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Old 01-23-2015, 03:44 PM   #1
Moon
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Attention 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Hi everyone. I'm having a problem I've read about here from other S-Series owners; car starts fine first time (i.e. 'cold') then after engine gets warmed up, like after a few errands that require parking, walking away briefly and returning to the vehicle, it acts like it almost won't start and in fact it cuts out if the accelerator is not tapped at least a little. I've had a fuel-pressure test performed which shows the fuel system is not the problem and I replaced what's called in Saturn jargon the DIS Module, a.k.a. the Ignition Control Module with a brand new one but I am still having the same problem. I should note that the car runs great otherwise, whether while moving or even idling at traffic stops... no problems. There is not even a check engine light either. This is strictly a warm-starting issue that I assume will get worse so I'd like to figure this out soon. Thanks for any help. (Let me add that withing the last year, car has had new plugs, wires and even a new coil pack installed plus I purchased a very expensive Odyssey battery for it six months ago)

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Old 01-23-2015, 04:19 PM   #2
BV22
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Default Re: 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Can you expand on the fuel pressure testing done? 97 models have a defective fuel pump which does not hold pressure in the system once the car is shut off. To see if this might be the cause of your issue, get in the habit of turning the key to run, waiting 3 seconds, and then turning the key to start. This gives the pump time to prime the system.

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Old 01-23-2015, 08:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Quote:
Originally Posted by BV22 View Post
Can you expand on the fuel pressure testing done? 97 models have a defective fuel pump which does not hold pressure in the system once the car is shut off. To see if this might be the cause of your issue, get in the habit of turning the key to run, waiting 3 seconds, and then turning the key to start. This gives the pump time to prime the system.
+1

Well known for leaking down, and a delay primes the system properly again.

Other possible causes can be EGR related (easy to block and test), CPS (spark test followed by resistance test can usually nail this), vacuum and/or exhaust leaks that manifest into trim problems at idle, and sometimes a lazy O2 sensor.

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Old 01-24-2015, 12:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Let's not forget the ever-popular ECT sensor. That may be "stuck" cold, giving a rich mixture that is good for a cold-start, but too rich for hot starting. If "too rich", you would have to give it a bit of throttle to help it start... sound familiar?

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Old 01-24-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Thanks for the advice so far... I'll ask my mechanic exactly what the fuel pressure test results were. I may just go ahead and get a new fuel pump too. Should I also get new injector & regulator? By the way... Engine Coolant Temperature sensor was replaced 9 months ago and also replaced main O2 sensor 6 months ago. This car only has 160K on her and I really want to get it running perfect again soon since otherwise everyhting else has sorted itself out. One minor problem is I can't seem to just not use it for more than one week or it drains the battery even though car was tested at electronics place and no drain detected and it has a super-powerful Odyssey battery which at least charges right back up in ten minutes or so, but still hate to take away from the projected six to eight years of life on that thing. Anyway, thanks for all the feedback so far and all future as well.

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Old 01-31-2015, 03:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Okay, I am going to take on some further expensive replacement strategies to try and get this car back to perfect; new pump, regulator, fuel filter and injector (already did the Ignition Control Module replacement last month and that wasn't cheap eiter!). If anyone thinks one or more of the things I just mentioned wouldn't be necessary to replace please let me know so I don't have to hurt my credit card too badly. Thanks for any feedback!

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Old 01-31-2015, 06:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Rather than throw (any more) parts at it, why not hook it up to a laptop via an ELM327 link and log live-data; see what changes from the OK cold start to the bad hot start modes?

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Old 02-23-2015, 06:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1997 SL Starting Issues / Replaced Ignition Control Module

Hey everyone, thanks again for all the feedback. Here's what I did: new Spectra pump, new fuel pressure regulator and a new fuel filter. The result: it starts every time now but still only feels about 90% perfect compared to before everything started getting weird. I'm seriously considering a new fuel injector out of curiosity that it will beome perfect again. Naive question here... is it true I'll have to buy four new fuel injectors rather than just one? Also, should I also get a new crankshaft sensor? Thanks!

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