SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-02-2006, 02:09 AM   #1
androckon
New Member
androckon is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 3

2001 SL2
Default Clogged catalytic converter?

hi, i'm new to this site, and everybody seems so helpful. anyone with any opinions or experience with my upcoming problem, please respond.

I have a 2001 Saturn SL2, 67k. I love it. It's the first car I've had that has ever had an actual working fuel gauge! It's so cool to not have to count miles. I've had it since July 05. It was involved in a minor accident before I got it. Body damage "only." Her name "MEA" is taken from her license plate number. Anyways...I've never had any problems with her except once she got hot when I was coming up from LA to Bakersfield, CA. If any of you know the drive, you know it's a very steep road. LA traffic, warm weather, and the incline do not equal good things for a little Saturn. I turned on the heater and made it home fine. No problems since.

Last night, when my boyfriend drove Mea to work, she started hesitating, and kind of "chuggling." He thought she was "misfiring."

When I drove her to work this morning, I couldn't get over 45 or 2000rpms without her chugging and surging. I can't accelerate at all. Have to graduuuuuuuuuuuually increase speed.

I took her to a "saturn certified" (whatever that means) repair shop right next to my work. A dude drove her around the block, and said "Oxygen sensor bad. Caused clogged catalytic converter. Also causing fan to not kick on at the right time, causing radiator to get hot and start to crack."

He then said "replace the converter and the sensor...might be able to save radiator for a while at least"

Then he quoted me $450 total for the converter and sensor.

Later on, around dinner, I was sitting in the drive thru and she crept to the middle mark, which is uncommon for her...always at the 1/4th mark. I reversed out of the drive thru, and she started to shake, rattle, surge, etc. Parked her and went inside. Came back out, and when i started her up and reversed, she shook and rattled again. This stopped after like five seconds of stepping on the gas (not hard, so I know i'm not "flooding" it). Then when I was idling, my RPMs were going crazy, jumping from between 500 and 2500. More shaking. Finally the light turned green, so I gassed it out. Then, I rode a mile and a half with my car at 40mph and climbing slowly. But my foot wasn't on the gas. It wasn't on the gas after I gassed through the intersection. I didn't touch the gas at all, but it kept gaining speed. Made it home safely.

Anyways, I was looking online, and found the same warehouse the guy orders his parts from (it's a major local shop, apparently, bobsmuffler.com) and they're like considerably less.

The dude at the shop made it seem like the sensor was the original problem, which led to other, more expensive problems. Is it true/possible?
if it is, are there other sensors I should replace as maintainence?
Does $450 seem a bit steep for the work being done? Am I getting ripped off?
And has anyone ever had a problem like this before? Between my bf's blown transmission, my half-dead Mea, and both our jobs (different schedules, both across town) I'm going crazy.

Any insight would be greating appreciated!!

Thanks!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to androckon's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help androckon reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
androckon is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 05-02-2006, 07:40 AM   #2
Gerry Proctor
Master Member
Gerry Proctor has a spectacular aura aboutGerry Proctor has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 2,683

2008 Astra XR
2008 SKY Red Line
Default Re: Clogged catalytic converter?

A bad bank one, sensor (B1S1) one could destroy your converter and cause some of your issues. Sounds like you have a lot of other issues going on, though so just replacing those two things may address only a few of your issues. Was this shop you took it to a real Saturn retailer's service department or an independent with a metal sign? About the only thing you can learn from driving a car around the block absent diagnostic tools is that it may or may not have a flat tire. There had to be more to the diagnostic than a test drive.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Gerry Proctor's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Gerry Proctor reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Gerry Proctor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 08:18 AM   #3
redkees@msn.com
Senior Member
redkees@msn.com is on a distinguished road
 
redkees@msn.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Oxford, Ct
Posts: 1,092
 

2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Clogged catalytic converter?

I'd take it to a place like autozone or advanced auto and have them hook it up to a OBII scanner and post the codes it gets here. There are a lot of Saturn techs here who can reply to you with what the codes mean and their
implications.

An o2 sensor--the one you mentioned costs $60 and is in the front manifold-it
looks like a spark plug-is easy to replace yourself.

You might learn from the codes you get that you could possibly fix it yourself.
Let us know what you get....
Good luck!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to redkees@msn.com's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help redkees@msn.com reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
redkees@msn.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 06:57 PM   #4
eljefino
Master Member
eljefino will become famous soon enough
 
eljefino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Standish Maine
Posts: 5,783
 

1995 SW1
2000 SL1
Default Re: Clogged catalytic converter?

change your coolant temp sender also. Real cheap and it's "upstream" of even your front oxygen sensor as far as fuel mix is concerned. That is, it has authority to "override" your O2 reading. This will cause your fan to not run at the drive through and low speed overheating and cold starting.

Re the highway overheating, you may be missing some plastic stuff under the front bumper that helps ram air into the radiator. This stuff gets scraped off on parking curbs all the time. The electric fan is less relevant at higher speed. Unless I misread you and you were going slower than 25 mph most of the time, then the fan counts.

Regardless of the other work, get this done right away as it will have a nicer effect than you may anticipate. If you cannot afford the other work tell the mechanic you'll be back but please replace this sensor today.

Incidentally it can be done by oneself rather easily with $15 in parts.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to eljefino's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help eljefino reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
eljefino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2006, 10:01 PM   #5
androckon
New Member
androckon is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 3

2001 SL2
Default thank you

first of all, thanks to all of you. it was really helpful.

drove her to a muffler shop, and discovered the catalytic converter, at least the bottom one, is fine.

so then i had her towed to the original shop. they'll run diagnostics tmrw.
i'll let you know what's up.

thanks again!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to androckon's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help androckon reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
androckon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 05:46 AM   #6
BarnOwl
Super Member
BarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really niceBarnOwl is just really nice
 
BarnOwl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Hickory, NC
Posts: 10,005
 

2000 SW2
1998 SL2
Default Re: Clogged catalytic converter?

I'm betting on ECTS and front O2 sensor. Both are really easy to replace.

...
There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to BarnOwl's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help BarnOwl reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
BarnOwl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2006, 07:42 AM   #7
RangerRover
Senior Member
RangerRover is on a distinguished road
 
RangerRover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Apex, NC
Posts: 1,646
 

1994 SL2
Default Re: Clogged catalytic converter?

Another point, some of those symptoms are classic ECTS problems. Unless this is a shop really familiar with Saturns, I can guarantee they will just start replacing everything but the $15 part that is causing problems. When the ECTS goes bad in our cars, it will make you think the car is ready for the junkyard. No diagnostic codes are usually stored for that sensor, so like I originally said, the shop will probably just start throwing parts at it.

Its probably not your only problem, but that would be where I would start. ETCS and the electrical connector for it. There is a good howto in the howto section. This is somthing anyone can do, no matter the level of "expertise".

...
gawk, date, grep, touch, finger, unzip, strip, mount, fsck, fsck, fsck, yes, yes, yes, unmount, make clean, zip, sleep

-You can tell Linux is made by geeks.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to RangerRover's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help RangerRover reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
RangerRover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 01:56 AM   #8
androckon
New Member
androckon is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 3

2001 SL2
Cool completely wrong

good news- my car is fixed. she doesn't shake and buckle, and i don't get passed by grandmothers anymore...that was lame...

so this is what happened-

catalytic converter- perfectly fine

the culprit?-
cylinders 2 and 3 were randomly misfiring, or not firing at all. that was because transmission fluid had spilled onto and into the ...ignition coil or something. also onto whatever module is connected to it, and the wires that connect to all that stuff. they were all replaced. funny how when my boyfriend put tranny fluid into my car he just tried to aim for the hole, but when he needed to refill the fluid in his car, he used a funnel!

the mechanic said the hardest part about that whole thing was trying to find the problem. i guess nothing popped up on the tests. also found out there was more extensive damage that was repaired (she's has a salvage title!) than we were told when we bought it.

but frankly, i don't care because she's back and now i don't have to drive my cousin's 175k ford taurus anymore...that thing is scary!

she's also running cooler now. right at the 1/4 mark. perfecto.

thanks for all your help guys! this is an awesome community of saturnees.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to androckon's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help androckon reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
androckon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 10:59 AM   #9
madpogue
Super Member
madpogue is a splendid one to beholdmadpogue is a splendid one to beholdmadpogue is a splendid one to beholdmadpogue is a splendid one to beholdmadpogue is a splendid one to beholdmadpogue is a splendid one to beholdmadpogue is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 25,414
 

1996 SW2
Default Re: completely wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by androckon
... he just tried to aim for the hole ...
Oh, this one's almost too easy....

Sorry. To better illustrate what happened - follow your spark plug wires backward from the plugs. They lead to the coil packs. The ignition module is behind them. One pack fires #1 and #4, the other fires #2 and #3. The whole thing is mounted (not for functional reasons, just for location) on the transmission. So it would follow that a botched job of adding tranny fluid would result in some spilled on either or both packs; that explains why it affected #2 and #3.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to madpogue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help madpogue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
madpogue is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
catalytic converter hi-tower S-Series Tech 12 10-09-2009 09:10 PM
Clogged Cataytic Converter Jimh64 L-Series Tech 5 08-19-2009 10:37 PM
catalytic converter underthehood S-Series General 13 11-01-2008 10:44 AM
how do you clean a clogged catalytic converter? sc2dohc94 S-Series Tech 4 06-21-2008 02:51 PM
I need a new catalytic converter? cybrsk8r S-Series Tech 4 06-27-2007 03:24 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:23 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.