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Old 10-10-2017, 09:54 AM   #1
VicSaturnS
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Default Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

Hello everyone, I got an issue with my bros 1996 Saturn SL SOHC 1.9L. I would like to know if anyone has any tips or tricks or can guide me to do some diagnostic work for what is going on! Its been weird thus far.

So recently we replaced his head with a refurbished one a while back because of the crack in the 5th cam lobe mixing oil and coolant...

and since then it was running good but it now does this thing where it will make a smoke NOT a thick coolant smoking because It isn't vaporous as water and it is definitely a fuel smoke issue like a grey slow moving smoke but regardless I know it is because the fuel trims are acting crazy. The short term fuel trim is trying to correct itself cycling from 0 % to -25 to -30 % and under load* it will go to -50 % (*throttle applied in park).

The coolant sensor is new, replaced the same time as the head and works good but the one thing I notice about the short fuel trims is the Precat sensor is also cementing that it is running rich it will go as high as 1.05 v and lowest at .6 v and when it reaches that peak 1.05 it will go back down to 0% on the short term fuel trim and gradually rise again and repeat itself going to -25 or -30 and stay for a while and drop when the voltage reaches peak. the intake sensor is working to my knowledge when running it is at about 100f which seems right from where I live in the lower midwest.

One thing I should mention is that he replaced the o2 sensor a few years ago with a Bosch universal I am not sure if that sits well with people here if you know if it does or doesn't please let me know but I think that is where my problem lies since it overshoots the usual .1v to .9v that is usually normal.
I don't think it is an exhaust leak either, even a small one wouldn't do it this drastically I wouldn't think. I also think that now the catalytic converter isn't efficient anymore I checked it a while back and the temp test didn't pass. So there is that, but even with it being bad he would get 32-35 mpg.

Thank you for reading I hope someone can shed some light on what I should do next!

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Old 10-10-2017, 10:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=181079

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc
Universal O2 sensor is not satisfactory either. Denso or NGK/NTK direct fit.
I picked one up on ebay, of all places. Direct fit Denso or NGK, don't recall which, and worked perfectly, around $20~25 shipped, IIRC

edit: I wouldn't think an O2 would cause that much trouble. Any codes?

When you read live data, what temp is showing for coolant when engine is warmed up? A few people have had "bad out of the box" ECTS / coolant sensors

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Old 10-11-2017, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

I checked it yesterday and it showed a P0140 and P0141, and an incorrect gear 3 ratio code, both about the inoperable the heater circuit in the second o2 sensor and in-operating condition, but when I look at the live data it is reading steadily as if it were running normally at around .50-.55 v . Before it did have codes about the precat sensor but I replaced the manifold to downpipe gasket and cleared them about a week ago. Not sure if it has been driven enough to complete a drive cycle.

EDIT: Also the temperature is reading good, both the gauge and my live data correspond with the temperatures of the coolant, I was checking it with my IR heat gun to verify

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Old 10-11-2017, 09:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

If you discuss fuel trims, you may go off on a tangent discussing all the details of EFI systems and the what ifs when something occurs. Fuel trims are basically for the extremely technical minded person that already has advanced knowledge of EFI systems. If you're not completely familiar with EFI systems and how fuel trims are affected, you're liable to get lost in the minutiae. It may be better, easier and wiser to simply discuss what the symptoms are, error codes and history of the car along with any maintenance done and parts replaced. This draws a picture for anyone reading your post to have an idea of what you see and hear. Remember, no one's standing next to you and cannot know what you mean with generalizations like coolant temperatures. Unless you know what is normal operating temps, your idea of normal may be incorrect. Post actual numbers.


Are you aware of the two O2 sensors operating differently? The upstream sensor is the main one used by the PCM to run the EFI system while controlling emissions. The downstream sensor is checking only for catcon efficiency. The upstream sensor fluctuates output voltages between 0.1-0.9 volts several times a second while the downstream sensor output s one voltage.

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Old 10-11-2017, 10:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

^ ^ ^ yeah, I wouldn't worry about the P0140 and P0141 for now. No effect on fuel. If you get bored, clear them, make sure everything is plugged in, wires didn't get crimped or cut, and see if they come back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer
Post actual numbers
and codes
Good point on actual info/numbers, rather than a general "it checked good"

I'd replace the front O2 on general principles

Then do some additional free checks.
1) first thing in the morning, cold engine, check air temp and coolant temp, report back actual numbers
2) first thing in the morning, cold engine, read air pressure reported by MAP sensor

Couldn't hurt to check fuel pressure, though I would expect a code

how long between the time the head was replaced and it was running good, to the time it started blowing out the smoke?

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Old 10-11-2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

Thanks. Yes I am aware of the o2 sensor's functions, and the temperature is operating at 205 when parked and about 3/8-1/2 on the gauge. Driving it reads at 190*f.

I understand that fuel trims may not be everyone's specialty, but it is the one thing that is actually showing something to be wrong sorry for the disillusion I have made. I understand that the EFI system on most EFI systems in any vehicle will change for any multitude of reasons.

So to recompense not giving enough listing of what has been done. This listing is from newest to oldest in the span of 3 years. All new unless other-wisely specified.

Manifold to Down pipe Exhaust Gasket - Replaced
Radiator - Replaced
PCV valve - Replaced
Upper radiator hose - Replaced
CTS - Replaced
Thermostat - Replaced
Cylinder Head Assembly - Replaced ( remanufactured )
Alternator - Replaced
Spark plugs & wires - Replaced
Air Filter - Replaced
Idler pulley and Tensioner and belt - Replaced
EGR valve - Replaced
Battery - Replaced

----------------

And to state the problems quickly the car smokes, smells of fuel, worse gas mileage, feeling as car is heavy as if it is working hard.

The ODO is at 240k

Codes up to this point relating to engine P0140 and P0141, prior cleared were directed at upstream sensor.

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Old 10-11-2017, 11:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post

Then do some additional free checks.
1) first thing in the morning, cold engine, check air temp and coolant temp, report back actual numbers
2) first thing in the morning, cold engine, read air pressure reported by MAP sensor

Couldn't hurt to check fuel pressure, though I would expect a code

how long between the time the head was replaced and it was running good, to the time it started blowing out the smoke?
I'll get to 1 and 2 and fuel shortly. I may not be able to get this information to you today.

The head was replaced 4 months ago

My brothers said the car started smoking is when the heater core busted in his car and leaked inside. He didn't want it replaced so he connected the hoses to recirculate in engine. After that particular moment of him fixing" it, it smoked.

which was about 2 months ago, and it was sitting for the better part of a month to get a replacement radiator as it developed a pinhole leak in the core.

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Old 10-11-2017, 11:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

Quote:
Originally Posted by VicSaturnS View Post
I'll get to 1 and 2 and fuel shortly. I may not be able to get this information to you today.
No worries. With the new info, it seems more likely that the issue is related to something your brother did, than any sensor failure.

Quote:
My brothers said the car started smoking is when the heater core busted in his car and leaked inside. He didn't want it replaced so he connected the hoses to recirculate in engine. After that particular moment of him fixing" it, it smoked
Have you inspected his work? Does he have some kind of U-shaped hose or did he just plug them off somehow? what about nearby wiring, etc.?

It sounds like you know what you are about, your brother, not so much.

the P0140/141 may also be related to his "fix" - he may have crimped the wires, pulled them out by accident, etc

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Old 10-11-2017, 12:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

In addition to suggestions given, at 240k miles, car driving with less power, low fuel mileage, may suggest a partially blocked catalytic converter disintegrating. A strangled exhaust system can create strange symptoms. The easiest test for a damaged catcon is to remove the upstream O2 sensor for an alternate exhaust path (loud) and drive. You may have to make a soup can diverter to point hot exhaust gases away from parts melting from the heat. If engine power suddenly returns, the catcon is strangling the engine from breathing.

How's compression? P0140 and P014201 related to the downstream heater and sensor not operating.

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Old 10-20-2017, 06:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn SL running rich, fuel trims

The fuel trim to watch is the LTFT not the STFT.

The STFT is basically the minor fuel trim adjustment. every time it maxes out it will add 1 or subtract 1on the LTFT and zero itself and start over.

Are you using coolant?

do you smell gas in the oil when you pull the dipstick.

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