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Old 05-22-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
Norseman
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1996 SC2
Default Totaled 1996 SC2

I was rear-ended and pushed into a SUV on a freeway exit the other day. My insurance adjuster thinks it'll be totaled. I'll get an official decision on Monday. The car is still very drivable with the exception of the muffler being "strapped" up.

The rear bumper assembly has to be replaced, muffler re-attached, new bumper skin, hood dented but latches fine. I'll find out more about hidden damage underneath next week when I take it in to a body shop. My adjuster said they can replace some parts with used parts.

My initial thought is to get what the other party will pay me for the car and buy it back. That is if my out of pocket is not too much to repair it.

The car runs fine. I'm the original owner and have maintained it. It's in very clean condition except for an automatic transmission leak. I know the car's history and would hate to give it up.

I'll find out more in the next week or two.

However, if I do have to look for another used Saturn, which year/model for reliability? And with a similar engine compartment as mine? When was the last year they had the no-dent panels?

I feel the liable party's insurance should pay to repair all damages to safety standards rather than just a blue book value. AAAAAAAARGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!

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Old 05-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
adventureoflink
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

All '91-2002 had plastic/fiberglass body panels.

As for year by year...

'91 and '92 both had different crankshafts, therefore different timings between the two
'93+ solved this problem, except this was the final year of the '91 radiator design, also the last of the first edition transaxle
'94-'97 had a different transaxle than the first edition, and '98-2002 had a different transaxle from the others (mostly just gear ratios and such). however this all applied to the SOHC cars. '91-'97 has a different transaxle from '98-2002 on the DOHC cars.
'94 seems OK
'95 is a different kind of model year (2nd gen inside, 1st gen outside)
'91-'95 turned on the fan near the red line; '96-2002 turned it on at the 3/4 line. Also, '91-95 had two coolant sensors (one wire temp sender and two wire ECTS; '96-2002 had the ECTS do the job of two sensors).
'96 seems safe, other than the start of the 2nd generation and OBD-2
'97 has that fuel pump check issue and the alternators changed connectors mid model year
'98-2002 all used that pressure regulator in the fuel filter
'99-2002 had intake manifold problems all across the board; DOHCs leaked antifreeze and SOHCs leaked vaccuum, causing a wrinkle on the #1 cyl area
'99-2002 used a nine bolt exhaust manifold (this started in the middle of the '99 model year)
2000-2002 started some of the BS with dealer-only serviceable things (RKE being one of them I can think of), and that change oil soon light. 2000-2002 also had seperate meanings for low coolant and overheating, rather than two lights blinking at once.

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

Last edited by adventureoflink; 05-22-2010 at 07:08 PM..

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Old 05-23-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
Norseman
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1996 SC2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

Thanks for the breakdown.

It seems like the years 96 to 98 are safe bets for problems.

>>'99-2002 had intake manifold problems all across the board; DOHCs leaked antifreeze and SOHCs leaked vaccuum, causing a wrinkle on the #1 cyl area

Are the intake manifold and leaking antifreeze problems correctable? Expensive?


Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
All '91-2002 had plastic/fiberglass body panels.

As for year by year...

'91 and '92 both had different crankshafts, therefore different timings between the two
'93+ solved this problem, except this was the final year of the '91 radiator design, also the last of the first edition transaxle
'94-'97 had a different transaxle than the first edition, and '98-2002 had a different transaxle from the others (mostly just gear ratios and such). however this all applied to the SOHC cars. '91-'97 has a different transaxle from '98-2002 on the DOHC cars.
'94 seems OK
'95 is a different kind of model year (2nd gen inside, 1st gen outside)
'91-'95 turned on the fan near the red line; '96-2002 turned it on at the 3/4 line. Also, '91-95 had two coolant sensors (one wire temp sender and two wire ECTS; '96-2002 had the ECTS do the job of two sensors).
'96 seems safe, other than the start of the 2nd generation and OBD-2
'97 has that fuel pump check issue and the alternators changed connectors mid model year
'98-2002 all used that pressure regulator in the fuel filter
'99-2002 had intake manifold problems all across the board; DOHCs leaked antifreeze and SOHCs leaked vaccuum, causing a wrinkle on the #1 cyl area
'99-2002 used a nine bolt exhaust manifold (this started in the middle of the '99 model year)
2000-2002 started some of the BS with dealer-only serviceable things (RKE being one of them I can think of), and that change oil soon light. 2000-2002 also had seperate meanings for low coolant and overheating, rather than two lights blinking at once.

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Old 05-23-2010, 04:01 PM   #4
adventureoflink
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

Last I heard, you can fix the IM gaskets yourself (should be around $25-50 at NAPA and such). There should be instructions in the how-to library, though to be fair, there was a TSB out for the DOHC IM gasket. The SOHC one, not so much. GG G.M., way to screw your customers.

in all fairness, most model year saturns are okay, but do keep that breakdown in mind as you go shopping.

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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Old 05-27-2010, 11:06 PM   #5
Norseman
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1996 SC2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

Well, the insurance will pay out $3500 for my car. The body shop said it would cost $4000 to repair plus $100 for a salvage safety inspection.

What to do? Keep the car I've owned, repaired, and know. Get another used Saturn or non-Saturn (foreign) that may have problems?

I'm leaning towards keeping the car and paying $600.

Any input?

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Old 05-28-2010, 08:18 PM   #6
adventureoflink
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

It's up to you what car you get in the end and where your money goes to, but personally once my Saturn is in your Saturn's shoes, I'd get something else and not look back (remember, there is no more Saturn after all ).

...
97 SL2
DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

2004 Merc G.Marquis GS
DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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Old 05-29-2010, 06:32 PM   #7
adeltaman
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1996 SC2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
Well, the insurance will pay out $3500 for my car. The body shop said it would cost $4000 to repair plus $100 for a salvage safety inspection.

What to do? Keep the car I've owned, repaired, and know. Get another used Saturn or non-Saturn (foreign) that may have problems?

I'm leaning towards keeping the car and paying $600.

Any input?
I just had the same thilng happen to my 96 SC2. I finally talked my insurance Co. into fixing it. Took a lot of talking to get them to do it. They said old Saturns don't hold their value....but what would it cost to replace a good one that gets 40mpg and passes all the smog checks? I would get it fixed to a level that is safe but maybe not pristine and keep driving it.

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Old 05-30-2010, 02:18 PM   #8
Norseman
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1996 SC2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by adeltaman View Post
I just had the same thilng happen to my 96 SC2. I finally talked my insurance Co. into fixing it. Took a lot of talking to get them to do it. They said old Saturns don't hold their value....but what would it cost to replace a good one that gets 40mpg and passes all the smog checks? I would get it fixed to a level that is safe but maybe not pristine and keep driving it.
I'm leaning towards:

-- Checking to see if the muffler could be re-hung to pass smog check (bad timing that it's smog year).

-- Taking the pay out and buying back the car for $120.00. Get the salvage brake/light inspection and salvage title. This way I still have a car to drive to work while I look for another car.

-- I'm looking at Hondas. Maybe 2003 CR-V or sedan. 2003 because it's a 2nd gen car (beginning with 2002) with a timing chain (belts cost $900 to replace) plus bugs are corrected after 2002.

-- Then sell to junkyard or donate for write-off.

Any other used car that I should look at?

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Old 05-30-2010, 02:28 PM   #9
Rand0m0sityxX
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

If my saturn is ever in that situation (Which I hope not, I hope she dies when the motor does) I would for sure get me a 2003-2006 or a 2010-newer CRV. I had a 1998, and I LOVED it, she's was a really good suv, and mine got pretty good mileage.

There's really nothing else I'd want besides that. A Nissan Sentra (2001-2006) is a decent car. My mom had a '01 and aside from a windshield issue (that was fixed under warranty) she had no problems from it (And my parents DO NOT take care of a car properly so its pretty good that it had none), it was totaled out last spring with 90k (or slightly more) on it. And the only reason it was totaled was because someone rear ended her and it damaged the quarter panel, if it had just been the trunk and bumper it wouldn't have been totaled.

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Old 05-30-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
Norseman
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1996 SC2
Default Re: Totaled 1996 SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rand0m0sityxX View Post
If my saturn is ever in that situation (Which I hope not, I hope she dies when the motor does) I would for sure get me a 2003-2006 or a 2010-newer CRV. I had a 1998, and I LOVED it, she's was a really good suv, and mine got pretty good mileage.

There's really nothing else I'd want besides that. A Nissan Sentra (2001-2006) is a decent car. My mom had a '01 and aside from a windshield issue (that was fixed under warranty) she had no problems from it (And my parents DO NOT take care of a car properly so its pretty good that it had none), it was totaled out last spring with 90k (or slightly more) on it. And the only reason it was totaled was because someone rear ended her and it damaged the quarter panel, if it had just been the trunk and bumper it wouldn't have been totaled.
I looked at a 1998 ($6000) and 2000 ($7000) CR-V yesterday. It was at small dealer with about 15 or so cars. Not sure about trusting such a small dealer. They provided a 3 month warranty.

Then did some research and found they had timing belts and not chains until 2002. The 2002-up has a VTECH engine and 4-wheel disc brakes(?). Are these hard to work on? I've been spoiled with my Saturn. So easy to work on...almost.

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