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Old 11-25-2009, 05:54 AM   #1
93satsc2
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1993 SC2
Default Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

Here is my situation:

I have a black 93 SC2 with 130K miles on it. The engine still runs fine and my brother swapped out the tranny in '05 (with one from a junk yard car) and also installed a brand new clutch. I have probably only put around maybe 10K more miles on the car since the tranny swap. Since then, I have replaced the entire exhaust (minus the actual exhaust manifold where the O2 sensor is mounted).

This car has multiple problems (listed in order from most severe to normal wear and tear):

1. Possible cracked radiator, as indicated by leaking coolant and the dash indicator of a pic of a red radiator with a down arrow, flashing periodically during driving.

2. While driving, the car exhibits what a local mechanic referred to as a "torque turn". With the wheels straight ahead, the steering wheel turns itself to one side about 45 degrees, then abruptly snaps back to being centered, without any sort of warning. This issue is especially hazardous during inclement weather conditions, such as driving in the rain, as it has caused me to almost lose control of the vehicle on multiple occasions. The interesting thing about this, is that it began to exhibit this strange behavior only after I had replaced the right front (passenger side) engine mount and the driver side tie rod end. I immediately drove to get an alignment done on the car, but to my great disappointment, the car was still doing the pull-snap thing. The mechanic at the tire store where I had the alignment performed, showed me that the alignment was completed successfully, and that I may want to look into changing the other existing engine mount with a new one.

3. The A/C compressor has gone out (not major at this time, considering that it is wintertime and A/C is purely optional for the next few months.

4. The front brakes are very rough-feeling and diminished, despite the fact that I installed perfectly new rotors less than one year ago. I suspect that from just sitting for months, that the rotors have built up some very bad corrosoin.

5. The tires do not have many more miles of use remaining and are quickly becoming balder by the day.

6. The plastic interior trim around the windows has come loose on both sides (appears as if the clips have disengaged and / or cracked in places).

7. The black rubber trim is pulling away from the driver side door.

Given all of these issues, I would like to hear whether or not the people on this forum would make the decision to keep the car versus simply selling it.


Thanks,

- 93satsc2 -

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Old 11-25-2009, 08:19 AM   #2
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

From what you describe; if you can replace rotors on the front end, as well as tie-rods; you can replace a radiator.

Radiators on these cars (you have the textbook example of what happens to the radiator- cracked radiator on the top driver's side of the radiator) go after the 10-12 year mark; and replacing them is relatively simple. As it sounds as if you have some tools, and repair knowledge; get a new radiator from autozone, radiatorbarn.com, or rockauto.com They aren't very expensive; anywhere from $85-$150 depending on what you get.

Change the rest of the mounts on the car; although I have never read about what your car is exhibiting with the steering wheel snapping back into place....maybe an issue with the steering column??

When you did the brakes, did you JUST replace the rotors? A brake job should include the Pads as well. When you do brakes, the Pads AND Rotors, and even the Caliper Pins, should ALL be replaced at the same time. What is the status of your brake fluid, and color of the brake fluid?

Get some new tires, this maybe a cause for the brakes feeling "loose", in that you don't have traction to help you stop.

Go to a JY and pull off the interior panels you need from another car that matches your year, or find replacements at www.car-part.com

Given the info you have supplied, this doesn't sound like the end of the road for your car; these are relatively moderate repairs that you can fix yourself. The steering wheel issue would definately be something to work on. Other than that, fix these up, and drive that car. It is still young with only 130K miles on the clock.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 11-25-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
Citation84
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2005 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

^^^ What 2ndsout said. How much would it cost to replace it with something else? That one will need tires and brakes in time and probably won't look or be as interesting or be as easy to fix as what you have now.

Is it possible that is a bad wheel bearing causing your steering problem ?

I'd vote to keep it and fix it unless you simply want something fresher.

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Old 11-25-2009, 12:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

If you have time on your hands and are short on cash, you should attempt to do the work. However, everyone needs to assess their own time/money/expertise/frustration threshold and proceed based on that. Cars are mechanical and will break down, especially those older than 7 years.

To me it is a game at this point. Once I get to the point where I am chronically worried about my car not being reliable, I'm going to go buy a new car as I feel relatively certain that I"ll have another 7 years of trouble free driving. I WANT my car to last much longer and will keep it so long as it is reliable and relatively hassle free, but that definition varies from person to person. I also have the means by which to buy a new car without problems - you might not.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
As of 07/25/18: 51,495 Miles

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Old 11-25-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
Derek McNelly
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Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXSaturn02 View Post
To me it is a game at this point. Once I get to the point where I am chronically worried about my car not being reliable, I'm going to go buy a new car as I feel relatively certain that I"ll have another 7 years of trouble free driving. I WANT my car to last much longer and will keep it so long as it is reliable and relatively hassle free, but that definition varies from person to person. I also have the means by which to buy a new car without problems - you might not.
That's how it was with my S10. A lot of little things were failing in a short span of time. Inexpensive stuff, but the amount of time I would've spent wouldn't be worth it anymore.

I never worried about it breaking down (and it never did, but AAA Gold w/100 mile towing, FTW), but the oil leak and the radio short were annoying enough, then I get sideswiped and need body work, and it turned into one of those situations where I fell out of love with my truck.

If I had the time/resources, I totally would've restored it. But I wasn't willing to patch it together and call it good. I wanted it done right, and I hadn't the time nor the money to do it properly.

Frankly, if you can't afford something new, by all means, keep 'er running. If not, sell it. Be reasonable about it too. There's someone out there who could really use a car.

I sold my truck for about $150 over what the junkyard was offering, just because I knew it was still a solid, reliable vehicle, and someone needed it. If I hadn't just replaced the radiator/thermostat/water pump, I would've sold it for less.

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Old 11-26-2009, 05:38 AM   #6
93satsc2
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1993 SC2
Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
From what you describe; if you can replace rotors on the front end, as well as tie-rods; you can replace a radiator.

Radiators on these cars (you have the textbook example of what happens to the radiator- cracked radiator on the top driver's side of the radiator) go after the 10-12 year mark; and replacing them is relatively simple. As it sounds as if you have some tools, and repair knowledge; get a new radiator from autozone, radiatorbarn.com, or rockauto.com They aren't very expensive; anywhere from $85-$150 depending on what you get.
I have removed / reinstalled radiators before and am no stranger to the process. Depending on the size of the leak, would it be worth the effort of patching the crack(s) with marine epoxy? Years ago, I successfully patched my 86 Corolla GT-S radiator using marine epoxy. The fix held without any problems. The specific reason I ask if you think this (patching the crack) would be a viable alternative, is that finances are scarce at the moment. I literally cannot afford the cost of a new radiator right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Change the rest of the mounts on the car; although I have never read about what your car is exhibiting with the steering wheel snapping back into place....maybe an issue with the steering column??
I purchased the remaining two mounts from Auto Zone yesterday (Part Numbers: A2826 and A2825) and intend to install them on Friday before heading to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
When you did the brakes, did you JUST replace the rotors? A brake job should include the Pads as well. When you do brakes, the Pads AND Rotors, and even the Caliper Pins, should ALL be replaced at the same time. What is the status of your brake fluid, and color of the brake fluid?
I replaced the rotors and pads at the same time. However, I did not replace the caliper pins. It is also worth noting that the red BRAKE light is illuminated. I will have to check the status of the brake fluid and report back on it. Considering that brake fluid is so relatively cheap, I will probably go ahead and change out all of the old brake fluid for new anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Get some new tires, this maybe a cause for the brakes feeling "loose", in that you don't have traction to help you stop.
Currently, I cannot afford to purchase a brand new set of tires as money is very tight. I am a new father and so the amount of spare cash available previously, is now much less.


- 93satsc2 -

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Old 11-26-2009, 09:29 PM   #7
Beachbaby902
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1994 SL2
Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93satsc2 View Post
I have removed / reinstalled radiators before and am no stranger to the process. Depending on the size of the leak, would it be worth the effort of patching the crack(s) with marine epoxy? Years ago, I successfully patched my 86 Corolla GT-S radiator using marine epoxy. The fix held without any problems. The specific reason I ask if you think this (patching the crack) would be a viable alternative, is that finances are scarce at the moment. I literally cannot afford the cost of a new radiator right now.



I purchased the remaining two mounts from Auto Zone yesterday (Part Numbers: A2826 and A2825) and intend to install them on Friday before heading to work.



I replaced the rotors and pads at the same time. However, I did not replace the caliper pins. It is also worth noting that the red BRAKE light is illuminated. I will have to check the status of the brake fluid and report back on it. Considering that brake fluid is so relatively cheap, I will probably go ahead and change out all of the old brake fluid for new anyway.



Currently, I cannot afford to purchase a brand new set of tires as money is very tight. I am a new father and so the amount of spare cash available previously, is now much less.


- 93satsc2 -
I wouldn't try and patch the radiator, mine was patched before i bought it and it caused me to have to go buy a transmission line(dealer part). Its much better to just replace the whole thing.

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Old 11-27-2009, 02:12 AM   #8
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93satsc2 View Post
I have removed / reinstalled radiators before and am no stranger to the process. Depending on the size of the leak, would it be worth the effort of patching the crack(s) with marine epoxy? Years ago, I successfully patched my 86 Corolla GT-S radiator using marine epoxy. The fix held without any problems. The specific reason I ask if you think this (patching the crack) would be a viable alternative, is that finances are scarce at the moment. I literally cannot afford the cost of a new radiator right now.



I purchased the remaining two mounts from Auto Zone yesterday (Part Numbers: A2826 and A2825) and intend to install them on Friday before heading to work.



I replaced the rotors and pads at the same time. However, I did not replace the caliper pins. It is also worth noting that the red BRAKE light is illuminated. I will have to check the status of the brake fluid and report back on it. Considering that brake fluid is so relatively cheap, I will probably go ahead and change out all of the old brake fluid for new anyway.



Currently, I cannot afford to purchase a brand new set of tires as money is very tight. I am a new father and so the amount of spare cash available previously, is now much less.


- 93satsc2 -
I can understand in regards to the limited funds; been there done that, as I have an almost 3 year old myself. If it makes you feel any better; the radiator in my 94 SC1 to replace was $85. I bought it from a parts warehouse brand new on ebay. The radiator I bought for my 94 SL2 was $150 and I bought that one from autozone.

Granted I know your funds are tight, but do you have another mode of transport or is this car currently the only thing you have?

DON'T, DON'T, DON'T BY ANY MEANS use any type of epoxy or stop leak on a Saturn radiator! It more than likely will get into the rest of your coolant system and wind up clogging the rest of it. The tanks on these cars radiatiors are plastic surrounded by a metal core.

If the Brake light is illuminated, there is something else going on with the brake system. Is the light ALWAYS lit, or does it flicker off and on?

How are the back tires on this car? Depending on what the condition of the back tires are, maybe you should consider rotating the tires, or putting the back tires on the front and the front tires on the back. These cars are FWD, but if you do this, it may not give you any traction on the back end.

If I were you, and you have another mode of transport, I would work hard to save up a bit of money to get these issues fixed "Right, the first time", so that you are not wasting money in doing repairs more than they are needed.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 11-27-2009, 10:43 AM   #9
Citation84
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Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

You never said what your alternative to selling it would be. If it comes down to keeping it on the road with bald tires and brakes, you might consider selling it, used tires from a shop that sells them or Craig's list or parking it while you get the money if you are able to get around without a car for awhile.

Would taking on huge debt for another vehicle be to you and your new family's benefit? Lots of debt torpedoes even established family's financial futures.

It will do no one any good if the brakes and tires go and take you with them, [especially your new kid and the babymomma].

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Old 11-28-2009, 01:01 PM   #10
hooked2u
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2001 SC2
1999 SC2
Default Re: Worth fixing up or should I sell it instead?

I agree with most of the previous comments. Regarding your radiator... a new radiator purchased online from ebay or radiators.com should cost around $85.

I just had my radiator replaced. I'm a non-mechanical, computer geek, so I paid to have it done on my 1999 SC2; $314 shy. My leak was in the same location that you describe. The replacement radiator looks beefier than the original.

You might opt for fecapped tires versus brand new, ergo your money situation, or as was suggested used tires with greater than minimal tread.

You've purchased parts for repair so you must not be considering replacement with another vehicle, used or new.

Good luck.

...
<<1999 Saturn SC2 4 speed automatic. 262,658 (as of: 2014AUG29), low comp cyl#3, parked, use emergency trans. only; 2001 Saturn SC2 5 gear manual. < 127K mi, purch May 2014. Great MPG!>>

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