's Forum Archives - Non-Cycling Discussions

Archive Home >> Non-Cycling Discussions(1 2 3 4 )

Ugh! I just bought a first year model car w/out realizing(29 posts)

Ugh! I just bought a first year model car w/out realizingKristin
Jun 17, 2002 5:57 AM
On Friday I purchased a 2000 Saturn LS1 which I like very much. I only did some quick preliminary research beforehand (my biggest mistake) and it all seemed typical for Saturn. So I bought it. As I did a little more research this weekend, I discovered that this car is a first model year make. ARRRGGGHHH!!!! More research: 6 Saftey recalls, 3 Campaign's (including some engine replacements) and 146 bullitins.

Well, Saturn gives you a 3 day grace period. I have until 6pm to change my mind. I like the LS1 LOADS more than I will the smaller SL2...but I know that I need to be wise right now.

Please...encourage me to be wise. (Really I want someone to tell me to keep the car I like better...but I doubt that this is practicle or financially viable.)
buy a Jettagregario
Jun 17, 2002 6:15 AM
I'd probably be driving a Jetta if I didn't have a dang minivan to drive our tandem around when necessary (Don't like the idea of putting a $4,000 bike on top of a car in any weather). They're a blast to drive, have gotten good reviews and are comfortable.
Almost bought a JettaKristin
Jun 17, 2002 10:32 AM
I LOVED the Jetta. But a number of friends have owned them and have had high cost mechanical failures over 50K. Perhaps its just coincidence, but it was enough to steer me clear of them. LOL - Though, the Consumer Reports gives the Jetta higher marks than the LS1. Oh well.
Good choicePaulCL
Jun 17, 2002 11:35 AM
My assistant owned a Jetta for three years. Three horrible years. Thank goodness for a good warranty. The dealership spent over $12,000 repair that lemon. Everything went wrong with it.

When I purchased a car recently (March), I really looked at the Passat. My assistant's experience with a VW scared me away. I bought the Rolls Royce instead. ;)
another KY Jetta lemonlonefrontranger
Jun 17, 2002 12:06 PM
My buddy the shop owner in Newport bought a 2000 Jetta brand new. To date he's made a half-dozen MAJOR costly repairs. Fortunately all were covered by warranty. After the transmission failed on him at > 20K, I'd have returned it to the dealership as a lemon. This car left him stranded twice before it was a year old. When he drove it out to Colorado last year, an electrical fault developed which caused all the power door locks and windows to fail, and one window just happened to be open when the failure occurred. This is just inexcusable IMO.

Everyone I've ever known who's owned a VW has had endless trouble with them. I can't understand the loyalty of VW owners: a housemate of mine actually owned 3 VW Rabbits: 2 for parts, one to drive!
Former Jetta Owner...biknben
Jun 19, 2002 9:57 AM
You can always find someone who has had problems with ANY car. Not every car is perfect even if reviews are positive.

I had a '95 Jetta GLX. It was the first model year they made cars in Mexico. '95 was notorious for poor quality controls out of the new Mexico plant.

I traded in that Jetta a few months ago. It had 195k miles on it and was a champ. I was saddened to let go of the keys. I now own an '02 golf diesel.

VW - Cars with character!!!
Couple of Questions.Len J
Jun 17, 2002 6:16 AM
1.) Do you like the car?
2.) Is it worth the hassle of taking it back for mods?
3.) Are any of the issues serious enough to need to take back between normal maintenance? At your milage, you'll be taking it back about every 2 months (7,500 miles) anyway.
4.) Can you find out how many of the recall/campaign's/bulletins have been taken care of prior to your cars assembly?
5.) Is the rate of problems slowing?
6.) What's your gut say?

Answer the questions & you'll know what to do. Trust yourself.


Good Luck
re: Ugh! I just bought a first year model car w/out realizingPaulCL
Jun 17, 2002 6:20 AM
Let's love the car. If you return it - a major pain - you will have to go shopping for another car.

Do you have a warranty?? I know about the return time, but how about a bumper to bumper warranty?? If you don't, can you purchase an add-on warranty?? Talk to the dealership and your insurance company. As a model year 2000, did you see the history of this particular car?? Why did the previous owner sell it??

Just becuase there were some problems during that model year, doesn't mean you will have problems. Every car (Yugo to Mercedes) has quirks and problems. I drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee (I know, an SUV, BOO - HISS) for eight years with little to no problems. OK, the transmission died 6 months after I bought it, but the warranty covered it. During my ownership, I received at least 6 or 8 notices of recalls, campaigns, etc but I never had any problems.

Saturn has a great rep for customer service and sells a quality product. If you have a warranty, you are probably OK. (Is that what you wanted to hear??)
Is that so bad?mr_spin
Jun 17, 2002 6:44 AM
Have you checked the SL2? Maybe it has the same number of recalls, campaigns and bullitins. Or any of the other cars you've looked at. Maybe those numbers are par for the course, and it's no big deal.
Well, you wouldn't listen....cory
Jun 17, 2002 6:51 AM
Didn't you post a couple of weeks ago asking for advice? Get a Honda, I said, but nooooo....
Actually Saturns have been pretty good, and I doubt you'll have an unusual number of problems. Buyer's remorse is normal in a big purchase, and you were uncertain before you started. At some point, though, even for a big expenditure like a car, you just have to do it and move on with your life.
I told you why I didn't want a Honda right??Kristin
Jun 17, 2002 7:14 AM
I'm sorry if I didn't post this before. I looked closely at Honda and agree that they are supurb!!! I hated the Civic though. Hated everything about it. And I couldn't find an Accord in my price range that fit my criteria. Considering that I drive 21,000 miles a year I felt that I needed to buy a car with very low miles.

Perhaps, if life goes well, I'll be able to afford a new Accord, used Avalon or L300 next time. Then again...why not go for a slightly used low end BMW at that point?

Cory, thanks for your posts. I know that you know a ton about cars and I appreciate your input hugely.
Jun 17, 2002 8:05 AM
I would guess that the warranty for a 2000 should be transferable and if you got the car from a dealer then it should be one of the "certified pre-owned (don't know the GM designation)" deals. No car is perfect for recalls, etc. Though its probably true that first year cars are more prone to bugs the vast majority tend to be pretty good by the time they get to the show room floor.
No brand is immune by the way. I had 98 bimmer, bought new, in the 3rd year of US production and 6th year of international production and I still had recalls (2) in the 3.5 years I owned it. The 01 I have now, is the first year of production for the model and I have not had any recalls as of yet (though it does have some bugs - which have not been addressed for 02 either).
Also, on buying a used "low end" BMW in the future - don't. While certified pre-owned program covers the big stuff (like your engine blowing up or transition dropping out) the first time you get the privilege of replacing a $1200 muffler or paying $300 per axle for a brake job it becomes very unattractive. The thing that constantly throws me is that people who pay $30k for a Maxima (i.e. my parents) keep saying they can't afford a bimmer or a benz????? Dah, you can get a 330i or a C class for about the same money (and a better lease rate becuase of the higher residuals on these cars)......
Sorry to jump in on this...empacher6seat
Jun 17, 2002 9:19 PM
it's probably not my place, but...

I've gotta agree that you should've gotten a Honda. Even if it's got a few more miles on it, you can run those babies for years and really rack up the milage and most of them will have no problems at all.
I've got around 240,000 km on my '86 student-mobile accord, and it's still going strong!
(Just a side note, anyone with a mid 80's Accord have to replace their CV joints every... 6 months or so??)

If you like the Saturn, and you've got the warrenty, keep it! I only know a few saturn owners, but they all love the cars.
I'll keep that in mind during my next purchase. Thx. (nm)Kristin
Jun 18, 2002 6:11 AM
re: Ugh! I just bought a first year model car w/out realizingDINOSAUR
Jun 17, 2002 8:12 AM
This won't be much help, but I always steer away from first year model cars as all the bugs haven't been worked out. What year is it, how many miles, does it have any type of warranty? We are looking for a good used car for my teenage daughter and we narrowed it down to Honda's (which you don't like) or Toyotas. Don't know much about Saturns, although my oldest son and his wife own one and they purhased a VW Golf last year. All the car mag's like the Jetta's. Although I think one important factor about purchasing a car is where you choose to have it serviced, the VW dealer where I live is also the GM dealer and they suck...Like I said this won't be much help but you said you liked LS1 LOADS better than the might have answered your own questions....
Get rid of it....muncher
Jun 17, 2002 9:39 AM
Don't know the car, but I do know there are plenty of them out there that are nice, fun etc etc, and don't have the issues. It's only a car not a personality defining device -it's a thing that you don't need hassle with.

My 2p. Having said all that, if it was mine, I'd probably end up keeping it on the grounds that I have it now, and dealing with car retail is a bore. Smart monies on a chance though I'd say.

Good luck either way.
Wow...You said what I wanted to hear! :-)Kristin
Jun 17, 2002 10:17 AM
I appreciate all the posts. I spent several agonizing hours between yesterday night and today, wringing my hands over a possible poor choice. I seem to be a magnate for all things mechanically malfunctioning. I've owned several cars that have been nothing but headaches.

I decided to keep the LS1. Here's why:

1. I like it

2. I called another Saturn service shop and asked the mechanics which car is the better purchase, the 2002 SL2 or the 2000 LS1. "Either," They all reply.

3. I have the entire history of the car in front of me. In 12K only 5 non-scheduled repairs were made, and all but one of those were done during scheduled maintenance trips. These are all things that I've read about already: Steering wheel vib, touchy brakes, etc...

4. I read ALL of the 146 bullitins. Many are repetative. Only a handful are real concerns. Most fall under the category of noisy or cosmetic. I'm not picky about that stuff.

5. Paid $13835 for a certified car with 75,000 mile bumper to bumper warrenty included in sale.

6. I like the sales guys...don't want to tick them off.

7. Your wonderful posts! Thanks.

Really, thanks for being so nice as I externally process my buyers remorse. I don't know if you remember how bad it was over the bike (still have it a little). Well, multipy that by 7!!! But I'm making a conscious decision, as of this moment, to not look back. Meet my new car! Now, she only wants a suitable name.
Congrats, How do you know its a she? NMLen J
Jun 17, 2002 11:03 AM
All cars are she'sPaulCL
Jun 17, 2002 11:39 AM
As are all boats.

I've named all of my cars the same thing: "Dammit!"

As in "Dammit, just start!" or "Dammit, accellerate for a change"
It has to be a she...otherwise Bernardo would be jealous.Kristin
Jun 17, 2002 1:55 PM
And I think Bernardo will like this car (read: vacation home) much better. I will no longer have to pop off the front wheel and crame him painfully in the back seat. No more grease on my back seat! No more chipped paint!! There is plenty of room for him in the trunk and fold down back seat (A feature I forgot to check for when I bought the Buick.)
Jun 17, 2002 1:17 PM
But I don't see a bike stuffed in the back seat. Did you check to see if Bernardo fit?
Jun 17, 2002 1:44 PM

KOKOLA African god supposed to keep watch over precious items and valued possessions.
OGUN god of iron and warfare.
SHANGO god of storms, thunder, and lightning


CERNUNNOS god of fertility, sexual love, the wilderness and wild animals.
EPONA goddess and the patron deity of horses.


AMATERASU goddess of the rising sun
BENZAITEN goddess of love and happiness
SUSANO Japanese prankster god


BELLONA goddess of war
FERONIA goddess of spring flowers
JANUS god of beginnings
JUNO queen of the heavens and of the gods
MINERVA goddess of war
SATURN Granddaddy of the gods, giver of plenitude, and a god that knew how to have a good time

ERZULIE the agile and elegant goddess of sex and love

AMENTI goddess of the land of the west
HATHOR goddess of love and guardian of women
IMHOTEP "He who comes in peace"
ISIS supreme goddess-the greatest of all Egyptian deities
RENPET goddess of youth

SATisfied? :)
Wow...You said what I wanted to hear! :-)Ironbutt
Jun 18, 2002 2:08 PM

I well may be a day late and a dollar short, but here are my two cent's worth: In my part of the world, (sunny south Florida) all of the Saturn models have an enviable reputation for reliability. Not to mention, nearly arctic air conditioning. If you like the car, you should be happy to have it. It sounds like you got a pretty good deal on it, and it should serve you well.

For everyone's information, cars, boats, and most everything mechanical is given a feminine name. Partly because of our (using the term inclusively) male fixation on things mechanical, and partly because like a sailboat, the rigging costs more than the hull.
Try this Kristin - If It's not too latejose_Tex_mex
Jun 17, 2002 2:46 PM
I would take the car back and air your concerns - even if you have decided to keep it. See if you can get them to knock a few bucks off of the price. I cannot see how they would take the car back without trying to convince you other wise.
Just go in and tell them you want to return it. Let them make the first move. Heck, maybe you could negotiate a new cd player, oil changes...
Have you ever been to a Saturn dealership???Kristin
Jun 18, 2002 6:16 AM
LOL. There is no negotiating at Saturn...well, mostly not. I found that if you look like your gonna cry (and your a girl) about the payment, they may fudge around with your trade-in price. But otherwise, their selling prices are determined by a computer and they don't negotiate. In any regard, I wouldn't try to get them to come down on the price. I like the sales guys, they spent many hours with me, have called to follow up with me twice and I received a more than fair price for this car. I'm satisfied, and have settled into the car now.
Everything Is Negotiablejose_Tex_mex
Jun 18, 2002 11:35 AM
I honestly forgot about their no haggle policy - no I have never dealt with them. However, isn't that policy for new cars? I doubt if the computer can be that perfect in pricing used cars.

The worst thing a car manufacturer can do is have a car on the lot. If you ever buy a brand new car check out "dealer holdback." EG for a new car, GM would give Saturn a few bucks $500 - $1000 as a sort of loan while the car sits on the lot. The faster they sell the car the more this money goes to profit.

As for salesmen, I tend to look at them all as one breed. Anytime I buy a car I am amazed at the tricks they try to pull. It takes a math major just to call them on their bull.

If they gave you a good deal and you are happy then that's that. However, again - everything is negotiable.
sounds like ...tarwheel
Jun 19, 2002 4:25 AM
buyer's remorse. Very common with any new purchase, particularly more expensive ones. Keep the Saturn. I'm sure it will be a fine car and they are known for providing good service. FWIW, I have owned 3 Hondas. The last one was a lemon and I will probably never own another. It was an Accord wagon and we kept it well maintained. At about 60,000 miles a seal blew in the engine and all the oil ran out. Fortunately it was close to home and my wife didn't drive it very far, so it didn't ruin the engine but it cost about $1,000 to fix. Six month later, an engine mount broke and it started leaking oil. That was gonna cost another $800 until I blew my top with the service manager and the Honda dealer agreed to provide the parts if I paid the labor. I sold the car shortly thereafter. Finally, the car was just not comfortable. It was so low to the ground (a common Honda trait) that it was hard to climb into and would scrape the road when riding over bumps. The seats were so hard it was uncomfortable on long trips. Ironically, we replaced the Honda with a generic Ford Taurus that we bought nearly new for about $2,000 more than we sold the 5-year old Honda for. It came with a 5-year, 60,000 extended warranty. Three years and 45,000 miles later and we have not had a single problem with the Taurus. Guess who won't be buying any more Hondas. BTW, my first two Hondas were Civics. The first one blew a cylinder at only 60K miles. Should have learned then.
Volkswagon, etc...funknuggets
Jun 19, 2002 8:49 AM
I have to disagree with the aforementioned rants on VWs. I got rid of my 93 BMW 325i and bought a 1999 Passat, which has performed flawlessly (knock on the faux wood). I have, however been forced to change two lightbulbs and the cupholders SUCK.
I'm glad to hear it.Kristin
Jun 19, 2002 10:18 AM
My uncle just traded his 92 Accord for a new Passat. I hope it goes well for him. I wonder if its just the Jetta's? Everyone I know has had a Jetta. I know one person who drives only Golfs. She has never had problems and is a repeat return customer.