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Timing chain repair
Posted by Mcb on 01/19/2006
I have a 2001 Saturn Sedan with less than 37,000 miles on it and it just stopped last week, of course 30 miles from home. I was informed that the timing chain broke with repair to be over $2,000.00. The Saturn dealership disowned any problems with the issue. Saying I must not have changed the oil properly. Well, I have a record of oil changes and maintenance so that is not the reason. On getting it repaired the new part has been improved from the original and there is now an Oil valve (or something to that effect) that helps lubricate the new timing chain. This diffently tells me something. I am in the process of getting the car repaired and plan to pursue this further with Saturn Company. Has any one else had this problem.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-19:
LOL, What timing chain problems with a Saturn? Actually Saturns have had timing chain problems since their introduction!!! Life expectancy for a timing chain should be about 150,000 miles and I am sure you can find many Saturn owners with premature failed timing chains out there. Good Luck
Posted by miketech on 2006-01-20:
Yeah Saturn motors don't last so long. My ex wife had a saturn and loved it till something similar happened at like 60000 miles. The motor just stopped and the repair bill would have been around $2500. It's in the junkyard now.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-20:
Rubber timing "chains" were introduced about 20 years ago because the length required on overhead cam engines made metal chains impractical. It's a good idea to replace them at manufacturer recommended intervals to avoid engine failure.
Posted by miketech on 2006-01-20:
Can't argue with Pirate cause if you don't do what he says it'll break and cost 2 grand. I like the stright 6 in my Jeep. No timing chain. 278,000 miles and it still runs.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-20:
Yet another informative post, Maybe the pirate should stick to vast knowledge of the South pacific.LOL!! Saturns use a timing CHAIN (Metal) not a timing BELT (Rubber). The reason they fail has been a poor oiling system design that has been common on Saturns since their inception.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-01-24:
Comparing Belts to chains???? That would be like comparing Tarter Sauce to pizza sauce. Belts have a recommended service interval, chains do not!!! So I guess it's back to swabbing the deck with you.
Posted by Pogues on 2006-02-23:
I am in the midst of the same exact problems on a Saturn SC2 Coupe. Not only has the timing chain gone, but so has valves and a whole bunch of other things that are going to bring my repair bill up to $2100.00 or more. It's madness, the car only has 65,000 miles on it, and by all accounts I can find it should last at least to 100,000 before giving any problems. Should. But what can you expect from an American car? MCB, did you have any luck in your fight with Saturn in getting any reimbursment?
Posted by LAM on 2006-06-28:
Approximately 3 Cents Worth: My 2001, very well maintained and kindly driven(68,234 mi) Saturn SL has been parked in the lot of the 'Second Opinion' for the last two weeks while I have been waiting upon Saturn of Richmond's response to my written inquiry. My poor girl hesitates, rolls forward and then slams into reverse (for about the last year, talked to Saturn mechanics 3 times about it, they said it would fix itself after replacing the battery) and now is having problems changing into and staying in any geer.
Saturn Diagnosis: Replace Valve Body and Input Shaft Side Nut. Price: $1015. Customer (me) Declined. Uh, yeah.
Shop of Second Opinion (SOSO): Yes, the transmission is broken. Will replace Valve Body and Input Shaft Side Nut for $600-$700 (sweet) but it might not really fix it as it apparently has hydraulic related problems. SOSO recommended that I go back to the Saturn dealer who sold me the car because apparently I was unlucky enough to get a lemon transmission. Other options given: Rebuild Transmission ($2,500-$3,000) or get rid of car as quickly as possible. I am making my last car payment this month. Aargh. I am in touch with Department of Consumer Affairs also. LAM
Posted by Neil18 on 2007-03-15:
I had the same problem with my 2001 Saturn L200. Timing chain broke while driving, destroying the engine. Car has about 68000 miles.
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Saturn cars (definitely not worth buying)
Posted by CLR on 03/22/2005
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- About a month ago I was going to work when my engine started making noise and blew up, leaving me stranded on the side of the road. I was forced to walk to work on a very busy highway.

My 2002 Saturn S-Series is only three years old and has had all the maintenance requirements done by Saturn themselves. Saturn is now requesting $5500 for a new engine. They do not want to pay because the warranty has since expired. They have not even offered a loaner car for my inconvenience.

One of the reasons I bought a Saturn was their reputation of reliability and good customer service. Well, I have seen realize that their logo/advertisement of "People First" is just a gimmick. In addition, they now send me a letter saying this car is man made and problems will arise. I have not gotten anywhere with sending letters to the company. If I would have known their cars were so unreliable then I would have bought a used car and take my chances. I am still paying for this car and now it is in the shop waiting for me to pay for an engine.
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Posted by ejack053824 on 2005-03-22:
That why I just bought a Hyundai Sonata. Saturn's are nothing more then throw-away cars.
Posted by virginiasoreback on 2005-03-24:
Your account of your experience causes me to grimace even at a distance.
A brother who lives in New Jersey recently purchased a Saturn. I was surprised at his decision but he said that the Dealer made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
Some vendors, merchants, dealers - "bend over backwards to please their customers - others don't.
Although this is a ridiculous comparison - a few weeks ago I was shopping in a Kroger Super Store - located in one of Cincinnati's oldest and most affluent neighborhoods (not my neighborhood). A, seemingly, "well heeled" young lady returned a loaf of bread to the Customer Service station. She, sans receipt, asked for a refund because the bread was no longer edible.
The Kroger Associate refunded the purchase price.
The bread was fully covered with green mold. It resembled a "Chia Pet."
Unable to restrain myself - I asked the young woman if she had purchased the loaf of bread, recently. She said, "No." She said that she had purchased the bread three months ago.
"True - believe it or not!"
You seem to have gotten short shrift, a brush-off. Kroger wanted to keep the young woman as a loyal customer.

Posted by punkin535 on 2005-05-04:
I have owned a few saturns in my vehicle buying history and have had no problems, with the vehicles or representatives. A vehicle is only as good as you treat it.
Posted by bobbylynn79 on 2005-06-01:
I "had" a 98 Saturn SL2 and it did did the same thing and Saturn told me the same thing. I traded mine in for an Acura Integra. Of course i was upside down but I NEVER had a problem with my acura. The funny thing is the old service manager at the saturn dealership in san jose is now the service manager at the Acura dealership in San Jose.
Posted by CLR on 2006-01-05:
"A vehicle is only as good as you treat it...."

if by that you mean ...driving it then I have failed this car...

I made all of the oil changes as requested by Saturn on time and the mileage tune-up. I would not be this upset if I had not done so. I am not complaining of a car from the 90s..this car is from 2002 and I am still paying for it. I was promised by the dealership that they will only honor the car's reliability only if I did all my required maintenance through them. Since I did that, their only response was I put too many miles on the car. The next week I got, I didn't put oil in the car. Well they are right..I had just taken it in to have the oil changed..so I didn't put oil in the car they did...
Needless to say, Saturn with all their commercials about people first DOES NOT STAND BY THEIR PRODUCT!...I am actually happy so many people are happy with their Saturns...it will be a piece a cake to sell this piece of garbage.
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Timing Change
Posted by Lemonaid on 05/18/2006
The following is the complaint that I sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
I was driving home at approximately 9:30 PM on a very busy highway(RTE 695 - THE BALTIMORE BELTWAY) and was approaching the intersection of Interstate 70 when my car (Saturn 2000 L-Series) cut out with NO warning - no "idiot lights" - nothing. I was almost rear-ended by a semi and was fortunate to coast to the shoulder without and accident. Fortunately a Maryland State Police Vehicle stopped and provided flares for more visibility while I awaited a tow to the Saturn Dealership. My complaint is similar to a pending NHTSA case (PE06-006) in that the source of the failure is attributed to a timing chain that skipped. The Dealership refuses to recognize this wide spread problem as does Saturn Headquarters in Tennessee. They offer no mitigation to the $3,200 estimate for repair. If circumstances had been different, i.e., going up hill, rain or snow, I and my family could have been seriously injured in this Saturn with this KNOWN defect that DIED on the road with absolutely NO warning. Does someone have to die in an accident before this known defect is corrected? - end of complaint to NHTSA

I urge anyone who has had this happen to file a complaint with NHTSA (www.nhtsa.dot.gov) to help build a case to cause a recall. Additionally, file a complaint with you State Attorney General's Office... MAKE NOISE or Saturn will continue to cover up this defect and we, the consumer, will foot the bill for their error.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-05-18:
A skipping timing chain on a 6 year old car? Well, a poor design would allow this to happen. Good luck fighting GM to issue a recall! Hopefully no one has to become seriously injured to wake them up!
Posted by glc on 2006-05-18:
Fortunately, no one was hurt. Regarding a recall, most car manufacturers suggest timing belts be changed at 60-80K miles, and if your vehicle is 6 years old as stated, your probably near or at that mileage, decreasing the responsibilities of the manufacturer, if any.
Posted by KenPC on 2006-05-19:
How many miles are on this car?
Posted by Doc J on 2006-05-19:
Jay-I don't see anything in the post that says she didn't do the maint. Maybe she didn't. Maybe she did, but "Mr. Goodwrench" forgot to take care of this. I have multiple cars and depend on both my dealer and I to keep up with service. Dying shouldn't be a penalty for letting routine maintenance lapse. Yes, it will take a death or two for the problem to be addressed.
Posted by timdrum4him on 2008-08-17:
I just got done talking about this with a friend of mine. The timing belt should be changed around 60-80k. And yes it does cost about 3200 but if you have a haney's manual ($50) and buy a timing belt (around $40) you could install it yourself. If you can read you can avoid 3200. Saturn are great cars but just like any other car they have to be well maintained. Every car has its shortcomings, esp if you don't stick to a maintainance schedule. Your lucky, if you were going faster you could have chanced the pistons being damaged and then be paying for a new engine.

Do youself a favor, make sure your on top of the maintainance and do it yourself if you can. I love my saturn!!
Posted by surferbabe on 2008-10-07:
The 4 cyl 2.2 Vue engine uses a timing CHAIN, not a belt. The timing chain is supposed to last the life of the engine. I just purchased a 2003 Vue with this engine and twice it has died while I was driving it, once on a highway access ramp late at night and once in the middle of a busy intersection at rush hour.

The first time, I was told it was a fusebox failure. Replacing the fusebox allowed the car to start and drive normally.

The second time, which was this week, the dealer I bought the car from (a Subaru dealer, as it had been traded to them for a new Subaru) is taking it more seriously and investigating the vehicle's history. Come to find out the car had this happen to the previous owners twice before they dumped it on the Subaru dealer, who unsuspectingly allowed me to buy it. Safety and performance checks showed the car to be running fine, as it does *sometimes*.

My chain hasn't broken yet, just slipped, causing the vehicle to lose power and fail to restart. I am anxiously waiting to hear how the dealer who sold me this used car is going to handle the repairs, which I'm sure will be very costly. It's not their fault someone decided to dump their problem car on them without disclosing that it had issues.

I already spoke with the Saturn dealer who serviced the car after the two incidents when the prior owner had it. They say that they did not realize it was the timing chain, either. First time they replaced the battery; second time a board near the fusebox. Both times the car worked fine after the repairs. I am concluding that shutting down the electrical system of the car and restarting it somehow resets things so the car can start and run a while longer, until the chain slips again.

Please don't be so quick to assume that someone isn't maintaining their car properly. In cars with timing chains, there is no protocol for replacing it unless you're changing the engine. And in my case, this happened to me with a car I'd driven less than 200 miles, and again after 300 more miles. I've had it less than a month.
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They'll stonewall you!
Posted by Irate1 on 08/31/2006
FISHERS, INDIANA -- I had a complaint because a service tech At the Saturn of Fishers dealership located in Fishers, Indiana misdiagnosed the cause of failure and installed the part as the cure when in reality it could not have caused the problem.

The DRLs, or daytime running lights on an '02 Saturn L300 came on in the middle of the night on several occasions, There was no key in the ignition! I had known for some time that the BCM, Body Control Module was bad. It was diagnosed as the cause of the odometer failure. It read 690K miles. I opted not to have that repaired at that tim. Saturn has had recalls on a lot of items and to save $410 I was willing to wait to see if their was a campaign that extended warrant. As far as I'm concerned the odometer should be under
warranty coverage to 80K miles. Saturn and GM do not agree. So be it.

More than once the DRL,s Daytime Running Lights, came on in the wee hours of the morning with no one in the car or the key in the ignition. Several of my old buddies at Delphi and one an employee of Motorola told me this problem was caused by the BCM.

I knew the BCM was defective anyway and made an appointment to have it replaced. By this time the DRL's were on constantly. To avoid a run down battery I pulled the headlamp fuses. I told the service rep that I had been told it was caused by the BCM.

After a short wait the service rep told me the cause of the DRL's coming on was the Multifunction Lever Switch locate on the steering column and it and the DRL's on was not related to the BCM. I needed it fixed so said okay.

I have since learned that a defective BCM is the only part in that system that could cause the DRL's to come on in the middle of the night.

I have been ripped off and Saturn of Fishers, a Division of Lackhart Corporation, or Saturn Customer ASSistance Center will seek an opinion from Saturn Service Engineering as to whether this part can cause the problem. The BCM was replaced at the same time and it did effect the cure of the problem.

I can promise this, I will badmouth Saturn, GM, and especially Saturn of Fishers until the day I die or they do, whichever comes first!

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Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-08-31:
If you were certain the BCM was the culprit, why let them replace the multifunction lever? If you were wrong and the lever really was bad, they could always replace it later - if you were right and the problem was only in the BCM, then you saved the cost of the lever. You let them replace them both at the same time, so you can't really say for certain that the new BCM fixed the problem. It might have been the lever.
Posted by irate1 on 2006-08-31:
I was not certain at that time. Read the post! I respected the service techs analysis and only later did I verify for sure that this switch could not have caused the problem.

Posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-31:
One thing is for sure, it is unlikley that both parts were the cause for the single failure. What was the response from Saturn tech?????
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-09-01:
I did read it....you said "....I had known for some time that the BCM, Body Control Module was bad.....I knew the BCM was defective.....I told the service rep that I had been told it was caused by the BCM....." but you let them talk you into the multifunction lever anyway. Now it's hard to tell for certain which part fixed the problem. If Saturn's engineering department comes back and says the lever replacement was unneccessary and the dealer refuses to work with you then you have a complaint. As it is right now, you took it in for repair and they repaired it.
Posted by irate1 on 2006-09-01:
Have you ever been admitted to a service bay in a dealership? All I had to go by was what they told me. My mistake was believing their service tech knew what he was doing. Yes, if a service engineer would state that the lever switch could not turn on the DRL's they probably would refund the overcharge. There is no way in Hell that I can get them to make inquiry and they, as the post states, present a stonewall to me making inquiries. They will only respect Saturn service engineering. The only contacts I have are with vendors to Saturn. I might add that I will not jeopardize their positions by using their names. The repercussions to them might be severe.
Posted by Noneill on 2006-09-01:
Your critcism seems harsh. Mechanical diagnosis mistakes happen often, but you assume they did this intentionally? Service Techs are human. I have the same car and so far so good, no problems.
Posted by irate1 on 2006-09-01:
Mr Oniell, My comments are harsh with reason. There is no interest in investigation of my complaint. They are stonewalling and hopefully you will never have that experience. I can accept a misdiagnosis. The service ticket was worded that it was not related to the BCM. It was. I can tell you a few things about the DRL System on your car. The DRL's will turn on with that switch completely removed from the car in daylight with the ignition key in the RUN position. The Lever Switch supplies inputs to the BCM none of which will turn the DRLs on. Actually any conceivable short in that switch will either have no affect or will cause the DRLs to turn off. The techs lack of knowledge of the system and unscientific approach to problem solving is apparent. The old axiom, "Repair is affected when trials exceed errors by one" requires that you verify at each step whether the problem was caused by a specific item. This could not have been done in this case and should have.

Posted by lepearso on 2006-09-07:
A different kind of company...a different kind or car...IN A BAD SORT OF WAY!!!
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Saturn Relay- 11.8 MPG City
Posted by EMA on 05/31/2005
LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA -- Recently purchased a 2005 Relay. With such high gas prices, I was looking for a vehicle that would seat at least 6 and would get significantly better gas mileage than my SUV. Was told that the 18 average MPG City on the sticker(with a range of 15-21)was reliable. Got app. 12.6 MPG on first tank. The vehicle had previously been driven over 2500 miles. Based on my complaint, Saturn of Lafayette, Louisiana swapped the first Relay for a second. So far, on two tanks of gas, I've gotten 11.9 and 11.8 MPG in the city. I traded in a Yukon that I was VERY happy with on the adamant statement from the salesman that I could expect much better fuel economy from the Relay as compared to the Yukon's 11 MPG I was getting in the city. Wow, I am now driving a vehicle that is far inferior to a Yukon and I'm getting a whopping .8-.9 MPG more. Saturn of Lafayette and the Saturn corporation are both aware of the problem but state that since they aren't responsible for what is stated on the sticker, there is nothing they can do for me. Buyer beware of Saturn. If their vehicle does not perform as expected, they may not take responsibility for the failure.
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Posted by Sparticus on 2005-05-31:
It is hard to trust the manufacturer's mileage estimation these days. I read the Toyota Prius gas mileage was estimated at 55-60 mpg. The reality (from the article I read) was more like 40-45. A huge difference. My brother recently puchased a diesal Volkswagon Passat. It was stickered to do 35-38 mpg, but he is getting 40+ mpg! So there are some honest manufacturers out there.
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Sold wrecked car as new
Posted by Charlesinbigd on 03/15/2005
PLANO, TEXAS -- In May 2000 my wife and I bought a 2000 LS from Saturn of Plano in Plano TX. This is the third Saturn I bought from them.
The LS was a demonstrator with 4,000 miles on it but they said they would treat it as a new auto. At the time we purchased the car we found that the rear bumper was damaged on it so they replaced this before we receive the car. Shortly after we receive it I noticed that the car had a bad vibration when it reached 70MPH. I took it back and they replaced all the tires on the car. But it still had the same vibration and it started to make a strange noise when the car was turned. So I took it in again and they found that a part on the front suspension was broken they also found that the coolant reservoir was cracked. After they replaced this it fixed the problem with the vibration and noise. Next I noticed that the car was making a funny sound when it was idling. I looked under the car and noticed that the muffler was not mounted on the rear of the vehicle as it should have. When I took it back to get it fixed they said that it would cost over $700 to fix it. As I explained to them that this must have been damaged before we bought the car for the following reasons.
A. damaged rear bumper.
B. Front suspension was damaged.
C. Coolant reservoir broken.
All of these occurred before we bought the car and was fixed by the dealership. They said that we must have done it by backing into something (as was done to damage the rear bumper before we got the car) and that they would have noticed it when they worked on the other problems.
I contacted Saturn Customer Assistance Center and stated that they could not do anything because they did not own this dealership and the dealership would not fix this problem unless I paid for it.
I sold the car because I could not trust it as it must have been in a accident before I bought it.
I just want to warn people about this dealership.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2005-03-15:
You may be correct, most states require full disclosure of any vehicle being sold as new of any damage over X # of dollars but I am unsure about Texas.
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1997 & 99 SL SERIES
Posted by Jawjaw on 02/12/2005
FLORIDA -- Before I married my wife her sister owned the 97 SL. Every other time she took it to Saturn for an oil change they would write up motor mounts on the service invoice. I'm a mechanic by trade. The motor mounts going out every 6000 miles sounded fishy, especialy since my wife now owns this lovely piece of $*@#. (She owned it before we met.) I looked at the mounts and they were fine even after another 30,000 miles on the car since the last mount change. Now the sister owns a 99. Oil change time, well it is cheeper at Saturn. But the things they will tell you. You guessed it, motor mounts again. They called me about this new problem, so I had them come by the shop. No abnormal movement of the engine, nothing visualy was incorrect, didn't shake going down the road. If you are told you have this problem go and get a second opinion from someone you trust.
Now back to the 97. Oil is escaping the engine, but where? My .wife complained that her oil light was on only after getting the oil changed at Saturn two weeks earlier. I was fumed. So I carefully inspected the engine. No oil leaks any where. But where is it going, its not burning it or is it? I found that another shop had done 6 of these 97 heads in the past month. Its not a quick and easy job. The head alone is about $850. The head gets a small hair line crack on the inside, it goes through to the outside to let oil burn off, just not egnough to see. Saturn has not re-called this part. The 97 only has 65,000 miles on it. It hasnt been hotrodded. There is no logical awnser to this except for a manufacturer defect. Guess the styrofoam they use to cast the parts needs to be changed. Saturns suck! Everyone who ever bought a Saturn new or used should get together and over throw the company and get back our money. Of course at the price when it was still on the lot.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2005-02-13:
You married a woman who owned a Saturn and you are a mechanic, Hmmm Love does some strange things!LOL. Seriously though Saturn's are notorius for several weak powertrain items, engine blocks, engine heads, timing chains, and automatic transsmissions. If memory serves me correctly there were several TSB's on the cylinder heads, best bet replace the car with something more reliable, being a mechanic you should already know what they are. Good Luck.
Posted by punkin535 on 2005-05-04:
if you are a mechanic by trade why did you just change the oil, that makes more sence than for you to pay extra for labor when you could do it for free
Posted by bobbylynn79 on 2005-06-01:
My 98 Saturn SL2 did the same thing.
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Will not honor warranty
Posted by Mother in distress on 07/27/2009
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA -- My son had our local Saturn dealer install Saturn Performance Tune part #1921260 on a 2008 Sky Redline. Two days later the engine blew. The engine block and heads are cracked along with the turbo and water pump. Saturn will not honor new car warranty or warranty on the tune install. Once repair work started to reach $10,000 they shifted their focus to finding something/anything that may have voided the warranty. Looking for help from anyone, because what they are doing is wrong!

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Posted by madconsumer on 2009-07-27:
what did they say casued the engine to crack? oil, water, or exsessive high rpm's?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-28:
For that much money, you might think about finding a lawyer.
Posted by Eloise on 2009-07-28:
$10,000? I bet the car isn't worth much more than that. What did the warranty cover? What was the reason Saturn gave for the denial? Without more information, it's impossible to see who is right and wrong.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-28:
Considering that GM retails the part for $650 I wonder what else they found to amount to $10,000. Get the car to a reliable mechanic familiar with the Saturn line. You need to know exactly what caused the damage.
Posted by helpfullhand on 2009-08-20:
i agree with eloise, we need more information to determine if the repair should be covered by warranty.
Posted by DigitalCommando on 2009-08-20:
PB, where did you find the part?. I looked on several saturn parts website's and found nothing. A google of the part number only references this M3C post.
Posted by tigroscr on 2009-08-29:
I have heard about this car and as I understand it your son adjusted the wastegate valve on the turbo. 1st as soon as he adjusted that, the engine warranty is void, 2nd his adjustment was such that the excess boost had nowhere to go, so all the boost built up in the engine itself which then caused the crack in the block and then pushing out the water pump o-ring seal. So with all that information I see it as your son was the cause of the failure NOT GM. Thank you
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HERE'S A DOLLAR'S WORTH: Fraudulent Repair of 2002 Saturn L300 by Saturn of Mesquite Dealership
Posted by SWJB on 10/06/2007
MESQUITE, TEXAS (NORTH DALLAS AREA), TEXAS -- Saturn of Mesquite (Texas)
Service Advisor: Michael Deegear
(Initially by someone else - a slender, dark haired male)
Vehicle: 2002 Saturn L300
Date/Time In: 10/01/07 9:56
Date/Time Out: 10/03/07 16:54

My car would not start, so I charged the battery over night, then drove the car into the service department the following morning, 10/01/07.

Upon arrival, a service advisor (a slender, dark haired male whose name is not listed on the invoice) looked at the car’s dashboard and filled out a form stating that the dash’s “security” light is lit and that both the battery and alternator need to be tested.

Minutes later, I watched as a mechanic (male with long blonde hair) plugged an electronic hand-held diagnostic unit into the vehicle beneath the steering wheel. When finished, he walked over to me and stated that he received three trouble codes from the car relating to the car’s power.

Several minutes later, after the mechanic tested the alternator, the “unnamed” service advisor informed me that that both the alternator and battery were defective and needed to be replaced.

Around 3:00 PM the same day, I received a phone call from a male service advisor (not sure whom) and was told he just received the alternator from Hurst and that the repairs would not be completed until the following morning.

The next morning, 10/02/07, I received another call from a male service advisor (not sure whom) and was told he had “some bad news.” Both the alternator and battery were replaced, but now “all the lights on the dashboard are going crazy” and that the “BCM” needs to be replaced.

The next day, afternoon of 10/03/07, when I arrived to pick up the car, I spoke with two service advisors, Mike Deergear (who acted as a member of management) and the initial “unnamed” service advisor.

I asked them why I was not informed on 10/01, when I first brought in the car, that the BCM was defective. Mike said that they didn’t know it was “fried” until both the alternator and battery were both replaced and that the mechanic had not received a trouble code using the diagnostic unit until after the initial repairs.

These assertions are absurd, because on 10/01, I was informed three trouble codes had been received, but nothing about a “BCM” was mentioned.

Next, I asked both advisors what a BCM does. They said it controls many of the electronic functions of the car such as the horn, headlights, and dashboard warning lights.

This too indicates foul play, because when I initially drove in the car on 10/01, all aforementioned functions were operating as normal. The only thing odd with the car’s electronics, was that the “security” dashboard light was constantly lit. I informed the advisors that this light has been on for about the last six months and that other service advisors and mechanics have commented on it, but never diagnosed why it was so (except for tires, all maintenance and repairs have been performed at Saturn of Mesquite).

Also, in a dishonest attempt to explain why all of a sudden the BCM was found to be defective a day after the car was dropped off; Mike said the diagnostic device was not used on the car until the next day. When I reminded him I personally observed it being used and discussed it’s results with the mechanic on the morning I brought the car in, he recanted his claim.

Next, he told me that I had “fried” the BCM myself by charging the battery overnight and that the battery was literally smoking when the car was brought in.

Both of these claims are blatantly false. When I brought the car in, none of the symptoms of a bad BCM were evident to either me or the unnamed advisor (erratic headlights, horn, etc). In addition, the battery never “smoked.” I even asked the unnamed advisor right then and there if he witnessed any smoke and he honestly replied, “no.”

My wife and I believe one of two fraudulent acts took place: Either the BCM was never defective or the BCM was damaged while in Saturn of Mesquite’s custody.
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Posted by steve101 on 2007-10-06:
This is a 5 yr old car with an obvious electrical problem that wasn't diagnosed for a month prior to your battery and alternator failure.
Posted by Aerocave on 2007-10-06:
I side with Steve...and have to add that electrical problems are sometimes difficult to diagnose. Also, the BCM can just "go" without warning. In this case, the battery, alternator, and BCM were not probably connected, they just failed about the same time. BCM= Body Control Module.
Posted by WhineX on 2007-10-06:
A five year old battery is a great candidate for failure. Either it was bad or the alternator wasn't charging, or both. And the Security light going on and staying on indicates there was trouble somewhere else--like the BCM. A service dept. with a little more on the ball could have finished this job sooner, but the diagnosis doesn't sound out of line. If there's a next time, try Autozone. They diagnose charging systems for free.
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Best service in the lifetime of all my Saturns!
Posted by AnnaBee on 03/31/2010
Saturn of Mesquite, and everyone who works there go out of their way to make sure that everything is done correctly. They strive to be the very best and to treat all fairly. I would not want to deal with anyplace other than Saturn.
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