Question about Saturn SW2

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One cylinder not firing

1996 Saturn SW2, 214,000 miles. Yesterday the car began to idle roughly. By trial last night, determined the second cylinder from the drivers side is not firing. There is a spark when I pull the plug and crank the engine with the plug grounded. Also, the plug is wet with gas when I pull it. If I pull the plug wire off while running, the engine idle does not change. If I do it to the other plugs, it will die.

I have not performed any major work or maintenance to the engine aside from oil changes. The car still gets the typical 30 mpg but has burned a quart of oil every 3 gas fill ups for the last 6 years.

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  • shade_tre412 Jan 23, 2009

    Exhaust color is white but has been that way for a long time. Since the problem came around, I have not noticed a change in color.

    When holding a steady speed, there is no visible smoke. Upon acceleration, there will be a puff however.

    The problem seems to go away while accelerating but is apparent once a steady speed is re-established.

  • shade_tre412 Jan 24, 2009

    Hmm, must be a forest for the trees thing as I completely missed that. And yes, I have worried about it for a while.

    Anyway, a compression test gives me 120 psi on 3 of the cylinders and ~58 psi on the non-firing cylinder.

    Thanks for the help.

  • kpaggett May 24, 2009

    My '94 SC2 runs rough during city driving unless I'm accelerating. Every time I take it to the dealer, I tell them it is running rough and they do something and the problem still remains. I know he's an old car, but...

  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith May 11, 2010

    did you realize you probably had a blown head gasket or crack in the block for ummmm lets say the last 6 years ?


  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith May 11, 2010

    what colour is the exhaust smoke ?



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White smoke means blown head gasket.Have it checked.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009

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