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Old 02-27-2006, 10:33 AM   #1
MBman
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Default "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Well here is the deal . This is a 2002 SL1 with 69000 miles. In excellent shape , no visible issues. Has all the bells and whistles, PW/PL/ AM FM CD, cruise , AC / Automatic. Runs great. I was looking for an SL2 but this is one nice car. Wants $5,600 , I have him down to $5450
How does that sound to all of you, I know this guy so he is shooting straight with me. Sells cars on the side, How is the reliability of this car compared to the SL2?
I have had it for the weekend and all I can find is that the steering wheel makes a bit of a squeak when I turn it.
Anything I should look for, any recalls, failures . For my 18 year old daughter so I am wanting a good reliable safe car
The only issue is the squeek that comes while turning the wheel, Seems to be eminating from the steering shaft , inside hosing, I think...
I put it up on lifts and crawled under it , saw no leaks, no holes, no damage. Brakes seem good , probably need changed in the next 6000 miles or so. The plugs will need changed, air filter. Rest of the fluids are up to date. I dont know about Tranny. is this a 50K or 100K interval? I have a 2000 SL2 that has been pretty well trouble free.

Thanks Agian

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Old 02-27-2006, 10:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Sounds good to me. The SL1 are usualy a little more reliable with the SOHC than the SL2s with the DOHC, but the DOHC are more fun to drive. Tranny service is a 50,000km (30,000miles) service interval I believe. Or maybe 50,000km for the first one, then 100,000kms after that, I'm not toally sure. Mine was done at 50K as part of the 50K service before I picked it up. Anyway this one sounds good, and I'm sure your daughter will love the car, as long as the maintenence is kept up.

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Old 02-27-2006, 10:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

If in doubt, change the tranny fluid.
Has a screw on oil filter, just like oil. Heck, if you can change engine oil, you can change tranny oil.
Another thing, change the coolant. They say it is good for 100K miles, don't believe them. THis is another super easy thing to do on the s series. Forget about draining the radiator, the plug is hard to get to. Just below the output for the water pump, there is a drain plug (looks like a bolt that does nothing.) Just unscrew it, drain the fluid there, and refill with the orange stuff.
If you are changing the front pads, get new rotors too. They tend to warp easily. The rotors are under $20 each.

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Old 02-27-2006, 11:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Thanks, OEM on tranny filter? or will other do
also type of plug recomendation

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Old 02-27-2006, 11:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Check the oil.


Check the oil.



Check the oil.


Did I mention, check the oil?


Remind your daughter to check the oil at EVERY fill up. A lot of people (especially teenagers) don't think about it but it is something that must be maintained on an S-series. A 2002 should not have an oil burning problem, but it still needs to be checked just in case, just like you should on any car. It only takes a second and hopefully you've taught her how. It can prolong the life of her car by many many years and catch any oil burning long before it becomes an issue. Make sure she stays on top of the oil changes also, because dirty oil can gum up all kinds of things in the engine and cause big problems down the road. That's what happened to my 94 SL1 - previous owner changed the oil when she remembered to (I'm guessing maybe 3 or 4 times in the 91,000 miles she had it) and then 20k miles after I got it (and I religiously changed the oil at 3k miles and checked the oil at every fillup because it burned it so bad) the engine seized two days after an oil change (and , according to the dipstick, still full of fresh clean oil!) because the oil pump was so clogged up it couldn't pump the clean oil through it.

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Old 02-27-2006, 11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

There is no other kind besides OEM for the tranny filter, and what plug do you mean? Spark plugs? OEM for those too.
And Spazie, oil burning is a non-issue on a 2002. It's not like older Saturns. Check it but, every fill-up is not necessary. And do make absolutely sure it is changed on time.

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Old 02-27-2006, 11:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

For spark plugs, copper works best. DO NOT get platinum plugs, Saturn engines hate them. I've always heard NGK copper plugs work the best.

...
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

man you guys rock...thanks

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Old 02-27-2006, 11:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBman
man you guys rock...thanks
That's what makes this site so awesome. Let us know how the car goes and how she likes it!

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Old 02-27-2006, 12:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Transmission and spark plug service is EVERY 30,000 miles - drain and refill (do not flush). The PCV valve could use a replacement (real cheap) along with a good cleaning of the EGR valve and throttle body (cheap again). A bottle of Chevron Techron through the tank wouldn't hurt either.

If the coolant is pinkish/orange and the car isn't running hot, you're good until 150k on that. DEX-COOL is good if the system stays closed and no air bubbles are introduced. People only have problems when they muck around with it (removing the cap when hot, not refilling properly, wrong mixture, etc.). Draining and refilling more often (when the system is in proper working order) only increases the chances that you'll introduce air.

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Old 02-27-2006, 01:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

compression test that sucker...

also, i have an 01 SL1 with every option and I love it....


except i hate the motor and tranny...

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Old 02-27-2006, 06:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

i have an 02 sl (stripped sl1) and after 76000 kms ive done only brakes and other routine mantenance. wonderful car and there are no recalls on the 2002 models (ive had mine since new) my only complaint was the oem tires they were not very good but what do you expect on a 12000 dollar car.

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Old 02-28-2006, 01:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazie
For spark plugs, copper works best. DO NOT get platinum plugs, Saturn engines hate them. I've always heard NGK copper plugs work the best.
any particular reason that the engine does not like the platnum plugs?

...
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:05 AM   #14
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Well I bought it, nice ride, changed plugs, they needed it , air filter, cleaned throtle body, but it was pretty spotless. O/F done, will do tranny this weekend. Thanks again

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Old 02-28-2006, 11:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulN64
any particular reason that the engine does not like the platnum plugs?
You know, that's funny. I've never seen a particular theory given as to why this is true. But report after report confirms that Saturns just seem to run badly on platinum plugs while running much better on the non-platinum type. Just a design quirk I guess.

As for me personally, I put the cheapest Autolites that Wal Mart had in there and it runs just fine. But that's just me.

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Old 02-28-2006, 11:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

You are very welcome. We're always happy to help. And hope your daughter enjoys the car very much.

Quote:
any particular reason that the engine does not like the platnum plugs?
There is. Search the forum if you want the complete answer, but as I recall it is somthing about a reverse spark and platinum electrodes not being able to handle it very well.

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Old 02-28-2006, 07:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

the only thing i can think of as to be a reason for platinum plugs not working well would be if they were the wrong heat range. as for the reverse spark or more accuratly the waste spark. i really dont see how a platinum plug would be a problem since many gm's use the same ignition system and run great with platinum plugs. i"l search for a good explanation cause my car runs great on platinums.

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Old 02-28-2006, 08:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

i dont rember the thread but their the wrong heat range it said. i put NKG (?) V-power copper plugs in like was said (i believe it said stic with copper plugs) and it flies

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Old 02-28-2006, 08:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Other GM vehicles were designed to use the extended life spark plugs. Saturns were meant to be changed every 30,000 miles. Platinum plugs have a smaller but more durable electrode that doesn't work well with the waste spark sent by the stock coils. This seems to me more prevalent with DOHC models. For some reason, the SOHC engines don't often exhibit the same behavior. Perhaps it's the position of the plug in the combustion chamber, who knows.

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Old 03-01-2006, 12:43 AM   #20
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Default Re: "New" SL1 2002 "Potential" owner with Questions

Waste spark, that's what I meant to say.

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