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Old 09-16-2005, 11:46 PM   #1
gypsy35
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2000 SL1
Default lack of power problem and sputtering

we changed my fuel filter today a wobbing 100$, for it, it started sputtering and loosing power, and would die, so we thought it to be the fuel filter, well we changed it, i drove it, and it ran fine, let it idle drove again and it did it again, did this a few times it would run good and then not, so we had it checked on a computer and it showed nothing wrong, and i drove it home a 30 minute drive and it ran fine, but i scared it will do it again, we checked the fuel pressure for the fuel pump and it was right on the noise, so i am dumbfounded whats wrong, ayear ago i had it sputter and die but than instantly acted great again with no problem, had saturn check they found nothing, please help???????????????

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Old 09-16-2005, 11:51 PM   #2
bctech23
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

does it only happen when the engine is hot?

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Old 09-17-2005, 12:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

Welcome to the forum.

When was the last time you had your battery and charging system checked? This is just a hunch, but according to a lot of posts I've seen on here Saturns do exhibit some strange symptoms when the charging system is weak.

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Old 09-17-2005, 03:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

What other repairs or tune ups have you done on the car---i.e., changed the ECTS, cleaned the EGR, etc.??

Jerry

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Old 09-18-2005, 12:33 AM   #5
gypsy35
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

in the past it did act up after it got hot, like when i took a trip, it would sputter and loose power and die, but then it would start right up and then run fine. but the other day i hadn't drove it very far maybe 30 minute drive. and it started sputtering and lost power and died, it would restart but then die again, after it sputtered a bit, we had a diagnostic computer check the electircal system nothing showed up. it has a new battery too.

Last edited by gypsy35; 09-18-2005 at 12:44 AM..

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Old 09-18-2005, 12:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

You haven't mentioned a year. I'll bet it's pre-2001. You are describing a car running very rich after it heats up. In the bad old days we'd say you have a stuck choke. Prior to 2001 the ECTS (Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor) had a plastic tip. The tip would crack and leank on the connector and the connector would corrode.

If your Car is '95 or eariler I'm taking about the lower temperature sender. Replace it and it's connector, if necessary.

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Old 09-18-2005, 01:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

its a 2000 saturn sl1 4 cylinder single cam,

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Old 09-18-2005, 01:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

where can you get a ect, do you have to go to dealer, so far i have to get most from the dealer, which bites, they charge a arm and a leg, autozone has some, and o'reilys too.

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Old 09-18-2005, 01:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

You'll want to get one from the dealer. An aftermarket ECTS probably won't have a copper end - they'll have a plastic end that tends to crack. The copper end seals the thermistor from the coolant.

I buy dealer parts from: http://www.saturnparts.com/

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Old 09-18-2005, 04:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

It's hit and miss at a parts store. You can ask them to look at the part. If it has a plastic tip, don't buy it. If it's all brass, it should be fine. Be certain to check your connector.

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Old 09-18-2005, 04:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

Don't bother with an aftermarket ECT sensor! Most on this website, including those in the know, stress that a stock sensor from Saturn is the only way to go. Don't try to save by buying aftermarket. This is the one case where you want a Saturn replacement.


Jerry

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Old 09-18-2005, 04:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

do you know where the ect is, i have a manual for my car but there is no ect where it shows it, by the water intake,,please any help,

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Old 09-18-2005, 05:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

There are instructions in the How-To Library. It's on the cylinder head driver's side just below the EGR valve.

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Old 09-19-2005, 12:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

well we changed the ect , haven't drove it yet, scared too, this morning my husband convenced me to drive it since we changed the fuel filter, we hadn't changed the ect yet, till later, it drove fine to town and almost back, but it started to act up again, and when you would restart it , it would rev up to 3 rpm's and sputter and die if you tried to give it the gas, also it will go at about 10 to 15 miles per hour without pressing the gas, if it would run a few feet, then die again, i let it sit there for 20 minutes, which i had no choice, and it made it almost home a 8 minute drive from where it broke down, it was smooth and then it started again, sputter loss of power, and then died, i set there for a few minutes and it made it home, like nothing was wrong with it. was this all caused by the ect.

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Old 09-19-2005, 03:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

When you changed the ECT did you reset the computer by disconnecting the negative battery terminal for a few minutes? If not, you should have.

Jerry

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Old 09-19-2005, 05:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

1) did you check the fuel pressure as it was acting up??

2) did you check for spark as it was acting up??

3) is it stalling and loosing power as you're driving or as you are coming to a stop or coasting??

It's important to check the above when the car is acting up. There is no use in doing any checks if everything is running fine.

Running fine = Everything is working as it should be.

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Old 09-19-2005, 11:00 PM   #17
gypsy35
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

the problem is mine acts up in the midle of nowhere, i had a pressure check when it was acting up, and it was fine, i changed the ect sensor, and now it still breaks down after drive it about 30 minutes, and now its seems to jerk, jerk, die, not sputtering like before and when it died before you could get it to start then sputter then die, and you had to wait 20 minutes before it would run again, now its jerking then dieing, and when you restart it it will run another 10min or so and start again. i have no way to check coming home i live in the country, i hate this ,to get to a dealer i have to drive a hour, i have no check engine lights coming on, so how can they find the problem . please help.

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Old 09-20-2005, 12:04 AM   #18
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

Hi I am knew and saw your post here is an idea if not fixed never happened to me on a saturn but has happened to me on 2 other gm cars (87 fiero 89 corsica) the 87 fiero would run fine cold but once hot would sputer and stall one coil pack was bad replaced and fine. Btw on the coild pack autozone will test these for free but there test is not inclusive the other way of testing is to take you wires off of the coil but becareful not to forget which ones go where crank the car and see if there is a bright blue spark best done at night if its dull then the coil maybe bad. Also on the corsica below the coil sits a module that controls the coil pack while I forget the name of the part it was bad would run fine for 5 mins or so cold then just die quick no sputer wouldnt start till cool also autozone was able to test this for me and tell me it was bad. Good Luck let me know the results please.

98 saturn sl 150k+ miles plus Only major Problem has been new clutch love it.

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Old 09-20-2005, 12:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

Your problem does sound like a fuel issue, but you say your fuel pressure is good. An ect will not cause your car to sputter and die as you are driving, nor will is cause stalling when hot. An egr will cause stalling at idle but will not cause stalling/sputtering when driving, on your model.

To be perfectly honest, your type of problem is the hardest and usually the most expensive to fix. It takes time and patience and in some cases, some very expensive diagnostic equipment. You can keep on guessing or you can leave it with a professional until it's fixed. If the problem is happening as often as you are saying, then any experienced/competant tech should be able to locate and repair your problem. If it were my car, (and yes I have had to do this with customer's cars) I would be driving around with the fuel pressure gauge hooked up, a spark tester handy and a scan tool recording data as I drove waiting for the problem to occur.

If you decide to take your car in, try to help the tech with as much info as you can. ie: does the problem happen hot/cold, cruising/on acceleration/at idle or on decel. Does the car shake or just cut out like the key was turned off., how often and how long a drive before it happens.....

Take my advise or not. Like it or hate it. It's just my 2 cents. Good luck!!

Last edited by tabb; 09-20-2005 at 12:19 AM..

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Old 09-21-2005, 08:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: lack of power problem and sputtering

well my car finally let itself be seen for whats wrong with it, saturn people ran it for a while did not act up, came and told me and that they couldn't find anything wrong computer codes nothing, i guess i had that look of about to cry, and he goes i going to get him to drive it, well he drove it didn't act up till driving into the dealship, fuel pressure dropped all the sudden, well it ended up being the costly fuel pump ya, but i did tell him i could find at o'reilys auto parts for 199$, so he let me have it at 235$ saved a 100$ but paid 155$ in labor, i was tied of not knowing, but i know cars and i pray, this is it, it didn't act up anymore, so i crossing my fingers, thanks for your help to everyone, i'm sure i'll be back since we own two saturns.

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