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Saturn S-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • I have a 1997 Saturn SL1, manual transmission, with 158,000 miles on it. Until recently I've never really had any probmems with it (except I had to replace the shifter cables last year and it drinks oil a lot now) but lately my check engine light has been coming on and sometimes when I put it into 2nd gear, it really loses power (mostly when the air conditioner is on). I took it to Saturn and they said I have a bad EGR and Calibration (P0404), my O2 sensor is slow (P0133), and I need to replace a cracked coolant temp sensor. They want to charge me $440 for all of this and I don't even know what most of it means! Is there any way I can do this myself to save money? I'm a college student and I REALLY don't want to try to pay that much money. Is it serious enough to have to be fixed immediately? :confuse:
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Hello saturnlvr....

    I was a poor college student once...here's what you're going to do:

    1. Replace O2 sensor...p0133 means that your front oxygen sensor is bad...open the hood & look straight down...right behind the fan you'll see something mounted on the exhaust manifold with a wire coming out of it - that's what you need to replace...Autozone has an online manual for S-Series saturns link title
    the sensor should be under $ 50.00

    2. EGR valve - follow this link to learn how to clean the EGR valve - that should fix your EGR issue link title

    3. Coolant temperature sensor - follow this link to learn how to replace the coolant temp sensor (its sometimes called the "ECTS")link title

    By the time you're done you'll probably only be out about $ 100 or less and a little bit of your time...good luck, post back if you need any help...oh and BTW...get used to the drinking oil thing...its part of the Saturn experience... ;)

    John
  • Thanks so much!!! I'll begin tomorrow and I'll post back if I run into any problems! Man that was such a quick response!! I love this forum thing!
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Make sure you post back even if everything goes smoothly... :shades:
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Posts: 36
    I have same car with auto trans--had cracked antifreezsensor--replace it with metal one at Autozone-located on recycling resivoir. takeoff EGR and clean with carb spray replace gasket. -clean throttle body with carb spray -rev engine and spray in .
    I replaced all sensores and still had po404 and p0221-throttle position sensor on.This had been going on for 2yrs-EGR was clogged-setting off false codes. -spray pintle and turn with screwdriver. then push in and out do antifreeze sensor ASAP-car may surge--speeding up Bob Billieux :lemon: :lemon:
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    BTW - coolant temp sensor is NOT located on the surge tank - that's the level sensor...

    The temp sensor is mounted on the right side of the block as you look under the hood...just below the cam cover....
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Posts: 36
    Looks like I goofed on that one. On my car I did not have any temp so I replaced it I got right one by accident I guess Bob B :lemon:
  • rsteelersteele Posts: 1
    What is needed to replace your own muffler? :(
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Posts: 36
    Need two clamps--a good hacksaw metal chisel hammer and wrenches and maybe extension. If you are lucky and saw flush to old one you might have enough pipe left. Mufflers get compressed when you clamp on you cant just pull off. did twice-dont recommend doing yourself -pain in rear Bob B :lemon:
  • cmenniscmennis Posts: 1
    Hi,

    My Saturn is an SC2. It has serious issues and has cost me $ 1000 in repairs in the last 3 weeks (all cooling system related).

    My car has been burning huge quantities of oil
    for a very long time ... I take into a shop and they say "it's a Saturn". That's all fine and well but now there is blue/black smoke billowing from the tail pipe. It is hesitating when I try to give it gas, almost as though it i is deciding whether or not it wants to accept the fuel. And now the dreaded "Service Engine Soon" light has come on and is staying on.

    The car really is not worth the cost of anymore repairs but I cannot get another car any time soon.

    My question is, if I do nothing, how much time or how many miles do you think I might have before it just blows up? Are there any qucick /temporary fixes that don't cost $$$$$$? Do I need to worry about any safety issues other tahn the car dying/stalling out while I'm driving it?

    Please help. I'm afraid to drive it to work in the morning ( a 5 minute drive down a major highway).
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    How many miles?

    Saturn S-Series burn oil...period...there are a couple of ways that owners have been able to minimize the oil burning using Marvel Mystery Oil or Seafoam...do a google search for " mmo soak" to learn more.

    As for hesitating...you need to find out what the check engine light is telling you...go to Autozone, they'll read the codes for free and then post them here...

    If you do nothing to any car that has a problem, it will eventually blow up...get the codes read and get them posted and we'll go from there. The most common issues that light up the check engine light are pretty cheap and easy repairs....
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Posts: 36
    i gfive up. after replacing all sensors and cleaning EGR which was badly carboned up- aftwr 2wks mil light back on after sticking this AM. tps code p0122 Shut off 3 times and engine light off--normal rpm. Time for boneyard. R.billieux :sick: OH and will not start in hot weather till 3rd try :lemon:
  • i was in an accident today some guy hit my back bumper and he scraped the back bumper and chipped some paint how much to repair? i dont need to but a whole new bumper do i its not that big of a deal. . 1997 Saturn sc2
  • 95ttzx95ttzx Posts: 1
    I have had problems with my car for a long time with the transmission, but am just now looking to fix it. I cant push the gas hard when in 1st gear, because if i do it will get "stuck" in first gear and wont shift to 2nd. Something tells me its a sensor, but I dont know what it could be! Please help. If i ever go over 3,000 or so RPMS in ANY gear, it will NOT shift to the next gear. The transmission has no grinds or anything (i dont know if Auto tranny's do), but something tells me its a sensor not telling the transmission "shift stupid!". PLEASE help me. I was going 25mph in 1st gear on a 55mph road today due to the problem. I really need this fixed ASAP!

    Thank you,

    Breece
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Posts: 36
    I would try to clean carbon off EGR valve. And would change auto trans filter and fulid. Pintle on egr has to move up and down or it will set off codes. Is engine light on? if so go to autozone for free test. I would also clean out throttle body. Take off hose going to it and spray carb cleaner in it-crank engine up when spraying. Wipe off with rag after. EGR-take off and spray and make sure pintle is free wipe clean and replace gasket.
  • a2shatoa2shato Posts: 1
    Hello,

    My name is Jackie and I have some questions on what I should do. I have a 1997 Saturn SL1 and have had it for about a year and half. The car has been wonderful, but I have recently had the issue of the service engine soon light coming on. I have regularly had the oil changed and it's not due for another change for another month or so. It doesn't leak anything and I really only have any problems out of it when I am idling at a stop or whenever I have to sit for any period of time.

    I am worried that I might have to take it into the mechanic, but I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue and could help me out. The problem it has is that when idling, the engine heats up and goes far beyond what it normal ranges at and then it becomes noisey and begins to smell like it's overheating. Also, it once revved up a lot when I was beginning to accelerate again.

    Please help me if you know anything about this or have any suggestions that could help point me in the right direction.
  • tdpaul7tdpaul7 Posts: 5
    I have a 94 DOHC SL with auto that will not shift out of first gear. Doesn't matter on RPMs you can run it up or leave it slow but it will not shift.

    Any ideas? Computer has code 26 in it.
  • tdpaul7tdpaul7 Posts: 5
    UPDATE: I replaced EGR valve, EGR Solenoid and Purge Solenoid. Code 26 is gone.

    Car shifts when 1st started (maybe 30 seconds) and then shifts back to 1st and stays there.

    Code is now 11 and codes from transaxle are 22, 23, & 24 (missing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears). I tried the relearning but it didn't help at all.
  • hello.
    i have a 1998 saturn sl2. it was driven to where it was parked for a while. now it wont start.it turns over fine. the pcm fuses keep blowing. the fuel pump and the gas guage do not work . i have checked for broken wires etc.. and have found nothing. also the turn signal fuse keeps blowing. any ideas for me? bad pcm?
    thanks.
  • oreaz12oreaz12 Posts: 4
    P&K,
    SL-1 ,92 stick ses lite comes on with axcel /coasting or down hill.Then at the touch of the throttle ses lite goes out for about the same time//distance as the coast//down hill.. new o2 sensor new egr valve. This after normal temp is reached Did the ALDL
    with the paper clip. Removed the neg. bat. cable after each new piece. On the search for EGR solenoid.????
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