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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Cooling System Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
24,065 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Saturn SL cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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1998 Saturn SL Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 202002

SL 4-cyl

  • 72,194 miles


My 1998 Saturn (1.9)had oil in the coolant. It had a crack in the # 3 cam journal. The car only had 72188 miles. I had followed all their regular service. I knew that they had problems with the head in 1994 and 1995 models. But was told that problem was fixed. Cost was $1990.

- Carol Stream, IL, USA

problem #2

Mar 102003

SL 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Saturn SL2 was taken to dealership for 15,000 check up on 3/17/, as I was selling to son. Car has approx. 15,690 miles on it. Service mgr. Howard gorman took information. My husband told him the place that changes the oil said to have anti-freeze flushed because we were losing anti-freeze and we could not see leak. Mr. Gorman after checking car and calling us, performed close to $500 worth of repairs on car, including rotating ties etc. He then told us that car may have a hairline crack in head. This should not happen on a car with this low mileage. I bought the car new at Saturn North, 8600 North high St., wortington, Ohio. I drive car back and forth to work whick is approx. 8 miles one way. Mr. Gorman suggested that we take car home and put some miles on the car as it is not driven for long periods of time. It stay in garage and is not left out in weather. He put die in the anti-freezee to check and asked us to bring back in a week and he would recheck. We took the car back on 3/31/03 at this time Mr. Gorman told us special die came through the head on #4 cylinder position. After taxes it would cost us $3000 to fix. We argued and complained. They told us they would reduce that to $2,268.35 because of the low miles. I then called a christie at Saturn headqtrs. After Mr. Gorman suggested we do this. She took several days to get back to us and today told us Saturn would do nothing for us. I feel that for a head to have a crack at 15,000 miles is horrible and wonder how many other cars have had the same problem. This is my second Saturn and the first car I traded in had only 16,000 miles on it. It is my work car and I do not drive great distances. This should not have happened.

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #1

Mar 262001


  • miles
Car overheated with no warning and smoke spilled out of front. Coolant burst out of container and flooded car and ground. Technician found that the sensor broken and wires removed but could not offer any explanation. Car has not been in accident and has not been tampered with. The only people with access to engine is Saturn technicians.

- Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA

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