93 Saturn Stalling

LP

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#1
Someone help me out here PLEASE!!! Gimme a hint, this is making me Nutty!!!
93 Saturn S L 2 twin cam four cylinder. . . approx 100k on it
The car starts right up, runs for about 5 minutes, then stalls and will not restart. Wait about 10 15 minutes and it will start right up again. Sometimes it will stall again, sometimes it will just keep running and you can drive it all day if you want to. . . Sometimes it starts and the RMPs go nutty the car shakes, misses, gallops. . . Sometimes it will stall again, other times it will then level it's self out and drive fine again. . .
I changed plugs and wires, fuel filter, cleaned with a tooth Brush the entire throttle body, which wasn't really dirty. . . I cleaned up the throttle control valve, replaced the temp sensor, checked EGR Valve, car is getting spark when it will not start, plugs do not look wet, I do not smell gas, Banged my head on wall, took car to local Garage. . .
The guy started out in a good mood and actually listened to what I told him I had done. He suspected fuel pump, checked it, said it was good. . . He took the map sensor from another car, tried it on mine, tried mine in the other car, said that was also good, there is nothing wrong with the car, maybe I got some bum gas???
By then the car was running for about 5 -10 minutes, so when he got in it, to park it on the side of the Gargage, it stalled for him too and would not restart. He watched in dumb amazement when it restarted for me after 15 minutes. He said it had to be a bad coil pack that fails when it gets hot, but the car, when it finally restarts, would drive across the country without a problem??? The "Nice Guy" finally told me he doesn't know what the Hell is wrong with it and suggested I take it to Saturn. . .
Saturn, basically, wants to replace anything and everything under the hood, which just might fix the car, but this is an old station car. I mean lets face it, that would cost more then the car is worth. . .
Does anyone have a clue??? Thanks, LP
 
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#2
I would check for spark when its not starting. If you have spark you might give it a little shot of carb cleaner (down the throttle body) and see if it acts like it wants to start. Something has to be missing or it would start.

Good luck,
Ford_Dude
 

LP

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#3
Well??? The car usually decides to die on the road, but cranking it with a plug wire removed does give me a spark to the block or plug, how strong I don't know???. . . I haven't licked it yet. .
That is why I said the car seems to have spark, even when it dies. . . Occasionally, some engine start down the throttle body will give it a few sputters, sometimes not??? Mostly, you just have to wait 5 - 15 minutes and the car will start and run just fine again. . . That is often a problem though, when in traffic or in the middle of the Highway. . . The old trick of turning the key on and off to prime the fuel pump doesn't seem to do much either, but you can here the buzz from the pump??? 100k on it, the car runs great, when it runs, burns no oil and still looks good. . . I just hate to Junk it, but at this point what choice do I have??? It appears to be haunted!!! I was hoping someone might know the ghost. . .
 

richard

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#4
I have a similar problem on my 97 1.9 .See running rich then dies post .Everything suggests the coolant sensor which i have replaced and it still does the same thing .Going to try an oem sensor and new connector
 

Gus

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#5
If the car won't start, and a technician can't figure it out, he shouldn't be in the business.....it's a basic procedure, you check for spark, injector pulse and fuel pressure and the ability for engine to breathe...
 

LP

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#6
It checked out normal, it runs great, it dies after five minutes??? The man has been in business for 22 years. Maybe he's just been fixing the easy ones for 22 years???
Unfortunately, I cannot figure it out either. . . The temp sensor was always to blame for this. I got one from autozone, which I brought back as being defective three times.

I am wondering, does anyone know if the plastic on those sensors are color coded??? the last time I had this problem with the car was in 1999. I replaced the temp sensor with a brown one, the car ran perfectly until now. All three from Auto Zone were white. The car seems to die when it reaches a certain temperature, right after the fast idle does down. Shortly afterwards, (30 seconds) it will just stop, as if their isn't any gas getting to it??? Wait for 5 - 15 minutes and it will restart and more often then not contine to run normally. For instance, it stalled in front of an Alantic City Casino, restarted and drove us home to Long Island, including stops for gas, dinner, etc. Then I had to take a 2 mile walk home, when I stopped at the drug store to pick up my wife's prescription and wore out the batter, trying to restart it. . . It seem to be breathing has spark and is getting gas. . . But when this car doesn't want to start, none of that seems to matter at all???
 

LP

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#7
It would surely seem so, especially since in 1999 I had the same problem and a new one fixed the car until now. . .
I bought one from Auto Zone, which I brought back as being defective 3 times, before they refused to repace it the forth time. . . Who could blame them??? But it is the only part my mechanic didn't try switching from his loaner car. I have been wondering if they are color coded and the kid who sold me the one from auto zone didn't know what he was doing??? There is a definate correlation between the car reaching temperature and when it dies. . . When you rattle, shake, stall over and over again, past that first warm up range, the car will just run normally??? I posted this message before, but somehow it didn't show up???
 
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#8
I looked at the autozone website...the temp SWITCH (p/nTU227) is white and the temp SENSOR (p/n SU1131) is gray. They are the same shape but the plastic part is different colors. I can't tell by looking at the website pictures if they will accept the same connectors, but if they do, maybe you are installing the wrong part that just happens to fit. If one is a variable resistor and the other is a bi-metal switch, it might cause symptoms like the ones you are experiencing.
Also, do not confuse the single wire gauge sender with the two wire coolant temp sensor...they are both in the same area, but the gauge sender is the one you see first.

Dan
 

LP

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Thanks, it is normally difficult to switch them, as the plastic tips have different groves on the inside, making it difficult to plug the different caps for the gauge sensor or temp sensor. . . That's if the part they sold me was correct for the car to begin with??? The white one does fit the wires for the temp sensor very well, but the car ran miserable with that sensor. . . (all three of them, before Autozone threw me out) It doesn't stall as bad with an old black sensor that was once in the car???
Unfortunately, we didn't need many of these new scanners and gauges they have around today, for these new computer cars, so I don't have any. But despite my so called "Mechanic" believing otherwise, so far as I know, this problem is usually caused by a bad coil (or whatever they call it today) or fuel pump. . . He says they both checked out good, but obviously, the car had to be running when I took it to him. . .
I'm off Wednesday and since I've messed with these sensors enough to make myself Crazy, I'll go buy a ignition module and gas pump from a salvage yard and change them. . . Whoever decided to put the fuel pump in the gas tank, however, must have been the one who designed all these Fu**ing Loser Cars!!!
 

richard

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#10
Went to NAPA and bought thier OEM replacement $21.00 -the same result runs for 5 min then dies .Plugs are wet with gas .Why doesn't Saturn have a service bullitin explaining this all to common problem ? I read on another site that sometimes the computer on these cars will need to be reprogramed .I am ready to bring mine to the local shop to have them diagnose it ###
 

Gus

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#11
What I was saying was, you said when it dies, it won't start for 10-15 minutes.....during that "window" of time, a good tech should be able to find out what is missing(spark, fuel, etc.)....
 

LP

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#12
To any and all who read about my little problem, Thank You Very Much!!! I am Pleased, yet Mortified, that I overlooked something so simple. . . My car simply had a bad Ignition Module. . . My son called. . . In conversation, he mentioned how he remembered when we had gotten stuck in the city once, when he was a kid. . . A light bulb lit in my head!!! That car was a mid 70s Caprice, with something they called electronic Ignition back then, this weird plastic horseshoe in the distributor, instead of points and a condenser. . . Today that is called the Ignition Module and I am called Partially Senile. . . Fixed!!! But it's a shame none of you young dudes figured that out either. . . GM Ignition Modules. They always went bad then, apparently they also all go bad today. . .
And yeah, maybe that thing about my mechanic not knowing what he was doing, was kinda true. . . Maybe Budwiser really isn't Breakfast after all??? :eek:
 

Gus

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#13
Fixed!!! But it's a shame none of you young dudes figured that out either. . . GM Ignition Modules.

Could have sworn I said:

"What I was saying was, you said when it dies, it won't start for 10-15 minutes.....during that "window" of time, a good tech should be able to find out what is missing(spark, fuel, etc.)...."
 

LP

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#14
You probably thought it, but you never said it. . . No matter and thanks again. . . You are probably right about my mechanic having had a "Window" to be able to tell what was wrong. . . But after he checked it out and assured me it was probably just bad gas and it stalled in the middle of his gas pumps, the guy just wanted to get rid of me and the car. . .
I just thought about the ignition module, after there was nothing left to think about. . .
 

tombtomb

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#15
I agree with Gus & also, since you know so much now why is it that you couldn't figure out such a simple problem sooner ?