Should I try to resurrect the 1997 saturn stwgn whose engine died?

Dave, who runs his nearby car repair show in Skokie, Il. said I should give the 1997 saturn stnwgn to the junk man for #250 since the engine is now oozing oil because it blew a rod or some other catastrophic event last night and it would cost too much without any promise of ending its problems. Should I do as he suggests and if so, what used car should I get that will be safe for my 19 year old college freshman son who drives to his job 2 miles away at Circuit City and to his school, about 5 miles away without inflating his ego?

Does the engine sound like it is blown, or, is it just oozing oil? Maybe, you should have a mechanic check it out.

I assume by a rod problem and the word catastrophic that the word “ooze” should probably be replaced by “puking”. If a rod came loose then the engine is scrap iron. And aluminum.
Then again, maybe it’s only oozing because there was not enough oil left in it to puke; which could be the reason a rod came loose.

If the engine is blown then the best option is to find a used engine if you want to keep the car. If you don’t care for the car anymore then I say take the 250 and be done with it.
As to another car my opinion would be a Crown Vic. Why? Because they’re plentiful, can be had for a reasonable price, they’re reliable, have tons of room, and get pretty darned decent mileage. Any repair parts are readily available on the cheap if needed.

Opinions are based on the Saturn being legitimately blown up of course. If there is little or no oil in the engine and this was accompanied by some loud knocking or a big bang then I would say the engine is history.

No, it does not sound blown. It was certainly not seized. I drove it 40 feet last night and about 4 feet this morning to put it in legal positions along the curb. In fact it sounds better to me than it did before it broke down. Our mechanic, who I trust, looked at it today, since we had it towed to his shop last night, and he called me today and told me the car is not worth repairing, that a rod or something blew, that if I drove it he could not tell me how long it would move or that it would not break down again. He said more repairs would be followed by more problems, that he has repaired many of these and they are all losers. It has four new tires which cost us about $500 which I want to sell if possible. My son said that when he was driving it last night the car lost power but when he turned the key to turn off the car, and he took the key out of the ignition (he said), the engine kept going. When I got there, the car was off, I inserted the key, turned it and the engine turned over easily . I shut it down, opened up the hood and found that oil covered much of the top of the my left side front of the area of the engine. When a policewoman said we had to move the car off the main road, I drove it around the corner by about 40 or more feet, very slowly. It sounded fine.


I’m not following this. If the engine runs well, does not make noise, and has oil in it then where does the rod problem come from?

Is he basing this strictly on oil on the left front of the engine? That does not mean anything except a possible leak due to crank seal, etc. or someone left the oil filler cap off.

If the engine is full of oil (you have checked the oil level I hope?) the loss of power sounds to me like the ignition switch is failing due to the comment about taking the key out and it kept running.

JMHO, but I don’t think your mechanic should be making comments about these cars all being losers. Professional, this is not and it also kind of makes him look a bit suspect.

Don’t save it. But you could.