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Old 12-24-2009, 12:49 AM   #1
95SatSL1
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Wrench Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

I was driving recently, (cold winters) and I slowed to a stop at an intersection (red light). All of a sudden car dies Car wouldn't start up again Tried to start it again while it was in Drive but for some reason it wouldn't

Turned on my hazards, tried to use my portable battery charger (new batter installed recently). Went through my owners manual, trying to find info about a stalled engine. Anyways, someone stopped at let me use their cell phone and I called my Dad. A few minutes later another guy came by and helped me push it into an empty parking lot a few feet away. My Dad came by and put it into park and turned it on and it started again

Things to know:

Car Shakes (CV Axle needs to be replaced, unclear if this causes the shaking, Upper engine mount replaced a few months ago, lower engine mount needs to be replaced? Car shaking may be irrelevant).

Engine Shakes and/or Revs a lot at times. (See above, connected?)

New Battery bought on Black Friday

Car may have made noises for a few seconds before it shut off, not sure, kind of just shut off on me but I may not have noticed any noises because it was driving along fine.

Could it be possible that the engine was just cold. I guess it could be but I'm thinking something else.

Rebuilt Salvage, bought it used at around 130,000 radiator replaced, serpentine belt replaced, battery replaced, upper engine mount, tie rod, etc. Car squeals but I think that's a separate issue.

Please advise,
Thanks.

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

There are lots of things that can cause these kinds of problems.

First check the oil and keep it at the full mark.

Probably could use a good tune up.
Replace ECTS. Take the forum jump at the bottom of the page and select How-To Library. Then read the first 4 sticky posts. The first one is teh index of and links to teh Hrichpin DIY videos and teh 3rd and 4th are directions for ECTS replacement. It is a $10.00 part at the parts store.

New plugs NGK BKR4ESA-11 only, no substitutes.

New wires. Any mid priced direct fit set nothing elaborate.

Probably should also replace the thermostat. From Advance or Autozone buy a STANT brand 195F thermostat. Just the thermostat not the thermostat in the housing. The STANT part number is 14279.

The engine has no chance of running correctly if its cold and/or has bad plugs.

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:22 AM   #3
2000mc
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Engine Shakes and/or Revs a lot at times.
check for a vacuum leak

New Battery bought on Black Friday
double check that the battery cables are tight

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Old 12-24-2009, 06:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Uh, 95Sat...

No car, ever built, with an automatic transmission will start when the selector is in "Drive"

The only time the car will start is when it is in Park or Neutral.

Definitely check your ECTS. Those are notorious for failing on Saturns.

The car shaking wouldn't kill your engine. This looks like it might be the ECTS. How has the engine been running overall? Where does it idle at when the engine is fully warmed up? Have you had any issues starting it?

Welcome to the forums, btw.

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Old 12-24-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
95SatSL1
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Yeah, I'm a newbie...learning as I go. Oil is fine. It's not the oil. I just put a quart in within the last 30 days and it's been checked probably multiple times since then.

My Dad tried fixing the temperature sensor. The Cold/Hot gauge is the ECTS, correct? Does this affect the performance of the car or is it just there to warn you if there is a problem? Anyways, I think he had a hard time fixing that.

Starts fine.

I heard a rumor that 95 Saturns only should use Declo spark plugs, true?

Thanks for all your advice. Hopefully I will have an update for you soon.

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Old 12-24-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Use only the NGK plugs that OldNuc referred to in the second post.

The ECTS that you want to replace is the 2-wire sensor that feeds the pcm. Check the ECTS connector for corrosion/green gunk. If any is found, the connector will need to replaced.

What kind of a hard time did your dad have with the ECTS?

After changing the ECTS, check the temp gauge while driving down the road after the car has had time to warm up. The gauge should read around 7/16. If it is around 1/4, then replace the thermostat.

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Old 12-24-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

It will not crank in drive.

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Old 12-24-2009, 12:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

At least, let's hope not.

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95SatSL1 View Post
My Dad tried fixing the temperature sensor. The Cold/Hot gauge is the ECTS, correct? Does this affect the performance of the car or is it just there to warn you if there is a problem? Anyways, I think he had a hard time fixing that.
Actually, in your case, the ECTS does NOT drive the dashboard gauge. Starting in '96, the ECTS does everything -- affects the performance (fuel, timing), controls the engine cooling fan, and drives the gauge display. Your '95, and its predecessors, have two sensors. The ECTS, the one with the two-wire connector, does the engine control and cooling fan. The gauge sender, the one with the one-wire connector, only drives the gauge. For some reason, the gauge sender is less susceptible to failure, and even if it does fail, of course it only affects the gauge, not driveability. It's the ECTS that, when it cracks and fails, will make the engine run poorly and fail to turn on the fan. The two sensors are very close to each other on the cylinder head; make sure your dad replaced the right one. The upshot is, the sensors themselves are virtually indistinguishable visually; even the gauge sender, although it connects with only one wire, still has two terminals on the sender itself. But they're different electrically, internally, so don't get them mixed up.

When you stalled, were you already at a complete stop, or did it stall as you were coming to a stop?

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Old 12-24-2009, 04:38 PM   #10
95SatSL1
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Taking out the Spark Plugs, Oil and Gas goop attached. Was told something like Internal Piston work need to be done. Oh well, I don't have the money to do major engine work so hopefully it runs for awhile. Bought replacement for spark plugs, air filter and PVC valve. Those things are in now and about to put in the last two spark plugs.

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Old 12-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #11
Cheyne
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95SatSL1 View Post
Taking out the Spark Plugs, Oil and Gas goop attached. Was told something like Internal Piston work need to be done.
I wouldn't jump to that conclusion yet. First thing is to take care of the items that have been discussed in this thread and get the engine up to proper operating temp. Properly maintained, these engines will go a long time.

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Old 12-25-2009, 01:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Who told you you needed piston work? Unless you've got some severe knocking I wouldn't worry that much. Personally I don't trust mechanics. Thankfully many members of my family are/were, so i can get free advice.

But the ECTS shouldn't be a hard fix. It certainly wasn't for me. I think I was under the hood maybe 15 minutes tops. The only way to really tell if you have the right ECTS node is if you look at where the wire plugs into the node. The two have different connectors, obviously so they couldn't be mixed up.

But the symptoms you're describing are definitely pointing to the ECTS. If you have the money, try and buy a Hanes manual for the S-series Saturn. Saved me a ton of time trying to find videos and tutorials on the internet.

Last edited by p8ntballsniper8; 12-25-2009 at 01:45 AM..

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Old 12-25-2009, 01:43 AM   #13
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

p8ntballsniper:

ALL OBD-1 Saturns (regardless of cam configuration) have TWO coolant sensors.

the one-wire sensor controls the gauge, the two-wire sensor controls everything else (and is the one you need to replace).

...
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Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

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Old 12-25-2009, 01:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Ah, my bad. Sorry.

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Old 12-25-2009, 02:32 AM   #15
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by p8ntballsniper8 View Post
Ah, my bad. Sorry.
It's alright. Eh, one advantage about having multiple threads on one subject: at least you keep the basics of a Saturn in your head!

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Date Obtained: 5/30/07
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:19 PM   #16
95SatSL1
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

I don't really want to deal the temperature sensor Seems like a hassle. Plus, me and my Dad are going to work on replacing the head gasket are something like that as another person said that that was most likely the problem...plus it's cheaper

You think oil coming up and getting on the spark plugs could have caused it to stall out? Temp sensor was fine at around August/September.

Anyways, that work will be done and maybe I'll replace the ECTS but it might be a little bit before I can update you again. Later!

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Old 12-25-2009, 03:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

..huh?

since when is an ECTS more expensive than a head gasket? for that much, the ECTS better be steel and bulletproof.

also since when is an ECTS more hassle than a head gasket? afaik, you have to remove A LOT more stuff (IIRC spark plugs, wires, and cam cover) to get to the head gasket, versus the ECTS (intake, airbox, possibly battery).

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Old 12-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
..huh?

since when is an ECTS more expensive than a head gasket? for that much, the ECTS better be steel and bulletproof.

also since when is an ECTS more hassle than a head gasket? afaik, you have to remove A LOT more stuff (IIRC spark plugs, wires, and cam cover) to get to the head gasket, versus the ECTS (intake, airbox, possibly battery).
Original Poster: ^^ Believe these folks and heed their advice. They are worth their weight in gold. The ECTS is (from what I've learned here, and afterward experienced) an essential part, always a good place to start and is in-fact inexpensive and easy to replace. A head gasket is a lot more work to get into.
Easy to follow ECTS video
... If you plan to keep your Saturn, it might be a good idea to subscribe to Richpin's videos, and frequent these forums.
Happy Holidays and good luck.

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Old 12-25-2009, 07:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

For most of us:
Head gasket == a day
ECTS == part of a lunch hour

Was the oil on the spark plugs raw or cooked? Was it on any part of the spark plug outside the chamber (threads, ceramic base, etc)?

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Old 12-25-2009, 11:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: Red Light/Braked...Car Stalled

I don't think I mentioned this before...the temperature gauge was working or maybe it was sort of working, idk. Anyways, for some reason my Dad DID replace the ECTS and then the gauge didn't work anymore. This was a few months ago. Then he replaced the pigtail for the gauge, maybe. Anyways, can anyone take a guess as to why the gauge stopped working all of a sudden? Just stays of C, I assume it should move somewhat. Maybe I can upload some pictures and/or video and see if you guys can see anything that's wrong. It is possible he may not have used the tools and finesse required.

But seriously, the car does need a tune up. I bought it at 129,000 and it's 131,500? It doesn't seem like it was properly maintained.

--
1st spark plug a little soaked at the bottom
2nd spark plug saturated, maybe not the whole thing but a lot of it.

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