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Old 12-26-2008, 11:06 PM   #1
mabowden
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Default Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Hey everyone at Saturnfans!

I've been a fan of this site ever since turbosaturns.net went down (I know, I know way back when.)

And to date, I've saved about $500 with fixing my car vs. taking it to the stealership using richpin's how to's on this site. (thermostat, ECTS, and radiator on my 02' sc2m)

However, my brother's saturn is now having problems (99 sc2 automatic). It is just running awfully, and is not throwing any codes. The car bogs down around 3k rpm, and bogs a lot throughout accel. The car has 107k miles, and seems to have no torque. Horsepower still seems there, but torque is gone. It seems to be shifting a little high sometimes, and other times shifts very low. I replaced the spark plugs and wires just to make sure it wasn't an ignition problem.

He brought it to the dealership (he has more faith in them then I do), and after 90$ they said that it may be exhaust backpressure causing this problem. There is a crack in the resonator (that has been there for 4 years) and they said that he might have had something put in his pipes (the exhaust feels as it is running as usual at the tailpipe). I'm going to clean the EGR valve just to make sure it isn't that.

I was thinking a few things may be the issue: fuel pump, fuel filter? Could it be backpressure from the exhaust? If it is I'll bring it to a muffler shop and get a header back mendral bent system put in, but I want to pick some brains first.

Thanks for the advice, and the EXCELLENT forums you provide.

Matt

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Old 12-26-2008, 11:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Does it run bad cold and warm or only warm? Could be the cat. A bad cat typically causes more problems when it is warm than cold.

Have you swapped out the ECTS for a brass one? That should be the first thing you do.

Clean the EGR and change out the fuel filter. Rule them out and besides, it is just a good thing to do.

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Old 12-26-2008, 11:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Unplug and remove the front O2 sensor. Reconnect it and tie it up out of the way so it does not get contaminated. Start the car and see if it still acts like a slug. If now it performs up to expectations. Its the exhaust system that needs fixed.

Have you ever changed the filter/regulator? If no then you can either buy a fuel pressure tester from Harbor Freight 13.00 92699 or just replace the filter/regulator. Use only an OEM replacement or you may have problems immediately or later. Check that the port in the manifold for the MAP sensor is not full of gunk. Clean the throttle body.

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Old 12-26-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me. I'll start with the EGR and unplugging the front O2 sensor to see if the car works better. I'll come back with updates.

Thank you.

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Old 12-27-2008, 01:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Okay so I cleaned the EGR valve and it's a no go.

Jesus christ why do you have to take off the intake plenum to get that damn bracket off of the EGR? in my 02 its just two bolts. No brackets. Getting that plenum back on sucked (probably because it was the first time I had to do it on this car.)

I'm doing a search to find the front o2 sensor. Are you talking about the sensor that goes into the intake? or am I mistaken? I know its a very noob question but I just want to make sure that it is before I go ahead with the o2 sensor test.

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Old 12-27-2008, 01:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Oh, and I went through my brother's maintenance history, and he replaced the ECTS in 2006 when the car had 80,000 miles. However, the ECTS reads only at only 1/4, but I didn't run it for very long. I'm going to check the connection to make sure it hasn't corroded. I doubt it needs a new one because in 06 the brass ones were out.

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Old 12-27-2008, 02:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Nevermind about where the front o2 sensor is. Found it and now I feel stupid. Going to do Oldnuc's test.

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Old 12-27-2008, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

I removed the front o2 sensor and felt that the car ran better, but still sluggish. The car runs better cold than it does warm.

Probably the cat? the car didn't run entirely better when I removed the front o2 sensor.

The MAP sensor was clean as a whistle. Maybe the dealership had checked that and the EGR during their troubleshooting because both were very clean. I'm going to take the egr off and make a soda can template just to rule that out before we send it to the muffler shop. Any other suggestions?

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Old 12-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Yes, change the ECTS if it has not been changed and also closely check the connector for any signs of green goo or antifreeze. Any improvement with the the O2 sensor removed is a sign of a restricted exhaust system. The EGR bocl gasket is a good test also.

When the car is going down the road at 30 to 40 mph, blower off and heater all the way to cold, where does the temp gauge sit?

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Old 12-27-2008, 03:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Yes, change the ECTS if it has not been changed and also closely check the connector for any signs of green goo or antifreeze. Any improvement with the the O2 sensor removed is a sign of a restricted exhaust system. The EGR bocl gasket is a good test also.

When the car is going down the road at 30 to 40 mph, blower off and heater all the way to cold, where does the temp gauge sit?
The temp gauge is sitting at 1/4, but the dealer replaced my brothers ECTS at 80k miles, and they replaced the thermostat at 60k miles. God I wish I had done the work. I checked the ECTS connector and it looked fine. The ECTS was changed in 06' so it should be a brass one. I know it may need a new ECTS, but when my car needed a new ECTS it wasn't running anything like this.

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Old 12-27-2008, 04:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Did the can test on the EGR, and it worked better, or at least I thought. After it worked slightly better I swapped the EGR on my car to his (great to have 2 sc2's in the family) and I did my EGR without the can for obvious reasons, and it still was sluggy as hell.

I'm going to advise him to take it into a muffler shop and get the cat tested. I wish that weren't the truth and it was a less expensive fix, but I don't see it coming out any other way.

The only reason I don't think that it is the fuel regulator is because the car runs well in high RPMS, and the car runs well when its cold.

When it warms up, however, it runs like crap.

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Old 12-27-2008, 04:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

The car that has the temperature gauge sitting at 1/4 is running way cold and it will run like crap. It needs a new thermostat for sure and possibly a new ECTS. The brass ECTS can go bad also, it just does not fail as often. The normal temperature indication in is 3/8.

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Old 12-27-2008, 05:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Looks like I'm going to be busy changing out the Tstat and ECTS next weekend then. Jesus. My brother is lucky that I help him out like this.

I'm still going to send him to the muffler shop to get his cat tested. From what I hear, most places will do that for free, or very little fee.

Thanks Oldnuc for keeping the knowledge flowing.

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Old 12-27-2008, 06:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Long time, first time post. My brother's saturn

Get the temperature squared away first. You may not have a dead CAT in there. If the engine is cold it will fail there test anyway. It is difficult to plug up a CAT, not impossible, but difficult. The most likely mechanism of CAT failure is broken up internally. Crawl under and smack it on the bottom, if it rattles inside then its done for.

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