Thread Number: 74901  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Saturn LW300 woes..
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Post# 987131   3/18/2018 at 13:21 by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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Man, been trying to track down a hard starting issue and I am simply flabbergasted at how many component(s) could be the cause.
Here is a list...oh scratch fuel filter, replaced and still hard to start. Currently I have ordered a new crankshaft position sensor, and since added "Evap purge solenoid" to this list.
The spark plugs were an epic ordeal to replace for the first time in this cars life (16 years 58k miles), and a first for me working on the motor in this car. If one is charged $200+ labor for the job the mechanic earned every penny imo.
Imagine that, 6 silly spark plugs? Special inverted torx sockets a must btw. Bloody knuckles should also be expected.

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This post was last edited 03/18/2018 at 16:35

Post# 987153 , Reply# 1   3/18/2018 at 15:58 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

Unfortunately not one of GM's better was a real mash-up of parts from around the world with the Saturn polymer body draped over it....

Post# 987166 , Reply# 2   3/18/2018 at 17:50 by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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Have you hooked a scan tool to it to check if it threw a trouble code?

Post# 987168 , Reply# 3   3/18/2018 at 17:52 by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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I do have a scan tool, no codes...yet.

Post# 987170 , Reply# 4   3/18/2018 at 18:53 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        
I do have a scan tool, no codes...yet.

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I remember having a starting problem in one car (among too many other problems, which ultimately doomed the car). I did some online research, and found that one common cause was a sensor. I think crank position, but that doesn't matter. What got me was that there were people saying that the sensor in this particular car could act up, and the only way to rule it out for 100% certain was to replace it. I don't know if they were right, but I assume they know more than me (which isn't hard to do). I recall shuddering at the idea--the sensor was something like a 2 or 3 hour job. I multiplied that by the going labor rate (I don't feel I have the ability and I certainly don't have the tools to do it myself). $300 or whatever...which might not fix the problem... 


Of course, a mechanic could start by ruling out things that are easier/faster to check.


One other "joy" on this car was another starting problem that it always had during the time I owned it. If the car sat for more than a couple of days, it would be hard to start, and ran poorly. Once warmed up, it would be back to normal. A cold start the next day would be just fine. This car had belonged to the wife of a mechanic, and he said it was hugely frustrating for him. His wife had the same problem I did, and she'd come to him to complain. But, by that point, she'd driven it enough that the gremlins had gone away.  He'd get in, and the car would behave. (One suspects that he could probably have banished the problem if he got really aggressive. But it probably didn't feel worth it, given that the car ran just fine when driven regularly.) 

Post# 987221 , Reply# 5   3/19/2018 at 06:59 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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The injectors themselves?  Fuel pressure regulator?  My GMC Jimmy was having a problem dying...I had to drive it with two feet to keep it running, no big deal since my VW is a stick anyway so easy to drive with two feet.  But anyway, it was the idle air control valve.  I changed that and it's been fine ever since. 

I used to change spark plugs in our previous Devilles with the 4.9L V8 by lying on my back under the car and reaching up to the back of the engine....

Post# 987228 , Reply# 6   3/19/2018 at 08:32 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Take Asko lover's advice;

try a good in the tank fuel injector cleaner, if that doesn't help, a fuel pressure regulator is about $20 and takes 5 minutes to change. Very easy.
Is the air filter very dirty?
My buddy has a Caddy Northstar. It was hard starting, and stalling. One shop analyzed it and wanted $1,200.00 to change about everything on the fuel system, coil pack, and sensors. Guess what it was? Fuel pressure regulator.
GM mark of excellence. (kidding)
The Saturn L300 wasn't that bad. My sister had one after her SC coupe. She liked it. The engine is of Opel 60 degree V6 lineage, as was the platform of the first or second generation Vectra.

Post# 987437 , Reply# 7   3/20/2018 at 17:51 by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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This car doesn’t stall. It does start better if you tun the key on position before cranking and wait for about 10 seconds. The car also lacks slow off the line.
The ful pump was replaced rcently as the original one was leaking. I am begining to think the replacement pump is not up to snuff. The pump is in tank and costs about $200 to r & r.

Post# 987439 , Reply# 8   3/20/2018 at 18:08 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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Turning the key to the run position to cycle the fuel pump to build fuel pressure is a classic symptom of a failing/weak fuel pump. I had it a few years back on my 97 Chevy Blazer. Id cycle the key two or three times and it would start normally. If I tried to start it w/o cycling it would crank but not start. Usually after getting it started first time in the morning it would be okay until it sat for many hours. Then it would bother again. I installed a new pump and no more problem. If your Saturn uses whats commonly called a spider in the intake for fuel delivery it could also be that it's leaking, causing it to lose pressure, which will cause the same symptom.

BTW...Wonderful modern stuff to work on. Years ago the fuel pump was bolted to the side of the engine. Easy to get to and replace when needed. Having the pump in the tank makes it a joy to replace. I didn't go the PITA route of dropping the tank like recommended. I removed the back seat and cut a hole in the floor to gain access to the pump.

Sorry, had to rant a little.

Post# 987511 , Reply# 9   3/21/2018 at 06:53 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Hey Ken,

I had the same thing go wrong with my 2001 GMC Jimmy but I had zero symptoms.  We went to the lake one night, launched the boat and floated all night,  pulled the boat out of the water next morning and drove home.  Parked the Jimmy and went to bed.  Got up and went out to start.  Checked fuel pressure with gauge and it was way too low.  Priced pumps and labor...ordered new Delphi pump on Amazon for $150 and spent a day dropping tank and replacing.  Wasn't too hard just tedious and had to solder new updated connector on.  But fired right up!  I read online from forums to avoid Autozone and Advance Auto parts fuel pumps because they are crap so went with Delphi who makes the Delco one for GM.

Post# 987515 , Reply# 10   3/21/2018 at 08:14 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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I also got a Delphi pump from Rock Auto. They have great prices only you have to pay shipping which can be a little high. But many times even with shipping total cost is less than your local parts store.

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