ECTS or Other?

Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 114,000 MILES
I have a 1995 saturn SL2 with the twin cam. I had symptoms which seemed like a ECTS. RPM fluctuation on a cold start(winter here in wisconsin), then if you shut it off before it warmed up it would either 1. Not restart or 2. Restart and idle normal. Once it was warmed up it ran fine, and the service engine soon light cleared itself after about 15 miles. I changed out the ECTS, the SES light was still on but the other symptoms seemed like they went away. Then they slowy came back. Started the car this morning, RPM fluctuated, I shut it off and it didn't start again. I was thinking maybe it is the ECTS plug, but I have another issue I thought was not related, but possibly is. The power steering pump has a good leak and I see the alternator is right under the PSP. Could a leak from the PSP affect the alternator/electrical system and cause these symptoms? I also noticed about 2 hestitations per 30 miles at highway speeds. After I changed the ECTS the car didn't start until I jumped it (turned over but did not start). When I jumped it after I changed the ECTS it started with a normal idle, but did not start this morning when I jumped it.
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Monday, January 17th, 2011 AT 8:48 PM

21 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So when it doesn't start it's crank no start?If so have you checked for spark when it didn't start?Also I would check the coil tower's where the spark plug wire's go on see if any of those are corroded pretty common for that year and model saturn. Also have you inspected the spark plug's yet?I have seen bad plug's cause some wild thing's to happen. Did you replace the top ect with the single green wire or the bottom one with two wire's one black and the other yellow?Also the top sensor has a white end on the sensor and the bottom one has a brown end on it. Any current code's or past code's in memory?As far as the power steer leak if it leaks into the alternator it can short it out. Have you had the alternator tested and the battery tested if not I would do that. Also make sure the battery cable's are clean and tight.
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Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 AT 8:40 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
Yes, cranks but does not start. I have not checked for spark (should have thought of that from working on my sleds!). I can do that tonight and check the plugs. The ects I changed the correct one with the brown/yellow wires. The engineers at Saturn did me a favor by putting two different connectors on there, or I would have changed the wrong one. Here is my delima on the codes. Last time the light was off by the time got to Advanced auto to scan it, they said their scanner will not do history. Now I can't get it started to drive it down there. I will have the battery tested also, I am sure they would love to sell me a new one! I just bought the car from a maintenance guy at work said he just changed the alternator (which doesn't mean it is not bad I guess). The car was spotless, I lifted the hood and it looked like it just came off the showroom floor. Is the PCV valve a possible issue? So cheap to try, wouldn't hurt. Could the alternator be toast from the leak, or does it just need to be cleaned up? Thanks for the help. I also used an aftermarket ECTS, can that be an issue? I may try the Saturn connector kit also. Thanks for the help.
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Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 AT 9:01 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Check for spark let me know what you find. Also check the other thing's I asked you to check. Another thing you can try to make it start if you haven't already is to hold the gas pedal all the way to the floor while you crank it to start it. Yes the bottom brown tipped one with the black wire and yellow wire is the correct one. Look at the inside of the connector where it snap's onto the sensor if it's green or blue replace the connector. If it's not leave it alone.I have never seen a bad pcv stop that engine from starting. AS far as the alternator if it got enough power steering fluid in it it could short out. That's why your going to have to test it when we get the engine running.I have had pretty good luck with aftermarket ect's but I have gotten bad new one's though. Also before you mess with the battery use the code retrival I posted for you to see if you have any code's it will even show you if you have history code's. Let me know what you find.
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Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 AT 9:24 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
Codes are 12 and 34. Spark is good, just checked first two. Should I check all 4? Holding gas to floor does not get the car started. Plugs look black, but that isn't saying much with a bad running engine. The plug does look like it has some brownish coloring around the ceramic, but don't know if that means anything. I did not check the connector yet, I was waiting to hear what the codes are. Need to check the coil towers yet. Will get to some of those tomorrow. Thanks Again.
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Thursday, January 20th, 2011 AT 2:34 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Yes I would check all four tower's for spark and for being corroded also inspect that coolant temp sensor connector if it's green or blue it's corroded and need's to be changed. Also for the no start we could be loosing fuel pressure. The code 12 is normal it should have that code. The code 34 is for the map sensor feed back voltage to the computer being too low. That could cause the no start etc stalling out all that. It can be caused by a bad sensor bad wiring bad pcm etc.I would check the feed back voltage when the car stall's out and won't start or just not starting at all. The problem is you will need a scan tool that read's obd 1 and will also read live data display on the obd 1 cars to diagnose it yourself without guessing. Here is the trouble tree for the code 34 let me know what you find.
MAP CIRCUIT - VOLTAGE OUT OF RANGE LOW
The manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor is a variable resistor that responds to changes in manifold pressure (vacuum). The PCM measure the voltage drop across the MAP sensor. The voltage ranges from 1-1.5 volts at idle (high vacuum) to 4-4.5 volts at wide-open throttle (low vacuum).

DTC PARAMETERS

DTC 34 will set if either:

* Engine speed is less than 1200 rpm.
* MAP is 0.2 volts or less.
* DTC 21 and 22 are not present. Or
* Engine speed is greater than 1200 rpm.
* MAP is 0.2 volts or less.
* TP sensor is greater than 15.2 present.
* DTC 21 and 22 are not present.

DIAGNOSTIC AIDS
When attempting to diagnose an intermittent problem use the Scan tool[1] to review supplemental diagnostic information. The supplemental data can be used to duplicate a problem.

Intermittents or opens suspected to be at the connector can be detected by using Diagnostic Service Probe. Voltage can be read on both wires without disconnecting any connectors.

With the engine Off and key On the map reading should be the same as to barometric because manifold pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure (no vacuum - high voltage). Comparing this reading to a known good vehicle with the same sensor is a good way to check accuracy of a suspect sensor. Readings should be within 0.4 volts.

[1] Select Malfunction History from Scan toot Engine Control (EC) menu.
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Thursday, January 20th, 2011 AT 5:48 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
Saturntech9,
I pulled the MAP sensor off and was happy to see it was all gummed up with black crap. I cleaned out the hole in the intake manifold, bolted on a new sensor ($40) and the car fired right up. It literally took 5 minutes to change it. I can't imagine what the repair shop would have soaked me for. Well they wanted $85 just to tell me what was wrong, another $85 to tow it down there probably. That was just the start. Will hit that PSP this weekend I hope. Nice video on you tube for it. Thanks again for the help.
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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 12:15 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome glad to hear to hear you have it fixed that's what were here for.
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Friday, January 21st, 2011 AT 3:53 AM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
Saturntech9,

HELP I need some more help. I changed out my power steering pump today. Went to start the car, nothing, won't turn over, doesn't even click. So frustrated. No codes. Do you have any ideas for me?

Thanks.
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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 AT 12:10 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
We need to start with the basic's first make sure your battery cable's are clean and tight. Then have your battery tested. Do you have a multimeter?Does the dash light's come on when you turn the key on?If so do they go out when you try to start the car?
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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 AT 1:32 AM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
I jumped it with one of my boat batteries, cables are good, clean and tight. Dash lights come on, do not go out when starting. I think it is the starter solenoid. I think I heard the starter spinning this morning when I tried it again. Where is the starter located (know it is underneath)?
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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 AT 3:43 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
I found the problem, I think. The purple wire to the starter solenoid was never hooked up. The guy before me must have just pinched it under the hot lead, so that is why it actually started before which is a small miracle. I just need to find the thread size on the stud for the purple wire as the nut is missing and I should be good to go. Another topic, when I replaced the power steering pump the new pump was different there was no space for the plunger and spring, so I put it together without it. Not sure if that will work properly or not. I don't really care as long as it doesn't leak and I have some type of power steering or the new pump won't burn up. Thanks. How can I make a donation without starting another thread?
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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
When you say plunger and spring do you mean the evo steering solenoid?Was there a connector going to it. If so you installed the wrong power steering pump. You would have installed a non evo power steering pump where you had a evo power steering system. If that's the case get the correct power steering pump and install it. Im looking to see what thread nut you need for your starter I will let you know what size it is.
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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 AT 9:51 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
Oh great, they sold me the wrong pump. Yes it has a solenoid. I didn't think it looked correct. So what will happen if I run it like it is? Can I run it for the week? Will the pump burn up? Should I unplug the solenoid? I found the thread size, it is a M6x1. I figured the nut must have came loose and when I pulled on the wire harness the purple wire must have fallen off. Too much coincidence.
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 3:42 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
They should had asked you if you had evo steering or non evo steering when you asked for the pump. The solenoid change's the pressure to the rack and pion depending on the speed of the car.I honestly can't tell what will happen if you drive with the wrong pump.I have never put the wrong pump on that car. The least that will happen is your evo will be inop and it will set a code.I would put the correct pump back on as soon as you can. That's my best advice to you.
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 6:09 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
I even asked the store attendant when I brought the core back about it being different, and he didn't know anything. It works fine, I do notice a little harder steer at slow speeds, but it doesn't matter much. It drives fine. I think it still leaks. There is pressure in the resevoir when I open it, are the caps supposed to vent? It must be leaking on the low pressure side. I put a new o-rings in the compression fitting and in the EVO soleniod.
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 6:34 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I really never noticed pressure building up in the Reservoir tank before.I would still put the correct power steering put back on. Www. Rockauto. Com has the pump with the evo solenoid for 76 plus shipping. Did you get the pump from auto zone?They only list the pump with and without Reservoir.
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 9:33 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
Advanced Auto. I think that is why the original pump leaked. Builds pressure. The low pressure return line and intake from the res to the pump do not look like connections that could hold pressure.
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 9:40 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The return line only has a hose clamp on it because it only return's fluid to the Reservoir unlike the pressure line that feed's high pressure to the rack.
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 9:43 PM
Tiny
BKP73
  • MEMBER
Can you do some digging and find out if the cap is supposed to vent pressure?
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Monday, January 24th, 2011 AT 10:01 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I miss spoke earlier and said that I never really noticed any pressure build up in the power steering reservoir. When I have topped off the reservoir's to add fluid change the pump flush the power steering fluid etc I have sometimes noticed a pop noise when removing the reservoir cap. Releasing the little of built up pressure inside it doesn't cause leak's though.I would install the correct pump and also if you think the return line is leaking try replacing the hose clamp with a good screw clamp instead of the spring wire type it came with from the factory. If it still leak's replace the return line.
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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 AT 5:17 PM

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