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Old 10-19-2005, 07:34 PM   #1
shaner123
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Smile i love my saturn

ok i was driving my car home from work today, ( about a 50min drive ) and i realized as i do from time to time, that even though my car has its little problems i really love this car, its a smooth ride, its accelerates pretty good for a small car and itl handles well, i just thought i would share these thoughts today because it seems this forum seems to only get the problem questions, and anyone who came on here and saw all the problems would probably never buy a saturn

so once again, i love that little car in my driveway and i wouldnt trade it for a truck or a suv any day!!
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:09 AM   #2
lonelywolf8588
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I feel you man. I love my Saturn too. Compared to the truck that I sold to buy it, it is going to pay for itself with the gas and insurance savings. Plus it gives me a blank canvas to customize.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Re: i love my saturn

I know its been 7 years since the last posts, but I wanted to say that I still love my saturn! Its 17 years old and still going strong...plows through three feet of snow no problem and has made it back and forth from home to school 12 times now (600k each way). Best $1000 I've ever spent! And the incredible gas mileage plus cheap maintenance make it that much better!
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
Ruley73
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Re: i love my saturn

I love my Saturn too. I don't know what I will buy to replace it. Probably a lower-mileage S-Series or maybe even an Ion. I don't know what it is, but there aren't any budget-friendly cars out there that I could see myself enjoying to drive as much as my Saturn.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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Re: i love my saturn

I'm glad to hear that you have had such a great experience with your Saturn! If I can be of assistance or answer any questions about any of the newer GM models (like the Chevrolet Sonic), please let me know!

Sarah
GM Customer Service
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
denisond3
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Re: i love my saturn

I too love my Saturns. I am the 'nth' owner of both of them. I have a 95 SL2 w auto trans and a 96 SL1 w the 5-speed manual. The 95 has one electrical gremlin - wipers turning on with the ignition sometimes, and rarely it will almost stall at a traffic light; but has otherwise been reliable. With 175k miles it gets about 650 miles to a quart of motor oil, I have replaced the radiator and am now changing the lower control arms, tie rod ends, rotors, calipers, and struts. Normal old age stuff. I may have to torch the lower control arms off and melt down the inner sleeves of the bushings, as the bolt holding it to the subframe is frozen in that bushing on both sides. I cleaned out the sunroof drain tubes -once-, and subsequently have put urethane sealant to keep the water out. Sunroof didnt work when we got it anyway. One of the rear trailing arms rusted through and broke; fixed that.

The 96 was my older daughters/son-in-law's car until the clutch went out, at 200k miles. I pulled the eng./trans. and besides the new clutch, rebuilt the motor, and did normal maintenance on the brakes. Also replaced the two shifting cables - a tough job.

My younger daughter drives a 92 SL2 whose engine I rebuilt due to its oil consumption. OEM oil control piston rings were feeble.

I think my ideal Saturn would be a 95 SL1 with manual transmission AND cruise control. The wife and I are retired, and do long cross country drives to visit the kids & grandkids. The cruise control is -nice-. I can do without the SL2 electric windows and the leaky sunroofs however.

There is another Saturn in the family, a 99 SL2 that I would be glad to get, when my niece eventually gets tired of the electric window and leaky sunroof problems. Im hoping for a bargain price.

Last edited by denisond3; 01-26-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
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Love my '96 SL2. Does Rustoleum sell their plastic paint by the quart?!?

I would never buy another economy car because I just can't justify spending $15-20 grand for a car which does the same thing. It's replacement will be a Porsche Boxster when the used prices come down, and my income go's up (prayerfully).

You hear that Toyota??? If you want my business, you need to design an economy car capable of outrunning a Boxster!!!
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Re: i love my saturn

I am the original owner of a 94 Saturn SL1. It still handles like a new car. I know by heart the short list of quirks:
1. Alternator is over hot part of the engine so it does not last as long. Replace every 4-5 years. Every time my alternator was failing, the transmission would begin slipping. Last time I insisted the shop just replace the alternator, even though it 'tested' ok, and the problem has been fixed for the last three going on years now
2. original radiator had plastic sides which failed years ago. no biggie
3. Engine mounts are gonna go one day
4. When you hear the toy car sound it means the idler pulley is going. I have replaced it a few times. No longer wait for belt to fail
5. Still have the original trans, never got maintenance, perfect
6. Still have original fuel pump, water pump, suspension
7. AC compressor finally conked, but the relay going into the compressor goes first,and got a few more years with a junkyard part for 2 bucks thanks to this forum
8. Had to replace the fan blowing heat into the car about five years ago. Guy couldnt believe it lasted that long - it was made in USA
9. Car always ate oil, so I give it 1/2 to 3/4 qt weekly - for the last 18 years. Oil has always been coal black, but I feed it 1/3 bottle of the bargain fuel injection cleaner from Family Dollar with every fill up. Fuel filter is too hard to replace, so shops will lie and say they did it. 18 years, mostly on cheap cleaners
10. Redid valve cover gasket a few years ago. Engine has oozed oil for about a decade. See a wisp of smoke everytime I remove the cap to add oil, but, hey the engine runs great
11. Two years ago, mech tried to replace ball joint and front sub frame was so rusted a two inch chunk fell off when he tried to remove old part.I consider this luck.Could have failed on the road. Replaced front sub frame.
12. This model had an engine design problem requiring are build after about 100K miles. I lucked out and got that under warranty - I think because the dealer rep was disgruntled. That bug is long gone. The rebuild was inevitable

Now rust is hitting my baby. Rear brake line corroded through like swiss cheese. Im getting old too, so I am going to pass on the car to someone who can do the next stage maintenance.

What an amazing car.
Starts like a dream. Runs smooth. Tight steering. It needed rehab a few years ago when I didnt have time. I am already getting withdrawal twitches because I love it so much, the problems were so few. These SLs are still been bought and sold and rehabbed in my town.

Kid got in my car and didnt know what the buttons on the door were for. Got the original radio and tape player . And the owners manual.

I never expect to find another car with so few problems
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:47 PM   #9
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Unhappy Re: i love my saturn

Still have my 94 SL1. Driving like a new car until last week when front right brake line failed. Went to a new shop that also did a full brake job. Sadly they did a bad job. Brakes are squishy, and now engine surging, with intermittent service engine light. I see they overfilled the oil by like an inch over full. I think they rigged the car so I would go back. That is what I get for not going back to the guys who kept this car alive the last 10 years, the muffler man at telegraph by northline in taylor - totally honest. So now it is having the car towed back to the good guys in Taylor and see if they can fix it, or accept defeat. It kills me because this car drives and handles like a dream, but the rust is coming in fast. I hate the new cars with electronic sensors our the wazoo, RF keys and fobs. The stuff they use as selling points are the things that turn me off: one more part to fail. The 94 SL1 was electric, not electronic. I changed the fuel filter 2X in the life of the car, but used 1/3 bottle of cleaner from the dollar store with every fill up for the last 10 yrs and ran better than any other car I ever owned. I am going to look at focus, civic, cruze, but heck what a let down. I fell like weeping. Well, I talked myself into it: I am going to tow the baby back to Muffler Man. At least I will find out if the car was rigged. Probably worth giving some money to people who kept this baby alive so long. Just got new Michellin tires, the only ones to put on this car. Unless you owned one of these older Saturns you cannot comprehend the joys of a simple well made amazingly reliable car/ Sob, sob, sob
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:38 PM   #10
my94baby
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Re: i love my saturn

Me too!

I don't know cars as well as most of you, but I wanted to say how grateful I am for how my 94 twin cam has been running. Not to complain, but money has been very tight for a while and I feel blessed to be able to still get around.

My odometer died a few years back, and now my fuel gauge is hinky, but that just means I need to pay more attention to how I drive. I do wish I knew the mileage though.

Anyway, it has been a great little car and I hope to keep it happy. Sounds like I ought to be using fuel cleaner. Have to research that.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:34 AM   #11
denisond3
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Re: i love my saturn

my94baby: If you use the car regularly, a fuel cleaner wont do much if anything that the normal fuel doesnt do. But it wont hurt anything either.

When a Saturn "S" series car has plenty of miles on it, they can get a thirst for motor oil. This is a well known Saturn thing, and there isnt any easy fix. Just keep track of the motor oil, and add as necessary.

The odometers are driven by a little motor, and its not unusual for the motor or the electronics that runs it to quit working. While a nuisance, its also not cheap or easy to fix. The fuel gauge problem can be a bad connection on the instrument cluster, or a worn resistance slider on the fuel level pickup. Neither of them is an easy fix. I dropped the fuel tank on my 95 SL2 to replace a fuel pump that had quit (mostly from sitting unused for 6 months at a time), and found the slider on the fuel pickup was broken. A new fuel pickup element solved the problem; though at the expense of dropping the fuel tank. Im a hobbyist so I did that myself - and it was a lot of work.
While the fuel gauge was not working, I just made sure I never drove it long enough or far enough to run, before I would refill the tank.

Other Saturn oddities; sometimes the wipers will start working when you first start the engine - but usually will stop & repark in a few seconds. Thats a bad wiper control module; another part hard to find and not so easy to install. If the car suddenly wont start, i.e. the starter doesnt spin, dont think its the starter. There are relays involved, part of the 'security' system. With mine, the dome light quit working at the same time, and it was a fuse that ran the dome light AND the relays in the security system.
If your car has ABS brakes, and the brake light comes on and the pedal moves too close to the floor - mechanics may say it needs a new ABS module; but its more likely there is a leaking wheel cylinder on the rear brakes or a leaky caliper on the front brakes. Anyway, new ABS modules are either unavailable or cost huge amounts of money. On any older car, wheel cylinders WILL eventually leak, and they cost about $30.
Good Luck with your car.
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Old 08-15-2023, 04:07 PM   #12
my94baby
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Re: i love my saturn

Well, it has been a while, and I am just here to say again, that I appreciate this little car.

Also, I heartily second nightbird's sentiments about all the fancy gizmos on the new cars. My friend has a newish Lexus and I won't drive it unless she is with me - somehow I'm never quite sure if I've turned the darn thing off! And forget about trying to use the radio. The turn signals - om__ !! - whooooo? would make a TURN SIGNAL hard to use??

The other thing I am grateful for is my mechanics ... bc I don't know how to do diddly. I have no idea what I will do if they retire.

I mean, technically, I suppose I should try to find someone who would restore my little car. I don't drive it often enough. And I really need to do something about the paint.

Still, thank you night bird and denisond3 for the good advice - I have taken notes. (I think I did have to have a lot of those repairs done too - some major repairs. And I wish I'd known about that engine flaw, bc that sort of rings a bell. Still, it beats making a payment every month.)

Is anyone still here? ; )
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Old 08-15-2023, 04:13 PM   #13
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Re: i love my saturn

Oh also ... I hope this isn't tickytacky to say but, at this advanced age, I now have "manual envy." Why didn't I learn? What could I have been thinking?
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