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Saturn L Series #4760644
05/18/18 07:34 AM
05/18/18 07:34 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,408
MD
ET16 Offline OP
ET16  Offline OP

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,408
MD
I see these for sale with low prices and mileage sometimes. Hoe bad is the V6 in these things?

Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4760651
05/18/18 07:47 AM
05/18/18 07:47 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 11,296
ROCHESTER, NY
Char Baby Online content
Char Baby  Online Content

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 11,296
ROCHESTER, NY
I don't think that the V6 in particular is a bad engine(SAAB motor) however, these vehicles overall had their share of issues.

I also think that the "L" series was the last of the plastic/composite body panels before Saturn went to the stamped steel bodies of the AURA sedan, the OUTLOOK SUV & RELAY minivan.

Last edited by Char Baby; 05/18/18 08:02 AM.

"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX
Re: Saturn L Series [Re: Char Baby] #4760668
05/18/18 08:04 AM
05/18/18 08:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,284
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,284
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Char Baby
I don't think that the V6 in particular is a bad engine(SAAB motor) however, these vehicles overall had their share of issues.

I was looking at the wagon version when I got the Focus, but it seemed to me they were not worth the trouble for the savings. The 4cyl was too slow and V6 was too thirsty IMO.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 230km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 22km 0W20
Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4760714
05/18/18 08:42 AM
05/18/18 08:42 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 10,094
out there
spasm3 Offline
spasm3  Offline

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 10,094
out there
They just never had the same following that the s-series did. The s-series great fuel mileage is why they were preferred. Somehow i remember some timing chain issues, but i don't remember which engine.


13 elantra 75k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche 80k synpwr 5w30
17 mazda cx-5 9500 miles m1 0w30
Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4760782
05/18/18 09:33 AM
05/18/18 09:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,495
NoVA
Jimzz Offline
Jimzz  Offline

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,495
NoVA
The V6 had major timing belt system issues. I believe some dealers replaced the timing belt components at 30k as many were failing before they even hit 60k. It was not the belt but the idlers I believe that had a high failure rate. After market parts are much better now, but to little to late for that motor.

If you buy one with that motor use good aftermarket parts and replace at 60k if you want it to last.


yup
Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4760855
05/18/18 10:50 AM
05/18/18 10:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,226
USA
slacktide_bitog Offline
slacktide_bitog  Offline

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,226
USA
Not a fan of transverse V6 engines. Stay away from the V6. Also, this 54-degree V6 has a timing belt.

But the 4-cylinder L-series is just fine. It has the 2.2L Ecotec and lots of room under the hood.

Here is the V6


And the I4

Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4760999
05/18/18 12:40 PM
05/18/18 12:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,944
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,944
NJ
I had an LS 4cyl. Decent car. Bought it for $9000 with 23,000 miles on it from the local Saturn dealer. It was 3 years old lease return. AC compressor went out at 130,000 miles and that was it for the Saturn with my mother's Corolla that she could no longer drive sitting in the driveway. The Saturn was a smooth highway cruiser. A very large dog crashed into the side of it and just bounced off the plastic door panels.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4761368
05/18/18 07:44 PM
05/18/18 07:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 20
OH
Okapi77 Offline
Okapi77  Offline

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 20
OH
I was a Saturn mechanic from 2000 to 2007. The L series had problems. The six cylinder is a bit of a boat anchor, waterpump/oil cooler leaks causing overheating being a major problem as I recall. Body ECU would cause some goofy stuff. Excessive tire wear in the rear.

However, they did get better as time went by, with 2003 to 2005 4 cylinders being ok cars.

Not sure I would buy a 15 year old car that was just ok when new and has no dealer support (unless it was a great deal).

Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4761419
05/18/18 09:03 PM
05/18/18 09:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 14,684
Canada
addyguy Offline
addyguy  Offline

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 14,684
Canada
You can't really beat a later Ecotec for reliability.


2010 Kia Soul 2U - 2.0L I-4, auto; 142k miles.
Castrol GTX HM 5W-30, STP blue bottle; Fram TG 9688.

2009 Pontiac G5 - 2.2 I-4, auto, 121k miles.
Oil/filter TBD
Re: Saturn L Series [Re: Okapi77] #4761423
05/18/18 09:08 PM
05/18/18 09:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,820
Phoenix
dishdude Offline
dishdude  Offline

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,820
Phoenix
Originally Posted By: Okapi77
I was a Saturn mechanic from 2000 to 2007. The L series had problems. The six cylinder is a bit of a boat anchor, waterpump/oil cooler leaks causing overheating being a major problem as I recall. Body ECU would cause some goofy stuff. Excessive tire wear in the rear.

However, they did get better as time went by, with 2003 to 2005 4 cylinders being ok cars.

Not sure I would buy a 15 year old car that was just ok when new and has no dealer support (unless it was a great deal).


Solid advice. I'd consider a 4 banger if the price was right but that 3.0 always was a dog, it was made in England - does anymore need to be said? It came over to this side of the pond in the Catera too.


2018 Challenger SRT 392 PUP 0w-40 Wix 57899XP
2018 GTI
Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4761688
05/19/18 07:13 AM
05/19/18 07:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,410
ME
eljefino Online content
eljefino  Online Content

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,410
ME
The plastic cladding was an afterthought to an existing chassis so the car was heavy.

The s-series was NOT a unibody-- neither was the fiero. Both were space-frames.

L-series was a traditional "something else" reskinned for marketing reasons.

That all said, the wagon has a nice cargo compartment-- almost volvo-sized, and good visibility. There aren't many midsize wagons out there, particularly with the transverse 4 cyl, for you misers out there. The volvo, its only competition that I can imagine right now, might be nicer but has its own share of expensive problems.

Re: Saturn L Series [Re: ET16] #4780236
06/07/18 03:07 PM
06/07/18 03:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 120
Arizona
DweezilAZ Offline
DweezilAZ  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 120
Arizona
Service shouldn't be a problem because many Chevrolet outlets are Saturn Authorized Service Providers.

I've had my ION since new and have not had a problem getting it worked on. The Chevrolet place does good work, has competitive prices but they're slow.

My brother, who owns my former 95 SL1, has had no problems with parts availability or service

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