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It's official: Saturns suck ass to work on.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 17th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
I did this as a favor for jmanna. The labor charge alone on an alternator is a bit out of reach for her budget right now.
Aug. 18th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Don't drink and tinker
Before I saw the guts on that one, I had been led to believe that Saturn was brilliant and innovative in that they had deliberately made their cars easy to work on. I remember a "real" mechanic going on and on about how awesome these cars were to work on.

He had been drinking at the time.

I believe that what he actually meant was "Saturn, I know that sometimes I swear at you and call you stupid and clusterfucky, but really, I love you man, you're my best friend."
Aug. 18th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
Re: Don't drink and tinker
When I was working in Owatonna for a certain company down there, I was developing the software to test ABS braking systems on GM cars in a specific range. It was actually a little frightening when I understood what they were doing as compared to Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Toyota/Nissan/Japanese cars.

Mercedes was amazing, very German, efficient, and detailed. GM was like half-assed and uptight and whatever worked was what they did, except they changed it from their official documentation. It was a bunch of reverse engineering.

The Ford vehicles I've worked on have all been pretty well designed for repair. Not everything, certainly: I shudder to think of the day I have to replace the front seal on the 'Sploder, and changing out the spark plugs was more frustrating than it should have been. Every GM car has been a pain in the ass (changing the starter on a '79 chevette was fuckin' insane).

I think that there may be a "style" or "flavor" that maybe you get used to. If you work on Fords, there's kind of a Tao of Ford repair, and with GM, there's a Tao of GM repair.

I dunno, maybe it's something with transverse mounted engines that sucks.

BTW, her idler pulley bearing is going bad. I let her know that it's something she's going to have to have fixed soonish.
Aug. 18th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
Re: Don't drink and tinker
I think you're right about the Tao. I've liked the Chevys that I've worked on for accessibility, my current Ford is after all of them, but not horrible. Many people have told me that Fords are better than Chevys for tinkerability, many people have told me contrawise.

What with me not knowing tons about car mechanics, I don't know exactly what an idler pully bearing is. If it's anywhere on that godawful serpentine belt catastrophe, it will destroy the new alternator. Another reason I don't like serpentine belts.

I know that she needs plug wires, but those are pretty obvious once the hood is popped.

See? As long as it's obvious and accessible, it's easy. :)
Aug. 18th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
Re: Don't drink and tinker
The idler pulley is indeed in the serpentine belt path. When it goes, it will pretty much shred the serpentine belt, bit it shouldn't kill anything else-- that whole mass is pretty forgiving.
Aug. 18th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
Re: Don't drink and tinker
I don't mean that it will hit it or damage anything externally, I mean that if the alternator is not getting a good, steady charge while the motor runs it will burn up the windings and no longer be able to get power from the battery.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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