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Old 09-05-2017, 04:06 PM   #1
Ecomike
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2001 SL1
Default hard starting 2001 SL1

Having to start it three times for it stay running. Runs fine, might even say great. use to need to wait about 10 seconds in run for dash lights to go out and computer to be ready to crank, to get a 1-2 second start up. Now it never fires the first 6 second crank. Second crank it runs, but barely for 3-4 seconds at low rpms, then dies.

Third try it runs up to 1500 rpm at first and runs fine.

No new codes yet, will check it again today. Still has the old EGR, emissions code BS that has been a pain for years, it is unrelated.

Looking for ideas, on what might cause it be hard to start but then vanish.

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Old 09-05-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
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2001 SL1
Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Well, what is the history on plugs, wires and maintenance?

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Old 09-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Seems my second post got lost. Wires, plugs are all good, and recently regapped (4-6 months ago). I did the MMO-GM TSB piston ring cleaning trick recently (3-6 months ago) that solved the massive oil consumption rate that had gotten out of hand.

I checked the OBD-II codes and found a new one, and also found that 2 of the emission monitors were still not locked in. It had been ages since I cleared the p0401 code or had a dead battery (about 3-4 months ago left the head lights on).

The new code was lean code, P0171. The O2 sensor is not that old, and does not have that many miles to be bad. I suspect the blower-EGR, clogged ports, garbage system Saturn used on these, P0401 code problem, caused a fake lean code.

I cleared them and made 4 trips, so far P0401 is the only code,one I have battled for 4 years now.

P0171 has not returned, yet, and it has not yet locked in the 2A or E or EE monitors.

I have discovered that if I just let it crank an extra second, it starts properly the first try, but it use to start in 1-2 seconds, not 3 seconds.

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Old 09-09-2017, 03:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Mileage of this car? Fuel filter replaced? Fuel pressure?

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Old 09-09-2017, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Fuel filter replaced? Fuel pressure?
and fuel filter brand, if replaced. Only a couple brands are known to provide the right pressure with the integrated regulator

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Old 10-07-2017, 11:49 AM   #6
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2001 SL1
Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
and fuel filter brand, if replaced. Only a couple brands are known to provide the right pressure with the integrated regulator
Tell me more please!!! What brands? Sound like you are saying the FPR is also an inline filter? I priced on at AZ yesterday, they must be gold plated.

What is (are ?) the proper fuel pressure(s)?

Thanks

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Old 09-10-2017, 12:47 PM   #7
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2001 SL1
Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

About 280,000 miles. New fuel system installed about 8 years ago, about 60,000 miles ago. There have been no signs of it actually running lean. Not running hot and fuel usage increased, not decreased. And lots of power at the gas pedal on demand. Runs perfectly normal at up to 80 mph, tons of power, running cool/normal. So I have no reason to suspect any fuel issues. Primary O2 sensor is only about 35,000 miles and 5 years old.

Got the P0401 and 410 codes on the last drive cycle, the ones I have been fighting for years now.

Quote:
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Mileage of this car? Fuel filter replaced? Fuel pressure?

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Old 09-13-2017, 06:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Latest update. Clearing the lean OBD code has improved the MPGs from about 22 to to about 28, and improved the starting ease. And it has not returned. Still getting the P0401 code, but not the lean code last 300 miles. I will update this as times goes by.

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Old 09-25-2017, 09:12 PM   #9
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2001 SL1
Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Does anyone know if the fuel pump has two separate power paths in the run and start(crank) positions of the ignition switch?

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Old 09-25-2017, 10:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

I'm pretty sure it is a single path, a relay controlled by the PCM. The ignition switch has no direct control at all.

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Old 09-25-2017, 11:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

^ Correct. At ignition on time, engine off, the PCM program sends a two second command to the pump relay to run the pump then shuts off pumping. When the starter engages and turns over the engine, crank sensor signals are sent to the pcm to allow it to run the EFI system: turn on fuel pump, initiate the ignition system for spark and pulse injectors. The same signal from the pcm is used in two situations to power the pump relay that sends 12v power to the pump.

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Old 09-26-2017, 10:41 AM   #12
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2001 SL1
Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Thanks for the detail, so in the PCM logic, there are two virtual paths (based on PCM input data) , but only one in the hard wiring. This rig has always (since I bought In 2008, I think, refused to start if you crank it before several of the dash monitor lights go dark. After that it use to start in 1 second. Now at random times, it varies from a clean 1-2.5 second crank to start, to three tries. The second or third try always fires up instantly!!!!! 1 in 10 starts fires up in 1-2 seconds on the first try. Runs fine, currently getting 28 mpg on mixed city/highway/drive through long wait for hamburger driving LOL. Does not seem to care if it is cold or hot starts. Cranking is great (very good battery and starter).

Thinking about sensors and contacts. Intake air temp? CPS? Time to pull out my snap on brick maybe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
^ Correct. At ignition on time, engine off, the PCM program sends a two second command to the pump relay to run the pump then shuts off pumping. When the starter engages and turns over the engine, crank sensor signals are sent to the pcm to allow it to run the EFI system: turn on fuel pump, initiate the ignition system for spark and pulse injectors. The same signal from the pcm is used in two situations to power the pump relay that sends 12v power to the pump.

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Old 11-24-2017, 05:02 PM   #13
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2001 SL1
Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

Well, the plot thickens on the 401 and 410 code story. Got about 70 miles on it, and it never locked in the emis monitors, stayed with a yellow light, pending code only, no check engine light, so I cleared the codes right after a cold morning first start, cleared the codes with the scanner and the 401 code came back faster (first decel from 70 mph...) and it was rapidly repeatable. Then the 4 the time it switched to a P)410 code and no 401 code. I cleared the code just before turning the engine off, then got the barely tried to run and start thing again for 10 cranks. So I disconnected the battery this time and drained the PCM memory like last time it would not start.

It started right up, in a split second, and the scanner went all green, no codes at all (engine was warmed up by then), ready for emissions sticker testing!!!! Hmmm, that lasted for a 3-4 minute stop n go trip and then a 30 minute freeway ride. Getting off the freeway, decel the P0401 code returned, this time with a red check engine light.

STFT was flat at 0 and the LTFT was only about +4.5 this time in the freeze frame data where it threw the first P0401 code about 5 days ago. Throttle was closed at 47 mph. ECTS was at 204 F, Bank one was Open Loop (normal for decel). It took over 60 miles for it to throw that code since I disconnected the battery the first time to solve the no run-starting problem that first happened after I fixed the fuel pressure problem.

I do not think I have heard the Air blower on the emissions stuff turn on in ages. Did not turn on in ages on cold first starts of the day for weeks, maybe months now. Not that I recall hearing. I checked this morning and nothing.

Almost forget, first start up today, it was pinging very badly at 20-30% of WOT, very noticeable, but stopped after I cleared the P0401 code.

Wish I had my MT-25000 attached at the time to see the knock sense data. And any other data.

I plan to pull and clean the EGR and blow out the ERG head ports again, third time in 2 years and see if that works this time, not the fuel pressure is fixed. The EGR is new ( 1 year old). I do not have expectations, but curious what I find and if it helps this time.

The real story here is that disconnecting the battery, versus just clearing codes, has such a huge effect on it. I think the Computer is learning and saving some bad data in the KAM memory that speeds up its throwing codes, etc.

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Old 11-26-2017, 02:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

"Bank one was Open Loop (normal for decel)....." is incorrect. Cold engine startup always begins with open loop mode (engine coolant below approximately 179F and O2 sensor not heated up yet). After some minutes when the O2 sensor heats up above 600F, it sends valid signals to the PCM. Once the PCM sees O2 signals, it enters closed loop for the rest of the engine cycle. As long as exhaust keeps the O2 sensor heated up above 600F, the OBD II system remains in closed loop. If your engine was already running several minutes, it should remain in closed loop mode of emissions control and not go back to open loop at anytime including deceleration. Something triggered the system to come out of closed loop mode to revert back to open loop mode. Open loop mode usually occurs at startup where rich fuel mixtures are needed for cold engine running and would fail emissions if the engine remains in open loop mode. Basically, the emissions system waits until the engine warms up then waits for the O2 sensor to heat up above 600F. The last sensor to wait on is the O2 sensor. Until then, the PCM will not enter closed loop mode of emissions control. Any sensor not operating during normal engine running either prevents entering closed loop mode or kicks the system out of closed loop mode and reverts back to open loop mode. Resetting or battery disconnect to erase keep alive memory does the same by erasing all learned emissions parameters as if the car just came off the assembly line. All emission monitors have to learn new values as the car is driven in open loop mode until parameters are learned and fall within the range of each sensor value permanently stored in programmed memory for comparison. Once learned, falls within parameters and stored, each monitor falls into line until they all pass when closed loop mode is entered - this point means the car will pass emissions inspection and not because the check engine light turned off. A reader is needed to ensure the OBD II system displays OK or READY.

Closed loop mode does not go back to open loop mode every time the engine or car decelerates. Something is wrong.

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Old 11-26-2017, 06:49 PM   #15
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2001 SL1
Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

I guess I was not clear. Everything I know and have read says that if you are cruising along, say at 40-70 mph and you take you foot off the gas (laymans language)(tech version Closed throttle, TPS at 0% open), the ECU/PCM switches to open loop during rapid deceleration. I know for a fact the 87-90 Renix Jeeps do this. IIRC it has to with making sure the NOX stay low and the engine does not lean out too much due to the closed throttle plate.

My MT-2500 reports the engine running closed loop even 1-2 second after I turn the engine on. The electric heating element in the O2 sensors are very fast at warming up the O2 sensors and I do not live in the freeze your arse off north, LOL.

My 87-90 Jeeps switch to closed loop on cold start ups in 1-2 seconds max, according to the Snap-On MT-2500 scanner. At 0% TPS, closed throttle rapid decel, the Jeeps do switch to open loop for a good 2-6 seconds until the O2 sensors see normal O2 switching across the .45 Volt threshold again. I have watched this live with the MT-2500.

I had to order a K-9 personality key for use on the Saturn 2001 this week, waiting for it to arrive late next week, as some of the data on the MT-2500 was not right using the K-2 key I have.

But the Freeze frame scanner confirmed it was in open loop when the fault code P0401 was thrown, doing about 47 mph, 2300 pm, with the TPS closed, 0% open. So that confirms that the Saturn also switches to closed loop for a moment when the throttle plate, TPS is closed.

http://www.gmtuners.com/tech/modes.htm

DECELERATION FUEL CUT-OFF

During conditions of extreme deceleration, such as what would happen if you let off the gas when the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds, a complete fuel cut-off of the engine can be commanded by the ECM to cut all emissions output. This also has the benefits of allowing the engine’s compression to slow down the vehicle (called engine compression braking). The ECM looks at MAP or MAF, TP, and vehicle speed to determine when to enter decel fuel cut-off mode and how long to stay in this mode. This mode overrides decel leanout mode. Instructions in the ECM programming determine when this mode is to be exited to prevent engine stalling.

ZERO FUEL SUPPLY IS NOT CLOSED LOOP!

http://www.lxforums.com/board/engine...ce-manual.html

The PCM may receive a closed throttle input from the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) when it senses an abrupt decrease in manifold pressure. This indicates a hard deceleration (Open Loop). In response, the PCM may momentarily turn off the injectors. This helps improve fuel economy, emissions and engine braking.

Hard braking, rapid decel is exactly what is tripping is my P0401 code and nothing else.

Also I have always been led to believe that disconnecting the battery on any OBD-II rig, required one to go through a relearn drive procedure to get to the point where a scanner or State inspection OBD-II test at the test port would show a clear green light on the test scanner so that a vehicle could pass OBD-II emissions inspections, I have never seen one that could be reset disconnecting the battery with out driving it?

This Saturn is the first one I ever saw immediately go green on a code scanner with out any drive time on it just by disconnecting the battery to clear the KAM memory.

One I get the K-9 personality key I hope to learn a lot more data about what all is going on. Then I plan to pull the EGR valve and blow out the head/ports... and reinspect the entire air blower set up (P0410 code it trips once a blue moon). May need to finally pull the head to get all the carbon crap out of those tiny EGR/head/exh-manifold ports, which I hope to avoid...

I was hopping since the codes stayed away so long after replacing the FPR, that the low fuel pressure may have been part of the P0401 code issue, but alas they are back. But the higher fuel pressure did affect the frequency and time delay between clearing the codes and their returning.

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Old 11-26-2017, 08:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: hard starting 2001 SL1

While you are pointing out deceleration fuel cutoff to back up explanation for open loop mode, you're avoiding the fact that at the moment you have the error code pop up, you're confirming open loop mode. How can you base this explanation if you haven't driven a car without this error code? Its convenient to conclude your presumptions of deceleration with open loop mode but you haven't driven the same Saturn without error codes and observed whether or not a normal car without error codes remains in closed loop or not. Basing conclusions with error codes may be misleading you. I use baseline info from known good observations by logging an error free drive. From ignition on and logging info(1), startup recording cold engine running(2), warming up for another reference(3) and random speeds for other parameters(4). Without these baseline logs, I couldn't help another member determine his maf sensor failed. We were fortunate to have his logs and mine for comparison purposes. The maf sensor used in drive by wire systems display airflow volume per second. Using my idle speed baseline info, we determined his maf sensor airflow was incorrect. Replacing his sensor corrected problems. I've never used my baseline info before and it was helpful in this thread of an L300 problem. There were zero maf sensor error codes in this problem.

The O2 sensor during deceleration must remain above 600F otherwise any cooling effect of injectors being shut during deceleration will drop temps with the pcm leaving closed loop and revert to open loop. This is coincides with your explanation, if correct. In fact, this won't occur during closed throttle or during deceleration fuel cutoff. (1)Throttle is never fully closed and (2)the pcm knows via throttle position sensor signals to (a)stop fuel injector operation from speed until rpm drops back down to around 1200 when (2) injectors resume operation. When injectors are disabled during closed throttle operation, engine compression is used to help slow down a vehicle. While injectors are disabled, no fuel is injected yet spark continues. Without fuel, the exhaust has zero heat with the O2 sensor cooling off. Throttle never closes and the idle air control valve allows airflow as commanded by the pcm to continue airflow to feed the heated catcon. Cooling off below 600F won't occur because the rpm drops down quickly enough to around 1200 where injectors are enabled again. This brief period of rpm drop occurs faster than the O2 sensor dropping below 600F, allowing the EFI system to remain in closed loop. Please note that I'm discussing Saturn EFI systems only and not other EFI systems. Technical discussions requires staying within a brand and not introduce other facts from other brands that may confuse or be misleading. In the following reply, I'll try to post service manual descriptions.

O2 sensor operation; The O2S-1 is located in the exhaust manifold used by the PCM to make fuel control corrections toward a 14.7:1 air/fuel ratio. The O2S-1 is an electrical source that responds to oxygen content in the exhaust manifold. When the sensor reaches approximately 316°C (600°F), it produces a voltage based on the difference in oxygen between the atmosphere and exhaust gas. The PCM sends a bias voltage (391-491 mV) on the signal line which can be read on the scan tool when the sensor is cold. When the O2S-1 is cold, it produces no voltage and has extremely high internal resistance. However, when the sensor heats up, it produces voltage that overrides the bias voltage. This voltage is read by the PCM to determine a rich/lean O2S-1 signal used to adjust injector pulse width. Under normal conditions, low sensor voltage means high oxygen content/lean air-fuel mixture and vice versa. Normal sensor readings will fluctuate between 10-999 mV.

Last edited by fdryer; 11-26-2017 at 09:00 PM..

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