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Old 06-03-2021, 09:19 AM   #1
MiSaturn
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Default Gone, Not Forgotten

After nearly 20 years ownership and just over 360,000 amazingly trouble-free miles, we're no longer Saturn drivers. Our 2002 Silver Blue Saturn SL went to the mechanics who helped it reach old age and will become a "mechanics special" and hopefully go on for tens of thousands of more miles.

Joking made offer to mechanics that I'd gift them the Saturn in lieu of payment for maintenance on what would eventually become its replacement. They jumped on it immediately!

In spite of never having stranded us or broke down and being non-runner, it was a couple of small issues that helped push us over the edge of ownership. First, the A/C system was on its last legs, looking like a fatal compressor issue that would have cost more to repair than I felt the vehicle was worth (to me). Second, it recently had a weird gas gauge issue where the needle stuck in the E position after sitting on slanted driveway for a few days (was immediately unstuck once I put a couple of gallons of gas in tank).

Otherwise, vehicle ran perfectly, and was still actually enjoyable to drive. Insurance cost was $288/yr. - pretty good for MI rates. Interior getting a bit dumpy, esp. headliner delamination in back seat area. MPGs had dropped from their normal of 37-38, to around 33-35 in last year or so. Assumed some loss of compression, despite oil changes that averaged every 2300 mi. over last 20 years.

As of our last drive, the Saturn still had its original clutch, front to back exhaust system, head gasket - all components that had no right to last as long as they did. I don't remember ever have changed the rear brake shoes, but even I find that hard to imagine.

Can we rationalize getting rid of it? Well, the vehicle replacing it cost of a couple of pizzas ($38) and some basic repairs/maintenance - new tires (Cooper CS5's), tune up, brake fluid, coolant and auto transmission changes, oil pan and valve cover gaskets. The Saturn paid for some additional fine touches to cure vibration in steering wheel - trued both wheels and replaced brake rotors.

With 250,000 fewer miles, approximately $1500 spent, new vehicle has A/C (!!!), ABS and four times the number of airbags of the old Saturn. Miss not having a manual transmission to shift, but like having a real automatic vs. current CVT transmission.

My eternal gratitude to the members of Saturnfans for years of direction and advice. Without your help this Saturn would never had last us for 20 years and have legendary reliability. Our Saturn is gone, but will not be forgotten.
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Old 06-03-2021, 11:09 AM   #2
onlinebiker
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Default Re: Gone, Not Forgotten

Who do you go thru for insurance? That a reallly good price.
...
Currently owned
93 SC2 M(anual)
96 SC2 M
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01 SC2 A
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
Who do you go thru for insurance? That a reallly good price.
Michigan FINALLY caught up with the rest of the world and did something about the extremely high priced insurance rates. In the past ten-ish years, Michigan was rated as the most overpriced when it came to insurance. I bought an '11 Malibu back in 2015 and had to have full coverage on it since I bought it from a dealer.

With my life insurance and the full coverage, I was sitting pretty at about $125 a month. Every year it went up until my fourth year of having it I was paying a whopping $225 a month for insurance with no accidents or anything else bad on my record. It started coming back down a bit, but still hovered around the $150-160 range... I guess it depended on if they needed more money or something.

Last year they were pushing for insurance reform and around March is when we heard about it. By July it was supposed to finally go into effect, but it wasn't until sometime THIS year that they actually did their job and made it happen. AFTER I PAID THE CAR OFF.

*facepalm*
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Check out my current SL1!

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268456
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Old 06-03-2021, 10:26 PM   #4
MiSaturn
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Default Re: Gone, Not Forgotten

Not a fan of our "No Fault" set up, esp. when if we lived 9 mi south (in OH), we'd pay 40% less for the same coverage.

Our Saturn was my work vehicle, which had basic coverage, no collision, glass, etc. to keep it on the cheap. Our other 3 vehicles were "pleasure" rated - less than 7k mi. per year.

Have found independent insurance agents usually the best route to shop for better rates - currently have Safeco Ins. We go through IHS Insurance in Temperance, MI - agent is Bret Hicks.

Our agent actually gives the impression of trying to work to get his clients a better rate. Makes suggestions to minimize cost - was esp. important when we had kids at home who started driving - back then we were close to $4k a year!
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Old 06-04-2021, 04:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gone, Not Forgotten

I'd lived in one place for so long (25 years in Las Vegas, Nevada) that it didn't even occur to me that rates in different areas would be so dramatically different. That is, until a couple if years ago when I moved to Mesa, AZ. The same coverages, here are costing me about 40% less than when I was in Las Vegas. Even so, MiSaturn's $288 a year beats what I pay by quite a bit.
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Old 06-04-2021, 02:56 PM   #6
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Bummer, hate to see long time members go
Quote:
Well, the vehicle replacing it cost of a couple of pizzas ($38)
wait, what? Sounds like a story there. What is the replacement vehicle?

Reminds me of a friend who ran across a guy trying to sell his Gran Marquis, guy was complaining that it wasn't hardly worth his time trying to sell the big old, 70's era V8 RWD boat when gas was expensive and everything then was small FWD cars. My friend happened to be carrying a 6 pk of beer home, so - he swapped the 6 pk for the car.

One huge reason to buy cars like the Saturn, pay cash and avoid the required full insurance when you finance here in MI. The insurance is more than the car!
...
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11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
One huge reason to buy cars like the Saturn, pay cash and avoid the required full insurance when you finance here in MI. The insurance is more than the car!
Not everybody has the big bucks to pay cash. I was lucky that when I bought my '98 that my kid had $500 in cash stashed in his bedroom. I had to pay him back of course.
...
Bryan Cotton
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 06-04-2021, 05:23 PM   #8
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I had to pay him back of course.
Yeah - he knows where you live
...
I'm not worthy to grovel in the shadow of Signmaster's wisdom

11/2016 red 2002 5 spd SC2 151k DD
12/2008 eBay silver 1998 SL2 5 spd 102k, now 201k+ miles
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