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Old 11-14-2019, 05:56 PM   #21
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

With fuel pressure measured@40 psi and holding, this verifies pressure on the fuel rails. This backs up your original assessment that injectors aren't firing. Spark was verified by spraying starting fluid with the engine running. Spark and limited engine running means most of the EFI system is working except for injection pulses. Fuel pump operation, spark and injector pulses are all controlled by the ecm. As mentioned previously, only a few things prevent injectors from operating; Passlock security flashing during starting, holding pedal to the floor (as described in owner's manuals when a flooded engine is suspected), faulty pedal, faulty throttle, wiring among the three main parts of drive by wire systems (throttle actuator, ecm and pedal). Was this engine running, driven by you before this problem occurred?

If you can, reset error codes either by battery negative cable disconnect for about 15 seconds or use a reader with error code reset capability. This presumes everything is reconnected so the initial power up self tests performed during ignition ON phase with the lamp tests performed in the instrument panel allows all electronics to power up and test themselves along with checking sensors before the instrument panel lamp tests are concluded (leaving battery, oil, seat belt and brake light on). Virtually every vehicle using EFI systems perform similar self tests when ignition is turned ON before starting the engine. Any issues at this point can result in the check engine or wrench light turning on or after engine starting/driving. Starting up with sensors disconnected simply triggers false error codes that can be misinterpreted as real errors when they were created by the disconnection. Some reconnections are automatically detected upon power up routines but several error codes means checking for any remaining errors that are genuine and presume the ones erased are the false ones.

Moving on, if you can leave the air intake tube to throttle off to have a clear view of the throttle plate, turn on ignition (engine not started) and observe throttle plate movement after 30 seconds pass. You should hear a faint whine as the servo motor begins slight movement as the ecm enters throttle calibration mode from lack of pedal movement after ignition is turned on. The ecm moves throttle into several positions; closed to detect closed position, slightly open for normal starting, and another movement to ensure throttle is free of obstacles. All taking place in less than a minute.Throttle returns to a predetermined position based on air and coolant temps for cold or hot engine starting. The ignition switch should be cycled off then turned on where you can make initial throttle/pedal tests.

With ignition ON, have someone press the pedal as you observe throttle plate movement. Throttle plate should move in direct proportion to pedal travel. This means you are viewing in real time a drive by wire system of depressing the electronic gas pedal and expecting throttle plate to follow commands from the pedal, via ecm. If you are familiar with radio control model airplanes, the concept is the same; move the radio transmitter levers to advance throttle and a servo motor moves throttle linkages to open throttle. Move the rudder lever left or right and a rudder servo motor moves in proportion to lever movement. Model drones operate on the same principle. You should expect throttle movement in direct proportion to pedal movement, no less. This tests the drive by wire system. This doesn't test injectors.

Although too many posts to review, does the security light turn on during lamp tests at ignition on time or not? This is the only way to know Passlock is not interfering by actively disabling injectors. If security does turn on then off during starting, injectors may be prevented from operating from something not addressed and outside normal diagnosing processes.

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Old 11-15-2019, 12:56 AM   #22
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

I will follow the steps noted for testing the throttle to see if it does it's calibration cycle and moves in response to pedal when I am able to get to it again. Hopefully that gives us some more information to use to pinpoint my culprit.

I have tried clearing the codes and still get the same ones, I do not recall if they came back before cranking the engine but it was pretty immediate. I am getting a code P2128 APP sensor 2 circuit high voltage, and a couple for the fuel pressure sensor(P0453, P0451). I have an Innova 3160e handy so accessing and deleting codes is no issue.

Passlock light comes on briefly as key is turned on but goes away at the same time as the other dash lights, no flashing. Car was bought in it's current state and has never been driven by me. I do remember that when I had it running on ether, that pressing the accelerator pedal had no effect, but I thought this may have been due to the lack of fuel. I was testing by myself so I could not spray starting fluid and manipulate the throttle at the same time, when it was continuously running I was standing by the throttle body spraying intermittently.

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Old 11-15-2019, 10:54 AM   #23
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

For background info (using '03 service manuals that may or may not apply to '04), the APP sensors have two voltage ranges. APP-1 voltage ranges from 0.98 to 3.68 volts. APP-2 voltage ranges from 0.49 to 1.84 volts. Voltage range tolerances are +/- 0.1 volt. P2128 APP senor 2 circuit high voltage occurs when the ecm detects voltage comparison between APP-1 and APP-2. The ecm provides two independent 5v references and two grounds. On the APP, 5v is applied to pin-4 for APP-1, 5v applied to pin-8 for APP-2. APP-1 pin-5 outputs varying voltage signals to the ecm. APP-2 pin-1 outputs varying voltage signals to the ecm.

Voltages should be present when ignition is ON. Pedal travel should vary signal output on pins 5 and 1.

Like older carburetor systems with cable and linkages connecting the pedal to carburetor, drive by wire systems uses electronics to link the electronic pedal and throttle actuator to the ecm. The ecm interprets pedal movement to command throttle plate movement. Move the pedal and the ecm commands the servo motor in the throttle assembly to open or close its throttle plate.

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Old 11-15-2019, 04:59 PM   #24
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

It sounds like to me that the previous owner ran into a wild goose chase and unfortunately you have been given more tangents. Try this simple test. Disconnect the engine temperature sensor and try to start the engine. If it starts, replace the temperature sensor and put this nightmare to bed! FYI, If the brain box believes the engine is overheating or on fire... it will shut off the injectors. The temperature sensor is likely faulty.

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Old 11-15-2019, 08:34 PM   #25
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

I will check all of the above and appreciate all of the info and tips so far! I went by and checked the throttle movement as instructed above. Turning on the key and waiting 30 seconds or more does not result in any calibration cycle of the throttle. Fully depressing the throttle only results in about 1/4 open throttle body and opens slowly, does not seem to be in real time. When cranking the TB shuts regardless of if pedal is still depressed or not, and is completely inactive after cranking until the key is cycled back off and on again.

On a side note some experimental tapping around the ecm bolts with a hammer resulted in a very brief (half second) burst of life, so I will unbolt that and clean it up to make sure it's grounded well and not causing and issue there. The car does occasionally sputter so this may have just been coincidental timing

Which sensor is which between app1 and app2? I gather one is the pedal and one is the throttle servo, bit which is which?

Thanks

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Old 11-15-2019, 08:57 PM   #26
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

Two position sensors are used in throttle and pedal. Having dual sensors with different outputs allows precise comparison of outputs to programmed memory to ensure against a runaway engine. If any one of the four sensors outputs incorrect signals to the ecm, the ecm automatically detects this as a fault and goes into reduced power mode (engine symbol with a large down arrow), known as limp home mode to allow driving off the road to make the emergency call instead of dying in place.

Both throttle position sensors feed signals to the ecm. The same for pedal.

You're description appears to be something wrong with the drive by wire system (throttle actuator assembly, pedal, ecm and wiring among them. When testing from suggestions, you exposed a fault among the three parts and associated wiring. Throttle should always mimic pedal movement and the simple test exposed the problem. The hard part is finding what's common to all three parts. Examine pedal, throttle and ecm along with their wiring and connections for anything unusual. Battery negative should be disconnected before meddling with electronics and reconnected when everything is reconnected.

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Old 11-16-2019, 04:19 PM   #27
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

I was able to look at the car some more today. I removed the pedal and opened up the sensor and cleaned it, I looked for dirty connections and bad grounds, which I did find some grounds that needed cleaned up below the crank sensors plug, and the crank sensor plug itself looked wet or had some sort of residue so I cleaned that with contact cleaner. I took off the deck and cleaned the connections and ground points. None of this got the car running but the engine does crank over faster now so that's an Improvement.

Hearing the throttle plate move when pressing the pedal, it seems pretty close to real time, but about a half second delay when depressing pedal, return is pretty instaneous.

I realize that something is amiss amongst the drive by wire system, but since the pedal seems to respond, would this actually keep the car from running? Or should I be looking elsewhere first? All I can find when searching this issue is the car going into low power/limp mode, but I'm not seeing any cases where the car was unable to start due to these issues. I'm certainly not saying anyone is wrong or I know better, I'm just curious.

Is 38-40psi enough fuel pressure to start the car? Even when bypassing the fuel pump relay and running the pump constant the pressure never exceeds 42psi.

Would the car still have ignition if I had a faulty crank sensor?

I just want to make sure I'm on the right track towards making the car run before I get into issues it may have that are seperate from the initial problem.

I do get occasional signs of life and firing momentarily, with some light smoke out of the exhaust, if throttle is open at the end of cranking it tends to pop or backfire through the intake sometimes with a wisp of smoke. I also do smell fuel at times when this happens.

I did also try unplugging the temp sensor as suggested by someone which had zero effect.

I forgot to get the voltmeter out so I will have to do that another day. I'm unfortunately sick at the moment so I ran out of steam for the day and went home.

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Old 11-16-2019, 05:53 PM   #28
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

According to the Haynes Manual, the fuel pressure specs for the V6 are 39 to 49 psi.

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Old 11-16-2019, 06:35 PM   #29
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

38-42 psi is correct and within range of expected pressures. Since electronic fuel injection relies on fuel pressure to deliver precise amounts of fuel per injection squirt, fuel under pressure isn't the problem. The question is whether or not injectors are operating.

In electrical terms, the coolant sensor is a variable electronic thermometer, outputting signals. The thermistor is a variable resistor; cold temps=high resistance/low signal voltage to the ecm, hot temps=lower resistance/higher signal voltage to the ecm. Disconnecting does one of several things; completely throws off what the ecm expects and defaults to a preset value while generating an error code but doesn't prevent the engine from starting or running, the ecm senses this disconnect as an extremely cold engine (extremely high resistance) and opens injectors as long as possible to feed a super rich fuel mixture to each cylinder and drowns high voltage spark while flooding the engine. The S-series with a history of faulty coolant sensors did the latter, subjecting engines to flooded starts with continuous rich fuel mixtures until the sensor was replaced. The original coolant sensors cracked and created a high resistance, higher than normal with the pcm reacting to inject more fuel than necessary leading to flooded engine starts and rich fuel mixtures.

I should have mentioned placing a brick or stick to prop the gas pedal anywhere but in the up position so you can see if the throttle plate physically moved to a different position. Even forcing the pedal to the floor and keeping it there with something and checking to verify throttle plate is wide open verifies the drive by wire system is operating correctly. In theory, there should be no delay from pedal movement to throttle movement - no one expects a delay from flooring the pedal on short on ramps and wait for the engine to throttle up. If you can verify throttle plate moves to a position mimicking pedal travel, move on.

Throttle plate position simply tells the ecm what you want the engine to do; idle speed/no pedal, part pedal from a stop/part throttle for acceleration, pedal to the floor for all out wide open throttle/full power, moving pedal at any speed to increase engine power.

To reiterate what was explained previously and if not, the basic EFI system has a few key elements needed to make the engine run; air, fuel and spark. Presuming air is ingested unrestricted from the air filter, starting requires starter motor operation to crank the engine. Main parts of the EFI system come into play; crank sensor, all other sensors, pedal/throttle position, fuel pump and pressure, ignition system for spark and injectors. When the starter cranks the engine, the crank sensor generates precise timing signals the ecm needs to; turn on fuel pump, initiate the ignition system for spark and pulse injectors. No crank sensor signals = no fuel pump, no spark, no injector operation, a dead ecm. Our 3.0L V6 engines are difficult to test for spark and injector operation unless spark plugs are removed to examine them for wet fuel after repeated starting attempts failing to get the engine running. No one wants to remove all the upper engine parts (main and two intake manifold runners, two ignition coil packs) just to remove spark plugs and verify whether or not injectors are operating. An easier way to test for fuel and injectors; spray starting fluid into the throttle body and try starting.

If the engine starts up on starting fluid, spark is generated but fuel isn't injected (loss of fuel pump, low pressure, blocked fuel filter or injector failure). If the engine fails to startup on starting fluid, the ignition system for generating spark is suspect. If your symptoms haven't changed, the engine starting up and running on starting fluid means the crank sensor is operating since spark from the ignition system is working and running the engine as long as starting fluid is used. The fuel pump is presumed to be operating and simply verified by pressing an ear to the fuel tank or rear quarter panel while starting. A screwdriver stethoscope with the handle pressed to one ear and tip pressed to fuel tank can help to listen to pump sounds while starting. A dead crank sensor won't allow the engine to run at all. In your situation, the injector system seems faulty.

Presuming the injectors aren't operating means the ecm and its connections to injectors are suspect. One injector fuse powers injectors. With ignition ON, one wire of each injector will be HOT (negative probe of a multimeter grounded to the engine block). The other wire to each injector are the injector signals from the ecm. A set of noid lights can be used to flash a light every time an injector pulse is sent to operate individual injectors if plugs aren't removed to examine them for fuel. Since the ecm creates injector pulses only when the engine is started or running, the ecm isn't tested unless a digital or analog oscilloscope is connected to an injector to monitor for pulses. Since not everyone has an o'scope in their garage, other methods are used to test for injector operation; removing plugs and examining them for fuel, ensuring wiring to the ecm is intact, any ecm wiring disconnects carefully examined for bent/missing pins and carefully reconnected to avoid bending/damaging pins, examining injector wiring harnesses from ecm to injectors. If the ecm is suspected of partial failure by not operating all injectors, another ecm is needed to prove this. Injectors are disabled in one of several ways; ecm internal fault, Passlock enabled and actively signaling the ecm to prevent injector operation, injector fuse blown, power from the fuse isn't on each injector due to a wiring fault.

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Old 11-16-2019, 09:23 PM   #30
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

Thank you for the added clarification, I had some advice passed on to me from a mechanic and I just got confused a bit. I ordered an Innova LED test light and am waiting for it to come in currently, but from the information you are providing it seems to point towards the ecm, or that I should atleast acquire one to either rule it out as a culprit or in a best case scenario fix the problem. I didn't find any issues with the wiring, connectors, or pins to the ecm. I did spray the ecm side and plugs with with contact cleaner but they already appeared clean.

Now.. one area I thought I had checked but indeed did not is the injector fuse... Where exactly is it?

The only spot I found for an injector fuse is marked (L4) which I assume means it's for the 2.2L cars, and on my fuse block it's an empty spot without contacts in it. The fuse I had replaced that was previously blown was the ignition fuse next to the L4 injector fuse location.

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Old 11-16-2019, 11:26 PM   #31
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

You have got my attention with this thread. I was incorrect on post #2 when I said the high voltage code would shut off the injectors to clear flood. Tonight I got my 2002 fsm set down from the shelf and opened the L81 book. There is no clear flood injector cutoff on this engine.
However with the APP sensor 2 circuit high voltage code the ecm will default to one of the two limp home modes. Limited pedal range with slow acceleration, and sensor 1 will be used. Which might explain the pedal to throttle relationship you are seeing.
Also in the 2002 manual the injector fuse is labeled ENGINE CNTL 2.

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Old 11-16-2019, 11:56 PM   #32
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

Yeah, GM uses cryptic acronyms. Below are two snapshots of the L300 engine fuse panel and cover. The ENGINE CNTL 10 amp (red) fuse powers injectors and the variable intake manifold solenoid. I'm presuming all L300s and L200s share the same fuse panel but wiring underneath it is configured for either L300 or L200. Pull the red 10 amp fuse and see if its blown.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3.0L engine fuse cover labeling -1.jpg (125.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 3.0L engine fuse panel-1.jpg (150.1 KB, 5 views)

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Old 11-17-2019, 01:21 AM   #33
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

It looks like the 2000-2002 uses a Bosch APP and the 2003-2005 uses a different brand. Your 2003 FSM should provide the correct diagnostic information for the 2004 year model. I have stayed with the early cars since the body parts interchange. I did buy a wrecked 03 L200 just for the engine there were no usable body parts due to a high speed rollover.

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Old 11-17-2019, 02:42 PM   #34
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

I think I was wrong about the temperature sensor test I recommended because if it is disconnected it won't allow the engine to start. It must be a good sensor connected. This is still a possible cause to the engine not starting.

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Old 11-17-2019, 03:43 PM   #35
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

The easiest and perhaps the best way to test for the coolant sensor instead of disconnecting it and throwing off electronics relying on it is to connect a reader capable of displaying coolant temperatures. Once at ignition on time when the engine's cold to reflect outside temps and after warm-up. In this thread without the engine ever starting up, displaying cold engine temperature in comparison to outside temps should verify whether or not a coolant sensor and wiring is operating as designed. No second guessing while using the electronics as designed. Thinking outside the box, another method to see how well the coolant sensor is operating would be removing it and immersing it in ice water with ignition on while a reader displays temperatures. Hot water or holding the sensor in a closed hand should reflect hand temperature.

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Old 11-19-2019, 10:29 AM   #36
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

I can definitely do that! I just hadn't thought to, my scanner has all of the live data stuff so I'll check that out when I get a chance.

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Old 11-19-2019, 10:46 AM   #37
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

Look and see if you have a ms time on your injectors. Live data is often the best way to diagnose a problem. You do need to know what is normal to spot the problem.

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Old 11-21-2019, 04:36 PM   #38
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

I did not see a m/s for the injectors but I'm not real familiar with using the l/d. Engine temp sensor reads fine on the obd2.

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Old 11-21-2019, 06:29 PM   #39
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2004 Saturn L300 will not fire

M/S - millisecond injector times? I despise abbreviations unless I can invent them and bedazzle anyone. Using the l/d? All I can summon from the one cell between my ears is lift to drag ratio (aerodynamic term)........ My mind retains trivial information long ago learned but somehow never written over with new data. Memorious interruptus without undue damage to everyday behavior?

Most generic readers probably won't display engineering type data streams. My new toy may display injector times but I doubt it. I haven't become completely familiar with it although I've gone thru every menu selection several times. It's not GMs Tech II but a downsized version of it for diyers not willing to spend thousands yet still have some key features like decoding manufacturer specific wrench, abs and airbag errors. A nice feature was programming new remotes for Passlock. Even my aftermarket remote start works with new remotes. Although I am familiar with analog and digital oscilloscope use from a long bygone era, electronics has all but eliminated the need for one by massaging the same signals output from ecm/pcm for display. The problem is paying for this in a one scantool does it all package. My guess is the high end repair shop scantools like Snap-On have this capability but still requires a fat wallet or healthy credit card. Lovely to have but may not be useful to the average wrench still figuring out hex from Torx. I decided to add another scantool to an original one gifted to me. I kinda knew the OBD II reader wouldn't decode wrench/abs/airbag errors because I have occasional wrench lights related to hard shifts. Xmission oil and filter replacement may have eliminated it or at least reduce it. Curious to know what the wrench code was, my new toy retrieved history codes my regular reader cannot.

As many diyers become more accustomed to using readers/scantools, there are many things these readers won't display due to low cost. You get what you pay for. Spend more get more. I'm curious what GM uses for their in-house Tech II scantool. The popular and most talked about chip for generic readers is the ELM 327 chip. Does anyone know what GM uses in their Tech II without getting into technical programs, languages, etc? Without naming my toy, I think its a downsized semi clone of a Tech II. The giveaway is that its from ***** with their video showing their native language. Even tech support when I needed guidance for correct installation of software wrote back in broken English. Once installed correctly, I went menu crazy to ensure this was what I wanted and useful for more info to decide whether or not to keep or return it (30 day money back policy). I'm sold on it. I've relied on my original generic reader for a long time until the hard shifts occurred and was oblivious for awhile whether the error light was for engine or wrench (one on top of the other). My generic reader was helpful in comparing mass airflow data to another member using a different reader to determine his maf sensor was faulty. We compared baseline data logged at idle rpm. Maf sensor data is generic and my guess is part of the reader's capability to display data. I consider injector pulses as advanced data for those willing to pay for advanced data - repair shops, dealers, independents needing data to allow advanced diagnostic/troubleshooting capabilities many average diyers are unfamiliar with EFI systems.

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