SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-23-2008, 06:23 PM   #1
Snipew4
Junior Member
Snipew4 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

1998 SL2
Default 98 SL2 Code P0420

I need some help with the trouble codes on my 98 SL2. I have had the car since new, 223K on the engine. My son uses it for school & work now. Service engine light is on. I took it to AutoZone today and the scan showed two codes, P0341 and P0420. They said most likely cause is the P0420: "PCM has determined that the catalyst system efficiency for bank 1 is below threshold for the current engine operating conditions"...Basically the catalytic converter is defective due to 1) engine misfire or operating condition, 2) large vacuum leak, 3) engine oil leakage into exhaust valve seals, piston rings.

I changed the ECTS and replaced the Bosch platinum plugs with regular NGK 5643. The car seemed to misfire around 40 mph but runs a lot better since the ETCS and NGK's but still has the service engine light. It uses about 2 quarts of oil between 3K mile oil changes. I don't think it's a large vacuum leak, but I'll check everything tomorrow.

Question is do I replace the catalytic converter or is there something else I should check first?

Appreciate any other lessons learned on this one.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Snipew4's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Snipew4 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Snipew4 is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 05-23-2008, 07:02 PM   #2
Squareback
Senior Member
Squareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the rough
 
Squareback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Syracuse, NY
Posts: 1,786
 

2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

You need a converter.

...
Certified Saturn Technician

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Squareback's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Squareback reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Squareback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,683
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

I would deal with the P0341 first as it might be driving the P0420.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
Snipew4
Junior Member
Snipew4 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

1998 SL2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

I thought that the P0341 was the camshaft position sensor that this vehicle does not have. The guy at AutoZone did look it up but told me it was a dealer only item.

True of false?

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Snipew4's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Snipew4 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Snipew4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2008, 07:38 PM   #5
Squareback
Senior Member
Squareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the rough
 
Squareback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Syracuse, NY
Posts: 1,786
 

2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
I would deal with the P0341 first as it might be driving the P0420.
Nothing but a bad converter is going to cause a P0420 code. Especially on a car that's been misfiring, he's dumping raw fuel into the exhaust. That converter is cooked. The P0341 needs to be addressed as well obviously, but that light isn't going off without the converter being replaced.

...
Certified Saturn Technician

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Squareback's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Squareback reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Squareback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2008, 07:50 PM   #6
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,683
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

That code, P0341 tells you that there is a problem with spark timing. That could cause a rich mixture and that could be the real cause of the other code.

Trouble shooting chart.


Schematic.


The bottom line is the defective part is a)wiring, b)Ignition control module, or c)PCM

I would think wire or ignition control module.

Last edited by OldNuc; 05-23-2008 at 07:55 PM..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2008, 11:10 PM   #7
BarnOwl
Super Member
BarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really nice
 
BarnOwl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hickory, NC
Posts: 10,029
 

2000 SW2
1998 SL2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

P0341 is an ignition problem. There's no way to adjust spark timing on these cars. Replace wires and plugs. Make sure the coil towers are clean.

...
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BarnOwl's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BarnOwl reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BarnOwl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 12:27 AM   #8
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,683
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

P0341 is a problem with the cam position sensor, the firing of #4 as sensed by the ICM. Bad wire to the PCM or bad ICM, not likely to be a bad PCM but that is the last guess.

The converter code does indeed indicate its scrap also but you need to fix the reason its scrap first. Or you just trash the replacement.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 07:35 AM   #9
Squareback
Senior Member
Squareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the rough
 
Squareback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Syracuse, NY
Posts: 1,786
 

2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
P0341 is a problem with the cam position sensor
Would you please stop with this nonsense?? S-Series cars don't have a cam position sensor. The advice given by myself and Barnowl is sound advice, and you just keep spouting off nonsense.

...
Certified Saturn Technician

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Squareback's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Squareback reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Squareback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 04:22 PM   #10
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,683
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Scan of Page 18 from the FSM. Look at the last sentence of the paragraph right below the schematic drawing.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 05:02 PM   #11
Snipew4
Junior Member
Snipew4 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

1998 SL2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Thanks for the input on this. I picked up a set of plug wires from NAPA today and will change those and check ignition coil connections, and the other electrical wires and connections. I will also double check for any vacuum leaks. It has been running much better with the NGK's than with the Bosch. I changed the fuel filter also.

I also thought that the S-Series did not have a cam shaft sensor. Reading Nucs post (the schematics are very helpful) the one page states that the "Cam signal is continuously checked when crankshaft sensor pulses are received by the PCM....." I read that to mean the cam position is read through the crankshaft position sensor which has never been changed in this vehicle.

I don't mind having to change the converter at this point, can't complain at all with 223K on the car but I do want to make sure the other problem is taken care of before I do.
I may not get to this until Monday but I'll keep you posted on what I find.

Thanks again!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Snipew4's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Snipew4 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Snipew4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 06:42 PM   #12
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,683
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Change your plugs and wires, inspect the ignition control module and clean as required. then go get all of the codes reset. The cat code will come back but drive it for a day or so and then check codes again. If you read the information at the bottom of the factory manual page there are not many things that will give a P0341, most should be trivial to fix. There is no real physical cam position sensor but the cam position is derived by the proper firing of #4 cylinder. The FSM states that this information along with the crankshaft position sensor is used to determine fuel and timing. Thee is no other info provided, unfortunately. Wires, spark plugs or ignition control module its self can cause this code. This might be the cause of the CAT failure. As converters are not cheap it is a good idea to find out why it failed and correct that before buying a new one. The design life of a converter is 50,000 to 100,000 miles but they last longer. With your mileage it might be time for a new cat.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2008, 08:27 PM   #13
Squareback
Senior Member
Squareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the roughSquareback is a jewel in the rough
 
Squareback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Syracuse, NY
Posts: 1,786
 

2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Scan of Page 18 from the FSM. Look at the last sentence of the paragraph right below the schematic drawing.

What's your point? The car still doesn't have a cam position sensor. BTW--I don't need you to scan pages of the FSM's for me, I was given a complete set when I went through Technician Training at Spring Hill. Thanks anyway.

...
Certified Saturn Technician

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Squareback's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Squareback reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Squareback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 01:00 AM   #14
ssicarman
Super Member
ssicarman is a splendid one to beholdssicarman is a splendid one to beholdssicarman is a splendid one to beholdssicarman is a splendid one to beholdssicarman is a splendid one to beholdssicarman is a splendid one to beholdssicarman is a splendid one to behold
 
ssicarman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 10,443
 
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

As stated by others repair for the P0341 code before you do anything about the converter.
Anything that may cause a misfire in the engine and affect how the #1 or #4 cylinders fire needs to be addressed. so plugs, wires, coils, oil inthe plug wells, bad injectors, poor compression. Anything. The place to concentrate on is the 1-4 firing circuit of course but the other 2 cylinders can affect things as well.


Snipew4
The camshaft sensor is actually a compression sensing circuit via the secondary igniton system built into the ignition module. The 1-4 secondary ignition is used rather than the 2-3 cylinder circuit. So there is no actual pyhysical sensor that you can replace but there is an electronic sensor as part of the ignition module.

...
A lousy day in paradise is still a day in paradise.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to ssicarman's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help ssicarman reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
ssicarman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 07:36 PM   #15
Snipew4
Junior Member
Snipew4 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

1998 SL2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Again, Squareback, OldNuc, Ssicarman, and everyone else, thanks for the input. As an old hands-on engineer I know discussion is always a good thing when troubleshooting a problem. I have never been one to just swap parts until you find the right one. My son is off tomorrow so we'll replace the wires and check everything else. Like I said, it does seem to run much better with the NGK's, it doesn't have the noticeable mis at @40 mph anymore. What I read makes sense, the #4 plug looked worse than the #1 when I removed the old Bosch platinums so the 1-4 firing was/is off.

I will post the results.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Snipew4's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Snipew4 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Snipew4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2008, 08:44 PM   #16
BarnOwl
Super Member
BarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really nice
 
BarnOwl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hickory, NC
Posts: 10,029
 

2000 SW2
1998 SL2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipew4 View Post
when I removed the old Bosch platinums so the 1-4 firing was/is off.
Say NOOOOOOOOO to Bosch Plats!!!! NGK, AC, or Autolite in order of preference, copper only!!!

...
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BarnOwl's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BarnOwl reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BarnOwl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2008, 05:11 PM   #17
Snipew4
Junior Member
Snipew4 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14

1998 SL2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

We changed the plug wires. Found several at the ignition coil modules with corrosion (white & powdery) #4 coil terminal looked the worse with #1 second. Cleaned them up and applied a light coat of dielectric silicone before attaching the new wires. The Service Engine Soon light stayed off for a while but it's back on. It runs very good, but I'll have it checked again to see if we cleared the misfire code and just have the P0420 for the converter now.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Snipew4's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Snipew4 reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Snipew4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 08:09 PM   #18
Isophorone
Member
Isophorone is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 73
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

Hi everyone!

Thanks for the good information. I have a 99 Sw2 with 112K miles that has been throwing the P0341 code intermittently. I did change the plugs at 90K miles but not the wires. I do remember that the wires were really hard to pull off at the coil end. Any suggestions or tips on that? Thanks.

Otherwise, the car starts readily and the engine runs pretty smoothly. Don't ask me about MPG; that takes my wife cooperating.

Ron

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Isophorone's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Isophorone reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Isophorone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 08:26 PM   #19
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,683
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

If you clean the coil towers and wipe on a dab of silicone grease, or dielectric grease same thing, you will not have that problem.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to OldNuc's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help OldNuc reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 08:31 PM   #20
MikeNW
Master Member
MikeNW is just really niceMikeNW is just really niceMikeNW is just really niceMikeNW is just really niceMikeNW is just really nice
 
MikeNW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lower Alabama= God's country, if God wanted mosquito and red ant bites, and to be covered in mildew
Posts: 3,434
 

1997 SL
Default Re: 98 SL2 Code P0420

If a Saturn is burning oil (let's say, more than "normal") does that mess up the converter eventually?

...
97 SL. Born 6/5/97, bought 7/7/97
08 Burgman 400
02 Haro MTB- can't kill it, still trying though

The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.
Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to MikeNW's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help MikeNW reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
MikeNW is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
code P0420 Frankd1 S-Series Tech 9 11-14-2009 10:13 AM
help i got a code that is P0420 butters122706 L-Series Tech 0 06-13-2009 11:00 AM
Another P0420 code alleninpa S-Series General 7 09-02-2007 03:03 AM
P0420 Code angelaw S-Series General 9 11-22-2006 09:47 AM
Code P0420? DeMAN Miscellaneous Tech 3 08-09-2004 11:33 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:32 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.