2001 Saturn SC2 jerks after Tune -Up

Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 SATURN SC2
  • 156,000 MILES
I own a 2001 Saturn SC 2 with a manual transmission. The car has 156,000 miles, it was purchased used. I've owned it for 2 months. I took my car in to a mechanic and requested a tune up. Before the tune up I had the following symptoms:
1)Car running a little rough and using more gas than normal.
2)I also noticed that when I'm pulling in to my inclined driveway first gear didn't feel normal, it hesitated and made a sound that is hard to describe.
The mechanic changed the fuel, air and oil filters, pcv valve, spark plugs and did an oil change. He said that the wireset for the spark plugs was fine. He said he also tightened a lose engine mount. He also said that he couldn't feel anything wrong with first gear. As I drove away from the mechanic's house I noticed that the car would jerk with each gear change. It only jerks when the transmission is engaged; when shifting from 1-2; 2-3 and sometimes into fourth gear. First gear is the worst, it hesistates and jerks and I have to give it a lot of gas to get going. It also jerks when on the highway while in 5th gear.
The oddest thing is that in the morning when the car is cold the transmission feels fine and there is no jerking. Once the car warms up for about ten minutes the problems start. One more thing; I went back to the mechanics to let him know that the car didn't drive like this before drop off, and he said that the clutch was failing. The following morning I noticed that one of the spark plugs was not plugged in all the way and neither was the PCV valve.
Any suggestions, advice would be appreciated.
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 AT 3:50 PM

22 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
I assume that this guy is not a shop. First of all, I would change the plug wires. It sounds like a secondary breakdown in the ignition system.
As far as the shifting, it does sound like the clutch is failing from your description but you need a shop to verify this.
I know you are trying to save money with having someone other than a shop do the repairs, but in the long run, a shop is the best answer.

Roy
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 AT 4:34 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Just to add to this one I agree with asemaster671 sounds like spark plug wires breaking down. Unless you have a crank shaft position sensor starting to fail pretty common on that car. But if you turn the ac on when its acting up does it get worse?If so I would change the wires first. Its easy to change them your self there is a 10mm nut with a bracket holding the wires down to the valve cover. Then a 8mm bolt holding the wires to the coil just make sure you get the wires routed correctly. If your looking at the engine from the front of the car going from left to right the cylinders on the engine are 1 2 3 4. Then the same with the coils looking at them from the front of the car the cylinder numbers go on the coils 4 1 2 3 make sure there routed correctly now. Also make sure he didnt put platnuim spark plugs in your car they carbon foul in those engines and cause all kinds of problems missfires non firing cylinders etc. Make sure you get a good set of spark plug wires like bosch ac delco nipon denso.
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 AT 5:51 PM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
Oh crap! He installed double platinum spark plugs which I purchased myself after researching about spark plugs and asking the guy at the auto parts store about tune up parts. So are you suggesting copper spark plugs? And what brand or wireset?
Thank you.
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 AT 6:44 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Ngk copper plugs and I told you bosch ac delco or nipon denso wires are good.
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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 AT 7:37 PM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
Update
I took the car to a shop, they put in copper spark plugs and a new wires. The backfiring problem still persists but it has improved. The car is still in the shop the mechanic tested the ignition coils and some other parts. Tomorrow he will check where spark plugs sit, I don't know what that component is called, but I hope this will fix the problem.
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Saturday, March 17th, 2012 AT 4:37 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Do a compression test also.
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Saturday, March 17th, 2012 AT 4:45 AM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
The shop said that it is
not the component where the spark plus sit either. I will request that he do a compression test.
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Saturday, March 17th, 2012 AT 8:05 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The spark plugs screw into the head and the wires hook to the plugs so I have no idea what component there talking about. Also check the coolant temp sensor and the connector for being corroded. The coolant temp sensors fail all the time on those cars. Also check and see what the fuel pressure is?Has the fuel filter ever been changed on that car before?They get changed every 100,000 miles on that car and by that time they are very restricted. They also contain the fuel pressure regulator.
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Saturday, March 17th, 2012 AT 9:42 PM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
The fuel filter was one of the things that was replaced when I to it to the home mechanic for a tune up.
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Saturday, March 17th, 2012 AT 9:50 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I would still have the fuel pressure tested.
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Saturday, March 17th, 2012 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
The fuel pressure was tested today and that is not it. Mechanic said that there is nothing else to do on his part. He suggested that I take it to the dealer to get a diagnostic.
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Monday, March 19th, 2012 AT 7:59 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Was the coolant temp sensor checked?Thats a high failure part and always over looked. Also how much compression did it have?Did the check cam timing?Does it idle smooth?Does it have plenty of power besides the back firing?
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Monday, March 19th, 2012 AT 10:17 PM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
I dont know about the specifics of the tests that he performed but Im done with that shop. They dont have the proper diagnostic tools for my problem so the mechanic has been trying to issolate the problem by swapping what he thinks is not working with a new component then putting the old one back in when the swap doesnt fix the problem. Ill update after I take it to this other shop which doesnt charge dealer price, has all the diagnostic equipment and has a good rep in town. Ill update in the coming days.
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Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 AT 1:56 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Alright keep me posted too bad you wernt closer I could have fixed it for you.
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Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 AT 2:04 AM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
So the car was dropped off at a reputable shop in Tampa, I picked it up today and after paying for 2 O2 sensors a starter and a catalytic converter and being told that the issue was resolved and the car was good to go, I am highly pissed out a thousand bucks, and with a car that runs better but continues to misfired. Craig's list looks very good right now.
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Monday, March 26th, 2012 AT 10:53 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I wish I knew what they tested and found besides throwing a bunch of parts at the car. Those cars are really easy to fix and diagnose. Does florida have burea of automotive repair you can talk to about that shop that charged you a 1,000 to fix the car and didnt?Here in california we have one.
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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 AT 1:22 AM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
Well I sent the owner an email complaint and he responded and appologized we are meeting this morning to go over the issues again.I am not paying another cent though.
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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 AT 10:49 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The two O2 sensors I dont them causing a miss they usually just dont do that. Also when the cats go bad and cause a drivabilty issue they get clogged up and jus cause a lack of power and start bogging down. What was wrong with your starter you never mentioned that problem that I remember.
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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
IVONNEAK
  • MEMBER
The shop said that the starter was stuck Open. I don't know, I just know that the car stalled and wouldn't turn back on and the car was driving terrible with very little power right before it stalled. So I took the car back to the shop today and the owner drove it with me. He experienced what I was talking about. Said that he was pretty sure of how to fix the problem, would change some parts but wouldn't charge me unless the car was fixed for good. So he called me a few hours ago to tell me that the car was now running good with no hesitation or jerkiness. He replaced 2 ignition coils, a module and put on some wires. He drove it himself for 15 miles to his other store and he said he didn't experience any problems. He is only charging for the parts. Tomorrow I will pick up and drive it myself and will update. I know that the previous owner wasn't on top of things maintenance-wise as I am. When the original mechanic did the tune up he did mention that the spark plugs were in terrible condition and all the filters were on their last leg. So I am not surprised that other components needed to be replaced.
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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 AT 6:46 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The chances of both coils the module and wires all being bad at the same time is really slim.I have replaced a coil here and there and module here and there but two coils and a module never in my 16 plus years working for saturn have I ever seen that happen. Sounds like there fishing with dynomite to me. What about all the other parts they thru at the car?Maybe the cat got clogged from the missfires but we dont know that. Also I have replaced a lot of front o2 sensors on that car for a code P0133 never caused a drivabilty issue and few of the rear ones but never was causing a drivabilty issue ethier. Relisticly the should have only cost about 200-250 to replace it. Where does the starter come in were you having issues with it before you brought it in?Make sure there isnt platnuim spark plugs in your engine they carbon foul in that engine and cause missfires and cylinders to not run. Also you can just replace one coil you dont have to replace both.I have replaced one many times and the car never came back with any issues. The modules are expensive on that car plus two coils and wires thats going to really add up. When he told you he was only going to charge you for parts was that his cost on the parts?Or his cost plus being marked up?Was the rear cat replaced or the manifold cat?Thats well and good that he is only going to charge you for parts this time around but from what I know and have seen the parts sound excessive. Also how come they didnt catch the wires being bad the first time around?Thats the first thing I check is plugs and wires when I have a missfire.I even have tester wires to swap and see if the wire are bad. Also what about the over 1,000 you already spent for them to guess whats wrong with your car?The only thing you should have to pay for is what was actually wrong with your car that you brought it in for. Not them guessing at your expense.
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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 AT 10:15 PM

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