1999 Saturn SL2 with 170,000 miles what should I do?


Besides pray it keeps running…what kind of routine maintenance do I need to do? I change my oil every 3,000 miles or so and changed the plugs & wires about 60,000 miles ago. I also put in a new oxygen sensor about 25,000 miles ago and an air filter maybe 10,000 miles ago. Any suggestions on what things I should replace or clean etc. would be appreciated, Thanks!


Have you done a coolant change yet? The OEM coolant is good for at least 5 years so you should have had it done once so far, the next change would be due in a year or two.


My Mother in law has one of these (though a 97) and for what it is, it’s not bad at all. Pig ugly but well built, economical and moves well.

Since it has a timing chain and not a belt you have no failure worries there, though inevitably the timing chain replacement will not be cheap.

One problem I did become aware of that appears to be common is the upper engine mount fails and collapses, you’ll know when this happens since all the engine vibration is transmitted to the body…it’ll shake all your fillings out in about 15 minutes. The mounting is about $30 and takes 30 minutes to change.

Problm with the mounting is the engine drops a couple of inches and cracks the front exhaust pipe which is rigidly bolted to the engine underside, catch this problem early and save your self an exhaust system.

Other than that, just drive it until something fails that’s uneconomical to repair. It’s a perfect run about, no-one with any style will steal it.


Keep up with your regular strategy of regular oil changes. I would start a fund for a new vehicle or major repairs at this age mileage.


Plugs and wires are about due again and maybe the air cleaner depending on what the manufacturer’s recommendation is.