Home repair for the Saturn SL1.
October 23, 2014
As many of you know, the Saturn car company was closed in the GMC reorganization in 2008. This is unfortunate because my Saturn SL1 with cruise control got 45 mpg when new and at 177,000 miles was still getting 40 mpg. (The Toyota Prius gets 50 mpg.) The only problem my car had was a leak on the third spark plug where engine coolant was getting to the spark plug setting off the check engine soon light. Usually you could get the problem corrected by adding more engine oil. This pressurizes the engine just enough to drive the coolant off the spark plug and it would fire again. Midas repair serviced the coolant an added liquid paper in the coolant so it plugged the leak. This was not a permanent fix, but good enough to get the car to run for two years. When new, the engine expectation before needing to be rebuilt was 200,000. The reason the engine gasket failed is because in 1996 we did not have ethanol in our gasoline. Ethanol makes the engine run hotter than normal. Over time it created the leak. When the engine is rebuilt, the new gasket should be Ethanol tolerant and the car should return to getting 45 mpg. The manual is invaluable. Although a GMC vehicle, having the specifics for this make and model is so very helpful. Good to keep the manual in the vehicle for reference for whatever service group you take your car to for repair, or you can do it yourself.
Pros:You do not have to look it up on the computer and print pages. Bought this manual as a gift for the new owners to whom we gave this vehicle.
Cons:None to report.