My Little Saturn SL1


I have a '98 Saturan SL1 that has been very good these past 10 years. Regular maintenance and low mileage (71,000). Unfortunately, most of the mileage is in-city and now my dealer tells me that one of the cylinders needs to be replace (thus, the chug-chug effect when accelerating at times). They gave me a quote of app. $2,700 to replace it/rebuild the engine. However, the service engine light kept coming on and Auto-Zone diagnosed it as a fuel-efficiency part that needed replacing (part $149.00) and my dealer did not catch that earlier. So do I spend the money on getting my car repaired or do I start looking for a newer model? I’d like to put off spending the money for a newer car for another year or two but spending nearly $3000 is also hard…especially if this car is going to start falling apart, starting right now. It’s been pretty good overall, except for very cheap cloth on the upper interior–people keep asking me if a cat got loose in there because it’s literally disintegrating. And no, no cat has been in there! I just need to figure out the most financially sound way to go with this decision…knowing that my travel will continue to be mostly in-city and not highway. Thanks!


I think your dealer did catch it but it was better for him to “rebuild” the engine. Maybe he could get away with it. I would don’t think you engine is in need of an overhaul, I would probably change the $149.00 part and see what happens.