Used 2001 Saturn L-Series Consumer Reviews
There is a design flaw on the timing chain tensioner. Anywhere from 80k miles to 150k miles, it usually breaks. This is a 30.00 part. But if you don't know about it, and you don't fix it, the car will "jump time", and when this happens, it almost certainly will destroy the top part of your engine. This will cost about 2k to fix. If you own one, get it down to the shop and get that part changed. You will be sorry if you don't. In my town, the junk yard is full of these L series Saturns. They all look nice, but they are sitting there rotting. I had a S series, and it was the best car I ever owned. This L series, not so much!
I needed a new car, and heard a lot of good things from other Saturn owners. We took delivery of this car with just under 17k on the odometer. For the first 21/2 years it was a very reliable car. There were 2 recalls on this car and this was taken care of with no problems. We did oil changes and all suggested maintenance on time. One day I was driving to work and the car was acting a little sluggish but did not seem to be running rough or anything. I parked the car at work and when I came out it would not start. I had it towed to the deaer and was told that it was the timing chain and would cost $1100 to fix. Many other Saturn owners have had this problem at around 70 to 80k miles
If your thinking of buying this model vehicle DON'T. Hands down the worst car I have ever owned. It WILL suck every penny you have out of you. These cars have the weakest commuters in any car I am aware of. Just change a battery, alternator, or just put a battery charger on it and you can burn out the BCM (Body Control Module). Diagnosing the problem will be the first problem then there is the $600 to replace it. Subframe built by SAAB with a curved muffler $400 for muffler only. Poor design on the oiler that keeps timing chain oiled+interferance motor=t-chain jump & replace motor, used $1000, new $2500. Heater fan,switch, and repair melted under sized connector in the dash $400. Just say NO
Please pay attention to the model of car people are reviewing. This car is fabulous! Mine has 116,000 miles and it still looks new under the hood. The lw300 is the best version in this model line and can come with lots of extras such as leather seats, remote start and locks, power everything, rear defog and wiper, heated seats, etc. so you might get a lot more for your money. It drives and runs fabulously!
I really like the comfort and performance of the car, but repair costs are killing me: Oil cooler leak, $1,350; water pump $450; power steering pump $400; front brake pads and rotors $450; faulty MAF sensor $450; thermostat $400. All of these repairs in the last year after the car went over 50,000 miles. The dealer tells me a new steering rack will be required in the near future. If anyone has one of these cars, sell at the first sign of problems after 50,000 miles. It will only get worse!
Upon purchasing this car I found that the previous owner had replaced the engine. I heard of this engine having issues yet I doubted it would actually blow due to the list of issues that plague these engines. After one year of ownership, the engine blew due to a random rod busting through the block. The second engine only had 40,000 put on it upon purchase and then another 30,000 put on by me during the year. Awesome car besides the shoddy craftmanship.
I was on the way to buy a Suburu when I swung into a Saturn Dealership. I was driving a 1998 Saturn 4cyl wagon.I needed something to get over the mts & past the semi's and a 4cyl was a little scary at times. I test drove the 2001 6cyl LW300 (new) and what a difference in performance. It had more features,+ 8 speakers, leather heated seats were a plus. I traded! Only in for servicing& never a problem. I also like the back seat lay down for more cargo room.
Worst Car Ever. Cons: Breaks worked great after I spent a lot of money to get them fixed. The windshield breaks very easily. The exhaust was horrible. The battery never held a charge, I bought three batteries. Headlights were very dim and break lights broke all the time. The tires went bald fast. Pros: Great gas mileage, plastic body, fairly cheap parts.
I bought my Saturn L-Series with 63K back in 2007. She has been altered exterior with window tint, nice stereo and sound speakers/woofer and ampÂ which was installed in 2007 as well, and she still boomin'. Drives great, good on gas. All I replaced was the fuel pump, starter, tires & battery of course. She has 295k miles, and I really feel she will hit 300k. We just made sure the oil was changed, use synthetic oil 5/30, with good driving habits. You know I was just rear ended a few days ago, and she didn't budgeÂ that bumper does wonders!! Still in tacked. We used interior parts from the salvage yard to make the inside look like new.
Love this car. Bought it after my daughter totaled my old one. Have owned 5 Saturns over the years. It's 8 years old, and has only cost a couple thousand in repairs...mostly normal wear and tear ( tires, etc. ) Replaced brakes once, and the heater core just this past summer. oh, and a tune up. That was probably my single biggest expense. It was the last car off the line, or so I'm told. Fun to drive, and very dependable