, Salem, MA


August 3, 2013

Auto Scanner: Should timing belt in ’04 Saturn be replaced?


A: I took a close look for technical service bulletins in the ALLDATA information system program and found several technical service bulletins for the transmission. However, none relate to your problem. You did not mention if your check engine light was on or not, so I can assume the check engine light is off. If the check engine light was on, then I would be pretty convinced this vehicle is going into “limp mode” to protect itself. This appears to be a temperature-related problem. I suggest you have the fluid quality checked as well as the quantity. I further suggest you bring the car to a qualified repair shop to take the vehicle for a ride with a scanner hooked up to check all speed sensors as well as the transmission fluid temperature. If you do not get a definite problem to show, I minimally would have the transmission flushed. If you are towing with the vehicle, you should add an external transmission cooler.

Car Care Tip: If you know someone with a 2013 Honda Accord, make sure they are aware of this recall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: “American Honda Motor Co., Inc. is recalling certain model year 2013 Accord vehicles that are Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) II rated that were manufactured Jan. 15, 2013, through April 5, 2013. The fuel tank neck may be out of specification causing the fuel pump to not properly seal to the fuel tank. An insufficient seal may lead to a fuel leak which increases the risk of a fire. Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel tank, nut and O-ring gasket free of charge. The recall is expected to begin Aug. 1, 2013. Honda’s recall number is JA9. Owners may contact Honda at 1-310-783-2000.


Larry Rubenstein is a master technician who owns a North Shore service station. His column appears every Saturday. Write to Larry at The Salem News, c/o Auto Scanner, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915, or send an email to

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