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Old 02-08-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
msager
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2002 SL1
2000 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Saturn LW2 did not want to start this morning, possibly flooded?

My Saturn LW2 (3.0 V6) did not want to start this morning. My wife says that it started a couple of times but died immediately. I heard it from inside the house, and I don't think it was fully running either time before it died. After about 10-15 minutes, I gave it a shot and it still did not start. I figured that it might be "flooded", so I opened the throttle all the way and cranked, and it fired right up. I ran it for a minute and then turned it off and started it a few times without a problem, though it did take just a little extra cranking.

I know that "flooding" does not happen often with fuel-injected engines, but it can happen. Does anybody know if there is anything that can cause this engine to be prone to such a problem. My first guess is that this is related to spark plugs - the car just past 100,000 miles and they are due to be replaced. The car runs perfectly, but I could see how worn spark plugs could make just a little bit of difference when the car is starting up - maybe getting just a little less voltage because of the starter motor running at the same time and then getting soaked in fuel before the engine is really running. I don't think this is the CPS... I just replaced it last year, and it seems more likely that it would show symptoms first when starting the car when the engine is already hot. The MIL (SES light) is not on and hasn't come on in a while.

If anybody has any ideas, I would appreciate it. Thank you very much.

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Old 02-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn LW2 did not want to start this morning, possibly flooded?

Replace the spark plugs. It will be the best tune up the engine will ever have.

EFI systems in general are more reliable; plugs made with exotic metals last longer while the ignition system generates the highest voltage - no aftermarket ignition systems can exceed manufacturer designs. With electronics taking advantage of state of the art components and fuel systems made as reliable as possible, overall reliability is greater than yesterdays cars while squeezing the most mileage on a gallon of gas.

While its not supposed to occur, flooding does in unusual situations as I've witnessed over the years. It won't matter what time of year whether its below freezing or during hot humid days; flooding can occur easily. Simply moving the car to jockey cars around without the engine ever warming up or repeated starting attempts without the engine firing up are two examples of easy flooding. I've done both inadvertently and my engine's still a baby with only 67k miles.

If starting instantly doesn't occur then hold the throttle wide open; EFI systems have a default program to shut off injectors during any start; this is interpreted by the engine computer that the driver is holding the throttle wide open so it responds by killing injector pulses. This only applies to full open throttle while starting. It works.

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Old 02-08-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
mattachuz
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Default Re: Saturn LW2 did not want to start this morning, possibly flooded?

spark plugs

fuel filter at 100k can cause starting problems

timing belt and water pump are also up lol

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:05 PM   #4
msager
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Default Replaced the spark plugs

Thank you for the advice fdryer and mattachuz. I appreciate it. I replaced the spark plugs today and it was not that bad of a job. I have the fuel filter, but I haven't replaced that yet. As far as the timing belt/water pump goes... that's already done. I had it done last year when the car had around 87,000 miles when the tensioner pulley seized up and started making noise. Now it's on to the next problem... on Thursday night while driving... BANG! from the rear end and now the rear end of the car is about an inch lower on the left side than the right... so I'm thinking the spring or strut assembly needs to be replaced.

I am going to post detailed instructions for the spark plug replacement with pictures that I took while doing the job.

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