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Old 07-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
smeeb
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Default Why do people like Saturns?

I've own 2 Saturns over the past 4 years. A 95 SL2 and a 2002 SL1 and both cars are/where nothing but trouble. For the life of me I can't remember a time when there wasn't SOMETHING wrong with them. Immediately after getting whatever was broken fixed something else would break . Nearly everything that can go wrong in a car went wrong in these vehicles. They've constantly leaked and left me stranded with electrical problems. What is the appeal? My SL2 had catastrophic engine failure at 110,000 miles while I have a friend with a 270,000 miles Accord and another friend with a 150,000 Civic that has literally never broken down . What is the appeal?

/rant
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Most car problems are caused by one nut........The nut behind the wheel.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Agreed. Before the rebuild, my Saturn went 260K miles on regular oil changes. Think I had to clean the EGR valve twice, replace the front passenger wheel bearing, battery once, and the front pads and rotors once...and all while getting extraordinary gas mileage. That's pretty typical around here!
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Buy a Honda. What's stopping you?
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Cheap to buy, cheap to fix, very fuel efficient, good balance between handling and ride. I suppose the older ones are as reliable as you want them to be, depending upon your maintenance schedule and overall concern with the car's condition.

Anecdotes do not equal data. My daughter's 2000 Honda Accord needed an auto transmission rebuild ($2500+) at 80,000 miles. Are all Hondas now suspect?
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Of course, your individual experiences are just that. I had a Honda Accord that nickel and dimed me to death and my ex-gf had a new Accord the same time I bought my L-series and her car was in the dealer's constantly while my L was rarely in the shop for anything but maintenance. Does this mean that Accords were unreliable cars?

Of course not. It means tht my sample size of 2 cars is too small to be statistically relevant. History shows S-series cars as being very reliable. There are other factors as well. If you compare apples to apples, the dohc s-series had a lot more fahrfegnugen than their contemporaries. Sure, some years, Honda offered th Civic SIc, but that was. Completely different car. Saturn never offered an S-series redline. The dohc cars were still economy cars, just with more powerful engines. These were, hands down, more fun to drive than the corollas and civics of the 1990s. Even in the third generation....

There was a comparison of the sl2 in 2000 with the competing compacts... I think it was in car and driver. The Mazda Protege won the comparison. Yet, the SL2 was said to have the "strongest acceleration" in the group. And at 38 mpg, it was among the best in terms of mileage too. Not bad for a "tired" old 10 year old platform.

Once you add the uniqueness of the Saturn company, the uniqueness of the styling that if nothing else just offered an alternative to the zillions of corolla and civic appliances outthere.

This is just a start, but I have to run to work. Sorry for the typos, using my phone and have isues with the keyboard.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smeeb View Post
I've own 2 Saturns over the past 4 years. A 95 SL2 and a 2002 SL1 and both cars are/where nothing but trouble. For the life of me I can't remember a time when there wasn't SOMETHING wrong with them. Immediately after getting whatever was broken fixed something else would break . Nearly everything that can go wrong in a car went wrong in these vehicles. They've constantly leaked and left me stranded with electrical problems. What is the appeal? My SL2 had catastrophic engine failure at 110,000 miles while I have a friend with a 270,000 miles Accord and another friend with a 150,000 Civic that has literally never broken down . What is the appeal?

/rant
Well i guess You had bad Luck with Your used Saturns. i wonder if your engine blew up from no oil.? (no offence) its just these engines
use oil wich everyone around here has to keep an EYE on if not the
the worst happens . i have owned mine now for 5 years mind You. i have had to put maintanance items like

-muffler
-brakes
-tires
-Rad
-water pump etc..

but after putting ( 70,000 kms ) on a car that had 229,000kms bought
used that now has a haire away from 300,000kms its worked well for me.
even the A/C works fine. but then again its very well maintaned by its owner.
and Yes Hondas are and do have a good reputation as being a (reliable vehicle.) but how many people buy hondas souly based on there reputation

do little or no maintanance. and then complain there no good.? because i have
heard that happening to. all vehicles in general have gotten better in
dependability in the Last 10-15 years i mean You dont see or hear of engines blowing up compared to 25-30 years ago its almost un-heard of engineering,
Parts Quality, & oils have overall improved. Yeah You could say a little more on some then others if Your comparing for exam: a high end BMW vs a Kia Lets say but

generaly for the most part all vehicles have gotten more dependable. when i
worked in a repaire shop many things that i would see probably could of been avoided even small things like people running old wipers torn to the point
where it was scratching the windshield. my point is (any vehicle ) needs looking after and a car is only as good as You Take Care Of It.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

My '91 SL1 went to 200K with only a blown head gasket and a bum P/S pump, both of which I fixed myself. The car was still running like a watch when I sold it. By then I already had my second Saturn, the '02 SC1. After six years with it I haven't done anything more than regular maintenance and desired mods. If Saturn were still in business I'd probably buy another.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

I bought a Saturn because of towability! Not many automatics can be pulled 4-down. Light weight. As for trouble, that I can fix on these cars. Try owning a few cars like the LT1 engines with upti spark issues and 6 hour water pump changes. And 6 hour to change plugs. Or like my wifes Honda Ody that has a 75% transmission failure rate!. Point is all cars can have issues.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

why would u rant on a forum you have 2 posts on, go cry elsewhere n00b
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

I keep seein' those "legendarily reliable" Hondas broken down on the side of the road around here in way higher quantities than any other make of car. Does that mean anything? Probably not, other than a lot of people around here have Hondas, and maintain them just as poorly as every other pinhead. But while we're busy tossing anecdotes around, that road seems to go both ways.

My Saturn has been doggedly indestructible in all the years I've owned it, and now the mostly identical one my girlfriend is driving is following suit. When it's not working well, S-Series cars are handily one of the easiest to work on I've ever seen, and the wealth of knowledge on this forum -- One of the very few left on the web with knowledgeable members and useful info and not just packed full of riceboys, wannabes, and posers -- always proves invaluable for figuring out whatever needs figuring out. Saturn parts are cheap and plentiful, most of the major repair jobs can be "shadetreed" easily enough without the need for a lift or engine hoist... For instance, have you ever worked on any other automatic transmission where the valve body can be removed out the top, without draining all the fluid and/or replacing gaskets? I can get the valve body out of a Saturn in about ten minutes, after I find all my tools...

My SL2 has just enough power to get out of its own way, gets great mileage, and doesn't dent. I don't know what else to ask for, especially for a car I think I paid about $6k for -- eight years ago. (My GF bought her Saturn -- same year and considerably fewer miles than mine -- for 2500, last year.)
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FredM View Post
Buy a Honda. What's stopping you?
The non-sticky gas paddle
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

i work at a parts store and people come in to buy parts for all makes and models saturns are not special in the fact pats fail on them, IF you want a car that you don't have to worry about parts failing or continuous maintenance then buy a brand new car with a warranty. but even then ANY car that gets driven is going to need parts/maintenance on a regular basis there are absolutely NO exceptions to that rule. so don't buy a used car and then complain you have to maintain it.

and btw 7 out of 10 times a customer comes in for parts is "i have a honda civic" or "i have a nissan sentra" so as pointed out the saturns are not the problem more like the saturns owner.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

I personally like saturns, because they are easy to work on for starters.
And, both my manual transmissions get 40-45 MPG.
That, and my son got t-boned by a car going 60+ MPH and walked away from it.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Quote:
The non-sticky gas paddle.
Wasn't that Toyota??

My take.. cheap parts, easy for the shade tree DIY type to work on, plastic panels that don't rust/dent/look like crap after > 10 years and mileage that still beats most of the current crop of overpriced look alike garbage that being shoved at us..

FWIW.. My son is a tech for Toyota.. sounds like the newer ones leak just about as much oil as the S's burn from his comments?
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

That's incredible at 60mph...

Regarding newer Toyotas, I had a fully-loaded, heated leather '09 Corolla XRS with the 2.2L 5-spd, and let me tell you that as much as I love my Saturn, I don't think I'll ever miss a car as much as that thing for the rest of my days. They know how to build a vehicle.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

I do have to say one thing I dislike about all my saturns...
I drive 850 Miles once a month nonstop from Tennessee to Massachusetts.
In a saturn, It plays hell on your back..
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

The only 2 things i dont like about my car: 1 its wayyyy to loud to sneak out at nite(only time i have i had to push my car 2 blocks down before i started it lol, 2 i strongly dislile fwd.. other that cant complain.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:55 AM   #19
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by off-track View Post
Wasn't that Toyota??

My take.. cheap parts, easy for the shade tree DIY type to work on, plastic panels that don't rust/dent/look like crap after > 10 years and mileage that still beats most of the current crop of overpriced look alike garbage that being shoved at us..

FWIW.. My son is a tech for Toyota.. sounds like the newer ones leak just about as much oil as the S's burn from his comments?
When Toyota had the gas paddle issue, Honda dealers made ads saying "Our gas pedals won't stick" which sounds to me like a joke

Yeah, our old family car was a legendary Toyota Camary, and we really "enjoyed" it, when its brake cylinder exploded at the time I applied a hard brake
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why do people like Saturns?

What a properly maintained Saturn odometer looks like (1995 SL2. pic is over a year old):


Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn View Post
From what he says, the engine and transmission (automatic) are original. Never rebuilt or needed major service. The engine burns very little oil and has compression numbers just over 200. Even still has the original timing chain. He says he religiously changes the oil every 3000 miles and has done so since he bought the car brand new. Also changes the tranny fluid every 10,000 miles. It has the original valvebody and doesnt slam into any gears.

Other than the wear and tear of highway driving to the paint on the front of the car, its in awesome shape. Inside and out. He did say he's replaced the drivers side seat bottom foam a couple of times. This guy knows how to take care of a car. You can eat off the engine and he maintains every aspect of the car. Lubes the sunroof, power window regulators, hinges, ect. Everything is original and still works.
I can tell you I see way more Saturn S-series from teh 90's driving around than I do Hondas and Toyotas of the same age (1991~2002). The Hondas and Toyotas have all rusted away.

The number of Saturns with 300k~400k + miles is pretty astounding.
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