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Old 03-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
Colgate41
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Default New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Hello all. I am new to the forums. I am usually on the turbobricks online forum for Volvo's, as i own a few. Anyway my girlfriends grandma insists i take her Saturn for free, fix it and sell it. So i was thinking id give it some love and get it running then maybe sell it cheap to my brother or something like that. I joined the forum because as a constant user of the Volvo forums, i know the best place for help and info is online within a community like this.

So the car:

1993
SL
30,000 K
Auto

Now, i am not too familiar with Saturn's id of their models.

This may by the top of the line SL-2? Im not sure, that's why im here.

The car has "leather", a moon roof and factory fog lights.

The car has been sitting for months, as grandma could no longer drive it. I jumped the battery real quick the other day and got it running, and got the fluids circulating. The car is young at 30K and was maintained when it was driven, but as we all know when you don't drive a car for months, or start it...things happen. So i took the battery home and gave it a full charge and will be going back to look over the car more in due time. I think the calipers are either stuck and need to be broken free or they are just done for. New pads and rotors are a must, as well. Ill get a chance to take it for a few spins around the block once i bring the battery back. It was so dead that when i jumped it and then drove the car, and tunred the lights on....the car would just die.

Anyway, im going to get the VIN and decode it etc...

I got to say, i am already fond of it. I have a thing for specific looking cars...cars that you can look at and be like "hey, thats a whatever". I think the dash layout is great and i like that the car has a "economy mode" and a "performance mode". At least this is what i think it is.

Anyway i will update the more i find out about it. And if i was wrong with any of my ideas, please correct me. Im a old Volvo guy remember, im not used to cars newer then 1991.

Thanks and i look forward to being a part of the forum for a while.

P.S.
I read up a bit on these cars and people say they are fun to whip around in. I will agree...just by looking at it, its low seems tight. Im going to have to get my fun out of this car for a bit.

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Old 03-20-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
saturncrzy
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1992 SL2
1997 SC2
Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

welcome to the forum, First things first i would change out the ECTS and clean TB and EGR valve. These cars tend to burn oil so you should check the oil level offten. I would just check everything on the engine and make sure eveything is in order. As for your brakes see if the brake loose when you do get the batt back. If you have any ?'s ask away.

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Old 03-20-2009, 11:15 AM   #3
Colgate41
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Thanks man!

Thanks for the oil tip. I did start the car and i let it run just to make sure it did not over heat and it was fine, of course i was not driving it, it was just idling. Anyway im guessing the ETCS is the engine temp control sensor of some sort? I diden't get a chance to really dig around the engine, but the layout looks nice and simple, and by simple i mean that it looks like i could reach everything i need to get to. Anyway, thanks for the welcome and ill try and get some photos up.

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Old 03-20-2009, 11:27 AM   #4
Tethys
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Colgate 41,

Based on the options you describe, especially the foglamps, you have picked yourself up a SL2. Do the side mirror cover colors match the paint? Are the door handles body-colored too? Does the car have 15" alloy wheels? If yes, then you have the top-of-the-heap model.

First, at just 30K and if the car truly has been well-maintained, burning oil should not be an issue. You should probably change the oil though, depending on how long the car was allowed to set without being used. You might want to consider changing out the coolant as well.

Second, the economy/performance switch you spy on the console is for the transmission, not the engine. Setting it to Perf allows the unit to upshift quicker for better performance. IIRC, the unit also adapted to the driver's "style" over time. (It's been several years since I owned a S-car so some of the finer details have blurred in my mind - others on here will definitely know)

In elderly S-cars, burning oil, blowing differential pins and other headaches crop up but overall, they were great little machines to buzz around in. At ~2400 pounds, they were maneuverable and with 124 hp on tap, they were reasonably quick for that time. Does the car have its owner's manual still? If you haven't checked, you should look for it and start flipping through the pages. You'll learn much.

Good luck.

...
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:30 AM   #5
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1998 SL2
1997 SL2
Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Welcome, and as a DIYer, you're going to love the How To Library, especially the richpin videos.

I suspect you may want to keep the little Saturn for a while after you get it running fun cars, cheap to own and run, easy to work on.

another great place for a saturn DIYer is the tech articles at www.differentracing.com

...
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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 03-20-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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1992 SL2
1997 SC2
Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

richpin and i have vids on how to. Take a ook at richpin and saturncrzy vids for mine just go to th elink in my signature.

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Old 03-20-2009, 12:20 PM   #7
Colgate41
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Thanks for all the help! It is the top of the line model, with matching mirrors and handles and 15's. Thanks for the help in identifying.

Yes, i believe the car was well maintained when it was driven. I plan to change all the fluids once i get time to work on it and maybe bring it to my place. I mean its simple enough and a good idea to wash any crud out of any system with a simple change.

The car does look very easy to work on, which is a plus. It looks like a nice clean set up under the hood, no wasted space but not cramped.

Thanks for the info on that switch, the transmission one.

I bet the owners manual is in the car...She is a very neat woman so im sure its somewhere.

The only problem i know about and see is the moon roof. I was told it would leak and she just got it sealed up for good. There is a bit of bubbling rust near it on the roof but not too bad. And it needs a wash. But overall i am excited to put some life into it, and yes i think ill have to drive it around for a bit i mean it just looks fun.

Ill post some cell phone photos once i get some. And thanks again for the warm welcome and the great links!

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Old 03-20-2009, 12:39 PM   #8
DonP
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Welcome.

As noted the #1 issue is the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor, see the first few sticky threads in the How-to Library forum for more details.

Browse the threads here for plenty of good information about the S-cars and their quirks. Easy to work on, and the common issues and solutions are well documented here.

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Old 03-20-2009, 01:21 PM   #9
Bubs
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Definitely change the ECTS, since it's a common problem and so easy to replace. One could liken it to changing a spark plug, basically. I's just in a hard-to-reach place.

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Old 03-20-2009, 03:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Wasn't leaky sunroof a common problem? I vaguely recall reading about blowing out the drain lines with compressed air.

...
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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 124k DD
7/2010 Craigslist white 1997 SC2 project
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles

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Old 03-20-2009, 03:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Threads on that subject too, here and/or in Tech. Search is your friend.

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Old 03-20-2009, 05:23 PM   #12
Colgate41
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Haven't looked at the moon roof too much. But yeah my guess would be clogged drainage holes. I had the same problem with my Volvo's, but once i cleaned them out it was all good. Ill look at the moon roof closer and see if it is actually permanently sealed. If not, its worth it to try and see where the leak was coming from. I mean that moon roof is pretty big.

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Old 03-20-2009, 06:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Welcome to the forum.

I drive a 98 SC2 and have my eye on a 91 740 SE turbo. I'm interested in hearing your opinions on pros/cons on both cars. I am going to check out turbobricks.

I'm sure you'll have a blast in your Saturn.

Cy

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Old 03-20-2009, 09:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: New Saturn Owner with questions and some insight

Thanks. I own a 86' 740 GLE and a 91' 740 Turbo. Id be more then happy to fill you in on the pros and cons if you like, just shoot me a pm. I can say this...as long as it was maintained well and the oil was changed...it should be solid. The B230FT motors are rock solid and the trannys are pretty good too. Little things like relays may nickle and dime you, but trust me its worth it. Its also worth the time to check out turbobricks. You can get a lot of good info there about pros and cons. But again any questions, please feel free to pm me, ill help ya out!

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