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Old 03-30-2018, 05:29 PM   #1
Nigey
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Default Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

Well, this is really annoying. I just had the gasket replaced between the y-pipe and exhaust after it started blowing, and the guy at the store showed me the condition of the y-pipe. Looks like I'll be needing a new one fairly soon.

However, while you can get to the bolts, the real issue is removing it once it's loose. How do you remove it? By removing the sub frame or lifting the engine of course! This was quoted as $2,000 to me. Usually these guys are decent, so I tend to think this price is in the ball park.

Which idiot designed it that way? I'd like to give them a piece of my mind. I've had my 2007 Saturn Aura with 60K miles for approximately 15 months now. In that time it's done 7K miles at a cost of:

$1200 to replace steering rack
$350 front wheel bearing
$30 signal stem
..and messing around to get the 3rd brake light working.

And it looks like if I want to keep it on the road, I'm more than likely looking at another $2K pretty soon.

Saturn Aura? No thanks, never again. I'm really thinking of trading it in for another car while it doesn't sound like a sports car, sometimes you just take a loss.....

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Old 03-30-2018, 08:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

I'll bet a good muffler shop worth their weight in welding and customizing exhaust systems can probably create a replaceable 'Y' pipe for far less than $2k without dropping the subframe..... Skills and thinking outside the box. You have to either call around or visit shops to find the right one so the person that can do the work can see the challenge and figure out a way for less than what book procedures (GM) say.

I can imagine your frustration and may have at least one idea in mind but since I'm not an Aura expert or familiar with exhaust systems, it's easy to conjure up a solution but without seeing a picture or two of your system, its guessing. "Where there's a will there's a way..." There's always a solution than the one presented.

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Old 04-03-2018, 05:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

I agree with FDryer, and the other prices (except for the turn signal multi switch) are pretty high-$350 for a wheel bearing hub? that is crazy IMO...Same with the steering rack, it is really not that big of a deal to do in a garage with floor jacks and a few hours.

Any good exhaust shop can fix or replace an entire exhaust, and very complicated I'll add, for substantially less than $2000 (not including the expense of a cat, of course, which is still managable if you can be open to going non-OEM).

Consider getting other opinions. While a good mechanic is hard to find, it is still an open economy and there are other ways to skin a cat.

I do mostly all my own work, but if I have to get something done that I am not equipped to do, I have multiple contacts locally so I do shop around. Best not to over react to one outrageous estimate-do some homework, it might not be as bad as all that. Good luck.

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Old 04-03-2018, 08:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

Yes, the wheel bearing was a mistake; I'd been bringing cars to a local place that had been pretty good and charging fair prices. When the wheel bearing went, I made a *BIG* mistake of not looking it up myself and assuming I'd needed a press (which I don't have) which it doesn't need. I was definitely rucked on that one and when I saw the bill, I was surprised! The same place (interestingly it had a new manager so I should have been more careful) also wanted $2,000 for a replacement steering rack, but I'd already had my suspicions by then, and went to another place that did it for the $1,100. Sadly, after 20 years of using this place, it's off the list now for me.

Also, keep in mind the steering rack went when it was cold -really cold -weather, and I don't have a garage or lift. Yes, I could have done it myself, but I really didn't want to mess around in the cold on an icy driveway -plus at the time I needed the car to get into work and would have only had a weekend to do this in. I'm also going to add I don't think this job is just a couple of hours (at least for me, and I did contemplate doing it myself.)

The issue with the y-downpipes (that have a cat as well as the one at the back) isn't the undoing of it, it's the removal and replacement that is the problem. Look underneath and you'll see there isn't the space to remove or insert it without the engine or sub frame moving (sigh). I haven't done any research yet, but if I do get this fixed I don't mind going with a non-OEM cat if its comparable. I'm also wondering if I can get a downpipe chopped and put in there and rewelded up......not sure. Obviously, I'll also get a couple more estimates as well which is a very good idea.

Lastly, I'm a pretty frugal shopper, and I'm in the Boston area -it wouldn't suprize me if the price quoted is in the ball park as everything in the north east is more expensive, though if anyone knows of another reputable mechanic in the area who would do it for less, I'd definitely like to know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmtphoto View Post
I agree with FDryer, and the other prices (except for the turn signal multi switch) are pretty high-$350 for a wheel bearing hub? that is crazy IMO...Same with the steering rack, it is really not that big of a deal to do in a garage with floor jacks and a few hours.

Any good exhaust shop can fix or replace an entire exhaust, and very complicated I'll add, for substantially less than $2000 (not including the expense of a cat, of course, which is still managable if you can be open to going non-OEM).

Consider getting other opinions. While a good mechanic is hard to find, it is still an open economy and there are other ways to skin a cat.

I do mostly all my own work, but if I have to get something done that I am not equipped to do, I have multiple contacts locally so I do shop around. Best not to over react to one outrageous estimate-do some homework, it might not be as bad as all that. Good luck.

...
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2002 Saturn SL2 1.9L (manual)

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Old 04-04-2018, 11:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

I have an XR with the 3.6, not an XE so I am not familar with the exhaust on your car. I too am in the NE so I can relate to how expensive it can be to find a reasonable price for any automotive service-so I have been working on my own cars for 45+ years now and rarely use anyone for anything anymore (tire mounting and balancing, the rare trans rebuilt are the only things that come to mind in the past 20-30 years). I bought a good welder, have many good high lift floor jacks, and can park a car inside and let it sit until I get it fixed since I have a lot of 'drivers', cars that are registered, inspected and insured (currently 7 vehicles). I have always been a firm believer in having more than one car so I always had a solution when I had to fix a car, even if the second vehicle is a 'beater'-although I have gotten to the point where none of my drivers are beaters anymore since I can park any one at any time and fix/improve it and still get around. They're all quite nice now, and worth parking and fixing if something comes up.

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Old 04-05-2018, 05:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

Nice! Without a doubt my biggest problem is not having an indoor garage -at least in the Boston area, as well as a driveway that only supports 2 vehicles. I agree; where possible, I do all the work myself. Aside from the fact it is so much cheaper and you can use much higher quality parts than the cheapest- parts-but-charged-for-premium-prices, you at least know the quality of the job you do. That's a huge positive for me.

Sadly, I do not have the space nor the money for a beater car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmtphoto View Post
I have an XR with the 3.6, not an XE so I am not familar with the exhaust on your car. I too am in the NE so I can relate to how expensive it can be to find a reasonable price for any automotive service-so I have been working on my own cars for 45+ years now and rarely use anyone for anything anymore (tire mounting and balancing, the rare trans rebuilt are the only things that come to mind in the past 20-30 years). I bought a good welder, have many good high lift floor jacks, and can park a car inside and let it sit until I get it fixed since I have a lot of 'drivers', cars that are registered, inspected and insured (currently 7 vehicles). I have always been a firm believer in having more than one car so I always had a solution when I had to fix a car, even if the second vehicle is a 'beater'-although I have gotten to the point where none of my drivers are beaters anymore since I can park any one at any time and fix/improve it and still get around. They're all quite nice now, and worth parking and fixing if something comes up.

...
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

Back in the 70's i bought new, off the showroom cars and discovered that they ended up needing work at the dealership (under warranty) anyway, or I had to get it serviced (had no garage) at wherever I could find...and I got a house in the early 80's with a tiny garage. I did repairs in it as best I could, but in 2000 I moved into a house with a FOUR CAR garage, and lots of space to park cars outside too. So I stopped buying new cars, bought interesting cars that were used but that I wanted to own, and now have many stashed all over the place. Like I said, now if I need to do something, I park it and drive something else until problems or upgrades are done. I'm (almost) 65, but really like working on my cars and I also work on friends and neighbor's cars too, so I'm always into some project or another.
Hopefully I can do this for many more years, and I hope you solve this situation-I do remember what it was like to be at the mercy of dealers, repair shops and a non-functioning car in the dead of winter with no place to fix it. Hang in there.

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Old 04-06-2018, 05:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

I was told I needed a Y pipe when the flex pipes started to go. I found these, the bolt holes didn't match up exactly but a little drilling fixed that.

https://fxexhaust.com/ffr/fx2087.html
https://fxexhaust.com/ffr/fx2088.html

...
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaddicted2u View Post
I was told I needed a Y pipe when the flex pipes started to go. I found these, the bolt holes didn't match up exactly but a little drilling fixed that.

https://fxexhaust.com/ffr/fx2087.html
https://fxexhaust.com/ffr/fx2088.html
Looks perfect. How much did it cost?

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Old 04-10-2018, 04:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

I've seen them sold for exorbitant prices on ebay but I had a local parts dealer order them in. I paid $115 Canadian for the pair. Installed them myself.

...
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:51 PM   #11
Nigey
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Default Re: Saturn Aura reliability? And $2K to replace the y-pipe?

Now I'm all ears.... Would you like to elaborate on what you did to make them fit, how you installed them, tools you needed, etc? I would be more than grateful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaddicted2u View Post
I've seen them sold for exorbitant prices on ebay but I had a local parts dealer order them in. I paid $115 Canadian for the pair. Installed them myself.

...
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2002 Saturn SL2 1.9L (manual)

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