New Saturn Car Owner and Ready To Quit Being One!

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by louis, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. louis

    louis Guest

    Just bought a 1997 SL1 with 72,000 miles on it.
    Was told by the previous owner everything is perfect.
    Gold color outside and the tan interior are awesome and the 4 doors feel heavy and
    On the 1st day I used a/c and 10 minutes into the ownership a red
    beattery light came on.
    I recognized it as the "Yo! Your alternater is dying".
    Went to 2 mechanics and was told
    "I ain't going to bother with a Saturn, it is too problematic".
    I had a mechanic look at it before I bought my SL1, but he "forgot"
    to check the electric system.
    Other problem I have is that the original Saturn Ignition key and the
    valet key- have problem turning on the ignition.
    I have to keep fiddling with them to get the ignition lock to turn and start.
    Do I need a new starter or is it the lock problem? Keys?
    Did anyone have similar problems?
    Is Saturn a "problematic" car?
    Please remove all q's from my email when replying directly to me.
    louis, Jul 21, 2004
  2. louis

    Art Guest

    Might just be a loose alternator belt. Regarding key, did you try turning
    the steering wheel a bit.... sometimes has to be done in many brand cars.
    Art, Jul 21, 2004
  3. louis

    Bob Shuman Guest

    The '97 SL1 is a pretty reliable vehicle and the 1.9L engine and
    transmission are very easy to service. Yes, there is a known problem with
    premature failure of the alternator especially in very hot climates, but
    this is easily replaced. Make sure that you hold the mechanic that didn't
    check the electrical system responsible. I'd ask them to refund any money
    you paid to have the vehicle examined and use that to cover some of the cost
    of repair. I'd also make sure the battery is good as well.

    On the key, we have not experienced any serious problems with my son's '96
    SL1, but have found that the key can be difficult to remove if the wheel is
    locked. In these case if you turn the wheel slightly and then move the key
    back to the run position it will usually come right back out without a lot
    of force.

    Bob Shuman, Jul 21, 2004
  4. louis

    Blah Blah Guest

    Pfft. Sounds like this guy should give up on cars period. Nothing out
    there will please them if minor things like this set them off. In my
    experiance Saturns have been some of the least problematic cars.
    Blah Blah, Jul 21, 2004
  5. Alternators are a weird thing on Saturns - mine lasted forever, others

    Anyway, if you've got metric tools, a jackstand, and an hour or two,
    it's actually quite easy to replace (Actually, you can in fact do it
    through the side of the car without getting under it, but it takes
    longer). You do need to fabricate a small thin wrench to hold the stud
    the wire bolts to, if you don't have a suitable wrench already. But
    that's easy too.

    Replace the battery WITH the alternator, and I'd replace the battery
    bolts too, if they're chewed up. Make sure it's all tight when it goes
    in - lose/corroded connections are bad.
    Philip Nasadowski, Jul 22, 2004
  6. louis

    marx404 Guest

    Louis, it sounds like your local mechanics aren't too mechanical. NO
    Saturns are not problematic, not any more than any other car and much less
    than any other car out there. Your problem is mechanics that are either lazy
    or dont know anything about Saturns. I been there done that and pi**ed away
    hundreds of $$$ trying to avoid using Saturn dealerships to repair my car
    properly and promptly.

    To sum it all up, Saturn shops know Saturns and how to fix Saturns, many
    shade-tree mechanics don't and can waste both your time and money. Go find a
    local Saturn dealership and take your car there, forget about your bad
    experiences with shade-tree mechanics and let Saturn take care of you; you
    will be suprised.

    marx404, Jul 22, 2004
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