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Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Dave!Today was not a good day.

My car has recently fallen out of its extended warranty so, naturally, everything has decided to go wrong. But not really. The problems were there BEFORE the warranty expired, but Saturn refused to acknowledge them. I complained about shuddering when I came to a stop. Saturn blamed the tires I bought at Les Schwab... when I went to Les Schwab, they said Saturn was insane because everything was perfectly balanced. Other problems I raised were poo-pooed away like I was a chronic complainer.

So now that I am having to foot the bill, I refuse to give Saturn another dime and took my car to the only shop I trust... Midas. They do exemplary work at reasonable prices, and I feel I can trust my local franchise. It turns out I am not a chronic complainer, my concerns were all real. I guess Saturn just wanted me to wait until my warranty expired so they could charge me for the work.


My car has UNDER 50,000 miles on it and is falling apart. Guess I won't be buying another Saturn.

Anyway, Midas does a bunch of work on my front brakes and suddenly my shuddering problem is gone. There's $500 I had to spend that should have been covered by Saturn. Even worse? Midas replaced my air filter because it was horrendously filthy. Never mind that I just had my oil changed a month ago at Saturn, they apparently don't bother to check the simple things like other lube & oil places do.


And on Friday I get to take my car back to Midas so they can fix an exhaust problem that I ALSO complained about back when my car was in warranty. There goes another $400 that should have been covered.


Saturn Service Kiss My Ass

Oh well. At least Midas offers a lifetime guarantee to their work so I won't have to worry about this crap again. I guess that's more that you can say about the overpriced service at Saturn.


Categories: DaveLife 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. adena says:

    Um…at least your “problem” Les Schwab tires are under lifetime warranty, too….

    That sucks, but I’ve never OWNED a new car, so I can’t really relate to the whole “warranty” thing of which you speak. I mean, you can’t really get a warranty on a $2,000 car. 🙂

    Anyhow, I hope your car will be happy from now on!

  2. My Chevy dealer did the exact same thing to me. My Malibu was beautiful, except that the cruise control light came on intermittently for no reason.

    They took it, drove it around, and told me it didn’t happen to them.


    I now happily drive a Toyota. It has 98,000 miles and I have never (knock wood) had an issue with it.

  3. Shevy says:

    Ouch, bad experience with Saturn. What would it have cost the dealership to acknowledge and fix the problems in the first place? VERY LITTLE! It just shows that some companies provide good customer service while others just SUCK!! BUYER BEWARE!! I think it’s time to sic the Bad Monkey on them!!!

  4. Mooselet says:

    I had a “new-ish” car once that I bought while it was still under warranty, but the dealership really f#@%ed it up and it was never right after its first service with them. I’ve since found a mechanic whom I trust to do the work properly and not screw me in the process. Of course I now have a different car, but still…

    Dealerships suck major Twinkies.

  5. Shevy says:

    Adena, Adena, Adena….Schwab tires do not come with a “lifetime” warranty. It’s called a mileage warranty. As a former Member Dealer for Les Schwab (that’s kind of like a franchise, you own the place, have their sign, and follow their rules and the profit goes into your pocket) not all Schwab stores treat their customers with respect or honor the warranty service. Just like the Saturn dealership poor, $poor$, Dave was dealing with.

  6. adena says:

    Oh, Shevy…..I’ve had hellacious dealings w/ Les Schwab before. Mainly dealing w/ their attempt at doing brakes, but still….I know how shoddy they can be.

    I was merely trying to cheer Dave up, you buzzkill! 🙂

  7. Kapha says:

    Way back when Saturn was new, my wife and I bought one and did their 1200 mile “test drive” deal. I remember there were 68 miles on the car, and I made the manager verify that those would *not* count towards the 1200 miles. “Of course not.”, he said. We didn’t take his word for it (since most people’s word is worth the paper it’s written on).

    We drove the car for a holiday weekend and decided we didn’t like it after all – the road noise and bumps were a bit much.

    So we took the car back, brought in our paperwork and *faked* that we were a little over 1200 miles. We said because he (the manager) had promised not to count the 68 miles, we were well within the “test drive” mileage. You guessed it – he tried to rip us off by not honoring his own word! He said we had to keep the car! (What a slimy F#@%er!!)

    I felt SOOOOooooo good when I acted briefly shocked, looked at the paperwork again like I was surprised, and then said – “Oh, I’m sorry, I was confused. The car is actually at 1188 miles right now. We’re under the 1200 miles and want our money back.”

    I wish I had had a camera!

    He stormed off to check the mileage himself (I wouldn’t have put it past him to drive the car another 13 miles before coming back!)

    He was SO PISSED OFF I thought he was going to explode right there! 😀

    I swear he was shaking the whole time he was filling out the forms to give us all our money back and take back the car.

    The fact that he *lied* to us meant that we never, ever went back to Saturn. That was over 12 years ago.

    Our mechanic at that time – when we were fixing a used Dodge every other month – told us to get a Toyota or a Honda, because he never saw them in his shop. Good advice.

    We’re on our 2nd Toyota and are extremely pleased with it.

    I don’t know what the current ones are like, but they sure can build ’em right – and they don’t change features every year for no reason – they actually use user feedback in design work – what a concept!

    Lastly, I remember reading something long ago on American car companies being in the business of selling money, not cars. An interesting concept. Basically the whole purpose is to get you to take out a loan (i.e. selling money for a profit), the car just happens to be the way to do this. It could have been a washing machine, whatever. It’s just the way to get you to take out the loan.

    In other words, their priority is *not* selling you a car that will last for 100,000+ miles, be comfortable, or low maintenance (guess what: they want to sell you the parts too!)

    Interesting concept when you really think about it…

  8. Wayne Hall says:

    Pity about the Saturn dealer. I had a Saturn back in ’92 and loved it. Both Saturn of Pittsburg, PA and Saturn of Austin were excellent sources of knowledge, fairness and were overall Wayneriffic!

    Here in Austin the best auto-shop place has to be Lamb’s. I loves me my Lamb’s auto service. Been taking both my cars there for > 6 years and love the service.

    I’ve been thinking about the Saturn hybrid SUV but haven’t done any real research on it yet. Surely Dave you might consider changing your statement of never buying a Saturn to instead “never buying anything from that dealer?” Many dealers change or add on new lines or makes/models, and really you want to steer clear of that dealer.

  9. Really, how do you feel about Saturn?

    My car is still under warranty for another 3 years, but they STILL tell me that my mirror works fine. It DOESN’T work fine. It is supposed to tilt DOWN when I’m in revenge…er I mean reverse. It doesn’t. It hasn’t. It annoys me that “those people” tell me that it works fine.

    Gah. I hate car dealerships anyway. I’m gonna buy a horse and buggy.

  10. Dave2 says:

    I’m surprised that people have had a bad experience with Les Schwab. I love me the Les Schwab, and wouldn’t go anywhere else for tires. Their service is beyond good, and the tires I’ve bought over the past 15 years have been great.

  11. Avitable says:

    Write a letter to Saturn and have Midas explain exactly what they did to your car and let Saturn know that. Send it to their corporate headquarters and I’m pretty sure you’ll get a reply.

  12. Dave2 says:

    It’s probably my fault because I wasn’t insistent about having the problem fixed. I trusted them that it was a tire problem and just figured it would go away the next time I got new tires. Now I know otherwise, so shame on me.

    I’m thinking my next trip to Midas will be a new clutch assembly… for a car with 49,000 miles on it. Saturn’s response when I mentioned the problem? “It’s probably the way it’s driven” (I guess I must pop the clutch at every start and ride the clutch all day long without knowing it or something?). Again, my fault for not telling them to go f#@% themselves and fix the problem, because I KNOW it can’t be my fault… I KNOW how to drive a f#@%ing clutch.

    All I can say is that I expect a car to be able to go 50,000 miles without starting to fall apart. I have friends with Toyotas and Subarus that are past 150,000 and have never had to do a dang thing past scheduled maintenance. Apparently that’s too much to ask of a Saturn, so I won’t be buying another one. Lesson learned.

  13. EDDIE says:

    I did not have any good luck with my two made in America cars in the past. I’ve been driving made in Germany car since I got rid of those. And what a difference!

    Your bad day has to do with Full Moon, I think.
    (so many biotches today.)

  14. Jon says:

    Sorry for your experience with Saturn. I definitely won’t be buying one now.

    My experience with car dealers has been hit and miss…mostly miss. I have a Mini Cooper, and there are only 2 Mini dealers within reasonable driving distance: one 15 miles away and the other 28 miles away. The former tried to gouge me on a set of new tires and refused to perform service that should have been covered under the warranty. My experience with the latter dealer has been better, but I still had to be pretty assertive to get them to honor the warranty.

    I’d prefer to find an independent, honest mechanic who really knows his stuff, and bring both of my family cars there for all service and repairs, but unfortunately those seem to be rare.

  15. Dave2 says:

    Ironically, many foreign cars (like Toyota) have 50%-70% American parts in them now. My buying a Saturn so Americans can keep their jobs was apparently not the best reasoning.

  16. ssp says:

    Here chuckles the guy whose family has always just driven used VWs…

    What’s a Saturn anyway? I thought it was a planet…

  17. Dave2 says:

    Well, at least until they tell us that it’s NOT a planet anymore! 🙂

  18. Eve says:

    That’s unfortunate about your Saturn experience. Perhaps it’s just a problem with your local dealership, because I’ve had two Saturn cars already and never had a problem. Any time I’ve had to bring the car in, there was no issues like the one you went through.
    And I always liked how Saturn doesn’t have the “sleeze” hard-sell mentality that other dealerships seem to have. I’m thinking of getting their hybid next year.

  19. birdcolor says:

    Vilify the dealership—not Saturn! I am now on my fourth Saturn. I rarely have had an issue with my dealership (Saturn of Mishawaka [Indiana])—and when I have had an issue, the owner makes amends immediately. I bought my first one in 94 because A: I could afford it with my measly graphic designer’s salary and B: the dealership didn’t ask me when my dad/boyfriend or husband was going to come in and go over the details of buying the car. Now that I can afford a more expensive car, I still go back to Saturn because the dealership is so good to me.

    I have to tell you that my faith in Saturn was cemented last November when I went toe-to-toe with a semi. Although my Vue was crushed and in a million pieces—I walked away from a crash that the police officers said should have killed me. I immediately bought another Vue—and I love it!

    I agree with Avitable—write a letter to Saturn’s corporate headquarters. I think you will definitely get a response. Saturn dealerships have a rating based on customer service.

  20. Dave2 says:

    But even if the dealership HAD fixed these problems… I would still be upset that a car with less than 50,000 miles is having problems with brakes, clutch, exhaust, mirrors, cruise control, and door braces.

    I don’t need to be hit by a semi… my Saturn is falling to pieces all on its own!

  21. adena says:

    Yeah, I had a Toyota that finally died at 212k miles, and only because I didn’t have it tuned up regularly. And, actually, I think it could’ve been fixed, but I didn’t have the money or inclination to do it at the time.

    My Suburu has 230k on it, has been in an accident and had the front scrunched up (you’ve seen the picture), yet it actually still runs fine. I just got another car to be on the safe side.

    When I decide to buy a “NEW” new car, it will either be a Toyota or a Suburu, but probably a Toyota, because I’m looking into either a Prius or a Yaris. You need to try a Japanese, Dave. 🙂

  22. kapgar says:

    It’s that way with any dealership. Hate to have to break that to you. I would get this tinny sort of sound like small pebbles in a can in my truck. When I would complain about it at the Ford dealership, they would tell me that it was a normal sound for a 4 cylinder truck (I was a grad student when I bought it, I couldn’t afford a V6, extended cab, or 4-wheel drive, but I deal). I don’t know any better, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay to have it fixed now that my warranty is up. Well, it’s been up for about six years now and my truck is still alive.

  23. Miss Britt says:

    Yes, but isn’t bad publicity the best revenge? 😉

  24. Dawn says:

    Hmm. . I almost bought a saturn once. Guess its a good thing I didn’t. I found my way here through world of chad – nice blog – nice shade of blue 🙂

  25. ms. sizzle says:

    i’ve always had good luck with midas. that SUCKS about the warranty and stupid saturn. jerks!

  26. Walt Lansberry says:


    Good service has no room or time for insistence. Warranty or not your shop should have jumped to your concerns with or without a warranty. Fifty thousand miles is nothing Dave. Your Saturn is still damn near new. Of course I put forty thousand miles on my car every six months so my perspective is a little unique. I stopped taking my cars to the shop years ago when I bought a lemon. Since then I’ve been buying junkers and running the guts out of them. I stick to Volvos. My latest cost me $500 dollars and I changed the oil once in the past sixty thousand miles. I don’t get them inspected anymore either. The inspection laws are b.s. in that they don’t insure any level of mechanical safety for your vehicle.

    I agree with a few other comments in that Toyota’s are great and some say the same for Honda. My beef with Honda is that they seem to have oil burning and timing issues that if not addressed often end up costing you a lot. These days I look for a car that won’t waste my time or money. The biggest issues with Volvo’s are the electronic relays but if you’re handy with a soldering iron they can be a ten-minute fix on the kitchen table.

    I’d never buy a new GM product and I was once a devoted fan.


  27. oujod says:

    I don’t get the picture. Are you supposed to be kissing Saturn’s ass?

    Or does the picture mean that Saturn should kiss yours? Because then wouldn’t the saturn logo be in the arrow, and the lips on the ass?

    Just wondering 🙂

  28. Laurence says:

    So sorry for your problem with Saturn. Their warranty comes from a planet of their own ! 🙂
    (I live in ignorance : France doesn’t know Saturn, Les Schwab and we don’t know that Pluto isn’t a planet… Ouah… Too much informations for me today !!! But Midas, we know them !)

  29. suze says:

    I will never buy new for the sole reason that to keep a car under warrantee you have to have the dealer do the service.

    My dad bought a new ford once. Nothing but trouble with it until the warrantee expired and he took it to a difference service station. Suddenly, the car worked fine.

  30. yellojkt says:

    No matter how they try to hide it, a Saturn is still a GM car. I refuse to drive that junk.

  31. Where in the heck are you getting your Saturn serviced? My biggest problem with my Saturn is that there is no dealership closer than 3 hours from Wenatchee. Getting anything fixed means taking a day off work and spending $50 in gas.

  32. Juli says:

    Just ride your damn motorbike and be done with that heap!
    Speaking of… did you ride this summer?????

  33. Dave2 says:


    No. I did not get to even take my motorcycle out of the garage. Between work and travel, there just wasn’t time. MAYBE I’ll get it out of the barn this month before the frost… I hope so. 🙁

  34. Dave2 says:

    The picture is an illustration which shows Saturn exactly where they are supposed to kiss my ass. A kisser’s guide to Dave’s ass, as it were…

  35. AC says:

    I’ve got a Saturn too, and it also is slowly falling apart, though not in ways as seriously as brakes and exhaust.

    For example, my dome light continues to fall out of the roof of my car, which is peculiar. Further, several months ago, one of my power windows broke, so I perpetually had to push it back up by hand as it slowly fell down.

    I don’t know if I’d go with Saturn again, either.

  36. Bdogs says:

    Here’s one for you–flat tire on Saturday. Not simple on this car. Has to go to the dealer. Dealer not open until Tuesday. Sore feet. Car has to be towed to dealer. One tire would screw up the *balance*, so guess what? Yep, four new ones. Definitely the most expensive flat I’ve ever heard of.

  37. Jeff says:

    I’m going to wait until the hybrid cars (most likely Toyota) come down in price and buy one of those next. Or maybe in a few years they’ll be some nice used ones I can afford. At this point however, I don’t have a spare $25k to shell out.

  38. Dave2 says:

    Even worse than the initial cost is the continuing maintenance and the consumables. A replacement battery is thousands of dollars… or so I read.

  39. Mark says:

    Here’s my story about crappy dealerships.

    When I bought my car 5 years ago, the finance manager at the dealership said that any extra amount that I paid on each payment would be taken off of the principal. (However it’s spelled) Well, my payments were about $312, so I paid $350 every month. My payments each month were becoming less and less. They were taking the extra amount off of the next payment. Stupid f#@%ers. I didn’t want to have to pay the interest on what was left. Pricks. So, from now on, when I buy a car, I’ll get financing through my bank. And it’ll probably be a Toyota.

  40. Mike says:

    In june 2003, I was seriously considering a Toyota Prius. I stopped considering the Hybrid when I was told that a replacement battery pack was 11K, and had to be replaced every 5-8 years. I thought that this was like buying a new car every 5-8 years. 🙂 Never mind that the Prius was around 35K (CDN) at the time (well equipped).

    So instead I got a 2004 Corolla. Mechanically wise, it’s a nice car, but the interior finish in mine is somewhat… amateur? But considering that it was just a little more expensive than the battery pack…

    Before the Corolla, I had a 2000 Echo and I loved everything about this car, except highway driving.

    So now I’ve started to look at the 2007 Hybrid Camry 🙂 The car is still around 35K, but they tell me the battery pack is 8K, and only has to be replaced in 8-10 years. So it’s getting better.

    Anyways, sorry for beeing long-winded. I love Toyotas and would never buy a Saturn – test drove one once and that was enough for me!

    Have a better day tomorrow!

  41. Kapha says:

    We’ll go with a Toyota Hybrid if at all possible next time – in a few years.

    What we really want, however, is a car that runs on 100% biodiesel.

    That seems to be the absolute best solution imo.

    P.S. I swear that butt has a *smile* on the top of it! How the heck do you do that? You should take that on Letterman before it turns into a frown! ;D

  42. Harold says:

    Dave, my Honda has over 200,000 miles and I haven’t put one dine in the car except for oil changes and scheduled maintance. Ofcourse about 98% of the miles was getting me to a Casino where I’ve lost thousands of dollars, so I guess my car sucks too !

  43. Phil says:

    I have a Saturn too. But, I’m about to ditch it for a new Prius. Get a hybrid, Dave!

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