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Saturn Shakes


snuffs's Avatar
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11-27-03, 07:52 PM   #1  
Saturn Shakes

My 93 sl2 saturn gave us a really bad feeling on turkey day. While driveing at 60mph i sensed a shimmy, slowed down a bit and shimmy went away. coming back from grannys, going up hills the car shook like hell and didn't really feel like a shimmy at all, it felt like the engine was going to fall out. shifting down a gear manually from auto trans, sometines the shaking went away.
The shaking was more severe than pinging, engine knock, main bearings. going to check fluid levels tommorow, look for loose engine mounts, and brakes.
Maybe this is unralated, but weve been having trouble with driver's side brake. The brake hose has burst two times now in the last 6 months or so. it looks like the hose has been rubbing against somthing, and actually wears thru the hose. after mr. goodwrench fixed it, it now is leaking break fluid. Got under the car couln't find any leaks any where. we just put more brake fluid in, and that seems to hold for awhile. it doesn't feel like there is air in the system. has a good solid feel to the pedal.
any help would great. snuffs


Last edited by snuffs; 11-27-03 at 08:11 PM.
 
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11-27-03, 09:58 PM   #2  
mike from nj
i've done a lot of unsafe things in my life, and lost track of my broken bones and major sprains, but i would never drive a car with leaking brake fluid, ever!

this needs to be fixed right now, like NOW.

after the brake leak is fixed, put the correct hose on it and route it the factory designed way, brake hoses correctly installed should never rub through. time for a new mechanic!

then worry about the other problem, which sounds like a cylinder misfire. does the shimmy go away if you shift into neutral, how long have the plugs and wires been on this engine?

 
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11-28-03, 05:08 AM   #3  
Salmonslammer I
Buddy of mine has an SL2 and had a problem close to yours. Turns out he needed new tires and an alignment. I would get those brakes looked at.... Might have a caliper hanging up....

 
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11-28-03, 12:55 PM   #4  
called mr. goodwrench, he says that the brake fluid may be sucked in to the booster, master cylinder is the cause.
I've done brake work before and still do now. Im a shadetree mechanic, i've also replaced many master cylinders.

my qustion is , is the saturn an easy replace? it looks like from the car manual, that there are gears and such under the master cylinder, is there a gasket connecting to master cylinder? i would like to replace the mc with a rebuilt one. Is there anything to watch out for?

as to the shaking problem, the tires are new, the car supposedly aligned. could a hanging cilinder, cause this immense shaking. it feels like 2 clinders mifiring under load. replaced the ignition module 2 years ago with a yunkyard replacement, it has'nt given any problems yet. i'd like to take a stab at this work, anyone help would be appreciated. thanks snuffs

 
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11-28-03, 03:07 PM   #5  
I think I'd get another opinion on that one. Something doesn't make sense.
How is a leaking master cylinder causing an engine vibration or even a brake hose leak? Is somebody trying to cover up their screw-up?
Mike's probably on the right track with the misfire but that is impossible to know without experiencing it.

 
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11-28-03, 07:11 PM   #6  
mike from nj
first question, is 'mr. goodwrench' an actual GM dealer, or just your regular mechanic? i find it hard to believe that a gm dealer or ANYONE at all would tell you over the phone that the master cylinder is 'probably' leaking into the booster.

this needs to be looked at by a trained eye, and properly diagnosed and repaired. i'm not saying you can't do it. i'm just saying that you need to fix the brakes first, like before you drive it anymore.

what if the hose is rubbed 99% through somewhere else on the car, and will blow out the next time you drive it, leaving you with no brakes? is mr. goodwrench going to bail you out of jail then?

you can have a brake fluid leak, that only leaks when the pedal is being pushed, you might not see anything under the car.

fix the brakes first, then worry about the engine running problem.

if you've ever driven a car with NO brakes, you'd know how serious this is.

second question, how old are the plugs and wires, does the shimmy go away at 60 mph if you shift it into neutral?

you could even have a very bad tie-rod end, one that is about to fall out, this will cause the thing to shake pretty bad too.

the gears and such that you talk about could be the abs module, do you have abs?

 
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11-28-03, 07:23 PM   #7  
desi they are two seperate problems, (1) the shaking, and (2) the brake fluid leak.
after talking with a mechanic he said the most likely cause of the fluid leak was the master cylinder, because there was no visible signs of leaks from braek lines, hoses, etc. anywhere outside of the car.
the missing of ignition, is when the car is under load, and specific mph, it's electronic ignition and the electronic module was relpaced 2 yeats ago. may be plug wires need to be replaced.
thanks again snuffs.

 
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11-28-03, 07:47 PM   #8  
First problem I see is the use of Junkyard electronic components. This is a big nono... If you have gotten uninterrupted service for 2 years then consider yourself lucky. One other thing I can come up with would be that the brake fluid is in fact leaking from the master cylinder into the power booster and possibly getting into the vacuum line and going right back into the intake. This can cause problems.
The master cylinder doesnt look too time consuming or difficult. According to Alldata if you have ABS then the labor time is 2.1 hours (worse case scenario). Be careful with ABS brakes as there is extreme pressure there and can KILL you if you are not careful.
Look in the floor of your vehicle... pull back the carpet and see if there is wetness around the brake pedal where it goes through the firewall.
Hope this is helpful to ya,
Billy

 
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11-29-03, 05:54 AM   #9  
I have NEVER seen a brake fluid loss that wasn't visible outside the system or inside the brake drum (even a master cyl leak). I've never seen it get inside the booster without leaving indications on the out side. There HAS to be a visual outside somewhere. It may be a rusty brake line in a corner your not looking at. You can loosen the master and look behind it to be sure but something smells fishy.

 
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11-29-03, 12:43 PM   #10  
Desi... I have seen master cylinder leaks that were not visible in the brake system, and almost undetectable. Until I pulled back the carpet and found the drivers floorboard wet.
Billy

 
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11-29-03, 02:21 PM   #11  
I realize it's remotely possible but did you diagnose it over the phone like they did?

 
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11-29-03, 02:26 PM   #12  
I will do a more thurough check when the weather improves. I have seen brake fluid under the mats in a previous car i worked on. Does anyone know a place to work on my car in heated garage for a few hours, i would pay them of course, i seem to remember a parts place that rented service bays by the hour, but that was over ten years ago. Yes i have abs brakes.
this is what the mechnanic said over the phone, word for word.
"if you cannot find where the fluid is goining to, it must be going into the booster, becouse there is no other place for it to go."
as to ignition, the plobem does lessen when i shift to a lower gear, (shaking goes away) while under more load than usual. the wires are still factory and so are the plugs. the ignition module was replaced two years, from a salvage yard. at that time the

saturn dealer wanted quite a bit for it. somewhere between 2 hundred and 4 hundred bucks. the junk yards wanted $50.00, so of course the 50 bucks was looking pretty good to me.
its been running good for the past 2 years. i try to keep from buying electrical stuff from yunk yards, but i was on a tight budjet, and still am. snuffsa

 
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11-29-03, 02:39 PM   #13  
desi, i did not do a a more detailed look over the brakes than i should have. I am plainning to to get a service bay if available, other wise i am at the mercy of the weather. see my latest post, thanks again. snuffs

 
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11-29-03, 07:49 PM   #14  
Desi... You are absolutely right. No over the phone diagnostics... But arent we doing the same thing here? I mean, We are TRYING to help people here and all we have to go on is what they type into this little small window. I think all in all we have all done a fantastic job of giving this poster and all others some ideas and places to start.
Happy hunting,
Billy

 
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11-29-03, 11:05 PM   #15  
yes, this forum has given me ideas on where to look for them. beleive me i will find them. I may not have given you as much information as possible, but that's a weather problem the past couple weeks. i can only work outdoors. I have given solutions in the stereo, tv, forums to questions other people had. some people take them, others don't have a clue on what to do.
it is somewhat diffacult to translate tech talk to consumers understanding, without coming across as condescing. also we who give advice would need more info than consumer can provide. we have no moderator's, but tech's come through with many ideas. I am glad that we don't have moderator's, cause more points of view can be adressed from different perspectves, from many tech's. plus we all get to learn something from the posts in the bargain.

thanks again snuffs

 
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11-29-03, 11:26 PM   #16  
mike from nj
very well said ---snuffs, however you don't need to be intimidated by a moderator to not contribute, look at me! the forums are always open to everyone's opinions.


reading more closely at your other post, you need plugs and wires. they aren't designed to last on an engine for 10 years. when they get old, their resistance goes way up, this makes the coils work much harder and could possibly take out the coil and/or module. stick with factory stuff, it will last you another 10 years vs. aftermarket parts that might last half that.

 
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