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Old 08-12-2014, 03:39 PM   #1
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Question 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

Hi. I bought a used 2002 saturn sl2 a month ago. The check engine light was on since I bought it so I went to get it checked out. I got these codes: p0133, p0113, p0341, and p0442.
Some things I have noticed about the vehicle since I've had it are:
1) It can sometimes be difficult to turn the key to start the car, it just won't turn. I've become used to it and can usually turn it on the first try 95% of the time. Also, sometimes the car won't "lock" (when the steering wheel locks) when I turn it off, but if I tap the ignition it locks.
2) Sometimes the "low traction" light comes on when I'm driving, i'm usually on 35/45mph roads. When this happens the wheels lose power as a safety feature. There is a traction button that is automatically on when the car is turned on and if I press it off then the wheels don't lose power.
3) When on the highway (55mph-ish) sometimes it is hard to get the car up to speed. I will press the gas petal down and the rpm's will get higher but the mph will not increase unless I release the gas for a few seconds and kind of gradually get it back up to speed.

I want to get an idea of what might be wrong with the car, I will take it to a mechanic soon but I want some input on the problem(s) from different people.
Any ideas are welcome! Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:24 PM   #2
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2001 SL1
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

From my experience the key not turning has to do with the key being worn out. The key that came with my car was so worn out that it did that (or at least that is what I attribute it to). I simply just had copies made and those work much better. Sometimes they won't turn either so I flip the key to the other side and it works first try. I believe it is just a combination of the ignition cylinder and key being worn in.
The problem with the locking may be not turning the key ALL the way back towards the left when you are turning it off. You should see a little "LOCK" label next to the ignition cylinder. If the key position is between there and "ACC" then the car itself is not locked and neither is the ignition. Thus it can actually be started by shoving a screwdriver or some other key in there and turning it.

Point 2, sounds like some kind of sensor is getting messed up in the traction control system. I'd look into those.

I looked those codes up in my Haynes manual for the S-Series:
P0442 is one that comes on in the winter time for me and leaves by spring for the past 2 years. It means there's a medium size leak in the EVAP system. EVAP system is how unspent fumes from the engine get displaced back to the gas tank so the engine runs a bit greener. I got annoyed earlier this year with it and just wiggled some hoses all around trying to find it. I turned the car back on and the light went off.

P0133 - "Upstream oxygen sensor response slower than minimum required switching frequency" This sounds like a wire or the sensor itself.

P0113 - "Intake air temperature sensor input above maximum acceptable range" Sounds like it might be a similar problem to the previous one.

P0341 - My manual for some reason didn't have this one but it appears to be some sort of problem with the camshaft position sensor.

I would attribute the third point you posted to being a combination of the above. Possibly just need a tune-up with some new spark plugs, coolant flush, oil change, air filter (if its really bad), or transmission fluid flush.

Hope that all helps!
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

If your mechanic doesn't drive one of these cars/his lot doesn't always have at least one of them in it, do yourself a big favor(and save $!), and search those codes on this forum.
Example: we bought a 10yo, 100k SW2 for $600 because the owner's mechanic thought it had a blown headgasket: he didn't know Saturns. After some searching and troubleshooting, I replaced a $25 fan motor. Still running 50k later.
Another: I put Bosch Platinum spark plugs in a Saturn because they worked well in my Subarus & VWs. Ran like crap! Searched here and found that plain copper(and cheaper!) plugs were what these cars like.
So, check your oil often, change your trans fluid every 30k, and smile as you pass by all those gas stations.

"I'm fine with the laws[of gravity]. It's the harsh minimum sentencing guidelines I'm having an issue with." -Darby Conley
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

Thank you connorwm and PNO TECH for all the input!

I will definitely check up on what kind of parts go together well with my Saturn! I never thought about knowing which specific parts go well with my car.

Also, the P0341 does refer to the cam position sensor, but my specific car doesn't actually HAVE that part in it, which may be why you couldn't find it in your manual? I've been researching it and asking people and most of them say I should get the spark plug/wires changed and that should help.

And my key is pretty worn so I'll probably get it re-made.

I think she just needs a tune-up most of all. Thanks again
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

Originally Posted by Steffcan View Post

And my key is pretty worn so I'll probably get it re-made.
I had similar issues with my ignition cylinder and copied keys didn't work. I just popped the cylinder out and ground off the fins and now it works every time. This also allows you to turn it with anything flat, like a screwdriver, etc, but my door still locks and I feel comfortable that there aren't too many Saturn thieves around.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:25 PM   #6
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2002 SL1
Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

Most of the time the lock cylinder acting up is due to a worn key or the brass filings from the key gumming up the lock cylinder mechanism, You can try a new key from the GM garage and it wouldnt hurt to remove the lock cylinder and clean it out manually, I would do a tune up using the OEM NGK plugs and a decent set of plug wires, The O2 sensor code could be a vacumm leak or the sensor itself is getting tired.
2015 Subaru Forester Limited "Prinny"
2000 SW2 Still Running Strong- 160K Traded In
2002 SL1 Still has Its Training Wheels on at 88K Traded In

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Old 10-06-2014, 11:21 PM   #7
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Dizzy Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

Hi everyone,

I also had a problem with the P0341 code. Unfortunately I snapped one of the bolts. From what I have read so far is it needs to be grounded by these bolts. Is there any way to fix this problem without extracting the broken bolt? I guess I can try if nothing else is possible.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2002 Saturn SL2 help?

Being a new saturn owner I'd suggest you start here

Welcome aboard.

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check engine light, help please, p0341, s-series, saturn sl2

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