is no transponder in the key and replacing the lock cylinder is fairly easy. $139 plus an hours labor, here in Canada.
That's my court of last resort. I will play with it until it becomes either really stuck or I get completely fed up!
p.s. the car didn't pass the e-test when the used car dealer had it tested. He filled the tank, changed the oil, and told me to drive a lot this weekend and he'll try again on Monday. I put in a bottle of injector cleaner and filled it again later with premium. Hopefully it passes. It's a condition of the sale that the car does pass, so the ball is in his court anyway.

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:02 PM   #5
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1993 SW2
2001 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: New Saturn Owner

Hi there, and welcome! Have you tried posting your questions to the S-series forum? There are a lot more people there. Good luck and welcome to the forums and to Saturn-dom!

...
Saturns:
1993 SW2 MT 182,000 hard Boston city miles ("Rozzie")
Gone but not forgotten:
2001 LW300 ("Elle")
1999 SW2 MT
Project cars:
1966 Corvair Monza convertible
1928 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan

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