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Old 03-25-2008, 07:34 PM   #1
bobbyrae
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Location: Alameda, CA
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1993 SL2
Sad Discontinued parts can be dangerous

I have a 1993 SL2 and I have just found out that the o-rings on the fuel rail are discontinued. So if you don't know what that means, I will explain. The fuel comes in through a tube at high pressure and there are a variety of connections, many of which are sealed with rubber o-rings. If a car owner cannot get new o-rings, he may end up reusing the old ones, which can lead to a fuel leak in the engine compartment, and of course, we all know the terrible potential of THAT situation.

I was pretty angry about this at first, because the o-rings were NOT available in the aftermarket, except as generic o-rings you have to visually match up, which is error-prone. It just seemed like a totally economic decision that could endanger lives. Now that I have calmed down a bit and thought a little more, I am willing to consider that perhaps the contract with a supplier ran out, and then they went out of business. This would be beyond Saturn's control. But I really doubt that because there are other fuel system o-rings that are still available.

Still, with the history American car companies have with exploding gas tanks, etc, GM just doesn't need more problems like this. Just from a business perspective, they have to ask themselves, if this is the kind of decision that will irritate owners of older Saturns, causing them to tell all their friends "I'll never buy a Saturn again".

...
Bobby Rae
Alameda, CA
1993 SL2 A/T, 80k miles, 22/33/43 mpg
1982 Accord 5-speed, 303k miles, 23/32/40 mpg

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Old 03-25-2008, 08:25 PM   #2
Squareback
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Location: East Syracuse, NY
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2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: Discontinued parts can be dangerous

Manufacturers are required by Federal Law to make parts available for 10 years following production of the vehicle. That's it. Something like an o-ring is certainly not rocket science and a replacement is easily had at any of the billions of places that sell o-rings. If you decide to reuse the old one or get the wrong replacement, in what way is that any fault of Saturn's?? How would it benefit Saturn to make parts for a 14 year old obsolete car? I wish VW still made a lot of parts for my '74 Bus and my '71 Squareback, but common sense tells me that it isn't economically feasible for them to do so. It's an o-ring, not the end of the world. Find a suitable replacement and quit trying to place blame on a corporation for something so petty. Certainly a rational person isn't going to base their opinion of a car company based on a vehicle they don't even make anymore or an engine that isn't made anymore either. You're really making this a much larger problem than it needs to be.

...
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:44 PM   #3
john95SW2
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Discontinued parts can be dangerous

I work for one of the billions of companies that sell o-rings...we get requests all the time from people who have a sample o-ring and have no idea what material its made out of or what size it is...2 simple measurements and a bounce with the material identifier and we can get zillions of them. They didn't invent a special size o-ring for the s-series, its just a standard size...find one of the billions of companies that sell o-rings (hint: google "o-ring"), and they'll walk you through the rest of the process....don't sweat it, its not a big deal....

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Old 04-07-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
Asterixx
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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1997 SL2
1996 SL1
Default Re: Discontinued parts can be dangerous

You think it's bad with Saturn, try keeping a 20 year old Ford Thunderbird on the road. My '88 Thunderbird is mint and very low mileage (60k original) but I'm afraid to drive it because anything that breaks is unreplaceable, unless it happens to be a part that also works for Mustangs. Usually you can get away with this with mechanical parts (the Mustang and T-Bird are both "Fox" chassis cars) - in fact, on the rare occasion that I call a dealership for parts I just tell 'em I'm looking for a part for a '93 Mustang. Any interior or body parts, though, and you're on your own.

Making things worse is the fact that skyrocketing commodities prices have caused junkyards to crush anything over 10 years old. It took me months to find a signal light lens (ended up getting one on eBay) and it took me 6 years to find a decent parts car...

...
1996 SL1 5m loaded except sunroof *SOLD*
1997 SL2 5m Loaded including sunroof, fog lights, and console bin.
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