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Loud Car

Car novice here so sorry in advance.

I have a '98 Saturn SL2(?) and it’s loud. My dad bought it for me at an auction 2 years ago and I haven’t had any major problems with the car minus the loudness. The only thing that’s been replaced is the radiator but the car was loud before that. And by “loud” I mean that the engine runs pretty loud. One of my older brothers told me before that my car sounds like a tank. It does get quieter as I drive the car more but still overall pretty loud. Also, my car vibrates sometimes- varying from a small vibrating noise to vibrations strong enough to vibrate my rear view mirror.

Now I haven’t had any major problems with the car (as I mentioned before) and I’m wondering if I’m just used to my parents having quiet cars and the loudness is no big deal. I might need this car for a fairly long drive soon and hope that maybe my car is just meant to be louder than most. Any ideas will help!

A '98 Saturn SL2 is not designed to be loud. It’s designed to be quiet. No, you are note being overly sensitive. You’re hearing noise that should not be there.

The only way to find out what’s causing it is underneath. My guess is that you need a new exhaust system, and since it’s also shaking you probably also need a good tuneup, maybe even a valve lash adjustment.

The only recommendation I can make is to take it to a trusted shop and let them look at it. Bring your checkbook.

You might get lucky. A friend of mine recently had an exhaust noise and was told by well-meaning family members that she needed a new exhaust system. Turned out that a bolt on a “V clamp” 'had simply rusted away. I removed the clamp, ground off what was left of the nut&bolt, bored a new hole, painted the new hole to retard rust, and reinstalled it with a new bolt. I changed the joint gasket too, since I wanted to remove it anyway to see that it hadn’t been blown through, but that turned out to be an unnecessary $6 expense.

As Mountasin bike sugest you have two different issues. Have someone check out the exhaust for a leak somewhere. It might just be a simple fix, or it could me a major replacement of the entire exhaust. But until someone inspects it, you will never know.


They vibrate enough to shake the rear view mirror. But they are not normally that loud. I would suspect that an exhaust pipe has come loose, the precat is leaking, the front O2 sensor is loose, the reed valve is burned out, or someone has installed an after market fart can on it.

Have you had it checked for codes? You can have this done for free at many autoparts stores. I’m assuming that you aren’t seeing a Service Engine Soon (MIL) light, but that could be that the bulb has burned out or been removed. It should light up for 2 seconds when the car is started and then go out.

Almost any of the things I listed above, except for the fart can, should give you a MIL light.

If you find that you have stored codes in your system, be sure to get the actual code numbers and list them here, not the interpretation of those codes. For example If you get a P0410, don’t list it as a bad secondary air motor because on a Saturn, that is not what it is.