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Old 05-04-2016, 01:26 PM   #1
Jeff Porteous
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2007 ION-3 Quad Coupe
Default ION Quad longevity query

I'm told by trusted sources that I have AT LEAST another 60k+ miles to go before this becomes of any concern, but I'm trying to plan for the future...

I'm still very much in love with my Saturn -- she's perfect for me and has had all recommended loving care maintenance and then some -- and I'd like to keep her, essentially, forever. I figure if guys are still driving wonderfully maintained and/or restored cars from the '50s, my 2007 ION Quad Coupe has Methuselah potential too.

I'm figuring that down the line I may need a whole new engine put in, or custom restorative suspension work, or...whatever. But I am woefully naive about such things and am wondering if anyone on here could point me in reliable, trustworthy directions for such future work, potentially at least, anywhere in Southern California. (I mean, I know there are specialty shops which just rebuild Mustangs, for instance.)

Any advice, anyone? There is strong sentimentality at stake here!

With my thanks,
Jeff

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Old 05-04-2016, 02:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: ION Quad longevity query

The car is galvanized, but keep after rust. That's one thing that kills unibody cars up here quicker than anything. Rust not only looks bad, but once it's bad enough, it compromises crash safety. Otherwise, shocks and struts every 100k or so to keep the ride and handling right, check bushings around that time, too, and replace them with polyurethane where possible. I only run mobil one synthetic in my engines, and my oil consumption shows how low the wear is, but expect to have to rebuild the engine around 300-350k best case to keep it running like new.

...
2007 Saturn Ion 2
2003 Chevrolet venture lt

trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 05-04-2016, 10:20 PM   #3
pierrot
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Default Re: ION Quad longevity query

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Porteous View Post
I'm told by trusted sources that I have AT LEAST another 60k+ miles to go before this becomes of any concern, but I'm trying to plan for the future...
What is the basis for this "60k+ miles to go before this becomes of any concern?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Porteous View Post
I'm figuring that down the line I may need a whole new engine put in, or custom restorative suspension work, or...whatever. But I am woefully naive about such things and am wondering if anyone on here could point me in reliable, trustworthy directions for such future work, potentially at least, anywhere in Southern California. (I mean, I know there are specialty shops which just rebuild Mustangs, for instance.)

Any advice, anyone? There is strong sentimentality at stake here!
My experience where I live is that there are no independent repair shops that consider themselves as Saturn specialists. It appears that most Saturn owners tended to visit the dealer for much of their repair work, or would perform as much of it as possible for themselves. I suspect it will be difficult - not impossible - to find such a specialist.

Given your city location, you and I are about 25 miles apart. Here in SoCal you have little to worry about regarding rust unless you live close the beach and your car is constantly exposed to the saltier air. If your car is not in a garage, or at a car port, when at home then the clear coat paint layer may become degraded more quickly over time. It may also cause discoloration of the interior to some degree and the headliner fabric may sag or separate from the headliner eventually. That's about all that can happen in our area with regard to how nature may wear our vehicles down. So what it really comes down to is this: what is the current condition of the engine? Without tearing an engine apart no one can ever know precisely, we can only go by how the vehicle is currently performing.

To get a better idea of the longevity you might be able to expect we'd need you to provide some information:
1) Current mileage; 2) Maintenance history, including oil change frequency and quality of oil and filters used; 3) Major repairs of note; 4) Driveability concerns past and present, if any.
Since I'm not familiar with which engine is in your vehicle, I'd want to know which 4 cyl. engine it is that you have.

...
327,000 miles - Holy canolli!
A dishonest communist and deep state socialists want to be POTUS.
They'll bring us a bad economy, weak military, increased terrorism and a greater RED CHINA.

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Old 05-06-2016, 02:31 AM   #4
Jeff Porteous
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2007 ION-3 Quad Coupe
Default Re: ION Quad longevity query

Many thanks for the responses, guys! I can indeed answer at least a couple of your questions. My beloved ION Quad has the 2.4 upgrade engine. I'm at about 155k miles, and have been assured by my Saturn mechanic, who's almost exclusively worked on the car over the years, that in his opinion this particular GM engine model is one of the best, most reliable they ever built. He himself owns an ION, has well over 200k miles on his (probably closer to 300k at this stage) and has never had major engine issues. I have followed him from the original Saturn store in Whittier where I bought the vehicle, through two other Chevy dealers to the present day -- along with his terrific tag team service advisor. The two have been a thorough and caring team for me for the life of my car -- always treating me like a king. They tell me I should easily get to at least 200k before starting to think about any necessity of an engine rebuild or replacement... and like I say, likely a good deal farther than that, as the mechanic has personally. (Anyway, hence my original mileage anticipation estimate, right or wrong.)

I'm not necessarily "looking for trouble" by planning any major work before its time, just trying to be prepared to make a well-informed decision when the day inevitably comes. I could be very wrong, but don't believe my current Chevy dealer would take on a complete engine replacement if needed (and where would they source said replacement?), though I suppose might be open to a major rebuild if necessary. I fully admit to not being a car guy...but I'm betting you've figured this out on your own already. I just want to be able to keep this car running and in good and safe shape indefinitely -- it's unique door configuration is essential to me. Oh, BTW, with few exceptions, I've had the oil and filter changed every 3k miles as recommended; as for type of lubricant and filters used, I've no idea -- generic dealer stock, I'm sure. Does any of that help?

I guess what I'm looking for (as one of you noted) -- if indeed even possible -- is to eventually be informed of a specialty shop which would take on such major engine work if/when needed, and/or any high-mileage suspension issues as well.

Thanks again for your advice so far...

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Old 05-06-2016, 03:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: ION Quad longevity query

It's great that you've been able to follow some very good service people from the Saturn of Whittier dealership. I actually had to go there to make a parts purchase many years ago. It was a service manager there who told me that these ECOTEC engines were "bullet proof." While the remark was hyperbolic, I've found my engine to be remarkably trouble free. I've kept my oil changes at about the same interval as you have. Dealerships will use a good quality oil and the filters are fine so you're in good shape. As you can see with my mileage below these engines can go for a long time. I'm hoping to get this one to cross the 300K mile mark! I, too, have had no major engine repair issues - only a water pump replacement.

As for suspension, while your Saturn and mine were using Opel platforms they're not unusually difficult to work on. I've done my own work on the rear suspension of my LS1. Apart from the struts, the only suspension parts replaced up front have been the sway bar bushings and links. If you're a AAA member you can get information on their affiliated independent repair shops to look for a place to perform any of the work you're concerned with. Otherwise, talk to friends and find out where they get their automotive repair work taken care of. Word of mouth is a great way to find a good shop. In general, any shop with a good reputation doing those types of repairs can handle a Saturn vehicle. Lastly, continue the oil change regimen and follow the factory service schedule of routine required maintenance. If you'll do those things, the likelihood for getting long life out of your car's powertrain is very high.

All the best to you, sir! It's great to meet another member in L A County!

...
327,000 miles - Holy canolli!
A dishonest communist and deep state socialists want to be POTUS.
They'll bring us a bad economy, weak military, increased terrorism and a greater RED CHINA.

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Old 05-07-2016, 02:12 AM   #6
Jeff Porteous
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2007 ION-3 Quad Coupe
Default Re: ION Quad longevity query

Thank YOU, member Pierrot. Much appreciate the practical advice, and will be following it. My ION Quad STILL turns heads, gets queries and compliments. I'll never understand why they weren't better marketed in their day (everyone loves the doors, and so few knew about them), and I'll certainly always question why GM killed their most forward-thinking brand when other, older, legacy divisions seemed better suited to march into history when the choice had to be made. (Yes, yes, I know, the profit wasn't there, but I still think that was a marketing issue, not necessarily a product problem.)

Thanks again,
Jeff

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