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Old 11-20-2011, 01:17 AM   #1
ohjonnybegoode
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Default Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

Hello all - newbie here...great site!

As my title says...my 90 year old grandmother is unable to drive anymore and has asked me to help her sell her 2001 Saturn SL-1...She bought the car used in 2004...it was a lease-turn in at the local Saturn dealer and had 32,000 miles. It now has 51,000 miles (and most of those came from my sister who has been driving it for the last nine months). It's basic transportaton - only options on the sticker show carpeted floor mats and a CD player.

Anyhow...the car is is in very good shape for it's age and is a true "little old lady" car...looks good, interior is in great shape...runs good. I've been toying with the idea of buying the car to use as my second car.

Question for the experts - are there things I should look for, noted trouble spots to be aware of? Gram has been very careful with the maintenance since she bought it.

Any thoughts/feedback would be most appreciated...thank you!

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Old 11-20-2011, 09:15 AM   #2
underthehood
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Default Re: Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

Only real issue was intake gasket. You'd know though as it would idle badly. If it does go or cause an issue use the fel-pro problem solver. I just got done doing almost the exact job on a Ford Escape last week. Using the fel pro it was easy to tell it was a much better product than the OEM was.
Otherwise watch the oil level. Hopefully your sister treated the car nicely and didn't beat on it. Change of trans fluid may be called for too. frankly I have been having great luck with either M1 Synthetic or Royal Purple trans fluid. Grab a new filter too. You might want to just drop the fluid once with old filter. Drive a little while than change again so you have as much of the good synthetic in there as possible.

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Old 11-20-2011, 09:49 AM   #3
DonP
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Default Re: Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

Check and if necessary, replace the ECTS. It might have the old resin tip type that can cause driveability issues. See the first couple sticky threads in the How to Library forum.

See the top two sticky threads on "New or returning..." for some ideas as what to check on a used Saturn S-car. There are other theads here and in the Tech forum as well.

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Old 11-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
velleguy73
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Default Re: Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

Um, buy it.

My wife's 86 year old grandmother has a well optioned '02 sl2. She knows I love the car. it still has factory tires on it. Really. Last I saw her, she pointed out she is racking up the miles and just rolled 10,000. I have requested my name on the bid list if she ever decides to sell it. I could live with an automatic for that one.

If she had it maintained and she isn't burning now, buy it, buy it. buy it.

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Old 11-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

Welcome to the forum! This is the best forum of this type on the Web. Many helpful people here. And if I were you I'd buy that car. You've gotten good advice but once again, keep tabs on the oil consumption. You may not use a lot until around 100K but you never know. I have a 97Sl with 192K and it's still going strong.

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Old 11-20-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonP View Post
Check and if necessary, replace the ECTS. It might have the old resin tip type that can cause driveability issues. See the first couple sticky threads in the How to Library forum.

See the top two sticky threads on "New or returning..." for some ideas as what to check on a used Saturn S-car. There are other theads here and in the Tech forum as well.
I believe 01's had the brass tipped ects from the factory, I know my 01 coupe did, checked it when I rebuilt mine, all good

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Old 11-21-2011, 12:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

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Originally Posted by rowdydog View Post
I believe 01's had the brass tipped ects from the factory, I know my 01 coupe did, checked it when I rebuilt mine, all good
not all 2001's had the brass ECTS from the factory. Still unsure when the switchover took place, but whatever.

oh yeah and with the oil burning, keep in mind the cataclyctic converter may not last as long as it should...

...
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Thinking about buying Grandmom's car - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Things to Look For?

If you don't buy it, I will!!!!!

...
When I was younger I drove a lifted 4x4 truck with over sized tires. Needed a ladder to get into it. Now at 55 I drive an SL2 and need a ladder to get out.

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