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Old 12-01-2005, 02:34 PM   #1
Menehune
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Default What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Don't know if this is the right place...but seems to get some traffic where it may be seen, and it is really more a question about what i should do than about the car...

I have an 04 Ion RedLine, and in the last month, my car has been in the shop for 3 weeks. Some here are familiar with my problem from another Forum.

Sometimes the car will start and as soon as it starts, it drops the RPM below 1000, and begins to sputter and twice has stalled. It sounds like the ECU tries to catch it and gives it more gas, as it will try and climb up again, but will still sputter for about 5-10 seconds. It will then catch itself and smooth out and idle. When it does this, there is a strong smell of gas from the exhaust and the car has been leaving a large carbon deposit on my driveway.

It is an intermittent problem and sometimes it is worse than others. Sometimes it will miss a couple times, other times it will do as described above, to the point of stalling.

The dealer has kept the car for three weeks on three seperate occasions in the last month and few days. The first time, they checked to see that it had the most current update. The second and third time, they said they could not duplicate, and said i should pick it up. I picked it up last wednesday and it has occured four time since then. I don't know what I am doing different, that makes it happen to me. they said they have to duplicate it for them to touch it.

On advice of the service manager, I called saturn Corp and was given a case. The case worker called me back the next day and told me that there was nothing they could do, and they were not going to "Throw parts at a car when they don't know what will fix it." Okay... She said she would send me free oil changes. I do them myself anyway...

So, I am at a point that I am really wondering what to do. I feel I should just keep taking the car in every time this happens, hoping that maybe they will get sick of me and will actually eplore the problem.

Anyone here have any suggestions? I am wide open at this point, as it is getting rather frustrating.

Thanks...

Video of the occurence and pic of the carbon...

http://www.we-todd-did-racing.com/we...EzZGZkMzF5NTQx

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Old 12-01-2005, 05:36 PM   #2
2001L300
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

I would take that picture to Saturn and then I'd show up when the service department opens about 3 times a week. Since you're still under warranty, every time they look at it, Saturn will be losing money. Eventually, hopefully, they'll either get tired of seeing you or recreate the problem and fix whatever is wrong. Does it only happen when the engine is cold? If so, you need to leave it overnight with the dealer so they can try to duplicate the problem first thing in the morning.

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Old 12-01-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

My '04 R/L did the same thing... See my post in the link below:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63864

I took a digital movie along and showed the service manager. I was fortunate enough that they could duplicate the issue after the car sat outside over night. Mine got so bad that the car would die and not start until it warmed up a bit outside.

This is a known issue - don't let Saturn or the dealer fool you. My dealer in Michigan had a number of cars in for the exact same problem. My car only ran better after they "threw" all the parts in to fix it. Saturn (Spring Hill) suggested that I change gasoline brands after they replaced the fuel rail and injectors. However, I don't think the quality of the gas (ran BP/Amoco Ultimate 93) was the issue.

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Old 12-01-2005, 07:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

I don’t have a Redline, but my 04' Ion-3 would spit out a big cloud of smoke occasionally. I am not sure if my air filter was not installed right or not, but I bought a new one and made sure it was on good. The old one was really dirty and discolored. Not sure what I did to be honest, but it hasn't done it since. Try changing out the air filter. If moisture gets in there you can have issues.

...
"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." -Dilbert

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Old 12-01-2005, 09:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Thanks for the replies.

I have shown the dealer the picture of the carbon and they said the video does not matter, as they have to make it happen themselves before they can touch it.

Yes, it only happens when the motor is cold, but not neccesarily a cold temp outside, as it happened during warmer temps also.

Each time they have kept it they said they started it each morning but could not get it to act up. So that was 18 days that they had it that they were open and were not able to get it to start funny.

They replaced my fuel rail, my injectors, spark plugs and filter, a while back, when it did a couple of similar issues.

The part that bothers me is they say they believe me but will not "throw parts at it". Seems to me that part of a warranty is getting the car right, no matter what it takes. It is obviously a fuel issue of some sort, whethere it be actual delivery of fuel, or the computer giving it issues.

I really am thinking of calling the 800 service each time it does it and have it brought in on flatbed each time. Maybe showing up on a truck every time will say something.

Sucks, as I love the car when it runs right, but I really believe that this issue is one that may lead to more issues.

Thanks again, Kirt

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Old 12-02-2005, 02:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Did you have that recall for the fuel feed pipe assembly done? Perhaps that has something to do with it. Probably not. I am no good.

...
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Old 12-02-2005, 08:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

I'm surprised this can run so badly without generating a diag code.
BTW they do have a device called a "flight recorder" available thru TAC (Technical Assistance Center) which can be installed and used (by you pushing a button) to "save" the event. It will at least record all the PCM variables.

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Old 12-02-2005, 08:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

There is a 02 sensor calibration. I even think it may have been a campaign. I know last winter we were putting cats on redlines like crazy til the calibration came out
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Just a wild comment, but doesn't that pic signify oil getting down in there and burning with the gasoline?

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Old 12-04-2005, 11:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

That's not oil.. It's carbon, from running way too rich.. I bet your gas mileage sucks pretty bad running like that too?

...
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:00 AM   #11
Menehune
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Yeah, the fuel rail, plugs, injectors, filter have all been replaced. I have tried differing brands of gas.

i think the thing is getting too much fuel at start, or something is off in the timing at start and it is not firing when it should. I have mentioned this and shown the carbon deposits and offered the video, which they said they didn't need to see.

Ithink what gets me most is that they believe there is a problem but are unable or unwilling to bother looking for it. To hear the case worker say we are not going to "throw parts at a car" because they "don't know what will fix it", just really left me on a sour note. I mean, isn't that the point of sevice and a warranty? If you have issues, they fix them? Not well, we couldn't make it happen, so sorry...

I should meet the lemon law requirements shortly for my state, and sadly, I believe that is where this is headed. They either buy it back or replace it. Maybe my case is an anomaly, but I still find it poor service to not at least look to diagnose the problem, and maybe find it, rather than tell me that they can't toucj it untill they duplicate it. If they had at least said they would try different things and "throw parts at it" I would know that they were trying, but now, well, just fed up with it and ready to call it quits on this car.

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Old 12-06-2005, 12:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Funny thing, is that the mileage has been "funny". I guess I average about 250 on a tank, but on a long drive i can stretch it to over 300 on a tank. But yeah, that carbon is from running too rich. I have worked on cars for a long time, and know what that much carbon means.

My tech looked at the pic and said,,, "That's just carbon, it's normal..."

They also told me early on that I should only run 87 octane in the RedLine. I had to set the dealer straight on that one...

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Old 12-06-2005, 04:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Can you leave the car with them for a day or two and get a loaner?

That seems to be a good fix for intermittant issues.

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Old 12-06-2005, 09:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

I have left it, more than I care to think about. Over three weeks in total, but they call it 15 days, and that was just november...

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Old 12-06-2005, 03:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

I'm willing to bet the plugs are pretty fouled running that rich too.. no codes at all when they scan it??

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Old 12-07-2005, 01:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

I'm sure the plugs are fouled by now also, and that may very well be the reason that it is starting badly. But they won't even pull a plug to check it. And they won't take my word for it when i say it is running rich.

Think I'll go pull one now and take some pics for them...

getting really tired of this. it flat out stalled this morning.

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Old 12-07-2005, 02:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Checked the plugs, the electrodes look fine, but all have carbon on the threads and there is some caked up on the area where it seats.

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Old 12-10-2005, 12:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Some Toyotas with XZZ-FE engines have a similar issue. The Intake Air Temperature sensor tells the ECU that the air temp is either really hot or really cold. Depending on which way it has decided to lie, the computer will back off the timing. Once that happens and idle degrades bad enough, the ECU will open the throttle to compensate only to make a bad rich situation worse. Basically the ECU has no discourse to think the IAT is lying so it just tries to fix the situation itself. IE, no check engine lamp. I would bet looking at the IAT's readings during this event could shed some light on this idle issue. Good luck.

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Old 12-10-2005, 01:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

Quote:
Originally Posted by darknight9
Depending on which way it has decided to lie
The car work gave me is an RL. Now that I know they don't tell the truth. I'll never drive it again. Anyway go find the biggest baddest biker looking dude you can find. Give him 20 bucks and bring him to the dealership with you. Tell the tech's there to fix your car, I think they just might try then. When other soldiers in my unit were having problems with car places, we used to send our big guy with who was 6'7 and 350 pounds, they would always get great service after that.

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Old 12-15-2005, 03:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: What to do when dealer Can Not Duplicate

just heard back from the dealer. They called me for the first time since drop off last wednesday. here is what they are suggeting...

They were able to duplicate finally

They ran some fuel injector cleaner in it and have talked to GM tech. They said they have had reparts around the country of my car doing this, and they suggest running out all the gas that is in there and running a tank of 87 octane through it. They said they know this will spark knock and cause low power, but they think that the cause may be that 93 octane is sitting in the tanks too long and is going bad befor being sold, due to higher gas prices. So, they said drive a tank of 87 and if it still does it get it back in.

Now, my thought is, if this were a bad fuel issue, wouldn't it do it all the time, not just at start up?

Thanks, Kirt

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