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Old 06-16-2021, 08:05 PM   #1
Chaz9496
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Default 2000 L Series V6

I bought another L Series today for $1000. V6 W/130K, no rust but needs interior work. All options with Leather but the Leather's in rough shape. I wanted to rev it from under the hood before I bought it, but couldn't find a throttle cable. Is that an electronic throttle ? I couldn't find anything coming from the firewall. Another thing, I thought I read somewhere that the 3.0 was the worst engine made. Can anyone confirm this ? That's what I also read about 2.2 Ecotec's too, tho. I had no problems with it. Thanks for any info. I thought it was a good buy for that price from a dealer across the street from work we have as a customer. I'm going to be changing the Leather to Cloth. At 101 degrees today, it was a little warm on the back !
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Congratulations on your new used car. I'm surprised at the low price relative to a recent news stating Saturns are in high demand.

No cable between pedal and throttle. L300s are the first Saturns with drive by wire systems; electronic pedal having dual position sensors feeding signals to the ecm, An electric servo motor driving the throttle plate thru gear reduction with dual position sensors feeding signals to the ecm. Pedal sends signals to the ecm, ecm commanding throttle to open/close. Dual feedback sensors to ensure against a runaway engine. There has never been a GM vehicle with drive by wire throttle systems having runaway engines. Worse case scenario is reduced power mode - Saturn speak for limp home mode; if one of the four sensors fails, the ecm detects it and defaults to reducing power to below 1500 rpm, limping along to get off the road to make the emergency call without the engine dying. The pedal will feel disconnected but low engine rpm is better than a dead engine.

Our 3.0L V6 engines are reliable as long as long term maintenance is followed; replacing water pump and timing belt every 100k miles. Failure to do so may result in engine damage if the timing belt and components aren't replaced. At 130k miles, check records for timing belt and water pump replacement. The water pump is as difficult to access as the timing belt so both are replaced at the same time. Search past threads of members, including myself, of performing diy timing belt/water pump replacement. It's not for the faint hearted.
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Old 06-17-2021, 08:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6- but what about on a 4cyl(pump and chain)

hi fdryer- to avoid the dark side in exhorbitant car repair costs have always tried to anticipate. your thread response inspired my query. on my 4cyl 01 L100 with 190k is there a maintenance time to replace the water pump? mine is original, no leaks or failures. nothing in the book about that. at 140k replaced the chain, guide and tensioner. job looked hellacious. cost $800. chain was rattling but not busted nor skipped timing. engine not wrecked. figured they had to lock the cam shaft with that bolt and plate tool. looks like pump replacement might be hellacious too maybe $1000. what think- need your best advice. i do laundry each week, yet somebody always wants to take me to the cleaners. thanks tons bob f
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Our water pump is easier than the v-6, however it is on the back side of the engine and requires a special tool to hold the balance shaft chain. If you can find a quality shop that works on Ecotec engines, they will have the tool and the experience. I would expect to pay under $500 for a new pump, thermostat, coolant and labor. Our body style is easier to work on than the J body cars since there is more room under the hood.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

hi LW- thanks for that info. pump on the 4 cyl(original from2001) not leaking nor crapping out yet but want to get ready when it does. hate last minure sticker shock. $500 does not seem like a bad clip but not sure it can be done for that. never did one myself on an fwd jalop, but did at least 25 on rwd tanks since 65 when gas was 25 cents a gallon. never a problem with those. have you done this pump job on your L 4cyl yourself? this is one of those car repairs that should be easy for a tool handy mammal but has been made difficult and risky by manufacturers to expand high dollar clipping opportunities. regards bob f
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

I have replaced at least 10 over the last 10 years, this is my day job.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

There's only one issue with My recent purchase. When I started it up the first time before I drove it, It had a kind of a Grinding Noise and I mentioned it to the dealer and He stated His tech said it was the A/C compressor. The A/C doesn't work, I think it has a leak is all, which from my experience is a common issue with these models. I kinda thought that His answer my be False. I bought it anyway because I do know A/C systems and can fix it and was cheap. Now on to the noise. I removed the serpentine belt just to confirm My suspicion. Sure enough, the noise was still there, but not as loud. The belt removal DID make some difference, but not enough to satisfy My diagnosis. It sounds like a Grinding somewhere around the right side of the engine. When you rev it, it gets faster as the RPM goes up, but not louder, It's only louder with the belt on. I thought that when I drove it a few miles, the noise was gone. I'm not 100% sure, tho. Since there's no timing chain, I think I can rule out chain noise, which I had on My past L200 2.2. It doesn't have that same type of sound as a chain problem. If I could post a sound byte it would be a lot easier to tell if anyone's familiar with it from one of their engines doing it. It scares Me to think what it could be from due to not clearing up completely with the belt removal. There's no upper Tap or lower Knock. I just wish I could make a better explanation of it. It has a Flex Plate type Grind like when You rev it, it's louder when the RPM's go up, quiets down, then gets louder again as the RPM's go down. It's not a Flex Plate sound, tho. I've had one of those go bad in My L200 as well. Hope this isn't a disastrous problem. I have a better idea of it. It would sound like one of the Cam Sprockets rubbing on the Plastic Cover. That's about as close as I can get without a sound byte. I'm going to refrain from driving it until I can get a true diagnosis, just in case it would be something that could Shell the engine. I have a lot of "fixing up" I can do for now.

Last edited by Chaz9496; 06-18-2021 at 07:46 PM. Reason: added comment
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

There is a lot going on under that front cover. It only takes a slightly deformed front cover for one of the many pulleys to touch the cover. Four cams, a couple idlers and a water pump under there. It is possible to skip the compressor pulley if the bearing is bad, I do not have the belt number for that.
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

I have an update on the sound. It sounds like some kind of vibration. As stated, it stops as the RPM's get higher. I had a reading on the C02 detector in the garage, With the door open, so I shut it off. Harmonic Balancer possibly? Other than the sound getting quieter with the belt off, and the RPM up, that's about it.
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Old 06-19-2021, 09:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Sorry I can't re-edit my above reply. I'm thinking also a possible water pump issue too, but don't find a video on it on what a bad bearing sounds like on those engines. I haven't torn into it to check for play at the pulley due to excessive heat here lately. I was going to have the timing belt and pump replaced anyway soon as a precautionary measure, but also wanted to check the belt and make sure it hadn't already been. You probably should be able to tell by the condition of it, I would think. It was actually bought here at our Saturn dealer in 2001. The Car Fax report was clean, with no prior damage or issues. Just another thought that may be going on. I'm sure the previous owner was probably told what it was and dumped it, who knows. The timing belt and pump replacement appears pretty simple by the videos and about 2 hours labor, which around here is 90 to 95 and hour, plus parts that I can get cheap thru work. That job I'm going to pass on doing it myself. I'm kinda Semi-Retired at that kind of thing. Going to be interesting.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Your car has 130K on it and timing belts on the V6 should be replaced at 100K. Given the low value of most Saturns, spending $1000.00 in garage costs to have the belt and ancillaries replaced probably isn't in the budget of most owners given the cars value.

My son has a 2003 L300 which we bought as his first car about 6 years ago. It had 120K on the clock. The Seller said the timing belt had been replaced, but couldn't give any verification that it had, so post ownership it went into the indi shop we use for an O2 sensor and an AC line replaced on the car. I asked them to check the belt. Hey presto, it was still the original. So Bank of Dad paid out for replacement. That included Belt, water pump, tensioner and idler and anything else in that area of the car. That little lot came to about $1200 to $1300, but we had piece of mind it had been done. Some while down the road, we heard an odd sound coming from that side of the engine, so back in it went (it was past the 12 months P&L warranty). The noise turned out to be a worn idler in the timing belt configuration, which in turn transpired that the mechanic who'd done the job installed the part the wrong way round. So a new one was installed and we stuck a new belt on for good measure as we were in there. Since then, no bother.

The V6 engine on the Satty is known as the Ellesmere engine as it was built in the GM plant at Ellesmere Port in the UK. In the USA that engine powered the Satty L300 and the Cadillac Catera. A derivative of that engine also powered the first version of the Cadillac CTS. It's a more complicated and advanced engine than the 4 pot Ecotec in the L200, so higher costs goes with the territory. The trade off is great power delivery and acceptable fuel consumption

You paid $1000.00 for the car and really anything below $2500 these days is klunker car territory (no offense intended). My son and I have maintained his L300 for the most ourselves, with trips to the garage only when it beyond our skill set. In 6 years, it has NEVER left him stranded. I know and he knows he's driving a klunker.

One issue that some owners experience is with the auto box on the L series and is 'hard shifting'. When that happens, stoping, switching off the engine and restarting sees the condition and the wrench light go away till the next time. It's the pressure solenoid (x1) that's gone bad. It's a DIY doable (I've done it and the threads on the forum). It's a PITA, but for a spend of around $120.00 against $2000 for a rebuilt tranny, it's a worthwhile saving. If you DIY that job, you swap out the shift solenoids (x2)as well, Installing them is about a 3 minute job and plug & play. Getting to them is several hours of cursing!

My other son has an SL2 and I see you are an S series guy too. His car was a peach. So simple to maintain. Changing the fluid and filter on that tranny is so sweet and I am dumbfounded why manufacturers persist with the normal system of the filter inside the drain pan. He had that as his first car for 6 years and we sold it for $700 more than we paid for it. I know of no other regular car that achieves that!

Hope this helps

Last edited by floridasl22002; 06-19-2021 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

If you cant confirm the timing belt and related components have been changed, due it immediately.
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridasl22002 View Post
You paid $1000.00 for the car and really anything below $2500 these days is klunker car territory (no offense intended). My son and I have maintained his L300 for the most ourselves, with trips to the garage only when it beyond our skill set. In 6 years, it has NEVER left him stranded. I know and he knows he's driving a klunker.
I think your're correct. The noise seems to be a "Plastic Growling" after running it again this morning. Revving it to about 2500 stops it till it drops down, then it's louder, then quiets at idle. I assume it's most likely coming from the Timing Belt cover. It's going to stay in the garage until I can rebuild some more $$ and take it in for the conformation and repair. It also has a massive leak somewhere that it smokes when it gets hot from somewhere near the back. I could smell it at first once the engine started heating up first. That's not the issue I'm concerned about right now. I can fix that. To keep things safe, I may have it towed when I get around to having it checked out. I'm not sure I want to chance driving it at all, or even running it till it's good to go. My friend and co-workers keep giving me S**t because I keep buying Saturns. What difference does it make. Why do they keep buying Silverado's ?! That's really not their business or mine what they keep buying. Geez !

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Old 06-19-2021, 12:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Why didn't Saturn engineers make Saturn Engines Non-Interference ? I'd guess Money ! Probably cost issues, but would have been a lot smarter. Sorry again, I couldn't re-edit my reply above for some reason to add this comment.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Well, I may be calling the Better Business Bureau Monday. That engines not only leaking something massively on the right side, there's also coolant puddled on the rear of the block between the front left hand side of the head. The dip stick and oil cap isn't yellow like coolant leaking into the combustion chamber or steam coming from the pipe. Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't have a Head Gasket symptom. I wonder if the thermostat may be leaking. I guess before I confirm a problem, I'd better check that first. That engine compartment is so packed you can't see much of anything w/out a flash light. The power Steering fluid's low, so maybe that's what's leaking on the left. It all over the Sub-Frame, block and Alternator bracket is covered with it as well.

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Old 06-19-2021, 10:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz9496 View Post
Well, I may be calling the Better Business Bureau Monday. That engines not only leaking something massively on the right side, there's also coolant puddled on the rear of the block between the front left hand side of the head. The dip stick and oil cap isn't yellow like coolant leaking into the combustion chamber or steam coming from the pipe. Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't have a Head Gasket symptom. I wonder if the thermostat may be leaking. I guess before I confirm a problem, I'd better check that first. That engine compartment is so packed you can't see much of anything w/out a flash light. The power Steering fluid's low, so maybe that's what's leaking on the left. It all over the Sub-Frame, block and Alternator bracket is covered with it as well.
From the video I saw on YouTube, I doubt it's the thermostat. You have to disassemble the intake to replace it ?? Are You kidding Me ? I better think about keeping that car. That's a little much there just for a thermostat. I was hesitant about buying a V6 anyway. That about sums that answer up.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Oil at the rear of the engine could be leaking valve cover gaskets. As a V6, you can easily see the front valve cover, but the rear one is pretty much hidden by stuff on top. As you likely know, the gaskets harden over time and leak. All valve cover gaskets do. If you tackle that job, then you may as well replace the spark plugs as well.

The PS steering pump is at the front of the engine, so I doubt if it's that, unless you have a leaking PS hose around that area or near the steering rack.

As someone who has dealt with the S series Satty and the L series Satty, don't expect simplicity and ease of access with the V6 engined L series. it is , what it is.

I'm not sure what you mean by the color of the oil cap. They are Yellow, but do discolor with age, oil and lack of upkeep. I have found that periodically, spraying it with a degreaser, will get rid of the crud and bring back the yellow.
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

Sorry. No Yellow Foamy Color on the dip stick or bottom of the cap from coolant in the engine. I'm just seeing coolant droplet on the rear corner between the head and block with a flash light.
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Old 06-20-2021, 04:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

That could mean a blown head gasket or it could not. This link was quite useful on the subject

https://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.co...under-oil-cap/
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Old 06-20-2021, 04:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2000 L Series V6

I've come to the conclusion by video's that the noise is most likely the timing belt tensioner. The noise is exactly the same as video's on YouTube I've watched on other V6's with belt drives. Also with same symptom, clearing up after a few minutes after start-up. There's also two pulley's in there that may be too. I'll to have it towed to the shop When they can get it in. That's one problem. Every shop has been packed for months.
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