2005 Saturn Redline repair or sell

I have a 2005 Saturn Vue Redline 3.5 liter awd. It has 96000 miles. My mechanic wants to charge the following. It needs a timing belt @$1150, brakes (front disc and rear drums @$1200. It also has2 cam shaft oil leaks @$800. 100000 mile recommended service $900 (differential flush, transmission flush, pcv valves, brake line flush, throttle body). Body has no rust in good shape. Newer shocks and struts. Given the price of used cars with more miles should i do the work? Your opinions would be welcome. Thank you.

You are going to get pretty much the same answers you got back in December.

This one of those if you spend the money will you sleep at night things .


Sure, if you have the skills and tools to do the maintenance.
If not, have the mechanics do it.
Or you can ignore it and wait for the vehicle to self destruct.


18 year old timing belt?
No front subframe rust? No rear trailing arm mounts rust?

The car is worth $3000 withOUT the required mechanical service as a private sale, 1/2 that as a trade-in.

You list $4050 in required work. The last 2 could be skipped but the bill is still $2050.

The car’s service needs are beyond its value. And Saturn as a brand is long gone. Trade it in on a newer car. Don’t private sale it, trade it.

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$1150 for a timing belt replacement? Assuming that this is the full timing belt kit, that’s the going rate. If this has never been done, you’re on borrowed time, before the belt fails and the engine is ruined.

$1200 for brake pad replacement? GTFOH. You should be able to get this done for a lot less somewhere else.

$800 to fix what a assume are minor camshaft oil leaks? I’d ask the mechanic what he’s smoking, and can I have some? This should be included with the timing belt job. The full timing belt kit generally includes the camshaft oil seals, and often includes the front crankshaft seal.

$900 for this 100,000 mile recommended service? Again, way too much money for what you get.

My advice is to either buy the tools and DIY, or find a reputable mechanic who will do the full timing belt job–including the water pump, tensioner, idler pulleys, and replace the camshaft oil seals (if they are actually leaking significantly), and this should cost around $1200. The “gold standard” timing belt kit for this model (AISIN TKH-002) costs about $200 online, and a professional shop probably pays less.

I would also either DIY or have a transmission fluid and filter change done, and this should cost no more than $250 for a drain-and-fill.

I would also have the brakes done, and this should not cost more than $800 for a standard brake job on all four wheels. There are shops which specialize in alignment, brake, and suspension work, who can do this for a reasonable price if DIY is not an option.

So in a nutshell, yes you should maintain your vehicle, no you should not pay the crazy high prices which this shop has quoted you.

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Actually, with this being a Saturn I’m surprised it hasn’t yet ! Didn’t they typically start the self destruct process right off the assembly line?

Why? This model uses a Honda engine, and I believe it even has a Japanese transmission. These Saturn Vue models with the 3.5L engine are considered very reliable.

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You have to remove cam sprockets to install cam seals. Tech is double charging you for timing belt and cam seals. Unless he does not remove intake to doing timing. Intake has to come off the remove valve covers. So, there is some work there.

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Are you sure? I had a 2002 and a 2007. The 2002 did NOT have a Honda engine, but the 2007 did. And that wonderful Honda engine had so much wrong with it I traded the car in to avoid a $3000+ repair after only 60K miles.

So you are saying when the timing belt in put on the cam seals can be done at the same time?

The quoted prices look a little on the high side, but not much. Generally the front cam seal and the front crank seal are replaced as part of a timing belt job, and the water pump is usually replaced too. Timing belt tensioner and idler pulley often replace as part of that job as well. Suggest to inquire, seems to me you should get all or most of that included in the timing belt job. If there’s a rear cam seal also needs replacement, expect to pay extra $$ for that. The 100K service makes sense and seems reasonably priced, although most could probably be deferred, and done later, a little at a time, as diy’er jobs.

“Camshaft oil leaks” could refer to camshaft cover, aka valve covers, not the actual camshaft.

All that said … a 2005 Saturn? … me, I’d want to move that one on. Suggest to sell and buy another car.

I’m kind of biased because I had a 2005 Saturn Vue with the Saab four cylinder and CVT transmission. The brakes sort of worked. The PCM didn’t always respond to throttle input. The car tried to sneak off the road and required me to be alert at all times. On a curve it felt like it would tip over. Get rid of it before it kills you.

I know of several first generation Saturns that went over 300K miles. I raced mine for 5 years. They were quite durable.

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02-03 vue v6 used opel 3.0 motor. 04 went to Honda v6. The vue 4 cyl was Chevy ecotec motor. I believe some Saabs used the 3.0 opel motor.

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Thanks all. Problem is I have a 2007 vw Passatwith 145000 which i have replaced the trans but i dont trust it as my only car. I’ve replaced struts, shocks, control arms. No real rust. I am 70 years old and cannot afford paying over 20000 for a dependable car. I’m feared i am stuck. If i buy something and make payment i will still have repairs on what i can afford. What is a good bet on used cars.

In this market, you might be better off just buying new. The used cars are still overpriced and have iffy history. Try and find a dealer that would sell you a reliable car at or lower than MSRP.
Those Saturns do have the Honda engine but I think they aren’t known to be good engines. The timing belt quote is good. I will get that and the brakes done and drive it, but you know something else is going to go in the next 2 months; transmission, AC, etc

The Honda 3.5 is a good motor. End of story.
2007 vw. New trans? Bet that wasn’t cheap.
Id take a vue over any 2007 vw.

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Not in my experience. Back in 2012 my 2007 Vue developed a noise in that wonderful Honda motor. I was unsure what it was and I tried to take it to the local Honda dealer. They would not even look at it because the car was not a Honda. The engine literally had “Honda” on it and I told them that. No luck. So, forced to take it to the local Chevy dealer (Saturn was gone by then) they recommended a rebuilt engine since they basically knew nothing about Honda engines. Traded it in instead - and not for a Honda.

I bet a survey of owners would say they are good.