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Old 04-13-2006, 01:24 AM   #1
Killjoy
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Default 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

Hi everyone, first post.

A friend has a 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC manual trans with approximately 150k miles. About a week ago, while out of gear at a stop light/sign, the engine started intermittently kicking up to about 1,500-1,700 RPMS at idle. Now, a week later, it's doing it almost constantly. They hooked a scanner up and the computer is not throwing any codes... and there are no idiot lights lit. They've had a local mechanic look at the car, do a tune up, replaced the PCV and he confirmed no vaccum leaks (I would assume he just checked hoses) - yet the car still is having issues. They've asked for my help... and I'm asking for yours!

After searching the forums here, it seems this is a somewhat common problem. My suspicion without seeing the car yet is that the TPS or IAC is bad. On this engine during this model year with 150k miles, is there any other well known issues I should consider first - before replacing the TPS and/or IAC? I saw some posts suggesting a systemic issue with vaccuum leaks around the intake gaskets, but only for 2001 and earlier engines - so, I'll check this too, but being a 2002, would assume this isn't the problem. Also the ECTS cracking issue, but I believe this isn't an issue for 2002 typically.

I'd appreciate any tips on the order I should tackle the diagnosis, especially if there are any well known problem with this model year. I'm working on the car Friday - just trying to put together a game plan for fixing before digging into it... esp since many of these parts are dealer-only.

Thanks.

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Old 04-13-2006, 01:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

That PCV valve needs to be an OEM unit (AC or Duetch) purchased from a Saturn retailer and not an aftermarket unit. The next suspect is a sticking throttle plate and/or IAC (Idle Air Control) valve. (An item probably overlooked during that "tune up") Clean the throttle body and IAC passage. (A SEARCH of the boards will reveal all you need to know)

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Old 04-13-2006, 01:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

I had the same issue with my 2001 sl, here is what you should do, go buy carb cleaner first spray around the intake gasket mainly cylinder 1 then clean your iac . I made the mistake of replacing many sensors like everyone said and it turned out to be my injector o rings and intake gasket.

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Old 04-13-2006, 12:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

More info: I just found out that the mechanic replaced the IAC, so that's not it. Also confirmed that the new PCV was purchased from the dealer.

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Old 04-14-2006, 02:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

Well, I pulled the throttle body off the car this morning to replace the TPS. Once the throttle body came off, my jaw dropped at the sight of a 1/8" thick coat of dried oil sludge covering everything from the back-side of the throttle butterfly all the way back into all of the intake runners. I spent about an hour and a bottle of carb cleaner cleaning all of the nooks of the TB - pulled both sensors (TPS and IAC) off to clean the TB and then replaced both, but with a new TPS. I didn't dare touch the internals of the intake manifold for fear of breaking stuff loose and having that go into the vavletrain, etc. So I just cleaned the gasket surface and the immediate inner ring of the intake manifold. I would assume the oil issue in the intake is/was due to a bad PCV - the owner just replaced the PCV during the tuneup with a dealer PCV.

Put her all back together, fired her up, idled til warm.. drove a few miles and I've seemed to fix the problem. The car idles WAY more smooth and is much more quiet than before, even when the intermittent high idle was not acting up.

Stopped at the local auto parts store and told the owner of the car to run 1/2 bottle of ProGuard FI cleaner in each of the two full tanks of gas. I know that won't help the intake (since the FI are downstream), but hopefully that gently clears any muck in the valvtrain. I suppose we just leave the intake muck until the engine dies - not much we can do other than a total teardown.

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Old 04-14-2006, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

Well, you can remove the intake manifold to clean it; that's way short of a total teardown. I wonder, too, if a "steam clean" with SeaFoam or the like would help.

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Old 04-17-2006, 04:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

madpogue,

I considered that while I had the TB off. While I could take the intake off and clean it, I'm sure the mess doesn't stop there. I'd still have all of that grunge in the head, valves, etc. I figured with 150k on the engine and the effort it would have taken to pull the intake (and still not fix the total problem), it just wasn't worth it. The car has been running great all weekend - high idle issue has disappeared.

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Old 04-17-2006, 04:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

Well, the steam clean would def'ly take care of at least some of the buildup in the head and chambers.

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Old 04-17-2006, 07:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

A 2002 with ~150K? GOOD LORD!!! That's A LOT of miles for so new of a car. Good job on finding the culprit of the high idle. On the 00 SL1 I used to have, it was the intake manifold gasket. PITA to replace.

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Old 04-17-2006, 08:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2002 SL 1.9L SOHC - High Idle

My vote is for intake too. Thing prolly has a nice misfire too it also.
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