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Old 09-15-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
Chickabittie
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1996 SL2
1995 SL2
Wrench 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Hi Saturn Fans!

So my "little girl" ('96 SL2, 5 speed, 83,000 miles) had her SES light on, went to AutoZone, they read the code, said the front O2 sensor was bad. I bought the part and replaced it. The SES light stayed on. They cleared the code. The light has been coming on intermittently since I installed the new O2 senor a couple months ago. I keep going back, they keep saying it is the front O2 sensor I replaced, and they clear the code for me. Has anyone had this problem? Do you think the new O2sensor is bad, or does the car's computer take a while to catch up with the info? Also, could it be a wiring problem? When I first bought the car in June, they had to replace a master fuse, due to a faulty after market alarm system someone put in. I crank my gas cap shut when filling up, so that is not the problem.

Total Newb/Lurker to the site. LOVE it, so much info! LOVE the stickys for new owners, I'm going down the check list. I tried to put an avatar up of me and my car, but too many pixels. Need a teenager to help me figure that one out.

I scoured the sites looking for SES or O2 sensor problems, I'm sorry if I am posting a redundant thread. Just couldn't find any info on it.

Mary Anne

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Old 09-15-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Obtain actual numeric code number from the parts store not their interpretation of your problem. No way to determine the problem without the number.

What brand and type of O2 sensor did you install?

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Old 09-15-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

As OldNuc stated, get the code and post here so that it can be independently confirmed. I like Autozone, but it doesn't hurt to have another eye looking.

My 02 sensor was replaced and code reset and never returned. It is also possible that the new 02 sensor is defective - it does happen. It may have come with a warranty.

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As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Thank you for the quick response.

I just realized I have my receipts, the code on the print out is: P0137, with an H02S12 under that. I bought a Bosch O2 sensor, it has a 1 year warranty. I wouldn't mind replacing it, I'm sure it wouldn't be so hard to get off the 2nd time around. Any more sage advice?

Mary Anne

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Old 09-15-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

They sold you a O2 sensor that was installed into the exhaust manifold under the hood?

P0137 HO2S circuit low voltage - Sensor 2. That is the O2 sensor behind the CAT under the car. They sold you the wrong part if you bought a front (Sensor 1) O2 sensor.

The problem is probably a dirty/oxidized ground for the heater circuit in the sensor or the sensor has actually died. It is far from easy to remove from the exhaust.

The grounds are located on the back of the block, above the starter just under the #4 intake port. You can see and reach them by removing the air intake off of the throttle body. The bolt is 10mm wrench and the 2 ring terminals are easily clean ed up with a damp green kitchen sponge/scrubber. Do not drop the bolt! Also scrub up the attaching point on the block.

Remove the PCM B fuse located in the UHJB(under hood fuse box) for a couple of minutes to clear the code. The location diagram is in the cover.

Then if the code comes back there are a couple more things to try.

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Old 09-15-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Hi OldNuc-

Yeah, they told me it was the front sensor, not the back sensor, so sold me the part for the front that goes in the manifold, under the hood. A bear to get out. I guess if they misdiagnosed it and sold me the wrong part, it stands to reason that the problem is not resolved and the other sensor is bad. I don't know if I can replace that one myself. I even took my part back, questioned them if they sold me the right one, because it looked different from the one I took out. I think the one they sold me was longer, but thought that things changed in 15 years. They said it was the right part, so I put it in. Well, crap!

My husband has to take the car this weekend for a 2 1/2 hr road trip each way. I just came back from the same road trip. (sick family member.) Is this damaging to the car, if i can't get it repaired ASAP?

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Old 09-15-2011, 01:32 PM   #7
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

No, you can drive with that code as there is no control function from the rear O2 sensor.

If the number is correct the code is low heater voltage on the rear sensor. I would have a heart to heart chat with the manager.

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Old 09-15-2011, 02:06 PM   #8
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Remember, the rear sensor may still be perfectly good and only the ground is dirty.

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Old 09-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Thank you so much for your sage advice! I truly appreciate it. Thanks for all the detailed info on cleaning the contacts, I will do that myself. A friend at Jiffy Lube said he can run the code for me, and we'll go from there. I don't trust the guys at Autozone now, and If they told me the wrong thing, I will have to have a talk with the manager. Wish me luck, I am only 5' 3" and not too intimidating.

Mary Anne

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Old 09-15-2011, 03:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Be sure to get the number of the code. many code readers provide incorrect descriptions for the code number. The number will be correct and Saturn is different than the generic GM of the 90s.

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Old 09-15-2011, 04:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

had same thing on my '01 coupe, only high voltage, Tech 2 scanner showed that the sensor was stuck at about 1100 wasn't fluctuating like it should, only time it would set was high speeds, 65+, rans fine but fixed it anyway, friend had one on a wrecked 99

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Old 09-15-2011, 04:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1996 SL2 service engine soon light

Yes, with O2 sensors you do have to look at actual switching performance.

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