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Old 01-13-2013, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking at buying an Ion Redline

Hey,
I'll go ahead and tell you a bit about myself. I turn 16 in about 3 weeks, and I'm looking for a car.
I was looking around for an Ion, but I couldn't find any without either a ton of miles or way too expensive. Knowing that I wanted a RedLine, I decided to look at those to see the price on them. I came across one not too far from me. It is a 2005 and has almost 92k miles. Today, my dad and I went to take a look at it, and he noticed that it had been in an accident. So when I got home, I looked at the CarFax and he was right, it had been in an accident. The car was missing the air dam and the trim on the sides of the front bumper.
So is there any major problems with these? My dad is skeptical about the supercharger and thinks that they're nothing but problems.
Used 2005 Saturn ION Red Line For Sale in Highland IL | 1G8AY12P85Z131381

Thanks.

Last edited by Stack4; 01-13-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Back in 2007, our supercharged engine made it onto Wards top 10 engines list. This car will treat you right if you do the same to her. There are hardly any problems with the superchargers. At 92k miles, you may wanna change the timing chain tensioner ($40 part and takes about 10 minutes to install with basic hand tools). Also you may have a dead intercooler pump if it hasn't been changed (roughly $100 for one of those and may take about 30 minutes to swap). I would get that air dam ASAP though. The car will start to heat soak without it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Vyper has about nailed it. There are a few annoying quirks with the car (tell me what car DOESN'T have any) but it's a pretty reliable vehicle. I'd add in that the ignition switch has been a beast for several people as well but once again, not a real expensive fix if that problem does crop up.

I'm 30 now and as a former auto adjuster as well as someone who had to pay for every aspect of my own car at your age, here would be my concerns for you:

1. Premium gas. You can pay to upgrade and convert it to E85 IF it's around you but that's not saving people a ton either. Gas is certain to only rise and with a mid 20's fuel economy, that bill can add up quickly

2. Because it is a supercharged vehicle and you are a newly licensed driver, insurance is going to soak you pretty well. The redline flies a LITTLE under the radar, but don't think for a second they don't know it's supercharged.

3. If you don't do your own oil changes (and even if you do) this thing takes damn near 7 quarts of Mobil-1 synthetic oil each change. Doing it on your own, this means at least a 40 dollar oil change and you probably don't want to know what a shop will charge.

4. The last big expense that folks your age don't really consider is tires. These are low profile tires which does NOT translate to low cost. Most of the tires made for it are best for summer use which means if you have winters in your area you're going to want a set of snow tires and crappy rims.

I'll throw in a P.S. here and say that we all know what wanting a fast car in high school was like but if you get caught using that speed, those expenses add up quickly too.

That being said, it's a super fun car to drive and if you have the financial and responsibility aspects of my points covered, it should be a pretty solid vehicle for you.

....And now I feel old.


Ben
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We have Redlines with a ton of miles on them still running strong today.

The OFFICAL How many Miles are on your ION thread

It all depends on how well they were maintained.

If you looking for a Redline the only thing I would add is that if you are going to get into heavy modding you might want to find one with "The Competition Package". It comes with a factory boost gauge mounted on the steering column but most importantly it comes with a limited slip transaxle. Without the limited slip, your car will be a single wheel spinner! People will pay an $1000 just for a limited slip transaxle. And then they go through all the work of installing it. So if you can buy a Redline with one already installed you are way a head of the game.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comments!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyperpunk View Post
Back in 2007, our supercharged engine made it onto Wards top 10 engines list. This car will treat you right if you do the same to her. There are hardly any problems with the superchargers. At 92k miles, you may wanna change the timing chain tensioner ($40 part and takes about 10 minutes to install with basic hand tools). Also you may have a dead intercooler pump if it hasn't been changed (roughly $100 for one of those and may take about 30 minutes to swap). I would get that air dam ASAP though. The car will start to heat soak without it.
I've read that people take off air dams and they don't really need them. My dad thinks we will need to get one for the car, if we get it. Can those parts be purchased at Auto Zone or would I have to order them from the internet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMRedline View Post
We have Redlines with a ton of miles on them still running strong today.

The OFFICAL How many Miles are on your ION thread

It all depends on how well they were maintained.

If you looking for a Redline the only thing I would add is that if you are going to get into heavy modding you might want to find one with "The Competition Package". It comes with a factory boost gauge mounted on the steering column but most importantly it comes with a limited slip transaxle. Without the limited slip, your car will be a single wheel spinner! People will pay an $1000 just for a limited slip transaxle. And then they go through all the work of installing it. So if you can buy a Redline with one already installed you are way a head of the game.
I don't plan on modding heavily. Maybe just an intake and exhaust. This car does not have the competition package. So a Redline without the comp. package would be fine without many mods, right?
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynic View Post
Vyper has about nailed it. There are a few annoying quirks with the car (tell me what car DOESN'T have any) but it's a pretty reliable vehicle. I'd add in that the ignition switch has been a beast for several people as well but once again, not a real expensive fix if that problem does crop up.

I'm 30 now and as a former auto adjuster as well as someone who had to pay for every aspect of my own car at your age, here would be my concerns for you:

1. Premium gas. You can pay to upgrade and convert it to E85 IF it's around you but that's not saving people a ton either. Gas is certain to only rise and with a mid 20's fuel economy, that bill can add up quickly

2. Because it is a supercharged vehicle and you are a newly licensed driver, insurance is going to soak you pretty well. The redline flies a LITTLE under the radar, but don't think for a second they don't know it's supercharged.

3. If you don't do your own oil changes (and even if you do) this thing takes damn near 7 quarts of Mobil-1 synthetic oil each change. Doing it on your own, this means at least a 40 dollar oil change and you probably don't want to know what a shop will charge.

4. The last big expense that folks your age don't really consider is tires. These are low profile tires which does NOT translate to low cost. Most of the tires made for it are best for summer use which means if you have winters in your area you're going to want a set of snow tires and crappy rims.

I'll throw in a P.S. here and say that we all know what wanting a fast car in high school was like but if you get caught using that speed, those expenses add up quickly too.

That being said, it's a super fun car to drive and if you have the financial and responsibility aspects of my points covered, it should be a pretty solid vehicle for you.

....And now I feel old.


Ben
I thought that you only needed to use premium gas if there was a stage kit in it. If the car can run on regular gas stock, but the car has a stage kit, is there any way to remove it?

Yeah, we know insurance will be pretty high...There's not much to do about that...unfortunately.

We will change oil in it, but I didn't know it would cost $40 ever 3k miles or so.

We checked the tires on it and they seem to be pretty good, so that's a plus. Winters aren't too bad here, but if the car has summer tires, we'll probably need all season or winter. I think most summer tires are only good down to like 40 degrees or something.




Now does this car seem like a good deal? My dad thinks if we test drive it, like it, and all that, we will offer $5500 and if they decline, we'll walk. He says that they'll probably end up calling back within a week or so asking us if we still want the car.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The biggest benefit with the competition package is the LSD/Quaife. The easiest nearly 100% way to tell if it has an LSD is to stand at the driver-side wheel with the hood open. and look down at the trans. There should be a stamped panel that will say "LSD" on it.... I had a pic somewhere but i cant seem to find it. The best way from the internet to tell is the boost gauge and foglights (the wheels are also unique, but those are the easiest to change of the 4)... Keep in mind that everything can be added on from a junkyard in a non-competition package


My ion has been my 3rd car, and its been the nicest/least picky car I've had... Granted its also been the newest. It gets about the same gas mileage as my previous car, and I was hopeful fore a bit more than I am getting (and I daily drive it very timidly... racing is for the track)... For the most part it seems that replacement parts are cheap enough for a "performance" car (Clutch, brakes, spark plugs (Only 4!), no wire-set with COP ignition)... Oil changes aren't that bad, I think you can get away with around 30-35 from walmart, which is high, but you can go way more than 3k miles on it, unlike any car I've had in the past so I think its probably cheaper in the long run...

I honestly think that the Ecotec SC was built way better than the non SC, so basic engine reliability is probably better with the SC, since they probably use more strict standards... That being said my GF has the Sunfire with the base Ecotec and she has done barely anything to that car's engine other than barely routine maintenance and we all know how 90% of our Ladies treat their cars



I've had mine since March I paid $6200 for a 70k mile 2005 with the competition package... mine was also in a minor front end accident, and was repaired fairly well... There are paint chips, but I'm not sure if that's just because cars get chips from rocks, or a bad prep for paint.

Last edited by dantheman68; 01-14-2013 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Stack4, you need that air dam. Without it, you can kiss the engine goodbye on a hot summer day. Also, you should be running premium fuel in it regardless if it has a stage kit in it or if it's stock. You can put the car back to stock, but if it's already modded, I would say stick with it. Easiest way to tell if it's modded is to look at the supercharger pulley. If it has 4 bolts in it, then its modded. Also look at the top of the fuel injectors. They're a bit hard to see, but I believe the factory ones are bright green.

As for the price, it does seem a little high for that many miles. You can probably pull the old "but it's a Saturn" trick with the dealer for them to drop it down a bit.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyperpunk View Post
Stack4, you need that air dam. Without it, you can kiss the engine goodbye on a hot summer day. Also, you should be running premium fuel in it regardless if it has a stage kit in it or if it's stock. You can put the car back to stock, but if it's already modded, I would say stick with it. Easiest way to tell if it's modded is to look at the supercharger pulley. If it has 4 bolts in it, then its modded. Also look at the top of the fuel injectors. They're a bit hard to see, but I believe the factory ones are bright green.

As for the price, it does seem a little high for that many miles. You can probably pull the old "but it's a Saturn" trick with the dealer for them to drop it down a bit.
The air dam will be a dealer only part (chevy dealer in this case.) Or if you're lucky you can find one in a junk yard. The engine's cooling capability, even with the intercooler, is not very good. Removing a chunk that directs air to that intercooler will not result in very happy things as Vyper said. Premium gas is not required if it's stock but it is HIGHLY recommended to ensure longevity of the motor. 92k prior wreck for $5,500? That sounds like absolute top dollar for that vehicle. Your dad sounds like he knows what he's talking about (minus the little details we're filling in of course.)


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Old 01-14-2013, 08:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The air dam will be a dealer only part (chevy dealer in this case.) Or if you're lucky you can find one in a junk yard. The engine's cooling capability, even with the intercooler, is not very good. Removing a chunk that directs air to that intercooler will not result in very happy things as Vyper said. Premium gas is not required if it's stock but it is HIGHLY recommended to ensure longevity of the motor. 92k prior wreck for $5,500? That sounds like absolute top dollar for that vehicle. Your dad sounds like he knows what he's talking about (minus the little details we're filling in of course.)


Ben
We're not even sure if the guy will take $5500. That's all my dad's willing to pay. And yeah, my dad knows quite a bit about it, he's worked in a GM plant for some 27 years.
We found where there's another one, it's a 2006 RedLine with 60k miles, no wrecks, two owner for about $8k. I've emailed the dealership asking for pics since there isn't any. But my dad isn't too fond of how the first owner leased it. He said the first owner probably ran it pretty hard.
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