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Old 08-07-2003, 11:48 PM   #1
ChrisION
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Question ION Reliability

i'm not too farmiliar with saturn's long-term out-look, so how well does the ION fare in the reliability category? i'm farmiliar with other GM makes, but i see a lot of older s-series sedans out on the roads. so does saturn have a good reliability rating? just curious i don't want a car that will leave me straded somewhere like ford (we had a ford escort for 5 years and it broke down 4 times, the first when it was just 2 years old)

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Old 08-08-2003, 12:28 AM   #2
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2003 ION-3 Sedan
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Chris,

I traded my SL1 with 102K on when I bought my Ion. I guess it does say something for reliability. The only time that it died on me was when the alternator went kaput. I had all the routine maintenence done on the car, and at 102K she was still giving me 33 - 40 MPG.

I don't think we have anything to fear with the Ion either. The engine is pretty highly rated, and it's backed by the Saturn name, that's good enough for me.....

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Old 08-08-2003, 09:29 AM   #3
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My SL2 with 165k on it has gone through 2 belt tensioners, 2 sets of tires, 2 sets of front break pads, one set of front break rotors, 1 alternator, 1 water pump, and 1 O2 sensor.

All in all not too bad at all.

In all that the car has only failed me once, when the water pump blew, and then only because I has procrastinated getting the pump replaced because I was trying to buy an Ion at the time The pump actually blew on the way to the mechanic to get the new one put in hehe.

All in all if the S series cars are any indication the Ion should be a real champ reliablity wise. My S series is still serving my family well in it's semi-retired role of "wife's commuter car". When the time and money comes we'll probably trade it in for an Ion or hand it over to my little brother to replace his aged cavalier.

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Old 08-08-2003, 09:41 AM   #4
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Unlike FORD (fix or repair daily)....I think Saturn's are excellent in the reliability factor. I had a SW1 which ran 135K miles without a major hitch. I had to replace the battery 2x in the 6 years that I had the car. On the other hand....I had a Dodge Caravan...just hit 4 years old with 65K miles on it and started to act up..had to get major work done...timing chain, sensors, etc. I think Saturns are very very reliable...this is why you see so many older SL's on the road still.

- Ali

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Old 08-08-2003, 09:53 AM   #5
SonataInFSharp
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2008 AURA XE
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So far my ION has been fine, but it's only 5 months old.

I had a DRL go out and an "I" fall off; neither of these were enough to upset me or make me think it is unreliable.

I am going to get my A/C looked at tomorrow, but then again, I seem to have an isolated problem, so I wouldn't hold this against the ION, either.

For the long term, I see this car as being reliable in proportion to how I treat it; I take special care of it, so I expect it to last a very, very long time.

Just for comparison, my wife's friends have a Buick Rendevous and it has been in the shop a total or 12 times now for fairly major problems, mostly electrical; it is only 9 months old.

...
*Drive it like you bought it.

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Old 08-08-2003, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by SonataInFSharp
Just for comparison, my wife's friends have a Buick Rendevous and it has been in the shop a total or 12 times now for fairly major problems, mostly electrical; it is only 9 months old.
Wow,

That's one of the SUVs, besides the Vue, that my mom has been considering...maybe she should scratch it off her list!

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Old 08-08-2003, 10:22 AM   #7
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My Ion is almost 5 months old, and I've had no problems. The auto tranny was a little rough at first, but it's smoothed out drastically since then. It's still a little rough every now and then, but for the most part it's alright. I also have a buzzing coming from somewhere to the left of me. It's on and off, and I usually don't hear it so I haven't bothered to have it fixed. And lastly, the only problem that has irritated me is this...

I have a loud whistle coming form somewhere when the car is moving at speeds over 15 mph...ALL THE TIME. I think I have figured out that it is from the A/C vent to the left of the steering wheel. It whistles even when the A/C isn't on though, but even louder when it is. I have noticed that there is a constant draft coming through the vent,even when I have it turned off, so that could explain why there's still a whistle. Has anyone else noticed this?

Anyway, that has nothing to do with reliablity, and so far my Ion has been rock solid.

...
Kyle

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15 Porsche Cayman, Carrara White
Previous:
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06 Mini Cooper S
05 Saab 9-3
03 Saturn Ion2

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Old 08-08-2003, 10:55 AM   #8
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You want to talk about reliability, take a look at the JD Powers recent report. Saturn is numero dos on the list for most reliable cars.

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Old 08-08-2003, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by KrgION03
Wow,

That's one of the SUVs, besides the Vue, that my mom has been considering...maybe she should scratch it off her list!
I'm not a big fan of the Redezvous. They are quite expensive for an SUV that is more or less an enhanced Aztec. Really, there are much better SUVs available at much better prices.

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Old 08-08-2003, 10:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by KrgION03
My Ion is almost 5 months old, and I've had no problems. The auto tranny was a little rough at first, but it's smoothed out drastically since then. It's still a little rough every now and then, but for the most part it's alright. I also have a buzzing coming from somewhere to the left of me. It's on and off, and I usually don't hear it so I haven't bothered to have it fixed. And lastly, the only problem that has irritated me is this...

I have a loud whistle coming form somewhere when the car is moving at speeds over 15 mph...ALL THE TIME. I think I have figured out that it is from the A/C vent to the left of the steering wheel. It whistles even when the A/C isn't on though, but even louder when it is. I have noticed that there is a constant draft coming through the vent,even when I have it turned off, so that could explain why there's still a whistle. Has anyone else noticed this?

Anyway, that has nothing to do with reliablity, and so far my Ion has been rock solid.
I'm not sure about the whistle, but the ION is designed to always have fresh air circulating through the filtration sytem. Almost all new cars do this nowadays. It's supposed to blow air through the car, even when you've got the blower turned to the lowest setting.

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Old 08-08-2003, 12:12 PM   #11
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if you hit the "recirculate" button on the HVAC, and leave the blower on "off," then no air will circulate. If the whistle stops when you do this, then it's something in the HVAC system, probably something funny vibrating in the filter or something like that.

If it doesn't stop, then you have a different problem...

as to saturn reliability,
it depends on who you ask.

my SL 1 has 180-something-thousand miles on it and has had a belt tensioner and an alternator go out, and maybe 3 sets of tires, 2 sets of brake pads, a fuel filter, and oil/air filter changes.

that's all. ever.

and we only changed the oil every 10-12K or so...

of course, it's burning oil now like an Iraqi oil pump...

if you ask L series owners, you might hear a different story.

But the ION feels much better-built than my S did, if that says anything...

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Old 08-08-2003, 12:49 PM   #12
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woah csdibiase, you had a 1997 SL2 with 166,000 miles on it? our 1996 metro only had 36,300 miles on it when we got rid of it about 3 months ago!

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Old 08-08-2003, 03:49 PM   #13
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Things that are normal wear and tear like brakes, batteries, tires, etc., should not even be listed, since these things will wear out with normal use on all cars.

The Saturn S series was pretty solid. Many seemed to burn oil, but they still just kept on going.

With the Ion we have a tested engine and 3 good transmissions, so we just have to wait and see how it holds up under real world working/driving conditions.

I do trust Saturn as a brand and even though my own S series had a bad fuel pump and a bad alternator I still think that car held up wonderfully and it always seemed to die at a gas station, at Saturn, or at home and never left me stranded.

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Old 08-08-2003, 08:06 PM   #14
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If you check the L car forum, or do a search for the poster "deliveryman" you will see that he just traded inhis L200(same engine as the ION) with 233,000 miles, no problems, and the dealer gave him $3500 in trade.

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Old 08-08-2003, 08:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by benpatient
if you hit the "recirculate" button on the HVAC, and leave the blower on "off," then no air will circulate. If the whistle stops when you do this, then it's something in the HVAC system, probably something funny vibrating in the filter or something like that.
I tried that, but even when I did that, the air was still circulating!

I'm gonna go try it out again in a minute though.

...
Kyle

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Previous:
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09 Mercedes-Benz C300
06 Mini Cooper S
05 Saab 9-3
03 Saturn Ion2

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