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Old 11-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #1
SL2nf150
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Default SL2 Engine dies!!

I've posted on here before about my 2002 sl2 auto that keeps dying on me after 5 mins of driving. Sitting it will run all day but once I get it on the rd and drive it that's when it cuts out and dies. Just got my hands on a fuel pressure gauge and was wondering what psi I should be seeing when running verse key in the ignition? I was going to hook it up and drive it as well with the gauge to see if I see any fluctuation of psi when its about to die.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

40-55 psi as soon as the ignition key is turned ON - all Saturns run their fuel pump for 2 seconds without starting. Pressure regulator should hold pressure. Engine running should not vary pressure while driving. What's difficult is monitoring fuel pressure and trying to catch any drop in pressure while driving - not many are willing to attempt running an extension fuel line to see fuel pressure while driving.

Another way to troubleshoot would be a spark test at the moment the engine dies. This does require two people unless you use some imagination.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

When it dies is it like turning the key off or does it act like it's running out of gas (gradually slows down and then dies)? I have seen some 1998-2002 model years have this issue and it may very well be the fuel pump.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Stumbles and then stalls out. I'm not going to close the hood completely and route it up thru the hood and tape the gauge to the windshield to monitor the pressure. I'm going to have someone in the passenger seat watch it with a close eye. Whats the best way to do a spark test when it does die?
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

"Engine running should not vary pressure while driving."

Isn't the fuel-pressure-regulator referenced to manifold pressure? (They are on most EFI systems) If so, the pressure read by a gauge connected to the rail certainly will change, depending on MAP (engine load).
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
"Engine running should not vary pressure while driving."

Isn't the fuel-pressure-regulator referenced to manifold pressure? (They are on most EFI systems) If so, the pressure read by a gauge connected to the rail certainly will change, depending on MAP (engine load).
No his fuel pressure regulator is internal with the fuel filter, A few questions I have is did you ever replaced the fuel filter? When the engine dies will it restart right back up or does it have to cool down before it will start, When all of this is going on can you hear the fuel pump run for 2 seconds after the engine dies when you turn the key to the on position?
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Okay, thanks for the education. Previous to joining this forum I figured all S-series systems were pretty much the same, except for fancier emissions equipment. Not so, I am learning...
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

The fuel filter has never been replaced. The car has 78k on it. Once it dies I've checked the rail and its getting fuel but not sure on psi. I just got my hands ona gauge so I will get an actual reading tonight. It takes a min or so before I can start it after it dies but it wont go far before dying again. If I let it cool down itll run for a couple mins but then it dies again. Just idling itll run all day.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Just for kicks, try loosening the gas fill cap and drive it that way. Maybe a vacuum is being pulled on the tank by a malfunction in the evap system.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

I'll try that tonight. If its a fuel issue what am I looking at fuel filter or pump as the cause?
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Sounds more and more like fuel pump failing. Pressure test may not be totally accurate, you may have to check flow volume.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Just did a fuel pressure test and I had 46 with the key in the ignition turned on and with the engine running its staying at a steady 47psi. I'm going to take it for a drive now to see when it dies what its reading.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Drove it for a bit and it was fine then i started to feel the lack in power and it starting to feel like it was going to die. Jumped out and checked the gauge and it was now reading around 15 psi, I pushed the engine a lil more to get the car in the driveway and checked again. Had a reading of only 12 to 13 psi now. I heard the pump running kinda loud like it was trying to supply enough gas to the engine. Could it be a clogged fuel filter or you guys think the pump is shot?
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

1-Try banging the gas tank to see if the pump reacts to raise pressures.

2-Cycle the engine off and the turn on ignition only and see what pressures are.

3-What mileage on this car? A fuel filter may be clogged and the easiest to replace first before moving on to a fuel pump problem. I'm not sure whether or not the filter has a pressure regulator.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
1-Try banging the gas tank to see if the pump reacts to raise pressures.

2-Cycle the engine off and the turn on ignition only and see what pressures are.

3-What mileage on this car? A fuel filter may be clogged and the easiest to replace first before moving on to a fuel pump problem. I'm not sure whether or not the filter has a pressure regulator.
I'm going to try banging on the tank right now and # 2 as well. The car has 78k on it and as far as I know filter has never been changed. I do remember reading somewhere that the filter did have a regulator but I may be wrong.
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
1-Try banging the gas tank to see if the pump reacts to raise pressures.

2-Cycle the engine off and the turn on ignition only and see what pressures are.

3-What mileage on this car? A fuel filter may be clogged and the easiest to replace first before moving on to a fuel pump problem. I'm not sure whether or not the filter has a pressure regulator.
I ran it again and it started to die like usual checked gauge and it showed 11 to 12 psi then i banged the tank and checked again,gauge showed 47 psi. Took it for another drive and boom same thing it started to stall which then i jumped out and gauge read around 12 again.Banged the tank and went to check again, gauge read high 40s again. Now I drove it a third time and nothing. Revved the hell out of it, ran it up and down the block for about 15 mins and nothing. Wouldn't die what so ever. Checked psi while running and it was in high 40s and then turned it off waited a second and had the wife turn the ignition to on and read 47 psi. I'm stumped.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

Looks like fuel pump replacement time, change the filter as well if you have over 100,000 miles on it. Yes, the pressure regulator is in the filter. Only get an oem or a wix brand as a replacement as others have caused issues. Filter will be priced accordingly being the regulator is in it. Don't skimp and buy the cheapest fuel pump either, stick with oem or maybe bosch or Delphi if available.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

I would agree that its a pump problem but there is one more check, pump ground. Less than a handful found corroded pump grounds. Either behind the rear seat back or in rear brake wiring with bundled ground wires. Chassis grounds in various locations that corrode and result in poor electrical connections.

ONE MORE TIME. WHAT IS YOUR CAR MILEAGE?
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

" I heard the pump running kinda loud like it was trying to supply enough gas to the engine."

This has me a bit puzzled. Banging on the tank is usually effective if the pump-motor brushes are worn so much that they barely make contact. But, if you heard the pump running like that when the pressure was down, then issues with the brushes or power/ground to the pump seem to be moot. I would be leaning more towards the filter/regulator, but banging on the tank wouldn't have "healed' that! Just food for discussion, like I said, I'm puzzled...
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: SL2 Engine dies!!

46 PSI key on engine off and 47 PSI engine running is good for your car, I dont think the issue is the fuel filter the filter isnt going to block and unblock magically everytime the car runs, The problem is either a corroded fuel pump ground or the pump itself, Most likely the problem lies inside the pump itself as when it warms up the windings have high resistance would make more sense and cause the pump to operate at a lower speed or loose its prime. I have never seen a fuel filter block solid in my life then unlblock when it cools off, The fuel filters for the Gen 3 Saturns are expensive and usually require OEM to work properly as many aftermarket replacements have issues with the internal regulator assembly.
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Last edited by SL19302; 11-23-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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