Tag: Saturn

By on August 10, 2018

1988 Saturn SL2, Image: OPTTAC Commentator TitusL writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I always appreciate your sound advice and commentary on the TTAC website, which is the reason why I’m reaching out.

After 18 years of ownership, I’ve decided to part ways with my 1998 Saturn SL2. The car has been reliable and has been easy to do routine maintenance on as little things popped up over the years. I’ve maintained it well, and the paint, body, and interior looks better than some cars half its age. However, with most cars of its vintage I’m starting to see “senior car” problems rear their ugly heads, and in certain instances I’m having to consider buying 2nd & 3rd generation replacement parts — yes, I’m talking about you, catalytic converter! Add to that the fact that there has been infinitely many technological improvements over the past 20 yrs. Which even further validates my reason for wanting something a bit fresher.

As of current, I’ve been trying to “soft sell” the car on a Saturn enthusiast website, with no takers yet. I would consider selling it on a more opened car listing website but I’m conflicted about this option because: 1) it is a high mileage vehicle (208K) which would leave me exposed to getting low-balled by a few bottom feeders looking for a good deal. 2) I don’t want to sell it to someone who will beat the hell out of it, forcing it into an early grave and leaving it to potentially become an organ donor at a local pick-n-pull. I would be mortified if I saw my Satty featured in a segment of “Latest Junkyard Finds” on TTAC. (Read More…)

By on July 23, 2018

2008 Saturn Astra XE in Colorado wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Remember the Saturn Astra? A Belgian-built Opel Astra, it was supposed to replace the Ion, but GM had a few distractions around that time and axed the Saturn Astra early in 2009… followed by the Saturn brand itself.

Just two model years, poor sales, weird Euro-Detroit badge-engineering hijinks, and a near-instant disappearance from cultural memory: just what I like best in a Junkyard Find! (Read More…)

By on November 10, 2017

Saturn Relay 2007, Image: GM

 

Che writes:

Recently my daughter ran her 2005 Saturn Relay a quart and half low on oil. Alarms started sounding and vehicle shut off. No noises from the engine. I refilled the oil, but it won’t crank. It’s in disabled mode now. I don’t know how to reset it. Any suggestions? (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2017

2007 Saturn Ion Red Line

Absence, it is said, only makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe ’80s fashion wasn’t so bad after all. Go ahead, roll up the sleeves on that oversized rayon blazer. Naturally, the sentiment also applies to defunct car brands.

Just last week, Corey asked what extinct car brand you would resurrect if given the chance, leading this author down a mental road populated with nothing but Studebakers and Oldsmobiles. There’s a Sophie’s Choice for you. However, one brand that didn’t see much discussion that day, at least not on our Slack channel, was Saturn.

Bozi’s had a hell of a time recently with the problem-plagued engine under the hood of his wife’s Vue hybrid, something which hasn’t exactly endeared him to the former GM division. Still, yesterday we got to talking about the brand, and it seemed very few people do not have a memory of a Saturn SL1 or SL2, or perhaps the unpopular L-Series — including myself.

Unpleasant to drive, but utterly reliable. Hmm… is it time to journey down a plastic-coated memory lane? You bet. (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2017

18 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Lately, I’ve taken you back in time when it’s my turn to offer up a Question of the Day. Today is no exception, as we’re going to discuss the past and the future at the same time. Now, while your head is spinning and you reach for a VHS copy of Back to the Future, allow me to explain.

We’re going to discuss the car brand you’d like to resurrect, and the models it would offer today. Sound like fun? (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2017

Saturn Vue Hybrid Engine Bay, Image: © 2017 Bozi Tatarevic

Last week, I noticed a new stain on the driveway in the spot where my wife parks our Saturn Vue Hybrid. A quick sniff test revealed it to be automatic transmission fluid and an inspection of the Vue showed a leak at the transmission pan gasket. The car has just crossed the 100,000 mile mark and the worn gasket decided to accelerate my plans for a transmission fluid change.

Like many modern cars, the transmission dipstick is absent on the Vue, so checking the level is not a quick task. Adding fluid is even more time consuming and requires removal and disassembly of multiple components just to get to the fill plug.

I went out and picked up a filter, gasket, and some ATF and decided to tackle the convoluted process of this transmission fluid change.

(Read More…)

By on March 13, 2017

2004 Saturn Ion in Denver wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The Saturn Ion is one of those cars you still see on the street today, perhaps not enough to notice, but it’s of minor historical interest as the Saturn-branded cousin of the Chevy Cobalt/Pontiac G5.

Most of the time, the Ion is just background noise to me in the GM section of a big self-service wrecking yard, something I pass by while looking for a Cimarron or Reatta. However, I had heard that the Knoxvegas Lowballers 24 Hours of LeMons team had adapted Ion electric power steering to their mid-Duratec-powered Geo Metro, and I was curious as what this alleged steering column-mounted rig looked like. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2017

2008 Pontiac Solstice, Image: General Motors

General Motors has issued an airbag recall for the long-gone Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. The recall relates to the passenger presence sensor (PPS), which may become damaged and cause the passenger airbag to not deploy during a crash.

We initially covered this issue in 2015 after noticing that complaints were piling up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and that the PPS design was similar to other models already recalled by GM. (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2017

Malibu Redline

Chevrolet is introducing a new Redline trim for most of its current models. Actually, I should say it’s reintroducing the trim because Red Line — styled as two words — was pre-bankruptcy General Motors’ designation for Saturn’s signature performance models.

Unlike the Saturn models, the Chevy Redlines don’t offer appear to offer any dynamic advantages and are simply mid-level trimmed vehicles with special wheels and paint. That’s sort annoying when GM has decided to name the cars after the maximum safe speed of an engine. I cannot believe I’m saying this but it kind of makes me nostalgic for the sporty Saturns.  (Read More…)

By on January 20, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on November 25, 2015

GMIgnitionAndSwitchAssembly02(1)

A federal judge Wednesday denied a request to make available communication between GM and its lawyers over certain cases involving defective ignition switches, Reuters reportedThe documents will remain secret because of attorney-client privilege, the judge wrote.

Lawsuits against GM allege that the company tried to further cover up its defective ignition switches. Those lawsuits sought to uncover documents between the automaker and its lawyers in three separate cases.

“… the case evaluations have all the hallmarks of dispassionate, sober evaluations (perhaps, in hindsight, too dispassionate and sober for their own good) by counsel of the costs and benefits of litigating the cases to their conclusion — just what one would might expect in a defense file and in the absence of a crime or fraud,” Judge Jesse Furman wrote in his ruling. (Read More…)

By on October 27, 2015

1984 Saturn Concept CarIn a 1992 op-ed that appeared in the Indianapolis Star and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, I expounded on the predictions of the MIT-based authors of “The Machine That Changed the World”, and lean production. I cited that book, and Consumer Reports’ glowing review of the Saturn as evidence that real competition could make the U.S. auto industry great once again. Subsequently, I bought a Saturn, which ultimately proved inferior in durability to the car I had shopped it against, the Integra. Looking back more than two decades, how have we succeeded, and how have we failed, and how did the MIT authors’ predictions hold up?


Few experts would have predicted that an all new American car could have matched the first year reliability of the Toyotas and Hondas, the best of the Japanese. Yet General Motors’ Saturn did just that, according to the April Consumer Reports.

On top of that, the car has all the practical appeal of the old Volkswagen Beetle. The plastic body panels are built to take parking lot abuse without denting or scratching. But damaged panels can be replaced easily and inexpensively. How many people does it take to change a headlight on a Saturn? Just one, and it’s as easy as changing a lightbulb.

(Read More…)

By on October 22, 2015

IMG_0124

I recently did something stupid that put me in a dangerous situation, but it taught me a lot.

Ever since the days of the Audi 5000’s unintended acceleration issue (yes, grasshopper, Toyota wasn’t the first automaker to face the matter), I’ve wondered something.

Even if the problem really is a mechanical or electronic defect causing the acceleration (I’m in the skeptics’ camp on that, the component between the seat and the steering wheel is likely the defective one), why didn’t the drivers just shift into neutral and use the brakes to slow and then stop the car? (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2015

 

TTAC commentator Anomaly149 writes:

Sajeev, here’s one for you:

I have a CVT-equipped 2004 Saturn Ion Quad Coupe with ~140,000 miles. While you can write a book on the things that are weird with the car (key won’t release from cylinder sometimes unless you push this button inside the steering column, sometimes the neutral safety switch actuator machine-guns when stopped at a stoplight, it eats front sway links like it’s a contest, etc.), so far it’s been reliable and efficient. (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2015

burntmain

Last week, we learned General Motors was recalling the majority of their Hummer H3 and H3T models due to a fire risk from a melting blower motor resistor and harness. We also learned GM didn’t issue the recall until they were threatened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A few days ago, Jalopnik’s Michael Ballaban pointed out the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon were also at risk due to similar components. These trucks may not be the last of the affected models as the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky also shared many HVAC components with the Hummer H3.

Searching through the NHTSA complaints database and user forums yielded many examples of melted and burnt blower motor resistors and harnesses for the GM roadster twins.

(Read More…)

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