Last post on Jan 23, 2010 at 9:59 AM
You are in the Saturn S-Series
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Saturn S-Series, Engine, Sedan
Sep 06, 2009 (11:20 am)
My saturn has a problem with idle speed.. It idles about 1100 rpm, sometimes this goes up and down.. Sometime when I come up to a red light or down shift it'll stall out... It was doing this most of the day yesterday, and this morning I went to start it up and it didn't want to start or stay running.. I finally got it started.. It stalled out at every light for about 30 min, and then it was fine except for it was ideling very high... I had a friend come over with a snap on scan tool, but there was no code... I don't have a clue what to do now...
#69 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [jdw122275]
Sep 06, 2009 (12:36 pm)
It sounds like the usual intake manifold gasket leak. But there should have been a code registered. It sounds bad enough to stall the engine and should have registered something in the OBD-II. I take it there was no check engine soon light? If no Check engine soon light, then there is no code.
#70 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [booboo6]
Sep 06, 2009 (12:50 pm)
there was no engine light on... No codes stored in the computer... I don't know what sensors would control the idle... It doesn't idle rough. This doesn't happen every time...
#71 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [jdw122275]
Sep 06, 2009 (1:17 pm)
Assuming car runs fine when you are moving and driving with foot on gas, the matter does appear to be idle. Having a problem for first 30 mins tells me the car must've warmed up, so issues related to faulty cold idle control does not sound to be the issue. It is warm idle issue. There are special effects with Saturn S if the battery connection is faulty for any reason. Long story. Check your terminals that the side posts did not come loose.
#72 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [jdw122275]
Sep 06, 2009 (11:45 pm)
The other possible problem is bad PCV. This problem may not be detected by OBD-II if not enough to misfire. During idle, the PCV is to see high vacuum and sucked closed, but if air is freely allowed to flow from crankcase into the manifold when there is no flow, you should see higher idle speed from MAP sensing the perceived air flow. As there is a idle signal from the throttle position sensor, the MAP may be limited to what it could do to achieve proper mix at idle. A test for this is to pull off that short hose between intake manifold and the engine valve cover. Use a cap plug or equivalent to cap the hose nipple at the intake manifold. In general, if car is fine when not in idle mode, tendency is that there is a vacuum leak issue. All the sensors would be working for proper operation during driving, and when problem only at idle (high vacuum), you will expose problems with air leaks or air flow that is unwanted.
#73 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [booboo6]
Sep 07, 2009 (9:54 am)
I cleaned the battery terminals, checked the pcv, it had no effect... Now the rpm's are up at 1500 at idle... If the pcv is bad, when i plugged the hose what would the effect be if that was the problem?
#74 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [jdw122275]
Sep 07, 2009 (11:27 am)
OK. Good on the battery check. If you remove the hose between intake manifold and the head cover, and plug the tap at the intake manifold, idle will return to normal of that is the problem. During idling (high vacuum), PVC should be closed and no flow at all, so you would be forcing this issue. You could also leave the cap on forever, but the issue is that the bypass gasses if builds up, will enter upstream in the other hose to the snorkel, and your air throttle will be all gummed up with oil. Best to have air come in from the snorkel (another hose on the side) and let the oil and gas fumes to to manifold at the hose to the PCB valve. The PCV valve is white and attach as a nipple on the head cover.
#75 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [jdw122275]
Sep 08, 2009 (7:40 am)
The PCV valve is actually black. I got it mixed up with another car. Just looked at my own car. If pulling PCV hose off at intake manifold and plugging the hose nipple at the intake manifold does not change anything, the other possibility, though not likely, is the idle control valve. If this is the case, you would see high idle, but none of the stalling and rough idle issues you mentioned. An abnormally opened idle control valve simply means faster idle and some wasted gas, but should run well otherwise. Given the 1,500 rpm idle speed, I tend to doubt PCV. It doesn't let that much air through but worth checking.
#76 of 81 Re: 2000 Saturn SL2 hard to start [booboo6]
Jan 18, 2010 (9:18 pm)
booboo6 - maybe you can help me too! ?
My symptoms are eerily similar to your post above (#66):
1. Tiny trace of coolant smell coming from exhaust or very gradual loss of coolant?
2. Extra tough starting on the colder mornings.
3. Look at the engine at hot idle. Do you see a slight jitter as if one cylinder has a slight miss. Listen for corresponding pop on exhaust too (misfire).
For the sake of completion, let me run down the whole story, briefly.
01 SL2, poor cold start condition. will start if I floor the pedal, but only after letting it crank for longer than it should need to. After starting, I need to keep my foot dancing on the pedal, as the RPM's will get low, as if it is about to die. After a few (15-20) seconds of this, I can finally stop holding my breath because it will idle without dying. After it is warmed up, I can turn it off and it will immediately restart as if everything is fine. The longer it sits, and colder it gets, the more difficult it is to fire. Once the gears are engaged (standard), and the rpm's up, it's fine. while engaging first gear, from a stop, I have to use more throttle than typical. other gears are fine, presumably because there is less strain. Have not tried significant hills.
-My car has had the engine light on for a long time now, it turns off occasionally, but usually it is on. Because I still got good fuel economy (30/34) and there were no unusual noises, I just accepted that that light was there to let me know that the service engine light bulb worked. :] not ideal, I know, I know.
-Car has always idled high (15-1800, sometimes even 2000+, but it will slow down after it warms up to ~1100)
-My boss (construction, so he sees my car running everyday) has mentioned that it sounds like it was not firing on all cylinders. Otherwise, I've never noticed the jitter of #3 above. I did r/r plugs and wires about a year ago per his recommendation, no change.
-we had a couple of very cold days recently, and the car would not start after sitting for 3 hours. Push started on monday, tuesday it was fine, wednesday needed another push start, so I started changing out parts.
-I changed the oil (routine service) and fuel filter at the same time. No change. however after this, i had driven enough on that tank of gas that I soon realized fuel economy was dropping (around 20mpg).
--While at a park, afraid that it wouldn't start, I let the car idle for about 30min. We saw a small plume of smoke or steam coming from near the empty coolant reservoir (did not pinpoint), and the temp gauge was just over halfway. the gauge is typically just above C, even on long trips, and it was definitely not redlining. I rolled down the windows, turned the heat on high (brought the temp gauge down quickly), and bought some 50/50 mix at the nearest gas station. I only poured ~1/2 gallon in there, so the system wasn't totally drained. I have not had this happen again since (a few days ago). The coolant level was fine after I swapped out a cracked radiator a few months ago, and no leaks (I've been watching).
-I changed the fuel pump. No change. However after starting my car this time, i noticed an excessive amount of smoke in the garage and began surveying the exhaust. I seemed to notice a small amount of antifreeze smell. the smoke almost had hints of white color. Not super thick, but hazy enough.
I know that was long, but that's as thorough as I can be. Does that reek of "intake manifold gasket" per your post #66, or should I do some other trouble shooting? I'm about to take a life insurance policy out on the thing and push it down the stairs. Thanks.
#77 of 81 Re: 2000 Saturn SL2 hard to start [mingleefu]
Jan 18, 2010 (9:38 pm)
oh, I'm at 133,000 miles. I couldn't get the codes read at Autozone because I couldn't get there early enough. will try tomorrow.