Rough idle at start

Tiny
UBERGEEK
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  • SATURN
I have a 1998 Saturn SW1 with 120k miles and a 1.9 liter engine.

Problem #1: It idles very rough at intial start up with a little puff of black exhaust that comes out. It will eventually even out and idle normal, or if you give it some gas it will idle normally a little sooner.

If you shut it off and start it back up right away, it doesn't have a problem, but if you wait a while (subjective I know. Maybe 5-10 minutes or longer) it will happen again. Once you get past the initial rough idle the car runs great except for problem #2.

Problem #2: This really isn't a pressing issue since the car has always done this. But it at times idles very high. It will eventually idle back down to about 1200 rpm, that's probably as low as it ever goes, but at times will get up to 2000 or higher rpm. It seems to go a little higher since problem #1 started.

Any help would be appreciated.

Oh yeah. My temp guage is also not working. Could it be the dreaded ECTS problem that I've been reading about?

Thanks in advance.
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Monday, June 11th, 2007 AT 7:14 PM

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Tiny
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Replacing the ECTS fixed all of my problems.
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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 AT 7:15 AM
Tiny
ROADWARRIOR3
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CHANGE the ECTS (Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor). This IS A BREEZE. Replace the ECTS ONLY when the engine is NOT HOT. The ECTS costs $9. Since you will lose 1 - 2 qts of engine coolant when switching the old and new ECTS's, this will cost about $3. TOTAL COST: $12. The ECTS is about 6 inches below the top of the engine. It is on the DRIVER side of the engine. Carefully remove the small white cap with 2 wires coming out of it. Use 13mm DEEP WELL socket (6 point variety recommended) and a socket wrench to remove the ECTS. It will unscrew very easily because it is only lightly tightened. TRY to quickly remove the old ECTS with the new ECTS. Each second it takes to perform this switch, engine coolant will pour out of the socket that holds the ECTS. Tighten the new ECTS snugly but NOT TIGHTLY. DO NOT - DO NOT -- OVERtighten the ECTS. Place the white cap with the 2 wires on the new ECTS. DONE. An amateur mechanic can do this job in under 15 minutes. BE SURE to thoroughly wash away the engine coolant that spilled into the engine compartment and onto the ground/pavement below the car when you removed the old ECTS.
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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 AT 12:06 PM
Tiny
TRACKER1312
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Problem #2: This really isn't a pressing issue since the car has always done this. But it at times idles very high. It will eventually idle back down to about 1200 rpm, that's probably as low as it ever goes, but at times will get up to 2000 or higher rpm. It seems to go a little higher since problem #1 started.

Problem #2 sounds like the Throttle Position Sensor, apparently a known issue with Saturns. You'll find it mentioned all over the place.
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Thursday, June 14th, 2007 AT 12:57 PM

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