1993 Saturn SL1 93 Saturn SL Check Engine Light

Tiny
WOLFETUNDRA
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 SATURN SL1
1993 Saturn SL1 Automatic

I posted on here a while ago. My issue was my check engine light was coming on at random times causing my system to bog down. To make a long story short, I was unable to get back on here. For that reason, I abandoned my 2 month old post.

I was finally able to pull a code of "82". From my understanding, that's a recalibration of the PCM. Not sure if that is correct.

Also, an issue which I noticed shortly around the time of my post, but saw no relevance to; there is a very loud "rattle" coming from the engine compartment when the car is idling in gear and the AC is on. It doesn't rattle when I'm on the accelerator or when I'm in neutral. It does it a little when I'm in Park.

Just to recap, code 82 for the check engine light.
Rattle when the AC is on and idling in gear.
No rattle with AC on and on accelerator.
No rattle with AC on about (maybe) 10 MPH.
Soft/Slight rattle with AC on when in Park.
No rattle with AC off.
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Sunday, July 18th, 2010 AT 6:00 AM

40 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I can't find a code 82 can you check the code's again and make sure which code number it is. Also on the rattle with a/c on with the car turn off see if the a/c clutch feels loose or is loose. Let me know what you find.
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Sunday, July 18th, 2010 AT 7:46 PM
Tiny
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The exact display is;

The code is 82. According to, Chilton's 91-93 repair manual, that is "PCM internal communication fault".

As far as checking the A/C clutch, I haven't yet. Next time I'm out at the car, I'll do that. If the car is off, and the A/C on, there's no rattle. Only rattles in gear, idling, with A/C on.

I recorded the "flashing" via camera phone. I can upload it if you like.
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Sunday, July 18th, 2010 AT 8:25 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/416332_1993_sl1_code_82_1.jpg


I'm sorry i must have been spacing out last time i looked for that code and couldn't find it lol.It happens to the best of us.Your right it say's communication between tcm and ecm internal fault.There isn't alot of information on that code it just say's the pcm has wrong calibration.If you haven't had your pcm calibration updated lately then i would say that wouldn't be possible.You could go try to have your pcm calibrated with the lastest software and if that doesn't work then look's like your looking at replacing the pcm.Since it's a internal failure that's really the only thing it could be.
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Monday, July 19th, 2010 AT 1:34 PM
Tiny
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Thanks for the help. I looked around a bit. Seems like the part is about $47 and the labor is only 30 min. Not too bad of a deal. As far as I'm aware, the PCM has never been calibrated.
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 1:34 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Just to give you a heads up if your looking at a plug and play where you just replace the pcm and there is no programing involved don't wast your money on having it installed. It's on the drivers side of the dash you just squeze the tab's unplug the connector's then get a screwdriver twist the screw and it falls out in your hand. Very easy to replace the pcm.
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 1:21 PM
Tiny
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Wow! Thanks for the heads up! I didn't know it was that easy of a fix. For some reason, I was under the impression the PCM was located in or around the engine.

Is it possible for you to link me to an image(s) that show the location of the PCM so I know what I'm looking for?

Also, is this something I can pick up at like Auto Zone or would I have to order it?
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 8:40 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/416332_1993_SL1_pcm_location_1.jpg


There's a diagram of where it is.Auto zone has it for 216 you would have to order it i don't know if there programed you would have to shop around or you would have to go to a chevy dealer to have it programed.Unless you have a saturn dealer still open by you.Or you could look on ebay for a used one or pick part.
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 9:42 PM
Tiny
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$216 is a bit unreasonable seeing how I have seen the price (not sure where) of $47 for the same part. Pick n Pull seems likely if I can find my car. Does it have to be a 93 Saturn SL or is there some other cars I can pull it from?
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 9:49 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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I would stick with the 1993 sl1 like you have the 1994 sl1 has the same part number but I don't If the programing is the same so that's your gamble if you go that route.
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 9:59 PM
Tiny
WOLFETUNDRA
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I think I'll stay with my yr/make/model. Thanks again with all your help. Hopefully, I'll be able to get out and (with any luck) get the pick I need. I'll let you know if/when I'm done.
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 10:01 PM
Tiny
WOLFETUNDRA
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Alright. A bit annoyed. I went to Pick N Pull and grabbed a replacement PCM (took a while getting it out). They wanted $45 for a used PCM that may or may not work (risk to take with junk yards). I feel that's a bit much for a part you're taking chances with.

Where would I be able to find one online (referb?)? I've heard of someone paying $47 for one. Not sure where he/she got it.

I called around at a couple shops. I was told that the PCM can't be recalibrated on anything older than 95. The guy said when I get the replacement PCM, to open the cover on my old one and pull out "the chip" (no idea) and put it into the new one.
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Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 AT 2:26 PM
Tiny
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Now I'm getting a code 42 "EST bypass, open or shorted". Looking this up, it is Electronic Spark Timing bypass which has something to do with peformance. This code, I assume, is new as it is now appearing PRIOR to the code 82. Any ideas? I'm thinking "lose wire" but I have no idea what I'd be looking for or what would cause it as I haven't been under the hood except to add some tranny fluid (was little low last I checked).
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Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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As far as finding one online you would have to look and see what you can find I don't know of any place that has 47 refurbished pcm's if you find one let me know that's totally cheap. As far as swapping a chip from one computer to another you don't have that kind of pcm. The earlier gm cars had a prom chip that came out of a access door that when you replaced the computer you swapped the proms with your old pcm. Your pcm has a flash prom which you can reprogram and update the calibrations without changing the prom chip. It's built in can't be removed that is why there is no access panel on the pcm. So do you have only the 42 now?You don't have a 82 code anymore?
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
WOLFETUNDRA
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Ah. I called a local mechanic (GM specialist - starting to doubt that). He told me that you can't "recalibrate" anything older than 95.

I had my backyard-mechanic reset the comp (disconnect the Neg for a min with keys turned but car off). After that, the 42 dropped. After driving some, only the 82 returned.
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 AT 5:10 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Saturn started in 1991 and even the 1991 had flash proms in there pcm's. Great price on that PCM but it's for a manual transmission you have a automatic so you wouldn't have a computer in there to run your transmission. Also you have to have that one programed at a Saturn or chevy dealer. So you would have to add that into the cost of replacing it. At most pick a parts if you pay a little more you can get a 30 day warranty if the part is bad you get you can exchange it for a good one with in 30 days.
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 1:58 AM
Tiny
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I called the nearest Chevy dealership. They "think" they can program it (because of the year). I was told to call back Monday when a technician is in and ask. I was told it will be an hours' labor at a total of $105. Is that fair?
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 6:51 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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That sound's about right most place's will charge about an hour for programing. You have to find the right pcm for your car the one you sent me the link for is for a manual transmission you have a automatic transmission like I said before.I would email that seller and see if he has one for your car he just might have one and it's just not listed on ebay.
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 7:13 PM
Tiny
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I must have missed the part where it said it was for standard. It is the only one I was able to find that was less than $100.
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 8:32 PM
Tiny
WOLFETUNDRA
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I need your google-skills! Lol. Thank you! I'd still have to calibrate that too right?

Not too bad. $150 fix.

Oh, not sure if this is related to the PCM;
I was doing about 30 MPH and all of a sudden my RPMs spiked to over 4k and I didn't gain any speed. I cycled the engine (turned off and back on) multiple times to no avail. Finally, it just started behaving correctly. Pulling off to the side wasn't an option where I was. I could only turn on my 4-ways and wait for an opening to stop or hope the car starts "working". Is it possible the PCM malfunctioning caused it?
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 9:54 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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It's called eBay skill's it's a gift lol.I just clicked on his other auction's then when they came up I typed in the search box Saturn and it brought up all of his Saturn auction's and that's how I found it. Yes you have to program that one it comes with a blank prom.I don't know if what you experniced is PCM related I would start by replacing the PCM which you know is bad.
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 10:35 PM

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