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Old 07-03-2009, 12:35 PM   #1
geehawk
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Default 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

Hey everybody,

I've got a 1995 Saturn Sl1 w/AUTO tranny with some problems that i just can't figure out.
It has 117k on the body, but I don't know how much is on the engine or transaxle. I bought the car from a car donation sorta place about a year ago. I found a saturn certified rebuilt sticker down by the crank shaft, but there is no date on it, so I have NO idea how long ago this was done.


My problems:

--Accelerator feels really soft, as if I have to push it down further than usual to generate any decent amount of power. Also, the car makes a kinda weird sound when I push down the gas. Instead of having that kinda "vroom" sound, it makes a higher pitched whirring noise. Possibly just because it's not generating as much power?

--Slamming in forward gears. It only seems to happen in 2nd and 3rd gear, and generally when I'm accelerating relatively quickly.

--Problems starting. If I don't give the car a little gas upon start, it will stall out after I stop turning my key.



What I've tried:

--I used to have the reverse slam issue and slippage in 2nd and 3rd gear, so I replaced the valve body and those went away. I also tightened the input shaft nut, but it was barely loose. It seems like my forward slam started AFTER replacing the valve body, but I could be wrong.

--I replaced my fuel filter. I'd read that a clogged fuel filter can cause problems like mine (having to press the gas pedal on start, loss of power, etc...)

--Yesterday I did my spark plugs and wires. I noticed that my 3rd and 4th coil pack terminals were heavily corroded. White dust puffed out when I pulled the wire. I scraped the terminals and cleaned them off as best I could. The new wires clicked on normally and were pretty snug, so I'm not sure if I should worry about replacing the coil pack or not...

--EGR valve. I didn't fully replace the EGR, but I took it off and cleaned it pretty well. It seemed to function pretty normally, at least mechanically, after a good cleaning.


Other ideas:

From what I've read, the following things can cause some of the problems I'm having:

ECTS
Transaxle range selector switch
IAC
TPS
Catalytic Converter
O2 sensor (probably not related, but I should probably replace it anyway)




So, what do you guys think?

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Old 07-03-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

Replace the ects ASAP if its the original one. Use the Forum Jump below to find library for the pictures of the old and new one side-by-side to see if yours is the old one. Buy it from any auto store. Do this before any more troubleshooting.

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Old 07-03-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

Alright sounds good, I'll give that a shot and get back to you guys.

Thanks,

-Griffin

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Old 08-08-2009, 11:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

Alright, so I replaced the ECTS.

Update on the situation:

My slamming is completely gone. I think it may have been due to me not giving my car's computer enough time to adjust to the new shifting patterns after fixing the reverse slam (valve body+input shaft nut). Also, maybe replacing my spark plugs and wires resolved that issue?

Anyway, so as of right now my car is having problems with low end acceleration and hard starting.

The acceleration issue goes like this: Once I give the car enough gas, it seems to pick up steam and accelerate normally. Anything before, say, 1800rpm the car seems to hesitate quite a bit.

As for the hard starting, I generally have to crank it for a good few seconds and then give it some gas to stop it from stalling. If I don't do it just right then the tach will just bounce around in the low rpm range and then just drop to zero...

To give a better description of my hesitation: I've noticed that when I accelerate quickly (aka put the pedal to the floor), it feels really harsh. It just doesn't feel smooth like I remember it feeling when I first got the car. I've tried spraying WD40 on the throttle cable too, but that didn't do much. Maybe that is a sign that I am starving my engine of either fuel or air? It feels almost grimy, as if the throttle cable was made out of chain (obviously I'm speaking in hyperbole, but you get the point). I really have no idea, but it feels really crappy to drive it!

After reading up a bit more, I decided to clean my throttle body... Unfortunately both issues are still present. I've heard that a faulty/dirty EGR valve can cause a problem with hesitation at 1200-1800rpm, but usually people say a simple cleaning will fix it, and I've already done that, so should I replace it?

I did notice that one of my fuel injectors has a greasy coating on it that is not present on the rest of them. Is it possible for a leaking injector to cause issues similar to the ones I'm having?

I also tried adding some fuel injector cleaner to my gas tank a couple fill ups ago, but I have yet to notice any improvements.

I'm really new to working on cars (this is the first car I've ever owned), so don't be afraid to ask for clarification on anything I've said! It's very possible that I am leaving out necessary information... Just let me know!

Thanks!

-Griffin

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Old 08-12-2009, 09:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

Bump. I realize I waited like a month between posts, this thread is probably burried!

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Old 08-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #6
quantumech
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Default Re: 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

Ok, so to rule out the EGR, take a couple nickels or quarters, or flatten a beer can and stick underneath the EGR to take it out of the picture. If the car runs better, you need to further clean it, or replace it.

You did take the idle control valve out and give it a cleaning too when you cleaned the throttle body, right? If not, should probably go back and do that too.

Also, it may be worthwhile to see if your idle control valve is working correctly, by taking the air intake tube off the throttle body, and plugging the hole on the bottom right before the throttle plate with your finger. The idle should drop to 500-550 rpm and when you remove your finger it should spike but start to come back down right away.

...
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

Alright, I'll give both of those things a try. I'm not really having any problems with my idle (it's pretty steady). Can a faulty IAC valve cause issues with acceleration as well?

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Old 08-13-2009, 12:05 AM   #8
quantumech
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Default Re: 1995 Sl1, hesitation, gas to start, forward gear slam

I mentioned the IAC because of the starting trouble and needing to open the throttle. It might be that it's having trouble getting enough air through to get the correct mixture to start if the valve is mucked up with carbon, depending on how cruddy your throttle body was.

...
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