Question about Saturn SL1

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I just bought this car and didn't realize it had a problem until about a month later when the weather warmed up. It's been dying at idle, but only after running for a while. I can run to the store around the corner and get back without it dying, but if I go any further (especially down a freeway) it warms up and will die at a red light every time. It never dies while travelling/accelerating. The coolant temperature stays low, its not until just under a quarter that it will start to die, and it never gets above a quarter. Turning the A/C on helps the dying problem a bit as well. I can only attribute this to the DC fan turning on and helping to cool the engine (as does normal airflow while traveling, and cold weather). Otherwise, the DC fan never turns on on its own, which I'm told shouldn't have to turn on until it gets around halfway between C and H. I've replaced the crankshaft position sensor, the IAC, and the starter (it went out obviously due to starting it back up a couple dozen times a day, i'm sure). I've checked/cleaned the throttle body. Tested for fuel pressure, which is fine, however I have not tested the PSI. I've switched around the relays to avoid having to buy a new one, to no avail. I've experienced no change in operation of the vehicle. The next thing I might try is replacing the Engine Coolant Temperature sensor, however I've been told that it seems like its functioning fine since I'm getting any reading of temp on the dash at all. Thank you for your time and responses, if I can't fix this I'm thinking of moving up north where its cold so I won't have to throw this badboy into neutral and rev at every light. Or just kill it and wait for the green light to start it back up. I hear Minnesota's real nice this time of year.

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  • Richard Scordino Mar 14, 2011

    Cant give you a "for sure" answer but I'd definitely check and clean the mass air flow sensor and check the temp sender output as if it is slightly out of range it may not be far enough out to turn the check engine light on but can be sufficient to give the computer inaccurate input.

  • zobcat Mar 14, 2011

    By the way, Fixya only allowed for me to choose 1991, 1992, 1993 Saturn SL1's. This one is a 1999. Thanks.



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Posted on Mar 14, 2011

  • zobcat Nov 09, 2011

    Turns out it was the fuel pump. I never made it to Alaska.



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