Saturn engine performence problem


Old 03-04-03, 05:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: kentucky
Posts: 129
Saturn engine performence problem

My wife has a 92 Saturn SL2 (automatic transmission, 4 cyl) with 120K miles on it. Approximately 4 years (30 to 35K miles ) ago we had a new factory engine installed by the Saturn dealership. (Sidenote: Before and especially after the new engine, the car has always burned oil, which we have been advised was normal by the service department.)

Several weeks ago, the car began to accelerate poorly, lacking power and running rough especially during acceleration, almost as if it were missing a cylinder. We took it in to Saturn (who does all the carís maintenance) and was advised that it needed a full tune up which they did for $120 plus. After the tune-up, they checked it out, test drove it and released it to us. However, when we got it ran just like it did before the tune-up.

When we took it back they said it needed new fuel injectors and a new fuel sensor which would cost $850 to repair. We were told the faulty fuel injectors likely damaged the fuel sensor. (Sidenote: Once again the service department stated we should expect fuel injectors on any car to need replacing after 120K). Feeling somewhat leery and because of the significant price, I inquired about having the work done elsewhere, only to find out the parts were only available through Saturnís service department. Having no choice I had Saturn complete the work.

Afterward, the car ran as bad if not worse than before and emitted black smoke from the exhaust on acceleration. Once again we took it back and they kept it for two to three days. They advised us it had a stuck valve, which they indicated that they were able to free after much work. They were very nice about it and did not charge us for this work and provided us a loner while they worked on it.

When we got it back the car ran great for two to three weeks, and then once again began to run like it did before the original tune-up. We took it back Monday morning and tomorrow will be the third day they had it and we still havenít been advised what the problem might be. Once again they have been very nice and provided us a loner. Does any one have any suggestion, comments, and recommendations. Although I am not knowledgeable enough to comment, I have to wonder whether the fuel injectors were the initial problem. Would appreciate any comments. Thanks.
Sponsored Links
Old 03-04-03, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
fuel sensor? there is a fuel sending unit in the gas tank but that has nothing to do with injectors, that is about the closest thing to a fuel sensor that i would know of.
i believe that i do remeber reading tsb for a problem with valves sticking open the suggested fix was using a cleaner to clean the deposits off the valve.
i would suggest that you take to another shop and have it checked over ask around for a reputable shop in your area and take it there instead of the dealer there is no way to really know wether the injectors was bad or not but it didnt fix your problem at the time , alot of times the injectors can last the life of the vehicle.
Old 03-05-03, 04:42 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: kentucky
Posts: 129
Correction, Sorry it was an oxgen sensor not a fuel sensor.
Old 03-05-03, 08:05 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,564
Yes, a bad injector can cause an O2 sensor to go south.

Find a new mechanic; I would recommend a good independent.
Even if some parts are "dealer-only" that doesn't mean an independent garage can't get them, it just means they have to come from some dealer's parts department vice the local NAPA, CarQuest, etc.

In my never-to-be-humble opinion, you're thowing a lot of good money down a rat hole at the current dealer. There are LOTS of cars running around with LOTS more than 120k miles on them that haven't worn out the injectors - or the engine, for that matter - (case in point, my wife's '95 camry with approx 145,000 miles). Besides which YOUR injectors would have only 30-35,000 miles on them (the new engine came with injectors, corrrect?). I would ask the guy who suggested the 120k injector life why they failed at 30-35,000 miles if they should have gone 120k (considering the big chunk of money you likely spent on the new factory engine). You might even suggest they failed prematurely and they reimburse you. Take a video camera with you; the tap-dance act you'll see will be worth getting on tape, LOL.
Old 03-05-03, 09:40 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
You have a dealer that is guessing, not fixing the vehicle. I suggest you complain to Saturn. I also suggest you ask for some money back. I know I did with my mother's.

I simply gave the dealership straight zeros down the survey and told them the comment section should be about three pages longer than it currently was. . Needless to say I got a phone call from Saturn corporate. I also think the service manager was eventually fired too . This was back in 1993 and 1994 when the vehicle was under warranty. I told the dealership to stop insulting me with their 35 dollar oil change cards in the mail too--- I do a better job myself for under 10 bucks.

1) Yes, Saturns "use" oil, and it's "normal", but it's not. It's a problem with them. You must change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months, without fail, on the dot, every time, all the time.

2) Yes, Saturns do have valve carbonizing/sticking problems, There are a few TSB's on that, which you can see at (at least the titles).

3) No, the parts are not dealer only. Just about every aftermarket company has injectors and other parts out there for Saturn.

4) No, fuel injectors don't "wear out at 120k". Some do go bad, some last the life of the car.

You need to find another dealer---this one is not cutting it in my belief. Time to ask for some money back as well.

I'd hardly call over 1100 bucks spent and a still stalling/spitting/poor running Saturn them "being nice", even after providing a rent-a-car.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes