• Report:  #90340

Complaint Review: Saturn Of Warwick - Herb Chambers - Warwick Rhode Island

Reported By:
- warwick, Rhode Island,

Saturn Of Warwick - Herb Chambers
Bald Hill Road Warwick, 02886 Rhode Island, U.S.A.
Tell us has your experience with this business or person been good? What's this?
My 2001 Saturn L200 with 42,000 miles wouldn't start the other night after driving just fine. No warning lights, no funny sounds - NOTHING. Called AAA and had it towed to Saturn. Saturn called later to say my car was out of oil and the engine seized. They said it was because I hadn't changed my oil since 32,000 miles. I explained that I checked my oil only 2 weeks ago and it was fine. They are firm that this is all my fault and that I failed to properly maintain my car. They said they could put a used engine in for $2200.

I called Saturn headquarters and they also say they take no responsibility for this engine failure. I stated the car must have been defective since the oil light didn't come on nor did the check engine light. They said it's like someone jogging down the road who has a heart attack & dies - it happens. And said I should have bought the extended warranty. I called around to get a better price on an engine and was told by two mechanics so far that the reason Saturn is giving me is absurd. No engine should fail without warning if the oil was changed at 32,000 miles and it's now at 42,000 miles. The manager was very rude as was the headquarters case manager. Said smugly 'you should have maintained your vehicle properly'.

Now saturn has reduced the price to $1700 for the replacement - I think they don't want me taking it to another mechanic because I will have firm proof that it was a defective engine, not my FAULT. I will never buy another Saturn and cannot wait to unload this one down the road. I thought Saturn was a reputable company but now that I have done research, I see this has happened to many people. And Saturn does not stand by their product. Basically you can spend $20,000 for a car and it will last you 3 years.


warwick, Rhode Island

3 Updates & Rebuttals


Saturn Engines...starve for oil

#2Consumer Suggestion

Sun, June 27, 2004

I just want to say that I have seen this before. If someone is not familiar with Saturn vehicle, they also do not realize how important maintenance is. We have customers who have 200K+ miles on their Saturns and we see them regularly for maintenance mostly. We also have many customers still driving Saturns from 91, 92, 93, etc. Saturn's engines have a timing chain. It is imperative that oil changes are done at the proper interval to PREVENT this type of damage (which is why it's called PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE). I tell customers to make sure they are doing this whether they are coming back to the dealer or elsewhere. A $30 oil change is like a small insurance policy. 10k miles is way too long to wait for an oil change--I wonder how much longer you would have went on that oil change if the car did not die first... The chain needs proper lubrication. When the oil is not changed, it will become thick like tar or sludge. This can cause the timing chain tensioners to stick or break. When this happens, the engine may jump time and cause extensive damage. Just checking the oil level will not prevent this. Just because the oil is full does not mean the oil is still good. It also does not show that the oil filter (if old and not changed) may be plugged not letting oil get through, hence causing the engine to starve for oil. 9 times out of 10 lack of maintenance is the issue. I am wondering if Jo at least has documentation or receipts for oil and filters--that may help your case a little I think. One other thing--the engine light is mainly emissions related.


North Carolina,
I had the exact same issue with my Saturn

#3Consumer Comment

Tue, May 18, 2004

I bought a brand new saturn in 1996, got it serviced at saturn and tire king every 3 - 5k miles. At 45,000 miles with no warning while driving to work the engine ceased. Of course just outside the warranty and saturn were unwilling to stand by their product. So I fixed it, got a replacement engine from saturn with 17k miles. Exactly two years later and only 15k miles on the replacement engine, the exact same thing happens, driving to work and the engine ceases, told by saturn that it needs a new engine. Not only that, a saturn employee called me at home to ask if I am willing to sell the car to him personally so he could fix it up and pass it on to ?. I have all the service records and it was done by reputable mechanics, if you can call saturn that. I am happy to say that I am actively dissuading people from buying a saturn and have successfully done that in a few cases. Hey, you got to start somewhere. In summary a saturn with two engines at 61k miles, and awaiting a third.


San Antonio,
No Responsibility? Something not quite right with this complaint.

#4Consumer Comment

Wed, May 05, 2004

Most people change their oil at 3000 mi or 5000 mi or at the most 7500 mi in rare cases. 10,000 miles is really stretching it. Just checking your oil doesn't do anything for the engine. Why do you think they call them idiot lights? Also, did you purchase the vehicle from Herb Chambers or is he just the one who is giving you the bad news? It sounds like your problem is with Saturn. I wonder how many times you changed the oil, once every 32,000 miles or more often or did you just check it. There is no excuse for rudeness though. The little engines they are putting in the new cars are nowhere near as rugged as the older ones and you can't get away with skipping on the maintaince the way you use to, they run much faster and hotter. Good luck.

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