1996 Saturn SC2 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Saturn SC2 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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12
Known Problems

Owners may notice the warning message "A/C off for Engine Protection" displayed on their instrument panel, 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. 

An automatic transmission fluid leak may develop from the rubber section of a transmission cooler line. In some cases the rubber section of hose can be replaced. In others, the complete cooler line must be replaced to correct this type of leak.

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

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.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles and the spark plug boots should be checked for hot spots and cracks.

The timing chain may come into contact with the timing cover, causing noise in the engine. Replacement of worn timing chain components will be necessary to correct this concern.

Extended life coolant may become contaminated and require cooling system service before the recommended 100,000 miles.

The alternator may fail causing the charge light to illuminate. Driving with this condition will eventually cause the engine to stall due to low system voltage.

The power steering hoses commonly leak fluid. Any leaking hoses should be replaced.

The front struts may show signs of wear, or be excessively bouncy ride at freeway speeds. This may begin to occur at around 75,000 miles.

Front brake rotors can wear causing a pulsation felt in the brake pedal. Our technicians often recommend replacement of the front rotors and brake pads as the best option to correct this condition.

Brake fluid can become dirty and may cause problems in the brake system; it should be flushed every 60,000 miles.