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Old 02-12-2005, 01:09 PM   #1
bartcow
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Dizzy 97 Saturn Fuel System Problems?...Help!

My service engine light came on a while back, and the mechanic at the dealership said that it was the catalytic converter or the O2 sensor. But not having $1000 at the time, I put it off. Fast forward about a month. Driving 800 miles down to see the family, the car started jerking and heaving about 300 miles from my destination. I made it another 100 miles before it started bucking so hard that it would kill the engine. I was able to hobble to a hotel and wait until morning to get it to a mechanic. They reset the computer(!) and sent me on my way. I made it to my folk's house, and their mechanic confirmed that the catalytic converter and O2 sensor were out, and would have to be replaced. I had been thinking that it was the fuel pump or the fuel filter or the regulator, but who am I to argue with a mechanic and the car's computer? So after four days and $600, I get my car back. I start heading back home, and 200 miles down the road, it starts up again. I can go for about 20-40 miles at a time before it jerks so hard that I feel unsafe on the road and pull over. I would let it sit with the engine off for about a minute then go another 20-40 miles. Along the way I had the fuel filter replaced, and had a mechanic in Alabama admit that he was befuddled, and that it could be the fuel filter, but that would cost $500 and may not solve the problem. So I decide to hobble on home (after letting it sit overnight, I got about 80-100 miles before it started jerking again). My home mechanic said that the "new" O2 sensor was actually the wrong part spliced in to fit my Saturn. They replaced it for a mere $200, and sent me on my way. On the way home, it started up again.

Before I push this thing over a cliff, does anybody have any ideas? Does it sound like the fuel filter? Would the catalytic converter and O2 sensor made it jerk like that? The service engine light hasn't come back on (yet), and I don't want to keep sinking money into an 8 year old car if there's no hope. I've read in other posts that it could be the Crank Sensor, but everything else has been pointing to the fuel pump (however, as I've also been told that when the pump goes, there's no more "go", so I have my doubts there as well).

Sorry for the really long post, but me, my relatively car-smart dad and four mechanics from Mississippi to North Carolina can't figure it out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Keith

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