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Old 11-25-2007, 04:01 PM   #1
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Another Saturn SL

I traded the 94 Lumina APV minivan plus a little cash for a 99 SL Saturn. My wife is a bit perplexed but its not the first time. The Saturn has 230,000 miles on it. The engine looks untouched. I have no history on the car and don't know if engine is original. Oil was changed about 1400 miles ago and was down 1.5 quarts. Except for the drivers seat one would never guess the miles. It still feels solid and runs smooth. PLugs look clean but I anticipate some oil use.

I just got tired of the 19 mpg with the van.

Will SC seats fit an SL? I know this is not the Saturn website.

I need to come up with a little more clever name for this one. It is dark green.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:54 PM   #2
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usedgeo -

From everything I know, the seats should bolt right in. I *think* you could swap the front seats, at least temporarily. Check the widths of the bolts and other clearances. I am thinking that the back release may give you problems if it is on the wrong side.

CarloSW2
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:28 AM   #3
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Some Saturns have oil use problems?
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedgeo View Post
I traded the 94 Lumina APV minivan plus a little cash for a 99 SL Saturn. My wife is a bit perplexed but its not the first time. The Saturn has 230,000 miles on it. The engine looks untouched. I have no history on the car and don't know if engine is original. Oil was changed about 1400 miles ago and was down 1.5 quarts. Except for the drivers seat one would never guess the miles. It still feels solid and runs smooth. PLugs look clean but I anticipate some oil use.

I just got tired of the 19 mpg with the van.

Will SC seats fit an SL? I know this is not the Saturn website.

I need to come up with a little more clever name for this one. It is dark green.
Yes, all "S" Series seats are inter-changeable.

This year and model of Saturn tend to have a small problem with oil consumption, but it can be helped and not become a problem. One of the main issues is to ensure that the factory PCV is installed and NOT an aftermarket one.

Anyways, Congrats on your purchase if taken care of these cars are reliable and can run for a long time, like most other cars.

--Z
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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I'll second what Zvolen said about the PCV valve; the aftermarket ones don't work so well for Saturn's.

Congrats on a fine purchase! I have a complete set of factory service manuals for the '99 S series cars if you ever need to do any engine work.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments about the seats and the offer of information from the manual. I changed the intake manifold gasket, thermostat, and coolant sensor last evening. It sure runs nicer without a large intake leak. Maybe it didn't need the sensor.

It has an aftermarket PVC. I will get one from the dealer. I thought I was going to be stranded tonight. A battery cable was loose. Now I know why the lights flickered.

Still need to change an idler, belt, and upper right engine mount. A hundred miles after purchase I have had no unpleasant surprises and it still seems like a very solid car.

A couple more hours of work and it will be reliable. I filled it up. I will get it in the garage next fill up. After I get the little things fixed this will just be the standby car. Since all of our vehicles are fairly high mileage. I like a spare sitting around. This one has been fun so far.

Ernie
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:53 AM   #7
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How far can you go on the 2001 before the battery goes dead? Do you just charge it at night? Looks like removing the alternator belt added quite a bit to mpg. Was it difficult to do the battery switch? My stock battery probably will need replaced soon. The only worry I'd have is that without charging, long trips would be impossible.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:00 AM   #8
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How far can you go on the 2001 before the battery goes dead? Do you just charge it at night? Looks like removing the alternator belt added quite a bit to mpg. Was it difficult to do the battery switch? My stock battery probably will need replaced soon. The only worry I'd have is that without charging, long trips would be impossible.
The longest I have gone was 2.7 hours during the day with the running lights on. For a long trip I would unplug the running lights. It was a hot day and the radiator fan ran a few minutes on a several miles long Hill. I am quite sure 3 hours would be fine. I think I was approaching about as low a level as one would want to go with the battery. Just to be clear I have the regular battery up front and the RV/marine AGM battery in the trunk. They are connected in parallel but the wiring is not large enough to start on the rear battery. Heater and night lights will reduce the running time.

I charge at night with a little Black and Decker automatic charger from Walmart. It is selectable between 2, 6, and 10 amps. I usually use the 6 amp rate. It is constant current to 14.6 volts and then tapers the current. It shuts off somewhere below 2 amps. I think the rear battery is around 90 amp hours. After an hour of daylight driving the 2 amp rate takes 6 hours or so to charge the batteries. After the 2.7 hours the 10 amp rate took close to that long.

I may be damaging the cranking battery. It is not too old and does not seem to crank as crisply as it once did. I should probably run larger wiring to the rear battery.

I carry the belt and a wrench for the tensioner in the trunk but have never installed them. The short belt that runs the water pump but also loops over the AC is NAPA 25 050450. I unplugged the AC so it does not run when using the defroster. The belt is too loose to run the AC reliably but will for a little bit. I am just using the AC for an idler.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:56 PM   #9
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If they are in parallel, and you draw it way down, essentially you are treating your battery up front as a deep cycle battery, too. Not sure how good that is for its life. My battery is just getting old and tired. I do have one or two extra batteries from the race car that I could mount in the back.

Is there a reason you can't easily permanently disconnect the daytime running lights?

One other question... Do you have power steering? That would affect what belt works or doesn't. Many SL's didn't have it.

So, is it correct that disconnecting the alternator increased mpg by 6 or 8? I guess it would make sense. Its a lot more significant than I'd have thought. For day to day short to medium length trips with a garaged car, it would make good sense.
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Old 12-01-2007, 08:03 PM   #10
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If they are in parallel, and you draw it way down, essentially you are treating your battery up front as a deep cycle battery, too. Not sure how good that is for its life. My battery is just getting old and tired. I do have one or two extra batteries from the race car that I could mount in the back.

Is there a reason you can't easily permanently disconnect the daytime running lights?

One other question... Do you have power steering? That would affect what belt works or doesn't. Many SL's didn't have it.

So, is it correct that disconnecting the alternator increased mpg by 6 or 8? I guess it would make sense. Its a lot more significant than I'd have thought. For day to day short to medium length trips with a garaged car, it would make good sense.

I agree I am cycling the front battery more than I should.

No the lights could easily be unplugged.

My car does have power steering. The belt is off. I test drove a Saturn that had manual steering. The rate seemed about the same to me as mine with power steering. Oddly on this car without the belt it steers hardly any harder than the manual steering car. Most cars have a lot of hydraulic resistance. It is hardly perceptible on my Saturn. There is a tiny bit of slack in the steering without the pump running. It is barely perceptible. Maybe 1/16 to 1/8 inch at the rim of the steering wheel. That is probably the motion that is used to move the control valve.

I don't think that the whole 6-8 mpg came from the alternator disconnect. I was learning a lot from this web site and my skills were improving simultaneously. I did not do a lot of ABAB testing but just copied what other people thought worked and also seemed reasonable to me.

I am going to do much less to this new car as my wife might have to drive it if hers breaks down.

I got the new engine mount installed this morning. The car is a lot smoother .
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