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Depends on what you mean by maintain and expensive...... is it a Redline or an NA???? The following list pertains mostly to Redline (turbo), but can happen to NA....

A few things to note.....

Waterpump usually goes around the 50k-60k mark...$1400-$1800 at the dealer (both cars)
HPFP can go after 80k....about $700 at dealer (Redline)
Timing chain after 80k and especially on early '07 as the guides were inferior and weak....$2k+ at dealer.... (Redline)
Valves cake up with carbon as do all DI motors....usually around 80k, some sooner, some later....price: unknown....(Redline)
Camshaft solenoids: any mileage $79/each (2 of them) very easy repair
Oil changes in Redline must be full synthetic...$80
Fuel in Redline must be premium...no regular!!
All of these cars are getting to the age where they're going to need new TPMS sensors...$60/each (Both)
All of the fluids should have been changed and most should be on the second round coming up (brake, steering, trans, diff, oil, coolant) about $1000 (both)
Battery lasts about 4 to 7 years....$100 if you do it yourself...$250 for dealer (Both)

Now this being said, these are what are very common on most of these cars. Is it meant to scare you? No. It's meant to prepare you. I'm the Debbie-Downer of the group and my glass is never full!! Are they fun cars? ABSOLUTELY!!! Would I recommend one? Yes, if it's a second or third car, not primary, and you have the means should something arise.... They are quirky little cars...but what car isn't? Main questions to ask a seller....

Has the waterpump been replaced? If so, when?
Has every oil change been full synthetic? (redline)
If it is a Redline, has it been tuned?
Original tires?
Original battery? (just replaced mine this year and it's an '08)

There are many more things to look for, but in all, they are terrific little cars and a blast to drive...not too mention attention getters...
 

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Depends on what you mean by maintain and expensive...... is it a Redline or an NA???? The following list pertains mostly to Redline (turbo), but can happen to NA....

A few things to note.....


Timing chain after 80k and especially on early '07 as the guides were inferior and weak....$2k+ at dealer.... (Redline).
Where did u get your info?..first time I have heard this....I have an 06 NA build...of course only 40K on it but would like to know more about the timing chain.
 

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Working in the dealer world, you hear/learn things. Furthermore, I've been a lurker on the Cobalt SS forum for over 5 years because most here don't have the mileage on their cars, nor do most push their cars/tunes like they do over there...so you learn a lot. Like, WP aren't an issue over there on the LNF. But HPFP are.... I have a thread going over there right now because nobody here or on the Solstice forum can answer some questions for me about what causes a Commanded AFR to run really rich...so I'm getting schooled over there and have some help.... People here have tried, and I'm greatful for that, but couldn't answer some of the questions I had...so I went to plan B. Also the ATS forum is really good too....because they have all sorts of information on the LDK, LNF, LTG (e85 freindly) and LHU.

Anyway, the early '07 timing chain guide issue has been known for a while. It's been talked about in several threads on the Solstice forum as well.... (I think it's early '07....might be '08...now that I think about it, I'm not too certain which year it was...)

**** One thing to note that this pertains to the turbo cars only!!
 

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Depends on what you mean by maintain and expensive...... is it a Redline or an NA???? The following list pertains mostly to Redline (turbo), but can happen to NA....

A few things to note.....

Waterpump usually goes around the 50k-60k mark...$1400-$1800 at the dealer (both cars)
HPFP can go after 80k....about $700 at dealer (Redline)
Timing chain after 80k and especially on early '07 as the guides were inferior and weak....$2k+ at dealer.... (Redline)
Valves cake up with carbon as do all DI motors....usually around 80k, some sooner, some later....price: unknown....(Redline)
Camshaft solenoids: any mileage $79/each (2 of them) very easy repair
Oil changes in Redline must be full synthetic...$80
Fuel in Redline must be premium...no regular!!
All of these cars are getting to the age where they're going to need new TPMS sensors...$60/each (Both)
All of the fluids should have been changed and most should be on the second round coming up (brake, steering, trans, diff, oil, coolant) about $1000 (both)
Battery lasts about 4 to 7 years....$100 if you do it yourself...$250 for dealer (Both)

Now this being said, these are what are very common on most of these cars. Is it meant to scare you? No. It's meant to prepare you. I'm the Debbie-Downer of the group and my glass is never full!! Are they fun cars? ABSOLUTELY!!! Would I recommend one? Yes, if it's a second or third car, not primary, and you have the means should something arise.... They are quirky little cars...but what car isn't? Main questions to ask a seller....

Has the waterpump been replaced? If so, when?
Has every oil change been full synthetic? (redline)
If it is a Redline, has it been tuned?
Original tires?
Original battery? (just replaced mine this year and it's an '08)

There are many more things to look for, but in all, they are terrific little cars and a blast to drive...not too mention attention getters...
This information looks WAY scarier than it actually is...
First off, if you have any mechanical know-how, or are good at learning working on this car is very easy and enjoyable. Most of the time.

Water Pump, entire kit to replace yourself(which ive done, easy job) $65 for ACDelco on Amazon.
Timing Chain kit(also did at the same time), $55 ACDelco on Amazon.
Camshaft Solenoids(intake AND exhaust), $25 together on Amazon.
Ive not replaced my Fuel Pump yet, but I do know that performance Autowerks sells an improved one for $160, just came across it recently. and Fuel pumps are VERY easy to replace.
Get an early 07 model like mine and you wont have TPMS to worry about. lol
Fluids...just do yourself, save some money
and im not sure where you are buying your oil...but you can get a 5qt of Royal Purple off Amazon for $35 now, and a wiccs filter, for $10-15. And for me at least, its even cheaper local.

Maintenance is all about what you can do and what you have to have done. Don't be afraid to do research and figure out how to do the work yourself. If you think you can do it, go save some money. I am 100% self taught, and ive had 0 problems doing this work.
 

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This information looks WAY scarier than it actually is...
First off, if you have any mechanical know-how, or are good at learning working on this car is very easy and enjoyable. Most of the time.

Water Pump, entire kit to replace yourself(which ive done, easy job) $65 for ACDelco on Amazon.
Timing Chain kit(also did at the same time), $55 ACDelco on Amazon.
Camshaft Solenoids(intake AND exhaust), $25 together on Amazon.
Ive not replaced my Fuel Pump yet, but I do know that performance Autowerks sells an improved one for $160, just came across it recently. and Fuel pumps are VERY easy to replace.
Get an early 07 model like mine and you wont have TPMS to worry about. lol
Fluids...just do yourself, save some money
and im not sure where you are buying your oil...but you can get a 5qt of Royal Purple off Amazon for $35 now, and a wiccs filter, for $10-15. And for me at least, its even cheaper local.

Maintenance is all about what you can do and what you have to have done. Don't be afraid to do research and figure out how to do the work yourself. If you think you can do it, go save some money. I am 100% self taught, and ive had 0 problems doing this work.
Nothing like EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING.....sometimes. :grin:
 

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This information looks WAY scarier than it actually is...


Water Pump, entire kit to replace yourself(which ive done, easy job) $65 for ACDelco on Amazon.
Timing Chain kit(also did at the same time), $55 ACDelco on Amazon.
Camshaft Solenoids(intake AND exhaust), $25 together on Amazon.
Your timing chain was just that, a chain...nothing else at $55 right? Unless it was Chinese garbage. Because Cloyes is $105 and $92 for the entire kit of sprockets, guides and chain for both timing and balancer...so you couldn't have done your balancer for that price.... And your balancer chain is what runs the WP and usually is the part where the guides fail...not the timing chain on the 2.0L. I couldn't find anything less then about $200 for both kits from ACDelco.....so I'm guessing it was just the chain, which isn't really what fails..it's more the guides and tensioners that fail.
 

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Your timing chain was just that, a chain...nothing else at $55 right? Unless it was Chinese garbage. Because Cloyes is $105 and $92 for the entire kit of sprockets, guides and chain for both timing and balancer...so you couldn't have done your balancer for that price.... And your balancer chain is what runs the WP and usually is the part where the guides fail...not the timing chain on the 2.0L. I couldn't find anything less then about $200 for both kits from ACDelco.....so I'm guessing it was just the chain, which isn't really what fails..it's more the guides and tensioners that fail.
guides and all, whole kit. Check amazon. they carry ACDelco parts a lot cheaper than a lot of places. It very well may have been on a sale when I got it, but it definitely wasn't some $200 plus.

And looking now, I definitely must have gotten it ordered unrealizing it was on a good sale. Because im seeing them close to $130 or more now. damn
 

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I just did my chain last weekend. I think the whole kit (guides, tensioner, chain, sprockets) was indeed 130. The entire front of the engine (fan, belt drive, etc) needs to be removed but it can easily be done in a day. $2K from a dealer strikes me as scary high.

Engine parts for these cars are pretty cheap. A lot of the components have been shared across multiple ecotec 4cyls. For example, I didnt realize that cam bolts were torque to yeild. My local advance auto had a set on the shelf since they are used across the ecotec range.

edit: I used AC Delco parts, not a knockoff. I would also recommend Cloyes, have used them in the past and they make decent products.
 

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I wish manufacturers wouldn't integrate water pump drives into the engine.

I've been involved in water pump changes on engines like the original Lotus twin cam, which had the pump built into the front timing case, so the whole front of the engine had to come off to service it.

Best version are the pumps that are self contained so they just unbolt and bolt on (my DOHC MG engines and the early Lamborghini did that). I guess they save a bit of engine length by integrating them in the cover but it makes later servicing a horror show.

While we are at it, I don't know why so many engines opt for a simplex timing chain. A duplex design takes up very little more space, and are far more reliable, as well as less likely to wear as quickly. But I guess that at least they are better than timing belts that destroy the top end of your engine when they let go if you happen to have an 'interference' engine.
 

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To respond to the original question: My experience so far has been that the car is not expensive to maintain. The only significant issue I have encountered is the water pump replacement. I paid to get it done and it is not a problem now. Other than that, it is just minor wear and tear stuff that I have been able to do easily myself.

The lights are all easy to replace. The battery is easy (the fender panel removal and reinstallation is simple). There are lots of "parts bin" things that are shared with other GM cars.
 

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I wish manufacturers wouldn't integrate water pump drives into the engine.

I've been involved in water pump changes on engines like the original Lotus twin cam, which had the pump built into the front timing case, so the whole front of the engine had to come off to service it.

Best version are the pumps that are self contained so they just unbolt and bolt on (my DOHC MG engines and the early Lamborghini did that). I guess they save a bit of engine length by integrating them in the cover but it makes later servicing a horror show.

While we are at it, I don't know why so many engines opt for a simplex timing chain. A duplex design takes up very little more space, and are far more reliable, as well as less likely to wear as quickly. But I guess that at least they are better than timing belts that destroy the top end of your engine when they let go if you happen to have an 'interference' engine.
MONEY! If they can save a nickel per car, and they build thousands, that's a lot of money. They don't care if it costs you more later. :|
 

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I wish manufacturers wouldn't integrate water pump drives into the engine.
Sometimes what seems like a really good idea on paper turns out to be a problem. Although in defense of the design, only longitudinal (and primarily turbo) engines experience significant failure rates.
A pump ported directly to the head and tang-driven would be ideal, I think. Remove two or three bolts, pop it off the head, replace a couple of o-rings and bolt the new one back on.
While we are at it, I don't know why so many engines opt for a simplex timing chain. A duplex design takes up very little more space, and are far more reliable, as well as less likely to wear as quickly. But I guess that at least they are better than timing belts that destroy the top end of your engine when they let go if you happen to have an 'interference' engine.
MONEY! If they can save a nickel per car, and they build thousands, that's a lot of money. They don't care if it costs you more later. :|
Like most design and manufacturing decisions this one isn't quite so simplistic. Yes, cost plays a part, but design-to-function is also a factor.

Whether simplex or duplex, the chain drive is designed for the load it is expected to be under. Modern valve gear requires less energy to operate, so a simplex drive can be used. The duplex chain is heavier, as are the duplex sprockets, so by going simplex the drive can be correspondingly lighter. And lighter is a good thing when talking about rotating mass in an engine because we all know that reducing rotating mass helps the engine rev faster and use less energy. Looking at pictures of failed sprockets it appears that they were not properly heat treated. The sprocket really should out-live the chain, although they should generally wear pretty much together.
 

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Whether simplex or duplex, the chain drive is designed for the load it is expected to be under. Modern valve gear requires less energy to operate, so a simplex drive can be used. The duplex chain is heavier, as are the duplex sprockets, so by going simplex the drive can be correspondingly lighter.
The wear on a simplex is double or (some think) more, and the added mass is insignificant. The usual reason for going to single chain is cheapness (MGBs used simplex on their last models, but duplex all the way back on everything else).

Thinking cynically, maybe the Kappa designers thought of using a longer lasting duplex arrangement until someone spoke up and said "Naw, there's no point - something else will break long before the chain does...."

But the lightness motive is still there. Lotus used simplex, but you have to change them at double the interval that would be required for a duplex, thus allowing slightly lower costing at the factory, plus a small continuing revenue stream for dealers and mechanics....

Chapman went so crazy on lightness that the guys I used to race with in vintage told me that no one ran an original chassis in their Lotus sports racer - they were calculated to last a race season (at most), and anyone that tried to continue on a factory chassis in later decades inevitably regretted the decision.

“Simplify, then add lightness”, he said.
It was his philosophy, way before ‘minimalism’ became fashionable.

“Adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”, was another of Chapman’s premises.
 

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I think I'd rather have a belt driven water pump on the front cover than a chain driven one setup like ours is. While a belt is more likely to fail, changing it is one tool and 2 minutes of time. If you're changing the water pump it self, and one more socket and about 5-10 more minutes.

Compared to ours, which requires special tools and, if you're changing the chain, a whole lot more time and energy, this is a cakewalk. It's an older design and the ones I've seen like this have been on V8s and V6s (which may explain why we don't see it on an I4) but it was sure easy to change them out when necessary.
 

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I’m planning to buy a 2007 Saturn Sky but I know nothing about the maintenance cost.
Hard to say. My 2008 Redline, so far, has needed
1) water pump: $35 for the part, DYI (or DIMyself ha ha)
2) upper O2 sensor: $35 DYI
3) just the other day, one of the cam oil control solenoids: $11.75 for the part, DIY.
4) Mobil 1 oil change: $25 (walmart 5 gallon jugs)
5) AC Delco TMPS: $31 + $35 to install

Now, my ex's 2007 NA is amazing. 145k miles and nothing has failed. Even the water pump is still tight. It's her only car and she uses it every day. Maybe that's the trick! I credit the water pump longevity with the fact the coolant gets changed annually. After long and hard investigation, I've come to the conclusion that antifreeze changes over time so that it attacks the pump seals. I'll find out in a few years as I now run all my cars with 0%-10% antifreeze. I only use the 10% in cars that *might* get caught outside in a deep freeze (fat chance in central Texas but, ya never know). My Sky has 100% distilled water with Redline Water wetter for anti corrosion.

Aside from unique parts scarcity, the mechanicals seem very durable, per my ex's experience.
 

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Are they expensive to drive cause of premium gas?
If you put on a tune certainly no point using 87 octane. Also, the tune may skew spark advance control so that it can't retard enough to control knock with 87. We had a big block built up '65 Chevy wagon with long term low level detonation that couldn't be felt. End result was cracked piston heads with pieces of skirts in the oil pan. Found out when an odd vibration crept into the motor.

Otherwise, the manual says 87 is minimum (as I recall - getting old and may have CRS disease). I've tested 87 with my Tech 2 monitoring my Redline and predetonation was successfully corrected for. Though, power and MPG come down a bit.

My X5 calls for 89 min but knock is controlled with 87. May be that's what was used to get the EPA out numbers (MPG) and the rules say they have to recommend what they tested with. Anyhow, I look at those gas cap warning stickers with questions now.
 
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