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Saturn S-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • 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?
  • 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 ?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 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??
  • 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 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
  • 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 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 Posts: 11
    Went to both Advance Auto and Autozone
    Both places have no scanner to read OBD1 codes
  • 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?
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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 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 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
  • 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 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?
  • 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 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 Posts: 5
    Sattech, don't forget about me! I await your reply to my message #84.

  • 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??
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
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