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Old 09-12-2018, 05:33 PM   #1
TAT'smom
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Default Throttle Body and PCM replacement

Okkkkkk, so i bought a 2004 Saturn L300 for my daughter's first car. I bought it from the original owner, 170k miles...seemed to be very well kept. I felt good about my purchase. 4 days after buying the car, it would NOT start. The person I bought the car from had recently changed the fuel pump. I thought maybe something was off with the repair...took it back to his mechanic..and nope the fuel pump was fine. Long story short I found the throttle body was shorted out- replaced it and the PCM which was also dead. My question is 1. After having so many crazy expensive repairs after only 4 days of ownership...should I keep the Saturn or sell it? My daughter needs something dependable...and this has made me feel like I may not be able to depend on this car. Its still at the mechanic, we are waiting for the PCM to come in. I bought it already programmed...but my mechanic will have to do the pass lock after installing the PCM 2. I'm sending the previous owner a demand letter, because I have a feeling he knew these problems existed...but told me they didn't. Of course, I feel silly for taking his word for it...when I should have had it extensively checked myself.

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Old 09-12-2018, 05:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

There are two ways to describe NO START situations.

1-the engine cranks, making whirring sounds with the engine never firing up.

2-No sounds from the engine at all. The ignition switch is turned to the START position followed by dead silence.

Which situation are you experiencing?

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Old 09-12-2018, 06:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

Mr Fryer..... read his post again... he found out what was wrong...shorted out TB and dead PCM. Though my question would be why did it short out and why is the PCM dead?

The poster is asking should he now keep it or sell it given it's bad rap in the first few days of ownership?

My 19 year old son has a 2003 L300. I wouldn't call it a money pit, but it has required many more repairs than his elder brothers 2002 SL2.

If you daughters L300 is the V6 (Saturn played around with the L numbers before finishing production and many L300's were actually only 2.0 liter 4 pot cars previously called L200).

If you have the V6, then you have a much complicated engine than the L200 4 pot motor, but it's more powerful and I have to say I enjoy the V6 power. it can get you in trouble, but conversely can get you out of trouble.

As for keeping it, I would ask either THE mechanic who is working on it know or any other mechanic you know and trust to check out the overall condition of the car for future issues. That way you will have some more information to help you make that decision.

It's unfortunate that is misbehaving for you, but hopefully this will cure the issue and your daughter will have a car that both you and her can rely on.

On a maintenance note you should be aware that the 4 cylinder Ecotec engine is reliable, economical but has its work cut out powering that body. It has a timing CHAIN which should last forever.

The V6 motor has a timing BELT which must be changed at 100,000.00 mile intervals. Plugs need changing at the same time. Have your mechanic check whether the belt has been changed (it's usual to change the water pump, etc at the same time). If it has NOT been changed then it's 70K past due. if it has been changed you have only 30K before it needs doing again. When we bought the L300 I asked if the belt had been changed and told yes. My mechanic checked it and it had not. So unless the seller has paper proof it was changed, it hasn't.

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Old 09-12-2018, 10:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

Great information, thank you...and yes after he finishes the PCM he is going to check for other issues. The previous owner claimed he fixed everything on time...but who knows. And its a V6...I have no idea what caused the short of PCM to die.

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Old 09-12-2018, 11:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

Actually I think he said the shorted/faulty throttle body caused the PCM to go bad.

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Old 09-12-2018, 11:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

And just for the record I was experiencing the 1st scenario.

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Old 09-12-2018, 11:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

TAT'smom, here's a short list of things you're supposed to see when you turn ignition switch ON; the instrument panel lights up for a few seconds then turns off as an indication the ecm is working (this far), the brake, oil, seat belt, and battery light remain on. Passlock security turns on also during this scenario then off during starting. Do you see this as described or not? If security turns off during starting, there are three fuse panels to check for blown fuses; main engine fuse panel, driver and passenger side fuse panels. Each should have their own fuse pullers or use a pair of pliers. Examine all fuses for blown ones. If all fuses are good, continue.

During starting, the EFI system turns on fuel pump, injectors and spark. One quick way to test the ecm; with ignition ON, air intake runner disconnected so you can see the electric throttle move, have someone press the pedal while you watch for throttle movement. You have a drive by wire system; the electronic pedal tells the ecm to command throttle plate movement - throttle should move in direct proportion to pedal travel. This tests the pedal, wiring, ecm, and throttle all at once. Can you or your mechanic try this simple test? Moore advanced troubleshooting follows if you get this far and the engine still won't fire up.

Last edited by fdryer; 09-13-2018 at 12:00 AM..

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Old 09-13-2018, 12:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

"Moore advanced troubleshooting follows if you get this far and the engine still won't fire up."

'More', not moore. To late to edit while Saturnfans suffered one of its glitches.

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Old 09-14-2018, 03:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Throttle Body and PCM replacement

Hummm, well we are still waiting for the PCM to come in. Its plug and play...so I assumed after the mechanic plugs it in and follows the pass key instructions we are good to go...

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