Question about 1998 Saturn SL
One question, have you replaced the ECTS (Electronic Cooling Temperature Sensor)? These cause no end of different seemingly unrelated problems on Saturns. Peice is about ten bucks and is an easy install. Just search on youtube for a how-to video. Even if that's not the problem it is reccommended to replace this peice just the same as they ALL end up going bad at some point.
If that's not a fix, start pulling plugs. Check to see if they're correctly gapped and if they have any damage/corrosion. If you're running Platinum plugs, immediatly change to a copper plug as Platinums have no place in these motors. Most people have the best luck with NGK copper.
Check to make sure that your plug wires haven't been crossed. This sounds like a plug or wire issue most likely so it has to be in that family, if the plugs are good, wires good and not crossed, sensors are fine, then time to replace your coil packs. If you've replaced everything up to the coil packs then that is most likely the cause of your dillema.
Posted on Oct 25, 2008
Have you tried cleaning the contacts on the ECTS?
1997 Saturn SW2 - Two main symptoms are Lean Misfire at low or high speed. The car will buck coming off idle. It can happen when coasting down a hill when my foot is barely on the gas. Hydro Carbons (HC) have always been on the high side.
I have owned this car since it was new and it start to shake a few seconds after starting - rough and erratic idle. Then Service Engine Soon (SES) light would start flashing then stay lit without blinking. A day or so later the light would go off and not come on for months. After the catalitic converter was replaced around 1999 along with several emmission sensors the problem went away but returned around 80K.
Around 70K miles things acted up more when the car was about 6 years old. To fix the probem I replaced spark plugs, wires AND fuel filter which had never been replaced.
Recenlty I replaced plugs (genuine AC), wires, fuel filter (last year) Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) even though the old one tested ok. I have never touched the ECTS and am going to check that now.
Posted on May 29, 2009
THE FIRST THING TO REPLACE IT THE CRANKSHAFT POSITION SENSOR!!!!! DO NOT DO ANYTHING BEFORE YOU DO THIS!! $20.00 BUCKS!!! THIS COVERS ALL THE PROBLEMS I SEE ON THIS SITE!!!
Posted on Sep 20, 2009
I just had this SAME problem with my car.. get a compression test done and if on cylinder reads way lower then the others then your engine is shot!...
Posted on Nov 01, 2008
I had roughly the same problem and replaced my engine and transmission mounts to minimize vibration and line up all gears and connections between engine and drive shaft.
Posted on Mar 01, 2009
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