A lesson for all of us

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Kelly, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Kelly

    Kelly Guest

    Hello Saturn drivers, I learned an expensive lesson, that I need to share. I
    had to vacuum out my 95SL2, but had to move it a few feet, as it was out of
    reach for the extension cord. I started the car, moved it, and shut it off,
    without letting the idle drop down to normal. The next day, the car wouldn't
    start, it was for sure flooded. I had to get it towed, to a Saturn dealer,
    and had to get the spark plugs replaced (too bad I replaced them a few
    months ago), a new crank sensor, and coolant sensor had to be installed, and
    it was recommend that the coolant fluid to be placed, as well as the oil (it
    was due for an oil change anyway). All this because I started the car for
    only a few seconds, and I was thinking at the time, to let the car run for a
    bit before shutting it off. An expensive lesson for me.
    Kelly, Oct 14, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. Thanks for sharing - this is (seems) to be the Saturn way.

    I want to respectively disagree with you analysis however - the few seconds
    of running may have caused a flooded condition (there is mention in your
    manual about how to start a flooded Saturn).

    The other stuff was wear or service items the techs picked up on when the
    car was in shop.

    As a rule running the engine for such a brief time in not advised (bad for
    the oil, etc, not to mention that alternator hasn't returned the starting
    amps back to the battery)...

    My 2 cents.
    Jonnie Santos, Oct 15, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. Kelly

    Wurm Guest

    I find this interesting.... never heard that starting a car for only a few
    seconds was bad for the car. To avoid problems like this what is the
    "suggested" shortest driving time one should do?


    Wurm, Oct 16, 2003
  4. Kelly

    NoSetFine Guest

    Similarly - anyone try starting but not engage the starter long enough?
    I have an 03 ION and sometimes I flick the key too quick, and it doesn't
    start. When I crank it again...rrr rrr rr rr rr rrrr rr rrr rrrrrrrrrr
    Embarrassing on a new car, but it must flood itself to start quick, and if
    you miss the boat, you're... sunk.

    NoSetFine, Oct 16, 2003
  5. Hold your foot to the floor and crank. This engages flood clearing
    mode, and cleans it out. Then start foot off the gas, as normal.

    I rarely have to do this on my Harley, and even rarer on the Saturn, but
    it does the trick. 99% of the time, the car starts on the first shot,
    the bike will fire right away over if you do everything right, which I'm
    still trying to figure out after having the thing 4 years...
    Philip Nasadowski, Oct 17, 2003
  6. On my 97 SL2 to clear a flooded condition (rare for me too) you simply hold
    the throttle to the floor while cranking for 5-10 seconds then let your foot
    off (actually any position other than full) and it will fire right up. No
    need to initiate a second startup sequence.
    Jonnie Santos, Oct 17, 2003
  7. I don't know - I have moved it in the driveway and then let it run for a few
    minutes before shutting it down. I at least like to see the temp gauge move
    a little... I try to avoid short run times when possible.
    Jonnie Santos, Oct 17, 2003
  8. Kelly

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    Sounds as if the dealer used the shot-gun approach. I've heard that a quick
    start such as what you did can flood the engine, but the fix is simple:
    crank the engine with the pedal held to the floor. The PCM sees the wide
    open throttle and shuts off gas, so a flooded condition will work its way

    Another common cause of a no-start condition is the crankshaft position
    sensor failing. The sensors are relatively cheap (about $20) and it's a
    simple 5 minute replacement. Since those have a habit of failing
    intermittently, replacing it if you have a crank but no start condition is
    not a bad idea.
    This is another common cause of a no-start condition. If the coolant sensor
    incorrectly lists the engine as being hot when it's actually cold, the PCM
    won't give the engine enough gas to start. Those have a bad habit of failing
    on Saturns - the original sensors are plastic, the replacement ones are
    brass. Replacing them is a good idea.
    The 95s use the green coolant that should be replaced every 30-50 thousand
    miles or so. I suspect this wasn't a bad call - good preventative
    Good maintenance on a Saturn (or any other car).
    Actually, you're getting off reasonably easy. It failed at your home
    (instead of somewhere far more inconveniet).

    The dealer, in the absence of knowing exactly what failed at the time of
    no-start, replaced the things that commonly go. Plugs, they probably didn't
    need changing (if you replaced them recently). The temp sensor was a good
    idea - the original ones are crappy and will go sooner or later. The crank
    sensor was maybe bad, or maybe not. This was replaced as insurance.

    Coolant? Clearly unrelated, but good maintenance. Ditto on the oil change.
    Kirk Kohnen, Oct 17, 2003
  9. Kelly

    Nick Hull Guest

    The lesson to be learned is not about short runs but about avoiding the

    My saturn was showing 'service engine soon' so I asked the dealer. He
    wanted $75 to read the codes. I went to my local mechanic and he read
    the codes for free and told me I needed a new temp sensor. Icame back a
    week later (gave him time to get the part) and he installed it for $15
    total. The engine idled a lot better.
    Nick Hull, Oct 31, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.