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Old 02-14-2005, 12:24 PM   #1
Cuartz7o
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1999 SC2
Question Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Hey everyone, I was talking to my dad about taking my car up with me after i came home for a weekend from college. I go to FSU, but i live about 6 hours south of there. I live in Cape Coral (next to Ft. Myers). My dad said that she didn't want me to take my saturn up there beause he doesn't think that I would make the trips back and forth. I have a 1999 Saturn SC2 with 57,xxx miles on it. Now i have altered the exhaust professionally by adding 2.25" mandrel bent exhaust pipes, with an 18 inch resonator, and a Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler. And a SPS Short Ram Intake. Other than that i have added a mild Alpine system and a Voltmeter gauge. Now my dad sais that he feels like the front struts or shocks may be bad. If they are bad, what are the symptoms? If anyone could answer that quest and this question: is my car highway worthy? I don't race much but I do believe in performance. I usually just like zipping around on weekends that i'm home, i never really run the car hard. Also, i have an automatic transmission. I never "power brake," or anything like that. I drive my car normally, and respect it, but still like to have fun with it. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Am I a bad Saturn owner?
-Kevin-
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuartz7o
is my car highway worthy?
It should be, unless you are having some kind of problem that you haven't yet mentioned. I don't think bad struts/shocks will prevent you from driving, but it will not ride very comfortably.
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

When i left to college, my car had started to stall out before warming up. and it would stall sometimes after having it running at a stoplight or something. After i went to college my dad paid $300 for an oil change and a tune-up. Whatever he paid for, my car stopped stalling, and it ran very smooth. I always thought that the source was bas fuel injectors. I will never know because my dad fixed it and didn't get too many details. Of course, he complained for paing $300 to fix my car. Is $300 a lot for an oil change and a tune-up? My oil changes are usually $30-$40 so i am assuming it about $260 for the tune-up.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

It sounds like you need a new engine coolant temperature sensor. Where was this "tune up" performed at?
Frankly, you need to have your dad look around on here. Shocks/struts might need replacing, but your car is more than safe enough for the highway, and at 57K your car is just getting broken in.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:36 PM   #5
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1999 SL1
Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Your car has about the same mileage as my 99 SL1
If it sounds clunky or is darty on the road, it may be a bad ball joint or bushing.
If it drives and stops straight, I would say your suspension is fine.
Press the front bumper down, release, repeat until you get the front end going up and down good. When you stop pushing down, the car should rise up a little past it's resting point, (at most) and then settle back down. If it bounces much, you may need new struts, however, withless than 60k, they should be good unless they are leaking. Push on each corner of the car and see if you notice a difference between the struts performance. Note that the backs will always bounce a little more than the fronts, don't know why, they just do. If you need struts, get Gabriel's with g-force technology (White strut - don't get the black or red ones). If you want to jarr your fillings out on the highway get KYB struts (I have these, my dentist loves me)
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

If your struts go bad, your tire wear may become 'choppy.' Run your hand along the circumference of the tire, both on the inside and outside of the tread...if you feel tread that feels choppy or warped, your struts may be bad.
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Could the reason for my car stalling at idle be because of bad fuel injectors? I am pretty sure he got those checked out. I'll call him when he gets out of work today. I just rotated the tires, and they had even wear on all four. I think part of it is that he has seen me under the hood of my car and thinks that I have destroyed because i chose to take care of what was under the hood. Another part me just be that he doesn't want me to take my car to college, since it's a six hour drive each way and 400+ miles from home. Sigh..
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Bad struts could very well be a reason to not make the car highway worthy- or any kind of driving for that matter. A bad strut will allow the tire to bounce after encountering the smallest of bumps. The bouncing will continue because the strut has no damping effect left in it so the spring is allowed to control the system. As stated above, the tread may become choppy with a bad strut and this is why. A tire that is not on the ground very much does little to nothing for car control. When the brakes are applied, the tire can't stop the car if it isn't in firm contact with the ground. Bad struts can lengthen stopping distances TREMENDOUSLY!

With that said, an easy way to check is to push down on the fender and get the car car bouncing in a nice steady rythm. Now let go. If the bouncing doesn't go away after about 1.5 cycles, then the strut is probably bad. Try this on each corner.

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Old 02-14-2005, 05:14 PM   #9
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Happy Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuartz7o
Hey everyone, I was talking to my dad about taking my car up with me after i came home for a weekend from college. I go to FSU, but i live about 6 hours south of there. I live in Cape Coral (next to Ft. Myers). My dad said that she didn't want me to take my saturn up there beause he doesn't think that I would make the trips back and forth. I have a 1999 Saturn SC2 with 57,xxx miles on it. Now i have altered the exhaust professionally by adding 2.25" mandrel bent exhaust pipes, with an 18 inch resonator, and a Dynomax Super Turbo Muffler. And a SPS Short Ram Intake. Other than that i have added a mild Alpine system and a Voltmeter gauge. Now my dad sais that he feels like the front struts or shocks may be bad. If they are bad, what are the symptoms? If anyone could answer that quest and this question: is my car highway worthy? I don't race much but I do believe in performance. I usually just like zipping around on weekends that i'm home, i never really run the car hard. Also, i have an automatic transmission. I never "power brake," or anything like that. I drive my car normally, and respect it, but still like to have fun with it. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Am I a bad Saturn owner?
-Kevin-
Let me tell ya something.

I've driven my all-stock 99 S-Series from NJ to Canada (all highway) with only a 30 minute break in the ride towards the end. It took me a tank and a 1/4 of gas total and the car gave me no problems at all.

Coming home, I made the mistake of taking the NY THRUWAY home..during a severe thunderstorm. Surprised I made it home alive, they drive like maniacs on that highway. I contribute it to the Satty.

Therefore, as long as you get the car checked out for brakes and all that other routine stuff(struts, tires and such), there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to drive it in FL and all the highways within.


Sandy
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Do you feel 'steady' when you're driving on highway? (Before taking your Trip back school.)

The struts are bad when you don't have that 'steady'-feel while cruising in highway speed. Otherwise you'll feel so Floaty and constantly need to make correction just to drive straight, if the struts are shot.

With only 57k on your SC2 I really don't think your struts have crapped out yet. Of course, unless you are driving on bumpy local roads all the way to 57k.....
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

I have a '97 SL with 135,000 miles and i drive it to college and back all the time, with lots of 4+ hour road trips to other places. Your car should be fine, especially if your stuts/brakes/ects are all good.
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

I drove close to 1000 miles in 4 days in my 93+ with more than 100k miles on it.
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

I drove 2400 miles in 72 hours.

Car is fine.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Thanks. When i drive my car, the steering feels very tight and accurate. It isn't sloppy at all. But spring break is in 2 weeks, so during that time I'll take it to a good mechanic and get an alignment that i need to get before driving 400+ miles at 80mph. I'll ask the mechanics there if they feel that this car is in ship shape for long hauls across FL.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuartz7o
Could the reason for my car stalling at idle be because of bad fuel injectors?
Like I said above, has your engine coolant temp sensor been replaced?
~D.J.~
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:21 AM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

if it's not steady on the highway, I'd check out the rear stabilizer links... one of mine was broken, and it made a huge difference as far as movement in the lanes on the highway. I didn't feel safe when driving. Since I got new ones on, it's made a huge difference.
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Quote:
I just rotated the tires, and they had even wear on all four.
If you had a bad strut, or your car was out of alignment, then your tires should not have even wear (from what I know). I have been told the struts on these cars are very durable. But, things happen, so it is not bad to check out things. It may be nice to read some of the posts in this forum and get familiar with your car. There was a reference to the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor. I replaced mine since they tend to crack. Sure enough, mine was cracking, ready to fail. This can cause the car to be hard to start, and have other drivability problems. It is good to replace it with the new brass one from Saturn. Also, if you have any vibration in you car it is common for the Torque Axis Mount (upper engine mount) to fail. Mine was replaced at 59,000 miles. I have a 99 SL2. So, you may be due for one of those. The good news is there is excellent instuctions in the "How-To Library" for these repairs. The first tune-up at 30,000 miles costs $307.00 at the dealership. I assume your father had the 60,000 mile tune-up done. It would be good to get your owner's manual out and make sure that the maintenance schedule has been followed. Good luck and welcome!
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:45 AM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

My 1994 SL2 has 179,650 miles on it. Just over a week ago, I drove to Washington, DC for the weekend. That's a 600 mile round trip from Pittsburgh, where I live. This Friday, I'm going to a conference in a suburb of Chicago. From Pittsburgh, it's a bit shy of 500 miles, so that'll be an easy 1000 mile round trip after I make a beer run or two and take some friends out to dinner.

A '99 with so few miles? You're Saturn is still a rookie.

I bought my 94 six years ago used with 42k on the odometer. When I moved to Ocean City, MD that's when I really started to crank out the miles. In just under five years, I put 100,000 miles on my car. Before my roadtrip this weekend, I'm changing my sparkplugs. That's it. Unless a deer decides to blindside me, my Saturn will continue to be dependable for many miles and years to come!
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Old 02-15-2005, 03:19 PM   #19
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Checkered Flag Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Dude listen. My gf lives 5 hours away from me in montreal. I drive up there 3 times a month. I have a 98 sc2 manual. Ive been there like 30 times and i havent had any problems yet and yes...i race and drive hard. Hope that helps a little.
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: Saturn Not Highway Worthy?

Quote:
My dad said that she didn't want me to take my saturn up there beause he doesn't think that I would make the trips back and forth.
No offense intended, but are you sure your dad is concerned about the condition of the car or is he really concerned about the experience of the driver but doesn't want to hurt your feelings?

Just a little different perspective from a father of two boys now aged 22 and 24...
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