L200 / 300 owners - would you buy another one again?

Discussion in 'Saturn L-series' started by A, Dec 21, 2003.

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    A Guest

    I'm looking for a new car & am considering Saturn L200 due to its roominess
    and plastic side panels.

    Consumer Reports has mixed reports on Saturn - my impression is they are not
    all that happy with it due to owner dissatisfaction complaints / reliability

    I tend to keep my vehicles for an average of 15 years and drive them 30,000
    km / 18,000 miles a year so I want a good car that does not spend much time
    in the shop or on the hook of a tow truck.

    Could I get comments back from L200 / 300 owners on their experiences?

    A, Dec 21, 2003
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    Rudy Garcia Guest

    I have a 2001 L300 with 36000 miles on it. I love the way it handles! I
    have had a few problems during this time, which have been corrected:

    Road noise. Dramatically reduced when I replaced the OEM tires.

    Leak in the oil cooler. Fixed under warranty.

    Defective right rear tail light assembly. Fixed under warranty.

    Sluggish door lock actuators (especially when cold). Worst offender
    fixed under warranty.

    All in all, I am very satisfied with the car and its V6 engine.
    Rudy Garcia, Dec 21, 2003
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    Woobie Guest

    I don't have that model, but this newsgroup should leave alot to be
    considered. I have an SC1, 1996 and the problems are endless. Once I've
    fixed one thing, another goes down. Probably the worst problem is cabin
    noise from plastic parts and a thin firewall. Now, I'm dealing with
    overheating, oil burning, rotor warping, a suddenly-dead electrical system
    (happened last week, then it suddenly came back on???,) and a plastic
    radiator that cracked after 50,000 miles and is again showing signs of
    leakage (the new one is 2 years old.) My car has 116,000 miles on it. My
    Toyota Tercel has 122,000 miles on it. I've replaced the water pump, changed
    the oil and timing belt (twice) and had 3 tune-ups. I would NOT buy a
    Woobie, Dec 21, 2003
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    Jeff Guest

    I had a 1993 sl1 no problems replaced the tires changed the oil sold it one
    year ago got a 2001 sl2 no problems with it either I think the l series are
    great just out of my budget when I bought my sl2. My 1993 had 230k on it
    when I sold it and I still see it around town on occasion.
    Jeff, Dec 21, 2003
  5. We have an '01 L300 - we like the car, but have had a laundry list of
    problems - here is what I can remember (there are probably others)

    1. wheel alignment issues (countless times they said it was a balancing
    issue, finally a tsb with replacement parts came out - all 4 tires replaced
    under warranty)
    2. coolant leak at oil cooler (fixed under warranty)
    3. coolant leak at water pump (replaced water pump)
    4. battery cracked (replaced under warranty)
    5. countless misfire problems (come and go - ecu was supposed to be
    6. driver power seat rails failed (replaced under warranty)
    7. windshield seal pulled off at base of windshield (repaired under
    8. weather stripping on B-pillars cracked/failed (replaced under warranty)
    9. high pitched squeal when turning left (dealer says normal - not repaired)
    10. hesitation and noise when turning (repaired under warranty)
    11. both foglight bulbs burst like flashcubes when we got the car (replaced
    under warranty - no issues since)
    12. high pitched squeal/groan when turning on AC - sporadic - dealer unable
    to reproduce - still an issue
    13. leather stains ver easily (recently found some stuff which works really
    well, though - Lexol cleaner and lexol protectant - made it look new again)
    14. mass air flow sensor failed (replaced under warranty)

    Saturn has always been good about repairing things, and they extended our
    warranty to 5yrs because of the issues we have had.

    overall, we like the car - not sure if I would buy a new one (the fact that
    we don't like the front or the dash in the current version doesn't help,
    though) - it's comfortable, has plenty of power, and handles well -
    reliability-wise, it leaves a little to be desired, though (should point out
    all of the repairs have been for annoyance things, though - the car has
    never left us stranded)
    David & Caroline, Dec 21, 2003
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    Woobie Guest

    Dave and Caroline, I can't believe they extended your warrantee! Lynn, the
    service manager at Loma Linda Saturn gave me some spiel about me not
    bringing my Saturn in to THEIR place for wheel rotation and that I voided my
    warrantee. I had 30,000 miles on it and something died (I can't remember
    because there have been so many things!!) Lynn said, "No way, you gotta
    pay." They have been kind to me in other ways. I've had my shifter cable
    replaced 2 times in 1 year. The second time, they apologized and replaced
    it. Every time I fix something, else dies. I am religious about car
    maintenance and can change out moderately difficult items ( water pump,
    gasket, seals and belts.) I have had 2 fords, a Toyota, a Chevy van and a
    dodge van. I've never witnessed such self-destructive behavior in a car.
    Woobie, Dec 21, 2003
  7. I have had numerous quality/design issues with my 2002 LW300, but it is an
    excellent vehicle otherwise. Aside from the issues mentioned elsewhere in
    this post, the car handles like a dream once you get rid of the OEM
    Affinities. It is very quick, but falls well short of the advertised fuel
    efficiency regardless of how easy you drive it. It could use more rear seat
    legroom considering the size of the car.

    Would I buy another? Not without a free extended warranty for the troubles
    I've had with this one! If it had been trouble-free, I surely would.
    However, it has never left me along the road - just spending time in the
    Saturn lounge. At the time, it was one of the few larger wagons I could
    afford. My understanding is that the L series will be replaced in the next
    year or so, so you may want to wait. I have my eye on a Malibu Maxx at the
    moment - the Chevy garage is much closer than the Saturn garage!
    Dana Rohleder
    Port Kent, NY

    "This case has had full analyzation and has been looked at a lot.
    I understand the emotionality of death penalty cases." G.W. Bush
    --Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 23, 2000
    Dana Rohleder, Dec 21, 2003
  8. Well - first thing is that you don't get the warrantee extended by the
    dealership - we called Saturn directly and presented our case (you want it
    officially extended by Saturn so that you aren't limited by which dealership
    you bring the car to) - basically, they listen, present the info to the
    powers that be, then call you back and tell you what the deal is. Voiding
    the warrantee over not letting them rotate your tires is complete crap -
    basically, nothing voids the warrantee - about the only thing that can is if
    you abuse the car, or if you install aftermarket parts which cause a problem
    (in which case, that problem wouldn't be covered, but everything else still
    would be). We have had nothing but pleasant experiences with service
    departments at the dealerships we have gone to (three different dealerships
    in two states).

    I will say this - we have not had anything fail twice - once the initial
    issue was officially addressed, all was well. I am also pretty anal about
    maintenance on the car - I haven't had to do anything to it other than
    change the oil+filter, cabin air filter, and regular air filter, though
    (it's still under warrantee)
    David & Caroline, Dec 21, 2003
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    Dave Guest

    It sounds as if you live at the Saturn service department.
    Dave, Dec 22, 2003
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    ox1b Guest

    Here is another data point for what its worth: We purchased our brand new
    01 LW300 about 2.5 years ago and it had stranded my wife, who is the primary
    driver, 3 times. Two of which were from faulty shifter cable. The other
    time was the dead battery. All fixed under warrantee. We also had coolant
    leaks from the oil cooler which was also repaired free of charge by the

    My wife still likes the car and will keep it for a while. She does not know
    if she'll buy it again. There are more factors in the decision process than
    just how reliable Saturn is.
    ox1b, Dec 22, 2003
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    Woobie Guest

    The Loma Linda Saturn senior mechanic said, "You've lost 2 shifter cables in
    10 months. I don't understand how that could happen."
    Woobie, Dec 23, 2003
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    Ted F. Edgar Guest

    My 2001 LW300 with 39K miles. For whatever reason, I still enjoy
    driving this car. However, its reliability leaves a lot to be
    desired. All the problems below were fixed under warranty. Most
    problems already had service bulletins or otherwise were common
    problems, and I have not had any problems in the last 8 months.

    With the exception of a SUV, there aren't too many choices for a
    regular wagon in the price range of the Saturns. I'll probably go
    with a Subaru next.

    Off the top of my head, the issues have been:
    Oil cooler seals failure, coolant leak.
    Power steering pump seal failure, pump and rack replaced
    Failed sensor resulting in hard shifting (don't recall which
    Failed O2 sensor
    Sticky/sluggish door locks
    Front seat cushions constantly come unhooked in front
    Allignment problems, new tires after suspension additions
    Turn signal handle getting hot when head lights are on
    Driver's seat frame was bent

    This is my second Saturn, the first a '93 SL2 was a good car. A few
    alternators and an engine mount, both VERY common. Otherwise, no
    issues for 8 years.

    Our other car is a '00 GMC Jimmy and it has been rock solid--I just
    wish it handled better.
    Ted F. Edgar, Dec 23, 2003
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    Logan Parker Guest

    I've had a 93 SL1, which I sold a couple years ago. I replaced only the
    alternator, but it did have 250,000 on it at the time, and I had installed a
    fairly large audio system in it.

    When I sold the 93 SL1, I bought a 98 SC1, and just had my first problem
    about a week ago. The idler pulley spring broke, so I put a new pulley on,
    easy install, took about 40 minutes. I've put about 50,000kms so far on
    this car. I've even bought a wrecked 97 SC1, and have repaired it and about
    to put it back on the road now. They are a really easy car to work on, and
    so reliable.

    I plan on buying an ION 3 QC in the next couple years, can't wait to try out
    a Redline when they come available in the spring, that may be my next

    My original 93 SL1 is still around. It has 340,000kms on it now, and
    haven't replaced/repaired anything since they bought it from me, it had
    280,000 then.
    Logan Parker, Dec 24, 2003
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    0x1b Guest

    My bad for not being precise about the two shifter cable failures.
    What happened was the first time the park nutural switch failed, the
    dealer replaced the switch and adjusted the shifter cable at that
    time. About a year later, the shifter cable acted up again, the
    dealer replaced it with a new one. What is unclear to me is if the
    first adjustment had anything to do with the second failure.
    Nonetheless, the dealer did say that the shifter cable problem is
    uncommon with the LW300.
    0x1b, Dec 24, 2003
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    Pv066 Guest

    Same problems on 2001 - oil cooler leak and slow auto door lock on drivers
    side. Otherwise, great car.
    Pv066, Dec 24, 2003
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    Ron Taylor Guest

    i have a 2001 L300 with 40,000 miles. i've had a few small issues.
    excellent car. i'd buy another in a heartbeat.
    Ron Taylor, Dec 25, 2003
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