Saturn 1998 Help: Not starting good.

Tiny
AUDRA
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 SATURN SL1
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
I have a 98 Saturn SL. I have problems starting it. I have to constantly give it gas to get it to finally start, but it can take up to 5 minutes soemtimes. (Almost like when you have a bad battery or starter). I have been told I have a leak in the injector? I dont know if I need to change the fuel injector or something else, though. When it finally starts, alot of smoke exits from the muffler. Also, when I am sitting for more than a few minutes, idling, the car loses water/antifreze and smoke really bad from the water holding tank area. Almost like it over heats, but my temp guage never moves from (C). Come to think of it, even when driving, it stays on cold. Recent repairs: new spark plugs, thermostat, battery, and water pump. Also, have had the starter and alternatorv tested. So, anyways, thats the basic problems, any ideas or suggestions on what to replace, and how?
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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 AT 3:01 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
From what you describe it sound's like you have a bad coolant temp sensor that would explain the temp gauge never moving and the car flooding when starting. Replace the coolant temp sensor and inspect the connector to it if it's corroded replace it too. Let me know how it runs after that.
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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 AT 5:38 PM
Tiny
AUDRA
  • MEMBER
Thanks, saturntech9. I bought the coolant temperature sensor and a gallon of antifreeze for around $20. It only took me 3 or 4 minutes to remove and the replace the old ECTS. It took me over an hour, however to find a 13mm socket and rachet. Also I had problems locating the ECTS. I kept reading its not the one with the yellow wire, well mine had a yellow and black wire connected bwith a white tip. This was it after all. I was careful not to pull the wires off though. And this is my first DIY car repair. My husband helped as far as helping me locate the 13mm, but I chose to do it myself. I feel confident now that I can do some things without my husbands help! Thanks again! You saved me lots of money from having to replace what the mechanics THOUGHT was my fuel injectors (4 cylinders= 4 injectors at $70+= nearly $300; not including labor). So, now my car starts fine, no flooding, weird idling, my coolant temp guage works, and I am more than satisfied. I was close to junking my Saturn at the scrap yard!
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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 AT 6:48 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Glad to hear that you have it running good again the S model saturn is my favorite model I have a 1999 SL2 my sister has a 1993 SL1 my brother has a 1995 SW2 my niece has a 2003 saturn ion. My Best friend's family has 3 S model saturn's also.I love those car's ceap to fix and very predictable. If you have anymore question's let me know glad to see a women fixing her own car that's change lol.
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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
AUDRA
  • MEMBER
Eh, I hope I did it right. When I posted earlier, I only drove a couple miles to make sure the collant guage worked and I could crank it after getting it warmed up a little. And it worked fine. But after driving to town today (roughly 45 miles, roundtrip), the service engine light came on earlier today. Thats not too much of a worry because it randomly comes on and goes off. If its still on tomorrow, I will get it checked. But my coolant light is blinking now. After replacing the ECTS, I filled up my tank with antifreeze, let it run through, and topped off the holding tank, so I do not understand why it would be blinking. Is there something I need to reset? A fuse or a anything?
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Thursday, February 24th, 2011 AT 2:35 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Make sure the coolant tank is full also see if you have any visual coolant leak's. The most common place's to leak on that car is just below the upper radiator hose on the radiator tank. They crack and leak there and see what code's you have let me know the exact code number's you have and I can help you out with those. Let me know what you find.
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Thursday, February 24th, 2011 AT 3:17 AM

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