NHTSA Probes Saturn Timing Chain Fail...

NHTSA Probes Saturn Timing Chain Failures

There are 203 comments on the Consumeraffairs.com story from Jan 31, 2006, titled NHTSA Probes Saturn Timing Chain Failures. In it, Consumeraffairs.com reports that:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation of Saturn L Series vehicles because of persistent complaints of timing chain failures.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Consumeraffairs.com.

SaturnBob

Summerville, SC

#122 Jun 20, 2008
First of al the re are alot of misinformed people here. IONS and all 4cyl saturns do not have timing belts, they have chains. Only the L300 v6 and VUE v6 (up to 2007) have timing belts. The belts should be good for 100K mi. as they are kevlar reinforced. The chains however should last a very long time BUT are very relient on proper lubrication.

Many people fail to change thier oil on time which can cause chain lubrication failure, no two ways about it!

While fit and finish are very much an issue, cosmetics aside, we have had 8 Saturns in our family and never experienced any drivetrain failure other then a computer module which was quickly replaced. Two of ours have over 200K mi. on them and are running and looking good.

I also am a member of a few Saturn Racing clubs. We beat on our cars and still have yet to have any drivetrain failures. Any car you will have some type of problem and from what I have read here,one problem is lack of maintenance and the other is certain unscrupulous service depts in NC and OH that ppl have been posting about. Go find a good Saturn dealer, there are many around, it will change your perspective.
jessica

Madison, WI

#123 Jun 20, 2008
Viktor wrote:
I have 2000 LS1. After 90,000, the valves bent and I needed a new motor.
After I put a new motor, transmission went out. This is the worst car I have ever had.
Still paying for it. Don't but Sarurn.
I agree mine blew a head gasket at 60, 000 miles, and power steering has gone twice!!! Now the thing isn't running again! Don't buy a Saturn.
Craig

Cincinnati, OH

#124 Jun 30, 2008
I took my 2003 Vue in today for a problem with the check engine light.. They fix it and then told me I needed.
Brake flush $110
cooling system flush $121
throttle body clean $121
fuel filter $120
60,000 mile service $281
or a 100,00 mile service which includes a new timing belt and a new water pump for 1050.00
they said if the timing belt on this model brakes it takes out the engine...
Good design GM ....I think I will trade this one in on a toyota
Truckin

United States

#125 Jul 1, 2008
Craig wrote:
I took my 2003 Vue in today for a problem with the check engine light.. They fix it and then told me I needed.
Brake flush $110
cooling system flush $121
throttle body clean $121
fuel filter $120
60,000 mile service $281
or a 100,00 mile service which includes a new timing belt and a new water pump for 1050.00
they said if the timing belt on this model brakes it takes out the engine...
Good design GM ....I think I will trade this one in on a toyota
Ouch, you must be sore!
Tiffany

Plano, TX

#126 Jul 2, 2008
tasher wrote:
I took my 2003 Saturn Ion in because of engine noise. I have always changed my oil regulary and only have 20,600 miles on the car, have never had any warning lights come on and it has always shown that it is operating at proper operating temperatures.
I first took it to a local mechanic and they said they thought the timing chain was going and suggested I take it to Saturn and that I shouldn't drive it to prevent further damage.
I contacted Saturn and was told by Customer Satisfaction and by the Service Manager that they would help me. They agreed that the mileage was awfully low to be having this kind of problem.
Now I am being blamed for the problem "oil deprevation". The entire engine needs to be replaced. I don't think I should be responsible for the defects the car obviously has. If I were to get the car fixed, I don't think I could trust to drive it again. In another 20,000 miles is it going to happen again?
I'm not getting anywhere with Saturn. If anyone has any suggestions, any advise would be greatly appreciated.
I understand fully where you are coming from. I am in the process now of dealing with the Saturn Customer Service due to the fact that i have had to replace wheel bearings and sway bar bushings two to three times and these are parts that should last the life of the car but i've been dealing with these same issues since i first bought my Saturn Ion 3 in 2003. I have had to two other American cars one was a chevy and the other a Ford and the Chevy was a lemon and i had to fight the lemon law and I won. There are a few things i can suggest to you. If you are not getting any help with Saturn contact your states BBB Better Business Bureau they helped me with my lemon and whatever you do keep all receipts even just the oil changes because they are going to want a documented history. One more thing do not take your car while it is still under warranty to any other mechanic or auto shop except Saturn because they will try to void your warranty if they know another place was working on it. Go on-line and check each states lemon law they maybe different from state to state. I hope this helps GOOD LUCK!!!!
Randy Goforth

AOL

#127 Jul 7, 2008
Randy Goforth wrote:
<quoted text> My 2001 Saturn LS timing chain broke (80,000 mi.) and RUINED the engine! Saturn said they weren't responsible for this problem, and they gave me a "discount" on a used motor from a wrecked saturn-$2400. I need to know if Saturn new about this problem, and are they standing behind their product. And they wonder why they can't compete with the foreign car companies. Randy
May 2008. Saturn sent a letter recently and admitted there was a timing chain problem. They said there were "safety" concerns. Well, I sent a letter to the office in Tennessee and another to my Saturn dealership. About a month later my dealership sent me a check- no letter or anything. But, I was thankful for the check. Randy Goforth
Randy

Owatonna, MN

#128 Jul 28, 2008
Sanity wrote:
Notice: Do not contact the NHTSA about a timing chain or timing belt failure on any car. If you do don't be surprised if they laugh at you. The car manufacture is not responsible for your failure or someone else's failure to operate a vehicle safely regardless of how dangerous the roadways might be. Any car can stall out at any time on the road. If the steering, brakes, and safety restraints still operate manually then what the hell is the NHTSA going to do for you?
Premature timing chain and belt failures are typical of all vehicles manufactured. Poor lubrication and lack of oil changes are a sure way to shorten the life of a chain. However unlike timing belts; chains typically give an audible warning of a pending failure.
Saturns use many different types of engines some with belts some with chains. Most here do not appear bright enough to distinguish a difference. Instead it appears everyone is looking for a handout. If you have over 100k miles do you seriously think you're still entitled to something? We're becoming nothing more than a government educated socialist cry baby society...


Your stupid dude. My timing chain on my saturn L200 has now broken a second time after only getting fixed 7 months ago. It is a factory defect and GM needs to recall all of these cars with these timing chains in them. Have a heart man. Good hard working Americans are getting ripped off by this company.
chicago1

Chicago, IL

#129 Aug 7, 2008
I have a 2001 saturn sl2 1.9 liter , everytime i shift the gear on reverse , it takes about 4 seconds to shift and it kicks, does anyone know what is the problem? Shifting the gear on drive is normal though , and also does this car have a timing chain or a timing belt? thanks
MC Coronado

Houston, TX

#130 Aug 13, 2008
I just purchased a used 02 saturn vue 6 cylinder w/ 93,000 miles on it. I drove it for 70 miles and the water pump broke. Should I have the mechanic fix the timing belt as well to avoid it breaking due to the contamination from the coolant?
Truckin

United States

#131 Aug 16, 2008
MC Coronado wrote:
I just purchased a used 02 saturn vue 6 cylinder w/ 93,000 miles on it. I drove it for 70 miles and the water pump broke. Should I have the mechanic fix the timing belt as well to avoid it breaking due to the contamination from the coolant?
Yes, the mechanic will change the timing belt while he is in their performing a $600 repair already.
Truckin

United States

#132 Aug 16, 2008
chicago1 wrote:
I have a 2001 saturn sl2 1.9 liter , everytime i shift the gear on reverse , it takes about 4 seconds to shift and it kicks, does anyone know what is the problem? Shifting the gear on drive is normal though , and also does this car have a timing chain or a timing belt? thanks
You are low on transmission fluid. Simple as that.

The 1.9L has a Tsubaki 8mm roller timing chain.
Verucalise

United States

#133 Sep 1, 2008
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????
Sanity wrote:
Notice: Do not contact the NHTSA about a timing chain or timing belt failure on any car. If you do don't be surprised if they laugh at you. The car manufacture is not responsible for your failure or someone else's failure to operate a vehicle safely regardless of how dangerous the roadways might be. Any car can stall out at any time on the road. If the steering, brakes, and safety restraints still operate manually then what the hell is the NHTSA going to do for you?
Premature timing chain and belt failures are typical of all vehicles manufactured. Poor lubrication and lack of oil changes are a sure way to shorten the life of a chain. However unlike timing belts; chains typically give an audible warning of a pending failure.
Saturns use many different types of engines some with belts some with chains. Most here do not appear bright enough to distinguish a difference. Instead it appears everyone is looking for a handout. If you have over 100k miles do you seriously think you're still entitled to something? We're becoming nothing more than a government educated socialist cry baby society...
Whoever read this, IGNORE IT. The NHTSA is reinvestigating the saturn timing chain failures and if you've had one on a vehicle made between 1999-2003, CALL OR GO ONLINE TO REPORT YOUR FAILURE.

How the hell can they force a recall to help other unsuspecting individuals... if they can't see how BIG this issue is???
Dave

Dousman, WI

#134 Oct 25, 2008
My understanding is the chain oiler nozzle is at fault for t-chain failure. 2003 and up 2.2 ecotec engines all have the redesigned oiler nozzle.
AUTISM1234

Hillsdale, MI

#135 Nov 30, 2008
SaturnBob wrote:
First of al the re are alot of misinformed people here. IONS and all 4cyl saturns do not have timing belts, they have chains. Only the L300 v6 and VUE v6 (up to 2007) have timing belts. The belts should be good for 100K mi. as they are kevlar reinforced. The chains however should last a very long time BUT are very relient on proper lubrication.
Many people fail to change thier oil on time which can cause chain lubrication failure, no two ways about it!
While fit and finish are very much an issue, cosmetics aside, we have had 8 Saturns in our family and never experienced any drivetrain failure other then a computer module which was quickly replaced. Two of ours have over 200K mi. on them and are running and looking good.
I also am a member of a few Saturn Racing clubs. We beat on our cars and still have yet to have any drivetrain failures. Any car you will have some type of problem and from what I have read here,one problem is lack of maintenance and the other is certain unscrupulous service depts in NC and OH that ppl have been posting about. Go find a good Saturn dealer, there are many around, it will change your perspective.
So would you like to pay for my $3500.00 bill I just received from the dealership for the timing belt problem my car has just been diagnosed with. And yes, regular oil changes and lube, my husband EVEN works at SATURN.. WHY DONT YOU THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE. IDIOT!!!!! SATURNS SUCK!!!! Bottom line. Look at all the thousands of people that have been affected here. Could it be you are one of the "lucky" ones here in this terrible mess of things. Even with all our routine maintenance we have had to replace the catalytic converter, tail lights that just cannot seem to last past a month, timing chain cover, and now this. What more do you expect us to endure Saturn!? Needless to say, I will NEVER purchase another one of these plastic throw away cars.
mechanic

Albuquerque, NM

#136 Jan 2, 2009
I have a 2000 Ls2 with a 3.0 with 100k and the serpenteen belt broke wraped around the crank shaft and took out the timing belt causing the pistons to bend the valves.Ive been a mechanic for 22 years and i have never seen this happen before.This is a designe flaw most cars with timing belts have a washer that covers the hole where the crank shaft meet the timing cover to prevent foreing objects from causing timing belt damage and especially on a close tolerance motor.Has any one out there encounterd this problem or is there a class action lawsuit for this problem?
joe gonzo

Orlando, FL

#137 Jan 2, 2009
I drive a 2002 Sl-1. I bought it used at a fair price with relatively low mileage. I have not encountered any issues with this vehicle. In fact I'm quite impressed with how reliable my car has been. With regular maintenance, these are good cars at fair prices. We also have in the family, a 1992 Sl-2 and a 2003 L series. So far no problems on any of them, and the 92 has over 200k on it. Great cars. please don't discontinue this brand GM.
chris

Healdton, OK

#138 Jan 26, 2009
today was the final straw for my saturn. the timing chain broke on my 02 saturn vue. after many other repares and many many dollars .I have had all the irratation I can handle.this is the biggest piece ive ever owned.looks great but the engeniers gm/saturn need to be sent back to school to learn some basic princibles like maybe how to prevent the owner from replacing every part on the vehicle in under a year. thanks saturn you rock. at least if gm goes under they will take you with them.
vettechef

San Antonio, TX

#139 Jan 30, 2009
I AGREE...And this has WHAT to do with Saturn timing chains?
We click on topics to read about that specific topic.GO AWay
Karen

Bryn Mawr, PA

#140 Feb 27, 2009
I have a 2002 Saturn L200 and my timing chain just broke after only 115K miles. I also had a mechanic tell me they have seen 2 other Saturns with the same problem, and one had less than 100K miles on it. I got more miles out of a Chevette years ago. I just called Saturn and they do not believe that they have a problem. The timing chain on my car gave absolutely no warning whatsover. And a quick comment to calling everyone here crybabies. We are simply pointing out a lack of quality from a car company. Maybe if they weren't spending all their money on executive bonuses and Jets, they might actually pour a little into making a quality product. Even worse is the big bailout they are getting to keep their companies afloat. Remember, that bailout is coming off our backs.
vulcanmediator

Canada

#141 Mar 8, 2009
I bought a 2000 LS1 as did my brother, partly due to having a timing chain that should not have to be replaced (as opposed to paying $4-600 to replace timing belt every 100,000 km or 60,000 miles). Alas, when the timing chain broke at 102, 000 km (first year model, with only a 60,000 all inclusive warranty) I was shocked, especially when asked what would cause the problem and was told that I did not change the oil enought. with few choices, tear it apart or buy a new one for $4000, I went with the tear down to see the cause (tensioner broke, causing chain to break, causing valves to be destroyed etc.). After complaining through the dealer then to Saturn Canada, I got 50% of the rebuild for "goodwill".
I now have 357,000 km and an looking to replace the vehicle. My brother's died at 257,000. Not bad, but my 84 Horizen had 365,000 and was still getting 40 mpg when it rusted out.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

North Carolina Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News North-Carolina 32 mins ago 4:56 p.m.North Carol... Feb 16 lovely lady 1
News North Carolina police make arrest in sex assaul... Feb 16 lovely lady 2
Hot to trot Feb 11 Justina 1
518 Wellness Studio (Mar '17) Feb 10 Disappointed 4
News State pays $300K to magistrate who refused to m... Feb 8 Rubio s Foam Partays 20
News Supreme Court delays order for North Carolina t... Feb 8 Great Hulio 5
Dustin Long 4 NC State Senate? LMAO! Feb 1 Say What 1
More from around the web