1999 Saturn SL2 sluggish starts and temperature fluxuations

  • 1999 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 86,000 MILES
For the past month my car has a hard time starting when its cold and sometimes when its warm. I will turn the key to the "run" postion and hold it there for about 5 seconds before I attemp to start the engine. For some reason the temperature needle will bounce up almost half way even when the engine is cold, then when I try to start it takes about 10 to 20 seconds before it starts going but even when it does get going it struggles to stay running and then it shuts off and I have to restart it and let it warm up for a minute or two and it runs just fine after that. There has been a few time whenever the needle doesnt move it starts up just fine. Its very strange to me. Im thinking theres something messed up with the electrical or the computer, so if someone could help me out it would be greatly appreciated.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, October 9th, 2009 AT 9:38 PM

1 Reply

If ur temp gauge is going all crazy when its cold and when it starts it appears flooded or dying like it is I would say it has a bad coolant temp sensor that sensor tells the computer what temp the gauge should read and what temp the engine is so it can give the engine more fuel or less fuel based on engine temp a very common problem sounds like urs is really messed up. Look where the upper hose attaches below that screwed into the head is the sensor with two wires going to it. When the engine is cold squeese the connector and it will release look with a flashlight see if it is green if it is u need to replace the connector or clean it some how if not the connector is good. Sometimes when the sensors go bad they crack and leak coolant into the connector making it corroded. The sensors are under 20 at the auto parts store just make sure u get one that has a brass tip not a plastic one thats what u had before and got u into this trouble ur in. To change the sensor just unscrew it when the engine is cold becareful u will loose coolant. When u put the new sensor in becarefull start it by hand the threads are fine and easy to mess up. After u change it let me how it goes ur lucky sounds like a cheap fix.
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Sunday, October 11th, 2009 AT 7:55 PM

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