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Old 08-30-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
10Miler
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Default 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

The oil filter I got from Autozone doesn't fit my 99 SL1. It is STP part S3614. I tried and tried to screw it on then finally took a close look at the threads on the old filter and the new STP one. The old filter definitely has finer threads than the STP one. I went back to AZ and checked and rehecked the part numbers and I am sure that I am looking at the right part. I even had the guy at the parts desk look it up. Anyone know the correct oil filter for this car? Where do you guys shop for parts?

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Old 08-30-2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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Happy Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Take it back, and pick up a Motorcraft Fl-400S, It is a little over sized (bigger) But it will fit and work 100%. I had it on both of my SlX's, and loved it!. Also it is easier to get off.

I get my Oil and filter at walmart . $3.69 for a Motorcraft oil filter, and 21$ for 5 Qts of Pennzoil Plat Synthetic.

...
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

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Originally Posted by 1994Saturn View Post
Take it back, and pick up a Motorcraft Fl-400S, It is a little over sized (bigger) But it will fit and work 100%. I had it on both of my SlX's, and loved it!. Also it is easier to get off.

I get my Oil and filter at walmart . $3.69 for a Motorcraft oil filter, and 21$ for 5 Qts of Pennzoil Plat Synthetic.
Yes, but are the threads different from the ones at AZ?

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Thats the oil filter i use for my Sw2, are you sure youre not putting it where the transmission filter goes?

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

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Thats the oil filter i use for my Sw2, are you sure youre not putting it where the transmission filter goes?
I'm not sure. I'll go check. That would explain a lot!

BTW, when I took that filter off it had a round magnet inside which had metal shaving clinging to it. Maybe I should replace that filter too while I'm at it.

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Transmission filter in front, oil filter in back where it is a bit tricky to see and reach.

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Old 08-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Wow, don't I feel like a moron!

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

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Originally Posted by 10Miler View Post
Wow, don't I feel like a moron!
NAH! No need to feel like that. Everybody has to learn, and sometimes learning is by mistake. Nobody was born knowing everything.

I just changed the oil for the first time in my kids 01 SL2 yesterday. Its my first Saturn and Im learning too. After reading on this forum about it, I pulled the passenger front tire off to make it easier, and the oil filter was right there with the oil drain plug right under it.

You can also pull off the thin plastic splash shielding thats in your way. You will see what I mean after you pull the tire off. Pull out the center of the 2 plastic rivets holding the shields on, and you can reassemble the shields and reuse the same plastic rivets when you are done.

The only problem I had was that the guy that put on the oil filter really cranked it on. It took a huge pair of channel locks and some serious elbow grease to get it off.

You may want to check your tie rod end and wheel bearing while you have the wheel off. I found a tie rod end starting to go bad. A set of them are now on the list since I prefer to replace them in pairs.

Mike

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Your secret is safe with us. Most of us have done something similar (in my case worse) over the years. Back in the day (and boy, do I hate that phrase) we didn't have the internet to share our experiences on.

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Old 08-30-2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

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Wow, don't I feel like a moron!

You're not the first one to do that. (or the 3rd or 4th...)

The S3600 STP filter would actually be better a better choice than the S3614. It's similar to the FL400s mentioned earlier.

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Old 08-30-2009, 07:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

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Wow, don't I feel like a moron!
Don't.

You were smart enough to log on and figure out what you did wrong. Now you'll be able to get it right. A moron would have forced the filter on, then dumped oil into the engine after draining the tranny fluid. Or something similar.

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Old 08-30-2009, 07:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Don't feel bad.
I just did my first oil change on my Cadillac SRX.
However it turned out to be the front differential and not the engine oil sump I was draining.
Both cast aluminum housings with hex plugs.
(I've only been doing this stuff for 40 yrs)

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Old 08-30-2009, 10:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

On the plus side... now you know how to change the transmission fluid filter

BTW, now that you know how easy it is, you should be changing ATF & filter every 30k miles. The transmission drain plug is at the lowest point on the transmission case below the filter, facing the passenger side wheel. Drain it just like oil - remove plug, replace filter, refill through the dipstick (will need a long funnel)

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyKidHasAn01SL2 View Post
You may want to check your tie rod end and wheel bearing while you have the wheel off. I found a tie rod end starting to go bad. A set of them are now on the list since I prefer to replace them in pairs.

Mike
How do I know if the tie rod end is bad?

Also thanks to all for the tips, advice and encouragement!

I think it's pretty cool that Saturn made the trans filter and fluid so easy to change. You would think that they could have made the oil filter a little more accessible though. My plan at this point is to just wait until next oil change to replaced the oil filter. Or would it be advisable to do it now?

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Old 08-31-2009, 11:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

do it now cause your only doing half the job and who knows how clogged your old filter is. I could be wrong with tie rod but grab the wheel at 3 and 9 and push/pull and there shouldn't be any excessive movement

...
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

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Originally Posted by 10Miler View Post
How do I know if the tie rod end is bad?
Your first clues might be some suspension sounds, added free play in the steering wheel, and "jumpiness" in going over sharp bumps in the road. Since this wear takes place over thousands of miles, chances are you'll not noticed the changes.

But, if you get the car in the air, making sure the front tires are off the ground, you shouldn't be able to grab the front of the wheel and turn it side to side. Slop in an up and down motion might indicate your ball joint is on its way out... .

Did exactly this a couple of weeks ago when trying to determine the cause of some front end noise and was surprised to find my front wheel deflect 1/2" to 3/4" from center. Culprit was the outer tie rod end.

After it was replaced and alignment completed, there is no freeplay in the steering wheel, the noise is now gone (at least the noise from the tie rod),
and it tracks much better over bumps.

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Old 08-31-2009, 04:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

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Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
Your first clues might be some suspension sounds, added free play in the steering wheel, and "jumpiness" in going over sharp bumps in the road. Since this wear takes place over thousands of miles, chances are you'll not noticed the changes.
Well, I just got this car a couple months ago so a few thousand miles is all I've had with it. It does seem to be a bit jumpy going over bumps though. I thought it was just bad struts!

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Old 08-31-2009, 05:28 PM   #18
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Default for oil changes, consider using Fumoto valve, they're great

BAsically you can replace your drain plug with a little brass faucet that has a locking lever. I've used them on a couple cars with great results. The oil drains somewhat slower, but the convenience is sweet. I can't say enough good things about the Fumoto valve (I'm not affiliated in any way, just a very happy user).

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Old 08-31-2009, 11:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: for oil changes, consider using Fumoto valve, they're great

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BAsically you can replace your drain plug with a little brass faucet that has a locking lever. I've used them on a couple cars with great results. The oil drains somewhat slower, but the convenience is sweet. I can't say enough good things about the Fumoto valve (I'm not affiliated in any way, just a very happy user).
About a year ago I forgot to close my Fumoto valve when adding oil after an oil change. Still love it. It was not the Fumoto valves fault. Then I replaced a brake light bulb with a turn signal bulb. My car lit up like a Christmas tree in ways I could never imagine. That is just this years mistakes. Welcome! Despite the location of the oil filter, Saturn did get a lot of things right making DIY doable for people like me.

...
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: 99 SL1 - oil filter doesn't fit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10Miler View Post
How do I know if the tie rod end is bad?

Also thanks to all for the tips, advice and encouragement!

I think it's pretty cool that Saturn made the trans filter and fluid so easy to change. You would think that they could have made the oil filter a little more accessible though. My plan at this point is to just wait until next oil change to replaced the oil filter. Or would it be advisable to do it now?
Yeah, The filter is kind of a pain to get to without a lift, but Ive seen much worse. Some engines are set up so that the filter is on top and drains all over the engine. At least the Saturn filter doesnt do that.

To check the tie rod ends, I had my kid sit in the car, put the key in and turn to RUN to unlock the steering wheel, but dont start the car, then the kid slowly wiggled the steering wheel back and forth a few inches while I watched the tie rod ends. If you see any slack then you have a bad one.
(I tried to post a link to youtube to show a bad one, but I cant)

Looking online, I found the tie rod ends at Advanced. $50.00 for the Moog ones and $39.00 for TRW. I wouldnt waste my money on the cheaper ones, but thats just me.

Mike

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