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White Star Line

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160,000 miles - and it isn't running

I'm glad this happened to me and not to martes.

The replacement alternator is dead. The car ran off the battery until the battery was totally shot, then it stopped dead cold. The car alarm even went off as it thought the battery was disconnected.

I walked home from where this happened, fortunately only about 2 miles away from home, and got the car alarm that we never use. Went to Radio Shack and replaced the battery (which I knew had to be dead by now) and went back to the Saturn. the car alarm would indeed shut off, but touching the car set it off again,a and the car would not start. Thinking this was an alarm problem, I tried to use the secret shutoff switch for the alarm, only to find the wires had been ripped out of it. So I tried to use the bare wires to shut off the alarm, and it did not work.

I though it was because the shut off switch was destroyed by some helpful mechanic, but AAA came and revealed that the battery was totally dead. We jump started the car, and as soon as he took the cables off, the car stopped. We determined the brand new alternator was not functioning at all.

The battery was SO dead that it took over an hour of charging it off the van to get enough power in the car to drive it less than a mile to get it back to the Saturn dealership. It even took multiple tries to figure out how much power it was going to take to even get this to happen.

I finally managed to get the car back to the dealership, and onto the lot before the battery was dead again. Didn't even have enough power to get the windows to go back up.

After spending all this time running around outside and working on two vehicles in all black clothing (it's what I happened to be wearing today) I looked pretty bad by the time I got into the Saturn dealership - so they didn't mess with me. I got a loaner car for martes to use tomorrow while they correct their fuck up.

As it happens, this car isn't too different from what we were planning to buy later - except it's an SL1 and not an SL2. Seems we really like the additional features an SL2 has - like being able to unlock the passenger door from the driver's side.

All of this took 6 hours - so this is how I spent my day.


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awful awful awful >:|

c_eagle September 9th, 2002
I hate it when a car decides it's going to hijack your day,.... been there many a time in the early 80s... (standard eagle hug goes here).

I did know one other person that had odd problems with their Saturn... electrical wires being sub-par to the demands in the factory issue, but this does sound more like a mechanic-machineshop error in the case of the alternator.

If it's any consolation (and I do hope they have it fixed for you pronto!) I had 3 episodes of mechanic error with my latest car even... once the axle I got was bad outa the box, so I had to drive right back. Another time my mechanic left the oil cap off so all the oil practically boiled out.. and another time they didnt bolt the radiator in, so i heard weird clanking noises.. *rolls eyes*

One time I had even gotten new tires and they didnt lock them on! *grr*

best of luck, fellow..

Their track record is still good

titanic September 9th, 2002
This is the first time this has happened since we bought the car in 95. They never saw what I went through to get the car back to them and it only took them about 5 minutes to decide about giving me a free loaner. I'm still not unhappy with Saturn. I still want to go back and buy the SL2 version of the loaner martes has now - it's one of the 3 door models and it's just neato.

Things the SL2 has that the SL1 does not - central contrtol power windows, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, doors that lock & unlock by remote (you have to lean across the car to unlock the passenger door) and a few other things. We definately want the SL2 - but without the moon/sun roof. Roz never uses it and it reduces the interior headroom of the car by several inches - we have tall friends and that space is kind of important. So essentially what we want is a loaded 3 door SL2 with everything but the window in the roof. And when my job finally starts we should be able to do that.

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