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View Poll Results: Keep SL2 or Get SW2
Keep the SL2 5 50.00%
Get the SW2 5 50.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-08-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
jpsuli
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Default Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

I need some purchasing advice for my upcoming adventure,

I'm deciding if I should sell my SL2 and purchase a SW2 for college.

My SL2 has been my ride for 3+ years at this point but only for 10 mile trips locally, but now I will need to make long road trips every couple months to Minnesota for college. I plan on bringing my two roommates with me along with lots of stuff every couple months.

I figured a SW2 with ABS and Traction Control would be great for this, there are two in my area that I'm looking at. ($1000 - Automatic @ 116k miles or $500 Manual @ 180k miles w/ broken bits). I've spoken with a few people and some say it's not worth the hassle of purchasing a car that is essentially the same. Just wanted advice from here on if I should get a SW2 instead.

Edit: Probably worth mentioning that my SL2 is a '97 and the SW2s I'm looking at are both '98.
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

I voted keep the SL2, though what I always really wanted was an SW2. They are the same car but the SW2 gives you a hatchback and a bit more space. If you know and like the condition of your SL2 then I would say it is not worth the upgrade to an unknown condition car. My last Saturn was an SC2 - further from the SW2 I wanted but I found the right car with not too much rust for cheap and close to me.

If you have to replace the SL2 due to issues, then I say go for it.
...
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Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

The wagon is truly versatile and more spacious. Look at it this way, it’s still a Saturn.
I am an optimist.
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

I put over 100,000 happy miles on my 98 SW2, plus the extra room it provided was great.
I'd get the low mileage automatic.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
I put over 100,000 happy miles on my 98 SW2, plus the extra room it provided was great.
I'd get the low mileage automatic.
Ah, I completely forgot something important about that manual car. Apparently the engine was rebuilt 60,000 miles ago by the mechanic who owned it. Understandably, the rest of the car probably is tired.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

If he did a good job on the rebuild that motor should be good for a long time. My SL2 runs ridiculously good since we rebuilt it. The manual transmission is a big plus. Rust is the main killer to look out for.
...
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
I voted keep the SL2. . . . If you know and like the condition of your SL2 then I would say it is not worth the upgrade to an unknown condition car. . . .
If you have to replace the SL2 due to issues, then I say go for it.
Agreed, depends on the condition of your current car. Holding on voting til I know more

When you buy another car, you never know what surprises are in store.

Sometimes they are good (found a receipt for a new clutch installed, 10k before I bought the car, a Porsche 944, that the dealer did not know about).

Sometimes, not so good (my current SC2 - turns out I had no high beams, and the defroster was not working . . . found out on a dark and rainy night, taking back roads, and my windshield was fogging)
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Agreed, depends on the condition of your current car. Holding on voting til I know more
Fair enough, my Saturn SL2 has been owned by me since I began driving and to say I drove it like a hooligan would be an understatement. It sat for my entire first year of college due to a bad solenoid in the valve body and now has reverse slam issue (May need to tighten input shaft nut). I get a measly 19 MPG in the Chicagoland area. The engine is strong though and leaked no oil in the entire time i've owned it with 134,000 miles.

In terms of issues:
Reverse slam
No AC
Needs struts along with alignment
Rust spots along the bottom of the rear doors.
Crack in the windshield that spans across the bottom

The only issue that needs to be solved is that reverse slam.

Photos of the car can be seen https://imgur.com/a/LFYkokm
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Holey rust, Batman. I wouldn't bother throwing money at the SL2. Obviously that becomes a personal decision though based on cash-position.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:29 PM   #10
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1999 SL2
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Okay, now I vote the manual SW2.
...
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Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyne View Post
Holey rust, Batman. I wouldn't bother throwing money at the SL2. Obviously that becomes a personal decision though based on cash-position.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
Okay, now I vote the manual SW2.
Ha, really didn't want to hear that on the car that is my sole transportation . I have the money ready to be withdrawn but of course neither party is responding to my texts / calls.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

None of these cars will last forever. With rust like that your not forever is just a shorter period, that is all.
...
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'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

imgur is blocked at work for me, so I'll try and catch those later. But if it's badly rusted (subframe and rear door sills) a less rusty car is the way to go.

Chicago should have a ton of S series, the hard part is finding one in decent shape. The CL deal thread might be a good start.

I know when I search (ebay? cars.com? cargurus.com?) for cars and open up to around 150 miles range, one of the spots that keeps coming up is an auction place somewhere in IL
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

So here's an update: I found another Saturn SW2 in southern Chicago for $880 with ABS and Traction Control at 123k miles. The photos looked great but the interior was absolutely filthy, the engine was from a junkyard, was told the AC worked and it didnt. I think the part that made me just say no was that the windshield washer fluid was capped off by a plastic baggy. Sad though, because it was in that wonderful purple.



Saw the $550 SW2 and the seats were absolutely gone along with many other things, the rust was worse than my car. (Maybe the rust on the bottom rear doors isn't that bad to replace?) but yes quite sad. I would've bought it regardless HAD it been a manual, but I suppose people think Standard and Automatic are the same?



I understand that these cars are literally dirt cheap, but my Saturn was $600 and is in wonderful condition compared to these guys.
Still waiting back on the $1000 Wagon to see if he wants to sell.

There are a number of L-series wagons in Chicago, but I feel comfortable with a S-series since I have worked on mine for so long. Hopefully if I don't find something then I will stumble upon something in Minnesota.

Last edited by jpsuli; 07-14-2018 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsuli View Post
So here's an update: I found another Saturn SW2 in southern Chicago for $880 with ABS and Traction Control at 123k miles. The photos looked great but the interior was absolutely filthy, the engine was from a junkyard, was told the AC worked and it didnt. I think the part that made me just say no was that the windshield washer fluid was capped off by a plastic baggy. Sad though, because it was in that wonderful purple.



Saw the $550 SW2 and the seats were absolutely gone along with many other things, the rust was worse than my car. (Maybe the rust on the bottom rear doors isn't that bad to replace?) but yes quite sad. I would've bought it regardless HAD it been a manual, but I suppose people think Standard and Automatic are the same?



I understand that these cars are literally dirt cheap, but my Saturn was $600 and is in wonderful condition compared to these guys.
Still waiting back on the $1000 Wagon to see if he wants to sell.

There are a number of L-series wagons in Chicago, but I feel comfortable with a S-series since I have worked on mine for so long. Hopefully if I don't find something then I will stumble upon something in Minnesota.
When are you going to school? Do you have time to go down south with a friend and car shop off of southern CLs and such, around here it's a lot harder finding a non-rusty Saturn, last spring we drove down to Southern IN and picked up a 95 SC2, not to say that they can't be found... my 95 SC2 that I paid $50 for was one of the cleanest frames I've saw around Chicagoland in a while....

The rust on your car is about average I'd say for a car living here in Chicagoland.... you know the history of it, drive it until you find a clean wagon, you can always cannibalize it later if its so far gone..... When I bought my 94 SL2 it was rusted way more being a WI car and I still got over a year before I decided to park it, look at the common areas for rust on what ever car you are looking at

My wagon, I just brought back from a fellow member, ShawnV from NC this past January, and there's no rust since it's been a southern car its whole life... big reason I bought it vrs my 95 SW2 I want is I knew the owner... so just keep an eye out for areas that don't have rust and look around.... Saint Lewis and Springfield, MO are hit/miss for rust free cars.... just have to look around
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05 Vue 3.5 87~140
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
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When are you going to school? Do you have time to go down south with a friend and car shop off of southern CLs and such, around here it's a lot harder finding a non-rusty Saturn, last spring we drove down to Southern IN and picked up a 95 SC2, not to say that they can't be found... my 95 SC2 that I paid $50 for was one of the cleanest frames I've saw around Chicagoland in a while....

My wagon, I just brought back from a fellow member, ShawnV from NC this past January, and there's no rust since it's been a southern car its whole life... big reason I bought it vrs my 95 SW2 I want is I knew the owner... so just keep an eye out for areas that don't have rust and look around.... Saint Lewis and Springfield, MO are hit/miss for rust free cars.... just have to look around
I am going to school the first of September so I still have time to scavenge. The furthest I've gone out for a car / car parts is Rockford, so around 60 miles. I'm looking at Urbanas Craigslist and there are quite fewer Saturns there.

In terms of driving with someone super far out for a car, I am quite limited as the aspect of buying basically the same car but with a bigger trunk and an obsolete transmission doesn't make sense to most of my friends so scheduling is not really possible.

I travel every now and then to Louisville, but there are hardly ever for sale there. I do have to say though, I am jealous of those with the gray wagons (esp. manuals), the YouTuber Velocity Labs has what I would describe as the ultimate Saturn. ( iirc Velocity Labs is on here too)
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsuli View Post
I am going to school the first of September so I still have time to scavenge. The furthest I've gone out for a car / car parts is Rockford, so around 60 miles. I'm looking at Urbanas Craigslist and there are quite fewer Saturns there.

In terms of driving with someone super far out for a car, I am quite limited as the aspect of buying basically the same car but with a bigger trunk and an obsolete transmission doesn't make sense to most of my friends so scheduling is not really possible.

I travel every now and then to Louisville, but there are hardly ever for sale there. I do have to say though, I am jealous of those with the gray wagons (esp. manuals), the YouTuber Velocity Labs has what I would describe as the ultimate Saturn. ( iirc Velocity Labs is on here too)
Why should it make sense to them? They arent buying it, you are.

Personally, ive always wanted an SW but there arent many of them and finding some parts might get even harder. The sedans are super common.
...
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:32 AM   #18
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpsuli View Post
I am going to school the first of September so I still have time to scavenge. The furthest I've gone out for a car / car parts is Rockford, so around 60 miles. I'm looking at Urbanas Craigslist and there are quite fewer Saturns there.

In terms of driving with someone super far out for a car, I am quite limited as the aspect of buying basically the same car but with a bigger trunk and an obsolete transmission doesn't make sense to most of my friends so scheduling is not really possible.

I travel every now and then to Louisville, but there are hardly ever for sale there. I do have to say though, I am jealous of those with the gray wagons (esp. manuals), the YouTuber Velocity Labs has what I would describe as the ultimate Saturn. ( iirc Velocity Labs is on here too)
Haha, go a bit further ;p (will admit I'm far from the norm... I've done weekend trips to Detroit to pull parts as a "vacation") & know where every yard that's half way close to the interstate from Chicago to OKC, but check out the yard there in South Beliot *run adds on Rockford CL, good prices & a smaller yard, I know the locationish from memory*

And bam, this one was for sale on Facebook last September I didn't get a chance to look at it, was told it was going to be looked at by someone else, so not sure if it ever got sold but 5 speed 1st gen, https://louisville.craigslist.org/ct...643261742.html

Not to steer you clear of an S, but how big are you and your friends, 3 in a S is a bit cramped.... if you go for the L or Vue (my choice between the L and vue) and stay with a 5 speed, watch out for the issues with the early 2.2s.... don't buy an auto, CVT up till 05? and are a piece of work... I'm tempted to sell my 05 6 cly VUE after I fix the 05 2.2 Vue I just bought if I buy a truck that I can tow with
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:10 AM   #19
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

I wouldn't entirely rule out a saturn for a filthy interior. I have a friend whose cars are always filthy but he gets them serviced on schedule Saturn seats are easily swappable, too.

I like Saturninin's idea of a road trip to pick up a car. A day's drive and you are far enough to avoid a lot of rust. You can search CL by city and ask for better pictures so you aren't wasting your time.

Heck, I don't know if ShawnV is still fixing cars, but shoot him an email and see what he's got. Might have a wagon to sell. It's a long day's drive from Chicago to NC, but he'll be straight on the car's condition.

I always liked teh VUE but I don't really need the space, and the lower MPG is why I never went with either a Vue or L series. I might pick up a southern vue after I retire and mpg doesn't matter as much.
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: Keep my SL2 or get a SW2?

Road trips are usually not convenient but often worth it in the long run. I'm in an area where rust is not a problem but have purchased cars out of FL on a couple of occasions. Certain areas have many retirees where I could grab very low mileage Saturns since I have a long commute. The last one was purchased a few years ago and had around 17K and was nearly mint. Price point is usually higher than being discussed here though with that kind of mileage. Ended up actually just having the last one shipped to the door for ~$400 IIRC.

OP will have to determine how long they plan to keep the car and if extending the search will prove beneficial in the long run. Also, be patient for the right one to come along. It doesn't sound like the vehicle is in need of immediate replacement.
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