Woo hoo! Success! :Banana:
I decided to tackle the TB since it's so easy. Opened it up and what did I see? Practically a pristine inlet! Other than a small smear of carbon on one edge, it looks like it was wiped out during my last visit to the Lube Shop. Makes me wonder why they're always trying to push a full air system cleaning "because of all of the carbon build up in your TB".
Okay, on to the plugs. Ooh, those don't look so hot. On second thought, they look [u:3b60758d87]really[/u:3b60758d87] hot, as in white crust all over. Man, that engine must have been cookin', probably what led to so much oil burn over the years. Spec'd for 0.040, the [u:3b60758d87]best[/u:3b60758d87] gap was 0.050 and the worst was 0.080. So, threw in some new plugs, gapped correctly, and crossed my fingers.
Car didn't even hesitate to turn over. Vroom! Started right up, sounded smooth and clean. We'll see if mpg goes up (or if it slows down on the oil burn), but it was already averaging 34-36, so I would be surprised.
I looked over the service records my SO kept for it (before I met her). The stealership was charging her to clean the fuel system, air system, etc. Every 10k miles! Spark plugs were changed at 30k mile intervals, right up until she stopped going to the stealership. About 90k miles. So, those plugs were in there for 90k. No wonder they looked worn out.
I'll switch to 10W30 on my next change, and I'll pick up a new PCV valve next time I'm near the auto store. When you say "sticky rings", what do you mean? Are the rings not sealing against the bore because they've somehow contracted and stuck that way?
I misspoke earlier. Saturn switched to the brass ECTS in 2001, not the late 90's. Either way, I'm good.
I'll have to dig through the records again to see when the tranny fluid was changed, but I seem to recall it being done last year. A bit of research tells me the tranny clunk in reverse is a very common problem with Saturns (Google "Saturn reverse slam"). The suggested solution, in a nutshell, is to change filter/fluid, add in some detergent additive, chock the wheels, and leave the car idling in reverse for 20-30 minutes. This supposedly breaks up the grime in the reverse and 2nd gears (which share a common path in the valve body), both of which I've noticed harder than normal shifts. If this is done before irreparable harm has already happened to the valve body, you're good to go. I may give it a go.
At least the car runs now.
Saturday, November 14th, 2009 AT 2:15 PM