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Old 05-23-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
tomcook
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Default S series vs others

1999 SW 2

typical oil burner - 150,000 miles, a qt every 250 - 300 miles.

If my wife wasn't so embarrassed about the big white cloud AND oil was $1.00 a qt, I'd just keep driving. I LOVE the car.

I've tried ring soak, additives, different oil, I'm convinced the only solution is another engine and I'm not up to tackling that.

Did Saturn make any engines with the holes in the rings? If so, which models?

I'm sure I'll get 25 different opinions from 10 different people, but what about the other models? Better/worse than the SW's??

Thanks again for a great forum.

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Old 05-23-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: S series vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
1999 SW 2

typical oil burner - 150,000 miles, a qt every 250 - 300 miles.

If my wife wasn't so embarrassed about the big white cloud AND oil was $1.00 a qt, I'd just keep driving. I LOVE the car.

I've tried ring soak, additives, different oil, I'm convinced the only solution is another engine and I'm not up to tackling that.

Did Saturn make any engines with the holes in the rings? If so, which models?

I'm sure I'll get 25 different opinions from 10 different people, but what about the other models? Better/worse than the SW's??

Thanks again for a great forum.
Saturn only built two versions of the 1.9L with slight changes over the years. I'm not 100% sure which years were actually the best, but I'd guess anything in the last years ('00-'02-ish). You'd just have to look for a 1.9L Twin Cam 16-valve. The only other 1.9L was an 8-valve engine.

The model determined which engine they had:
SL, SL1, SW, SW1, SC, SC1 had the 8-valve engine
SL2, SW2, SC2 had the 16-valve engine

I'd think a rebuild by someone who knows the Saturn 1.9L would be your best bet. Personally, I don't know I'd trust the expense of swapping out engines. You could probably have a good rebuild done for not much more money.

There was a year when they supposedly changed some internals to combat the oil consumption/rings, but I believe that was around the year of yours, maybe 2000.

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Last edited by RedGeminiPA; 05-23-2012 at 07:20 PM..

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Old 05-23-2012, 09:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: S series vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedGeminiPA View Post
There was a year when they supposedly changed some internals to combat the oil consumption/rings, but I believe that was around the year of yours, maybe 2000.
and even still it wasn't enough. a majority of those third gen engines went right back to burning oil.

unless your Saturn was rebuilt (the right way ), no S-series ever had drain holes in the pistons.

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Old 05-23-2012, 09:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: S series vs others

What about series other than the S.

Any better than others?

We may buy a used car rather than have a re-manufactured engine installed and don't have any knowledge of the other models.

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Old 05-24-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: S series vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
What about series other than the S.

Any better than others?

We may buy a used car rather than have a re-manufactured engine installed and don't have any knowledge of the other models.
The 1.9L was S-Series-only.

The L-Series used the 2.2L EcoTec, but be cautious of any before '04. There were prone to timing chain snaps due to poor lubrication. They had the Opel-built 3.0L V6 as well. They're generally good, but difficult to work on.

The Vue: Similar to the L-Series, but the Honda 3.5L and Honda 5-speed auto was used in '04-'07. Generally bullet proof, but still has their own quirks. AVOID ANY 4-CYLINDER AUTOMATIC BEFORE '05! They were equipped with the horrid VTi CVT transmission that is prone to failure.

Ion: 2.2L and 2.4L EcoTec, but the Red Line had either Supercharged or Turbo available.

Your best bet could be to scout prospective forums for possible failure rates of various components.

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Old 05-25-2012, 01:16 AM   #6
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2005 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: S series vs others

At 85K my ION doesn't even use oil, the engine isn't even remotely dirty.
Newer than 99 it's hard to find wagon-y goodness like an SW

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: S series vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
Newer than 99 it's hard to find wagon-y goodness like an SW
Yeah, I know.

And my better half has already told me "No smaller than the SW."

Hate to consider it, but another make and model may be in my future.

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Old 05-27-2012, 11:07 AM   #8
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: S series vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
Yeah, I know.

And my better half has already told me "No smaller than the SW."

Hate to consider it, but another make and model may be in my future.
You may be able to find a nice LW. If I were in the market, I'd consider owning one. Granted, you might have to travel a little, but it could be worth it.

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Old 05-27-2012, 07:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: S series vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedGeminiPA View Post
You may be able to find a nice LW. If I were in the market, I'd consider owning one. Granted, you might have to travel a little, but it could be worth it.
When I search "problem" in the L serIes forum on this site I find a near duplicate of the S series. "BURNING WAY TOO MUCH OIL!" With the usual PVC, MMO soak, etc.

Sounds like "frying pan to the fire."

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:20 AM   #10
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: S series vs others

Hunn, don't know where you got that, the L series do have problems of their own, but being oil burners is not one of them!

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Old 05-28-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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2004 VUE 3.5L
Default Re: S series vs others

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomcook View Post
When I search "problem" in the L serIes forum on this site I find a near duplicate of the S series. "BURNING WAY TOO MUCH OIL!" With the usual PVC, MMO soak, etc.

Sounds like "frying pan to the fire."
Considering they only had 2.2L EcoTecs or 3.0L Opel V6s, and I've never heard of any oil consumption problems, I'm stumped as to exactly what you've found.

If you search for "problem," you're going to find a boat-load of related threads on any car forum talking about "problems." That doesn't mean they're loaded with problems. Usually, one forum thread sums up most of the issues to a problem, but most don't take the time to really search the threads for a problem. It's easier for someone to start a new thread, which leads to probably hundreds of repeat threads about the same problem.

Your best bet would be to start a thread under L-Series - General asking for input from owners if you're considering the purchase of an L-Series. The same thing is asked by prospects in the Vue forum, and they usually always find enough responses on what to look for so they can make an informed purchase. So far, they've all ended up buying a Vue after some input from other owners, at least from what I've seen.

Better yet... just look for a nice '04-'07 Vue with a V6. They're powered by the bullet proof Honda 3.5L VTEC engine and Honda-built 5-speed automatic. You'll typically find far more praise than negative from this little guy.

Keep in mind - most threads in many parts of these forums are from owners trying to solve a problem. It's far from an indication that every Saturn X or Y model will experience this same problem. You can't base that as a rule of thumb meaning they're nothing but problems. Every car manufacture has issues, and forums like this for other brands will also be loaded with people asking for help with problems. It doesn't mean every brand is junk. It just means we live in a world of computer-controlled vehicles that have become very sophisticated and complicated beasts.

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