Saturn S-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • helpbingohelpbingo Member Posts: 10
    Hi sattech,

    Correction ---- The spark plugs I am using are Bosch Super with copper electrode.

    I have changed the plugs back to the stock AC Delco and have the same problem with hesitation.
  • helpbingohelpbingo Member Posts: 10
    Hi sattech,

    After a closer look a the spark plugs the outer electrode is white on top, then going gray to black towards the threads.

    The sides of the outer electrode are gray, and the under side of the outer electrode is gray.

    The center electrode insulator is white half way around and black the on other half.

    The face of the plug that circles the center electrode is black. The center electrode is gray with a small amount of light gray deposit on it.
  • rag_riderrag_rider Member Posts: 1
    i have a 96 saturan sl and just found out a anitfreeze leak near top of or in front of rad does any 1 no any thing about this
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: helpbingo
    With all the information you gave me there is not much more I can do for you cause you have installed aftermarket items. You may want to consult manufacturer of those items about problem. I can only help those with problems with factory items cause of the resistances in all components. My only thing I can suggest to you is to perform a compression test. And possibly suspect a mechanical problem.
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: rag rider
    If the leak is at the top of the radiator look at the upper hose outlet. 1 to 2 inches below it in time the bowl cracks and will leak but any kind of leak the radiator is not serviceable. Replacement is necessary.
  • helpbingohelpbingo Member Posts: 10
    Hi [sattech,

    Thank you for your help. It has got me thinking.

    Will post the cause when I find it.
  • gjk0726gjk0726 Member Posts: 3
    had a squealing noise when car is cold and first started. it progressed to the cooling
    fan motor burning out.replaced motor and the maxifuse for cooling worked
    great for a few days and then same problem again(cooling motor not coming on.
    chexked new maxifuse and it is ok.are there and relays in the curcuit that may have
    got hot in first motor failure and have now gave out? help kinda stumped on this.

    gjk :cry::(
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: gjk0726
    I can help but I need some more information about your vehicle. Year, Model, Engine size and then I can help you.
  • twoplankr22twoplankr22 Member Posts: 15
    96 sc2 1.9L DOHC, standard 66k miles
    I'm getting about 18-20 mpg city, 22 highway. shifting at 2kRPM each time or 3kRPM has no effect on overall mileage. 3 wire O2 sensor nees to be replaced. will that improve the ileage or is something else wrong? i dont believe there is a leak, burns some oil..dont know whats wrong.
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: twoplankr22
    First thing I need you to do is check your system out for any failure codes. And then if you can look into your Data stream to view needed information.
    Look at:
    Engine Temp. (cold) . This is the most important sensor that will affect fuel economy.
    Running, what is your map sensor reading because this will affect Ignition timing.
    Spark plug condition
    Air filter
    Let me know about the conditions
    And another thing you can do is fill up and reset your trip meter and see what the mileage per tank.
  • sross1122sross1122 Member Posts: 3
    I have been having an intermittent stalling problem with my car since I bought it 3 years ago. I have a 2002 SL! and every once in awhile, while I'm driving, the rpms just drop and when I stop, the car will stall. Sometimes, I will go a couple of months without it happening and other times it'll do it for a few days at a time. I have taken it to the dealer numerous times and they keep telling me they can't find anything wrong. (Of course it never happens when you take it in to be checked out!) Has anyone else had this problem? Do you know what could be causing it?
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: sross1122
    Is you vehicle an automatic transmission ?
    Have you been told that you had any stall codes ?
    Has it stalled out while driving ? Or just slow to stopping ?
    Have you replaced your spark plugs ? Plug gap ?
    Has your fuel pressure been checked ?
  • sross1122sross1122 Member Posts: 3
    Yes, my car is an automatic. When I took the car to the dealer, they said that everything checked out fine. The car doesn't stall while driving, only when I hit the brake. As soon as I hit the brakes, the rmps just bottom out. When I go to stop, I have to use my left foot on the brake and keep a little pressure on the gas so that it doesn't stall. I have changed the spark plugs and the spark plug wires. I have noticed quite a few other people have had this same problem but I haven't been able to find an answer anywhere.
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: sross1122
    How many miles do you have on your vehical. You could be getting carbon build-up around the throttle plate. Or you could be getting carbon on your IAC valve (Idle Air Control) and could affect it’s operation to control idle. How many miles do you have on your vehical.You might need to replace the entire throttle body. That’s if every thing has been checked out properly. A throttle body is expensive.
  • sross1122sross1122 Member Posts: 3
    My car has 60,000 miles on it. It only had 30,000 miles on it when I first bought it and it was doing it at that time too. I will check out the throttle plate and the IAC valve. Hopefully it's not the throttle body. Thanks for the advice!
  • helpbingohelpbingo Member Posts: 10
    It helps when you have the correct cylinder order and the correct spark plug wires running to the correct coil terminals.

    Cylinder order is from timing chain side to battery side of engine.

    1- 2 - 3 - 4

    Coil terminal order is from timing chain side of motor to battery side.

    4 - 1- 2 - 3

    The engine is running GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thank you for your support.
  • kath8kath8 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Saturn-74,000 miles just spent $2300.00 on transmission.
    Warranty expired Jan 2007 or 84,000. miles. WHAT A RIP-OFF
    This is an on going problem with Saturns but no recall??
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: kath8
    Well pending on what happened to your original transmission. The cost is most reasonable with parts and labor and alignment. Can you give me a better description on what failed cause these transmissions do hold up.
  • skausskaus Member Posts: 11
    Hi All
    Yesterday I was 95 miles from home and I had a transmission leak from the filter.
    I lost 3 qts of oil. I replaced the filter and put 3 qts back . The reason I looked under the hood was 2 fold. I kept stalling at my destination and the ABS light was on. The engine would stall only if I applied the brake pedal.

    Six hrs later in panic mode ,having to drive 85 miles back home I found 1 solution.
    Remove fuse from brake and I made it home. If I but the fuse back in and press the brake pedal the engine will die .

    Okay my transmission was soaked with oil. I cleaned off all oil. I checked the wiring harness and it was clean .

    **In front of transmission are 2 sensors or switches.
    If I look at wiring diagram it shows Brake transmission safety interlock ,Brake sense switch and stop light switch all in series. Could one of these be my problem?
    Another thing when I step on brake pedal the dash board left and right signals light up dimly .
    Please let me know what you think. Thanks
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: skaus
    I see you have a couple things of concern.
    Is it possible for you get your codes checked for Engine, Trans, and ABS ?
    You can go to your area parts store and they can pull your codes for you, but you need to write them all down.
    Stalling; You could be starving the engine for air, check your air filter, pcv valve, throttle body plate for air restriction
    Could you find out what fuse it was you took out for the brake system ?
    Now with the sensor’s your referring to in front of the Transmission by the filter are as followed.
    Transaxle Fluid Temperature Sensor
    Transaxle Turbine Speed Sensor
    For your lighting issues check your brake light bulbs you could have a wrong bulb in place causing a voltage feedback
  • skausskaus Member Posts: 11
    The engine is actually killed electrically when I apply the brake.
    I can see the rpm go from 1200 to 0.
    If I let release the brake the RPM will go back up.
    My brake pedal is acing like a kill swithch.
    And I see in schematio the transmission switches in series with the brake light switch.

    Clusless in NY
  • skausskaus Member Posts: 11
    Went to both Advance Auto and Autozone
    Both places have no scanner to read OBD1 codes
  • twoplankr22twoplankr22 Member Posts: 15
    here we go again....My car started giving off a burning smell last night. It's leaking something, smells sort of like oil, but oil level does not seem to be dropping. when the car sits for more than a few minutes it seems to stick to the ground. it shifts fine after that though. we did just get a big snowstorm, so everything under the car is caked from ice and snow kickup from spinin tires. i was hoping the smell was burning tire rubber, but it's not. it's a 1996 sc2 DOHC 1.9 L standard, about 68k miles, just had most of the exhaust replaced (if that matters), not the maniflold or the CC though. any thoghts?
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: twoplankr22
    Well I can tell you this. I have seen that if a plastic bag get’s stuck and melts on the exhaust system it will emit a strong odor. Also you may need to make sure the exhaust system is not leaking. As well check your coolant level and your power steering for any leakage to.

    Note: If your in the area of Mother nature ,use caution while stuck. You can brake the differential pin out in the rear, and that can totally damage the transmission
  • twoplankr22twoplankr22 Member Posts: 15
    heres what i got so far, not a bag. brownish fluid leaking maybe crank case oil?? power steering fluid is low, but it's been doing that for a while, going to refill and let it run in neutral for a while. going to check coolant right now. as far as the sticking thing...i can feel the car pushing forward, so it's gatting power to the wheels, maybe just all frozen i hope, and that its seperate from the leak problem. thanks for your help! will get back to you soon.
  • lucinda9973lucinda9973 Member Posts: 4
    2002 saturn s coupe 99000 miles suddenly it starts revving while in park and the oil light is now comming on but my oil is full what could it be?Control moduel?Does anyone know how much they are?
  • juliomex4everjuliomex4ever Member Posts: 13
    I own a Saturn Sc2 and for some odd reason my passenger seat wont slide back anymore. That lever under the seat moves a little bit and when i try to move the seat front or backwards it wont move at all. I think some rail moved or a mechanism broke, I tried fixing it but no good. I dont know if I should take it to the mechanics and get it fixed and how much would it cost? :(
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello juliomex4ever
    If you can look under your drivers seat and look for the seat adjuster cross wire. That is the item that lets your seat to move forward and backwards. Inspect the ends location on how to properly to install the cross wire. Now look under you passengers seat and see if it is missing, broken. If you see that is the problem the seat will need to be removed for the repair. The item isn’t expensive but is challenge to install . The item isn't expensive but will only be found at the dealer
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello juliomex4ever
    If you can look under your drivers seat and look for the seat adjuster cross wire. That is the item that lets your seat to move forward and backwards. Inspect the ends location on how to properly to install the cross wire. Now look under you passengers seat and see if it is missing, broken. If you see that is the problem the seat will need to be removed for the repair. The item isn’t expensive but is challenge to install. The item isn't expensive but will only be found at the dealer
  • juliomex4everjuliomex4ever Member Posts: 13
    Thank you Sattech yes i have seen the cross wire its very loose. It is not broken though i have tried to fix it now i will attach the wire at the ends.Your right its a big challenge but now that i know what to do hopefully itll be done. Thank You for the message.
  • jonimjonim Member Posts: 5
    The check engine light comes on. Check torque converter is the code. took to reliable transmission shop. He changed fluid & filter & cleared trouble code. Said fluid looked good, filter was old. Light came back on within a block of driving. Car drives & shifts fine, but the "check torque converter" message is troubling. Don't want to incurr major transmission expense if it is not necessary. Any ideas?
  • sattechsattech Member Posts: 32
    Hello: jonim
    If your check engine light is coming on it is setting a hard code with stored information.
    I can help you but I need to know what code set.
  • jonimjonim Member Posts: 5
    thanks Sattech. The code is P0741. Autozone said it was "torque converter clutch solenoid failure". What symptoms should we be seeing beside the check engine light coming on?
  • jonimjonim Member Posts: 5
    Sattech, don't forget about me! I await your reply to my message #84.

  • juliomex4everjuliomex4ever Member Posts: 13
    My saturn holds 12 gallons of gas. at 3 dollars its 36$ to fill it up but with $20-25 it fills up almost completly depending on how much gas was in it b4 is it becuase of gunk in the gas tank??
  • dmnteddmnted Member Posts: 2
    Hi all;

    I have a 1999 sw2 wagon w/179k km on it. I had a little mishap and I need to replace or fix the outside door panels on the passenger side of the car. I have one door panel that is cracked and the other has a silver dollar size hole in it.
    Can you replace just the outside door panel?
    Do you think an average “Joe” can to this work?
    Should just get two doors from the junk yard?
    What are my options to fix or replace the door panel?

    Thank for any info
  • helpbingohelpbingo Member Posts: 10
    You can get them fixed at a body shop.
    You can get a patch kit and then get them painted at a body shop. Paint will be around $300.00. For the two panels. Patch kit can be purchased a UAP.
    Good luck finding doors at a wrecker.
    You can buy new from the dealer at around $300.00 each.
    If you are going to take the panels off yourself you MUST take the door liner off so you can support the clips that act as nuts for the bolts you see from the out side, that hold the door panel onto the door inner. If you do not do this you will be getting new door panels!!!! If the clips are not held they rotate when loosening the bolts!!!!! This rotation BREAKS the gusset that they are attached to!!!!!! Rendering the panel useless.
    Believe me I have done It, and spent $600.00 for panels and $600.00 for paint for one broken panel.
    You can over come this torque problem by getting PMC from Home Depot. PMC is a two part epoxy. You reinforce the gussets with it before you take the panels to the paint shop.

    It is not hard and you can do it.
  • lilbirdy37lilbirdy37 Member Posts: 1
    93 SL2 4dr Sedan automatic trans engine sounds good, shifts good...but when I reach 30mph or so awful sound roars until I go faster, as I go faster sound is still there just not as loud. The sound is like a plane taking off, not sure how to describe it, rubbing, dragging, almost sounds like it needs to shift gears. There are no lights on the dash indicating a problem. Any ideas? Any help is appreciated!

  • jonimjonim Member Posts: 5
    I wrote in a week or so ago & Sattech thought he could help me if he knew what code set. (RE: my prior post #82.) Check engine light comes on, Autozone said it is Code P0741, "torque converter clutch solenoid failure". Car is a 2002 SC2, 4 cyl., 100K miles, drives great, shifts smoothly. Had reliable transmission shop change fluid & filter. He said fluid looked good, filter kind of old. He reset the check engine light, but it came back on after driving about a block. Should I be worried about this light if it seems to drive & shift smoothly? I don't want to pay big bucks for a transmission job if it is not necessary. What symptoms should I be seeing if there really is a serious problem? Help please.
  • dmcdonnelldmcdonnell Member Posts: 18
    it could be a bad wheel bearing. Does it sound like a resonance? Like maybe rubbing a crystal glass rim that changes tone a bit with speed? It could also be a stuck brake caliper or worn pads. Have your bearings checked out first.
  • elyonselyons Member Posts: 1
    Automatic transmission, 60,000 miles.
    There is a vibration /whining type noise that seems to be coming from right behind the dash board, but inside the engine compartment. It is intermittent, but increasing in frequency, and occurs upon acceleration and at highway speed but goes away when braking. Any thoughts? My daughter is away at school and taking it into a Saturn dealer tuesday, and they will call me before proceeding. Motor mount, perhaps? We had a '96 sl2 that we traded in right before a repair on that was necessary. Also, knowing that I'm stuck paying dealer repair prices, what would be a ball park figure on whatever possible scenarios there are? I hate for her to get ripped off any more than is necessary.

    Thanks so much!
  • kevsinkkevsink Member Posts: 2

    Went out to start my 02 Saturn SL DOHC and it sort of burped and will not start up. Turns over freely and every once in a while, it sounds like it will fire but doesn't. Fuel pump turns on and I pumped the gas pedal a few times and I smell gas. Replaced the timing belt, gears @ 20k miles back. Car has @94 k miles on it. No warning with this issue....has been running great. Please advise if someone has a solution. This is my first time using a forum....looking forward to it!

  • willh68willh68 Member Posts: 1
    I would remove the valve cover and check the chain and gears again. It is possible that a guide broke and could have caused the timing to jump.
  • bholiday_99bholiday_99 Member Posts: 6
    Have a 2000 sl2, AC is not blowing cold air. Before I replace the compresser, is there anything else I should check. So, far I have put in new Refeg, and have checked the fuse inside the car. At this point not sure what to check next. Would be thankful for any help.
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Member Posts: 36
    :lemon: P0404 sometimes tps code gas cap replaced egr cleaned throttle body cleaned hoses to evap -gas cannister replaced when cold erratic rpm when warm runs perfect but check engine light still comes on all other sensors replaced pain in ---maybe light will burn out r billieux
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Member Posts: 36
    :lemon: Got rid of P0404 EGR--pintle frozen--turn with screwdriver--clean-spray--ok Throttle position came on agaign--was replaced--sprayed again car normal again till next time--ghost Bob B code P0221
  • juliomex4everjuliomex4ever Member Posts: 13
    I drive a 1997 Saturn SC2. I just wanted to know how much a normal tune up would cost. I am a full time student and low on cash so i am trying to save as much money as possible.
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Member Posts: 36
    All I do is change plugs oil and filter and change pcv valve check color of antifreeze--have tested replace if necessary . Clean out throttle body of carbon with carb clean A lot of this can be done by you and directions can be had at this site Also change if dirty--trans fluid and filter-it is under hood--the oil filter is under car-passenger side If you are not handy I would estimate at about $200 Bob b
  • juliomex4everjuliomex4ever Member Posts: 13
    I may even do some of this myself to save some bucks thanks ALOT! :)
  • rbillieuxrbillieux Member Posts: 36
    Auto zone is the best for4 cheap parts and are most helpful-also change air filter. Directions for cleaning throttle body--remove air filter and host to body and with engine on open throttle manually and spray carb cleaner in --pull back on cable and race engine to point on tac where it sounds funny -only for a min. while spraying.Wipe clean with rag. If egr blockes with carbon -take off engine and clean pinntle till it moves in and out. Dont do egr unless having trouble Bob B
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