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Old 04-17-2010, 11:19 PM   #1
radi
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Default Help with OBDII Codes

Hello to all- I'm hoping some of you can shed a little light on problems I'm having with DW's 1996 SL1.

Occasional ( 1-2X per week) car will crank but not fire up.
Last time it happened I pulled the plug wires off of the 4-1 coil pack and verified spark across the terminals.
Also I turned key to "on", verified fuel pump is running, and there is a healthy spray of fuel at the schrader valve. Haven't been able to test the actual pressure yet.
After 10+ more attempts at starting it caught and has been running OK...until next time.
Not sure where to look since I apparently have both fuel and spark present.
Intermittent problems stink, lol.

Also car has had a misfire at 40-45 MPH and a SES light that keeps coming back after resetting.

Here's what I've done so far:
Took the car to Autozone today, retrieved the following codes from the scanner:
P0366
P0401
P0420

While at Autozone I also purchased:
New (NGK) plugs (found the old ones, Autolite Platinum- very worn but not unusually discolored)
New plug wires
New ECTS (found the old resin one was cracked. Also replaced connector.)
New Crank position sensor. (haven't had time to change this yet. Not sure I need to, but as long as I was there....)

I also today:
Cleaned intake manifold, IAC, MAP sensor.
Pulled EGR valve & cleaned the pintle and passages, which were pretty well clogged up.

In the last 2 weeks:
Replaced the starter.
Flushed the cooling system. (car had a cracked head at one point, coolant had minor amount of oil contamination still)
Replaced all hoses.

OK- after doing all that:
the car runs smoother than ever before!
SES light is still off, but it's only been a few hours-
Misfire at 40-45 MPH is gone.
Temperature gauge runs at about 3/8 scale now (was at 1/4 scale before ECTS replacement)

Questions:

P0420- I doubt the cat converter is plugged, the car accelerates too well to have an exhaust restriction.
Could this be the result of the bad ECTS? Perhaps from running too rich?

P0366- Has me stumped.
I can't find reference to that code in the board's reference section, and the "Exhaust camshaft Sensor" notation on the Autozone printout makes no sense as the car doesn't have one.
What could this be?

P0401- I bet I fixed this by cleaning the EGR valve.

I gapped the new plugs at .040 following advice I read here. The owner's manual says to set them at .060
Is .040 recommended for this engine? (96 SOHC Auto trans)

Anything else I should be looking at or doing?
I apologize for the length of the post, but didn't want to leave anything out that may be relevant.

Any comments on the mystery P0366, or comments/suggestions on the other questions would be most appreciated.

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Old 04-18-2010, 12:35 AM   #2
wotnartd
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2002 SL1
Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

From a member on SixthSphere:

"How do you replace a camshaft position sensor that doesn't exist? :? The camshaft position is determined by the position of the #1 piston (1 or 4 I forget) and the PCM figures out timing from that.

I had the same problem, at the same mileage as well. In my case it was corrosion on the back of the Ignition Module (the plate that has the connector going to it and is what the coil packs mount on. Sand the mating surfaces on those and make sure there's no corrosion. After I did that the car instantly sounded better and the SES light went off immediately. Otherwise, it has to do with the ignition in other places (plugs, wires, etc)."

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Old 04-18-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

.040 is what it should be. In one or two of the model years (I forgot which) they experimented with .060 and all it did was cause problems.

needless to say after that those FSMs were corrected and it's back to .040 for all model years.

...
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DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

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DOB: 2/4/04
Date Obtained: 7/6/12
Status: Alive, no heat

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Old 04-18-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

.040 it is then!

SES light came back on today.
I'll clean up the ignition module mating surfaces and see what that does.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

So far so good, cleaning up the coil pack mounting surfaces seems to have kept the SES light off. Thanks for the tip!

Just one problem remaining (the big one, of course) - still have the occasional crank but no-start condition.

I've noticed it seems to happen only with warm starts, where the car has been driven then parked for a short while. Cranks but no start. Just an occasional "pop" noise.
No fuel smell (not flooded). I'm guessing no fuel, or not enough fuel? may be the issue?
I did get a spray of gas at the pressure test port, but I have no idea if it's enough to actually make the car run.

Walk away, come back 5-10 minutes later & it starts right up. Once it finally starts it runs perfectly.

Ideas on where to look next are most appreciated!


Thanks

Radi

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Old 04-22-2010, 05:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

Your descriptions about failed HOT restarts seems to fit the classic intermittent crank position sensor (CPS) faults; engine runs fine but a hot restart fails until a cooling off period is allowed with successful restarting only to repeat. The quickest test would be to check for spark right at the hot restart moment; remove the coil wires, after noting firing order, and have someone start while you observe the coils for spark. The total lack of spark as the engine turns over is indicative of a faulty cps. Its supposed to work in all weather conditions. Its above and behind the starter and mounted with one 10mm bolt. Buy it anywhere.

The spray test from the fuel test port is good enough verification of fuel and pressure to the injectors to eliminate fuel issues.

...
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:12 PM   #7
radi
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

Thank you Fdryer for the tip!

I changed the CPS last night. No comment on what's left of my right knuckle....that's a tight spot.

Wife took the car this AM, started fine....left it sit for 15-20 min.... when she tried to re-start, once again it'd crank but no start.
I ran up there found nearly zero pressure at the test port, even though I heard the fuel pump spin up for about 2 seconds.
A few tries later it started right up- and has been fine the rest of the day.

Intermittent fuel pump? If so, why no failures while it's running?
Relay?
Anything else I can look at?


Thanks again!

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Old 04-23-2010, 04:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

Swap the fuel pump fuse and relay with similar parts in the fuse panel. Train yourself as well as your wife to try listening every once in awhile to leave the ignition in the ON position prior to starting to hear the faint hum/hiss of the fuel pump running 2-3 seconds. Be sure the pump does run every time you listen for it. Its supposed to occur every time to guarantee fuel and pressure to all the injectors on the fuel rail. There should be residual pressure remaining from the fuel check valve preventing pressure from bleeding down overnight and almost no loss when leaving a car to sit for an hour or so. This can only be checked with a pressure gauge other than pressing the test valve for spray. Has the fuel filter been replaced in the last 100k miles?

Be sure the cps is seated to ensure the minimum gap is set since there is one between the crankshaft "teeth" and cps tip. Some have found that the new O-ring didn't allow correct seating and left a larger gap that caused similar starting issues.

...
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

Well, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth- I found the problem.
Bad CPS sensor from Autozone.

I replaced the one I had just installed a few days ago- problem is now gone.
Hot re-starts are working fine, no more SES light, car runs perfectly.

Thanks again for everyone's assistance.

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Old 04-28-2010, 06:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by radi View Post
Well, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth- I found the problem.
Bad CPS sensor from Autozone.

I replaced the one I had just installed a few days ago- problem is now gone.
Hot re-starts are working fine, no more SES light, car runs perfectly.

Thanks again for everyone's assistance.
Always get stock sensors...

...
02 Saturn SC2, noisy, trying to quiet it down...

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Old 04-28-2010, 06:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Help with OBDII Codes

+1^^^^Agree, or quality aftermarket. Local parts store is usually suspect.

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