1996 Saturn SL2 running problems

Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 SATURN SL2
  • 152,000 MILES
Ok, my 96 Saturn SL2 1.9L DOHC is running real rough and going through gas really fast. At stop signs/lights it idles rough, if I tap the gas it almost stalls and hesitates and acts as if it wants to stall when I start to go from a stop light/sign. Occasionally when I start the car it will idle extremely high (about 1500 to 2000 rpm's maybe a little more) for about 30 to 45 seconds. Also, sometimes the car just doesnt seem like it wants to start at all and takes a minute and me holding the gas a little to get it to start. The other day I backed out of my driveway and at the end of my driveway is like a hill, when I got to that part of my driveway the car stalled and didnt want to start again. Besides the running rough, the car is going through gas pretty bad for a tiny engine. I have went approx. 135 miles and used 3/4 of a tank of gas. I drive about 60/40 % hwy/city. I have no service engine light or check engine light on. Any ideas of why its running rough and killing me on gas?
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 5:21 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
I forgot to mention, I recently seafoamed the engine. I did about 1/3 to 1/4 in the gas tank for the fuel injectors and I did 1/3 in a the brake booster vacuum line. There was a decent amount of smoke but not as bad as other cars I have done this too. It seemed to idle a little better after but im still having all the above symptoms. I didnt use any in the crankcase as of yet due to not getting an oil change for about another month.
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 5:24 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Sounds like a bad coolant temp sensor really common on those cars I would try changing it there only like 10. Also if the connector is corroded to the coolant temp sensor you will have to change that also. Let me know how it goes.
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 6:17 AM
Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
Would that also cause the bad gas mileage?
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
When those sensors go bad they always read the coolant temp as lower then actual temp so thats why you have to hold the gas down to start it because the engine is flooding. So yeah that would effect gas mileage let me know what you find.
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 3:18 PM
Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
Top or bottom? I heard there was 2.
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 4:26 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If you have a 1996 you only have one that was the first year they stopped putting in a seperate gauge sensor.
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 4:32 PM
Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
Ok, besides the ects being a problem I found 2 other problems, the hose going from the air box to the top of the engine was badly cracked and rotting also the air box hose itself was not tightened to the throttle body, it was just pushed on and that was it. When I finally got the ects out the inside part that looks kinda plastic was cracked all the way up one side. I havent had a chance to drive it since I fixed all those things but I will let you know later tonight or tomorrow morning. It doesnt still shake/vibrate a little at idle though. Also, when I put the car in gear I hear a noise from underneath the car but in neutral or park I dont hear anything. Its not a transmission noise though. Its either the exhaust or something else. Any ideas?
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 11:14 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
When the sensors crack like that they allow coolant to get into the connector. Was the connector corroded?Also at idle is it just a vibration and not a rough running engine?If so you probably have a colasped and or torn upper engine mount. The noise you hear in gear at idle could be a broken loose cat rattling or you could have a collasped lower transmission mount causing a rattle. Keep me posted on what you find.
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Saturday, July 30th, 2011 AT 11:46 PM
Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
Ok, I ran the car about 25 miles. It still has a rough idle when at a stop light or stop sign. Kind of a putter type idle. As for the ects I noticed that before the engine temperature was reading at about a 1/4 or a little under, now it is reading about 1/2 or a little under. Other than that there doesnt seem to be much change at all. As for the noise I havent found anything yet.
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Sunday, July 31st, 2011 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Well now the coolant temp sensor is reading correctly you never said if the connector was corroded?ALso you said it had a high idle stalled and wouldn't start you had to hold the gas pedal down for it start. Sounds like your making progress here. Next check the spark plugs make sure there not worn out fouled out or platnuim plugs they carbon foul out.I recomend using stock ngk plugs Also I would check out the plug wires make sure the coil towers aren't corroded very common on those cars.
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Sunday, July 31st, 2011 AT 2:23 AM
Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
I didnt notice any corrosion on the connector to the ects. It will be a week or 2 before I can get the spark plugs but until then I will check the wires and the coil towers and see how they look.
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Sunday, July 31st, 2011 AT 2:40 AM
Tiny
HEARTSHAPEDNOOSE
  • MEMBER
I drove the car another 25 miles and paid close attention to the idle. When at stop lights it idles at 700-800 rpm's but occasionally jumps up to 900 rpm's. Also when I start the car it still tends to go up to 2000 to 2500 rpm's. I will check the plugs, wires, and coil towers sometime tomorrow though.
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Sunday, July 31st, 2011 AT 4:52 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Keep me posted the high idle could be a vacuum leak or a sticking idle air control valve.
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Monday, August 1st, 2011 AT 4:36 AM

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