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Old 11-28-2008, 07:33 PM   #1
majoulet7
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Windsor, California
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2001 SL1
Default My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

I own a 2001 SL1. She has over 130,000 miles and up until six months ago was always the most reliable thing in my life. I've done most maintenance myself; small tune-ups. I realize how bad the following seems. Try not to judge me to harshly. The last year has been a financial hell, so the only way my car would see a machinic is if I started dating one...

6 months ago-
- difficulty getting key to turn in ignition and the steering wheel unlocked
- A/C button would stick
- radio would become staticy when rear defrost button was pushed on
- rattling noise from behind the middle air vents when fan was in any ON
setting.
not long after
- A/C wouldn't blow cool air when idling or in slow traffic, only at speeds
of 45 or higher, car would overheat when idling or in traffic but would cool
a bit when I would turn the heater on.
4 months ago
- began to idle high, rev, when stopped, up to 3000rpm.
(only sometimes would she idle back down to normal when I tapped
my foot on the excelorator)
- engine would still run for a few seconds after shut off
- around the same time I began to notice a rattling noise coming from the
back seat, right corner.
2 months ago
- clutch pedel stayed to floor, has happened twice since.
- ABS light would come on at start up and stay on but not every time car
started.
- started hearing and feeling thumping when driving on freeway (front left
tire is wearing unevenly and much faster than others, but thumping?)
last month
- 1am in an empty Safeway parking lot with $200 worth of groceries,
mostly frozen, I easily turn the key in ignition and...nothing...yeah, all of
the dash lights came on, so did the headlights and radio, but not even
a click from engine. Not once had I had any problem starting my car. I
even stepped back a few feet to make sure I had the right car. An hour
later, after checking every fuse and connection I could think of, the
wonderful man powerwashing the parking lot helped me push start her
and I made it home.
presently
Randomly starting. I always make sure to park on a hill...
Yes, I have the Haynes Manual, but it might as well be written in
Japanesse.

PLEASE HELP ME!

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Old 11-28-2008, 07:45 PM   #2
OldNuc
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Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 63,251
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

Do you still have all of those problems?

Random starting sounds like a bad starter. Replace it. If $$ is tight buy one from a J/Y.

It will help if you update your profile to show your car series and year also enter a location for the car. Knowing the environment helps. Not only that some kindly soul might live close for on site consultation. Also, Manual or Automatic transmission?

Have you changed the ECTS?

And - welcom To The Forum!

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Old 11-28-2008, 08:04 PM   #3
2NDSOUT
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

Sounds like a starter issue as well with the car not starting.

You *can* buy new for about $150 from rockauto.com, but if money is tight, JY is your next best option.

Your AC may need to be recharged/replaced. Sounds like the pulley is not working properly.

Your ECTS is cracked. (Engine Coolant Sensor) The part is $15 from the dealer, $35 for the electrical connector. In 80% of most cases you'll just need to replace the Sensor itself.

When was the last time the brakes were replaced? The uneven tire wear could be caused from a warped rotor, worn brake pads, or possiby a bad CV joint,or the wheels need to be realigned.

Sounds like the Clutch may be going? Not sure though; I've never had a Clutch pedal stick on me before...

Radio may be from a bad antenna connection or bad radio connection. Also you may be picking up bad reception due to an alternator starting to go bad as you are putting an "electrical load" by using the radio and defroster at the same time (more juice to power these at the same time.)

What year is your car and mileage? When did you last change the brakes? Alternator? Starter? Battery?

Some more details will help us out in diagnosis; and then your Hayes manual won't read like Japanese.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 11-29-2008, 07:41 AM   #4
westwind999
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1999 SL2
1999 SW1
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

I would recommend getting a starter from a Pick N Pull type junk yard. That way you can practice on someone else's car first. Bring the manual and a basic tool kit, look at the pictures.

You have a couple electrical problems so you should clean the battery connections and grounds to make sure it isn't a bad connection.

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Old 11-30-2008, 12:37 AM   #5
majoulet7
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2001 SL1
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

kasdj

Last edited by majoulet7; 11-30-2008 at 12:50 AM.. Reason: kjdxfiusv

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Old 11-30-2008, 01:07 AM   #6
majoulet7
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2001 SL1
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

Thank you for your relpy.
I did find the starting problem.
I went to start my car last night, push down on the clutch and felt something fall onto my other foot...it was the safety switch behind the clutch pedal...cracked and completely f*#@ed up. So this morning I was the first person at Pick n Pull, found the part, replaced it and so far so good. I didn't even need to use any tools. It was wonderfully easy! One problem down, 20 to go.
The high idle is getting worse so thats what I want to tackle next.

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Old 11-30-2008, 11:04 AM   #7
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

The Clutch Safety Switch is attached by (2) 10 MM bolts, it just doesn't rest behind the Clutch pedal. I would make sure that you have it attached with the 10 MM bolts that are supposed to hold it in place.

Why and HOW would a Saftey Switch be completley cracked? Unless you are driving the car extremely hard and fast, the Safety switch is not something that needs repairing very often. Did you buy the car that way with the safety switch broken?

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 11-30-2008, 08:17 PM   #8
majoulet7
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2001 SL1
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

The bracket that the safety switch is attached to IS held on by two 10mm bolts but the switch itself is held to this bracket by two 7mm plastic tabs. Insert these tabs into holes in medal bracket and then slide down to lock securely in place.
I have a roommate who I let borrow my car, (mostly because I was told that she was taking it to a friend who 'knew about cars' and was trying to help find out what needed to be fixed, it wasn't until after he first checked things out that I began having starting problems) I'm guessing she was full of *#@*, so I don't know how much care she was taking when driving MY car. I'm not trying to pass the buck. God knows my driving uummmm...technique...is far from perfect so it very well could have been caused by me.
In any case, it's obvious my car needs to be taken better care of. So no more lending her to ANYONE and I'll definitely be paying more attention to my driving habits.

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Old 12-01-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
2NDSOUT
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1994 SL2
1999 SL
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

I replaced the Safety Switch on my 97 SW2 earlier this year, and the switch was already attached in the bracket. All I had to do was undo the electrical tab connector and take out the two 10 MM Bolts and install the new one.

Word of advice: Don't let your "Friends" borrow your car...especially if they are just acquanteances that you don't see/talk with on a regular basis. Also don't lend your car to someone else, when you only have 1 car to get around in. Don't trust anyone who says they know someone who "Works on cars", unless you know for sure; 100% that they are a mechanic and you have seen their shop.

Aside from that...you opened yourself up to a whole can of potential legal worms by letting your friend borrow your car. If your friend was in an accident, YOU would be responsible for the repairs to the car, as your friend is not on YOUR insurance. If your friend was in an accident and someone else was involved/and/or killed, YOU would be the one that the lawyers would go after, because the car was registered in your name and on your insurance...meaning legal action may have been taken if your car was in an accident.

Not trying to be mean. Just keep this in mind when it comes to your wheels.

...
Bryan

94SL2 HCE, "Pearl"

99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
2/15

Always
94SC1 340,501 Miles
Org. Engine/Auto Trans
2/97-10/08
Gone 3/12

92SL1
05VUE
91SC

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Old 12-01-2008, 12:16 PM   #10
majoulet7
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2001 SL1
Default Re: My saturn deserves better than me! Help!!

The switch and bracket are both new, even though only the switch had broken (both plastic tabs were snapped off) the bracket was fine. It would have been easier to just slide a new switch on to the old bracket, I'm sure it was made to be removable for that reason but I was kind of affraid of having to put ANY kind of pressure on it. Even if it was just to push it down to secure it in the bracket. Either way the part was cheap and easy as hell to replace. Couldn't ask for more than that!

And yeah, you're right, it's not only irresponsible of me to lend my only mode on transportation to someone but it was naive of me to trust anyone. I tend to trust people more than I should. But in my defense she is my roommate and has been for five years and my friend for fifteen. Evidentally that doesn't stop her from lying to me. I also added her to my insurance policy. Actually my step-father had a fit when he found out she was driving it and wouldn't stop *****in' at me about adding her to my policy. Now I'm happy I've been making her pay part of my monthly insurance,uh, I used to feel kinda bad.

By the way, I didn't think you sounded mean. Concerned maybe, but not mean.

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