Ever since we bought six years ago our 2001 Saturn SC1 which currently has 91,791 miles (153,267 km) we have experienced unintended acceleration throughout the year. This problem occurs at any time as soon as the engine warms up, regardless if the air conditioning is on or off. Before we come to a stop the idle speed rpm has already gone up from around the normal 800 rpm to a dangerous 2,200 rpm with the transmission still engaged in the drive position. Then, after we change the transmission position to park or neutral we turn the ignition off as the only way to stop the engine from reving at this high rpm. We proceed after a few seconds to turn the engine on and the rpm is at a normal rpm. Please note that the check engine light is not on and when we perform the diagnostic test using the new scanner we notice that there are no codes present. We would like someone to advice us on how we can resolve this problem. Thank you.
This is definitely not a do-it-yourselfer repair. This is potential lawsuit material and you do not want to be the one in the hot seat. Get the dealership involved so everything is documented. Waiting six years is insane. If they don't come up with a solution, get the district representative involved. You can request a meeting with them. They typically visit each dealership once a month. Look at all the trouble Toyota had. We know there is going to be a lot more trouble with the "throttle-by-wire" systems but the engineers have seen fit to add inappropriate technology where it is not needed. Your car doesn't use that dangerous system but regardless, unintended acceleration is the stuff crashes and lawsuits are made of. You don't want to be the one sitting in the courtroom explaining what you did to solve the problem.
September, 21, 2012 AT 9:15 PM
Just to add to this there is no known on going throttle issues on those cars official or unofficial. The 2000-2002 saturn S model single engines are known for the intake gasket leaking. When they built the engine they some how wrinkled the intake gasket around the number one intake port. Which usually causes a number and sometimes number two missfire code. As well as I know these cars from working on them so many years at the saturn dealer.I would first look for a vacuum leak to rule that out.A good place to start looking is that short vacuum hose that runs from the intake to the pcv in the valve cover. They colaspe and end up leaking vacuum causing high idles surging etc.
September, 21, 2012 AT 10:49 PM
Thank you for the advice. We will certainly contact the manufacturer, GM to see what action they intend to take to solve this problem. For now, we would like to start by checking the vacuum hoses you mentioned. One thing that comes to my mind is the similar situation we had seven years ago with one of the five Saturns we have in the family. Our 1993 Saturn SL2 had unintended acceleration and we were able to solve the problem by replacing the thermostat switch; however, when we tried to apply the same solution for the 2001 Saturn SC1 it made no difference. I will keep you posted.
September, 21, 2012 AT 11:24 PM
I helped you before I see your user name looks familar yes the coolant temp sensors have a high failure rate on those s model saturns.I have had my 1999 sl2 for 6yrs and have gone thru 4 sensors so far. As far as gm paying for the repair I highly doubt that like I said before there are no known tbrottle isssues on those cars.I have worked for saturn dealers for over 16yrs so I would be aware of them if there were. If it was a known throttle issue then I would say yes they would. So I wouldn't get your hopes up and iam. Here to help.
October, 2, 2012 AT 9:50 PM
Finally after ruling out any vacuum hose leaks we were advised by the manufacturer to get the local GM dealer to look into the matter and the local GM service manager suggested looking into the idle air control valve (IACV). Then, after cleaning the IACV we noticed an improvement in performance. Whenever the acceleration surge occurred it diminished gradually. Based on this information we decided to replace the IACV. The result is fantastic. The vehicle is performing according to the factory specifications. Thank you for your advice. Perhaps the following link would be of interest to those individuals experiencing the same situation with their vehicles: