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Old 10-17-2018, 04:29 AM   #1
L200StillKickn
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Wrench 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

2002 Saturn L200 2.2L
California emissions exhaust system (Do not live in CA)

I discovered that the diverter valve melted/burned from the side that connects to the hose that goes to the check valve & the hose was missing. While driving my breaks gave out to the point of barely working. Turns out there was extremely hot *air coming out of* the check valve & it melted a hole in the break hose. Replaced the diverter valve & its connecting hose. Within a few minutes of driving the new diverter valve melted on both ends connected to the hoses & destroyed the diverter as well. Found out the check valve was also broken so I replaced that, then the car wouldn't start. Checked the exhaust pipe after removing the check valve & there was no air coming out. The air was releasing out of the check valve again, which means it's is really coming from the exhaust manifold. The air pump is working. I've done some research about possible causes, but would like input & direct communication with people about this. Any help is appreciated.

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Old 10-17-2018, 12:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Sounds like you have too much restriction in your exhaust system. Usually a plugged catalytic converter is the problem, converters are killed by engines that burn oil. You have to solve the reason or replacing the converter is a temporary repair.

...
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 LW300 View Post
Sounds like you have too much restriction in your exhaust system. Usually a plugged catalytic converter is the problem, converters are killed by engines that burn oil. You have to solve the reason or replacing the converter is a temporary repair.


Thanks for the reply & I believe youíre absolutely right about the exhaust. Iím ordering the catalytic converter along with something else I know I need for another issue. And thanks for the info about the oil, I actually forgot I have a problem with the oil pan with everything else Iíve been dealing with. In your opinion, can a leaky oil pan cause the oil to burn?

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Old 10-18-2018, 03:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

No, it is usually valve seals or rings that cause oil consumption.

...
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

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Originally Posted by 02 LW300 View Post
No, it is usually valve seals or rings that cause oil consumption.

Ok, I was asking because I recall a mechanic telling me the leak was coming from the oil pan.

FYI, Iím a woman & Iím learning 🙂 I actually enjoy fixing this car up too.

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Old 10-18-2018, 08:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Man or woman, crawling under the car will confirm or deny oil pan leaks. A hydraulic jack or scissor jack with a jack stand for safety will allow checking under the engine.

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Old 10-18-2018, 08:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L200StillKickn View Post
Ok, I was asking because I recall a mechanic telling me the leak was coming from the oil pan.

FYI, Iím a woman & Iím learning 🙂 I actually enjoy fixing this car up too.
You could have an oil pan leak, but oil from there would not get into the exhaust.

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Old 10-19-2018, 11:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

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You could have an oil pan leak, but oil from there would not get into the exhaust.
Could the power steering leak in my pressure hose cause exhaust problems too? It was leaking bad. *Iíve already got the new pressure hose and will have that installed at the same time as the catalytic converter and outer tie rods.

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Old 10-19-2018, 11:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Man or woman, crawling under the car will confirm or deny oil pan leaks. A hydraulic jack or scissor jack with a jack stand for safety will allow checking under the engine.
Indeed. I do some of the work, whatever I feel comfortable with and have the tools for, but I have a mechanic as well. I like to do my own research and learn too instead of just handing it over and hoping for the best.

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Old 10-19-2018, 12:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L200StillKickn View Post
Could the power steering leak in my pressure hose cause exhaust problems too? It was leaking bad.
Not likely, but if power steering fluid actually reached the exhaust system then it definitely would result in smoke coming from under the hood as fluid is being burnt from contact with it. Any time oil is burnt in that way, regardless of oil type, it is not good and could potentially start a fire.

Quote:
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*Iíve already got the new pressure hose and will have that installed at the same time as the catalytic converter and outer tie rods.
As it may relate to the replacement catalytic converter's longevity, how much engine oil - if any - do you typically add between oil changes?

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Old 10-19-2018, 02:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
Not likely, but if power steering fluid actually reached the exhaust system then it definitely would result in smoke coming from under the hood as fluid is being burnt from contact with it. Any time oil is burnt in that way, regardless of oil type, it is not good and could potentially start a fire.

As it may relate to the replacement catalytic converter's longevity, how much engine oil - if any - do you typically add between oil changes?
No set amount, how much should I be adding? Once I was told it wasnít an oil leak, but the pan, I didnít think it was in jeopardy of it running out so I put some in here and there. Now I understand the function of the pan, which I didnít before so I know thats still a leak.

To be honest Iíve neglected her as I planned to get a new car and slowly fix this one up for my son until finding the diverter valve burned and the shaking that started recently from what I believe is the tie rods that I was told need replacing. A couple of weeks ago the car/steering wheel started shaking once it gets to 15-20 mph. Previously I was told by a mechanic that I need outer tie rods. This mechanic, whoís also a personal friend, said that the tie rods donít seem that bad to be making it shake like this, but until I receive the rest of the parts and get it to him I wonít know for sure. Heís also going to check the rack and pinion & rotate my tires. Heíll also check the rest of the exhaust system while itís there, but he said my muffler isnít that old so he thinks thatís fine.

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Old 10-19-2018, 03:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Having a friend who's also a mechanic helping with repairs is rare. Oil pans rarely leak unless physically damaged. I've replaced oil and filters over the years but never changed xmission oil and filters until recently for fear of performing it incorrectly (not using a correct gasket and/or not tightening the bolts correctly whether using a prescribed tightening sequence or not). Fortunately, my first xmission oil and filter change went well with zero leaks, all due to reading my service manual and having Saturnfans forums for more informed details service manuals leave out. Sometimes YouTube helps give a three dimensional picture of a process. I think we're fortunate to have almost any information just a few clicks away from the world wide web.

Once the oil pan is examined to see where the leak is, a better determination can be made for repairs. In your dilemma, it appears an exhaust restriction is first in priority to get the engine to breathe right before moving on to correcting the secondary air injection system. Somewhere among the way, if outer tie rods are worn, replacement is crucial to safe steering with a front wheel alignment needed afterwards. How many miles on this car? Repairing a car is investing in long term reliability if the engine and xmission are in good running condition without requiring major repairs.

If your mechanic didn't explain and point out the problems, you can always search online for basic information from places like How Stuff Works then move on to other sites with more technical details. Good parts and worn parts can be found to have an idea when parts wear out and create problems. Worn tie rods found as images or drawings show how they affect steering.

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Old 10-19-2018, 03:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

It sounds like you have several issues going on at the same time. Don't try and confuse yourself by trying to link one to the other. Sometimes that happens, but I don' think it is in this case. From reading your posts it appears you have the following issues;

1) Diverter Valve issue

2) Oil Pan leak

3) Wheel shake/judder

My son's car is the V6 L300, so I can't help on # 1 at all, BUT if the consensus is that the Cat is the solution, then replacing it with the new one you ordered should maybe solve the issue. If it doesn't then at least you have a new Cat on your car.

# 2. If there is an oil pan leak, then the ONLY way you will determine that is visual. That means crawling under the car and looking. Unless your mechanic friend has a hydraulic 2 or 4 post lift, then you will have to use ramps or a jack + axle stands. NEVER go under the car with just a jack.

I'm from the UK and we call oil pans SUMPS. That's a fairly accurate description as the sump on most things is where stuff accumulates. In a car engine the sump or oil pan is the bottom of the engine and that is where the oil resides. When the car is running the oil pump picks up oil from the sump or oil pan, pumps it around the engine and it finds it way back into the sump. The seal between the pan and the engine block can over time begin to leak as the seal begins to fail or sometimes the oil pan gets a thump from road debris and can be damaged causing a leak. Either way changing the seal is not a big job, other than you will also have to drain out the oil. If you do that job, it's the best time to change the oil & filter for new. On the Saturn L series and it's baby brother the S series, the oil pan is pressed steel. As a result they rust. it is not unknown for rust to create holes in the pan for oil to leak out of, even though the seal is fine. If you do end up removing to pan to change the seal, then I would suggest giving the steel pan a good clean up and maybe a coat or two of paint to protect it.

As for oil consumption, the best advice I can give is use the dipstick to ensure the oil level is at the MAX/Normal level. Check the level on the dipstick weekly with the car level and the engine cold (that will mean all the oil is in the oil pan). By doing that you will be able to see if the level is dropping and hence you have oil consumption. Consumption can be one or both of the following; it is leaking oil; it is burning oil. It can be both. But fixing leaks is the first solution. If you are burning oil, the exhaust is usually a blue or faint blue smoke. White smoke is coolant. Only by checking the oil level and adding set amounts like 1/2 pint or 1 pint or 1 qt and noting the mileage do you start to get some idea of how bad the consumption is.

# 3 Judder/Shaking on your wheels can be several things. It can be as simple as wheels need balancing. It can be worn tie rod ends. It can be warped brake rotors if the judder is felt on braking. A quick check is to jack up the car and with the wheel off the ground grasp it at the tire edge. If you hold it with your hands at 9/3 position and try wo wobble the wheel, if it moves side to side then you have worn tie rods. Grasp it at 12/6 and try to rock the wheel. if it rocks then you have worn wheel bearings.

On the tie rods, you have 2 on each side. An Outer tie rod and an Inner tie rod. The outer tend to be the ones that wear and are easy to replace. The inner ones do wear out but you need a special tool to replace them. If you decide to do that job yourself, you can rent the tool for free from the autostores. I replaced both inner/outer on my son's car a year or so ago and it was a fairly straightforward job. Whether you swap the outer or bother outer/inner, you will need to have the front wheel aligned. I checked and the wheel alignment cost was like $90.00, so I replaced all the tie rods (they are a small cost relative to the alignment) so I only paid the 1 alignment. If you change 1 set, then find you need to change the others, you'll end up with a 2nd visit for alignment. None of us bursting with cash, so keep those things in mind.

Props to you for wanting to do jobs yourself and learn as you go. That's the benefit of forums like this, where everyone is there to give advice, opinions and help for free. And when you own an orphan Saturn, where parts are getting harder to find, then inventiveness and work arounds are often the name of the game.

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Old 10-19-2018, 07:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L200StillKickn View Post
No set amount, how much should I be adding? Once I was told it wasnít an oil leak, but the pan, I didnít think it was in jeopardy of it running out so I put some in here and there. Now I understand the function of the pan, which I didnít before so I know thats still a leak.
Any oil leak would naturally result in adding more oil between oil changes than might otherwise be necessary. Once the oil leak is corrected you will have a more accurate understanding of how much oil the engine commonly consumes between oil changes. In my case, I typically add a quart for every 3K miles. Currently it's slightly more than that because I have a small leak at the timing cover's crankshaft seal. These days I typically add oil when the level has reached the mid-point on the dip stick (1/2 quart) rather than waiting for the oil to get down to the full quart "low" mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L200StillKickn View Post
To be honest Iíve neglected her as I planned to get a new car and slowly fix this one up for my son until finding the diverter valve burned and the shaking that started recently from what I believe is the tie rods that I was told need replacing. A couple of weeks ago the car/steering wheel started shaking once it gets to 15-20 mph.
Did the shaking occur while braking or while the car was accelerating towards a street or highway cruising speed? Do you feel any pulsation at the brake pedal when it's depressed? Did the shaking continue after the desired cruising speed was reached, and what was the speed?

Lastly, what is your location? Knowing where you are can help members provide better suggestions to you when the subject can be related to issues which develop due to harsher weather conditions. Go back into the User CP and add the appropriate information. If you don't want to be too specific you can name your state only.

...
296,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 10-19-2018 at 07:30 PM..

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Old 11-05-2018, 09:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

Ok guys, Iím back with an update. Thank you all for your responses, I read them, but I didnít want to give a half ***** reply because I didnít have time to sit down & respond properly.

I had to wait on all of the parts to come in before driving it over to my mechanic. So the catalytic converter was bad & it has been replaced. Doing so took care of the hot air being forced out of the place where my check valve was/the exhaust exhaust manifold. It also fix d the issue with the car accelerating properly. Those symptoms were the same as if my transmission was going, jerking when it changed gears, difficulty speeding up. With that being fixed I was able to put the check valve I just bought back on. As a refresher, the air being forced out broke the check valve, & when I bought the new one and put it on the car wouldnít start bc the exhaust air had nowhere to escape from since the cat converter was clogged/broken.

He rotated my tires and no more shaking! However, my outer tie rods are bad, the boot is flat and ripped. I have the tie rods but didnít have time to put them in so Iíll be taking it back this week for those. I also noticed the boot on the inner tie rod was ripped. Instead of paying $50 for the boots Iíll likely just get a whole new rack & pinions which come with the boots for about $120 on eBay. Not sure yet, Iím going to have him check it better next time and take a look myself to see how I feel about it. I need new tires too, but Iíll get to that later.

He replaced the power steering hose so no more putting power steering fluid in every other day 🎉

Now that the cat has been fixed Iíve ordered another diverter valve and itíll be here in less than a week. Iím pretty sure thatís why th car is loud when Iím driving it as it was quite when I put the last one on n fire that one too melted off from the heat of the exhaust coming out of the exhaust manifold. Unfortunately I couldnít find another for $22 so it ended up costing me $40.

While replacing the cat the oxygen sensor was found to be compromised where it screws on so I preferred another so screwing it om wonít mess up th new part. Only $19.

I checked the oil- omg it was so low, there was basically none in there. I put 2 qts Iím last night bc I didnít want to fill it to find that it is leaking. Thereís definitely a leak. Twenty mins after putting it in I backed out and th re were multiple oil spots (I didnít spill it while putting it in). So when I take the car to him to have the other work done Iím going to have him find out where itís leaking from. Once before my car was leaking oil and it gathered inside of my starter ruining it. It was full of oil.

But even with whatís just been fixed the old girl f else like sheís floating when I drive. I canít wait for the other parts to come to get rid of the noise. Iíll be back with more updates as I feel figuring all of this out can help so many people-like Saturnfans has helped me over th years!

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Old 11-05-2018, 01:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

I'm glad to hear that the exhaust system problem has been corrected! That's great, and thank you for providing other valuable information relative to this repair as well.

With regard to the tire rotation and its ending of the shaking you had felt: it appears to have been, in some way or other, related to a wheel (or wheels) since moving them changed things. If so, then some shaking should still be felt but from a different location. (In any event it's good to be rid of that.)

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 11-05-2018 at 01:40 PM..

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Old 11-05-2018, 01:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

And it's half '@ssed' (isn't deleted) if you feel the need to use expletives.....

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Old 11-05-2018, 10:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

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Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
I'm glad to hear that the exhaust system problem has been corrected! That's great, and thank you for providing other valuable information relative to this repair as well.

With regard to the tire rotation and its ending of the shaking you had felt: it appears to have been, in some way or other, related to a wheel (or wheels) since moving them changed things. If so, then some shaking should still be felt but from a different location. (In any event it's good to be rid of that.)
Yes, me too! I was so happy I went ahead and ordered a replacement center console armrest (lid was broken), some new floor mats, & windshield wipers. Lol I already removed the old arm rest yesterday, cleaned her out really good vacuumed and took her through the car wash. Then it rained this morning 😊

No, itís not shaking anywhere. Idk 🤷🏻*♀️ Iím just glad it stopped.

Btw, glad you all understood that post from this morning with all the typos, I was rushing and didnít proofread it. I can spell, trust me 😉

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Old 11-05-2018, 10:08 PM   #19
L200StillKickn
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: 2002 L200 Sedan Diverter Valve Melted, Exhaust Issue?

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
And it's half '@ssed' (isn't deleted) if you feel the need to use expletives.....


Haha Iíll remember that 😏

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