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Old 06-06-2016, 07:46 PM   #1
kevinap2
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2002 SL1
Default Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

Hey all, I stumbled across this forum and have a question for you.

My friend bought a 2002 SL1 with 115k miles on Friday. She's put a few hundred miles on it and loves it so far. We do have one question though: the car takes 4-5 seconds to crank under hot soak conditions. If the car is turned off and immediately turned back on, it starts fine; and if the car is stone cold, it starts fine. Plugs and wires both look good, plugs look to be newish NGK copper.

She doesn't have the funds and I don't have the time to shotgun parts at it (though I am fairly excited to have a car around here that I can actually work on, there's a very limited amount of stuff I can do on my Volt). I was wondering if this is a common issue and if so, what the solution is. Thanks!

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Old 06-06-2016, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

A fuel pressure check is one recommendation (free loaner from Autozone), fuel filter replacement every 100k miles, throttle and ignition system cleaning.

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Old 06-07-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

^ ^ ^ Good free checks are a good place to start.

fdryer points out that she may need to start saving for an new fuel filter, since the owner's manual calls for replacement every 100k miles - it's a $50~$80 part since it has an integrated pressure regulator. Many people go longer before replacing (150k or more before they notice issues) so if the fuel pressure check he suggested shows OK, she can probably put it off for a bit.

Does she get a puff of black smoke out the exhaust when starting under those conditions? I'm thinking leaky injector causing a slight rich condition. It's a long shot since most gas has plenty of cleaners, but looking at the exhaust is free.

Check resistance on some of the spark plug wires - high heat increases resistance. Or just buy a medium to cheap replacement set. My usual modus is find a good coupon code at retailmenot.com, then order online at Advanced Auto applying the coupon, but choose the in-store pickup option. I've gotten wires as low as $7 a set for my DOHC, but I usually add consumables like oil filters, plugs, etc., if I need to hit a certain dollar amount.

It's not a common issue, so it'd be interesting to see what it turns out to be.

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Old 06-09-2016, 09:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

I've tried doing some general maintenance things to it. I've put about 1/3 of a bottle of Seafoam in the gas tank, and I've also cleaned the throttle body. It's unrelated, but I replaced a nasty looking PCV valve. It is running better, but the problem is still there. The fuel filter looks fairly new, though not brand new. I've noticed it is much more likely to crank longer if it has been sitting in the sun. Could this be the dreaded ECTS?

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Old 06-09-2016, 12:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

'02's don't have the infamous plastic coolant sensor '91-'01's suffered. If you're in doubt, remove it. The round nosed plastic ones crack. The flat nosed brass ones are the corrected replacements.

Guessing is easy and a way to throw parts at the car. Spark, fuel and air are the three parts that make an engine run. Dirty, corroded ignition system? Fuel pressure? Compression?

WHat's the long term pros and cons of Volt ownership?

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Old 06-09-2016, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinap2 View Post
The fuel filter looks fairly new, though not brand new.
Any idea as to the brand? As mentioned - whoops, take that back, it hasn't been mentioned - it was on another thread.

Many parts stores will sell a fuel filter that fits and looks the same for the Saturn, but provides an incorrect fuel pressure. read this thread up to post 8; fuel pressure test will tell you if that is the issue - otherwise we are guessing and throwing parts at it gets expensive
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/new...eply&p=2199029

Quote:
I've noticed it is much more likely to crank longer if it has been sitting in the sun. Could this be the dreaded ECTS?
very unlikely for the reasons fdryer mentioned, plus not exhibiting other typical symptoms. Low on the list of possibilities.

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Old 06-09-2016, 09:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
WHat's the long term pros and cons of Volt ownership?
It's a great car. I have a 62 mile round trip commute and I average 75 mpg. Power is cheap since I am eligible for a time of use plan where my power is much cheaper from 8 pm to 8 am. I figure my gas savings at about $500 per year. It would be even better if I had a shorter commute and didn't need to use the engine.

There aren't a lot of cons. Battery life isn't really an issue. There is a gentleman in Ohio with wel over 300k miles on his 2012 Volt with no range loss. Maintenance is a lot less. Biggest recurring issue is keeping up with tire rotations due to the weight of the vehicle (close to 4000 pounds). It's the most low maintenance car I've ever owned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Any idea as to the brand? As mentioned - whoops, take that back, it hasn't been mentioned - it was on another thread.

Many parts stores will sell a fuel filter that fits and looks the same for the Saturn, but provides an incorrect fuel pressure. read this thread up to post 8; fuel pressure test will tell you if that is the issue - otherwise we are guessing and throwing parts at it gets expensive

very unlikely for the reasons fdryer mentioned, plus not exhibiting other typical symptoms. Low on the list of possibilities.
I'll check the ECTS tomorrow when the engine is cold. There is no black smoke coming from the tailpipe on startup when it shows the symptoms. There is an occasional rough idle. It's darn near impossible for me to tell you what the fuel mileage is since my friend is one of the types that rarely fills the tank.

If the ECTS doesn't show any signs of being faulty, I'll turn my attention to fuel pressure. The only thing I don't understand is why it isn't acting up on a stone cold start or in the garage if it's a fuel problem.

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Old 06-10-2016, 08:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

Possible plot twist:

I got the chance to drive it for about 15 minutes today. The temp needle never budged above this point. Is this diagnostically significant?
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

No mention of a CEL - usually, you get a rich or lean code if fuel pressure is off
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinap2 View Post
I got the chance to drive it for about 15 minutes today. The temp needle never budged above this point. Is this diagnostically significant?
It's not conclusive. Generally speaking, temp gauge at 1/4 points to ECTS or ECTS connector/wiring. "Normal" for the 96-02 model years would be 3/8. However, the temp gauge is not a precision instrument and cases are documented where it shows 1/4 and ECTS is fine. Not to mention it is an 02; the one year we know did not have the resin-tipped ones.

An OBDII capable of live data will tell conclusively - should read 195~215F, IIRC. Or put a thermometer in the return stream at the back of the coolant surge/overflow tank with the cap off, engine warmed up (don't burn yourself)

Is it possible she has a 2001? VIN info link at bottom of this page
http://www.differentracing.com/tech_articles/index.html

10th character of her VIN should be a "2" or put it in an online VIN decoder

Possible someone put an old ECTS in, or water got on the connector

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Old 06-14-2016, 12:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

Yes, it's definitely an '02. There are no codes present (I have an OBDII scanner, though not one capable of live data). There is a bit of greenish/brownish residue right below the ECTS. I am wondering if the connector may have been fouled by moisture at some point.

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Old 06-15-2016, 01:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

Definitely worth checking out.

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Old 06-23-2016, 10:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

Alright, I checked out the ECTS sensor connector. In doing so, I noticed that it had definitely been replaced in the past. I'm guessing that's why I saw signs of leakage.

So I abandoned that particular line of diagnosis. I got a fuel pressure tester, and I noticed the fuel pressure was dropping off a lot after the car was turned off. I replaced the fuel filter, and it starts like a champ!

Thanks for all of your help!

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Old 06-24-2016, 12:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cranks longer under hot soak conditions

I have the same problem. Had it for 2 years. Done a lot of research, consensus seems to be it is the fuel pump. It doesn't hold the right vacuum or pressure during that warmed up period. I'm not an expert on how it works, but that's what I've been told by others with the issue.

If you turn the key to on and let it sit and prime for a few seconds before trying to start it, it will reduce that start time.

Bill

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