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Old 02-28-2017, 07:28 AM   #1
Bkardell
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Default 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Hello everyone!

I am new to Saturn's and I just purchased my first one yesterday on 2/27! Itd a 2001 Saturn SL1 5 Speed manual, and has 200,000 miles even, but has an entirely new head, new camshaft, new valves and valve Springs, new timing chain with new guides and tensioner, serpentine belt, and all gaskets associated with head and valve cover, and it runs good so far! I do have a few general questions that I am hoping you guys could try to answer for me as I am new!

1. I was wondering why my car SOMETIMES idles a little rough? I know it's a broad question but with the new head came a new intake manifold gasket, and it only does it sometimes. Idles between like 300 and 900 rpms and bounces around. Never dies just struggles a little bit and wanted to know if this sounds familiar to anyone else's problem they've solved before.

2. I can't seem to control the car bucking/Jerking in 2nd gear unless i let out the clutch really slowly. If I go from 1st to 2nd and just let the clutch out and get back on the gas, it's like I'm constantly driving over speed bumps. Now I'm not sure if this is due to me hitting the gas pedal on and off as the car shakes, therefore it's induced by me? Or again if this sounds like a familiar problem to any of you long time saturn owners.

3. Also with 200,000 mIles comes typical problems. Was just wondering what people recommend for typical tune up? Is there a specific type of spark plug and spark plug wires I should use? Should I check the ICM or the coils and ways to clean them? Any info is super appreciated, thank you all and I'm so happy to be apart of the Saturn family!

...
2001 Saturn SL1 5 Speed, 200,000 miles!

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Old 02-28-2017, 09:06 AM   #2
trottida
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2001 SL1
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

My initial thoughts as I was reading your post were spark plug wires. New wires wouldn't hurt and you need to make sure they are in the right firing order. You might want to check that they are currently in the right order as this could be your problem. Lightly cleaning your coils with a scotch brite pad is a good idea too.

Below are some related quotes I pulled from other posts on this site.


Quote:
7) Yes, the firing order of the plugs is on the support brace under the hood. It's in the same area and the serp belt routing diagram. Just incase you can't find it it's 4-1-2-3. The shortest wire goes to the plug farthest to the right and connects to the coil tower farthest to the left, the longest goes to the plug farthest to the left and connects to the second coil tower and then the next shortest to the second plug, third coil tower and then finally the third plug and fourth coil tower.
Quote:
Use the NGK plugs for the best results and NGK BKR5ESA-11 is the correct plug for your engine. Do Not Buy any platinum plugs.

...
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Thank you for your reply! I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my post! The only other thing I am deciding on now is what oil to use when I do regular oil changes (I am in MN, cold winters, hot summers). thanks again for the reply!

...
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

5W-30 oil is recommended for the S Series engine. In MN, you might consider running 0W-30 in the winter. Which oil to use is somewhat dependent on how much oil your car burns. Mine burns a quart every 700 miles, so I use the cheap Supertech dino oil from Walmart. If you are lucky and you car does not have a thirst for motor oil, a good quality synthetic may help keep it that way.

Check your oil often until you get a good feel for how much it burns.

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Old 02-28-2017, 10:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

I will definitely keep an eye on it! I have driven about 150 miles so fa and checked the oil this morning and no noticeable change thus far. If it doesn't seem to burn too much, I think I may try an oil change with 5w30 synthetic Mobil 1 as I have heard good things about it! Also, any idea what color coolant should be in there? A little background, the owner before me cracked the old head and oil got into the cooling system. It has since been flushed out multiple times and is pretty clean it seems to me, however I may flush it until its perfect just to make myself feel better about it. Either way, It has green coolant in it now, and I am not sure if that is correct or not? Again, thank you for all the info, it is very much appreciated! As far as burning oil goes, thats really what I am most scared about, as it has higher miles and that's a lot of miles that someone could have mistreated it for. I have read about drilling holes in the pistons but with the fresh rebuild, It seems like taking out the pistons is a big job for an everyday DIY kind of person. Let me know what you think, thanks again!

...
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Green coolant is fine. Car came with the orange DexCool, but there is no need to use it, and some recommend not using it. If the overflow bottle stays clean, your system was probably flushed well. If you see any slime, flush the cooling system again.

As for the oil burning, if it is manageable, there is no need to rebuild the engine and drill pistons. Going 150 miles with no drop on the dipstick is a good sign. Some members here have had engines that would have already required a quart to be added after 150 miles!!!

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Old 02-28-2017, 10:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

In the top of coolant reservoir It definitely appears as if there is an oily film, so I will take a day this weekend and go ahead and flush water through the system multiple times and then fill it back up with green 50-50 mix, however to account for water left in the system I will do more like a 60-40 heavier on the coolant side. Thank you for all your help, it is seriously more than appreciated!

...
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Green coolant needs to be changed every 6-months, you can stretch it to 1 year.

Orange coolant needs to be changed every 2.5 years, you can stretch to 5 years.

It's really personal preference, basic vs synthetic, green vs orange.

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Old 02-28-2017, 11:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Thank you guys so much for all the info. I am so glad I found this forum site as I can see there are quite a few people on here who are very passionate and knowledgeable about saturns. Thank you guys!

...
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

If it's bucking between shifts I'd hook up a scan tool and measure readout from your intake air temp ( IAT ) sensor and also your O2 sensor.. check both upper and lower engine/trans mounts as well. The intake temp sensor will not always throw a code but will cause what you describe between shifts.

...
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC2Sick View Post
If it's bucking between shifts I'd hook up a scan tool and measure readout from your intake air temp ( IAT ) sensor and also your O2 sensor.. check both upper and lower engine/trans mounts as well. The intake temp sensor will not always throw a code but will cause what you describe between shifts.
Thank you for sharing that. It's a rather weird feeling. It's like if I don't ride the clutch out when I'm coming into second, the car really likes to buck and it almost feels like the clutch is slipping, or not grabbing, but it's new? All I know is the car bucks back and forth to the point I'm surprised the front wheels don't come off the ground (yes it's that bad) I'll check that when I get home, thanks again for the info!

...
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

[QUOTE=Medtactics;2234403]Green coolant needs to be changed every 6-months, you can stretch it to 1 year.

Orange coolant needs to be changed every 2.5 years, you can stretch to 5 years.

It's really personal preference, basic vs synthetic, green vs orange.[/QUI have

I have never heard anyone changing antifreeze every 6 months in my 51 years of life. Can you tell me why you are telling him that ?

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Old 02-28-2017, 12:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Welcome to saturnfans

You might find this sticky thread in the General forum interesting
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=177672

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkardell View Post
In the top of coolant reservoir It definitely appears as if there is an oily film,
Might not be oil, but I don't blame you for being cautious

Quote:
so I will take a day this weekend and go ahead and flush water through the system multiple times and then fill it back up with green 50-50 mix, however to account for water left in the system I will do more like a 60-40 heavier on the coolant side.
If you are doing multiple flushes, you end up with about a quart of straight water in the heater core. If you fill the system with 1 gallon of pure antifreeze (not the premix) and top off with distilled water, you should get the right mix

I'll echo OldNuc and recommend any universal, long-life antifreeze. Changing antifreeze once every 5 years/150k miles is plenty for me

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Old 02-28-2017, 12:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL1 5 Speed

Thank you for your info, it's always appreciated!!

...
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