1999 Chevrolet Other Saturn ignition control module

Tiny
PAULGULOVICS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET
  • 4 CYL
  • AUTOMATIC
1999 saturn sw1. When damp, raining or cold the car starts only if I pump the gas while holding the ignition on for several seconds and then it runs really rough (like only two cylinders are firing) until it warms up. When its dry out or starting it after it has been running for a while its fine. I had real trouble when winter started, almost impossible to get it going. I drove it to florida and it worked fine there. Interestingly, when I plug in the block heater it starts fine. The Ignition control module is right beside the block heater. I am thinking the heater is drying out the module. Your thoughts?
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 AT 2:21 PM

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Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
When the problem is ongoing, if it cranks good but won't start, Have a helper crank it while you visually check for spark at the spark plugs. If you have spark everywhere, use a gage and check fuel pressure. If temp related, check coolant temp sensor. Is it extremely cold in your region? I noticed you mentioned using a block heater. Do you think the fuel lines may be trying to freeze?

I realize on some makes and models visually checking for spark and fuel pressure can be awkward but necessary.
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 AT 2:50 PM
Tiny
PAULGULOVICS
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I don't think its a fuel freezing issue as the problem started during damp weather in late summer/fall. Since then I have repeatedly added gas line anti-freeze on fill-ups thinking maybe I got some bad gas or water in the tank with the temperature rising and falling that time of year. At that stage, if it rained, the car would start ok but had no power on take off until it warm up for a while. It was getting progressively worse as winter approached until now I have to pump the gas like a madman and find just the sweet spot on the pedal that will get the engine to kick in and then hope it sputters long enough to engage.
I know I am getting both fuel and spark when its dry and warm as the car started and ran fine for a week in Florida in Jan. There is no problem when the engine warms up and "kicks in". It ran great for almost 20hrs straight on my trip south both on the way down and return. However, on the trip back, the first night it sat outside in the cold I had trouble starting it in the morning. It also started fine after it sat in a heated garage for several hours after the trip.
The fuel pump is engaging and I have changed the fuel filter. I am going to check for spark outside in the cold tomorrow AM but I am pretty sure its a moisture issue and to me that means electrical. The fact that when the block heats up whether by running the engine or using the block heater and that the ignition control module and the coils and tucked right in against the block that perhaps that's the area I need to focus on. That said, if you have a better idea please share it as I am open to any suggestions. Thanks
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 AT 4:25 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Hope you got it going your way? With intermittent issues have to test when problem is ongoing.
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Thursday, June 25th, 2015 AT 8:16 AM

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