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Old 03-18-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
MidnightVue07
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Default L300 Any good?

I've had my Vue for almost a year now and so far I love it! This is my first Saturn. Anyway my Fiancee is going to need a newer car soon. I've found a few L300's in the area with low mile's and in good shape.

Just wondering if these are decent car's.

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Old 03-19-2008, 05:36 AM   #2
dondono63
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: L300 Any good?

To be honest I would not recommend the L300. It seems to have many problems. Here's my list of issues:

-Eats rear tires. I have to replace rear tires every 20K miles because of uneven wear. Tires are eaten down to the bone on one side because of alignment issues. Tires should last at least 60K miles. This should have been a Saturn recall IMO.

-Body control module problems. Very expensive fix and you have to go to the dealer for programming. The Saturn dealer seemed to play dumb and "fix" other things like replacing the battery and diagnostics for 300.00+ dollars before replacing the BCM for another 300.00+. This left a sour taste and will likely stop me from buying another Saturn.

-The dreaded wrench light problem which if you look at the tech forum seems to infect many L series cars. This fix will cost $1000.00s so I am not going to bother. I'll put up with the clunky shifting when the light come on.

-Timing belt is a very expensive dealer replacement and should be done at 100K per the manual. If I go to the dealer for this I feel I'll have a $3000.00 dollar bill by the time they get through. The car is not worth half that.

On the good side the car never left me stranded but I feel Saturn should have taken car of the tire eating and BCM problems which started early on in my ownership. Hope I am not being to harsh here and I will always be a GM customer just not the Saturn division. My last car was a 94 Camaro V6 lasted 285,000 miles.

That's about it.

Don

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Old 03-19-2008, 06:22 PM   #3
Brad LeBosse
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2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: L300 Any good?

What year did you find and how much? The 04 and 05 should have the least problems. I would avoid the earlier models. Some people have good luck with their L300 and some have experienced some costly repairs. Just read through some of the posts here and it will help you to make a good decision. If you buy from a dealer you will likely pay top dollar but at least you get a warranty. Don't let a Saturn dealer tell you that the used cars are price fixed. Make an offer, don't pay the asking price. If they won't drop the price, leave them your pone number and go shopping someplace else. They will likely call you back

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Old 03-19-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
hufhouse
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2001 SL2
Default Re: L300 Any good?

On the positive side:

- The car has great pickup, and it's just the right size. Mine has leather and a six-disc CD changer and all the bells and whistles.

- I think it's a good-looking car.

- No worries about rust.

- I've got about 105,000 miles on my 2002, and I'd really like to keep it around for a while longer because it's such a nice car.

On the negative side:

- Even using an independent mechanic, you will have an expensive maintenance bill at 100,000 miles. Not bad, if you just plan for it. It's possible to do it yourself, but you'd better have above average mechanical skill and confidence.

- Some cars, mine included, just cannot be aligned properly. The tires become cupped and sound like 4WD tires on the highway. Rotating them regularly helps a little, but I can never get rid of the noise.

- The engine is very mysterious when there is a problem. It seems like the codes given by the computer never indicate the REAL problem. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, this can drive you to tears. At least, that has been my experience so far.

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

The Car is through Car Max its a 04 L300 1, It has 21,000 Mile's. There asking 12,900.

Also is there any other Saturn Car that is Decent and reliable. I don't car about fast. Just something Safe and Reliable as my Future Wife will be driving it Daily. Upwards of 30-40 Mile's on way.

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:54 PM   #6
nowitall
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

I've had my L300 since June of '03. I've driven it for just under 49,000 miles and towed it behind the motoryhome for over 10,000 miles. You can see fotos of the silver beauty on this website.

I've had only a few issues and they have been covered under warranty. The paint is like new, the cloth seats haven't worn at all (amazing considering the girth of my backside) and it runs like new. The motor sounds good, too. Popped in an HD radio and the six stock speakers are jammin' up a storm.

A coworker bought a small Lexus when I got my L, and, well, his expenso-lux banger p/o'd him so much he wound up with a pickup truck while I still got my L!

My only wish is that I'd gotten the wagon to have that extra space. But the sedan is still a looker while everything else has morphed into tall fenders/low roofline sameness.

Oh, one more thing: I banged my head when getting outta the driver's seat on the Aura. No such problemo with the L300.

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Old 03-21-2008, 09:15 AM   #7
tackepj
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightVue07 View Post
The Car is through Car Max its a 04 L300 1, It has 21,000 Mile's. There asking 12,900.

Also is there any other Saturn Car that is Decent and reliable. I don't car about fast. Just something Safe and Reliable as my Future Wife will be driving it Daily. Upwards of 30-40 Mile's on way.
The 2004 L300.1 has the 2.2 L ecotec motor. It's a good, proven motor that won't need expensive maintenance at 100k like the V6. 2004 models aren't affected by the timing chain issues like the earlier ones, too, so I think it's a good choice. They have decent power and are quite fuel efficient.

The tire issue was also corrected by 2004, I believe. We had a 2005 L300 and enjoyed the car a lot. It still had the original tires at 44k miles, with no uneven wear, although the tires were noisy. Keep in mind the L300 has very low resale value, and you should use that to your advantage to keep the price low.

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Old 03-21-2008, 09:49 AM   #8
Brad LeBosse
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

I just bought a 2008 Pontiac G6 for $15,200. I totaled my 2004 L300 in November. I looked for another used one and the best price I could get was around $12,000 for a really clean one with under 30K miles. I drove a Pontiac G6 value line and it is very close to an L300 in size and performance. I got $2,500 off in rebates and the dealer took $1,400 off of the sticker price. I also got around $300 in GM credit card rebates. The point is, with the deep discounts going on now, you get a better deal over the 5 year period if you buy a New vehicle. You will get a full 3 year warranty and a 5 year 100,000 miles power train warranty. Also you interest rate will be lower on a new vehicle. The current offer is $1,000 cash back and 2.9% financing for 60 months. - OR - a total of $2,500 cash back. DoO the math and calculate the TOTAL cost of the vehicle (including anticipated repairs) over a 5 or 6 year period.

http://www.pontiac.com/g6sedan/build...008&useFlash=Y

Don't get me wrong, I loved my L300, it was a fun car to drive. I do like my G6 more. You have to get out there and test drive some cars before you make a decision.

http://www.edmunds.com/apps/calc/Cal...FR6iQQodthGDpg

You can also check the invoice price at Edmunds to see what the car cost the dealer:
http://www.edmunds.com/new/2008/pont...86/prices.html

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Old 03-21-2008, 09:58 AM   #9
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
2000 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Default Re: L300 Any good?

I have had zero problems with rear tire wear since going to beter quality tires (Bridgestone Potenza G009). The original "Crapfinities" and subsequent Goodyear Regatta II's wore like cheese. Oh, the Goodyears were someshat better in that they only quickly wore to a noisy sawtooth edge on the inside. The CF's looked like someone went after them with a grinder. In my opinion, the cheaper tires do not have enough stiffness in the belt and sidewalls to accomodate the rear suspension geometry. BTW, I now follow the european practice of "no rotation", except at replacement (pair of new tires go on the back). I also use the G009's on my SAAB 9-5 which has the same rear suspension. These tires also solved the problem I had with front wheel hop when breaking loose under acceleration.

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Old 03-21-2008, 08:50 PM   #10
MidnightVue07
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

I do look around and different Vehicle's, New/Used etc.. I do know some basic car buying skills. My sister has a G6 Coupe, she has had 0 Problem's with it. Although in this area. Im having hard time's finding a 4 Door G6 for under 16-17k, with under 40,000 mile's. Also im kinda shining away from the G6 Used wise. Its one of the Worst 10 in the "Used car" Market.

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Old 03-22-2008, 06:28 AM   #11
Cincy Saturn
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

As stated by many already- the V6 has been a problem child for many. It requires expensive maintenance, that is not user friendly.

The 2.2 4 Cylinder has not been a good step child. There is a recall on them timing chain at this time on the 00-01 ( a seven+ year old car). If the car is after 02 the problems are solved... +/-.

I really like my car. I have the 02. Some say this ws the best year. It has Curtain air bags, (4) wheel disk brakes, and the early production issues resolved. The 4 cylinder is easy to service for routine maintenance. I have gotten 38 MPG on flat highway. I average 32 on a tank of combined travel. I drove allot of city driving in the summer and dropped to 26. It does have dollars associated at 100k miles in the form of preventative maintenance. But, the $$$ will roll you another 100k miles so not a really issue if you plan on keeping it.

...
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:00 AM   #12
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Default Re: L300 Any good?

L200 or LW200, 2003 or later would be what you are looking for. Stay away from any of these that have the auto climate control - digital temperature readout...they heat hot or cool with constant readjustments necessary. GM should have recalled all of these but they decided to sell them even though they do not operate as promised and no repair was possible. I love my LW 200 with 118,000 miles,leather heated seats, abs and traction control. My only repair has been an expensive fuel pump. Keep your tank 1/4 full or more and it should not be a problem. Another drawback is the rear brakes are drum, harder to replace the shoes but mine still haven't needed to be replaced yet and I have only had to replace the front pads once. By the way, SaturnFans forums are a tremendous plus also. There is always an opinion and help on the routine issues and repairs.

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Old 03-23-2008, 08:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

I too own an '03 "L" it's an LW200 and probably the most modified on this forum (LW that is). I love and hate this car I love the handling and the looks I hate that there is little to no aftermarket parts for them. I've had to order most of my goodies from the UK.

here is my car if you need encouragement.

...
Phil

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Old 04-14-2008, 09:24 PM   #14
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Thumbs Up Re: L300 Any good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightVue07 View Post
I've had my Vue for almost a year now and so far I love it! This is my first Saturn. Anyway my Fiancee is going to need a newer car soon. I've found a few L300's in the area with low mile's and in good shape.

Just wondering if these are decent car's.

I used to have a L300 and I had no issues with it. I used to smoke L200's and Sc's with it. She was pretty fast for such a heavy car.

...
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:55 AM   #15
kinless
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2005 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: L300 Any good?

OK so it's been over a year since I've posted to these forums, but I better get my digs in.

I just passed 40,000 miles on my 2005 L300, and aside from a leaky water pump (covered under warranty) and a stubborn false-positive check engine light, the car has been pretty dependable.

I would agree with avoiding the earlier models. But I'd say the 2004 and 2005 L models are pretty safe. My dad purchased a 2004 LW300 and there's been no problems with it either.

If the Aura's look better by 2010, I'll probably trade up for one then.

~j

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Old 05-30-2008, 01:00 PM   #16
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1997 SL
Default Re: L300 Any good?

One belated comment to this thread "- No worries about rust."

The chassis is steel. Same as for my SL.
The body panels are plastic, but SL are known to have rust problems at the engine cradle, and the door sills (water is trapped under the plastic door sill protectors and rust starts there).

I don't know about L series as far as rust areas though.

...
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: L300 Any good?

I've had my share of weird crap, but generally speaking, the car is great. I don't regret buying it. Mechanically (with the exception of the annoying rubber belt change every 100k miles...and advised water pump replacement), its a sound vehicle. There were some oil cooler leak TSB's on some of the original models (00-01?), but thats long over with.

Yeah, my computer went nuts....thankfully i dont have electric steering. I bought a virgin computer off ebay for $30 and saved a boat load though (had saturn install the unit and upload software for $130 labor).

I have almost 200k miles on it. Still runs great. I have been squeezing some impressive mileage out of it as of late using some techniques.

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