1992 Saturn die no restart

Tiny
CASEY591
  • 1992 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 180,000 MILES

I have a 1992 Saturn SL2 DOHC. It will start and idle fine for 5-10 minutes and then will die. Will not restart. After waiting for a while (30 - 60 min) it will start again and do the same thing. I can turn it off immediately after starting and it restarts. No check engine codes
Thanks for your help.
casey591

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Monday, January 10th, 2011 AT 7:51 PM

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Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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First thing we need to do is when it dies and won't start is see if we have spark then if we do then we need to see what the fuel pressure reading is. Let me know what you find.

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Monday, January 10th, 2011 AT 7:54 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
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Has spark. Can hear the fuel pump come on and stop when turning switch to on position. It just restarted. I am letting it idle to see if it stops again. I did wiggle the two connectors to the two temp sensors in the right side of block before starting. Could a bad connection cause my problem?
Thanks,
casey591

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Monday, January 10th, 2011 AT 8:10 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Those car's are known for bad coolant temp sensor's it would be the bottom sensor with two wire's going to it. The sensor's are only 10 also inspect the connector if it's corroded the sensor would have to be replaced. Hearing the fuel pump kick on doesn't mean you have enough fuel pressure to start and run.I have seen plenty of fuel pump's go bad and you can hear them run but didn't have the proper fuel pressure. So when it didn't start you checked for spark?A bad coolant temp sensor and or corroded connector could cause your problem though. It's only 10 a cheap try and it's pretty common for them to go bad.

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Monday, January 10th, 2011 AT 8:27 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
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Thanks, I will try the coolant sensor however my bottom sensor has only one wire, it is the top one that has two wires. Is there something wrong with that? Also you are regarding the spark when not starting, I have not documented that. I assumed I have spark since the engine eventually starts again. I will check for spark now that it will not start at all. The final time that it started I was able to drive for 4 blocks until it died. Prior to that it had died after idling for 15 min and driving about 1 mile. When it died the last time it was like I had turned off the key, then turned it back on and finally turned it off. Seemed to be ignition in nature rather that fuel starved. Please confirm the "two wire" sensor on bottom rather than the "one wire" that I have on bottom. Are the sensors identical?
'casey591'

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Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 AT 5:15 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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The sensor's are not the same the top one is for the gauge it usually has a white looking end where the connector goes. The top one has a single green wire going to it for sure. The bottom sensor usually has a brown end where the connector goes on. The bottom one has two wires going to it a yellow one and a black one for sure. When it die's and won't start you need to see if it has spark you could be loosing spark when it dies and won't start. Let me know what you find with the sensor's that could be a problem also. Make sure the coolant sensor connector's aren't corroded if the are they will have to be replaced.

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Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 AT 6:45 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
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Sensors seem to be fine by resistance testing, correct wiring(just a lapse in my memory) no corrosion on connectors. Starts after sitting for a long while. Runs for about 5-10 minutes the begins to falter and dies. No restart. Application of starting fluid to Air intake and it acts as though it wants to start but does not. Cannot document spark by conventional means (disconnect from coil pack and look for spark through air gap from coil contact to end of wire inserted into coil wire boot). Battery has run down so removed to recharge (this will reset PCM). So I will let you know after reconnection and attempt to restart with "clean" program.
I appreciate your help.
Casey591

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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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The best way to check for spark is to remove two spark plug wire's from the coil tower's that are side by side and crank it and watch for a spark to jump from tower to tower. How did you test the coolant temp sensor's with a resistance check?Did you use the resistance chart and compare the ohm's value to the correct coolant temp?Or did you just see if they had resistance?Because there variable resistor's depending on what temp there exposed to the resistance value change's. The only one that would keep it from starting is the bottom one.

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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 AT 8:07 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
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Charged battery. Replaced Temperature Sensor. Engine Started, ran for 15 seconds partial throttle, then died when throttle down. No restart. Cannot see spark between to terminals on cranking.
Thanks,
casey591

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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
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Update from previous reply. I tried again to see a spark between terminals of either coil pack. Also checked coil resistance. Coil pack 4-1 had fluctuating 5k-7k ohms resistance between terminals. Pack 2-3 had steady 7.8k ohms resistance. Tested for spark on 4-1 pack - no spark.(2-3 wires attached to their terminals) Tested 2-3 for spark (4-1 wires attached to their terminals) Initial spark and ignition in engine then die / no spark). Both packs now register steady 8k ohms resistance but no spark. Seems to definitely be ignition problem.
Any thoughts?
Casey591

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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
  • MEMBER

Third addition. I took off the coil packs with control unit and checked for shorts to ground (base plate of control unit) and resistance in coils off of the control unit. 8k ohms both packs. Infinite resistance between coil towers and base plate (ground). All contacts clean. After re-installation the engine started right up partial throttle idle (2200rpm) for 10-20 seconds slight falter when easing on throttle so throttle back to 2200 for 20 more seconds throttled back to 1500 for 10 sec then falter and die. No restart no spark.
Your help is appreciated.
Casey591

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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 11:30 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Sound's like you have a bad ignition module the base for the coil's or a bad crank shaft sensor. How long does it die for and not start time length?

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Saturday, January 15th, 2011 AT 7:26 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
  • MEMBER

I replaced the crankshaft sensor and the vehicle speed sensor. No start no spark. This morning 36 hours later started right up and idled normally, responded to throttle and returned to idle with no faltering. I noticed a ticking sound and some dieseling knock coming from the engine top. Died after about 4 minutes of idling no restart no spark. On thinking back the ticking sound has been there before but disappears as the car warms up. This still seems to be an ignition problem. Do you think the ignition control module is still the next thing to try?
Thanks,
'casey591'
By the way I need to know how to pass some additional money to you for your help when this is solved.

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Monday, January 17th, 2011 AT 3:44 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Why did you replace the speed sensor. You replaced the one in the transmission by where the axle's go into the transmission?Also you replaced the crank sensor that goes into the engine block under the end of the starter area?So it's a long time when you loose spark and get spark back?As far as money goes you can donate money under your user name.

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Monday, January 17th, 2011 AT 7:30 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
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I replaced the speed sensor since I was there. (I have some problems with my speedometer maxing out when I turn on the key.) Yes I replaced the crank sensor in the engine block behind the starter. Yes it seems to be a long (variable) time between losing spark. Just tried again 7 hours after last start and no go no spark. Are there any other sensors which could be a problem?
Thanks,
'casey591'

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Monday, January 17th, 2011 AT 9:11 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Follow the trouble tree I posted when you don't have spark.

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Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 AT 8:58 AM
Tiny
CASEY591
  • MEMBER

I followed the trouble tree and had battery voltage at the circuit 1039 at #6 pin on harness connector.
Checked resistance of circuit 450 in the 5 pin harness blk/wht wire and had 37ohms resistance. So I am replacing the ignition control module this afternoon. I will keep you posted. Thanks for the direction.
'casey591'

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 AT 7:15 PM
Tiny
CASEY591
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Yes! It was the ignition control module. Thanks so much for your help. Unfortunately the Vehicle speed sensor that I also replaced did not correct the problem with the speedometer (max out at 130 at Key On position). A problem for another day.
Thanks again.
'casey591'

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011 AT 8:18 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Your welcome glad to hear that you got it fixed thats what were here for to help people with there car's. Let me know when your ready to tackle the speedometer.

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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 3:06 AM

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