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Old 12-23-2011, 01:24 AM   #1
Goldronin
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2000 SC1
Sad No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

Hi, I'm new to the forums - been here before to check on issues and it's always been very helpful.

I have a 2000 SC1, 5-speed manual, 145K miles. My car's had a series of problems since the tuneup my mechanic did earlier this year. They're telling me since there's no code they can't fix the problems. Symptoms are as follows:
High Idle in neutral, 1500-2000 RPM and will stick there regardless of what I do. Occurrence and duration unpredictable but it's happening almost every time I drive it now. Hot or cold engine, doesn't seem to matter. Sometimes it will abruptly come back down on it's own but it can take 10 minutes or more to do so. Putting it in gear while moving will drag it down to an appropriate level, but once in neutral it surges back up. In low gear - if I don't press the brake it'll keep on going as if I were on the gas still. Really weird!
A scan showed the TPS Circuit at 86 instead of 100 (at least thats what the mechanic said). Could that cause all this? No Vacuum leaks supposedly, and PCV valve was just replaced (the one they put in was no good). ECTS was replaced a while back. I told them to check the TPS but he said it wasn't that.... that was before he got the 86 reading though.
Possibly unrelated: Recently, sluggish when starting in the mornings (temps in the 30s overnight). Idle when not surging is a little bit shaky... maybe bad sparks too? It has a persistent whine, increasing with speed of engine (not power steering, supposedly... mechanic replaced it twice already).

I'm probably going to take it to another local shop since my mech's been really unhelpful with all this. (They screwed up a few of my dash light fuses while working on it and left a bolt out from gods know where then said it wasn't them... so I'm moving on.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 12-23-2011, 05:53 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

1-Check to be sure the coolant sensor is the flat nosed brass one and not the original round nosed plastic one. Then check to be sure the connector isn't fouled or corroded otherwise replace it as a fouled connector does the the same harm as using a damaged sensor.

2-If the temperature gauge needle hovers over the 1/4 mark, replace the old worn out thermostat with a new 195F one. A damaged coolant sensor, fouled connector and old t-stat contribute to prolonged rich running and high idling.

3-A quick tps test; a high idle that can be reset by simply shutting off the engine for a restart with a return to a normal idle without touching the throttle tends to point to a worn out tps. Its recommended to use OEM tps' only.

4-If plugs weren't replaced, replace them with plain copper plugs.

5-At 145k miles, replace the fuel filter.

A good throttle cleaning should round out this major maintenance tune up.
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File Type: jpg cracked ects.jpg (39.2 KB, 14 views)

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Old 12-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #3
porphyre
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2001 SL2
Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
3-A quick tps test; a high idle that can be reset by simply shutting off the engine for a restart with a return to a normal idle without touching the throttle tends to point to a worn out tps. Its recommended to use OEM tps' only.
Do this test.

Also just turn the car on and let it sit for a while. Does it idle high?

If not, blip the throttle a few times, does it then start idling high?

With the car running, pop the hood and wiggle the TPS wires. I'm not 100% sure where it's located on an SC1. If the idle changes when you wiggle the wires and connector, it's bad.

You can get the ACDelco from RockAuto.com for around $40 shipped to the lower 48. You need a T-20 (if I recall correctly) driver to remove the two bolts on the sensor. It's a 5 minute replacement job.

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Old 12-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

I'm guessing TPS based on what was written. ECTS should be replaced also if it is the original.

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Old 12-23-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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2000 SL1
Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

Your high idle is almost exactly what I'm dealing with on my 2000 SL with 197,000. I had a few other issues and have done this so far:
replaced PCV
replaced ECTS
replaced thermostat
cleaned throttle body
replaced IACS
cleaned EGR, which was completely gunked shut.

No changes except for usually a slightly higher idle. I've diagnosed some minor intake leaks by spraying carb cleaner while it was running but have no experience to know how much of a leak can cause how much high idle.

Tomorrow I'm going to change out the throttle body gasket, as after I cleaned the throttle body, is when my idle went up. May have munged the gasket a bit re-installing it. I hope. That will be an easy and cheap fix it is works.

If that doesn't work, probably try a new TPS since I really don't want to attempt replacing the intake gasket myself and don't want to pay someone else to do it.

Good luck, please post results here once you get it fixed.

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Old 12-23-2011, 11:59 PM   #6
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2001 SL2
Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

You know, this is REALLY easy to troubleshoot if you've got an OBDII reader. It's as simple as this: if the TPS reading is <> 0 when your foot is off the pedal, the TPS is bad.

If the guy at Autozone looks like he's not too busy and actually has a reader instead of just a code scanner, you can diagnose this in the parking lot in about 10 seconds.

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Old 12-24-2011, 12:58 AM   #7
Goldronin
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2000 SC1
Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

Wow! Thanks for the help! I have a few things to check, it seems.
Will post once I have more info/ a solution, hopefully. (I'm not super handy myself, so I'll have to see if I can get a friend over after the holiday to help me out.)

ECTS was replaced with a brass one (second Saturn I've had, so I knew to catch it early) - but I didn't think to check for damage to the one we put in.
Spark plugs replaced, i assume, at the tuneup 4 months back... though I am thinking I should check them again, what with the shaky idle and all.
Testing from startup, I -think- it does occasionally fly up to 2000 RPM just from moving the car forward a bit in neutral (I park on a slight hill). Might point to something else being wrong, if that's the case. I'll have to see when it happens again.

Does anyone know where I can find an image of where the TPS wires are on a 2000 SC1?

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Old 12-24-2011, 09:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

A tps wiring harness picture isn't needed; the tps is directly opposite the throttle cable 'D' pulley on the throttle body. One side of the throttle shaft has the throttle cable connection while the opposite side has the tps. The tps has its own wiring harness along with the idle air control valve harness going to the pcm.

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Old 05-12-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
ddeuces22
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1996 SL2
Default Re: No codes, idle problems -- potential TPS issue?

Hey did you ever find the problem?
I had an 02 sl1 with the same problem. The 3rd gen sohc is notorious for having intake gasket failure on the passenger side. If you spray some carb cleaner at cylinder 1 intake gasket (1st intake runner on passenger side where it meets the cylinder head)I bet you'll get a change in idle , thus solving your problem

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