Last post on Jan 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM
You are in the Saturn S-Series
What is this discussion about?
Saturn S-Series, Engine, Sedan
#75 of 81 Re: 2001 sc1 [jdw122275]
Sep 08, 2009 (6:40 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 (8:18 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 (8:38 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.
#78 of 81 Re: 2000 Saturn SL2 hard to start [mingleefu]
Jan 18, 2010 (10:02 pm)
You have the same problem. I'd bet on it. Your other details are symptoms of the same. Good news is the job is not hard. If you are closeby, say in MA? You could slow down fluid loss by keeping the coolant reserve bottle loose for now. There is really no real need to pressurized the coolant system if you do not pull trailer and your coolant temperature never goes above 200 deg! Hoses will last longer, and you will slow down fluid loss due to pressurization and leak at the manifold gasket. The gasket has deterioriated on you. There is coolant because a hose to your passenger area heater is through the gasket and through the intake manifold due to shortage of real estate for hose connections to the engine head. The gasket GM gave us is a POS fiberglass gasket. Does not shrink and expand like the aluminum parts that pinch it down. The gasket just fails all over after a few years. A new FelPro gasket is the right stuff, and only $18. Expect 3 hours to do the job.
#79 of 81 Re: 2000 Saturn SL2 hard to start [mingleefu]
Jan 18, 2010 (10:13 pm)
Your Check Engine Soon light is your emissions light. It has been on for a while likely due to detected misfire. Saturn engine should be completely smooth idle when in neutral/park. It should not gitter. When it does, those are moments that you operated on 3 cylinders. You should hear a slight pop at tailpipe, which is the afterfire detonation that got muffled. The code should be the P0301 as that is cylinder 1 misfired, the most likely seriously deterioriated seal (passenger side). You should also see P0507, triggered by your PCM's failure to gain control of your idle speed. It is a simple fix. Do once for rest life of car. Do before excessive unburned gasses from misfires mess up your catalytic converter.
#80 of 81 Engine idle
Jan 23, 2010 (8:16 am)
I'm not very good at vehicle repair and no very little. I have a 2001 Saturn S-Series car. I noticed the last few weeks when (clutch) I put the vehicle in neutral it revs up between 2 to 3 RPM. Vehicle sounds very loud. When I go into first gear it works just fine, the RPM drops to about 1 or a little less. I get NO error on my dash and I have ALWAYS replaced my air filter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
#81 of 81 Re: Engine idle [staadon]
Jan 23, 2010 (8:59 am)
Revving up to 2000 to 3000 RPM is way high. The Saturn's idle air control (IAC) may be suspicious, but I have my doubts. IAC opens during cold idle and opens a bit also during air conditioner operation to speed up the idle in varying amounts to stablize cold idle and handle A/C load. I have never seen it manage to get above 2,000 RPM even when my '02 SL1 operates the exhaust electric blower which I determined operates at cold start and the IAC is most wide open (about 1,700 RPM). SL's OBD-II is quite accurate and would have detected other issues that I could think of. An air leak like other threads here relate to common problem of intake air leak would cause unmistakable startup problems and lots of misfires that would easily trigger the P03XX code. As the IAC is not cheap to buy new one on hope that is problem, best to retrieve it and use carb cleaner to dissolve the mess and re-install.