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Old 05-30-2005, 05:22 PM   #1
marcusa
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Default 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

I was considering buying a 2003 L200 w/manual transmission but cannot seem to find one with Traction Control. Was it not available on cars with the stick? And is it bundled wiht ABS like in the S-series or is ABS standard on all 2003 L200 models?

One side note, if anyone here has one with a manual how is the transmission? Any weird behaviors or pesky gears? Previous GM cars my family owned would always go to 4th from 1st unless you put up a fight.
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Old 05-30-2005, 06:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

Finding a 2003 with a manual is going to be tough. Trac/ABS was available on the manual transmissioned L series - but they can be hard to come by, too.
The transmission is the Saab F25... a very very durable transmission. It has a slightly rubbery feel in the shifter but is rather precise. It is equipped with a manual reverse lockout ring that has to be lifted to shift into reverse.
Now the bad part:
The "common failure" of these transmissions is the slave cylinder on the clutch. It is internal to the transmission and from what I have heard costs an absurd amount of money to replace.
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

So ABS only comes with Traction Control?

And more importantly, just how "common" is this failure on Saturns? Anything (habit-wise and additive-wise) that can be done to prevent it? And in the occurence that it happens, is there any replacement parts which won't have that problem, OEM or aftermarket?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to cover my bases before purchasing something that costs a big chunk of my mneager salary.
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Old 05-31-2005, 12:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusa
So ABS only comes with Traction Control?

And more importantly, just how "common" is this failure on Saturns? Anything (habit-wise and additive-wise) that can be done to prevent it? And in the occurence that it happens, is there any replacement parts which won't have that problem, OEM or aftermarket?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to cover my bases before purchasing something that costs a big chunk of my mneager salary.
Right... ABS only comes with TCS.
I dunno how common one would say this failure is - perhaps some other manual L owners can chime in. It comes up whenever someone mentions an L series manual, because it is really the only caveat to that powertrain. The L with a manual is a somewhat rare beast... perhaps a poll would be well suited here.
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Old 05-31-2005, 07:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

I have a 2002 L200 manual with Trac control.
In fact all my manual Saturns (93 SW2 & 96 SL2) had ABS & trac control.
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Old 05-31-2005, 11:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

When I had the slave cylinder problem, it caused 5th gear to get mangled. They fixed both things 55k miles ago, and have had no problems since. My L has no ABS or traction control.
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Old 05-31-2005, 11:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

My only complaint (so far) about the tranny is it needs a taller 5th gear. (or sixth)
3100 rpm @70mph is too much.

Lower that to 2500, and an increase of a couple mpg could have been obtained.
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Old 05-31-2005, 01:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

I agree.. Would be nice to drop the rpms a bit and pick up some mpg. BTW, kept it at 65 mph on a 120 mile trip this weekend. Got right at 36 mpg.
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Old 05-31-2005, 06:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

Thanks for the advice and comments. spork, how much did it cost to get your transmission fixed and where was it done?

Does the 3100 RPM sound droning or intrusive at all?

Just a side note on 5th gear, I have noticed several cars that have crappy overdrives, the first one that comes to mind being the new Corolla. On the highway at ~70MPH it was pulling 3500 RPM w/out A/C. I have never got to RPMs that high in my SL1, even with the A/C on and going against the wind.
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Old 05-31-2005, 08:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusa
Thanks for the advice and comments. spork, how much did it cost to get your transmission fixed and where was it done?

Does the 3100 RPM sound droning or intrusive at all?
To fix 5th gear was $270 parts, $220 labor, and clutch slave was $125 parts, $425 labor. Those were done on seperate visits at the dealer, and were done under warranty.

3100rpm is fine, though I did notice some sort of resonance around 2600 rpm.

If you are looking for quiet, get an automatic. They are much quieter.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

One thing that should be noted is that those parts and labor costs will be quite a bit higher for a customer pay repair.

It's not that these new cars have crappy overdrives - they are geared to be in their torque peak for quick acceleration out on the highway.

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Old 06-01-2005, 12:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

A 2003 L200 5-speed is a rare beast indeed. I have a friend with one, so I see it all the time. However, with that being said, I have only ever seen one (1) L-series with a manual transmission. She finally let me drive it the other day. As was mentioned, getting into reverse requires pulling the ring up then shifting, which I forgot 'cause neither of my cars do that. And not that I pay it any mind, but the shift light in her car is different than the shift light in my car. But I did enjoy driving it. Beautiful car it is...
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Old 06-01-2005, 01:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

I think all of you are well qualified to sell Saturns at a dealership, I wanted one bad now I must have it, despite possible transmission problems.
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Old 06-01-2005, 10:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

Marcusa, You might want to look for a 2002 instead. There are more 5 speeds out there, and all 2002's came with ABS and traction control standard. Beginning in 2003, Saturn made ABS/TC an option again.

IMHO the 2002 looks better, has a nicer interior and is probably the most reliable year of the entire run.
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Old 06-04-2005, 01:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

Although I agree with most reliable year of the run, I prefer the crisper design of the newer L-Series. I also prefer the brushed aluminum and seat cloths used in 2003+ over the wood trim and old seat cloths. Just a matter of preference, unfortunately mine had to be for the rare one.
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Old 06-05-2005, 08:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

I've never seen a manual L. I have a 2000 LS2. Would it be possible to make it manual? And how much? That thing is pretty quick for a sedan.
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

I have read here suggestions on using the manual from the SAAB 9-5, since they're both essentially the same car/engine. It would probably be very costly though, that is why I have not considered it myself.
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Old 06-05-2005, 11:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

The manual was not available on any of the SAAB 3.0 V6 models either.
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Old 06-06-2005, 02:17 AM   #19
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Default Re: 2003 Manual Transmission Trac Control?

I have managed to find three 2003 L200's with manual transmission. None of them have all the options I want, one is missing Traction Control and the other two the foglamps. They're fully loaded in all other respects, save for one which is cloth instead of leather. I have a couple more questions though...

How easy/expensive is it to add fog lamps? It doesn't have to be the factory ones, but it would be nice if I could use the foglamp button for the foglamp...

Other than the cassette deck, is there any difference between the audio system with just the CD player and the one with the cassette as well? Does one have better speakers or circutry inside, do they both (or neither, I could've heard wrong) automatically adjust the volume...?
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