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Old 07-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #1
Izzy
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Happy Suggestions to check

Hi, I'm a new owner of Saturn, I never had a Saturn car before, well I just brought a Saturn SL2 1999, after purchasing I received several comments from friends saying that I have purchased a really bad car, the car looks goo and engine and tras works fine, but after hearing all the comments and jokes they did i decided to investigate and fourtunatelly found this forum, so you are the best to advice what i really brought, is it a real bad car? what concideration should I take with the engine (it has +144000 miles on it) need to change any belt or something? the only think I have observed wrong is that the sunroof is not working and it leaks water when raining. hopefully I found some tech notes on this room regarding this issue. I will say that my main concern is on the motor it uses and considerations I will have to take.

thanks.
Izzy.
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
ςατμяη gμψ
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2002 SC2
Happy Re: Suggestions to check

I just got my Saturn in February. Some of the things that I did right away were new battery, new spark plugs and wires, change oil and filter, new air filter, rotated and balanced tires, new front brakes... some of these things didn't have to be done, but I think its good to do things like that when you first buy a used car. Love my car.
...
AEM Short Ram Intake
Disabled DRLs
Cleaned Throttle Body
New Front Brakes and Rotors
New Spark Plugs and Wires
New Battery
Charged A/C
New Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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2002 SC2
Idea Re: Suggestions to check

Oh yeah, one more thing. From what I've been reading in the forums, Saturns use/burn oil. I would advice checking your oil level at least every time you fill up your car with gas, maybe more often. I hear the engines are reliable, but if you let them get low on oil, you may have problems.
...
AEM Short Ram Intake
Disabled DRLs
Cleaned Throttle Body
New Front Brakes and Rotors
New Spark Plugs and Wires
New Battery
Charged A/C
New Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tires
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:42 PM   #4
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Suggestions to check

Change the following ASAP:

1) ECTS (use a BRASS TIPPED sensor, get it from AutoZone)
2) Thermostat (use the 195 DEGREES F one from AutoZone)
3) Water Pump
4) Radiator
5) Transmission Fluid and Filter
6) Spark Plugs (use the NGK copper brand)

All replacement instructions can be found in the how-to library

Welcome aboard and good luck!
...
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
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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2001 SL1
Default Re: Suggestions to check

I am new to Saturns also. Just bought a '98 SL2. The reason I had no reservations with buying it is that I used to work with a guy who had a Saturn. He put almost 300,000 miles on the car before "major engine" issues arose. He sold it for $200 to another co worker. That guy changed the timing chain and last I knew put at least another 100,000 on it. That was good enough for me

Don
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:05 PM   #6
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: Suggestions to check

Rest assured you bought a good car...

I have a 94 SC1 that has 340,501 miles on the original engine and original auto transmission, of which neither have been rebuilt. I have owned this car since it had 59,000 miles on it. Essentially 12 years of good car service.

I have done all of the maintenance on this car. Back in Oct. 2008 it started misfiring really bad, with no compression on Cylinder 3, and minimal compression on the other 3 cylinders.

Before I bought my Saturn in 1997, I had owned 2 Chevrolets (Citation and Chevette), and I knew NOTHING about cars....12 years later, my Saturn ownership has taught me everything I have learned so far in working on a car (Changing Spark Plugs, Coolant, Battery, Water Pump, Alternator, Starter, Brakes, body panels....the list goes on...)

You CAN learn how to work on your car, all you need is a basic set of tools and this forum and if you know how to turn a wrench on a bolt, you can work on your car yourself...

Don't let your friends comments get you down or discourage you. I STILL get 36-40 mpg on a 15 year old car that has almost 130K miles on it (my 94 SL2).

Good luck...these cars are easy to work on, and getting parts are relatively inexpensive due to the extensive amount of Salvage yard parts available.

I would suggest buying a set of FSM (Factory Service Manuals) off of Ebay that are sold periodically from time to time for your specific year, and use them in co-ordination with this forum and you should be set.

A good set of "Rhino" Ramps, jackstands, and a middle of the line jack would be sufficient as well.
...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:44 PM   #7
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Happy Re: Suggestions to check

Thank you all, it is good to see how good this car is for others, this is them a good reason to make it look in a better shape. sure It will come more questions.

Thanks again and have a nice July 4.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:13 PM   #8
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1997 SL2
Default I used to be an import snob, but Saturns = best kept secret

Rest assured, the S-series cars should serve you well. About the only real downside is they are not quick off the line (so no drag racing). But as a Silicon Valley, California native, I used to be a complete Japanese/German car fan. Grew up thinking that you bought German for performance, and Japanese if you were a girl or married.

I only bought my SL2 as a stopgap, thinking it'll last a year. Was I surprised! The S-series cars are like camels in the desert. They just go and go and go and go...not with a lot of fanfare or show, they just keep moving along.

The other (big) advantage of the Saturns is that they are relatively simple without so many funky electronics. With a lot of cars, you get to a point where too many expensive "modules" require replacing as part of the diagnostic routine. So with a BMW or Lexus you can easily burn up $2000 just to "narrow down" the problem. With a Saturn S-series, from what I've experienced and read here, just about anything can be fixed, it's just a question of do you have the tools and the time.

As they say, CHECK THE OIL FREQUENTLY, and find your inner casual mechanic for replacing minor stuff like spark plugs every 30,000 miles, and your Saturn will probably outlive you. I'm finding that if you keep the system clean of carbon, and replace all fluids every couple years, that's the ticket. Eternal life!
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
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2000 SL2
Default Re: Suggestions to check

A lot of things that go wrong on these cars that make people think they're "bad", are parts that are easily replaceable. As far as the engine goes, change the oil as recommended of course, and make sure you check the level of oil frequently. Some S series engines burn more oil than others, but this is not really a "problem" as long as you keep the oil topped off. If you have a manual tranny, drain and fill with new fluid. If you have an auto, I'd recommend a flush (the forum doesnt recommend it, but its worked fine for me on 2 of our cars). With an automatic, you also have the option of draining and filling.

Before we bought our 1st Saturn I never thought we would own one. Didnt know anything about them. The fact that they're easy to fix and parts are cheap has now made us a multi-saturn family.
...
2000 SL2 auto - 167k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 161k - sold
1997 SC2 auto - 105k - sold
2000 SC2 auto - 117k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 250k - sold
2001 SC2 5sp - 160k - sold
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:14 PM   #10
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1996 SL2
2000 SW2
Default Re: Suggestions to check

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr18436572 View Post
Before we bought our 1st Saturn I never thought we would own one. Didnt know anything about them. The fact that they're easy to fix and parts are cheap has now made us a multi-saturn family.
Same here exactly. I needed a cheap car, I found my low miles SL1 for $800 and was shocked at how good it was (with virtually no repairs to safety) and drove it 1.5 years. I now have my 96 SL2 because of the positive experience with the SL1. my friend is now driving my SL1 and unless he's lying to me, seems to love the car, its comfortable and gets good mileage. It never let me down. I'll get another S-series again someday. Hopefully an SW2 5 speed. I love them!
...
1996 SL2 5MT
1997 SL1 5MT
2000 SW2 5MT
All gone, but not forgotten.
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Old 07-04-2009, 01:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Suggestions to check

Onemore question

SL2 1999, does it uses timing chain or timing belt? just want to know if need to replace with 144k miles on it.
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:03 AM   #12
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2000 SL2
Default Re: Suggestions to check

All S series use a chain
...
2000 SL2 auto - 167k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 161k - sold
1997 SC2 auto - 105k - sold
2000 SC2 auto - 117k - sold
1996 SL2 auto - 250k - sold
2001 SC2 5sp - 160k - sold
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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1997 SL
Default Re: Suggestions to check

change the oil and filter at 3,000 mile intervals
Check the oil every day and keep it full
Drive On!
...
97 SL. Born 6/5/97, bought 7/7/97
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:39 AM   #14
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2002 SL2
2000 SL1
Default Re: Suggestions to check

Welcome to the forum. I like others on this site knew very little about cars/Saturns before finding the wealth of information here and now I'm hoping to finish my first engine swap this weekend! Read all you can on the how-to library, and view Richpin's videos, which are usually the first links you find on the how-to section!
...
7 Saturn Car Family with + 900,000 miles.
2002 SL2, 2000 SL1, 1997 SC2, 1997 SC1, 1996 SC1, 1994 SC2, and now a 93 SC2 project car.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:46 AM   #15
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Suggestions to check

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr18436572 View Post
All S series use a chain
And thank God.
...
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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