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1998 saturn SL2 won't start unless the gas pedal is held in

01-24-2008, 01:21 PM
My 1998 saturn SL2 won't start unless the gas pedal is held in.
The idle seems to change periodicaly.
Sometimes everything is fine. Then the idle hovers at 500-600.
After the car warms up the idle stays 800-900.
The hard part is you never know when.
If it doesn't start on two tries. I push the gas pedal down 1/4 inch the car.
The car starts and then i have to hold the pedal there for 2-3 minutes.
Any ideas on why this is happening?


01-24-2008, 02:29 PM
If this were any car but a Saturn I would immediately think it was the Idle Air Control Valve sticking. But being a Saturn, I would advise replacing the Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) Sensor on the engine head - unless you Know it has been replaced since the car was new. Then I would make sure the hoses for the PCV valve to the throttle body were not senile and leaking. After that I would advise pulling the air duct off of the throttle body, and looking in while holding the throttle valve wide open. Just to see if there is a lot of muck built up. If there is it should be cleaned; some of which can be done with a spray can of throttle body cleaner. Be sure to follow the directions on the can.
Then... I would suspect a sticking Idle Air Control Valve.
If you take out the spark plugs, they should be dry and a very light brown - or just clean. And if the plugs have more than 10,000 miles on them - a new set wouldnt hurt.

01-24-2008, 02:58 PM
change your Engine Coolant Temperture Sensor. this sensor is vital to fuel management. old ones were resin and would crack by the coolant sending false data to the PCM. the new ones are brass and will last the life of the car.

clean your IAC passges on your throttle body. during start up, they need to be open so air can get into the engine. since they are clogged, you need to hold the butterfly flap open (aka pressing the accelerator ) to let air into the engine. best bet is to take the entire throttle body off and clean it with some carb cleaner.

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