chicken or the egg - Saturn Forum - Saturn Enthusiasts Forums


Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-13-2010, 03:08 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Default chicken or the egg

I may have this backwards, but am looking at a 2001 Saturn SL2 with aprox 120,000 miles on it ( 4 cyl.) and am wondering if anyone knows of any particular issues I should look for before making the purchase.
Thanks for your help.
New Saturn owner (I hope).
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-13-2010, 06:59 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Riveria of America
Posts: 2,748
Default

CARFAX data is always a big help in this area. Also, if the owner can document the timeliness of service the vehicle has experienced over the years. Drive it down to AutoZone (or similar) and have them read the computer for possible stored trouble codes
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-13-2010, 07:00 PM
uncljohn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Peoria AZ
Posts: 1,912
Default

This is just my opinion and may differ from others, But!
A nine your old car with 120,000 miles on it is a questionable purchase for almost anyone. The probability of damage and problems caused by neglect and incorrect servicing is rather high thus questionable reliability. And frankly I don't really care if it is a Mercedese or a Yugo.
If you have a good handle on the history of the car and/or you are a reasonably compentant shade tree mechanic thus avoiding the cost consequence of having to pay some one to fix things, I would say the car is a good bet on the whole and a better one based on physical condition. This indicating if they cared not to tear it up, they probably cared enough to have it in good mechanical condition.
Two areas that seem to be re-occuring.
They seem to be prone to using oil, not a lot, but enough to watch. Thus if you check the oil regularly and if it is using any make sure you keep it full. Also changing to a heavier oil such as a 10W40 or 20W40 would not hurt any. This of course depends on where you live. The hotter your local is, the heavier the oil you can use with out concern. I live in the desert and use 20W50.
Some additives have been known to help with this problem.
Also they have been somewhat prone to overheating problems some where in the past and should have had them resolved by this time if they exist at all.
2 reasons. An improperly calibrated Engine temperature Sensor installed at the Factory giving the symptoms of over heating and as there is a lot of plastic used in the car and heat is not a friend to plastic, the expansion tank is plastic, which is where you fill the radiator and is pressurised and may have cracks in it as a function of time and heat. This would cause a loss of water thus REAL over heating. The expansion tank is located on the passenger side of the engine compartment.
Another problem that may happen is the factory orginally installed an anti-freeze that was not compatible with the anti-freeze that was commonly available at the time. If this was mixed in the past, the cooling system may be full of sludge thus causing overheating. Flushhing the system if crudded up might resolve the problem or if it was flushed out and compatible anti-freeze installed (available now with no problems) than there is no problem. But inspect the radiator cap area in the expansion tank to see if it is extremely cruddy and if it is there is a potential of overheating and a need for a cooling system maintainence.
I have a 94 that I have owned for 16 years and I am somewhat to reluctantant to trade it off in that it is in decent shape, I have dealt with the odd ball problems and the car is easy to work on and I am a decent shade tree mechanic.
On the other hand a few years back I bought a 10 year old van with 110,000 miles that appeared to be in decent shape and it turned out to be a very expensive mistake. I now have a 3 year old van I bought new.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-13-2010, 07:20 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Default

Thank you so much for all of the information. Sounds like mostly common sense and some luck, however IF I purchase or maybe before I purchase I will take a good look at the cooling system. Everything else would be obvious (I hope).

Thanks Again

Gil
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-13-2010, 11:20 PM
uncljohn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Peoria AZ
Posts: 1,912
Default

Snip
Thank you so much for all of the information. Sounds like mostly common sense and some luck,
Snip
That is mostly true in almost all automotive purchases concerning age and miles. In the case of the Saturn, lemme say this. A very good friend of mine used to own a wrecking yard (now retired and very well off thank you!) And as he is an excellent mechanic while I can just hold my own, he would take a Saturn, go through it and sell, rent to own or lease it to clients. (and carry the paper) and he was known to say;
"I love these cars, they are easy to repair and will run dang near forever on neglect and I have them out there still being paid on with 400,000 miles on them. "
I pulled the A/C condensor of the only one I ever saw up there with a bad engine. It had been turned over at a high rate of speed and slid a long way on it's top, wore through the hood and into the engine and through the timing chain cover and you could see the cam shaft drive chain.
Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:36 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.