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Old 07-27-2010, 10:22 PM   #1
StarLady
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1992 SC
Default Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

Today I took my 1992 SC to a local (Tulsa, OK) mechanic to have him check fuel lines, charcoal canister, etc., etc., to try to find out what's causing gasoline fumes getting into my car. He didn't find the cause, but while looking around under the car, he found something pretty strange (shocking to me).

First, some background:
In late 2007 I was having hesitation/stalling issues. Replaced fuel pump and ECTS.
Then in February 2008 my car failed the California smog test, and the mechanic there said that it was because of a bad EGR solenoid, so he put a new one in. I passed the smog test, but the hesitation/stalling issue was still happening.
In May 2008, members here suggested I disconnect the vacuum line from the top of the EGR valve. I did that, and the hesitation/stalling issue went away. My car has been running perfectly ever since.

Back to the present:
A few weeks ago I started to get occasional gasoline fumes/smell inside the car.
So today I took my car to a local (Tulsa) mechanic to to try to find out what's causing gasoline fumes getting into my car. He didn't find the cause, but while looking under the car, he discovered this:

There was an EGR solenoid hanging under the car, with wires connected to where the charcoal canister purge solenoid wires should have been. He told me that the CCP solenoid was there, but not connected to anything.(!!!)

Obviously, the hanging EGR solenoid is my original one from over two years ago. Which brings up several questions:
Why on earth the California mechanic would disconnect the CCP solenoid and connect the old EGR solenoid there instead???!!! He never said a word about this to me.
And, How is it possible that my car ran perfectly for the past two years?

I hope that some of the experts here can make some sense of this.
I'm completely mystified.
...
1992 SC - TwinCam (Automagic)
Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

Last edited by StarLady; 07-27-2010 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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1992 SC
Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

I forgot to mention:
The mechanic disconnected the hanging EGR solenoid, and connected the CCP solenoid to where it should be. Started the car and the SES light came on immediately (hadn't seen that one for quite a while). Hooked up a scanner and got a code 32 and 26. Then he cleared the codes and read it again. This time got only Code 26. I took the car for test drive and the SES light kept coming on/going off intermittently, but the car runs smoothly.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

The EGR solenoid is to easy to replace to go to the trouble of hanging it down the back of the engine. If should be bolted to the side of the vaslve cover.

There have been stories of people not doing things the right way in replacing the cannister purge solenoid. They don't bolt the new one in place they just zip tie to to whatever will hold it. So if the purge solenoid is still bolted to the block with nothing attched to it the solenoid hanging there is likely a replacement purge solenoid.
Does one of the vacuum lines go to the EGR?
Better yet is there a solenoid attached to the valve cover with the wires and vacuum lines on it?
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:36 PM   #4
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

Since the rogue EGR solenoid wasn't electrically connected, it simply acted as a vacuum plug. It was a way for some hack mechanic to decommission your CCP solenoid without leaving a heaping vacuum leak. In the old days before computers replaced pencil and paper, and hack mechanics kept a pencil on top of their ear to write up bogus charges instead of a computerized bill, they'd break off the pencil tip to plug a vacuum line before hiding it on the back side of the engine.

You can obtain the code(s) yourself when the SES light comes on. Requires a paper clip; procedure is here: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28570 Codes are here: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44420.

SWAG - CCP (Evap) solenoid failed, hack mechanic found that NO solenoid (and dead-plugged vacuum line) wouldn't set the 26 code the way an inop solenoid would. Hacked in the plug, made it look like the vac line still went somewhere and kept the light off, to keep the customer happy and pass inspection.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

That's just it. The California mechanic put the new (in 2008) EGR solenoid in the right place correctly - attached to the side of the valve cover. But for some reason, he took the old EGR solenoid that he removed, and connected it hanging under the car to the wires that the CCP solenoid should be connected to. He left the CCP solenoid attached to the block, but not connected to anything.

Why would he do that?
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Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

Last edited by StarLady; 07-27-2010 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:57 AM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

Absolutely no idea. You need to learn how to pull your own codes also. The 26 is probably an solenoid problem and the 32 is a EGR valve problem. You have to pull the codes when the light is on. If it goes out they are gone. This site explains how to pull them. And what the numbers mean. You may also search on here for "paperclip" without quotes and you will find it.
Top of this page.
http://saturnwiki.org/index.php/PCM_..._Trouble_Codes
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post

SWAG - CCP (Evap) solenoid failed, hack mechanic found that NO solenoid (and dead-plugged vacuum line) wouldn't set the 26 code the way an inop solenoid would. Hacked in the plug, made it look like the vac line still went somewhere and kept the light off, to keep the customer happy and pass inspection.
I have a feeling that you're right. Amazing. Why not just replace the faulty CCP solenoid?! Oh, well, I guess it doesn't matter now - what's was done was done, and the car has been running smoothly and trouble-free for two years.

Moving on... Would the "hack" have anything to do with the gas fumes that for the past few weeks have been occasionally getting inside my car?
Here's that thread:
http://saturnfans3.saturnfans.com/~s...d.php?t=156417
Getting that problem corrected is my main concern now.

I know that I'll have to properly take care of that code 26 soon, but first I need to make sure the car doesn't explode.
...
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarLady View Post
Moving on... Would the "hack" have anything to do with the gas fumes that for the past few weeks have been occasionally getting inside my car?
OldNuc would have a much more meaningful answer, but now that you mention it, yeah, it could very well be related. IIRC, that purge solenoid is supposed to allow fuel that was trapped by the EVAP canister as fumes, and since re-condensed to a liquid state, to return to the fuel tank. Without that purge process, the EVAP is probably just full-up, and venting to the atmosphere. Thus the gasoline fume smell. Yeah, you may get a "two-fer" out of fixing this one.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

The purge actually sucks the fumes into the intake and if it fails then you vent the charcoal to atmosphere and the charcoal total capacity is temperature dependent, temp up - capacity down. The fumes are adsorbed by the activated charcoal and it has a finite capacity. So, you have to purge it with air every so often.

The smell problem may be fixed.... Time will tell.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

I'm still trying to figure this out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
SWAG - CCP (Evap) solenoid failed, hack mechanic found that NO solenoid (and dead-plugged vacuum line) wouldn't set the 26 code the way an inop solenoid would.
I understand that part. Pretty straightforward.

But I don't understand this part:
Quote:
Hacked in the plug, made it look like the vac line still went somewhere
Why was it necessary for him to make it look like the vac line still went somewhere? What did that accomplish?

Sorry to bring this up again, but it's been bugging me. I guess I love my car too much, and not understanding what has been done to it gives me a bad feeling.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

Hard to tell, make it "look" OK is best guess.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Shocking discovery - EGR solenoid instead of purge solenoid

madpogue:
To clarify: the old EGR solenoid was electrically connected. I just confirmed this with my local mechanic. He said that the old EGR solenoid was connected to the wires for the CCP solenoid.


OldNuc:
Seems that way, but I'm sure he had his reasons.
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