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Owning a car can be an expensive endeavor, even after the initial purchase is made. Regular maintenance and repairs are necessary to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely and to help it retain its value over time. The cost of these services can vary greatly depending on the make and model of the car, so it’s essential to research the estimated maintenance costs before making a purchase.

Purchasing a Saturn is relatively inexpensive compared to other vehicles on the used car market. While the initial purchase price of a used Saturn may be relatively low, the long-term cost of ownership can quickly add up due to regular maintenance and repair costs. In this article, we’ll explore the typical maintenance costs associated with owning a Saturn and which model will cost you the least and the most in maintenance costs.

Annual repair cost for a Saturn model

Saturn began producing vehicles in 1985 and continued for several years. In October 2009, GM stopped making its Saturn brand due to a broken agreement with the Penske Automotive Group. However, there are still a few left in the used car market.

According to RepairPal, the average annual repair cost for a Saturn is $553. Repair costs such as the cost to replace wear and tear, preventive maintenance, and labor costs. Some things that can affect this number are the age of the vehicle, mileage, and if preventative maintenance has been done regularly for any particular vehicle. 

One model that stood out among Saturns as the most expensive in terms of overall maintenance cost is the Saturn Outlook. 

Annual maintenance cost of the Saturn Outlook

A white 2007 Saturn Outlook full-size SUV model test-driven in Birmingham, Alabama
2007 Saturn Outlook | Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The average annual repair cost for the Saturn Outlook is $703. Some of the most common complaints among Outlook owners have been a transmission fault and/or check engine light with codes P0716, P0776, P0717, P0777, P2714, P2715, and/or P02723. To correct this problem, the removal and disassembly of the transmission will be required to replace broken components.

Another common problem among Outlook owners is the check engine light with codes P0011, P0014, P0021, P0024, P0341, P0346, P0336, and/or P0391. RepairPal suggests that a powertrain control module, or PCM, software update can sometimes correct these codes. However, some vehicles may have excess camshaft end play on one or both cylinder heads. If this is the case, it will need to be corrected using special procedures outlined by GM.

Neither one of these will be a cheap endeavor, which explains the increased repair cost average.

The Saturn model with the least expensive maintenance cost

Manufactured from 1993 to 1999, the Saturn SW1 was a short-lived model. According to RepairPal, this model has the least expensive yearly maintenance cost at $256. Some of the most common problems reported are that the front brake rotor wear can cause pulsations, and the rubber transmission cooler lines can leak fluid. The most common fix for the brakes is to replace the pads and rotors. As for the cooler lines, in some cases, the rubber section of the hose can be replaced. In others, the entire cooler line must be replaced.

Because these are relatively minor problems compared to the Outlook’s transmission and engine issues, the annual repair cost decreases significantly.

Although you can no longer buy a brand-new Saturn, some are still on the used car market. As with any used car, the wise consumer will check for common issues with the particular model they have and look for signs of those issues when inspecting the vehicle. 

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