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Old 01-19-2001, 03:01 PM   #1
Spedi
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Default Idle issue? What's normal?

Hello all, first time Saturn owner and first time poster here.

My question involves the "at rest" idle on my new 4 cylinder LW. When coming to a stop, the engine typically idles smoothly at 800 rpms. However, nearly half the time it drops to between 600 & 700 rpm at which point a noticeable shaky roughness occurs. The dealer says that since "no codes come up", it is normal. So, in your experience and/or opinion is it?

If you drive a 4-cyclinder LW (mine's a 2001), what's your normal idle when stopping at lights & stop signs? Have you experienced idles speeds in the 600-700 rpm range? If so, have you noticed a considerable increase in roughness from the 800 rpm level? How often does your car idle that low?

Thanks all ... look forward to visiting here often (but hopefully not just with concerns!)

P.S. The low rpms NEVER happen when the defogger is on, I presume since the the defroster causes the engine to rev higher. The car is brilliant to drive in that case, but gas mileage seems to drop significantly when the defogger is left on.

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Old 01-19-2001, 04:20 PM   #2
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I can't say that the idle is correct, but I can say that the reason for the defogger lowering your mpg is because it also circulates the A/C. This also says why the idle is higher, becuse the A/C is on. They found that the defogger works quicker if the A/C is circulating also.

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Old 01-19-2001, 04:23 PM   #3
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Have the same engine in the LS. Idles so smooth you can try to restart it if you don't be careful.

Take a test drive with a service tech in another LW to see if yours is in spec. Not all roughness will set a code.

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Old 01-19-2001, 07:51 PM   #4
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I agree with Bob L. I have an LS-1 with the same engine and have never noticed a drop in idle or any roughness at stops. I personally drive my SL2s more than my LS1 in" stop and go" driving but I think both have an idle around 800rpm after the engine reaches normal driving temperature.

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Old 01-20-2001, 06:59 AM   #5
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I don't have an L series, but my SL2 5 spd. occassionally stumbles while resting in idle. Not much, but I notice it. It's probably not a major problem if no codes come up, but you may want to try some different gas stations -- there was a thread of messages here earlier which you can search for where gas quality was discusssed. A couple people liked Texaco gas. Since Techron came highly recommended by Sattech (a Saturn tech) and others (as it's also BMW's and Volvo's factory fuel injector cleaner), you may want to try Chevron, too.

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Old 01-21-2001, 04:27 PM   #6
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Default Thanks! Anyone else?

Thank you all for the feedback ... especially the idea to test drive another LW for comparison. Funny to note that WE can recognize that "not all roughness causes codes" but the dealer was happy to declare "no problemo" since there were no codes.

Also, interesting to hear that the defroster uses the A/C. I had heard that Saturn A/C has quite an effect on the gas mileage, so I'll have to watch out how often I use it if the gas prices stay so high.

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