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Old 05-16-2010, 07:30 PM   #1
02rexwi
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Default 2001 saturn L300 intermittent no start

I was looking at a friends 2001 L300, and it dies on her intermittently and more often just doesn't start. They have replaced the fuel pump and MAF sensor to try to fix the car but no luck. She got a code for the CPS, so they took it out and it was covered in oil, so I assume the sensor is mounted inside of the engine, but the weird thing is- the tip was covered in metal flakes...
I know that metal flakes are normal for those sensors when they are mounted outside of the engine, but is that normal on this engine? Is there any common issues with this engine not starting? It will crank but not start, and there is fuel pressure. Thanks for the help in advance!

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Old 05-16-2010, 09:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 saturn L300 intermittent no start

While its out, wipe off the filings and measure the cps for resistance; it should read between 700-1200 ohms. An open reading means a failed cps. Even if it reads on the bench, place it in boiling water and read its resistance again; if the reading changes from resistance to an open, it failed, replace it. Buy it from any auto store.

The cps is exposed to the interior of the crankcase as its supposed to be in close proximity to the machined teeth on the crankshaft to detect rotation. Normally the engine is swimming in oil and the cps ignores this oil bath but metal particles stuck to it means iron particles coming from someplace. That's not supposed to occur. The metal filings clinging to the magnetic cps may be interfering with crankshaft detection.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 05-18-2010, 08:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 saturn L300 intermittent no start

We took the sensor out and cleaned off the metal flakes and re installed it, still no start, then we installed a new sensor and the car started. We then re installed the old sensor and the car still ran. The codes it throws when it wont start is P0304 CPS sensor no signal, so the question is- is it the tone ring on the crank, a bad connection, or the ECU? It also threw a code for RPM input no signal, but I figured that was because of the CPS code.
One other time it almost didn't start and it threw a code for cyl. 4 misfire.

What i'm hoping isn't the case but possibly is that the engine's tone ring may be damaged because of those metal flakes that came off on the sensor. Any input?

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Old 05-18-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 saturn L300 intermittent no start

There are no tone rings on the crankshaft, just "teeth". The cps, is a self contained signal generator and as long as the new one works, use it. Since the old one isn't consistently working I wouldn't presume it to be reliable. Sensors are more likely to fail than the main ecu even when members post having ecu's replaced when diagnosed as faulty. In those cases, it was due to reduced power mode where diagnostics pointed to either the pedal or throttle assembly of our drive-by-wire throttle system. Saturn diagnosed those failures.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 05-19-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 saturn L300 intermittent no start

Well she brought it to a shop and they told her it was the fuel pump module bleeding pressure back down, even though we had a fuel pressure tester on the rail when it wouldn't start and it read ~42 psi... Sounds like there's either more than one problem, or she's getting hosed.

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2001 saturn L300 intermittent no start

Ok, fuel pump was replaced, but as I suspected it didn't solve the problem. I've got codes, P0727, P1810, P1780, and P0304. Any suggestions?

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Old 06-09-2010, 08:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 saturn L300 intermittent no start

Pull out the cps again and check for metal. If there's more metal you may have a problem as there should be no metal shavings floating around inside the engine especially iron particles. This may suggest a serious engine issue or possibly the wrong cps (longer than spec) causing the end to come into contact with the machined "teeth" on the crankshaft. As designed, there's a gap that's created to place the cps in close proximity for sensing these teeth in order to generate the timing signals that are used by the ecm to effectively run the engine. Magnetic particles picked up and sticking to the cps may be causing erratic signal generation that may have a direct bearing in operating the ecm properly. In other words, the cps provides precise timing signals that actually turns on the ecm - the ecm needs these timing signals to synchronize turning on the fuel pump, initialize the ignition system for spark and pulse the injectors. As long as the engine rotates and the cps senses crankshaft rotation, the ecm runs the engine. If magnetic bits are found sticking to the cps, this may be interfering with signal generation that's crucial to the ecm.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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