Last post on Jan 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM
You are in the Saturn S-Series
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Saturn S-Series, Engine, Sedan
#10 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [booboo6]
Apr 04, 2007 (7:45 am)
I have an '01 SL1 with only 50K miles, and I get two codes, like many other people have. They are that the idle is high, and cyl-1 is misfiring. The car idles high (~2000 RPM) when started, and sometimes when put back into park. Lots of people say that the idle control valve (looks like little motor on right (driver's side) of engine intake manifold) is dirty or needs to be replaced. This usually isn't the case. It IS the manifold gasket leaking at the #1 intake. Try spraying carb cleaner on the #1 intake (passenger side) while the car is running. If the engine begins to die, then you know you have a leak. You can spray the entire intake manifold, and you'll probably only find that #1 is the problem. I have a friend that bought the same '01 SL1 I did, at the same time I did (brand new), and he had the same problems at 18K miles. The techs couldn't figure it out, and they even brought in some of Saturn's engineers to try to help. They all know what the problem is now. He gave the car back after his 3 year lease. I don't blame him.
#11 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [dreuter]
Apr 05, 2007 (5:50 am)
No doubt it is intake gasket leak. I can hear the leak! Spraying on some SAE90 did the trick for a while, as the oil got dragged in and the thick oil temporarily sealed the leak! The IAC valve is not the problem. If IAC is stuck closed, that is the correrct condition for warm idle. If IAC is stuck open, one would get faster idle, but no misfire. The fast idle comes from fact that there is no air flow sensor and available air is based on the manifold vacuum sensor and the throttle position switch. So air slight leak of the vacuum will be sensed and fuel added as if fast idle is intended. I have new Fel-Pro gasket to put in shortly. It is much thicker than the one supplied with the car. I don't think problem is insufficient clamping of gasket, but more like an inferior gasket material. This problem is starting to show up all over for the '02 SL1. The job is about 3-4 hours. Should not be bad to do. Car is not bad, just poor gasket. Not safety matter, so I expect no general recall.
#12 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [dreuter]
Apr 06, 2007 (12:08 pm)
Yes, I have already replaced the intake gasket with a new Felpro one and it now runs great. Back to getting 40+ mpg. I even asked the service writer if there were any issues with this car and the problem showing up, and he said not that they new about, just wanted $85 for diagnostic (which I didn't do). I was told about this issue some how linked by "check engine light" fourum some place inside edmunds.com
#13 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [moparmania]
Apr 06, 2007 (12:25 pm)
In a way, we lucked out, in that our leak is sensed by the manifold absolute pressure sensor (MAP) so the Saturn may burn a little rich overall, which is much less of an issue than had we a hot-wire sensor in the throttle body and the leaked air unsensed, resulting in extra lean burn and hotter exhaust (catalyst damager, exhaust valve damage, etc). From what I read, this problem is a known "occasional" problem with the L24 engine. The OBD-II knows which cylinder misfires because it studies the crank rotation speed via the crank position indicator. It knows when there's a missing power pulse and which cylinder loss a power pulse (i.e. misfire) this manner, especially at idle speed when there's not enough momentum to flywheel effect smooth out the crank spin. OBD-II is pretty smart. Identification of misfire is pretty accurate! I've not put my new gasket yet, but will do so and time my tasks. I think I can finish in 3 hours if the old gasket comes off clean. From sound of things, it should drop right off! I have a 90 deg geared drive so I should be able to spin the nuts on and off quickly (let's not waste time ratchetin on and off so many nuts on long studs, let alone dropping and searching for them)! Cheers.
#14 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [booboo6]
Nov 17, 2007 (3:06 pm)
I have a 99 SW2 with the 1.9 DOHC and have a very similar problem. When the engine is cold, it will start and run fine in idle and park. As I drive and it warms up it will misfire under lightly loaded conditions-cruising and when stopped at lights etc. I narrowed it down to the Nr. 3 cyl. by removing spark plug wires. I have just changed out all the plugs and wires. Went back and rechecked, still have the same problem. The cylinder is getting good spark as best I can tell, it was checked by pulling the plug and grounding it to the block. So, I changed the fuel injector next. No improvement.
By the sounds of previous discussion here, I think I am looking in the wrong area now. But I have no clue as to where the IAC sensor is at, much less the rest of the sensors. Autozone has check it and came up with a P0303 code-cylinder 3 misfire detected. Any help would be a huge help, as it sounds very similar to what you have dealt with already. Thanks.
#15 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [mlc3530b]
Nov 17, 2007 (3:33 pm)
Your '99 model is a bit older model than I'm used to fooling with, but if Saturn/GM also used the same material fiberglass gasket in your model, you almost certainly have a leak from a crumpled, sucked-in gasket as I suffered (and many others). I would say going to Saturn dealership to make repairs is probably not good idea if they are going to put in the same GM intake gasket part. Maybe possible to specify Felpro gasket with whatever shop you go to if you don't do the repair yourself. I would not go too long with your car in that condition as there is localized leaning at your cyl-3, that could cause a burnt exhaust valve there. The exhaust is extra hot venting out that cylinder. P0303 is misfire at cyl-3. Mine was P0301 (cyl-1). You may get P0507 once in a while when PCM fails to control the fast idle caused by the leak under certain conditions. Most of the time, it is very slow idle caused by 3 cylinders running. You run smoother in cold idle because the IAC opens up to increase idle and end up lowering the manifold vacuum, so the reduced vacuum causes less leaking at the failing intake manifold gasket.
As the misfire is not random across the cylinders, you can almost bet your last dollar it is vacuum leak at cylinder 3 intake gasket. OBD2 is quite accurate, especially for 4-cylinders. If anything like my '02 SL1, the job is a less than 3 hour do-it-yourself job. All I had was Haynes manual for guide. Good luck.
#16 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [booboo6]
Nov 17, 2007 (4:46 pm)
Thanks, I think I'll head down to autozone and get a quality gasket then do it myself. In the meantime, guess I'll park it and save myself and wallet from a big repair. Thank you for the advice, I'll let you know how it turns out.
#17 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [mlc3530b]
Nov 17, 2007 (5:06 pm)
I've always used Felpro gaskets all my life. It's metallic cored and expands similarly to the aluminum manifold as well as aluminum head. Fiberglass probably thermally expands/contracts too much and a mismatch. Cost for Felpro: $18. Original gasket is $15, so only $3 between junk and good stuff. If you drive mainly on the highway, the leak won't hurt you too badly. With opened throttle, most of the air is let in via the throttle, so the leaked air from the gasket gets to be in the noise and out of the picture. It's if you idle a lot that there could be issues of burnt exhaust valve and damaging the catalytic converter. The misfire is from the unburned/lean gas mix getting fired after it fines hot exhaust manifold. The burn may not be complete, so expect a lot of work for the catalytic converter and lots of water coming from the tailpipe (could increase corrosion). If you send me your E-mail, I'll send you a pic of my gasket. I still have the pieces and positively located the point of leakage. The gasket will fall right off, so you don't need a scraper! Some acetone is all that is needed to clean the surfaces.
#18 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [booboo6]
Nov 17, 2007 (5:28 pm)
thanks, the email address is: michael.claypoolinbox.com
#19 of 81 Re: I keep getting code p0101 [booboo6]
Nov 27, 2007 (10:51 am)
I think I'm having the same problem on the same car...faulty intake manifold gasket on a 2002 Saturn SL1. The car is idling high, and a recent diagnostic test revealed a misfire of the #1 cylinder. I replaced the plugs and wires, hoping for a quick, easy and cheap fix, but with no results. I checked out the EGR and IAC valves and they seem to be clean and functioning fine. I haven't looked at the throttle body, but then again that would not explain the misfire.
So, I'm concluding that I will have to replace the intake manifold gasket. I'm going to spray carb cleaner around the gasket to determine if this is really the problem before I go at it. I plan to pick up a Haynes manual to attempt to do this on my own. This is the first larger project I've undertaken on this car, but I really would rather spend the $300 a shop wants for labor on tools and learning how to do it myself. Is replacing this gasket something that someone with good diy skills can tackle with a repair manual, a will and a weekend, or should it be left to a mechanic? Any tips?