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Old 11-25-2018, 05:09 PM   #1
datlas
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Default Bang! Scrape! Fuel tank strap broken!

Yesterday I drove through a big puddle and immediately after I heard a pop and some scraping. Long story short, one of the fuel tank straps (the one closer to the driver side) broke from rust.

I tried to loosen the other endís bolt but it was seized and I donít really have the equipment to put a new part on, so I will ask my mechanic to fix it.

My car is a 1998 SL. 170k miles, I am original owner.

Is this a common failure??
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bang! Scrape! Fuel tank strap broken!

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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Yesterday I drove through a big puddle and immediately after I heard a pop and some scraping. Long story short, one of the fuel tank straps (the one closer to the driver side) broke from rust.

I tried to loosen the other endís bolt but it was seized and I donít really have the equipment to put a new part on, so I will ask my mechanic to fix it.

My car is a 1998 SL. 170k miles, I am original owner.

Is this a common failure??
Pretty much as they rust out from salt exposure; I'm assuming your in an area where they use salt on the roads. When it happened to me the bolts were all rusty and deteriorated and snapped off just below the head. The threads had to be extracted and I had to get a new bolt.
...
1999 SL2 MT (311,300 km @ 01/2023)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

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1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:24 PM   #3
datlas
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Default Re: Bang! Scrape! Fuel tank strap broken!

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Originally Posted by trottida View Post
Pretty much as they rust out from salt exposure; I'm assuming your in an area where they use salt on the roads. When it happened to me the bolts were all rusty and deteriorated and snapped off just below the head. The threads had to be extracted and I had to get a new bolt.
I kinda figured. I live near Philadelphia and they do salt the roads in winter. I typically do a full underbody automated car wash once a year when winter is over.

My mechanic said he ordered the replacement part off Ebay and bent the broken part up so that I can drive it until the part comes in next week.

I suppose for a 20 year old car it's not that big a deal, but my wife is starting to get impatient with periodic maintenance costs and wants me to get a new car. I will drag my feet as long as I can. I love my Saturn!
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Old 11-26-2018, 03:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bang! Scrape! Fuel tank strap broken!

It probably won't help with the wife, but showing her the cost of 5 years of car payments (plus higher insurance) vs 5 years of Saturn maintenance is probably going to be an eye opener.

I never did add it all up, but guessing the total cost for buying and maintaining my '98 for the 7~8 years I drove it was probably in the neighborhood of $2,000 total.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bang! Scrape! Fuel tank strap broken!

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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I kinda figured. I live near Philadelphia and they do salt the roads in winter. I typically do a full underbody automated car wash once a year when winter is over.

My mechanic said he ordered the replacement part off Ebay and bent the broken part up so that I can drive it until the part comes in next week.

I suppose for a 20 year old car it's not that big a deal, but my wife is starting to get impatient with periodic maintenance costs and wants me to get a new car. I will drag my feet as long as I can. I love my Saturn!
I am just above Philly in Quakertown. All three of our family's Saturns have no issues with the straps, and they are not too rusty. Our rusty areas seem to be the front sub frame (usual) and the rocker cover.
...
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