Saturn owners were sad to see the brand go when it closed down back in 2010, but the quality and popularity of their vehicles are here to stay. One of their well-known vehicles was the Saturn L200, a 4-door sedan that was manufactured from 1999 up to 2004. The Saturn Corporation marketed itself as a "different kind of car company" and it shows pretty well in how they designed the Saturn L200. In its relatively short run, they were able to produce more than 400,000 of these vehicles until it was replaced by the Saturn Aura in 2006.
The Saturn L200 was part of the company's L-Series of mid-size coupes and station wagons that were based on the Opel Vectra B and was then manufactured at a GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware. The L-Series was at the time fitter with either a straight-4 engine or a V6 and coupled with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission system. Additional accessories for the Saturn L200 included fog lights, airbags, chrome alloy wheels, and more. Unfortunately, the entire L-Series line suffered from a few product recalls but was soon fixed when a retrofit kit was released to solve such concerns. Still, these recalls affected its sales figures, which would ultimately lead to it being replaced by a different vehicle model.
Because of the problems that the L-Series encountered during its run its sales figures have been affected negatively and was soon replace by the Saturn Aura. Unfortunately, this vehicle didn't last very long either as Saturn was forced to close in 2010. Nevertheless, Saturn Authorized Service Providers have been introduced in order to address the remaining warranties on their vehicles and there's a ready supply of aftermarket parts and accessories for vehicles like the Saturn L200 that are still available online.
The Saturn L200 tends to run hot and comes close to overheating. Thinking that this could be a cooling system problem, I checked under the hood and found out that the thermostat seems to be stuck closed. What could be causing this thermostat problem and what should be done to fix this?
The control mechanisms of the thermostat are probably worn out, causing it to be stuck. The inner components may have failed. As such, the thermostat has to be replaced. Along with this, it would be best if the cooling system would be flushed. Some small particles or debris in the coolant may be causing a clog. As you flush the system, top it off with the right mixture, usually a 50-50 water and antifreeze combination. By maintaining the right mixture, corrosion could be prevented. Water won't boil or freeze, which may cause the engine block to crack or the cooling system to fail. Use the recommended type of coolant for the LS200.
Here's the problem: the Saturn seems to be using up more oil than usual. Oil level drops low in-between oil changes. There's no smoke coming out from the exhaust. What seems to be causing the excessive oil consumption? It doesn't seem like the engine is burning more oil.
Check for oil leak to trace the source of the problem. It's possible that the PCV system is failing. A busted PCV valve has to be replaced to fix the oil problem. The engine's valve seals and gaskets also need to be checked. If any of the gaskets or seals are broken, they need to be fixed right away. Another thing you could look into is mechanical damage or problem. To gauge the engine's condition, you have to check the compression. A little test would help determine or reveal some of the engine's trouble spots and errors.
I'm having trouble stepping on the brake pedal of my Saturn because it's too hard, like there's too much resistance. What could be causing this brake pedal problem? And what would be a great fix for this?
There are more than a few things to consider when dealing with a hard brake pedal. One of them is a defective brake booster or a leaky vacuum hose connecting to the booster. The low engine vacuum could also be blamed for having a hard brake pedal. To check the booster, pumping the brake pedal a couple of times while the engine is off will help. This will bleed off any vacuum in the unit. With your foot on the pedal, fire up the engine. The booster is working if you don't need much effort or pressure to depress the pedal. If vacuum connections to the booster are intact and the brake pumping doesn't change anything, then you probably need a new booster. You should also check for kinked brake lines, worn-out pads, and broken linings. This may also be triggered by brakes that need to be properly adjusted. You can easily fix the problem after you figure out where trouble starts.
Saturn L200: The Short Run
The Saturn L200 was a part of General Motors’ Saturn L-Series, a line-up of midsize sedans and wagons that was manufactured at the GM plant in Delaware in 2000 and was based on the European-market Opel Vectra B. The L-Series, including the L200, lasted only until 2005 due to its poor sales. However, in spite of is short-lived history, the Saturn L200 was able to make the most out of its quick run.
The Saturn L200 first came out with a different name when General Motors introduced the Saturn L-Series in the year 2000. The first L-Series cars were offered in three trim levels (LS, LS1, and LS2) and equipped with straight 4-cylinder and V6 engines with 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmissions. The first L-Series cars featured air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo and manual windows and locks. For all models, an anti-lock brake with traction control was an option.
2001: Name change
The L-Series sedans and wagons returned in 2001 with new model designations. This was the year the name L200 was used. The LS became L100, the LS1 became L200, and the LS2 became L300. Aside from a larger fuel tank, the L-Series cars also received a couple of safety upgrades for this model year. All models received shoulder belts for the center rear seat and head curtain side airbags. The sedans, on the other hand, received a three-point seatbelt in the rear center seat and an emergency trunk release handle. Consumers were also offered new color choices for this model year. The new colors to choose from were straight shade black, cream white, bright silver, and silver blue. The colors silver, bright white, silver plum, and blackberry were dropped.
2002: Playing safe
The Anti-lock brakes with traction control and curtain side airbags became standard safety features on all trim levels for this model year. Other new options included were chrome alloy wheels, 6-disc in-dash CD changer, a rear-seat DVD video entertainment system, and an automatic climate system.
2003: Fresh new look
In 2003, all Sedans got a new front and rear look. The wagons, on the other hand, got a new look on the front and new taillights as well. The Saturn L200 got optional 16s alloy wheels while it was made standard for the L300 models. All trim levels received larger headlights, new cloth upholstery, silver dash trims, alloy wheel design, and chrome grille. The antilock brakes became optional again for this model year while the L100 sedan was cancelled.
2004: Becoming L300
The “L200” name was discontinued and the entire L-Series, both sedan and wagon models, were renamed L300 for this model year. Automatic air conditioning and manual transmission were dropped while antilock brakes and traction control became standard again.
2005: The finale
The year 2005 marks the end of the L-Series wagon models. The wagon models were dropped, leaving only sedans for the L-Series' final season where only one model was left, the L300.2 sedan. To reduce production complexity, the only option added for this model year was a power moonroof.