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Old 12-18-2002, 12:09 AM   #1
pkuptrk
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Dizzy Terrible gas mileage

I have a 93 sl1.I have givin it a tuneup,new 02 sensor,pcv valve,map sensor.Once it hits half tank, it drops like a rock.I'll get 140 miles to half then from half to empty about 50.No leaks. Is this car f d up or what.What am i missing.It has 95000 miles and doesn't burn a drop of oil.No codes either.
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Old 12-18-2002, 12:23 AM   #2
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Keep in mind the tank only holds 12.5 gallons...Number 1 suspect in poor fuel economy issues that are unresolved by a typical "tune up" is the PCM ECTS (Engine Coolant Temp. Sensor) The PCM uses this sensor to set the air/fuel mixtures based on engine temp. Bad data from the sensor equals bad fuel mix equals bad economy. It's the TWO wire sensor screwed into the engine located just below where the upper radiator hose attaches to the head on the driver's side of the engine. About a $10 +/- part.
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Old 12-18-2002, 12:33 AM   #3
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I have a similar problem. The fuel sensor that sits on the tank is notorious for failing. I've decided to leave this sensor in place, as it's quite a pain to drop the tank and change it out.

My SL2 gets about 150 miles in its first half and then drops like a rock. Sometimes it will fluctuate up and down too. Next time you fill up, take notice to how much it takes to fill your tank. If the number doesn't correspond to your guage, you may have a similar problem.
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Old 12-18-2002, 01:45 AM   #4
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2001 SW2
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The sending units in both of my saturns ('93SL2 and '94SC1) work just about the same. From "F" to 1/2, goes down slowly. From 1/2 to 1/4, races down, and then from 1/4 to "E" takes forever!). Sometimes if the fuel gauge is near "E" and I take a sharp turn, it's back on 1/4 for a good while. I can never get more than 9 gallons when the needle is on "E", so I know the gauge is inaccurate...
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Old 12-18-2002, 02:57 PM   #5
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How many miles do you get per tank? My 94' SL2 will get something like 200 miles for the first half, then only about 132 for the second half. But it comes out to 32 mpg overall since it only takes 10 gallons to fill it up.
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:53 PM   #6
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Don't trust the Fuel gauge on most 1st Generation Saturn. I found they have a tendency to go south in high mileage. (Mine is doing the same act too, and it's very EXPENSIVE to replace that stupid in-tank unit!)

When your needle points half mark, go fill up the tank right away and record the miles driven. x2 the miles to give you an approximate totally driving range for a full tank next time. NEVER stretch that calculated miles too much, always keep your tank full though.
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Old 01-03-2003, 07:26 PM   #7
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Is this that sensor you guys were talking about? SPS has it in Service Parts for $15.16. I love that site.....

http://www.spswebpage.com/servicepar...699f12136e5653

I'm having the same problem. I cleaned out the throttle body, and no affect. It's really cold, but it was cold before I started getting crappy mileage. I have the same problem, gauge moves slowly until 1/2 (about 150 on the trip odo) and then plummets.
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:05 PM   #8
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Actually, that looks to be the other temp sensor. You want the TWO wire sensor that sits below the one you listed the link to. The upper one controls data to the gauges, if I remember correctly.
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:11 PM   #9
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So it's this one:

http://www.spswebpage.com/servicepar...6feb98c2ad9bfe

SPS calls it the "Brown Temperature Sensor for all 91-02 cars - coolant, air temp, and trans temp (for use in lower port of all 91-02 cylinder heads)"

I just want to be absolutely sure before I spend any money....I'm kind of short on it now. Also, does this thing just unplug from the wire and screw in, or is it more complicated?
...
'00 SL2m- DD, 186K miles
'05 Honda CR-V- wife's DD and my upright bass hauler
'84 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk- toy
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:13 PM   #10
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I know my gas mileage varies by the summer and winter blends of gas we get here in the northeast, plus the weather conditions i.e. it takes more fuel to start it and run it until it warms up during the winter months. My '95 SW2 generally sees 32-33mpg this time of year, but during the summer months I regularly get 37-38mpg, and on a couple of occassions the ol' war wagon has topped 40mpg. Absolute best so far has been 41.6. I always keep an eye on the gas gauge vs the trip odometer to see how it does on gas, I usually gas up when it's between 1/4 and 1/2 since I put so many miles on it...sure don't want to have to gas it up in the middle of a snowstorm!
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:17 PM   #11
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Yes, that is the right one. Notice that it's interchangable with the intake sensor.

The ECTS actually threads into the head.
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Craig
Absolute best so far has been 41.6.
:o:

Holy crap, man! You must have babied that car more than a Ferrari! I'm envious. I hate spending $12 every 10-12 days for gas because my car gets crappy mileage. And thanks a lot, Sleeper!
...
'00 SL2m- DD, 186K miles
'05 Honda CR-V- wife's DD and my upright bass hauler
'84 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk- toy
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Old 01-03-2003, 08:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twin_Cam
So it's this one:

http://www.spswebpage.com/servicepar...6feb98c2ad9bfe

SPS calls it the "Brown Temperature Sensor for all 91-02 cars - coolant, air temp, and trans temp (for use in lower port of all 91-02 cylinder heads)"

I just want to be absolutely sure before I spend any money....I'm kind of short on it now. Also, does this thing just unplug from the wire and screw in, or is it more complicated?
Yes, all that you have to do is pop off the electrical connector to the coolant temperature sensor and unscrew the sensor with a deep socket. Warning! Some coolant will squirt out! So you might want to do this with the coolant drained. The air intake will probably be in the way so you'll want to move that away beforehand. The air filter box is held on by three screws and the intake clamps on to the throttle body.

The new sensor will have some sort of "Lock-Tite" stuff on the threads. Don't overtighten the new sensor! You might want to use a 1/4 inch drive socket wrench and stop turning as soon as it feels snug. I don't know what the torque rating is for the sensor but it is probably so little that the units are in inch-pounds.
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Old 01-03-2003, 11:01 PM   #14
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A tip for changing the sensor without a big mess.

1) Take off the coolant overflow pressure cap to relieve the pressure in the cooling system. This bleeds the pressure off so coolant is not forced out when you pull the sensor.

2) Put the cap back on. This eliminates a vent to the cooling system and will help hold the coolant in.

3) You now can change the sensor with only a small loss of coolant if you are reasonably coordinated. Make sure you have the new sensor available to stick in the hole when the old one is screwed out.

4) I think the sensor requires a 13MM deep socket.

5) The last time I installed one, the sensor came with some sealant on the threads.
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Old 01-04-2003, 11:18 AM   #15
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I have the Haynes manual, and they said to put Teflon tape on the threads......which sounds reasonable to me. Thanks for all the help, guys!
...
'00 SL2m- DD, 186K miles
'05 Honda CR-V- wife's DD and my upright bass hauler
'84 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk- toy
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Old 01-08-2003, 10:32 PM   #16
geeminator
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Default Terrible gas mileage

Will this fix also work w/my 97 SL2 DOHC?...I get lousy mileage as well...I average 200 miles per tank...best I got was 300 when driving to NYC from Norfolk, VA
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Old 01-08-2003, 11:04 PM   #17
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I too have a '97 SL2 and am beginning to suspect I'm in the same boat.I just bought the car used and have'nt gone through my first tank of gas yet,but I'll report back with results...
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Old 01-09-2003, 12:51 AM   #18
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Your driving habits can certainly affect the gas mileage. A lead foot will bring you down under 300mi/tank for sure. As far as the ECTS sensor goes, your 97s use a single sensor that sends info to both the PCM and gauges. Make sure you get the right one.
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Old 01-09-2003, 02:12 AM   #19
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I have a 2001 SL2 with Auto trans and i think i get crappy milage too but i also have a lead foot sometimes. I usualy only get about 250 miles a tank.
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Old 01-09-2003, 02:12 AM   #20
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I've got a 93 SL1 too. Don't trust your guage. I bought my car used a coulpe years ago and the gas guage has never worked. I get about 30 city and about 35 Hwy and have 157,000 miles. That equates to between 350 and 400 miles per tank.

What I'd do to make sure it's just the guage: reset your trip meter the next time you fill up....and don't squeeze off to the next 25 cents....just to where the pump stops. When it hits 150, fill it up again at the same station and same pump if possible. And see how many gallons it took to get you to the 150. Then divide the 150 (or whatever the mileage says) by how many gallons the pump says. That will give you your average fuel economy for how you drive. Multiply that by 12.1 gallons (1st gen saturns have 12.1 gallon tanks I think), which will give you your range per tank. I use my trip meter as my fuel guage and fill up at about 300 miles, which depending on my driving is about 10 gallons of gas used.

Try that. If you find you truely are getting 15-20 mpg, check the fuel system......filter and injectors mostly. then check your spark plugs and wires, then check the air filter, air box, and associated ducting.
...
Jeff Parham
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2000 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro
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