Low idle

Tiny
CALLAS52
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 195,000 MILES
When I come to a stop and shift down to around second and first gear, the idle drops severely low (below 500RPM) and will sometimes stall at a complete stop or when I go in reverse. No warning lights come on. No smells. No chugging. Had the idle control valve replaced about a month ago and it was great for a couple weeks. Then it started doing it again. Took it in. Was told nothing was wrong. Behaved again until a couple days ago and now it's even more finicky than ever. Took it in again. They said nothing is wrong and they can't investigate if there's nothing wrong. This is driving me crazy! I'm thinking vacuum leak or dirty throttle body, but mechanics aren't finding anything or aren't looking. What do I do?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Monday, December 27th, 2010 AT 11:02 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Does it only do the low idle with the car in gear with the clutch pushed in or will it also do with the car in neutral?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, December 27th, 2010 AT 11:17 PM
Tiny
CALLAS52
  • MEMBER
Just with the clutch pressed in. It's fine in neutral. Idles around 1000-1200RPM. As soon as I push the clutch down, it plummets or goes wonky.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, December 27th, 2010 AT 11:21 PM
Tiny
CALLAS52
  • MEMBER
To clarify, it only does it when I'm decelerating. Accelerating is fine.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, December 27th, 2010 AT 11:35 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If it only does it at stop with the car in gear at idle with clutch pushed in and not in neutral then it sound's like the clutch isn't fully releasing.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 AT 1:59 AM
Tiny
CALLAS52
  • MEMBER
I'll have my mechanic check it out. I was doing some more research on-line and found a guy who had a similar problem. He did everything from replacing the idle control valve to cleaning out the throttle body to no avail. Then he replaced the clutch switch and it seemed to work. Do you think that would work in my situation or is it more than likely that it has to do with the clutch itself?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 AT 8:04 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The clutch switch is only used to prevent starting the car without the clutch being pushed in. Think about it if it only does it in gear with the clutch pushed in and not in neutral the only thing it could be is the clutch dragging and slowing the engine.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 AT 3:35 PM
Tiny
CALLAS52
  • MEMBER
First, I want to thank you for all of your input so far. You've been extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I appreciate your staying with me.

I just got it back from the mechanic (the second mechanic I've been to in the past couple months) and they said it was fine. We went out for a test drive to make sure it wasn't something I was doing wrong and it performed like a charm. Not a single dip at any stop light. They said the clutch was fine and they couldn't find any vacuum leaks. Don't really know what to do at this point. Should I take it to a third mechanic? I'm just afraid that the problem will surface again at the worst possible time. Like when I take it on a longer 3 hour trip this weekend. Am I endangering myself by continuing to drive this car?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 AT 5:38 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
What I have seen on the S model saturn with a problem like yours with the low idle only in gear with the clutch pushed sometimes like your car is doing. Is the pressure plate finger's get bent and only drag on part of the clutch sometimes causing a lower idle. Like when the clutch disc get's hot enough and expands enough to cause a light drag. The one's I have seen haven't been dangerous to drive but anything is possible.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 AT 2:58 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides