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Old 03-18-2008, 11:00 PM   #1
mudnsoccerguy
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1996 SL2
Default My car is trying to die

That is pretty much the only way to explain the car's new found problems. I should probably start by saying I have a 1996 SL2 DOHC with 110k miles. I went out of town for about 7 weeks and let my family drive my car. When I came back I discovered a variety of problems. I've been searching throughout the forum for the last few weeks trying to find some answers, but haven't been able to narrow it down. So maybe somebody can provide a little more insight:

-the Service light is now on. I figure that this is because the check engine light does not come on when the key is put in the run position. I just had the bulb replaced 3 months ago, so could there be a bigger issue than it coming loose or burnt out again

-The car has horrible vibration, especially when the engine is under load. It is a vibration the rattles everything in the car and feels like my jeep did when I lost the ears and u-joints on my rear axle yoke. A year ago the car had the same problems and I solved it by replacing the Top Motor Mount (but not the lower mounts). So far I have inspected the car and discovered the ball joint boots were destroyed. So I replaced the Lower Control Arms and installed new front hubs and bearings while I was at it. This improved things slightly, however now it vibrates whenever driving straight, is worse when turning left, and is nearly non-existant when making a full right turn.

-The car also has begun to idle at 2 rpms and higher. This usually happens after about 15 mins of driving and will slowly begin to accelerate when stopped. So far if I depress the clutch the idle drops back down to 1rpm, but I'm sure this is a sign of something that needs to be done.

So does anyone have some ideas or advice on where to start. I have this week off for spring break so I can get outside and put the car up on jack stands if anyone needs pictures. Thanks in advance.
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1996 Saturn SL2 90k miles, 3rd owner
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:30 PM   #2
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1999 SL2
Default Re: My car is trying to die

Regarding idle dropping it may be a dirty EGR. That was my problem recently. I have been told to just unplug the harness going into the EGR. If the idle goes to a higher idle, you have isolated a problem area. I would have the codes read. I had P1404 when the EGR was having problems. Advance, Auto Zone, etc. do it for free.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:42 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: My car is trying to die

It might help to get the codes read and post them here. Most auto chain stores should be able to scan for codes free, just ask.

Have you replaced the original engine coolant temperature sensor (ECTS) yet? The How-to Tips first two posts covers the good and bad one with pictures and procedures. The second post covers the two-wire connector that corrodes from leaking anti-freeze, requiring replacement sometimes.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:35 AM   #4
mudnsoccerguy
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1996 SL2
Default Re: My car is trying to die

Yea, once I saw the check engine light was out I went and got the codes read. The car has read clear the last couple of times I checked it.
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1996 Saturn SL2 90k miles, 3rd owner
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:36 AM   #5
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1995 SC2
Default Re: My car is trying to die

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudnsoccerguy View Post
however now it vibrates whenever driving straight, is worse when turning left, and is nearly non-existant when making a full right turn.
I had a similar problem. Ended up that the slider pins for the calipers were rusted and had NO grease on them. Put some high temp grease on thier and its all good. Just a thought

Oh and +1 on the codes
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:42 AM   #6
mudnsoccerguy
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1996 SL2
Default Re: My car is trying to die

I may have forgotten to put grease on the caliper bolts when reassembling everything. I'll make sure to regrease them tomorrow, but I got a feeling it's something more than that.
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1996 Saturn SL2 90k miles, 3rd owner
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:48 AM   #7
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1997 SL2
1995 SC2
Default Re: My car is trying to die

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudnsoccerguy View Post
I may have forgotten to put grease on the caliper bolts when reassembling everything. I'll make sure to regrease them tomorrow, but I got a feeling it's something more than that.
So did I. I thought i put my struts on wrong or something worse. Heres the thread:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=109324
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