Question about Saturn L300

1 Answer

I have a 2002 L300 Saturn w/ a 3.0 L V6 engine. Had a major engine failure without warning going down the interstate. There was the sound of a vibration under the hood. The engine died within 30 sec to a minute of this sound. I coasted the car to the emergency lane. The car has 123,000 miles on it. The timing belt (chain) had never been replaced. The car ran good, so I didn't see the need to have that $750 to $900 job done as recommended by the Saturn dealer when my odometer turned 100,000 miles. Well, according to the GM dealership that I had the car towed to, it was the timing belt and it had apparently (according to the mechanic) did unrepairable damage to the engine (just in 30 sec. to a minute as described above). The service rep said that the way this particular engine is designed the key motor parts are built (or molded) as a larger whole and the parts of the block, heads, etc. could not be salvaged to repair. Does this sound feasible? If the engine blew, there was not smell of burnt metal or loud noise or explosion or loss of oil on the ground. I just understand how it could have done such irreversible damage. I was told I had only two choices to fix the problem--buy a used engine (no warranty) and have installed by the dealership. Estimated cost of used engine was around $1500 with about $3500 for labor and miscellaneous--$5,000. The other option is to have installed a remanufactured engine with a 3 yr. or 36,000 mile warranty on it, but the cost of engine plus labor, etc. was quoted at $8,500. As best as I can tell the car (before this engine failure) with the number of miles, at most was worth only about $4,500 at best. I love my Saturn. In your opinion would it be worth it to spring for the $8,500 option or the $5,000 option (provided the dealer can find a salvaged used engine.) Not sure I want to throw good money after bad with the $5,000 option with no warranty. The $8,500 sounds like a lot of money to put into this, also. That much would go a long way to buying a good newer used car. Another thing. Do you have any idea what the salvage value of this car would be (minus a working engine). Any advice would help. Thanks!! Mike R.

Posted by on

  • mdrbama Apr 29, 2010

    Thanks for your advice. It helps me with my decision.

    Mike Riddle



1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 500 times.

  • Master
  • 2,317 Answers

Hello Mike,
Well to start with, the timing chain involves more than just a chain, there are gears, tensioners and guides. When these wear out, it causes the engine to jump time, or stop all together, and this happens fast and with no warning. The chain runs around the crankshaft and the cams, as the cams turn, they open the valves at the proper time. When there is a problem with the timing chain, the cams open the valves at the wrong time, or leaves some valves stuck open, which then the pistons comes up and hits the valves and bends them, they call these engines interference fit motors, when the chain goes, it bends the valves, which then involves removing the heads and fixing the vavles, as well as repairing the original problem, the timing chain. If the vehicle is in overall great shape, it would be worth at least getting a used motor, $1500.00 is not a bad price for an used motor, if it has low miles, preferablly, under 80,000 miles, some used motors might have a 30 day or 6 months warranty, but their labor is WAY out of line, maybe a $1000-1500, but not $3500!!! I would check some other shops. A remanufacted motor such as a Jasper's motor with 3 year 36,000 mile warranty would run around $3000, same labor. I wouldn't put more than $5000 in the whole job, because you are talking a big chunk of money, that could be used for a nice down payment. If you put that into the vehicle, you should be able to get it back out of the vehicle at resale or trade in time, it will then have a good running motor, not a boat anchor. The best from a salvage yard might be $250-$500. To me, it all comes down to how much you like the vehicle, and also consider other problems you could have in the future, e.i. transmission, differential, suspension, brakes and so on. So, all and all, if you can afford the new car payment, I'd go with the new car, because you are going to get a new car, plus the new car warranty.
Thanks, I hope this helps,

Posted on Apr 29, 2010


1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

What should fuel pressure be on 2002 Saturn l300 v6 24valve

I don't have the exact pressures to hand but with few exceptions the pressure is likely to be in the region of 1.5 bar with vacuum applied to the pressure regulator and about 2.0 bar without vacuum.

Nov 23, 2015 | Saturn Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Where is the crankshaft position sensor on a 2002 saturn l300 V6

the sensor is behind the crankshaft pulley.
Can Clip

Feb 27, 2013 | 2006 Saturn L300

2 Answers

Saturn L300 oiling circuit diagram needed

you have the 3.0 V6, there is an oil cooler under the intake manifold that is known to cause problems, be very very careful if you try to fix it yourself, the saturn 3.0 is not an easy engine to deal with.

Oct 08, 2012 | Saturn L300 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Transmission fluid in radiator reserve tank 2002 saturn l300 v6 changed the radiator and stioll have yellow goo in reserve tank could it be the oil cooler

It could be and inspect your transmission fluid and have it serviced if it is the transmission fluid and also your engine oil. Engine coolant is corrosive to the bearings in your transmission and engine and can cause you to loose which ever you have cross contamination with.
If it's transmission fluid, then you'll loose your transmission is not corrected and if it's engine oil. Then your going to loose the engine shortly if not corrected.
Sorry for the bad news and thank you for using fixya.

Jul 15, 2010 | 2002 Saturn L-Series

1 Answer

I have a Saturn L300 V6. Are you aware of any

No i have never Never seen a issue with this saturn or any other saturn or gm car for this problem,,,

Feb 22, 2010 | 2003 Saturn L-Series

1 Answer

Why won;t my 2002 l300 saturn start back up after driving

Sounds like a crankshaft position senso that is failing when hot. 

Aug 13, 2009 | 2002 Saturn Sl

2 Answers

How do I remove the filter on my saturn l300, all it wants to do is turn, but not come off

This may sound stupid, but I will ask anyway.... did you "pull" on it after you loosened it? Been there...

May 30, 2009 | 2003 Saturn L-Series

1 Answer

03 saturn L300, reduced power engine light came on

You are not the only one. Ive met a good many of Saturn owners (most were 2001 L300 drivers) but they were plagued with the problem you have and practically identical codes. The following remedies have been known to work:

1. Replacement Battery Cable
2.Replacement ECU Wiring Harness
3. Replacement of ECU

Mar 31, 2009 | 2003 Saturn Ls 4dr Sedan

Not finding what you are looking for?
Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

38 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Saturn Experts


Level 3 Expert

80608 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22326 Answers

Jeffrey Turcotte
Jeffrey Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

8841 Answers

Are you a Saturn Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides