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Michael1983
Novice

Jan 14, 2017, 12:06 PM

Post #1 of 4 (529 views)
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So, I've got a Saturn sl2, 1.9 liter, 200k miles. Maybe the best way to run this down is to explain my daily experience. Car starts fine, but high rpms. Bad fuel economy, occasional sluggishness or loss of power. Now, the car is very slow to reach operating temperature. During cold weather it can take 20-30 minutes to hit the quarter mark if at all. At some point I'll stop at a light and at idle it will begin to creep a notch above the quarter mark. Here, the idle will drop below 1000 but it's followed by some pretty serious exhaust. It doesn't really smell sweet per se, but it's noticeable. Still has yet to creep over the 3/8 temp mark. I'm thinking that the thermostat is stuck open keeping it from reaching temp quickly but when it does I notice the smoke. My worry is that the intake manifold gasket is shot and that if I replace the thermostat the problem will persist and just occur sooner. It could be a week or so before I can pay to have it replaced. It's just a hair beyond my understanding and am not comfortable trying it as its my way to and from work. The intake manifold is in a very tight spot and can't get in to really check it out. There is a little bit of sludge under the oil cap. The codes I'm getting are p1133 which I think is from a hole in the exhaust keeping the o2 sensor in the back from reading. Yes, it's a pretty big hole. The other code is a p0410 I believe, secondary air issue that I haven't been able to diagnose yet. So, the concern is that I'm scared to go out today and change the thermostat because if I have a gasket leak it will just warm up faster and produce smoke faster. It's strange, after I get the car up to temp and stop at a light I can watch the rpm skip down while idling, the temp starts to rise, and the smoke starts. Luckily this happens after I am almost at work where the engine cools off and the process starts again. Unfortunately the smoke comes up through the exhaust hole at the flex pipe up through the engine and sometimes even into the cab and I know this is dangerous but at least that's a problem I can get my head around. Educated guess, should I wait to change my thermostat until I can afford the gasket replacement?

Btw I'm not noticing coolant loss, but I do have to top up oil every few weeks. Not pudding of fluids at all beneath the car. The back side of the motor does seem pretty wet with oil but not enough to drip and puddle.


(This post was edited by Michael1983 on Jan 14, 2017, 12:30 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 14, 2017, 1:51 PM

Post #2 of 4 (510 views)
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Whatever model year this is that enough miles but smacks of only a thermostat and fix the flex pipe - new. I'd forget codes as it isn't going into closed loop till you see the idle drop so always thinks it's cold spewing extra fuel as it should for a couple minutes cold but stays there thinking it's not warmed up.


Understood even a thermostat which is probably ajar or stuck open in some at least you could tell. From cold have hood open and start it up. Feel the upper hose right off the thermostat. A good one would be stone cold till it warmed up to plain cold near radiator. Bet you can notice it slightly warming in the couple minutes to do this proves it's passing coolant on before it should.


All bets off for codes or what you think is a head gasket could just be too much fuel, moisture or something else.


If this is what I think and exhaust smell lousy you are harming the converter or already did. O2 sensor wouldn't like that either may or may not be ok after a fix.


Lot of mile IMO - Sounds like you aren't going to do the work so find out how much you are up for known problems for what you want to do with a car with that many miles, need it badly and possibly expensive - unsure of that yet,


T



Michael1983
Novice

Jan 14, 2017, 2:17 PM

Post #3 of 4 (505 views)
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Thank you for the fast reply. I'll go check them thermostat tube. When inspecting it earlier I noticed some oil on the back of the engine but not enough to pool beneath the car. The pvc valve does rattle when I shake it but there seems to be oil leaking. It's hard to tell whether it's coming from the crank case or the tube end of the pvc. I'm not sure how tight the pvc is supposed to fit on the ends. The pvc pulls out very easy from the top of the motor. There is no ring or gasket of any type. Once again, that end rattles but it sits loose. The other end is pretty snug I guess but if it's not just source of the leak it's a gasket. The tube isn't cracked but I'm not sure how tight it's supposed to be. I also noticed some sludge. Is this contributing in your opinion?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 14, 2017, 2:53 PM

Post #4 of 4 (498 views)
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If you are taking on a thermostat job check that you have the sockets and wrenches to get at it. Test it as said first that test is strong proof.


How tight? If a whole gasket or some kind of O ring the same. Not way too much or you can and will bust off an ear of a housing. Wire bush all threads and lube them so most is real close by hand if possible first.


IDK every engine ever made - if thermostat is mounted in the neck hold it with adequate wire in place and remove when snugged up so it doesn't fall if one of those.


The PB penetrating spray usually works just give it time. Clean surfaces carefully as alloys can be gouged with harsher gasket scrapers - go easy. Use a smear of grease so gasket can't make a mess again if this last long enough to need another.


Oily engine isn't conclusive unless you see a puddle even on engine. Some oil with time and miles to make greasy looking mess is normal.


Oil consumption at the miles some would be normal depending on how fast you drive, proper oil and how many miles for a quart required.


IDK - if you go for it I find synthetics are still worth it if not a lot of oil consumption. First changes sometime use up a bit more at first then less so keep checking.


Try hard not to bust off bolts then you could really be in trouble to fix that,


T







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