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Old 01-08-2011, 12:07 AM   #221
southaeastpunk
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

really appreciate your enthusiasm and all the hard work you put into the site!
i was a saturn employee on the assembly line at one point... it was a GREAT company to work for, i miss somedays!

we should all pitch in and start a donation fund to keep the site up...
a dollar a person multiplied by so many people can add up quick.

so help keep this piece of memorabilia alive!
who's with me?

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Old 01-08-2011, 06:44 AM   #222
MS Kelley
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Roll Eyes Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

We bought a 2001 Saturn SC1 three door coupe new in 2001. She currently has almost 178,000 mile on her. So far the only repairs I've had to make to the care besides routine upkeep was replacing the cooling fan motors for the radiator (2008) and a new starter (2010). Our little wonder still gets between 35-39 mpg. I've had GM/Saturn mechanics try and buy the car from me at least five different times in the last four years.

GM ought to be ashamed of the way they tossed this car line, keeping such wonders as Buick.

If GM would have left Saturn alone and kept with the original concept of "here is the car, this is how much it will be" and didn't sell out that concept, along with rebranding Opals, we wouls all still have our beloved Saturns.

The last car we purchased new was a 2004 Saturn Vue V6 AWD with the Honda engine. It is a wonderful car, lots of kick and will rip through the snow almost as good as our SC1 (AMAZING snow car!!!) I personally will never own a GM product again. Period. They have lost another loyal customer do to their sheer stupidity and greed.

Cheers to you Saturn and all of us who love you.

We will miss you old friend.....

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Old 01-08-2011, 08:13 AM   #223
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Reading your comments brought back all the great memories. I bought my SL2 in 1989. Several guys at the office had already purchased one, many of them first-year models. I was looking for a good car--I was driving a 1979 Honda Accord at the time but it was wearing out. The Saturn seemed like it might be a good replacement. I just wanted to wait a bit to see how this new company's product held up. Everyone at the office was pleased, so I took the jump in April of 1989.

I test drove the Honda Accord, and truly found little difference except price. The difference was enough to push me to the Saturn. My girlfriend and I test drove the Saturn and I thought it was a great car. I closed the deal that day.

For the next 20 years that Saturn and I had a great relationship. I lost the girl, but kept the car. I did all the maintenance work myself, from clutch changes to brake work. It didn't matter. The only thing I didn't do was alignments. It ran great. When 2008 rolled around the Saturn's rear window tinting had turned purple and made everything look blurry when looking backwards. The throttle body had a worn ridge in it and the throttle plate was sticking a bit after the first run of the day. The car could be started with any old thing--I had worn out the ignition switch. The rear view mirror had developed lines and was difficult to use. The odometer had failed about 20,000 miles ago, so I used the fuel gauge to tell me when I had driven 310 miles--the fueling point. It was a reliable as the odometer. I based the final year's oil changes on my fuel gauge!

It wasn't right to just trade in the Saturn. I called the American Cancer Society and passed on that car to them. I knew they would end up selling it for parts, but at least it kept on giving that way.

All was not lost, though. We bought our son a 1998 Saturn in 2007. It ultimately needed an engine, which I replaced. So, I keep my fingers in Saturn.

This website has been an invaluable source for solid info on how to maintain these cars, by the way. I've ALWAYS found solid info here, and have never gone wrong. I now have a Honda (just like the article pointed out), and the wife has a Toyota van. I not found a site for those vehicles which in anyway nears the quality of this site.

Farewell, Saturn. It has been a 25-year love affair, and I think I chose well.

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Old 01-08-2011, 10:15 AM   #224
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

I'am totally satisfied with the Saturn L200 series 2003....I did have repaired done as any other owners....one was of my own doing. I had to changed my gas pump. I omitted to change my gas filter which cause extra work on the gas pump to a point it burn out. Costly experience.....

A bit wind noise, yet I tolerate it. Smooth ride, lots of engine power after changing the catalyst converter. Under body almost like new. Thank God for plastic panel. I still have comment like.."you bought a new car"....when a told them the year of the car, many are surprise......

This Saturn is a keeper until it run out of part.

Enjoy your Saturn everybody......God Bless and have a good

Andre

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:15 PM   #225
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyranger243 View Post
Reading your comments brought back all the great memories. I bought my SL2 in 1989. Several guys at the office had already purchased one, many of them first-year models. I was looking for a good car--I was driving a 1979 Honda Accord at the time but it was wearing out. The Saturn seemed like it might be a good replacement. I just wanted to wait a bit to see how this new company's product held up. Everyone at the office was pleased, so I took the jump in April of 1989.
That's a pretty stunning feat, considering the first Saturn SLs were offered in 1991.

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Old 01-08-2011, 01:05 PM   #226
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

I owned an SL1 from October 1998 to April 2009 and have a 2009 Vue now. I am going to miss Saturn so much. I loved my first Saturn and it probably will be the best car I ever own. It never once let me down and I drove it from coast to coast. I had to sell in in 2009 because my wife and I were expecting a baby and needed something bigger. I sold it with 215,000 miles on it, but I would have loved to see how far it could have gone. I probably would be around 250,000 right now if I kept driving it. I enjoy my current Saturn Vue as well, though I wish it did have the plastic panels like my first one. I will probably have this car as long as my old one, if it ends up being as dependable as my first. It will be sad for me when I do have to move on from a Saturn and know that I will not be able to get another new Saturn. They are great cars and it is a shame that they are not with us anymore.

...
1999 SL1 192,000 and still going strong!

2003 L200 75,000 with many, many to go!

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Old 01-09-2011, 12:28 AM   #227
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VUEmaniac View Post
Saturn failed for a reason.

Or the original VUE owners with VTi transmissions will tell you...please.
We knew that the CVT transmissions were a pile of junk from the outset. I was told by a production guy that the test drivers at Milford would draw straws to see who had to test the Saturn. The loser got the keys and a radio to call for a tow when it broke down.

During the early stages of testing, some of them would make only 50 miles before they broke down. But when GM insists that were we going to put them in the Vue, what can you do?

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Old 01-09-2011, 01:28 PM   #228
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Thanks for all the great memories Saturn! I'll never forget the excitement of being involved with "A New Kind Of Company" much of which remain on the highlight reel of my career.

Additional thanks to Charlie for his devotion and passion here on Saturnfans. This was THE automotive enthusiast forums that many have strived for and very few have achieved. As a cooperative on-line community of 'like-mindedness' it was unrivaled. Kudos

All the best to all my forum guys and gals
WopOnTour

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Old 01-09-2011, 09:15 PM   #229
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Our first and only Saturn, a 2002 VUE AWD V6 is still going strong at 117k miles. I remember buying it new and going to the car rental place to return the car we had been driving for a few days. The lady behind the counter said, "We might have to ask you to move your car. People keep asking if they can rent one."

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:56 AM   #230
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Bought my '96 SL2 from my previous girlfriend's parents back in 2005 it had 120k miles then. She and I met in Cleveland, OH and moved back to my hometown in KY together a few months later. The car was our only transportation for the first 4 months being out on our own as young adults since I had to sell my Camaro to fund our move. The SL2 started having cooling issues (ECTS) and brought me to this site, though I will say it never left us (or her) stranded.

Ultimately I ended up buying the car when her father got tired of paying the bills to have things fixed with it. I put a radiator in it, front control arms, new brakes, and a muffler and was back on the road in no time. I've since kept up all maintenance on the car and constantly tell everyone I know to buy a Saturn S-series.

The S-series specifically was such an easy car to work on. Perhaps this fact contributed to Saturn dealers not making much money, but it's such a nice quality for a used car.

I've talked 2 friends into owning Saturn s-series since 2005, and my mother who is currently driving a Cavalier has told me to find her an s-series for her next car after hearing me rave about how impressive these cars are.

I love these s-series so much that I bought a second one back in 2009 and it's been sitting in the garage ever since; preserved for my next commuter car. It's an '01 SL1 with 99k miles. I won't be driving that car until I either get tired of buying oil (sorry, had to go there... lol) for the SL2, or pass it along to someone in need.

I have the '01 SL1, a '94 Camaro Z28, a '96 Miata that I've turbocharged, a '96 Chevy C1500 pickup, and an '04 Kawasaki Ninja sport bike, but drive the trusty old SL2 more than any of them. In 5 years of ownership and after the immediate repairs listed above, the car has only needed a starter, an o2 sensor, a valve cover gasket and an EGR valve. So in 5 years I've spent less than $300 on repairs.

I don't put many miles on it per year although it's my main transportation, only 8k miles. The SL2 is at 162k miles right now, I will likely drive it another year or two then sell it to a friend for cheap and begin driving the SL1. At how few miles I drive per year, the SL1 should carry me well into the 2020's.

...
John
'09 Saturn Aura XR 2.4L
Previous - '01 SL1 daily driver and '96 SL2 auto 40+mpg hypermiler.

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Old 01-10-2011, 08:18 AM   #231
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

I too wish Saturn hadn't gone under. I don't want to blame anyone for that but it seems like GM is probably just as much at fault as the average American consumer. The two go hand-in-hand for the blame. GM wouldn't have focused so much on the luxury type cars if American's weren't buying up all the BMW's, Lexus, and Mercedes luxury sedans. Seems GM only wants to focus on high end cars these days and has stopped offering anything that could remotely be considered a "deal" now.

Once the Ion's came out back in what, 2003 or so, I knew Saturn was doomed for the same fate Pontiac was soon to see. Back in the early '80's GM decided to combine the F-Body lineup by putting in the same engines and slightly altering the body to establish some type of difference between a Firebird and a Camaro. You can't rebadge everything in the lineup, stuff the same motors under the hood and expect people to keep being interested in "new" and "interesting" models. Whether green or red, an apple is an apple. Just like the Pontiac-loyal customers fled, the same happened to Saturn.

The Ion was a Cavalier, the Aura a Malibu, the (better of the 3 engines offered in the) View had a Honda engine. Saturn's were no longer Saturns. Is it really a surprise people lost interest/sale declined? The Ion had center mounted gauges which spooked people and I'm sure they thought, hey it's the same as a Cavalier which is an older name that's been around longer and feels like a safer bet. The Aura was a new model and I bet people thought the same thing; despite the car of the year awards for the Aura/Malibu respectively. They probably thought what's an Aura? Never heard of that, I'd rather buy a Malibu, those have been around for a while.

Saturn didn't really market their cars very well either. For everyone 100 car commercials you would see on TV you'd see 1 Saturn commercial. Such a shame.

...
John
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Previous - '01 SL1 daily driver and '96 SL2 auto 40+mpg hypermiler.

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Old 01-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #232
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Hi friends,

As a car enthousiast in general, I watched Saturn growing and I was always in the expectation of seeing it become what it should have been: the real business model to follow. Innovative cars thought "out of the box", factory workers seen as "important players in the business", not only robot-like "resources", and a dealer network that places the customer first in their preoccupation.

When my local dealer opened, they posted job openings in local newspapers. At this time my "wife" (not officially married, but it's as if -- we've been together for 23 years!) was unemployed and I told her: "I'm sure you can find your way there!" She applied for working in sales support and it turned out that she got a saleswoman job and became one of the best selling person by applying the mantra: "the customer is the most important person." And this mantra was applied by all employees, leading to a very high degree of customer satisfaction. As it was imagined by the founders of Saturn...

Today, life goes on. My wife works for an insurance company. My friends works either in other dealerships or changed their career. But I still drive a Saturn, not because my wife sold some (I wouldn't have bought something that I don't trust or like), but because I really like this vehicle.

When I climb in an Audi Q3 or a BMW X3, I can't help saying that these cars were build to compete against the Saturn VUE and, at the end, I really did the best deal around at half the price of those prime SUVs. And many of my friend changed their way of seeing Saturn when they took a ride with me. Many of them were surprised to see that I can pull a 3500 lb trailer with this machine and still have fun!

[long silence...]

The name is gone, but it will not be forgotten, no matter what GM does. I'll always see a Saturn VUE behind the Cadillac SRX. I'll always see a Saturn Aura behind the Buick Regal. I'll never forget that once, GM tried to be better than what it was, but was not brilliant enough to see that it had what it needed in its hands.

Charlie, your articles inpired me. I talked a lot about SaturnFans.com to people who were afraid of not having support for their problems. I was pleased to share my experience (towing with a Vue) with the fans.

I wish you and your family, and to all fans, a happy new year and a future full of everything that makes life a never-ending party.

From Quebec City, QC, Canada, best regards.

...
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:58 PM   #233
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Thanks Charlie, without people like you we wouldn't have a resource like Saturnalia which combined technical information and camaraderie to Saturn owners.

I still drive my '96 SL2 which is just approaching 100,000 a measly amount for a car. Every time I rent a car, I'm reminded how far cars have come in the last 15 years and how shipty some of the SL2's design was. Case in point, a wiring harness for the trunk light that flexes every time you open the trunk, so over time the wires break. (I fixed it once, won't do it again.) Even driving a modest 2005 Corolla is a much better experience than my '96 SL2 ever was, with the exception of highway acceleration.

Still, I'm not sorry I bought a Saturn, way back in November, 1995. For the time and for the cars available at that time, I think it was a good choice. Unfortunately, I think that the vehicles that followed weren't even as good as the SL2, however mediocre it was.

When I bought my '96 I really liked my dealer and I had everything done there. Just like the car, over time the dealership got less and less enjoyable, just like my car, until I told them to get stuffed after changing my oil and leaving the cap sitting on the engine block.

The Saturn business was a great experiment for GM. I think they were too hidebound to appreciate what they had accomplished and reverted to business as usual, with dire consequences.

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Old 01-10-2011, 06:47 PM   #234
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Thanks so much for your work on the forum.
As for the demise of beloved Saturn, I can't help but feel bitter. I think GM killed Saturn by destroying it's unusual business model, it's different way of doing business, it's inexpensive but still cool and dependable cars, a few years ago. Suddenly the cars weren't being made at Springhill, TN anymore and they were just like other GM cars, slightly tweaked.
I loved my cars, I loved my Saturn dealership and the wonderful folks there, and I'm still grieving. Just bought a new Honda, which is wonderful, but I felt like a traitor. Couldn't do anything about it though. I refused to even consider a GM car. They killed Saturn and I'm angry.
Thanks from Sheri & daughter Kate for our wonderful Saturns (Kate's still driving her Ion, which has 150,000 miles on it): 2000 SL2 station wagon "Peanut", 2002 SL1 sedan "Gypsy", 2003 Ion "Bubble", and 2003 Ion "Pepper". Family & friends who discovered Saturns through us are sad too: brother & sister-in-law: 1 station wagon (can't remember what those slightly larger wagons were called) & 2 Vue's (still driving one); niece : 1 SL1, friend Debbie: 1 SL-whatever that 3-door sport SL was called, & two Vue's (she's still driving one).
When my kid graduated from high school & close friends & family gathered at my house, a neighbor asked me later if someone in the family worked for Saturn because every car but one at the house that night was a Saturn.
Sad, so sad.

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Old 01-10-2011, 08:52 PM   #235
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Charlie, even though I'm a late bloomer to your website I want to thank you also for all your years of serving us.

My very first brand spankn shiny new car was a Saturn. I researched for 2 months and when my Dad said "you can't do better" I brought 98 "Shubel" SL2Silver Plumb home.

In 2002 I fell in love with the VUE and decided to trade Shubel in. No researching this time just drove straight to Saturn Kearny Mesa and pulled away with 02 "Venture" VUE Black.

In Jan 2006 after one long week-end adventure we realized we needed more room so we could carry more stuff and "Venture" was replaced with 05 "Norman" Relay3 AWD white.

I've had three Saturns and have loved every one of them but the one closest to my heart is "Venture". My Dad and I had many great camping trips in that spunky little vehicle; Bryce, Zion, 4 Corners but our favorite camping trips were off dirt roads that most of the time were not even on BLM maps. My Dad passed in 2007 and every time I see a black VUE I think of all our trips and wish I still had that VUE.

Thanks again Charlie, Bruggie

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Old 01-11-2011, 08:30 AM   #236
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Quote:
Originally Posted by southaeastpunk View Post
really appreciate your enthusiasm and all the hard work you put into the site!
i was a saturn employee on the assembly line at one point... it was a GREAT company to work for, i miss somedays!

we should all pitch in and start a donation fund to keep the site up...
a dollar a person multiplied by so many people can add up quick.

so help keep this piece of memorabilia alive!
who's with me?
That's an excellent idea that some other members here have expressed as well.

Perhaps Charlie can put up a PayPal logo and link to a PayPal account? And instead of a "Homecoming" he could do something like a "SaturnFans Drive" once a year and put up the PayPal logo for people to contribute.

...
2008 AURA XR
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2008 SKY RL
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Built: 09/20/07

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Old 01-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #237
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Yes, thanks for all the work in the forum. It's been a real help to me to read over the last year I've owned my Vue.

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Old 01-11-2011, 10:57 PM   #238
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

My favorite memory of my 2003 saturn l300 was when me and my buddy put on HAI ( Hot air intake. AKA an open cone air filter) and took it out on the road and when i got on it the DOHC v6 sounded like a cammed V8 and smoked the **** out of a SVT focus. to say the least me and my friend had head aches from laughing so hard afterward

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Old 01-12-2011, 01:23 AM   #239
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

While not surprised, I was torn following the demise of Saturn and the rollercoaster rumblings of it's death. I am decidely anti-social, and the slightly cornball approach of it's sales marketing didn't really do much for me. I went to exactly 1 feelgood rally, and that was for a free night at a drive-in movie I was going to see anyway. The cutesy setup of a grocery cart running into a side panel setup in the dealers showroom didn't hit a nerve either, I mean if I wanted to break a door panel I'm pretty sure I could find a way (or the soccer mom parked next to me for damned sure found a way). I could've done without the balloons and chalk board celebrating my purchasing choice.
Let's face it, Saturns aren't automobiles. They are an appliance, and mine has proven to be the most trustworthy appliance I have during it's term of ownership. 270k (and counting), and my postcount is a testimony to how well thought out the original line of Sx cars were. Other than the annoyances of an asinine door lock design and non-retracting mirrors the only problem I had was a $20 crank sensor that I replaced myself in 15mins.

In TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY THOUSAND MILES that is insanely reliable, in a car I never respected even as I pulled away from the dealer (I think I made it two blocks before spilling my coffee, and a week before I was I keeping my stinking fishing gear in the trunk). Other than keeping it fed & watered (oil changed religiously, coolant changed twice, brakes serviced when needed) cost of ownership has been crazy low. My 1998 SC1 bought new off the showroom floor has treated me far better than I treated it, when it does need replacing it will be by another low mileage S model or Astra.

Salut Saturnistas


Photo is after a 2000k trip to a Northern Canadian Arctic river, left parked next to a train station for 3 weeks while I had my adventure. When I returned it started on the second crank and never missed a beat down a few hundred miles of gravel roads and the long ride home.

Ofcourse it didn't. It's a Saturn.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:13 PM   #240
bluefever
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

technically nissan pounded the last nail in saturn's coffin.

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