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Old 10-04-2008, 05:09 PM   #1
SWargy
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1991 SC
Default obd codes

In response to my other thread fdryer suggested that I check my OBD codes with the fancy paper clip method. Here is what it threw at me.

23
24
26
32

The SES light has been on for quite a long time, and in that time here is everything I've replaced... So I might have fixed it, I just dont know if I have.
-Transmission, raidator, water pump, thermostat, p/s pump, cat, flex pipe, clutch, idler pulley, battery, tie rod ends, ball joints, removed all AC components. fixed cooling fan, fuel pump, fuel filter, head gasket, #2 fuel injector.

I'm sure theres more I'm not remembering.

I've searched the forums, and It looks like everyone says to replace the ECTS. I don't have the money for that at the moment, so how bad is it if I leave it for another 6 months? It also looks like many people suggest cleaning the EGR valve. I've cleaned it the best I could. I didn't follow the how-to which I probably should some time.

What else do those codes mean?

O ya, and just for fdryer.
I have a 1991 Saturn SC. 1.9L DOHC. It is white, manual, and there is a 20 year old college kid driving it. I think that is enough info

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Old 10-04-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: obd codes

Smart@@@!? You better be when you graduate, you're the future! From this post alone it seems like you already covered economics 101. What you haven't done, although still helpful, is to place your car info into your personal profile so it comes up under your name like mine and most members. Click on the CP tab off to the left top of the page to open your own member stats to update some files for entering your car's info. After entering the info the very next click will display your car info under your name w/o having to repeat it when someone like me asks.

The codes are defined in the How-to library on page 5 or 6 under OBD I Codes (1991-1995). More info from http://www.differentracing.com/tech_articles/index.html

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Old 10-04-2008, 08:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: obd codes

Before you pull all of your hair out clear all of the codes. Pull the PCM-B fuse for 5 minutes or so. You have 2 problems: 1) The ECTS is shot. 2) The EGR is probably shot. 3) You have a dash lamp out, maybe. 4) EGR solenoid may be shot. Yea, I lied, I can't count.

After you clear the codes, wait till you have some drive time on the car and read them again. You might want to check and see if you have an IAT sensor plugged into the connector.

Last edited by OldNuc; 10-04-2008 at 08:34 PM..

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Old 10-05-2008, 01:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: obd codes

What is an IAT sensor and where would it be plugged into? ALL these acronyms confuse me!

I wouldn't doubt it if EGR is shot since it is loaded with carbon deposits. Also is the EGR solenoid part of the EGR or is it something else that I would have to buy separately? I will check the ECTS this weekend hopefully and see if it is a brass one or the old resin one.

As for the dash lamps... that is probably one of the codes. I had quite an adventure with those awhile back. When I was 17 I threw in one of those back lit blue gauge faces that have a crappy transformer and almost always die within 1 month. Well mine lasted maybe 3 months and then died. I didn't change it until this past summer. O ya, also most of my gauges(temp,gas,etc..) and indicator lights stopped working after I did this gauge face install.
So When I removed the gauge face this past summer and put everything back together, I noticed that the none of the lights that were in there worked. So I started switching lights around, checking fuses, and whatever else I could think of. Out comes my girlfriend, I tell her what is going on and she points to the back of the IP where a copper strip is burnt! It looked like a last resort fuse or something along those lines. So I soldered on a wire removed the gauge faces (which I'm guessing were the culprit) and I put it all back together. Indicator lights and gauges came back to life! but the IP lights still weren't working. It turns out EVERY bulb was burnt out! I don't know how that works. So I got some bluish LEDs which I put in and look pretty nice. end of story.... I guess Don't put in cheap ebay Gauge faces.

I'll check into pricing on the EGR and ECTS and do it this summer.

Is it bad to let these stay like this for another 6 months? I'm guessing they've been bad for years.


EDIT:
I just looked at some of the codes at the link fdryer posted (thanks!)
well 26 has these # Coolant fan relay.........................70-90 ohms
# A/C relay....................................70-90 ohms
I removed my AC relay since I don't have the AC system in my car. The electrical part of it is still in there though. I also found out about a month ago that my cooling fan relay was completely missing! So I put a relay in.

I'll clear the codes this weekend and check them at the end of my 2 hour trip back to college.

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Old 10-05-2008, 08:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: obd codes

EGR (exhaust gas recirculation), IAT (intake air temperature), ECTS (engine coolant temperature sensor). The most important one is the ects as it cannnot be stressed enough if the original one is still in the engine. It must be replaced otherwise you'll have engine running problems sooner or later. As it is, you haven't complained so you'll find out soon enough if you figured out the profiles of each sensor that's not hidden where the electrical connection attaches.

The egr valve fault can either the egr valve pintle is worn, a sticky valve shaft not opening/closing smoothly when pressing on the diaphragm, or the electric egr solenoid died.

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Old 10-06-2008, 08:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: obd codes

The ECTS is NOT an expensive part. Worth replacing if it is the old style, before it fails. And check the connector for corrosion too. If you are lucky, the previous owner had already replaced it.

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Old 10-06-2008, 09:01 AM   #7
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1999 SL
Default Re: obd codes

Seconded...

The ECTS is a $15 part from the dealer! The connector, if corroded will run you just a little over $30 to replace...also from the dealer.

Take the time to fix the ECTS. All you need is a 13 MM deep socket wrench to change this part out. You may loose some coolant, but this part is so easy to replace, a 5 year old could replace it with limited guidance.

Don't wait 6 months to do this. A bad ects (the old original parts are plastic resin tipped and crack over time)...will exhibit: Hard starting, sluggish performance up hills, misfiring in the engine, poor gas mileage, reduced gas mileage, incorrect temperature readings in the dash...more strain on the engine....should I go on?

Seriously, you will notice that the car runs SO much smoother with the part replaced. Changing it out will maybe take you 20-30 minutes.

Read the step by step in the how to section...and MAKE TIME to do it this coming weekend!

The IAT is located at the end of the Air Housing tubing piece that mounts behind the front headlamp on the driver side.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 10-08-2008, 05:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: obd codes

thanks.

I've noticed that my money has slowly vanished. Mostly due to repairs and college, so really I only have $30 to my name, and since I'm not driving much, I'll probably hold off for a little bit. Or maybe when I get a chance I'll just check to see if it is the old style, then I'll start to worry about it if it is.

I saw richpins video on how to replace it. It looks extremely easy, so I'm not too worried about the difficulty of it.

I'll also look into the IAT when I get a chance.

a couple things that I have noticed about my car is...
1. engine is a little loud. Both a mechanic and I believe it is the timing chain guides. (might do it this summer if it doesnt get any worse)
2. The car seems to "take off" at around 2500-3500 RPM. I don't push the gas in anymore, it just takes off. It is very unusual.
3. I have a little bit of vibration from the engine. Not much at all, just enough to barely feel it. I'm guessing the motor mounts are going bad. I'll check into those sometime. I don't know what to check though. Richpins video is only for the 2nd design. I have a 91 SC.

lastly... my exhaust is rusting out. Stupid wisconsin weather and the salt. I've replaced the cat, muffler, flex pipe, and a part of the pipe towards the muffler. I will soon need to replace the headers since they are getting thin, and there is actually a small dent in the headers in the engine bay.

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Old 10-08-2008, 05:40 PM   #9
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1999 SL
Default Re: obd codes

91 SCs don't have very many motor mounts.

Trust me...in my very SLOW rebuilding process (going on 3+ years, in the process of raising a family and dealing with everyday life and bills)...

The 91 model year is a very different beast from the rest of the S-Series model years. There is no upper motor mount because the Motor mount was an engine design improvement for the 92 and onward production years. There are still a few other mounts, esp the cradle mount; but I have read and heard that even that is slightly different from post 92 model year and onward. You CAN retrofit the 91 model year engine to be identical to post 92 model year engines, but you have to drill the holes for place of the 5 bolts that hold that upper motor mount in place, or replace the part of the engine block to mate from a 92-94 model year car.

It's nice to see that there is at least one other 91 SC on the road. Mine is in my garage half torn apart. I've got the majority of my engine apart; but it's finding the time and money to rebuild it.

My goal with mine is eventually to have it as a weekend car (it will be up for historical plates 8 years from now) so I am working to restore it piece by piece.

Look up member Quasar...he has a really beautiful 91 SC that has only 115K original miles on it. He lives a bit north of me up past Columbus Ohio.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 10-09-2008, 05:28 PM   #10
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2004 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: obd codes

First of all, I must apoligize to all the MASTER members who obviously have more patience than I do, for the upcomming tiraid. Next, plain and simple, Spend a few days reading some other posts, reading the how to section, and buying a Chiltons, or similar repair manual. Almost all of your questions will then be self evident. If after doing all of the above, you need guidance, The aformentioned MASTERS will be availible to teach you in the way of SATURN being grasshopper. They have shown me the light and the way to true SATURN ownership! Thank you sensai!

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Old 10-11-2008, 03:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: obd codes

ok... well I just reset my codes and I checked my ECTS and connector.

Lucky for me, it is the new ECTS and the connector is free of ANY corrosion! So I'm happy about that.

AfterI reset my codes the SES light cameon right when I put the key intothe ign position. So I checked the codes again andonly one popped up. It was 23. After a 10 min drive I still only had 23. I will check it again after my hour trip back to college and see what is there.

So according to the link above, my IAT is bad? Will this cause a problem for my car, or is it not that serious? I do realize that it senses the density of the air thus changing the amount of fuel, but it doesnt seem to bog down at all.

and to Yogi, I do want to get a chiltons or haynes manual for my car but right now I don't have the money, maybe this summer I will pick one up.

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Old 10-11-2008, 04:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: obd codes

well I just checked my IAT. I feel stupid now... The connector was completely off my IAT! I probably removed it when I was doing something on my car.

For the first time in a LONG time my SES light is off! No more codes! Thanks to everyone that helped

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Old 10-11-2008, 06:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: obd codes

Nah! Yours is just a correction. You found it and corrected the error! Not so the rest of this country's and the world business markets attempting to correct for years of 'creative financing'!?

Last edited by fdryer; 10-11-2008 at 06:51 PM..

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Old 10-12-2008, 02:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: obd codes

well my good news didnt last long. On the way home from the movies code 26 popped up. it is something about quad. so what does this mean?

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Old 10-12-2008, 03:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: obd codes

Read post #2 again...................

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Old 10-12-2008, 06:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: obd codes

I saw a lot about the A/C causing 26 to pop up. also the EGR solenoid which many of you guys mentioned.

I removed most of my AC components. condenser, compressor, lines. So the sensor for the AC compressor is completely disconnected. So then this would have an infinite resistance. So should I buy an 80 ohm resistor and just wire that in at the end of the connector?
Also I removed my AC relay since it was useless and I needed it somewhere else. Would this cause 26 to show up. I saw AC relay in that list, but what exactly is it checking? Is it checking the resistance at the sensor or something else?

Also if I do put an 80 ohm resistor where the sensor was then wouldn't the car think that the AC is always on, thus causing my cooling fan to come on and maybe cause some other stuff to happen?

I also read that if the passive restraint doesnt go from the A-pillar to the B-pillar that it will set off 26. I compeltely removed the passive restraint module and the fuse for it, because it pulled .6 when the car was off and caused my battery to die within 2 weeks. Also I believe my driver side restraint motor doesn't work. So would this cause it to go off?

from what is on that site it looks like this is what is being checked.

Malfunction Indicator Lamp - don't know (1- see below)
Cooling Fan Relay - works
A/C Clutch - completely disconnected (2 - see below)
EVAP Canister Solenoid - don't know if it works (3 - see below)
EGR Solenoid - don't know if it works, (4 - see below)
Coolant Hot Light - works
Upshift (1991-1994) - works
Shift to D2 (1991-1992) - Manual car
Traction Control (1993-1994) - don't have traction control
Speedometer Output - speedometer works, but it is off by about -3 mph

1. I do not know what this is, so I can;t tell you if it works.
2. Removed compressor, so like I said above, will this cause it to go off?
3/4. If I knew where this was and what it is, I would be happy to check the resistance

Lastly.... I just got back from a 2 hour trip and I got my highest mpg ever! This is unbelievable! .........READY?....... 39.2 mpg. Also I wasn't driving nicely either. I was going between 75-80 the whole way and wasn't really easy on the gas either. The only times I'm really easy is when I'm braking. I anticipate stop lights, stop signs, and anything else, so I coast a lot. But I don't do anything else. The only "proof" I have is below. It really isn't the best proof but it is the best I could do. The only thing that I know that oculd possibly change it is the IAT sensor being disconnected. Well I'm pretty happy to know that it is very likely I'll get over 40mpg soon! Just to think that I was at 24 mpg a month ago! Wow.

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Old 10-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: obd codes

Not familiar with '91's but the MIL may be just the indicator lamp burned out and causing the code 26. 'SES', 'service engine soon', 'MIL' all are indicators lit by incandescent lamps during the lamp test when the ignition key is first turned to the ON/RUN position. If this lamp is burned out the code 26 can be telling you that the lamp burned out. If you are truly getting phenomenal mileage then all the other sensors are operating correctly since you haven't decribed any driveability problems. Perhaps another member with familiarity might offer some better info.

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Old 10-14-2008, 08:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: obd codes

thanks fdryer. I just replaced all the IP lights, and when I was doing that I checked most of the indicator lights and they seem to be working.

Wouldn't the AC clutch be setting this off since I completely disconnected the sensor? If so how can I fix this?

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Old 10-14-2008, 12:40 PM   #19
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Default Re: obd codes

You can 'paper clip' and tape off the low pressure switch (the one near the battery) that used to connect to the a/c pressure line. That signal goes to the PCM for monitoring. I'm not sure about the the a/c relay but since the circuit isn't used any longer it will be fine if you leave the relay plugged in - no compressor to power up anyway. One or both circuits will fulfill the PCM's need know to the a/c is 'there'.

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Old 10-15-2008, 02:12 PM   #20
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Default Re: obd codes

According to differentracing, the PCM is looking for
A/C relay....................................70-90 ohms.
So If I short the sensor then won't it show 0 ohms?

Also I thought the sensor was on the compressor itself. I'm almost positive I removed a sensor from the clutch. Do you have a picture or diagram of the switch you are talking about?

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