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Old 01-15-2012, 11:15 PM   #1
wink
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Mad 1993 saturn sohc problem

Hi, I have a problem that I can not seem to fiqure out. My 1993 saturn 1.9 sohc will not idle all the time.
It will always fire right up. It idles to about 2k then drops down to about 500. Sometimes it will stay idling as long as you don't hit the throttle but it will idle real rough. Other times it will go from 2k to a stall. Here is the time line of everything i have tried to fix it.

Altenator "went bad so i changed it" car ran rough after changing altenator

pcm "check engine light was on but i could not pull codes from the pcm. Thought that the altenator fried the pcm when it went out.

the new pcm had code 26 quad driver. i checked the egr and purge silenoids. they both ohmed out to 40. the coolant fan turns on, the check engine light turns on. the a/c never worked. so i am not sure what is causing the code 26.

at this point the car would start fine but the idle would be 2500 or stall. the colder it was outside the worse it would act up.

changed the map sensor, the tps sensor, ects "installed brass", ideal air control valve.
still no change

Rebuilt the throttle body, changed the intake gasket. cleaned the egr valve and checked to make sure it was working properly.
Took the battery cables off and touched them together to clear the pcm. the car would not idle. I had to feather the throttle to get the car up to normal operating temp. after it went through one warm up cycle and a test drive"where it died at every stop sign" the car would idle on its own, but it would still idle rough.

thought maybe the timing chain jumped and the pcm was trying to compensate. took valve cover off and the chain seems nice and tight.

pulled the spark plugs and noticed they were black but not real black. cleaned them off and regapped. cleaned all terminals on the coil packs. laid all spark plugs out and cranked the engine. all seemed to have good spark.

did a compression check and i had 175 across the board. reinstalled spark plugs and fired it up. still no change.

checked all my vaccum connections and wiring. did not see anything faulty.

was still getting code 26 so i took the pcm back out and took it apart. there was a bunch of packaging paper stuck inside the case. cleaned all that out and reinstalled. code 26 did not come back. but i have not been able to get to run long enough to take it on another test drive.

right now it will start up and go to about 2k then drop down to 500. it will idle as long as I dont touch the throttle. if i try to rev it up it will backfire and die. if i feather it real fast sometimes i can get it to rev up but it will not stay, it will fade off and stall.

I will bring a fuel pressure tester home tomorow and see what i am getting. but i don't think that is the problem. then i was thinking maybe the cat is clogged. when i was feathering the throttle trying to get it through a warm up cycle i noticed the inlet was red hot. but i was inside a garage and i was being agrressive trying to keep it running.

Any info that anyone might have that could help me figure this thing out would be great. i am driving myself crazy trying to fiqure this thing out.

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

If the original ECTS failed then it probably took the connector out with it, which will make the good ECTS look & act like a bad one.

Easy catalytic converter clog test is to remove the front O2 sensor.

Whats the air filter look like?

...
The proper way to fix a S-Series automatic is to replace it with a 5spd O:)

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

Thanks for the reply

I will try removing the front 02 tonight when i get home.

the ect connector looks perfect, no corrosion and the pins look good. it clamps on tight. i addded some dielectrode grease just to be safe.

the air filter loooks new. it does it with the air filter houseing off or on the car. no change

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Old 01-16-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

what spark plugs are you using, how old are they?

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Old 01-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

i think they are ac delco and they look good. wires and plugs are less then a year old

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

ok i am at home and i have an hour to spend trying to fix this thing. i have a scan tool and i noticed that it has a desierd iac at 170 - 190 but my iac never moves past 140?? tried hooking up my old iac and it does the same thing.

i put a fuel gauge on it and it reads 0, i think my gauge is junk lol. the gas gauge read 0 so i added 5g and still the pressure gauge reads 0. the car will start rev up and die.

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

ok i used a diffrent fuel pressure tester and i am getting 30 psi. i think spec is 28psi so i should be good there.

i pulled the 02 sensor and let it dangle. i left it hooked up and tried to start the car. it would not idle. i gave it just a tap on the throtle and it would idle rough. but it did not die. the scanner said that i was running rich. i thought that was strange. with the 02 sensor just hanging there you would think it would pick up a lean condition?????

i saw some fire come out the 02 sensor port, and the 02 sensor was black??

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Old 01-16-2012, 10:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

ok i cleaned the 02 sensor and put it back in. car idels the same with it in or out.

i unplugged the ects the scan tool reads -40. spec is supossed to be -35. not sure why it is reading less then -35????

i am getting 5v refrence on one wire. and the other i am getting 0.12v i dont understand that either lol why am i getting power on the side the ecm reads?

the car does idle way better when you unplug the ects.

SO what do you guys think is going on?

thank you

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Old 01-16-2012, 10:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

ok ects spec

unhook wire harness scanner should read -35f mine reads -40f

jump the wires together. scanner should read 266f mine reads 304f


is my PCM the wrong calbration?? and could that be causing all these problems?

at one point when the sensor was hooked up i thought i saw my scan tool read 304? but i can not make it do it now. maybe i have a short to pos. on my ecm return wire. or the new sensor is junk. Should i buy another new sensor and connector before i waste any more time?

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Old 01-16-2012, 11:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

ok, code 26 just came back on "quad driver"

scan tool says it is quad driver "A"

quad driver "A" controls 4 things

1 MIL light "light turns on so it is good

2 Coolant fan "fan turns on so it is good"

3 EGR solenoid "it ohmed out at 40 "spec is 20 - 50" should be good"

4 Purge valve solenoid "it ohmed out at 40 "spec is 20 - 50" should be good"

IT could be the wirering going to one of the 2 solenoids but i dont know how to test them. does anyone know a good way?

also the car backfires at idle. like it is out of time. what controls the timing on these cars? What is some of the comen causes of backfireing on these cars?


i feel like i would be just throwing parts at it. but i would like to change my ac delco plugs out for ngk's. install anothe rnew ects and harness and see what happens.

What do you guys think, is it a waste of money? what should i try next?

thank you

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Old 01-18-2012, 10:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

ok put in the ngk plugs. no change

got the old pcm back from the shop that installed it. they said my old one was bad. they said they could not comunacate with it. i reinstalled it in my car and my scan tool can talk to it just fine. it did not fix my prob but it was not bad. looks like they were just guessing it was bad because they could not fiqure out what was really going on.

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Old 01-18-2012, 11:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

update

right now the car will start , rev up and die

once the engine et swarm it will start rev up and die. but if you tap the throtel right before it dies then you can save it and it will idle rough, but it will idle.

unhooking the ects does not have any effect on it.

i thought i noticed it pick the rpms up a little but i think that was just wishful thinking.

it will still stall when yopu get it to idle every once and a while. it is like the engine just misses a beat and it backfires and dies.

i thought i was loosing spark so i pulled one wire off at a time and used a spar spark plug to see if i was loosing spark when the car died. i had spark on all 4 holes when the engine would stall.

i am thinking it is timing but i do not know how to prove it.

thank you

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Old 01-19-2012, 08:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

Fuel pressure regulator?

This sounds familiar to the issues I had. It would start rev to 2k and die. You could feather the throttle to keep it running (poorly). After I replaced the regulator my issues cleared up.

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Old 01-19-2012, 09:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

i did just rebuild the TB. i changed the diaphram that was in there. i beleive that is the fuel pressure regulater? i could not find a tb rebuild kit for a saturn so i orderd it by TB number. the TB is a rochester 700. the kit looked the same and had all the same parts. think the reg is diffrent? how can i tell/test it? it does seem to run rich after the tb rebuild. but befor i rebuilt it there was many vaccum leaks that caused it to run lean lol. "fixed one problem and added another"

i would also like to test the map sensor. it is new but i think it might be faulty. does anyone know the specs?

thank you

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

update

ok, i tested the map sensor. it tested good so i reinstalled it. the engine started to run and idle way better. not sure what i did but i could not make it die, i did notice the t-stat would stick and i think i might have a head gasket going bad. i noticed air bubles in the res. but maybe it is just air bubles from when i changed the intake gasket.

i iwll let it cool down over night and try it again when i get home from work tomorow and we will see how it acts then.

the engine would surge from 500 to 1500 when my foot was on the brakes. i tried taking my foot off the brakes three times and everytime it would stop surging. then the 4th time it stopped surging when i was holding the brake. this car is posessed.

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

ok went back out tonight and tried to start the car. same as before. it would not idle. it would start, rev up to 2k and then fall down to 0 and stall. no mater what i did it would not idle. i would restart it and watch the scan tool. when it hit engine temp of 100f i could make it idle by starting it letting it rev to 2k and then when it was falling down to 0 i would have to very lightly & quickley tap the gas when it was at about 200rpm then it would pick up to 500 and idle poorley.

what could cause this? it seems like the pcm or a sensor is not quick enough to compensate.

thank you

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Old 01-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

Well, it may be time to put a fuel pressure gauge on it to see as you don't have too many choices left. A 19yr old car cannot have a lifetime fuel pump running forever. Check it with a pressure gauge to remove any doubt.

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Old 01-20-2012, 09:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

fuel pressure is at 30 psi

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Old 01-20-2012, 09:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

when it rufuses to idle it seems like it is running rich

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Old 01-20-2012, 10:18 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1993 saturn sohc problem

Rich fuel mixtures would show plugs as black. Lean would show as white.

Your pressure is too low. I'm not sure what pressure should be and perhaps other members can give the numbers or a search through past threads. Fuel filter replaced with an OEM one?

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