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Old 02-07-2020, 12:29 AM   #1
Lightfoot2002
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2002 SC2
Default Diverter Valve

Hello All:
My 2002 SC2 has recently got a secondary air system check engine light issue. I pulled the manifold tube that sits between the Diverter valve and the exhaust manifold. I cleaned out this pipe. I noticed a lot of water droplets coming out of this valve. I removed the negative battery cable when performing this procedure. I thought this secondary air system was a closed system. I replaced this valve and checked the air pump. The air pump works fine. If all of this tinkering rooted out the problem of the dreaded check engine light coming on, how long will it take for the light to go out?
Has anyone of the Saturn auto world spoke with the engineers that designed this engine? Why would o-rings be placed within an engine that had no o-ring drain holes, so that the oil would create gummy deposits and thus burn oil within the combustion chamber. The condition also created excessive carbon deposits in the exhaust manifold etc. Were the engineers under some type of pressure to get the product out the door no matter what? Did they assume the Saturn cars would not last more than 10 years? Why did they have to do this to us long lasting owners? We deserve to have some answers.

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Old 02-07-2020, 07:50 AM   #2
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1999 SL2
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

I think you mean piston rings, not o-rings. You are right, we deserve an answer! Let's storm their engineering office! Or maybe accounting department.

In theory codes clear when the problem is fixed. Much quicker to get a Bluetooth code reader. A bottom end harbor freight one will also work but not as useful. This one is awesome:
https://www.amazon.com/BAFX-Products...1076169&sr=8-3

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Old 02-07-2020, 03:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

^ Good luck trying to find a Saturn office anywhere, much less engineering offices devoted to Saturns.......

The secondary air injection system was one way to heat up the upstream main O2 sensor. All sensors are operating when ignition is turned on. The O2 sensor uses exhaust heat to get it up to 600F+ before it begins to output signals the emissions system needs to regulate emissions. Cold engine startup is technically described as open loop mode of emissions, dirty. When the engine warms up, the EFI system waits for the O2 sensor to heat above 600F when it begins outputting signals. Once signals are valid, the EFI system enters closed loop mode for tight emissions control. The secondary air injection pump forces fresh air into the exhaust system to help with exhaust combustion to heat up the O2 sensor sooner. This occurs in less than a minute or two. The problems are preventing exhaust from blowing back into the air pump and clogging the one fresh air tube into the exhaust manifold so a timed sequence was programmed to startup the air pump before the valve is opened to use pressurized air into the exhaust manifold. Moisture and age takes its toll on components with occasional maintenance needed to keep this secondary air injection system running.

Most error codes don't require manually resetting/erasing the code as the OBD II self diagnostic system can detect a repair that corrects a problem on the next engine startup or up to three engine start/run cycles before the check engine light turns off. There's also the possibility the repairs were incorrect or not addressed at all from misinformation leading to repairing something else unrelated to the problem. You can always reset the error code manually; using a reader with a reset function, disconnecting battery negative for 30 seconds or removing the pcm fuse(s) for 30 seconds. If the check engine light returns on the next engine startup then the problem remains.

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Old 02-07-2020, 03:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

There was a guy on this forum a couple years ago that was involved in the design. I can't recall what aspect he was involved in but maybe he could still be reached if you can find the post and identify his username.

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Old 02-08-2020, 11:47 AM   #5
hholbein
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

I believe almost all O2 sensors nowadays have a small heater to bring the sensor up to operational temperature very quickly to speed up closed loop control of the engine. These occasionally fail, but they're a lot cheaper to install and replace than the Rube Goldberg AIR injection system GM came up with.

Has anyone posted a way to rewire the GM AIR system so the PCM *thinks* everything is great even if parts of it are trashed? Since the whole system is there for the first 30 seconds of start up, is there any affect after the car enters closed loop?

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Old 02-10-2020, 12:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

^ Unfortunately no, there isn't any way to simply wire in an O2 heated sensor. Heated O2 sensors are controlled by the pcm, monitoring O2 sensor output for signals in determining when to switch off heating. Unless a pcm has programming to switch a heater on and off, wiring in a heater circuit would simply leave heating on and burn out the heater. All heated O2 sensors are switched on and off by the ecm.

Modifying an existing secondary air injection system bypass would be difficult to impossible too. The pcm knows when to turn on the blower based on coolant temps and a cold or cooled off O2 sensor. Once the blower is cycled on, the pcm monitors the O2 sensor output for signals. Since the O2 sensor doesn't output valid signals until its heated above 600F, the blower remains on. Once signals are valid for the pcm to enter closed loop emissions control, the blower is turned off.

The secondary air injection system is explained in detail in service manuals.

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Old 02-12-2020, 08:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
^ Unfortunately no, there isn't any way to simply wire in an O2 heated sensor. Heated O2 sensors are controlled by the pcm, monitoring O2 sensor output for signals in determining when to switch off heating. Unless a pcm has programming to switch a heater on and off, wiring in a heater circuit would simply leave heating on and burn out the heater. All heated O2 sensors are switched on and off by the ecm.

Modifying an existing secondary air injection system bypass would be difficult to impossible too. The pcm knows when to turn on the blower based on coolant temps and a cold or cooled off O2 sensor. Once the blower is cycled on, the pcm monitors the O2 sensor output for signals. Since the O2 sensor doesn't output valid signals until its heated above 600F, the blower remains on. Once signals are valid for the pcm to enter closed loop emissions control, the blower is turned off.

The secondary air injection system is explained in detail in service manuals.
Thanks. I was thinking of the 2nd case, spoofing the PCM into thinking everything was hunky-dory with the AIR system even if all that was happening were the leads heating some resistive load instead of the blower/diverter valve/solenoid get-up Eventually, the single-wire O2 sensor will get toasty enough to enter closed loop -- maybe that takes 3-4 minutes vs. 1 min with the janky GM AIR hose farm.

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Old 02-12-2020, 09:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

If I'm not mistaken, the pcm doesn't care what's going on with the air pump system. It's programmed to run it and doesn't monitor the pump circuit. It monitors the O2 sensor output signal to determine whether the air pump system is working or not. I don't recall if there are specific error codes pointing to the vacuum valve, air pump, vacuum solenoid, etc.

To spoof the pcm into thinking the air pump system is working would be to determine the output signal voltage of the O2 sensor and feeding it to the pcm on cold startup then disabling this signal after a few minutes when the O2 sensor is presumed to reach operating temperatures. Whether or not anyone can figure this out is anyone's guess to try.

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Old 02-15-2020, 02:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Diverter Valve

@ Lightfoot2002:

My 2000 DOHC had a SES P0410 last summer; then again this November.

After the November illumination, I pulled the fuses/relay/connectors to improve associated component electric connections.
{my car sat unused most of 2 years on a used car lot before I bought it; that is a recipe for degraded electric connections}

When I started the car after renewing the connections, the engine coughed during the startup (like it drank a shot of whisky). The air pump, which I came to identify by a slight 'whistling' sound it evolves when monitoring last summer... now no longer whistled.
I noticed, after this startup, that a rather foul odor emanated from the exhaust tube via the muffler. {previously, the exhaust aroma was Very Fresh/clean} On a curious hunch, I walked to the rear of the vehicle, and observed that the asphalt beneath the muffler output had about a 2.5" patch of carbonaceous goup, perhaps a heap about 1/16 inch mean height.

I pondered what this indicated. The exhaust smelled bad for about 1/2 hour running time; has now reverted to clean machine, BUT the SES persists.

I believe that 'cleaning' the electric connections at the relay+fuses allowed enough power to flow in the system that the diverter valve was energized and activated (by restoring vacuum to the diverter diaphragm) , lowering the pressure in the output rubber hose, and increasing the pressure in the silvery pipe feeding the Ex Manifold.

The air pump then Blew accumulated Carbon into the head, and then out into the precat and in such quantity to show up on the ground beneath the muffler exit. I'll do a pressure test of the exhaust at the upstream O2 sensor port; check the silvery tube for residue... and probably remove the ExMan to clean blocked passages into the Ex ports.

I may have destroyed the catalyst(s), and might need complete new exhaust.
The carbon Blast might have destroyed the O2 sensor(s).
But Now I have a better idea of the results of a sticky/dysfunctional vacuum control valve which disables the diverter, hence denies the pump its ops.

Last edited by TomM96; 02-15-2020 at 02:20 AM.. Reason: fergat un

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