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Old 06-09-2014, 05:05 PM   #1
kaniac
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1998 SL2
Default Help Me! Rough Idle In Drive!

I have a 98 saturn sl2. Recently my car has begun to idle very rough while stopped at a sign or light in Drive. Sometimes If I am running the A/C the car will stall, but it only happens when I am stopped. I have also discovered that if I am stopped in drive and I turn my wheel all the way to the left or to the right it stalls/ loses power. The best way I can explain it from inside the car is a jerk with no specific pattern. It seems that if the car is in Neutral or Park the issue is much less evident. I took it to autozone to pull the codes and found that is was a misfire in cylinder 3. however, I am unsure whether the misfire is due to a bad coil pack, spark plug, cable, or something else in the engine internally. Any thoughts?

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Old 06-09-2014, 08:15 PM   #2
TigerXiao
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1996 SL
Default Re: Help Me! Rough Idle In Drive!

It seems like you are having similar issues that I had before.

My engine misfired like crazy whenever the weather is wet. So I inspected the ignition module very carefully, it turned out that on the ignition module there are two bolts missing on the bottom of it, and when the coolant leak out from the engine head gasket (it was leaking before), made the base of the ignition module wet and it caused the misfiring. I believe the base is responsible for ground line in the circuit, and the two missing bolts on the bottom connects the module to the ground. That's why when car idles at red light, it wobbles the module and unstable the contact of the ground. Now since I cleaned the module base plate and attached the missing screws, it never had misfire again. You can check if my situation fits you or not.

Regarding to the sound you have when turning. I had the issue too, but some how different form yours. The exhaust pipe was loose. There are three rubber like material acts as insulator and holds the pipe firm underneath your car. when you look under the car, two located underneath the gear stick, one under the right side of the back seat. These rubbers are called walkers, and they are really cheap like 2 dollars. By replacing three of them, when making turns my car never makes any noise again.

Issues other than that I hope my experience helps.

...
1996 SL SOHC 112K update: 1/4/2016
Kevin Yan, Flushing, New York

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Old 06-09-2014, 09:09 PM   #3
lancerequa
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Help Me! Rough Idle In Drive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaniac View Post
I have a 98 saturn sl2. Recently my car has begun to idle very rough while stopped at a sign or light in Drive. Sometimes If I am running the A/C the car will stall, but it only happens when I am stopped. I have also discovered that if I am stopped in drive and I turn my wheel all the way to the left or to the right it stalls/ loses power. The best way I can explain it from inside the car is a jerk with no specific pattern. It seems that if the car is in Neutral or Park the issue is much less evident. I took it to autozone to pull the codes and found that is was a misfire in cylinder 3. however, I am unsure whether the misfire is due to a bad coil pack, spark plug, cable, or something else in the engine internally. Any thoughts?
Check spark plug number 3 for oil. It is possible you have a head gasket leak. When looking at the engine, from left to right it goes cylinder 1-4. Also, you can try swapping the ignition coils to see if the misfire moves to a different cylinder. If so, you found the bad coil. Also, as TigerXiao stated, you could have missing or loose bolts on the ignition module. I have experienced misfires on my sl2 before and it ended up being corrosion on the back side of the module and on the engine block that the module mates to. A good cleaning of both cured my misfire.

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Old 06-09-2014, 11:05 PM   #4
Signmaster
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Help Me! Rough Idle In Drive!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaniac View Post
I have a 98 saturn sl2. Recently my car has begun to idle very rough while stopped at a sign or light in Drive. Sometimes If I am running the A/C the car will stall, but it only happens when I am stopped. I have also discovered that if I am stopped in drive and I turn my wheel all the way to the left or to the right it stalls/ loses power. The best way I can explain it from inside the car is a jerk with no specific pattern. It seems that if the car is in Neutral or Park the issue is much less evident. I took it to autozone to pull the codes and found that is was a misfire in cylinder 3. however, I am unsure whether the misfire is due to a bad coil pack, spark plug, cable, or something else in the engine internally. Any thoughts?
Codes can't always pin down the specifics, that part is up to us. Often the easiest first step in this situation is to pull the plugs and inspect their condition. If they are fouled, worn excessively, improperly gapped, show indications of rick or learn running etc, then you at least have a starting point to work from.

Often something as simple as new plugs will fix the problem, but you can test and/or replace anything either as maintenance items of after testing them. Nothing lasts forever.

Loads at idle often expose misfires that you might not even notice otherwise. It could be as simple as an oil fouled plug.

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