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Old 11-10-2017, 04:02 PM   #1
BigCauc
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Default Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

So, this is my first post and I'm hoping I can get some seasoned Saturn users to assist me in having a clue of where to look.

For months now, I have been battling this annoying high idle issue. I would have things repaired and the idle would go away, only to return again in no time. Now it is constant and everyone I've had look at it is playing the guessing game. My step father (mechanic) and another garage owner in my town have basically come to the same guess on their own. They think it may be either the Sec Air Injec. Sys. Shut Off Valve or the wiring harness that goes to it. They have looked for vacuum leaks and found none. I feel like I can hear one somewhere but I'm not sure. I did have a crack in the irreplaceable plastic vacuum line connector piece that plugs into the throttle body but that has been plugged up with heat resistant sealant (could that still be expanding enough to create a leak somehow?). My step dad also found hairline cracks in the throttle body itself but he used some metal bonding epoxy where he saw the cracks (could this not be good enough to stop a leak in the body itself?). A chip of metal was also taken out in one of the holes because a new, slightly longer screw was used when changing my TPS but my step dad used some red bonding goo to attempt to fix that. The TPS is working correctly. IAC has been replaced. I have had my intake manifold gasket replaced twice (second time because of an improper install). I have had the temperature sensor replaced, just in case.

My cars service engine light was on for a while and has been off mostly lately, which is strange because i haven't fixed the issues. Came back on for a short time one day with a couple different codes recently.

Codes:
  1. (Confirmed) P0410 Sec Air Injec Sys
  2. (Intermittent) Bank 1 O2 Sensor 2 - I believe
  3. (Newest) MAP sensor
  4. (Has appeared before and again now) System Voltage Low

The garage owner I know has said he did a check to see if it was the Intake Manifold Gasket and it wasn't. Whatever he did, I don't think it required him to actually look at the gasket. I know there is another way to check it so I trust him but I'm still not sure if it was accurate. The car sits at around 1200 stopped. It does fluctuate a bit. The idle is sometimes at 2000 and sometimes 2500 in park.

Another issue that may be related somehow is the car jerks while accelerating often now. It feels like it's losing power or misfiring, maybe? The car goes forward as if it starts to slow down immediately and letting go of the pedal seems to help. It's a semi-rapid jerk and feeling of struggle most times if I stay on the pedal. This very same phenomena actually has kicked the car out of cruise control. Normally that should only go off with the button or touching the break.

I thought a long explanation would help someone imagine the problem if anyone understands the systems well enough. I am not a car guy but if I had time to be one, I would. I hope to get some good advice here. Any unclear parts in my texts, please let me know and I'll clarify if I can.

I love this car and want to keep it running smooth and on the road for as long as possible. 172,000 miles so far.

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Old 11-10-2017, 04:10 PM   #2
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2001 SL1
Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Anyone check for valve cover seal issues?
With engine idling, using a spray can of brake cleaner, or the like, spray along the entire outer rim of the valve cover. If there is a vacuum leak, the idle will SOAR....then calm down a bit until resprayed. If so, it would mean a simple gasket replacement job.

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Old 11-10-2017, 04:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

I asked and he did not recall. I will return to this forum when either me or my mechanic does this.

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Old 11-10-2017, 05:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Also, I don't know why but I cant get the quote button to work so I can reply directly to a comment. I don't know if that sends the commenter a notification or not and want to keep updating this and getting replies as I go.

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Old 11-11-2017, 04:09 AM   #5
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCauc View Post
.... They think it may be either the Sec Air Injec. Sys. Shut Off Valve or the wiring harness that goes to it. ....

My cars service engine light was on for a while and has been off mostly lately, which is strange because i haven't fixed the issues. Came back on for a short time one day with a couple different codes recently.

Codes:
  1. (Confirmed) P0410 Sec Air Injec Sys
  2. (Intermittent) Bank 1 O2 Sensor 2 - I believe
  3. (Newest) MAP sensor
  4. (Has appeared before and again now) System Voltage Low

Another issue that may be related somehow is the car jerks while accelerating often now. It feels like it's losing power or misfiring, maybe? The car goes forward as if it starts to slow down immediately and letting go of the pedal seems to help. It's a semi-rapid jerk and feeling of struggle most times if I stay on the pedal. This very same phenomena actually has kicked the car out of cruise control. Normally that should only go off with the button or touching the break....
My guess with the high idle would be that the small diameter hose going from the intake manifold to the diverter valve has been cracked or torn. It wraps around the right (passenger's) side of the cam cover. I have had this crack before and it will do two things: 1) Increase the idle speed, and 2) trigger a P0410 code.

As far as the car "jerking" sporadically and the CC cutting out, I would guess it is a faulty crank position sensor (CKP). I had this happen before also...on the same car, too. It only happened now and then, but eventually the car would not even start after the engine was warm. Then finally one day the engine cutout while idling at an intersection. This will NOT trigger a code most times. The CKP sensor is located directly above the starter. Skinny hands and fingers may be required to replace it without removing the starter. It is a $20 part.

...
'97 SL1, 136K, Auto, Mint Green (SOLD 146K)
'99 SL2, 126K, Auto, Silver (SOLD 149K)
'97 SL1, 136K, Manual, Burgundy (Gifted to Brother 138K)
'02 SL2, 149K, Auto, Light Gray/Silver

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Old 11-14-2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Anyone check for valve cover seal issues?
With engine idling, using a spray can of brake cleaner, or the like, spray along the entire outer rim of the valve cover. If there is a vacuum leak, the idle will SOAR....then calm down a bit until resprayed. If so, it would mean a simple gasket replacement job.
It turns out that a valve cover seal won't cause a vacuum leak but will cause an oil leak. It needs replacing but I can get that fixed after high idle is gone. I saw another thread where someone said the manual recommended checking the injector wiring harness for dirty/loose connections. I'm seeing if he can do that.

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Old 11-14-2017, 11:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by bachands View Post
My guess with the high idle would be that the small diameter hose going from the intake manifold to the diverter valve has been cracked or torn. It wraps around the right (passenger's) side of the cam cover. I have had this crack before and it will do two things: 1) Increase the idle speed, and 2) trigger a P0410 code.

As far as the car "jerking" sporadically and the CC cutting out, I would guess it is a faulty crank position sensor (CKP). I had this happen before also...on the same car, too. It only happened now and then, but eventually the car would not even start after the engine was warm. Then finally one day the engine cutout while idling at an intersection. This will NOT trigger a code most times. The CKP sensor is located directly above the starter. Skinny hands and fingers may be required to replace it without removing the starter. It is a $20 part.
The small diameter hose you mentioned is apparently not a problem. He checked. Nothing happened. Any other suggestions? Added detail, if necessary, is that the car will sometimes go right into high idle as soon as I start it. Normally it's at 1200 or 1300. Occasionally it will jump up and down in the middle of idling in park but will ultimately settle at the higher idle.

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Old 11-14-2017, 12:06 PM   #8
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

With all the redneck repairs to the TB I'm surprised no ones suggested swapping it out just to get a non-broken one in there. Should be swappable from '96-'02 SOHC and '96-'99 DOHC (earlier DOHC ones will bolt on, but the vac harness on top is wrong).

What RPM is it at with the IACV fully seated in the TB and the IACV port blocked off? Should be 700rpm max, if it's over that and all vacuum hose's are leak free replace the TB.

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Old 11-14-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
With all the redneck repairs to the TB I'm surprised no ones suggested swapping it out just to get a non-broken one in there. Should be swappable from '96-'02 SOHC and '96-'99 DOHC (earlier DOHC ones will bolt on, but the vac harness on top is wrong).

What RPM is it at with the IACV fully seated in the TB and the IACV port blocked off? Should be 700rpm max, if it's over that and all vacuum hose's are leak free replace the TB.
I will test that and get back to this forum.

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Old 11-25-2017, 03:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

What I have done at the new mechanic so far has brought the idle down but it's still not resting at 800-900. They ended up going through the computer and changing the base idle to match the TPS because the sensor can't be modified. That left the idle reading at 2% throttle I guess so they changed the TPS and that solved the 1300-1500 idle issue. I have gone through 3 of those so far. It's still got a noticeable rattle and the idle in park goes down to about 1000 even at operating temp. This is better but I am not satisfied still. I want it to operate the way it should. I know that the throttle body has hairline cracks that we have used metal bonding epoxy on, along with some red goop to seal the broken area around a screw that was too long. I also have a bad diverter/shut off valve which is causing the P0410 code. That was confirmed to be the problem for that code. Should I try to find a new or uncracked throttle body? I'll be replacing the diverter valve soon.

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Old 11-25-2017, 03:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Also forgot to say it sits at roughly 1200 on a cold start. Shouldnt the car start and drop down gradually to 800-900 even when cold?

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Old 11-26-2017, 12:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCauc View Post
Also forgot to say it sits at roughly 1200 on a cold start. Shouldnt the car start and drop down gradually to 800-900 even when cold?
Yes, engines run a higher idle (1200-1500 rpm) when cold starting (summer or winter) but return to idle (650-900 rpm) as coolant reach operating temps. The coolant temperature sensor monitors coolant and ignores outside air temps.

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Old 11-26-2017, 12:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Guess this problem has been solved then. An admin can close this thread of necessary. After running for quite a bit, the idle sticks to around 800-950.

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Old 11-28-2017, 04:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Well, since this post isn't closed like I thought it would be, I will bump it back up with a question and hopefully get some ideas because it's still an on/off problem.

I got the base idle in the cars computer readjusted and they changed the TPS (3rd one). Now, the idle is calmly sitting at around 700 more often but it's still been doing the high idle. I have been test driving it today after I let the engine temp gauge reach half. I wanted to see if the temperature kept it down for sure but it doesn't. It stayed at about 650-700 at a complete stop all the way until right before I was driving back, where the idle was suddenly 950 at a complete stop (this ensures it will idle high in park). It's done this 3 times today just so I could be confident I wasn't crazy.

I'm almost giving up on this thing.

Could it be that the TPS is too sensitive to vibrations and a bump loosened the board in it or the connection? I tapped it with what I thought was a decent and safe amount of force to see if it would change while idling high but it didn't sound like a noticeable change outside of the car. But maybe I need the TPS Saturn used with my model?

I've ordered the shut off valve and the mechanic is assuring me it won't affect idle but it needs replacing so we'll see about that. I don't know if the cars shake has everything to do with the on and off idle problem either but I'll be going through the tune up list to try and see if that helps at all.

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Old 11-28-2017, 08:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Tried spraying around the exterior of your throttle body linkages when high idling occurs?

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Old 12-01-2017, 06:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: Elusive high idle issue - 2001 SL1

Ask for a TPS for a 99 SL2. There is a little internal tab that will be in the wrong spot and will prevent the plug from going in. Use a flat ended razor knife to carve out that tab in the TPS. Install as normal.

The interchange part number is TPS146, the 'correct' number is TPS156.

I did this on my 2001 SL1 engine as it has worked like a dream.

...
A bunch of Saturns and a truck to tow with when something breaks...

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