1996 Saturn SW1 Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 1996 Saturn SW1

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1996 Saturn SW1 Problems

A/C off for Engine Protection and Engine Reads Cold

The 1996-2001 Saturn SW1 may display the warning message "A/C off for Engine Protection" on the instrument panel. This may be accompanied by illumination of the check engine light and the temperature gauge reading cold at all times. This is a feature of the engine that is activated by the power control module when it detects the engine warming up too slowly. The OBD trouble code P0128 may also be stored. 

The cause is simply a worn out thermostat that stays open at all times, preventing the engine from reaching the proper operating temperature. 

Replacement of the thermostat will correct the issue. 

Check Engine Light Due to Gas Cap Issue

Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.

Inspect transmission/fluid every 30,000 miles

You may be able to prevent transmission problems by servicing the transmission and inspecting the fluid every 30,000 miles. If the fluid is dark or burned then the transmission system should be completely flushed.

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1996 Saturn SW1 Questions

Transmission (1 answer)

I have a 1996 Saturn with dual cam engine with 157,000 miles. The Saturn had the check engine light come on and I have been told that the code means the car has a 3rd gear differential transmission problem and that it needs a new or rebuilt transmission. Given the age and mileage of the car is it...

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1996 Saturn SW1 Recalls

Horn Failure

The horn could fail and overheat. resulting in a possible engine compartment fire. Dealers will replace the horn assembly free of charge to resolve the concern.

Roof Panel Welds Insufficient

The roof panel welds may not be sufficiently made to prevent panel separation in an accident. Dealers will reinforce the roof flange with structural fasteners free of charge to resolve the concern.

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