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Old 08-20-2019, 08:21 PM   #21
fdryer
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

When ac runs, the extra load on 4cyl engines will drop idle rpm if it weren't for pcm programming by bumping up idle to compensate for compressors drawing power from the engine. It's been said that around 7hp is needed to run ac compressors. Most EFI systems with ac are programmed to bump up rpm when ac is turned on.

The pcm doesn't retain poor engine running and doesn't need to rewrite memory holding non existent data governing poor engine running. It's the other way around. When new, every sensor is outputting to the pcm, uses sensor data by comparing long ago data captured for every range of operating conditions. permanent memory is used to compare sensor data with a range so the pcm can make on the fly adjustments. As long as everything is operating (fuel pressures within a range, engine temperature sensor, map sensor, intake air temperature sensor, throttle position sensor, etc, the pcm will always guarantee instant starting in any temperature. This presumes the owner services their car at periodic intervals (air and oil filters, fuel and oil changes, spark plugs, etc) to ensure the EFI system runs as close to factory new condition. Once wiring or sensors falter, incorrect signals are received to corrupt pcm decision making. Corrupt signals (garbage into the pcm) results in pcm operating at less than ideal conditions (garbage out). The entire EFI system relies on perfect wiring connections for sensors in operating condition to allow the pcm to run the engine in any temperature and humidity. Sensors, wiring and pcm are team players. Uncontaminated fuel, fuel pump, fuel filter, ignition system providing spark are other parts of this team concept. Many sensors can be tested in various ways. Fuel pressure can be checked as abnormal fuel pressure drops can be misinterpreted as faulty ignition or other sensor. Without a way to test sensors and use a fuel pressure gauge, guessing and throwing parts at the car are the most expensive methods in hopes of finding the right part that corrects a problem.

With 160k miles, your engine and xmission are well past their normal lifetime related to normal parts replacement. The fuel pump has no history of how or when they fail so the least to be done is replacing fuel filter at 100k miles. Whether or not a fuel pump fails before or after filter replacement isn't important as determining if a pump fails outright, falters intermittently or provides less than optimum pressures. A fuel pressure gauge is needed to make an initial check and observed in idle and if possible, under driving speeds to see if pressure suddenly drops at the moment the engine randomly dies. This part of troubleshooting isn't basic maintenance but advanced troubleshooting. Troubleshooting ignition is more difficult since its nearly impossible to watch for loss of spark when an engine dies at random. Most sensors acting faulty should generate a error code to help point the way. Age related failures are sometimes more difficult to find unless aware of how to monitor each sensor. A reader can help with overall sensor data.

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Old 08-21-2019, 01:17 PM   #22
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post

With 160k miles, your engine and xmission are well past their normal lifetime related to normal parts replacement. . . . the least to be done is replacing fuel filter at 100k miles.
I missed the mileage, good point - fuel filter on '98 and up Saturns have an in integrated fuel pressure regulator, so they tend to be more expensive ($35~470).

Your local FLAPS likely has fuel pressure testers in their free loaner tool program.

The owner's manual calls for fuel filter replacement at 100k miles but most folks don't see issues until much later - usually in the range of around 140k~180k miles would be my guess, though I am sure there are outliers.

I'm at just under 150k miles on my original fuel filter as well, and starting to consider replacement before it causes problems.

Only two fuel aftermarket filters had the right fuel pressure range:

Wix 33731 or the NAPA equivalent number
GK Industries GF1846

Both Fram (G9370) and Purolator (F65501) filters had excess pressure and resulted in rich codes being thrown

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Old 08-22-2019, 12:12 AM   #23
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Your local FLAPS likely has...
It took me five minutes to suss out FLAPS = favorite, local, auto parts store.

Today I tightened the connector spacing of the connector to the ECTS sensor that grab the pins on the end of the sensor. O'Reily's sells connectors for $40. $40? No--that's gouging.

Temperature gauge read between 1/4 and 1/2 most of the evening. When the engine started stalling (see below), the range was closer to 1/4. Someone said that that 1/4 reading was symptomatic.

Tonight's 30 minute ride home I nursed it the whole way. It was fine until it began to stall repeatedly, and remained horrible all way home. I have video of the rpms going to 2,500 and staying there wile coasting in N downhill at 30 mph for ten or fifteen seconds, then suddenly dropping to about 500 for a few seconds, then repeating. I saw the idiot light trigger a few times. (I had been getting a code for a plug 1 misfire two months ago, but it had gone away. I wonder if it came back. See the next comment about plugs, too.)

I just looked at the electrodes on all four plugs, and they are all rounded off on half of the electrode edge. Spark likes to have nice, sharp edges, and all four plugs fail on that point. That's my next maintenance step.

Will changing plugs potentially change engine codes that get thrown?

While at my local O'Reily's, I'm going to check and see if they have tools I can use to get some live data. I'm new at this.

Thanks for your follow ups. I'm balancing what I need to do with the things I'm learning from everyone.

Onward through the fog...

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Old 08-22-2019, 07:16 AM   #24
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Live data can be yours for $20, if you have a smart phone or tablet.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=205590

Rock Auto has a Wells/Airtex 1P1439 connector for $6.45. I have one in my '98.
https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...connector,2524

Here is my post detailing the installation.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...&postcount=128

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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 08-22-2019, 11:32 AM   #25
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

^ ^ ^
Great pics!
Quote:
Originally Posted by d0ugparker View Post
Temperature gauge read between 1/4 and 1/2 most of the evening. When the engine started stalling (see below), the range was closer to 1/4. Someone said that that 1/4 reading was symptomatic.
Tough telling because the temp gauge is not very precise and will vary slightly from car to car. (this is another area where live data would help).

"Close to 1/4" on the temp gauge could be anything from 150F to 190F, depending on the car. Live data could tell you what the PCM is actually seeing. An alternative is to carefully stick a thermometer into the coolant stream in the tank on the passenger side fender area when it hits its low temp reading.

After the car has been running a while, 190F would indicate normal operation, 150F would indicate a problem as, once the car has warmed up, should stay in the range of roughly 190~215F, give or take a few.

If you are not in a hurry, I can mail you an ECTS (IAT)connector, or you can pull one from a junkyard (pull the connector for the Intake Air Temperature (IAT) sensor instead - located under the snorkel leading to the airbox - because it is the same connector but not subjected to the temp swings and moisture as the ECTS connector).

I used to pull IAT connectors when I had time and first got a Saturn so I'm sure I have several extras laying around. PM your address and I can stick in a regular envelope. (I'm assuming you can solder wires together or are willing to try it)

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Old 08-22-2019, 03:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
I used to pull IAT connectors when I had time and first got a Saturn so I'm sure I have several extras laying around. PM your address and I can stick in a regular envelope. (I'm assuming you can solder wires together or are willing to try it)
Thanks for the offer. Thanks everyone, for being so helpful, too.

Waiex191 posted links to a new, $7, RockAuto connector. I'm going that route.

This stuff is both easy and hard.

Soldier on...

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Old 08-22-2019, 04:21 PM   #27
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post

Live data can be yours for $20, if you have a smart phone or tablet.

Here is my post detailing the installation.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...&postcount=128
(Note: see my funny-but-true comment on the install post about forgetting the bullet.)

Super, super helpful. 1M thanks.

Anyone out there know if Bluetooth communication gets messed up because of all the metal and high voltages when bringing their mobile phone into the engine compartment to work on something? I now understand why some OBDII wired models have "extension cables:" so they can be dragged out front to work on the engine and watch the display at the same time.

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Old 08-27-2019, 01:41 AM   #28
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Time to get the corded OBDII.

The new ECTS connector was soldered in. Stalls happened.

"Stop guessing."

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Old 08-27-2019, 03:59 PM   #29
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Yes, buy and use an OBD II reader. At the least, you'll have some of not all baseline values to record for reference when a problem occurs. The baseline values should be recorded on a cold engine with ignition on engine off, another data point after startup with a cold engine idling, and once more after a warm-up whether idling or from everyday driving. Three sets of baseline data.

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Old 08-28-2019, 06:47 PM   #30
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by focusofheart;
focusofheart said "TPS."
So, I pulled my TPS. I put an ohm meter across the outside pins, and it sat there at 4.8K. Then I juggled it and it blasted up to above 103K. Then it sat for a while at 4.8K, then slowly rose to 5.3K, then settled back to 4.8K. This might be okay, but my workroom floor had not reached its hot idle temperature yet.

I think I have a bad TPS.

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Old 08-28-2019, 10:50 PM   #31
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Default Re: Dirty throttle body = stalling, but why?

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Originally Posted by d0ugparker View Post
I think I have a bad TPS.
Yup, the new numbers on the new TPS unit are stable, but the car's still stalling. Waiting for the OBDII unit to arrive.

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