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Old 08-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
spdice
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2002 SL1
Default intake manifold gasket problems

A few weeks ago, I purchased a used 2002 saturn sl1 from a used car dealer. It had a little over 89600 miles on it and runs ok except every now and then it would idle weird. I did a thorough check throughout the car - the bottom isnt rusty and from what I can see from under the hood, the engine is pretty clean.
2 days after I bought the car, the check engine light goes on. I take it to my mechanic and he tells me that the intake manifold gasket has to be replaced.

Im not worried about paying for the repairs since its a used car and these things happen, but my question is - am I totally screwed w/ a lemon now? Is this common for this model? will this car be cursed with a million problems or hopefully, after this gets fixed will I be ok?

any tips or advice is much appreciated! thanks.

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Old 08-22-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
madpogue
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1996 SW2
Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

Very common failure on your model and generation of car. Knowing the code(s) associated with the SES light would help confirm the diagnosis.

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Old 08-22-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
BV22
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2002 SC1
Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

This is a very common problem on 3rd gen SOHC Saturns. We've almost all replaced the intake manifold gasket. An assembly error caused a fold in the gaskets - we call it the drunken robot.

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2002 SC1 5M
232k 03/14

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
Macgyver
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1997 SL1
2001 SC1
Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

I知 still running on my OEM intake gasket. The robot sobered up around that hour lol. I actually wouldn稚 mind if it started leaking, I enjoy working on cars.

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Old 08-22-2013, 07:00 PM   #5
spdice
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2002 SL1
Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

madpogue - the codes are P0301
P0442


The mechanic said that 1 code could be as simple as changing the gas cap - he mentioned that he did noticed a build-up around it. and the other code is where the intake manifold gasket problem comes in. the car was idling weird and he said that is 1 of the symptoms of this type of problem. I thought that it just needed a simple tune-up, but after further investigation, he found the problem.


I guess my big question is - is this the beginning of a downward spiral of engine problems and repairs? or is it pretty manageable? the mechanic didnt seem to make a big deal out of it, but Im just worried if this is the beginning of a money pit.

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Old 08-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
Macgyver
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1997 SL1
2001 SC1
Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

The Saturn S series is one of the most reliable cars you値l ever own. Probably the worst thing you値l find with these cars is the oil consumption due to a piston ring design. If you remember to top off the oil every few weeks, you値l notice the car will last forever.

Many, many repairs can be done with just a simple socket set and screw driver on this car. I encourage you to read the new owners checklist at the link below. The list points out every single weak point that has been identified as well as all of the common maintenance items to ensure your car will last to 200,000+ miles. Parts for this car are cheap and if you decide to ever do the work yourself, you'll find that $100 goes a very long way in terms of maintenance.

Your exact problem is #18 on the list. The repair is a little involved for a novice since it痴 in the back of the engine and takes some time to get out, but I知 sure your mechanic has seen this issue before.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=177672

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Old 08-23-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
spdice
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Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

Macgyver - thanks for the link, Ill definitely be referring to that often.

I don't have any other complaints about the car other than that. My only worry was that it was a "little nothing" that would turn into a "big something", but if this is the only big hassle aside from regular maintenance, then I dont have a problem. Ill be picking the car up this afternoon, so hopefully the car has a healthy diagnosis after all of this.


thanks for the advice guys

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Old 08-23-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
dustymars
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2002 SL1
Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

My 2002 Saturn SL1 started with the problem at around 100K and after replacing two parts on the throttle body it ran a lot better, the gas mileage went back to 40 MPG, but the idle still runs 120 RPM at idle. Spraying carb cleaner at the #1 cylinder position of the intake manifold changed the RPM a lot so the gasket is defective and needs replaced.

I would do it but am now a little too old and worn out to do the job so will look for someone to do the work. If the cost is too much then I'll just use my Saturn as a 2nd car -- I have a 2013 Mazda-6 that runs great. I just wonder what replacing the gasket would cost?

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Old 08-23-2013, 09:52 AM   #9
spdice
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Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

dustymars - I live in northern nj (about 10 miles from nyc), so things are a bit more expensive up here, but my mechanic is charging $500 for parts and labor - to replace/fix it.

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Old 08-23-2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by spdice View Post
dustymars - I live in northern nj (about 10 miles from nyc), so things are a bit more expensive up here, but my mechanic is charging $500 for parts and labor - to replace/fix it.
You have come to the right place, especially if your longer term goal is to learn how to fix the car yourself. The gasket is about $30 at the parts store and replacement takes about 3 hours without the benefit of a lift. Your mechanic is a bit pricy, but as a former Bergen County resident, I remember how expensive everything there is.

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Old 08-23-2013, 11:20 AM   #11
dustymars
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2002 SL1
Default Re: intake manifold gasket problems

Well, living in Highlands County, Florida where the unemployment is high and small mechanic shops are desperate for business I may get a break on the fixing price; but will not hold my breath. As an example, the quoted labor cost to replace the alternator is $120, which seems more than a fair price. It would take me a couple hours to do it, but being 73 and just tired of working on cars that price is not bad. Maybe I値l call to find out what a gasket replacement would cost.

...
2002 Saturn SL1 SOHC 5-speed

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