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1997 Saturn SL service engine soon light

My 1997 Saturn SL (original owner) has 94,000 miles on it and is now driven approx. 5,000 miles per year. For the past year, the “Service Engine Soon” message has appeared. Just as mysteriously, it disappears. It has been checked by a few GM mechanics & they can’t reset it, nor do they find anything wrong. SHOULD I WORRY? Any suggestions? Thank you!

If that’s the same as the check engine light there should be a diagnostic code stored in computer memory when it turns on. Next time it turns on have the diagnostic codes read out.

Some messages like that are not for a problem detected, they are to remind you to change the oil and filter etc. Those might turn on then turn off as the mileages changes. Look in your owner’s manual to determine if it is that sort of message.

Thank you for your reply! I’ll follow-up on your suggestions!

When you get the SES light, you need to go to a place that will read the code pretty quickly. The code will disappear after three drive cycles after the SES goes out. You can get the codes read free at autp parts places like AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts.

A free reading from these places will give you a cash register printout of the code, its description and possible parts that may need to be replaced. The code will start with a P and then 4 numbers, the first is usually a zero. So you could see something like P0509.

Report the code here, we don’t need the rest of the information, the code is enough. Saturns have a history of certain codes coming up a lot and most are easy to repair. I put 275k miles on a 2002 SL so I am pretty familiar with most of the common ones.

Thank you for this helpful and detailed information, Keith! The “Saturn Whisperer” is at work, because this morning the warning light did NOT come on… but I’m sure it’ll be back in a few days! ~Caren