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Old 04-22-2021, 12:51 PM   #1
cujoe_da_man
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Default What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

For an automatic SL1, what's the normal idle speed for park/drive?

I haven't been able to drive my car much since I got it because I'm still waiting for the title to get plates and insurance on it, but I took it out the other day (I live on a private road) and drove it for about five mins. I noticed that the idle RPM's never drop below 1000. Is that normal for this particular car?

Maybe I'm used to my truck which idles lower, but it's a V8, been a looong time since I've had anything with a 4cyl AND a tach :P
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?


900, once it's warm. If it's higher, the ECTS, ECTS connector, or thermostat are prime suspects.
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

Ok, I'll check it again, maybe it was around 900 and I just wasn't looking at it dead on. If it's hitting 1000, I won't feel so bad, it'll be a project for later.
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

650 in D, 750 in N at operating temp.

Cold, or thinking it's cold will be closer to 1200.
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

Well, now that Waiex191 mentions it, I did notice the heat wasn't really HOT, even after driving for a bit, I think I'll check the thermostat. Even if it isn't bad, it's cheap and it's always a benefit to change it
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

What year is this car? If it is OBD2, then using live-data is cheap and easy to do and could quickly tell you if the t-stat (and many other items) are a problem; a lot more practical than just throwing parts at it.

PS: I feel 900 rpm, in gear, is too high for a warm engine; that 650 is more likely to be correct.
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

Update your profile to reflect year and model. It'll help to avoid playing twenty questions. If yours is a 2000 SL (based on your posts), then there are issues to be aware of if the previous owner(s) didn't replace two critical items; the original faulty round nosed coolant sensor and damaged t-stat.

A tell tale indicator of both parts being faulty are less than hot heater but more importantly the temperature gauge hovering over the 1/4 mark when its should be between the 1/4 and 1/2 marks. Another (of many) issue high idling as the pcm doesn't receive correct temperature signals.

There countless threads about almost every S-series cars from '91-'01 with faulty coolant sensors eventually damaging t-stats. Yours may be one of the last with the same issues. The solution, if verified, is replacing both.
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

Mine stayed right about 700 RPM when fully warmed up, from the day it left the showroom until the day I passed it on to someone else.

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Old 04-23-2021, 09:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Update your profile to reflect year and model. It'll help to avoid playing twenty questions. If yours is a 2000 SL (based on your posts), then there are issues to be aware of if the previous owner(s) didn't replace two critical items; the original faulty round nosed coolant sensor and damaged t-stat.

A tell tale indicator of both parts being faulty are less than hot heater but more importantly the temperature gauge hovering over the 1/4 mark when its should be between the 1/4 and 1/2 marks. Another (of many) issue high idling as the pcm doesn't receive correct temperature signals.

There countless threads about almost every S-series cars from '91-'01 with faulty coolant sensors eventually damaging t-stats. Yours may be one of the last with the same issues. The solution, if verified, is replacing both.
I'll get my scanner on it and see what it says. I only just noticed it, so I wasn't really thinking about the RPM's when I got the car.

I just found Richpin's vid about the sensor location, so I'll get a part number and get one after I look at the Live Data on my scanner.

Any tips on what to look for?
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

TP is the main one, it should drop to near-zero when you lift your foot off the throttle pedal. And ECT, it should be in the 180-200F range when the engine is fully warmed up.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

Examine scanner data on a cold engine, again after startup and after a warm-up. With a cold engine, the coolant temperature should be the same or close to outside temps. If the scanner displays temps well below (our above) outside temps, that's your indication of a faulty sensor. The coolant and intake air temperature sensor are the same. The intake air temperature sensor should show outside temps before starting. The two are compared to outside temps before starting. Warm engine temps should be between 185F-200F.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: What is normal idle RPM for an SL1?

Awesome, I'll do that in the near future!

And thanks, Billr, I'll look into that too.

All these parts are cheap enough that I wouldn't feel bad for just changing them out. A 20 year old car can only benefit from new parts if they've never been replaced.
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