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Old 05-16-2020, 11:34 PM   #1
Gerheardt
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1995 SL2
Default 1995 SL2 EGR issue

Hello! Once again your french Canadian newbie mechanic needs help! As always he has a very detailed description/story to tell you...

As the title says, we're talking about a 1995 Saturn SL2. It's auto 4, 307 000kms. The car was bought for winter seasons, but i later decided it was a pretty bad idea to scrap a car i like so much and actually keep it off the roads during winter time now.

I never had any check engine until winter 2018-2019. It was a code 32, EGR fault. It happened once or twice and vanished afterwards. Everytime, it was in a very very cold day, like -40 celsius if not worse. The SES light turned off after the very cold days, but i still cleaned the EGR in spring or summer 2019. The SES never appeared in around 20 000kms, but i did it as prevention.

I then kept the car parked for all winter 2019 to 2020 and started to use it like a week ago. As with any first start after 6ish months storage, it smoked as hell and was hard to start, but everything went back to normal.

I used the car for few days for maybe a total of 2-300kms. When i came back from a ride yesterday, the SES lighted. Was it finally a clue for my MYSTERIOUS TROUBLE? http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=266338 Nope, it was code 32 once again.

I then cleaned it once, after all, it smoked a lot at the first start. I did it, and unbolted both battery terminals to make them touch each others for half a minute to erase the code. Sadly, after 50kms, the code reappeared.

I looked for a video to actually TEST the valve and ended up on this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKYXmPB4xh8&t=534s . I then checked out resistance between contacts A and E. I had around 9 ohms as in the video. I gave 12v by the same contacts and the valve was opening. I then tested resistance between B and D and... nothing at all. I thought it was my problem. I then removed my EGR valve and went to the junkyard this morning.

At the junkyard, i had no choice, really. I could have took it from a 2000-2002 SOHC auto or a 96-99 SOHC manual. Visually they were the same, but yesterday i checked out the parts number for each year for the EGR, and with a 95 like me, apparently both SOHC and DOHC had the same from 95 to 99, also a californian 94 could fit. I then chose the 96-99 one. Anyway, the 00-02 one was stuck and probably not working even after a good cleaning. I tested the 96-99 one. The valve was still moving, i had 9ohms between A and E and the 4000ohms that lacked between B and D on my old valve was actually there on this valve. I forgot to test it with 12V tho, i'll probably check it out soon, just in case...

I cleaned the new valve, redone the tests, still working as supposed. I installed it, did the trick with the battery to clean memory and the damn code came back within 5kms. I redone the resistance tests in case it broke while drivbing, but it was fine. The car goes as usual, only the SES gives a clue that something is not ok. I may have noticed an electric sound under the hood, but i'm not certain if it always been there or if it's new. I also have to mention my exhaust manifold gasket leaks, in case it could actually change something. It's leaking AFTER the manifold, BEFORE the downpipe/o2/catalyst converter.

Is there any test i could do with the new valve to insure it's actually good and my problem comes from somewhere else? What could i test other than the valve and how?

Thanks a lot!
...
1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
2020 Automatic AWD Hyundai Kona 1600kms

Last edited by Gerheardt; 05-16-2020 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

Fix that exhaust leak at the manifold to down-pipe flange before fussing any more with the EGR. A leak at that gasket can have an enormous effect on the O2 sensor reading and the PCM may incorrectly find an EGR fault based on that bogus O2 reading.

PS: no need to disconnect the battery to clear codes. Just pull the two PCM fuses (actually, only one needs to be pulled, but I can't remember which one...)
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

Oh, so it actually matters! I have to admit the leak worsen since i left the car to sleep. It all makes sense now. I'll set an appointment to the garage. I already have my new gasket anyway. I also have to admit i oiled the manifold bolts in case that would help to unbolt them. It may have worsen the leak too by catching fire or because it actually loosen something.

Thank you also for the trick for the ECU fuses!

I would still like to know what else to test and how, if the problem isn't fixed with the exhaust leak fix, so any more reply is greatly appreciated!
...
1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
2020 Automatic AWD Hyundai Kona 1600kms

Last edited by Gerheardt; 05-17-2020 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

You have checked over-all resistance of the feedback pot and of the drive coil. Next would be to connect to the wiper pot and see if the signal seems smooth and linear as you stroke the EGR pintle in/out. Besides hitting the drive coil to see if the pintle moves any, you could use a variable 0-12V supply to see if the pintle seems to move proportional to the voltage applied to the drive coil.

Really, though, it is hardly worth the bother until you get the exhaust fixed. I have seen NOX drop from over 2000 ppm to under 10 ppm after only fixing a leak at that gasket. It is a dramatic effect!
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
You have checked over-all resistance of the feedback pot and of the drive coil. Next would be to connect to the wiper pot and see if the signal seems smooth and linear as you stroke the EGR pintle in/out. Besides hitting the drive coil to see if the pintle moves any, you could use a variable 0-12V supply to see if the pintle seems to move proportional to the voltage applied to the drive coil.
I could do that last test. I can also provide 6V with what i have here. The thing is, i don't know what you meant by the wiper pot. As i understand, pot means circuit, but wiper... which contacts (A-B-C-D-E) should i use to test that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
Really, though, it is hardly worth the bother until you get the exhaust fixed. I have seen NOX drop from over 2000 ppm to under 10 ppm after only fixing a leak at that gasket. It is a dramatic effect!
I'm kinda sure it's the problem right now, it just makes sense and both the leak and the code happened almost at the same time. If only i could do it myself. I have the tools and the time, but i know the three bolts will strip or snap and i'm not mentally stable enough to deal with it when it happens. Better use my truck until i can get an appointment to the garage
...
1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
2020 Automatic AWD Hyundai Kona 1600kms
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Old 05-20-2020, 05:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

Ok, so i have an appointment for the gasket in one month (sigh). Is it dangerous to roll like that? Is my engine running too rich or too lean in such conditions?

When i went to show the car so they see how hard of a job it would be, i rode a little. The SES was not on and never appeared. I guess it's a matter of weather and warmth that plays on the metals and make the leak worse or not...

So yeah, can i roll like that until my appointment arrives or i better melt my winter tires by using my Grand Vitara?
...
1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
2020 Automatic AWD Hyundai Kona 1600kms

Last edited by Gerheardt; 05-20-2020 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

Oops, there was a typo in my most recent post above. Would it have made more sense if I had written "pot wiper" instead of "wiper pot"? Do you understand how a potentiometer (pot) is constructed and operates? If not, read up on the subject a bit. It will be useful knowledge for other purposes, as pots are a universal electric/electronic component. The TPS on most cars (these included) is a pot. I think the pot terminals are the center three (B-C-D) but not certain. You should be able to tell easily with an ohmmeter.
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

I just didn't realized that pot meant potentiometer. I understand the principle on how they work though. I'm pretty sure my valve is fine. I rode a lot yesterday and the SES never lighted. I been carefull to be more than gentle with the gas pedal to avoid extreme leakage from the exhaust gasket. The last 2 rides i had when the SES lighted, i had some good accelerations in them. The second one, it actually lighted a second after i went WOT to see if it would change something...

I just want to ensure i'm not slowly killing my engine. Do you know if the readings with the leak may lead too lean mix in the engine?
...
1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
2020 Automatic AWD Hyundai Kona 1600kms

Last edited by Gerheardt; 05-21-2020 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 05:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

No, I really don't know what effect the exhaust leak will have on mixture or engine life. My guess is that it won't harm the engine as long as you are not loading the engine hard for long periods of time (towing a trailer or long uphill fast driving, or racing...)
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

I should be fine until it's fixed then. I drive like i was trying to get 100kms away with my gas light turned on. For now my gas gauge is still over Full without having moved and i have rolled 175kms. SES didn't lighted again. I'll have to do few pulls to see if the light turns on soon.

Thanks again for your opinion and advices, greatly appreciated
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1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 EGR issue

In case that topic would be consulted by someone later, the exahsut leak was not the source of the problem. After a while, the light didn't came back after i erased it. I guess it took a while for the computer to realize the problem was fixed even if i resetted it. The leak was still there, i also rolled normally and even at WOT a few times and the light didn't came back.

My EGR was really faulty and my used one is fine for now. Leak fixed a week ago, problems solved!
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1995 Automatic Saturn SL2 309 000kms *NOW MANUAL*
2020 Automatic AWD Hyundai Kona 1600kms
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