SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-05-2014, 12:23 PM   #1
starhawk
New Member
starhawk is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Default 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

Hello! I'm new here, forgive me.

I don't drive, and I know computers the way you folks know Saturns. I do *not* know cars (Saturns or otherwise) really at all. I have a lot of theory in my head but that's about it -- I can tell you approximately how a two-cycle engine works and why it pollutes more than a four-cycle, but I have no idea what a head gasket looks like or what it's made of.

So I'm actually asking about my mother's car. Saturn SW2 wagon, automatic trans, ABS. It's the dark blue color, quite pretty except for the pollen that sticks to it a bit better than I'd like oh well, looks aren't everything! We got it used with IIRC 10k miles on it some years ago, and I think we paid about a dollar a mile. We were dang lucky! (For the record it replaced a nearly immortal 91 Escort -- the only way that car got killed was that someone ran it with a busted water pump, and popped the block. We couldn't afford to fix it, so off it went.)

Mom is disabled now, and drives when she can, which isn't often. Last time was Oct 2013. Car's been sitting in the driveway since (we do not have a garage). We're going to take it to a local mostly-trusted service center hopefully in the next couple weeks, but Mom knows less than I do and I don't want to even risk them taking her for a ride.

I've already got a short list of issues to have them look at. The battery won't hold a charge (it's been jumped and storage-discharged a few times too many, I think), and the ignition switch won't let go of the key unless you jiggle the shifter in park -- once you hear a click it's good. It's historically had an issue where it won't back up smoothly (it hesitates, then you pump the gas and it jumps back). It struggles on hills a little*, but I think that's 'cause it's a four-banger and not a six. Idles slightly roughly. Hatch at the back has a small leak. The fob's battery died a while back (I probably need to replace it again) and I never re-paired it with the car. That's fortunately about it.

*About hills -- we live smack in the middle of NC, so the hills are fairly shallow compared to eg the side of a mountain, where I fully expect that it'd stall and die if not in low gear!

...so the question is...

Should I strike anything off that list, and what else should I have the place check? I'd like to keep costs down as I can -- I know mechanics are dreadfully expensive, so this is relative -- but I'm also not comfortable at my level of knowledge (i.e. severely lacking) doing very much myself. I know how to check the oil, but that's basically it!
starhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 07-05-2014, 01:58 PM   #2
toggenburg
Master Member
toggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud oftoggenburg has much to be proud of
 
toggenburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Bedford, Virginia. Born once? Die twice. ------ Born twice? Die once.
Posts: 3,536

2001 SL1
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

You yourself don't drive and your mom does not seem to drive, so are you fixing the wagon up to sell, or keep for yourselves?
toggenburg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 01:59 PM   #3
Pitcher
Master Member
Pitcher has a spectacular aura aboutPitcher has a spectacular aura aboutPitcher has a spectacular aura about
 
Pitcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 2,739

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

Welcome!!

Well, get the Battery for sure.

A few things:

- Check the brakes.

- Did anyone put gas stabilizer in it before it sat? 6 months isn't too bad, but may run better with stabilized gas.

- Look up & around for mice or birds nests and remove them.

- Look at the air filter, tube & box for mice nests too.

- Check the level of the oil & fill if not on the top line.

- If the oil is "Black", drain it out fill with quality oil & install a quality oil filter.

- Check the air pressure in the tires as well.


That should be a good start until you drive it to find out if it needs anything else.

Let us know what you find!
...
Proud Owner of an Invincible '98 SC2 Rare "Red Hot" 5-Speed.
Castrol Edge EP + M1 Ext Perf. Oil Filter.

Owned 4 other S-Series.
Pitcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 02:08 PM   #4
starhawk
New Member
starhawk is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

No gas stabilizer. (I'm not really even sure what that is...) This was not a planned circumstance!

Two of the tires were flat but my father helped me put ~25psi in each. Front passenger and rear driver.

I'm mostly looking for what to have the service center check -- I'd like to get everything in one shot. I'm not confident in my ability to do any maintenance at this time.

EDIT: @toggenburg -- Sorry, didn't see your post at first. She can drive, just not very often. Her disability is more of an energy/exhaustive nature rather than eg missing limbs. So we're getting the car in driveable shape for her, and hopefully she'll make it out again before another six months!
starhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 04:59 PM   #5
mattwithcats
Senior Member
mattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,764

2002 SL2
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

First, use a trickle charger to keep the battery alive.
I like either the 800 milliamperes waterproof one from Battery Tender...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...w_bottom_links
Or a 1.5 watt solar charger, usually under $20...
http://m.harborfreight.com/15-watt-s...not%20provided

Cut the spade terminal ("O") on the Battery Tender device into a "C" to make it fit between the car battery and the cables.

Second, one ounce of Marine (blue) Sta-Bil to begin with, then half an ounce per ten gallon fill up...
...
2002 Silver SL2, manual, 5th gear swap (.605), 80,000 miles, black badges,
205/60R15 "H" rated tires, 5mm spacers rear...
Pennzoil Maximum Power 0W-30, Champion COS3600...
NGK BKR6E-11 spark plugs
mattwithcats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 05:22 PM   #6
starhawk
New Member
starhawk is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

Both of those are very expensive for us.

We live on about $2k/mo which is her disability (and, sadly, mine as well -- although my stuff is all in my head, lol).

I'm building an SLA trickle-charger for another project, as I'm an electronics hobbyist as well; it will output 12v @ 0.3a... IIRC lead acid batteries aren't all that different... would my homebrew charger work for this as well?

...actually, I have a 12v 8.5aH SLA as well, that is one of two SLA's I'll be charging with that homebrew charger. Could I use it as an emergency start battery for the SW2? I don't know how many amps that starter pulls, but the dead-level maximum that this particular SLA can put out without permanent damage is 127.5a for five seconds.
starhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 06:59 PM   #7
OldNuc
Super Member
OldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond reputeOldNuc has a reputation beyond repute
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,694
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

When ready to start it up do the following:
Get battery fully charged.
Then prime oil and fuel system.
If the engine had fresh oil when stored you can skip the oil and filter change step. You should add as much fresh premium gas as you can before this start to deal with 6mo old gas.

To prime the oil system on a Saturn engine after a complete overhaul, head replacement, timing chain replacement or long term storage perform the following steps.
-Fill crankcase with 4 1/2 quarts of fresh new 5w-30 oil if this is the initial fill following a rebuild otherwise use 4 quarts of oil. Use a decent quality name brand oil.
-Fill a squirt pistol type oiler with the same oil.
-Squirt oil into the square port on the right side of the filter base do this several times until you can not get more oil to stay in it. This will take 4 to 6 ounces of oil.
-Fill the new oil filter a bit more than 1/2 full and screw it in place.
-Remove the PCM B fuse from the UHJB (under hood fuse box). This will prevent the fuel pump and injectors from operating while priming.
-Remove spark plugs if installed.
-Place 1 squirt of 5w-30 oil in each cylinder.
-Turn key to crank and crank engine with the starter until the oil pressure light goes out. This may take several 20-30 second runs of the starter.
-Release key when the oil pressure light goes off.
-Turn key to crank and crank engine again until oil pressure light goes out. Repeat 2 times.
-Replace spark plugs.
-Replace PCM B fuse.
-Prime fuel system by turning key to on but not crank and wait until pump stops, turn key to off, wait 30 seconds. Repeat 2 times.
-Start engine.
OldNuc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 08:12 PM   #8
mattwithcats
Senior Member
mattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,764

2002 SL2
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

I left my 98 SL2 for 20 months while on deployment. Started right up, drove her home.

First, before storing, feel the radiator hoses, if soft or cracking, replace.
Radiator fluid should be 50/50 or stronger...
Put a bottle of gas line antifreeze in the windshield washer tank.
Sta-Bil Marine (blue) in the gas tank, 1 ounce...

Change the oil, use a full synthetic 5W-30. NAPA has house brand oil on sale, July 2014, for $3.50 a quart. Advanced Auto has yellow can Purolator 20195 oil filters.

Remove the spark plugs, put a tablespoon or two of fresh oil down each hole, replace plugs.

Solar charger on the dash, $14.95.

Cinderblocks (or whatever you have) under the frame, get the pressure off the wheels.

WD-40 the brake rotors and drums. Drums will require squirting from the back side. Make sure your easy on the brakes until this wears off...

Leave the emergency brake off, couple of boxes rat poison and baking soda on the floorboards...
...
2002 Silver SL2, manual, 5th gear swap (.605), 80,000 miles, black badges,
205/60R15 "H" rated tires, 5mm spacers rear...
Pennzoil Maximum Power 0W-30, Champion COS3600...
NGK BKR6E-11 spark plugs

Last edited by mattwithcats; 07-05-2014 at 08:21 PM.
mattwithcats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
starhawk
New Member
starhawk is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

OK, I'm a little confused.

It's *been* stored.

I'm asking what the service center should check, having stored it unexpectedly, to make sure it's good to go and in fairly good condition overall.

I really can't be expected to do much myself. I have very little knowledge (at best!) when it comes to cars.
starhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 10:31 PM   #10
mattwithcats
Senior Member
mattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the roughmattwithcats is a jewel in the rough
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,764

2002 SL2
Default Re: 98 SW2, sitting for six months, what to check?

Start at the bottom, work your way up...
Or go from the top down, either way...

Brakes, rusted rotors and drums.
Mild rust will work it's way off, major rust turn or replace drums/ rotors.
If rear drum, self adjuster should move easily. Put anti-seize on backing plate points.
Inflate tires, check for roundness and ease of spin.
Radiator, soft hoses, expansion tank leaking. Also washer tank leaking.
Air filter, remove, look for uninvited guests, replace.
Change oil and filter.
Look for wasp nests behind side mirrors.
Check belt, loose or cracking.
Check ATF/ manual tranny fluid level, power steering, brake fluid too.
Battery may just be low in water, carefully remove caps, look. Use distilled water to fill.
Wiper blades, lights (turn, parking, headlights)
Check parking brake...

Fire it up, drive it till nearly empty, then put fresh gas in.

Saturn's will generally make loud, annoying noises if something is wrong.
...
2002 Silver SL2, manual, 5th gear swap (.605), 80,000 miles, black badges,
205/60R15 "H" rated tires, 5mm spacers rear...
Pennzoil Maximum Power 0W-30, Champion COS3600...
NGK BKR6E-11 spark plugs
mattwithcats is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


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
Car left me sitting the other day. dsquare86 S-Series Tech 5 06-29-2012 09:38 AM
2001 Sl2, sitting for months, wont start. miranda S-Series Tech 1 03-28-2012 12:29 AM
Sitting sl2 asillynert S-Series Tech 4 07-05-2011 11:03 PM
Things to check on a car that's been sitting for a while? triple_el S-Series Tech 5 10-07-2008 06:42 PM
auto trans: shifter is stiff after sitting a few months DJboozeAlot S-Series General 7 08-14-2007 09:15 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:53 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.