Exhaust leak 2000 SL2

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by Eric Mark, May 27, 2004.

  1. Eric Mark

    Eric Mark Guest

    I got a shock when I took my 2000 Saturn SL2 to be inspected this
    week. I took it to the service department of the used car dealership
    where I bought it in April 2003; they have an excellent reputation.

    The service guys failed it for inspection. They told me it has an
    exhaust leak;not terrible but clearly enough that they couldn't pass
    it. They also told me this is a common problem with Saturns. Can
    anyone confirm this?

    Anyway, they told me they would have to order a sealant kit to fix it.
    A little over $100. The guy called a Saturn dealership to order the
    kit and during the call he asked the guy on the othger end "so you
    haven't had a recall on that yet?"

    I told him to go ahead and order the kit. Must admit I was taken
    aback; I've never had a car fail inspection for an exhaust problem
    before. Now I wonder if I made a mistake. Can't the thing be welded,
    assuming the leak is as bad as they claim?

    For the record, I'm pretty satisfied with my Saturn. I've put 16K
    miles on it in 13 months and this is the first problem I've had.

    The gas mileage is not quite what I'd hoped for---never better than 31
    and usually closer to 28 or 29---but that might be because I got
    spoiled by the new 1999 SL1 my lady friend leased in late 1998. That
    car got 40 mpg on highway trips and about 36 overall, but it was a 1,
    not a 2, and it was new, not used.(Both are automatics.)

    This exhaust leak business and the bit about how it's a common Saturn
    problem kind of bums me out, though. Any advice?



    Eric M
    Eric Mark, May 27, 2004
  2. There is a known problem with the exhaust resonator - it is before the
    muffler - kind of looks bullet shaped - mine was replaced before I bought my
    saturn sl2the car (used) - I guess the original design for it had a tendency
    to crack, and
    saturn actually redesigned it after a couple of years since the original
    design had problems.
    I found out about this from other news groups that deal with saturns - but
    from saturn itself...
    Michael Cifuentes, May 27, 2004
  3. Eric Mark

    Eric Mark Guest

    Thanks for the tip. Not much to do but get the thing fixed, I guess.
    The sealant kit is on order.

    Any word on a possible recall for this problem?


    Eric Mark, May 30, 2004
  4. Eric Mark

    Eric Mark Guest

    I got the exhaust fixed Monday. The service guys ordered what they
    called a resonator kit from the nearest Saturn dealer. It cost $169;
    they charged me $72 for 1.33 hours labor. With the inspection and
    sticker it came to $255.

    Actually it was more because the car also needed two tires (rear tires
    had dry rot) to pass inspection; I splurged and bought a pair of
    Hankook 845's, with the 85,000 mile warranty, size 185/65/15, on sale
    for $80.99 apiece. Put them on the front and moved the old ones, with
    about 7/32 tread left, to the rear.

    Manager at the tire store swore the Hankook was the best all-season
    passenger car tire in stock, will last the life of the car, best snow
    traction of any all-season tire, he runs them on his personal vehicle
    year-round, etc.

    Total damage, including tires, was about $430.

    The exhaust work was performed at the dealership where I bought the
    car, an amethyst 2000 SL2 automatic, in April 2003. They have an
    excellent reputation. I've never had any problems with them, though
    this is the first major repair work I've had done there.

    The tech guys there told me again that this exhaust leak is a common
    problem with Saturns; there's a service bulletin but no recall, they
    said. The Saturn dealer supposedly stocked up on the resonator kits
    due to high demand.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I could not find this so-called
    "common" exhaust leak listed at MSN Auto, at least not for the 2000
    model year. (I didn't check every year.)

    I kicked myself last week, thinking that there had to be a way to weld
    the thing shut where it was leaking, but by then they had already
    ordered the kit.

    The exhaust leak itself was real. The guys at the tire shop---no
    connection with the dealership---confirmed they noticed it when they
    put on the new tires.

    But is it really a common problem, did it really need a "kit" to fix
    it, and if so should that kit plus labor have added up to well over

    Still mostly happy with my Saturn, but keeping my eyes and ears wide

    Eric Mark
    Eric Mark, Jun 9, 2004
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