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Old 07-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
Joshua 2415
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Question 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

Hello. Could someone please help me try to discover what is wrong with my car? It is a 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC. We had some work done at an auto shop and a few days later I was driving home when suddenly the electrical system started flickering on and off and the radio went dead and the preset stations were lost. The car then stalled. After starting it again, it soon stalled down the road. When I restarted it, the car wouldn't drive forward, so I gave it gas, holding the pedal near the floor and it slowly drove forward, catching up a little speed(maybe up to 10 or 15 m.p.h.) and I was home. My Dad worked on it and found that one spark plug was pooled in oil. He has worked on it much and now it will start but after driving a block or two it stalls and will not start. So he gave me these facts to post:

1. It will not keep running--died in less that a minute.

2. New Parts: Plugs Plug Wires CPS(Crankshaft Position Sensor) IAC Valve(Idle Air Control valve) TPS(Throttle Position Sensor) Gas cap Fuel Pump Relay ECTS(Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor)

3. Things cleaned: EGR valve(Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve)cleaned at least twice Inside of the intake manifold twice Throttle body twice at least PCV valve(Positive Crankcase Valve) Ignition Module

4. Present Condition: 1. Starts and runs while parked--seemingly no problem 2. Continuous white smoke 3. Oil level stays at or near FULL--I suspect the automotive shop put in too much. 4. H20/Antifreeze level doesn't change enough to notice(at least by me.) 5. When taken for a short trip, it dies. 6. I have a suspicion that if one floors it, it will die. In other words, I think it may not take a sudden acceleration(at least when it is being driven, but maybe even when it is sitting idling in park.)
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

Sounds like more than just one problem to me... Continuous whtie smoke? That sounds like coolant getting sucked into combustionchamber and spewed out the back as a gas. Does it smell like coolant when it is idling?

Lights flickering--then dying--etc: bad battery, battery harness, battery cables in general. Loss of power will cause presets to get lost.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

The first paragraph about the power failure no longer exists. It happened at the first but seems to have been resolved and then the car now runs fine in park but when you drive for about 2 blocks, it dies and will not start again. We have to push it home. This has happened at least twice.

I have not noticed a coolant odor and the coolant level does not seem to have gone down. Thanks for your suggestions. I think we plan to check the voltage next. Thanks, SleepyHead98!
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:27 PM   #4
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Exclamation Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

Hello. Sorry for the delay. It has been very hot here, so we haven't worked on the car, lately, but today my Dad did a voltage test and it was 12.47 volts with the engine off. He tried to start the car, but it wouldn't start. It turned over but wouldn't start.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

Spray starting fluid in it, If there is spark, should want to start. If it does start and dies, could be fuel pump. Check fuel pressure. If pressure is there, Check pressure of cylinders. They should not vary by more than 10% from anyone of each other. If one does, most likely head gasket (or rings).


If it does not start off starting fluid, look for ignition trouble.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:55 PM   #6
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

O.K. Thanks. I plan to forward this to my Dad.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:16 AM   #7
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

I think you have a problem with the electrical system.

Try disconnecting and reconnecting the battery cables to the battery terminals. Make sure they are clean & tight. These cars are very sensitive to loose cables and it will cause weird things to happen.

I would also have the alternator tested. Since the car doesn't seem to be drivable, you may need to remove it to have it bench tested at an auto parts store like AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts.

There is also a very slim chance that one of the battery terminals is cracked internally and making an intermittent connection. A sure sign of this is acid leaking from one of the terminals, but this doesn't always occur. I had this happen to me when I first bought my car.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

Thanks, Ruley73! After a day or two, we went back out to check the spark plug cables, and as far as we know, it wants to start o.k. My Dad didn't want the car to start as we were testing the cables for spark, since that is not good, but the point is, that it would start and immediately I would shut it off, so maybe that problem of not starting is gone.

Today, he had me get some Marvel Mystery Oil. He plans to put it in tomorrow. Thanks everyone. I plan to keep you updated.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

Hello. Sorry for the long delay. We haven't worked much on the car lately, but today, after recently(2 weeks ago) being able to start the car, my Dad noticed that the clock/radio display was off(it is supposed to show the time 24/7), and now we have no gas at the gas pressure relief valve near the engine. No fuel. It sat for those 2 weeks, since we couldn't trust it to go anywhere. Does anyone have ideas how the clock and the fuel pressure would be connected? Thanks. Any help is appreciated.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:47 PM   #10
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

You may have an F5 terminal failure at the instrument panel fuse block. This is how the radio (through the CHIME fuse) and fuel pump circuits are linked together. This is a well known issue that is well documented on the Saturnfans forums. I have provided a link to a very informational thread here.

This issue affects 1995-1999 Saturn S-Series cars and is most prominent in cars with an aftermarket radio or if the cigaratte lighter power port is frequently used.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #11
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

O.K. Thank you for the information. I have passed it on to my Dad, who knows much more about automobiles than me. I apologize for the delay in responding.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #12
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Re: 98 Saturn SL 2 DOHC stalls soon after driving

I am sorry for the long delay. My Dad recently learned that the problem may be caused by the F5 connector, female. This can cause the care to shut off and lose radio presets. But he cannot find a place that sells this. Do you know of a place that would sell a F5 connector/female?
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