1991 Saturn S-Series: Fuel System

ziphnabziphnab Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Saturn
I have a Saturn 1991-1992 4 Cyl. twin cam 16 valve 1.9 liter. Having a problem starting the engine. Acts like it is flooding out and you have to feather the throttle when trying to pull out in order to keep the engine running. You also have to depress the throttle to the floor in order to get it to start each time you get in the car. any suggestions?


  • cob05cob05 Member Posts: 2
    First, I'd try a fuel injector cleaner. It's 3-4 dollars and you can buy it anywhere they sell car parts.
  • ziphnabziphnab Member Posts: 4
    Thanks hadn't thopught of that..Was thinking it might be a sensor or something...
  • ice_dragonice_dragon Member Posts: 2
    :sick: I have an 01 SC2 that was doing something similar. If it starts getting worse, dies whenever you come to a stop, and doesn't do anything when you rev the engine, it might be the same problem I have. I just found out today that my coolant temp sensor is cracked, which corroded the connector. So with parts and the diagnostics fee alone, I'm lookin at $140 to fix it.
  • ziphnabziphnab Member Posts: 4
    We'll it finally died today(so to speak). You can start the engine, but it doesn't try to move when the gas pedal is pressed. Guess I'll see what the boys at the auto shop can find. Thanks for your help :confuse:
  • jaritarsjaritars Member Posts: 3
    Hi there. I have a 96 SL2 Saturn. I have to floor the gas pedal in order to start the car. Then the car shudders pretty badly for a little bit and then I have to let off the gas pedal slowly until the throttle can regulate itself. After that the car drives like a charm. It has a very slight hesitation when you floor it from dead stop, but it is an older car with 160000 miles :) Once it's been running, it doesn't cut out or anything. I tried injector cleaner, no luck. Just curious if anyone has any ideas at all? Thanks.
  • a225505a225505 Member Posts: 1
    Have you tried replacing the spark plugs? It sounds like you need a tune up. I would replace the plugs with platinum or iridium ones. They should last 100K miles. You should also inspect the wires for wear and if needed, replace them as well.
  • jaritarsjaritars Member Posts: 3
    No, i havent tried replacing them yet. I had thought about the fuel filter, and I thought it would be more consistant if it was a plug problem, but now that you mention it, i bet you are right. I think I will do that this weekend.

    Should I do the fuel filter also??

    Thanks so much for your input. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it!!
  • ziphnabziphnab Member Posts: 4
    Appericate all the help.. found out it was the oxygen sensor. replaced it and every thing is fine
  • charlier3355charlier3355 Member Posts: 7
    Hi quick question ... Did the check engine light ever come on to indicate you had a problem with the oxygen sensor.
    I'm going through a similar problem but my check engine light never came on.

  • jaritarsjaritars Member Posts: 3
    My check engine never came on. I changed the fuel filter, the spark plugs, no change. Then i realized my temperature gauge was acting a bit off, so I started checking sensors.

    My whole problem was caused by the coolant temperature sensor. $8.00 part, 5 min installation.
  • abresselabressel Member Posts: 1
    I recently bought a used 1997 Saturn SW2 and it has some of the same problems I've just read here. It sometimes gives me a hard time starting up (although it always does) and sometimes jumps a bit when I first press the gas. Nothing showed up in my last tune up and I guess I'm not too concerned about that yet.
    My real problem is that I seem to be getting terrible city gas mileage. I'm supposed to get something like 26 mpg and I'm getting about 17 mpg! Any thoughts on what might be causing this?
  • avw72avw72 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 SL2 with 153000 on it. Just recently the "low fuel" light will come on and the gas gauge will drop below empty and then reset back to where it was before. The tank is half full when this happens. Could this also be linked to the coolant temp. sensor? Thanks for any help :confuse:
  • casualkcasualk Member Posts: 4
  • 92saturnsl192saturnsl1 Member Posts: 3
    My car studders and cuts off,the rpms go up and down as if getting something out of system,it will idle high for a second then return to normal,it drives great at times,I've replaced the fuel filter,spark plugs and wires oil and air filters,I've cleaned and checked the coils,I've added fuel injection cleaner and gas treament and lucas' oil and engine treatment,can someone help me figure out what's wrong,is it maybe a injector,a sensor,or do I need to replace my coil pack altogether,and when it stall and I carnk it back up,it kicks some white smoke out the muffler but I can't quite place the smell,and my engine runs hot while idling,and returns to normal once I move,oh and get this,it passed inspection with flying colors 4 days ago,help before I go crazy
  • thomas4g63thomas4g63 Member Posts: 2
    my sc2 i just baught the fuel gage dosnt work on it i checked all the fuses what else could it be
    thank you for you time guys i know its a dumb question
  • jstokelyjstokely Member Posts: 1
    Did you ever find out what the problem was with the low fuel light? Your answer might help me troubleshoot a problem. Thanks, Joe
  • 92saturnsl192saturnsl1 Member Posts: 3
    Not even a week ago I posted a ad about my 92 saturn sl1 sohc,I had a problem that I think alot of others did too...what I am about to tell you will save every owner with same year and model,look up the year bracket to see if this applies to your model that you'd benefit from.now I'm the second owner,I bought it a month ago for 500 and also 154k on the engine,prior to my purchase of this car,the former owner of the car informed me that it sat in his yard for a year,so you can imagine,the car ran great but it would put during moving,stopped,or at a light,it would stall intermitantly,and I replaced the fuel filter thinking it had water in the tank and it ran thru the system,no change,then I thought my spark was weak so I changed all plugs and wires,oil and air filters,the engine performance did increase from sluggish to haulin [non-permissible content removed],I was shocked! However it did not stop the putting.ok now I'm worried cuz I didn't have a clue,so after talking it over with a few mechanics,logging onto saturn.com,autozone.com,I am telling you,these sites saved me 1,500 in labor,with all 3 sources of info I knew that i had to take matters in my own hands.you don't have to buy the saturn repair manual like I did,autozone.com kills the book on all levels,user friendly.so I went over my problems in the book,I knew it was clogged somewherejust where and how's it effecting my acceleration?I did buy a volt meter for 7 bucks,the investment paid for itself tenfold,the book and website tell you to check every major electrical sensor and unit,so it eliminates having to guess,if the said units volts don't meet specifications,replace it..except all my engine components were good,so I was puzzled,I plugged it up to a computer OBD and it gave me the old codes saying my throttle body intake was too lean,IAC valve low output,idle air control valve,ERG vavle,engine return gas valve,PCM/tc = your cars computer,then it gave me 3 new codes,2 of which I took care of,but the PCM/tc remained,I was bombed out thinking wow I bought a lemon but before I would think negative about the man I bought it from,I compared the info that I now knew to the codes on my saturn repair manual,to the autizone website I had developed a new blueprint,I just read and visualized how the system generated the things that were now my problems,I bought carburator cleaner,and non flammable parts spray,by the way you can spray it on wires too,I worked great in preparing the engine for my inspection,after removing the air flow system I took off the housing to show the throttle body,when I tested the voltage on the IAC idle air control valve and it was on the money,I thought I may have to replace it due to rough idling,high engine revs,and stalling,but no,upon checking the coonector it looked like somebody put gum in it,a handful,and I am such a rookie I never knew the throttle body wasn't copper or penny like,I just tap sprayed around it and wouldn't you know it looked like grey/chromish,I twisted the throttle with my hand to turn the throttle as if to push your foot on the gas,sprayed down there a bit,be careful to hold the throttle open when you spray or it will fly back in youe eyes,the body on the throttle is only 2 inches deep,not a lot so be careful,remember,tap spray,don't spray the whole can,avout 2oz. Is more than enough,keep in mind,there are 4 little holes in the throttle body.the 2 on top are about the size of a period at the end of a sentence,and the blow vapors of fuel into the body along with the systems primary injector,the 2 bottom catch uneeded flow and recycles it so fast you can't se it,I promise you my car runs like I bought it off the lot,super fast and very responsive,all it took was a can of carb cleaner,for my car to drive good,and I'm sure the guys meant well at the shop,they saw the OBD reader as did I and were prepaired to replace everything,I mean was the computer drunk or high?lol...it would have cost me 700 for the computer,99 for erg valve,throttle body sensor 59 and like 500 in labor and that was with a 200 discount 1,500 total that I saved from a investment of 20 on the manual,2 on carb cleaner, 22 out of pocket on top of the 300 in already put into the car,all the tools I needed were a phillips screw driver, a small socket to take off 1 bolt on the air flow housing,that aint sh#t!!! Come on my satuern brotheren and sistereth,be smart and don't be afraid to check the car,you gotta talk to her,I was never once embarassed when she stalled on me,I just had to talk to her like,"baby,soon as I get you to the house,imma take care of it"and I did,I live in a development were all the children play with mine,so I have met a lot of mothers and fathers,they all see my work and have even paid for my repair work,you all can do it too,be smart and don't be taken advantage of,cuz they get over on you,if it was my computer my car wouldn't have run as good as it did when it ran,I put 800 miles on it first then I fixed it,the car looks good,runs great,and has many extras,its currently beind advertized on myspace for sale,I'm going to but a suv,but this is the 2nd saturn I've owned,and they're dependable...take care and be safe,hit me up if you need any advice,I'm located in woodbury nj and will travel if you're paying,I charge less than everybody,I stand by my work
  • bneasbneas Member Posts: 1
    My idle is sticking. For example, between shifts while I'm driving, the RPM's don't drop back to normal all the time. When I come to a stop the idle is very slow to return to normal. The car has 183,000 miles and otherwise runs great.

    Please offer some suggestions.
  • satidlesatidle Member Posts: 5
    :mad: Has anyone had experience with this? I bought my '97 SL1 in Sep 1999 with 24K miles. By Nov 1999 I was already having problems with it starting hard, or starting and running then dying suddenly. Saturn Svc was unable to verify/duplicate problem: No codes, battery OK, PCM Temp Sensor reading properly. In April 2000, I received a letter from Saturn Corp re their "Special Policy relating to 1997 model year Saturn vehicles. The fuel pump... may fail prematurely and cause extended crank time, loss of power, and possible no-start conditions." Saturn would provide fuel pump replacement [at no cost]... for six years from [original service date] or 75,000 miles, whichever comes first." For me, that meant Aug 2002 or another 50,000 miles. It goes on to say if you have already experienced such problem and paid for fuel pump replacement, Saturn will reimburse you. I should have taken it in then, but my daughter was using the car away at college and had not complained about the problem for awhile. In Sep 2002 (39,00 miles), an electrical problem reared it's ugly head and the generator assembly was replaced. In Dec 2002, the cold start problem returned w/rough idle and engine vibration. Saturn Svc diagnosed this as "torque axis mount collapsed", whatever that is. Sounds more like a result of the problem than a cause. So where are we going with this? Well in Mar 2003, with only 57,000 miles, my daughter was driving the car at highway speeds, the car began to lose power, she stepped on accelerator but it continued to slow until it died. Saturn Svc (different dealer) diagnosed that the "timing chain jumped time and bent all the valves." The engine was basically destroyed. Replacement with used engine, exchanged parts, and labor cost her $1,944. Granted this occurred well beyond the extended warranty, and my luck, just 6 months beyond the Special Policy replacement period, but it seems to me that Saturn should be partly responsible for this and reimburse my daughter some of this expense. What would cause the timing chain to jump time and destroy the valves? My guess is fuel pump failure at highway speeds. If Saturn Svc had correctly diagnosed this problem the year before, this would probably not have happened. Before I take my case to Saturn Customer Assistance, I wanted to know if others have dealt with this and what you think of my argument. Thanks for allowing me to rant.

  • rbillieuxrbillieux Member Posts: 36
    P0404 and Po221 codes --egr and tps replaced all with exception EGR. cleaned throttle body -comes on usually after sticking aand fuel low. Sometimes put gas in and shuts off -new gas cap. I tried something I took off gas cap and pressed in valve and put cap on and it went off.prev cleaned EGR.TO THE DUMP :lemon:
  • saturn56saturn56 Member Posts: 7
    I have around 165,000 on my 1995 sc2 saturn coupe......One day out of the blue it began to idle too fast.....I was told by my mechanic that you can not manually adjust it....and that I would have to pay over $200.00 to replace the "chip".......My gas miliage is so terrible becouse of this promblem!!!!!!Please....can somebody help me with this promblem?...It is driving me crazy!....Thank you!
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Change your engine coolant temperature sensor...ECTS will cost less than 50 bucks and takes about 15 minutes...
  • saturn56saturn56 Member Posts: 7
    Thank you sooooooooooo much!....Finally my 1995 sc2 is running normal agion!
    God Bless You!
  • blackeywhiteblackeywhite Member Posts: 2
    Hey all, maybe there is someone out there that has had the same problem. But anyway, my saturn is having an idle problem, she starts(most of the time without a problem) but there are times when i have to push down on the accelator to get it to start, then she goes to a low idle and lately, bogs down to 600 rpm and if i don't hit the gas she sometimes dies on me :confuse: , now there isn't a problem all the time, but it does seem to be getting worse. She also bogs down when i stop at lights and sometimes dies on me too. :sick: I did a basic tune up on her (spark plugs and wires) about 4 months ago :) , I also changed the air filter and i change the oil regularly. Now someone told me it could be a fuel filter, but i dont know where it is, i do think it is underneath, but i'm not sure if that is the problem, i did recently buy the chiltons book but i didn't get to look it up, i was hoping for some real feedback before i go through the painful task of trouble shooting part by part, bit by bit, you know. Well hope there is someone out there that can help, Thanks!
  • cupid12cupid12 Member Posts: 1
    I have a question. I have a 1995 Saturn SC2 and the car just died. I had the shop call me and say they believe it is the timing chain. I thought the timing chain was suppose to last the life of the engine.

    Can you think of anything else that would just make the car die. It turns over, but will not crank.
  • saturn56saturn56 Member Posts: 7
    This promblem drove me nuts for a long time....In order to solve the same promblem you are going to have to replace the coolant temp sensor....once I did this I have never had any more promblems!...If this sensor goes out it totally screws up your idol......My mechanic put my 1995 sc saturn on the scope....low and behold there was the promblem!!!!!!!!!.....cost me about 100.00 to fix...you can do it yourself for cheaper...
    God Bless,
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    What makes them "believe" its the timing chain? It literally takes 5 minutes to pop off the cam cover (4 bolts) and actually look at the chain and make that determination...

    Was the engine making a rattling sound for a little while before it died? If so, it was your timing chain telling you that it needed to be replaced. Also, when the chain breaks, there's a pretty good chance that you may have damaged valves as well.

    There are lots of reasons why your car would just die...crankshaft position sensor comes to mind as it tells the fuel injectors when to squirt fuel into the motor. No signal, no squirt...Did the check engine light come on? Maybe the answer is in there?

    The timing chain on the Saturn will last for a long time but has been known to need to be replaced somewhere around 150,000 miles or so in some cases, likely sooner if you have not been absolutely anal about checking the oil level...I checked mine so many times in my SW2 that I was afraid I would wear out the hood latch...

    Good Luck,
    John :shades:
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373

    Glad I could help!

    John :shades:
  • blackeywhiteblackeywhite Member Posts: 2
    nope didnt come on, so i am thinking that maybe its a dirty fuel filter
  • gammageogammageo Member Posts: 3
    Very low power. You have to floor it to get from 55 to 70mph and it takes a while. It all started a couple of weeks ago when it wouldn't start but when the local shop tried (after it sat a few days) it started every day-go figure. I did a compression check and all 4 were at/over 100 but one was barely 100. I did this because the car recently had a new radiator put in-may have been overheated (not sure-daughter had it up North). The reason I'm questioning the fuel pump is that it seems there's low pressure. When I tested the relief valve there was not much pressure there but I do hear the pump when the key is turned on. It's a '98 SL2 w/180K on it. I love Saturns, I had one give me over 300K so I don't want to give up on this one yet. Please give me your ideas/experiences. Thank you.
  • gammageogammageo Member Posts: 3
  • seashell1seashell1 Member Posts: 5
    Does anyone know where I could obtain a free, no-cost step by step reapair manual or guide on replacing the EVAP purge selonoid on my 2000 Saturn SL2?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The EVAP purge solenoid is located to the rear of the engine block, below the intake manifold above the starter solenoid.
    1. Ignition Off.
    2. Remove air induction tubing from throttle body to air cleaner.
    3. Disconnect crankshaft position (CKP) and knock sensor harness connectors.
    4. Remove CKP and knock sensor connectors from bracket by inserting a flat-bladed screwdriver between the connector and clip. Gently pull the connector toward the battery to remove connector from clip. Do not pull on the wires.
    5. Disconnect EVAP purge solenoid harness connector.
    6. Disconnect purge line quick connect from EVAP purge solenoid and vacuum line.
    7. Remove both 10 mm EVAP purge solenoid bracket bolts and remove solenoid/bracket assembly.


    1. Install EVAP purge solenoid/bracket assembly and install attachment bolts. Torque: Canister Purge Solenoid-to-Block: 22 N.m (16 ft-lbs)
    2. Connect purge line quick connect and vacuum hose to EVAP purge solenoid. IMPORTANT: Make sure purge quick connect is seated and a "click" is heard. Pull back to confirm a positive engagement.
    3. Connect EVAP purge solenoid harness connector. Push until a click is heard and pull back to confirm a positive engagement.
    4. Install CKP and knock sensor connectors to bracket by sliding connector into clip.
    5. Connect CKP and knock sensor harness connectors. Push in connectors until a click is heard and pull back to confirm a positive engagement.
    6. Install air induction tubing from throttle body to air cleaner.
  • 99saturnsw299saturnsw2 Member Posts: 1
    my saturn just turned off the other day i replaced the fuel filter and the fuel pump and today it shut off again my rpms are lower the usual in the 800's it usaully runs at 1500. i feels like when it dies that it's not getting enough fuel what should i do next?
  • rog007rog007 Member Posts: 2
    hi saturn56

    will try that, as my car (94sl20 works excellent at 450,000Kms besides that sometimes difficult start where i essentially have to apply some gas to it and then slowly release the gas pedal or it will stall....as rpms bottom out

    interestingly - never happens when it is really, really cold ie. at least minus 10 or more...warm weather i know i have to hold the gas almost guarantee and then she runs great no further problems

    it did replace the entire cpu based on one recommendation but it made no difference...got it for 80bucks used so??

    any ideas..sound like the same issue to you?
    thanks...been doing it now for about 1/2 yr but again besides the difficult assisted start it goes fine (it is winter now so will see what the summer brings)....also replaced idle control valve, tps sensor and no difference

    any thoughts would be great...oh yeah i also have a remote car starter
  • rog007rog007 Member Posts: 2
    hi saturn56

    will try that, as my car (94sl2) works excellent at 450,000Kms besides that sometimes difficult start where i essentially have to apply some gas to it and then slowly release the gas pedal or it will stall....as rpms bottom out

    interestingly - never happens when it is really, really cold ie. at least minus 10 or more...warm weather i know i have to hold the gas almost guarantee and then she runs great no further problems

    it did replace the entire cpu based on one recommendation but it made no difference...got it for 80bucks used so??

    any ideas..sound like the same issue to you?
    thanks...been doing it now for about 1/2 yr but again besides the difficult assisted start it goes fine (it is winter now so will see what the summer brings)....also replaced idle control valve, tps sensor and no difference

    any thoughts would be great...oh yeah i also have a remote car starter
  • joni49250joni49250 Member Posts: 6
    did you change the throttle body senor
  • joni49250joni49250 Member Posts: 6
    car is running at low rpm so it stalls when i put into gear
This discussion has been closed.