One computer scan showed (so said the mechanic!) cyls 1&2 misfiring below the parameter to be reported via idiot lites. No other mechanic picked up anything via computer scan. Car was towed; so one mechanic said un-oiled chain in tranny was making “firecracker” noise. Not so said tranny expert. Another mechanic said leaky intake manifold “boot” was the problem. We sealed bad boot w/ silicone - problem got worse. Another said coil to plugs “connectors” need to be replaced. Another said they looked OK to him. One said “replace both coil packs - $150 each plus $170 labor”, but this seemed just like more trial and error crap! When we asked him to test the coils for proper functioning he said that could not be done! Spent $183 for analysis - including $18 to “sponsors” on Car Talk website, but no has solved this problem. Since Saturn went out of business can not go back to where we bought the car. They sell Mitsubishis now. GM says that any GM dealer is required to fix Saturns, , but do not know if those mechanics would be any better than the independent guys we hired.; and am sure they would charge more.
What year is it?
How many miles?
Are you the original owner? If not, do you know anything about its history?
If you are the original owner, how’s the maintenance been? Kept up to date?
Does it burn oil?
And, last but not least, what exactly are the symptoms that caused you to bring it to the shop in the first place?
Oh, and he probably said “timing chain rattle” rather than “transmission chain rattle”. A timing chain rattle would be normal for a high mileage Saturn with worn sprockets and/or guides (tensioners). The tranny has no chain.
I don’t even know what the problem is. All I’ve got is some reference to a “firecracker” misfire - which doesn’t say very much and then something about some guy said the transmission was making firecracker noises. Maybe you could just say exactly what the car is doing and under exactly what kinds of conditions. You might especially explain what got it on to the back of a tow truck.
Cig’s right, the more and better detail we have is the better we can help.
With what little we have so far, my wild guess would be that the timing chain and/or sprockets and/or guides and/or tensioner are shot. The “firecracker” noise is probably because of the cam timing being all over the place due to this. It’s probably mixed in with the noise of a rattling chain. I’'m guessing that the shop said “timing chain” rather than “transmission chain”.
But, as I said, it’s a guess.