Engine Mechanical problem
1998 Saturn SL2 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 120000 miles
When I first start my car I have to hit the gas or it often wants to die. If it dies in that state it's quite difficult to get it started again. However once it's started it has no problems running.
The first time it died like that I had to get it towed and they found that the valve cover gasket needed to be replaced. It's an overhead cam engine and the oil was leaking in from the top of the engine into the spark plug chamber.
I replaced the valve cover gasket and spark plugs and fixed the leak. I've cleaned out the oil from the spark plug chambers as best I can using paper towels on the end of a socket wrench handle. The paper towels come back clean and the spark plugs ends are clean but it's still having this problem with wanting to die when started. I've also replaced the spark plug wires. There are no engine warning lights.
1.) Is it possible there's some kind of gunk down inside the firing chamber that needs to be cleaned out? If so, what would they do to clean it and how much does that kind of thing usually cost?
2.) Is it likely that the problem is something else like clogged fuel injectors, a clogged fuel line, or a bad fuel pressure regulator?
3.) Would adding some fuel injector cleaner to the gas help?
4.) Would a fuel system flush be worth it?
The thing that's odd to me about it is runs fine once the car is started, but getting it going isn't as easy as it should be.
When I replaced the valve cover gasket I replaced both the outer seal and the inner seal around the spark plug holes and cleaned all the dirty oil along the seal and everything, and used RTV sealant.
The check engine light isn't on now although I noticed a few months ago it would sometimes come on when it was raining.
I don't know how long it's been since the fuel filter has been changed, I haven't changed it since I bought the car used. The PCV valve is relatively new.
The air filter looks good. Here's what one of the plugs looks like. The top is clean so the gasket seal seems to be working. I'm not sure if that tip looks normal?
have the same problem?
Monday, February 22nd, 2010 AT 10:13 AM