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Old 11-05-2002, 09:32 PM   #1
ZuGG
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Default odd engine reaction during acceleration

Hello I have a 1993 SL2 with DOHC with 122000 miles on it & a 5spd my brakes are toast but I am getting those fixed on Friday. However, I have another question

When I stop what is the idle supposed to be at approx. I have never really noticed before, & when I start moving the engine kind of lags until I get up to about 2500 rpmís then its fine it even gains power I can feel it burst ahead as it normally should but then I have to stop again & the idle seems a little low, any ideas? I have read the posts about the ECTS & that seems kind of like what my car is doing except I havenít really driven it enough to tell if it is running in open or closed loop not that I could anyway!

If you need any more information I will provide what I can just thought I would get some ideas here before I take it in.
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Old 11-05-2002, 10:09 PM   #2
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Make sure that the basic tune up stuffis good befor eyou start to go looking for other stuff. If you haven't done a tune up on it in while check the plugs, wires, coils, filters. If all this is ok then start thinking about other things. Of course while you're in there checking things out keeep an eye open on the cool sensor for signs of coolant leakage or damage. Normal idle should be in the 700 to 900 RPM area.
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Old 11-05-2002, 10:17 PM   #3
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You can easily tell if the engine is running in open / closed loop by doing the following:

Jumper the Upmost / Right terminals of the ALDL connection (below and left of the hood release).

Get an unwound paperclip and insert it into the topmost right pins. Start the car and you will notice the SES light start flashing.

If the light is flashing about 2 times per second, the system is running in open loop. If it flashes irregularly about once per second (or less) the PCM is in closed loop mode.

This is called field-test mode, and can be done in 1995 and older Saturns.

Normal idle should be 600-1.2K (depending on whether engine is hot / cold). Mine normally idles (with engine fullly warmed up) at about 650rpm. When cold it is around 1 - 1.2K.

If I were you, I'd get a Chiltons (or Haynes) manual. It will describe the process of retrieving SES codes / field test / repairs, mantainance / etc. You will gain a lot of information from it for only 15$ or so.

From your description, it sounds to me like a dirty throttle body, or bad EGR valve. Try cleaning the throttle body (take the intake pipe off, and spray it down good with "throttle body cleaner".
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Old 11-15-2002, 04:10 PM   #4
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Post idle speed

my '93 idles at 1400-1500 cold and about 1000warm.
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Old 11-17-2002, 12:36 PM   #5
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Aside from the other items mentioned, you probably need to clean the throttle body and ports/sensors connected. Check pcv hose and others for small cracks that lead jto vac. leaks. Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2002, 02:17 PM   #6
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Sounds like the ECTS to me. Does your car overheat in traffic or if you leave the car at idle. Does your idle vary? How's your gas mileage?
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Old 11-17-2002, 07:32 PM   #7
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Actually yes it does. If I leave my car at idle the heat rises quite a bit but then goes down when I start moving again, also just noticed that the temp light comes on for absolutely no reason (temps not high or just started the car). The gas mileage is also really bad now that you mention I cant really say till I put a full tank thru it but is defiantly not as good as it used to be. Thanx for the all input on this I really appreciate it.

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Old 11-17-2002, 10:55 PM   #8
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The sensor is about $15 and should take less than 1/2 hour to install. It should make you trouble free (keeping fingers crossed) in no time.
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Old 11-18-2002, 04:25 PM   #9
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Post temp

When I was learning to drive a manual going up and down the driveway at low RPM and low speed, the temp gauge indicated just a hair before the red zone and then I'd shut it off. I dunno if it's normal, and I haven't taken it for any long drives, but it cools down in a hurry once it hits 35mph or more.
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Old 11-19-2002, 11:19 AM   #10
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Would definitely look at cleaning throttle body AND replacing ECTS. Not expensive. As far as the needle getting a hair over the red, something definitely wrong there. Many possibilities here: check fluid level, rad flush, check for leaks, ... . I tow a trialer with 5 people in my '92 SL2 with air con on during the summer and my engine takes a beating but never went over the red. Does your fan turn on? I ask because you mentioned that the temp goes down as you drive. That is because air is circulating in and around the rad. Check if the fan goes on when needle approaches the red. If not, could be fan motor, connections, sensor or relay. Also, clean out the rad using a garden hose at moderate pressure. I am sure that this can be easily resolved. Just make sure you do not overheat!!!
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Old 11-19-2002, 04:27 PM   #11
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Post fan

I haven't seen or heard the fan run unless i turn on the A/C, or turn the AC on and quickly shut it off again. This is true even when the needle was getting close to the red zone:o:
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Old 11-19-2002, 11:37 PM   #12
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Again, if your ECTS is bad, the fan will not turn on. The reason being, the sensor is not telling the computer that the engine needs the fan turned on. I would put money on the sensor being the culprit. Time to go shopping
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Old 11-21-2002, 05:03 PM   #13
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Question ECTS

What's an ECTS? Is that the little black box that plugs in among the fuses at the underhood fuse panel?

Also...is there a way I could clean the TB without removing it? It's not nice to work on cars this time of year in Michigan. (snowing right now)
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Old 11-21-2002, 05:31 PM   #14
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The ECTS is the engine coolant temperature sensor. With your 93', there is only one...with two wires. 96' and later had two sensors. There are a few threads explaining removal and installation of this part. It shouldn't be too difficult for you to do in your driveway.

As far as the TB is concerned, I would be careful in trying to clean it still attached. You don't want carb cleaner or other agents blowing past your plate. A little on a clean cloth might be a better direction to go but it won't be as thorough. You should be able to tell whether your TB needs to be clean by looking through the one end.
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Old 11-22-2002, 05:10 PM   #15
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Dizzy eek!

I looked in my TB and there's alot of oil residue in the bottom of it... I'll clean it with a rag and some cleaner, then in the spring I'll do a better job with it. Thanks much
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