99 4 cyl Saturn 160,000 mile

Tiny
LANGE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 SATURN
Hi My son wants to buy a 1999 4cyl saturn with 160,000 miles. Mostly hwy miles. Has low compression in 4th cyl for the first 2 minutes but then warms up and runs great. Car well taken care of. How concerned should I be about the low cold compression and the high miles?
I appresiate any advice you all can give!
Thanks
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Sunday, April 8th, 2007 AT 11:51 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER
Hey Lange,
With 160,000 miles on the ticker I would think it has been well maintained. Is it the DOHC or SOHC? Standard or Auto?

Listen uder the hood to the engine. If the timing chain is bad it will sound like a diesel engine and clatter and whine. The noise will alter in pitch and frequency with engine speed.

Check for oil leaks at the crank. Pass if so.

My 96 needed a waterpump, alternator, and rad between 95,000 and 115,000 miles. Check if these have been replaced.

Lastly depends on price. My sons SL had the same low comp. And did quite well. Just always check the oil! The 3rd Gen S models are the best in my opinion (2000 to 2002) if you can find one for the right price.

Good luck and let us know. :)
peppermrj
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Monday, April 9th, 2007 AT 7:41 PM
Tiny
LANGE
  • MEMBER
Hey Thank you so much for the response peppermrj,
Turns out it is a 97 sl2 and the guy thought it was a compression issue but never checked it. I believe it might be a fuel injector that leaks after sitting time it is pooling gas in that cylindar and he thought it was compression. Once the gas is burned off it runs great. He is asking 1,000 I offered 800. Blue book is about 2,700. Seems like a deal. What do ya'll think. All new tred and breaks. I will look at the crank and see. There is no deisel sound lol.
How hard is it to change the injectors if my assumption is correct?
Thanks for everything
Lange
ps mobil 1 every 3,000 miles according to owner.I believe him
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 AT 12:21 AM
Tiny
PEPPERMRJ
  • MEMBER
Hey Lange,
Standard or auto?

Look at the rear rocker panels for rust thru.

The DOHC is a peppy little 4 that has few problems. Oil Consumption is an issue caused by sticky oil control rings. Some say the best remedy is 3000 mile oil changes with the superior detergent power of mobile 1 oil. Lucky you. Just be sure your son checks oil frequently.

Have never seen an injector problem on any S-series engine. What is common tho is a valve cover gasket leak. The spark plugs sit down in a hole in the middle of the head and valve cover. The o-ring seal in the valve cover fails and the plug hole fills with oil. This can cause misfiring. What might be happening is that the oil is burning off as the engine heats up. A real simple procedure to replace the valve cover gasket.

Saturn automatic transmissions also require frequent (30,000 mile) fluid changes. Most folks miss this in the owners manual. A real simple procedure. They have a spin on oil filter and a drain plug just like the motor oil does. Again Mobile 1 tranny fluid is recommended. A change requires only 3 to 4 quarts.

If neglected the transmissin will develope a condition most refer to as reverse slam. There will be a bit of a bang as the car goes into reverse. If caught early their is a simple procedure to fix this involving a fluid change, some cleaner additive and some run time. If not caught early it is a bit more expensive including a valve body repair or replacement.

Good gas mileage and dependability if you just check the oil and do the recommended maintenence. Very easy to work on also. If you do make this purchase let me know and I will give you a list of PM (preventitive maintenece) items.

Good luck and let us know. :)
peppermrj
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 AT 7:23 AM
Tiny
LANGE
  • MEMBER
Hey peppermrj, I will definatly look at the rocker panels and I did notice oil leakage around the valve cover gasket. Sounds like your assesment is better than mine. Thanks. I will also look into the other issues you mentioned. I did ask if it bruns oil an he said about 1/2 a quart every 1,000 miles. Again it tells me he maintained it to be able to annswer that question.
Driving it today so I will let you know!
Take Care
Dan
jeez only been on this site for 2 days and already I feel the need to donate. Lol
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 AT 9:41 AM

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