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Old 02-28-2011, 08:47 PM   #101
Jetsa
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

It's called ported vacuum.....it only gets vacuum under certain conditions, mainly when the throttle is opened more. I just got my replacement TAC but havent put it on yet. The port on the throttle body your picture shows is for the FPR and it is in front of the throttle plate in the throttle body, meaning it does not have full-time vacuum, just when the throttle plate is opened.

Now while I agree with Bill that the fuel pressure not moving is a problem, I do not believe it is THE problem. The problem is why the ECM is being told to drop injector pulse when it should be giving more pulses. Something is telling the ECM to cut back on fuel when it needs more. That is the main reason I bought the TAC to try. I think that the ECM is not seeing the true throttle plate angle, thus not adding more fuel.

My guesstimate at this point only. Will let you know tomorrow how that goes. One more quicky....when you hit the throttle to the point that it starts running bad, the ECM goes to open loop, every time. Lamba sensors clearly state that one of the benefits of Lamba sensors are to keep it in closed loop. Something is telling the ECM to go out of closed loop. Another part of the mystery.....

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Old 02-28-2011, 09:44 PM   #102
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Well, somebody's lying. Not you. Either the tac or ecm is. Playing devil's advocate, isn't the ecm supposed to be able to detect throttle plate position between the two tps's in comparison to the two pedal position sensors? If the tac position sensors are working in inverse proportion for the ecm to detect incorrect values, any out of spec reading is supposed to generate an error code, namely reduced power mode. The same for the pedal position sensors. All to eliminate any possibility of "sudden unintended acceleration" as coined by the DOT during last year's Toyota scandal about supposedly runaway electronic throttles that were finally deemed not contributing to the deaths of those involved in the California incident.

Although not pertaining to this issue, another member just replaced his ecm for delayed starting that was found by GM after posting here for help. It was a choice between the bcm or ecm as it seemed to display symptoms not related to bcm failures. I was stumped as I didn't believe it was bcm related and couldn't determine it to be ecm related.

I'm also keeping in mind the closed loop mode going to open loop during throttle up. I can only guess a number of things to cause this after a warmed up engine; faulty O2 sensor(s), faulty coolant sensor, consistent intermittent conections (really off the wall guess), faulty intake air temperature sensor, and possibly faulty ecm.

Any chance of acquiring an ecm to swap out?

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Old 03-01-2011, 01:55 AM   #103
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

HAHA I think way back on page 2 of this thread I said I "guessed" at 2 parts....1 being the MAF sensor which didnt change anything but I left it on and the other was the ECM which made no difference either, so I took that one off and put the original back on.

Faulty front O2's come to my mind for the dropping to open loop...but both of them? Seems unlikely, but possible I guess. Previously I mentioned (or think I did) talking to a guy at another shop and explaining my symptoms. He told me he has had about 4 different vehicles exhibiting similar conditions, 2 GM and 2 non-GM....and he said the coolant sensor fixed all 4 even though ECT readings looked correct. IAT or air temp sensor is incorporated in the MAF which has already been ruled out. Coolant sensor and O2's are what hit me the hardest about the dropping of closed loop, although all readings on ECT look good. Now on the front O2's, I am really not that familiar with Lamba sensors although I know the basics. I see both fronts go to an over 3.0 readings lots of times, which indicates to me an extremely lean condition when you consider 1.0 is a perfect 14.7/1 ratio. But once again...both front O2's being bad??? Fortunately the place where I got the throttle body has a complete engine sitting there that had an engine knock so the parts are there for the picking and I have already told him I am guessing so he may get his throttle body back and when I brought it, I would have O2 tools in hand (probably coolant sensor tool too).

I read several threads concerning limp home mode but it seems with all of those, the reduced engine power light was on and I have no codes, no warning lights of any sorts. Will know tomorrow about the throttle body and make my report here. Wish me luck cuz I am running out of hairs to pull out...

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:23 PM   #104
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Well of course the throttle body did not fix it. Another thing I found out today is that when you are idling, both knock sensors are reading approx. 1.3-2.3 volts. As you accelerate up to the point is starts running bad, the right knock sensor will go up to 125.0-140.0 volts, while the #1 knock sensor will hang out around 2.0-3.0 volts. I believe this to be a response rather than a cause but the point is it makes it appear that the problem arises from the right bank. That, along with the fact that as soon as it starts running bad it drops out of closed loop into open loop sure makes the front oxygen sensors (right bank especially) very suspect. Soooo, when I take back the throttle body that did not fix the problem, I will be removing both oxygen sensors and the coolant sensor while I'm at it off of the parts car. Might as well, have tried most everything else. One other thing, I have noticed that when it starts running bad, I have seen readings on both front oxygen sensors go to 3.000 which is an extremely lean condition (seeings how 1.0 is 14.7 to 1 fuel ratio (perfect))....but I have seen it a lot more on the right bank than the left.

Thats todays report...stay tuned for more (or stay tuned to hear I sent it to the auction as is to try to recoup at least some of my money).

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:58 PM   #105
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Theoretically, if the knock sensor(s) are disconnected, either the ecm doesn't detect knock anymore and hums along merrily or the disconnect is detected and an error code turns on the SES indicator. At worst, the ecm retards timing. Eliminating the suspect knock sensor (or replacing it with a spare) by removing it from the circuit may tell you if its causing closed loop mode to drop out. What do you think?

If this was already done, you can see that I'm just as lost with the many tasks tried to find the reason for closed loop to drop out.

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:18 AM   #106
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Somewhere in my now faded memory I remember disconnecting 1 or both knock sensors but I cannot remember the results nor if I actually ran the vehicle with them like that. Must not had or at the very least did not get desired results or I would have posted.

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Old 03-04-2011, 06:31 PM   #107
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

I will just throw this possibility out as a diagnostic tool.

I owned a 95 Bonneville that had a quiet but persistent tick somewhere in the valve train. I tried unsuccessfully to locate and fix the tick. The problem was that the knock sensors reported the mechanical ticking to the PCM as detonation, and the PCM retarded the spark as much as 18 degrees causing the car to run incredibly sluggishly. Out of frustration, I measured the resistance of the knock sensors and found each to be 3.5 kohms. I unplugged the knock sensors, replacing each with a resistance of 3.5 kohms to ground. The PCM thought the sensors were connected but not "hearing" anything. The engine ran great again with full spark advance. But, without the sensors, there was no means of protecting against detonation, which commonly occurred under load using 87 octane fuel. I found the car would run quietly under all conditions with premuim fuel. I ran the car with no apparent damage for another two years and twenty thousand miles using premium gasoline. This, by the way, improved fuel economy enough to pay for the difference in fuel costs.

Now, I do not recommend that anyone disconnect their knock sensors and replace them with resistance loads as I did, on anything but a test basis, because there is a real concern for engine damage due to uncontrolled detonation. But, if the Saturn sensors work in the same way as those on my old Bonneville, this would provide a means for testing to see if they (or a mechanical noise) could be causing or contributing to your problem.

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Old 03-04-2011, 08:49 PM   #108
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

I agree with substitution of at least one knock sensor with a resistor of equal value or a spare sensor. I don't know if disconnection can do the same, other than generate an error code.

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Old 03-05-2011, 05:37 PM   #109
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

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I agree with substitution of at least one knock sensor with a resistor of equal value or a spare sensor. I don't know if disconnection can do the same, other than generate an error code.
On the Bonneville, simply disconnecting the knock sensors caused the PCM to set a code for bad knock sensor and retarded the spark 10 degrees. Don't know if the protocols are similar with the Saturn L (?)

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Old 03-06-2011, 02:27 AM   #110
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

I was thinking that the knock sensor reading (the bad reading) was a result of the problem, not the cause of the problem....but I would love to be proved wrong.

By the way, I replaced the #2 front lamba oxygen sensor and the coolant sensor and got the same poor performance. I have the front #1 oxygen sensor but someone couldn't figure out how to unplug it so they cut all 5 wires. I have both ends so will solder the wires together and put that one in also, but I have my doubts as to whether it will resolve the issue.

Back to the knock sensor reading, 125 volts on one versus 2.3 volts on the other sure sounds like that would cause havoc with the ECM doesn't it? Yall think that may be a cause rather than a result of the cause?

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:20 AM   #111
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

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....Back to the knock sensor reading, 125 volts on one versus 2.3 volts on the other sure sounds like that would cause havoc with the ECM doesn't it? Yall think that may be a cause rather than a result of the cause?
Look over the knock sensor DTC's, P0324, P0327, P0328. Each flow chart asks if low rpm outputs knock sensor voltages between 1-6v. 125v seems a bit high for one sensor against the other one at 2.3v.

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Old 03-08-2011, 01:28 AM   #112
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Straight from the GM service manual...

"Spark Knock Control: The ECM uses the knock sensor to determine when spark knock exists and can retard timing up to a maximum of 35 degrees on any individual cylinder, 12 degrees of instant spark retard plus 12 degrees of dynamic spark adaptation plus 11 degrees of accelerator pedal tip in spark retard. Under most conditions, the ECM can control spark knock using only 12 degrees of spark retard authority."

Note the "plus 11 degrees of accelerator pedal tip in spark retard".

More from the manual....

"The scan tool displays the actual amount of spark advance degrees and actual amount of spark retard degrees as SPARK and SPARK RETARD CYL 1-6. If excessive spark knock is detected, the retarding of timing will cause a reduced power condition."

Note: "the retarding of timing will cause a reduced engine power condition". Waaay back at the beginning of this thread I kept mentioning "limp home mode" and "reduced engine power" feel when the problem was occuring. The only grey area is it does not specifically say that the reduced engine power light will come on, and mine never has....only says it will cause a reduced engine power condition. Kind of sounds to me like there would be a R.E.P. light on.

Lastly for tonight...tried both different front O2 sensors and a different coolant sensor...same condition when done. Removing the #2 knock sensor is kind of time consuming (remove power steering pump, etc). Going to check and see how much is involved in removing #1 and if it's not that hard, think I will swap those 2 and see if the 125 volts switches over the #1 side....before going to buy one.

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:16 AM   #113
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Well I still have the car but am quickly reaching my end-point. What I have going is not enough fuel getting into the engine (revving the engine in park, the #1 oxygen sensor will stay near the 1.000 reading which is 14.7/1 fuel/air ratio, but the #2 oxygen sensor will go up to 1.800 (which is lean) before it goes to open loop and they both settle at 1.000 again), #2 knock sensor going to 120-140 volts versus #1 knock sensor reading 2.0-5.0 volts, injector pulse width dropping down almost 90% under load (when it should have more), the camshaft sensor stopping counting (going to 0), and the computer changing from closed loop to open loop...all of these are incorrect readings and all occur when you go over 1600-1800ish RPM's in park or in gear. I tried disconnecting the #2 knock sensor and when I revved the engine, it stayed at .25 volts, but the poor running condition remained the same. That put a large damper on my plan of trying a new knock sensor on that side. I would think the running condition would at least change somwehat if the knock sensor were the problem and it were disconnected, but it didnt.

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Old 03-17-2011, 08:10 AM   #114
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Although it was mentioned to try disconnecting the suspect knock sensor, I didn't want to comment on disconnection causing another issue - that it would be detected on the next engine start and cause an error code. The error code isn't important as much as it being disconnected and causing the ecm to possibly revert to a default sub program. Retarded timing?

Short of buying a new knock sensor is it possible to try any knock sensor with the appropriate connector and just temporarily tape/tie it in place? One from a junk yard? Having one match the specs and in operating condition would help as having it plugged in and seen by the ecm may allow the ecm to use it. Whether this answers the problem will only be determined by substitution with a working replacement. New or used.

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Old 03-17-2011, 10:11 AM   #115
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

I guess what I was trying to say up above was that I was thinking the same thing until I unplugged it and it made no difference. I was thinking that if the suspect knock sensor were unplugged, there would at least some form of difference in how it ran, if the knock sensor reading was the cause of the problem...and there was NO difference. To me, that indicates that even a new knock sensor would not change the way it runs.

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:40 PM   #116
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

As you know, the ecm/pcm reads the knock sensor for background noise/base reference. There isn't any info on what happens if these sensors are disconnected so I theorized the lack of any connection may be interpreted as a 'soft' fault and nothing would occur. But this may be a case where the ecm needs them to operate correctly. Experimentation is left to us.........

You say no difference with it disconnected. I'm wondering in the opposite direction; the ecm needs both (a good one) even though I stated trying a disconnect implied a correction.

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Old 03-18-2011, 06:51 PM   #117
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

I've gotta agree with fd here. Let's say you've got a bad sensor. If it were an open circuit, it might act just like it is disconnected. Then you might see no difference as a result of disconnecting it if it were bad. Substituting a known good sensor would be a logical next step.

I can appreciate your frustration, Jetsa. Sometimes you just get burned out on a problem - especially one as stubborn as this one. It may help just to leave it alone for a while and do something else to let your brain process the problem in the background.

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Old 03-19-2011, 10:59 PM   #118
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Been doing this since 1982 and have never found a car I could not diagnose and fix. This one has already taken much longer than any other car I've looked at. I have taken time off from it, and replacing the knock sensor with a good one versus disconnecting it makes sense. Oh what the heck...one last shot at it eh?

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Old 04-09-2011, 06:51 PM   #119
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

As of today, I throw in the towel and for the first time, give up. I put in a different knock sensor. The previous one was reading over 100 volts when the car acts up while the other knock sensor read a normal 2-5 volts. So I replaced the knock sensor and sure enough, when the car acts up the one I just put in reads 2-5 volts like the other one, but the car still runs the same....it had no affect on the injector pulse width being so low while attempting to accelerate. That is the root of the problem...what tells the computer to increase the injector pulse width. Anyways, I give up, the car wins. Off to the auction it goes.

Anyone want a cherry 2000 L3000 wagon with only 92000 miles for $2500? LOL

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Old 04-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #120
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

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As of today, I throw in the towel and for the first time, give up. ... the car wins. Off to the auction it goes.
Well no one can say you didn't give it your best shot. And no sensible person will fault you for giving up on this one. Sorry we couldn't help you get it running well.

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