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Old 02-02-2008, 04:45 PM   #1
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I am under the impression that I could tow a mid-to-late 1990's Saturn SL2, auto tranny, wheels down. (Amazing how little dealers know.)
1) Is this true?
2) Need to pull fuses?
3) What position should gear selector be in?
4) Any special speed or distance limitations?
5) Anything else you can think of?

I know Motorhome magazine publishes a list every year, and I have downloaded most of them. Only problem is, they don't go back farther than 2002, and I am buying a '97. (Not really interested in spending $15K or so on something that will only be used, mostly, as a toad, not a main vehicle.)

If you can help, you are OK - I don't care what them other guys say.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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I am under the impression that I could tow a mid-to-late 1990's Saturn SL2, auto tranny, wheels down. (Amazing how little dealers know.)
1) Is this true?
2) Need to pull fuses?
3) What position should gear selector be in?
4) Any special speed or distance limitations?
5) Anything else you can think of?

I know Motorhome magazine publishes a list every year, and I have downloaded most of them. Only problem is, they don't go back farther than 2002, and I am buying a '97. (Not really interested in spending $15K or so on something that will only be used, mostly, as a toad, not a main vehicle.)

If you can help, you are OK - I don't care what them other guys say.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:06 AM   #3
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blacktie, welcome to iRV2. I'm sure someone here will have an answer to your question.

It's true that the dealers don't know much so don't rely on anything they tell you. The best information on towing is found in the owner's manual, but the manuals are frequently missing from older vehicles. If you are looking at a specific vehicle, ask the dealer if you can look at the manual or if he can get you one if it is missing.

From the best of my recollection, the earlier Saturn sedans were towable 4 down, and Blue Ox does list baseplates. Hopefully, someone will come up with more specific information for you.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:48 AM   #4
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Black Tie. We are on our 4th Saturn. Our first one was a '96 SL2. which we purchased in '97. If memory serves me right I think we had to pull two fuses on that one and transmission in neutral and ignition key in accy position. No limit on speed or distance. We currently tow a 05 Vue and same rules apply except only have to pull one fuse. Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:24 AM   #5
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I towed a '97 SL2 for a couple of years. The previous owner had installed a wiring harness to allow operating the brake/signal lights on the tow so I didn't have to deal with any fuse-pulling or anything like that. Just put it in neutral, make sure the ign switch is in the ACC position (I always turned the steering wheel back and forth to assure myself it was unlocked) and tow away. Very good car for towing as it's light and gets great fuel mileage.

If she ever exhibits the hard-to-start, high-idle syndrome, first place to look is the ECT sensor. A simple do-it-yourself fix for about $12.
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:37 AM   #6
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Hi: My first ?. are you doing the wiring yourself or paying. my first toad was an '95 saturn SL 1 manual trans. all i had to do was neutral-switch OFF(unlocked).drop the hitch onto the ball and off i went. the second is a '00 saturn sw2 auto-same deal hitch and go. i used the same hitch assembly on both vehicles. as to the wiring on the cars-- the '95 didn't have the seperate turn signal(amber).'00 sw2 has the amber t/s. i used a boat trailer wiring harness assembly(4 wire flat)- ran the wiring thru the engine compartment,down the frame rail and into the trunk. the brown wire taps into the tail light feed,yellow into the left brake light feed wire,green across the trunk and into the right brake light feed wire. be certain to use wiring loom to be safe (no short circuit to the frame). IF you have the amber t/s-clip(cut) the factory right brake light going back into the car. when the wire is clipped this keeps both lights from blinking when the coach t/s is activated. then use the other part of the wiring harness-4 flat that plugs into the car wiring harness. connect the yellow and green wires together,don't worry about the other two..tape the 4 wires. when not attached to the m/home simply plug the taped plug into the car harness. this makes the brake lights operate as normal. there are no fuses to pull because the lights operate from the coach system. same as a standard boat trailer. i've towed for three years with no problems with hitch or lights. just make sure you plug the adapter into the car when it's loose from the coach.
hope this helps.

joe
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:25 AM   #7
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I owned a '93 SW2 and an '01 SW2 Saturn(s). Both towed with auto tranny 4-down (as I understand all S-series Saturns do).

All I ever had to do was put key in ignition, turn to ACC position to release steering wheen (I also gave it a tug to make sure it was free wheeling), and put transmission in neutral.

I never pulled any fuses and never had a dead battery, even with using an Even Brake for the toad brakes (getting its power from the toad).

Every evening I made sure to start the car and let it run to charge the battery.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:29 AM   #8
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I had a 99 SL1 that was a fabulous little car...the only reason I dont still have it is the LITTLE part....fun to drive....over 40 mpg and reliable....just hook it up...in neutral and go!
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:35 AM   #9
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Wow! You guys are awesome! Tremendous help! I sure came to the right place, glad I did.

Thanks again,
Ken
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:18 AM   #10
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I just read your post and went into the GM SI (service information)web site. If you go to a local GM or Saturn dealer and ask them to print our TSB # 00-T-33A also identified as Doc # 1387987. it gives info on flat towing saturn s series from 91 - 2002. For other GM lines have your local dealer do a search on dinghy towing and it will pull up a bulletin for other models.

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Old 02-03-2008, 11:23 AM   #11
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We towed a 97 Saturn SL1 automatic transmission for 4 years and it was a great Toad.We never pulled any fuses and never had the battery run down, even after VERY long days of travelling.
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:43 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by footdoc:
I had a 99 SL1 that was a fabulous little car...the only reason I dont still have it is the LITTLE part.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Me too! I'd still have the '01SW2 if you didn't have to climb down to the ground to get in. And getting out.........that was a chore.
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