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Old 06-09-2007, 06:58 AM   #1
XFi
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Looking at a Saturn SW1 5spd

Hey folks, Been looking around for a 5spd SW Family Truckster and just ran across a 1996 Saturn with the SOHC engine and 5spd Trans (and cold a/c!!!).

Just wanted some feedback from anyone who has or had a SOHC 5spd. It has 131k and I am not familiar with these cars. Should I be afraid of this mileage, are there concerns to look for in these cars? Is this still OBD1 in 1996? I see some gas logs of similar cars and it looks like 40mpg is achievable with this. The only down side of this is that my wife thinks that these cars are 'butt ugly' and doesn't want to drive in it if I get it.

Any feedback would be appreciated...

Any other suggestions for a 'Fuel Friendly Family Truckster' in a lower price range?

To buy or not to buy....that is the question!
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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If it smells musty I would be concerned. Sometimes the door seals leak a bit. My sw2 has 158,000, the original auto tranny, and runs pretty good. Look underneath the car for rust (you wont see any on the body because its plastic). Its obd2 if its a 1996.

Escort wagons get fairly good mpg. Accords and carmrys are available in wagon too, but they are slightly bigger and use a big more gas.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:40 AM   #3
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Just got back from looking at it. NOOOWay! Service engine soon light on, Coolant Light/Temp Light on and cracked windshield. Oh Well.

I wish they had compact mini-vans in a 5spd. The only ones that I can find are old Aerostars and Astros (RWD).

I have seen a few Mitsubishi Expos (Eagle Summit Wagons) in a 5spd (awd option also). Besides that????
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #4
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XFi -

I am going to use your post to identify another problem to watch for in all 2nd Gen S-Series Saturns. The pre-1999 Saturns were vulnerable to timing chain failures.

Saturn Timing Chain Kit 1.9 SOHC SC, SL, SL1, SW1, SC1
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Satur...QQcmdZViewItem
Attachment 547

1999-2003 Saturn S Series 1.9 SOHC Timing Chain Kit
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-...QQcmdZViewItem
Attachment 546

As you can see, the sprocket for the 1999-up timing chain is solid (aka beefed-up). For pre-1999 S-Series Saturns, you are vulnerable of having a timing chain failure over 100K. Since the S-series have interference engines, a broken timing chain could tear your engine apart.

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