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Old 11-08-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
Stumpknocker
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Default 95 Saturn SL won't start?

I'm trying to help my sister in-law out, she has a 95 Saturn sl sohc. When she left her house the other day the car started missing and died about 200 yards down the road and had to be pushed back. I can 't figure out what is wrong with it.

No codes are stored in the computer.

Fuel pressure reads at 41psi at the test port by the fuel rail.

I have spark at all 4 plugs, I pulled each one and can see it jump when I hold it close to the exhaust manifold.

I sprayed starting fluid in the throttle body for a few seconds and the car still wont start. If I have fuel pressure and spark it should start right?

I pulled the valve cover off to check the timing chain and it was fine, but I did find a 6 small plastic chunks by the chain up top. I'm guessing from the chain tensioner.

Please help.

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Old 11-08-2011, 02:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

1-What's the mileage?

2-The engine may be flooded from many starts. The usual remedy is to hold the pedal to the floor and start until all excess fuel is used up and a start occurs before releasing the pedal.

Did you detect raw fuel on the plugs to verify a possible flooded condition? With plugs out you can blow out excess fuel by starting briefly as raw fuel will spray out. Replace the plugs for another start.

3-If the two-wire round nosed plastic coolant sensor was never replaced, replace it immediately with a flat nosed brass one to cure hard starting/flooding. Most auto stores should have it.

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Old 11-08-2011, 03:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

250k miles

I did not smell gas on the plugs, but my nose is stuffed up.

I just got back from the store to rent a test kit to see if the injectors are working. The car is at her house so i will have to go over there later.

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Old 11-08-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

You don't need anything to test injectors if you follow some simple instructions. One was to smell or see raw fuel on the plugs. No fuel = no injector pulses, fuel on plugs = injector's working. The other is to have someone crank the engine (plugs removed) while you observe for fuel spraying (presumed from many starts/flooded engine); you'll see fuel spraying out dramatically if the engine's flooded. The few checks to do before all this was to check every fuse including the fuel injector fuse as having fuel pressure at the test valve doesn't guarantee that the injectors will spray if a fuse is blown or something is preventing the injectors from spraying.

Having tested fuel at the fuel test valve and seeing spark on all the plugs leaves checking for fuel on them/in the cylinders. The last was a mileage question; a compression test is needed for very high mileage.

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Old 11-08-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Used a noid tester and light was flashing when trying to start so the computer is sending the signal. All the injectors tested at 2.0 ohms.

I can't smell any gas, but I can't smell anything now anyway. I can barley smell gas shoving my nose in a gas can with 3 gal in it. I could not see in the chamber (forgot my flashlight at home and they did not have one that worked) but it looked like a small fog or mist coming out of the spark plug hole.

Checking all the fuses was one of the first things I did, they all looked fine.

I checked the temperature sensor across the 2 pins and got 0.0 ohms checking it hot and cold. It did have the brass sensor with a flat end. I ordered a new one, it was only $11 and will pick it up in the morning and see if that fixes anything, and borrow a compression tester to check that also.

Thank you for responding.

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Old 11-08-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Your resistance readings seems odd. At 85F, resistance would be around 2200 ohms, boiling water - 177 ohms, freezing - 9400 ohms. Check readings again.

Resistance goes up as temps go down, down as temps go up.

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Old 11-08-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Your resistance readings seems odd. At 85F, resistance would be around 2200 ohms, boiling water - 177 ohms, freezing - 9400 ohms. Check readings again.

Resistance goes up as temps go down, down as temps go up.
I pulled the sensor out because It wasn't reading anything and was tough to get the pins in there, but it still read 0.0 at 70F and hot sink water. I did not have time to boil water, My wife wanted me to come home.

Am I supposed to check it across the pins or 1 pin and the brass body? It was a tight fit but I'm positive the the leads on the meter were not touching, I checked multiple times.

Thanks

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Old 11-08-2011, 09:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Did you remove and test the sensor connected to the two-wire connector? If so, there's your trouble; you have a temp gauge sender, not an ECTS. The two pins are ganged together to one end of the thermal resistor, and the other end is tied to the base. (Thus the zero resistance reading between the pins.) That's how the temp gauge works with only one wire, by variable resistance to ground. The ECTS has the two pins tied to each end of the resistor, and no electrical connection to the base.

If you removed and tested the sensor connected to the two-wire connector, re-install and re-connect it, and remove and test the other sensor.

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Did you remove and test the sensor connected to the two-wire connector? If so, there's your trouble; you have a temp gauge sender, not an ECTS. The two pins are ganged together to one end of the thermal resistor, and the other end is tied to the base. (Thus the zero resistance reading between the pins.) That's how the temp gauge works with only one wire, by variable resistance to ground. The ECTS has the two pins tied to each end of the resistor, and no electrical connection to the base.

If you removed and tested the sensor connected to the two-wire connector, re-install and re-connect it, and remove and test the other sensor.
No, I disconnected it, unscrewed it and had my brother in-law hold it while I made contact with my meters leads and the 2 pins on the sensor. I held the brass end of the sensor under hot water (120F) to warm it up and tested it in a shot glass partially submerged in hot water while I retested it to see if there was any change.

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

But the critical question is, did you disconnect and remove the sensor with the one-wire connector plugged into it, or the one with the two-wire connector plugged into it?

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
But the critical question is, did you disconnect and remove the sensor with the one-wire connector plugged into it, or the one with the two-wire connector plugged into it?

The temp sensor I removed had a 2 wire connector and was located on the right side of the block below the thermostat housing.

Where is the 1 wire sensor located and why would there be 2 temp sensors on the block?

Last edited by Stumpknocker; 11-08-2011 at 11:05 PM.. Reason: Add question

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Old 11-08-2011, 11:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

The temp sensors are on the head, not the block, and on the left side. The '91-'95 cars have a separate sensor, a _sender_, actually, that operates the dash temp gauge. They're visually indistinguishable; the only way to tell them apart is to know the part number, or to continuity test the pins and base. Based on your test, someone evidently replaced the original (probably cracked) plastic ECTS with a gauge sender. Go out and get an ECTS and install it in place of what's there now.

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Old 11-09-2011, 11:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Also look inside the plug to see if it is corroded (sorry about spelling). If it is then you need to cut it off ans splice in a new one. I've ran across that a few times

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Old 11-09-2011, 04:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

I gave you guys some bad information last night, sorry. The sensor I had checked was the 1 wire sensor and it was on the head and the right side side. The car also has 264k miles not 250k. The motor and trans are the original.

This morning I rechecked it and got 3240 ohms cold and 700 ohms hot. I did pull out the 2 wire temperature sensor this morning also it tested 3000 ohms cold but had 2 deep cracks going along the plastic rounded end that goes in-side the head, so I replaced it.

I found issues when checking the compression. I used 2 gauges and got different readings on 3 and 4
Gauge 1 2
Cyl 1- 0psi 0psi
Cyl 2- 0psi 0psi
Cyl 3- 155psi 180psi
Cyl 4- 150psi 176psi

Does this mean the head gasket is blown between 1 and 2? How difficult is this to fix on this car, how much time and $.

Her husband just got laid off and was the bread winner so money is very tight and I will probably have to fix it, he can't change a light bulb . They can't afford to replace the motor and I wouldn't want to sink a bunch of money in car with such high mileage. What are their options?

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Old 11-09-2011, 05:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: 95 Saturn SL won't start?

Pour some oil into both cylinders (1&2) and run a wet compression test to check for good rings/burned exhaust valves. Decide from there.

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