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Old 08-12-2018, 03:59 PM   #1
GeekOnTheHill
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Default 2002 Vue - Anything I Should Look For?

I'm thinking about buying a 2002 Vue FWD with the 2.4 Ecotec and manual transmission. She has 162,000 miles behind her. I haven't seen nor test-driven the car yet, and I don't have the VIN yet so I can't do a CarFax, for whatever that's worth. I should have the VIN tomorrow or Tuesday.

It has a trailer hitch, so it's probably been used for towing from time to time. But the trailer hitch is something I actually want, so that's also a plus in my case.

The only issue the seller identified is that the exhaust is "a little loud" and that it needs rear tires. Clutch, brake calipers, brake hoses, control arm bushings, and sway bar links are recent. It passed its most recent state inspection and reportedly has no MIL (although I'll check anyway).

I'm basically looking for advice about what to look for in terms of potentially expensive problems. For example, this being the Northeast, I expect some rust. Are there any places I should inspect especially carefully? Are any parts about ready to fail, statistically speaking, based on the mileage? That sort of thing.

The car's intended mission is hobby car, chore car, trailer-towing car (nothing very heavy, just a utility trailer for bulky items a few times a year), winter rat, and general spare car. And, of course, to just be a Saturn. I've been Saturnless for too long.

Any and all advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

Richard

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Old 08-12-2018, 06:21 PM   #2
waiter21
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2002 Vue - Anything I Should Look For?

At 160 k miles, if the timing chain and components hasn't been touched, its on borrowed time..

2002 Vue.. Series of timing chain issues. The oiler was to small so the chain stretched, the first version of tensioners couldn't keep up with the war so the chain would stretch, cut the top guide bolt, then jump timing and destroy the engine..

One item you can check is the tensioner .. If it has a little hump on the top, its a version #3, thats exactly what you want .. Look at this link:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=218942


If your a little but of a DIYer, swapping out the timing chain set takes a couple hours, with no special tools

RUST BELT

If you live in the north with salty roads, look carefully for a rusted engine cradle. Look at this link:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=234668

..

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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Old 08-12-2018, 07:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2002 Vue - Anything I Should Look For?

Wheel bearings, struts. Sounds like a good deal at around $1,000. Wouldn't pay full price for a Carfax on a car in this price range myself, but if you find someone on Craigslist that will run one for $5, ok.

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Old 08-12-2018, 08:45 PM   #4
GeekOnTheHill
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Default Re: 2002 Vue - Anything I Should Look For?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiter21 View Post
At 160 k miles, if the timing chain and components hasn't been touched, its on borrowed time..

2002 Vue.. Series of timing chain issues. The oiler was to small so the chain stretched, the first version of tensioners couldn't keep up with the war so the chain would stretch, cut the top guide bolt, then jump timing and destroy the engine..

One item you can check is the tensioner .. If it has a little hump on the top, its a version #3, thats exactly what you want .. Look at this link:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=218942


If your a little but of a DIYer, swapping out the timing chain set takes a couple hours, with no special tools

RUST BELT

If you live in the north with salty roads, look carefully for a rusted engine cradle. Look at this link:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=234668

..
Thanks, that's useful.

Richard

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Old 08-12-2018, 08:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 Vue - Anything I Should Look For?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atikovi View Post
Wheel bearings, struts. Sounds like a good deal at around $1,000. Wouldn't pay full price for a Carfax on a car in this price range myself, but if you find someone on Craigslist that will run one for $5, ok.
Thanks. I was thinking of those parts, too.

He's asking $1,500. I wouldn't pay $1,500 unless the guy had piles of maintenance receipts for everything that costs more than $100 to fix, but that's what he's asking. He doesn't seem to have much information about the car.

Richard

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