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Old 11-27-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
mriley2xl
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Default 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

I have a 2001 Saturn L200 with 69K miles on the twin cam 16 valve 2.2 liter 4 cyl. It has been a great car until last week. My wife started the car to go to the store and it quit in front of our house so it went about 70 feet before it shut down. She said it was running really rough and then just quit. It will not start now. It will crank but will not start unless I put the gas pedal to the floor in which case it will start for about 1 second. I started by checking all fuses and they are all good. I have replaced the fuel filter and crank position sensor. I have 58 lbs of fuel pressure at the fuel rail from the Schrader valve test port. When I try to start it all the dash lights come on as they should and upon cranking the engine, all go out except the "service soon" light, (it was just serviced a week prior at a local GM dealership we have never used before), the "battery" light and the "oil" light. The security light on the dash is not on or flashing. I have pulled the injectors and they look fine upon sight inspection. I have had two OBD II code readers on it and both say there are no codes. I pulled the coil assembly and I have spark to all 4 plugs. The plugs are origional but in excellent shape. I cleaned them while I had them out anyway. I held my hand over the exhaust pipe while someone cranked the engine and it seems to have compression. I called Saturn for recalls and they say our car has none although I think that is incorrect (VIN 1G8JU54FX1Y560626). I have heated the steering column with a hair dryer and that didn't work either. The car has about 7/8 of a tank of gas from the place where we have purchased gas for 5 years now. My wife did run it out of gas twice this summer but it started right up after I put gas in it. It has a slight oil leak at the passenger side of the engine from the main seal it looks like. Other than that, the car looks and has always run like new. My daughter is a certified Acura mechanic and she couldn't figure it out. I can fix it if I know what the problem is. I just can't figure out the problem. Any help is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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Old 11-27-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

This is just a hunch but I think it may be possible you have a broken or skipped timing chain. One way you could check this is to remove the valve cover and look at the sprockets on the camshafts. If you don't see a chain there, then that is what has happened. This is not good news, as it is an interference engine for which valve damage is likely in the event of a failed TC. For a skipped chain, you have to check the timing marks with piston #1 at TDC on the compression stroke. This is also possible with the valve cover off.

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Old 11-27-2010, 08:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

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This is just a hunch but I think it may be possible you have a broken or skipped timing chain. One way you could check this is to remove the valve cover and look at the sprockets on the camshafts. If you don't see a chain there, then that is what has happened. This is not good news, as it is an interference engine for which valve damage is likely in the event of a failed TC. For a skipped chain, you have to check the timing marks with piston #1 at TDC on the compression stroke. This is also possible with the valve cover off.
That's what I was afraid of. It will start for a second though with the gas pedal to the floor. That made me think (hope) it may not be timing. Plus, I have good compression so either the timing is OK or the valves were not bent if the timing is out, right?

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Old 11-27-2010, 08:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

i agree it wouldn't start if the chain is broken. But jumped is possible.

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Old 11-27-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

I hope you're wrong about the timing chain as it would mean an expensive repair. At least a compression test can verify whether or not something's wrong with all the cylinders not firing. A compression tester is more informative.

Any chance the 10A injector fuse is blown since its implied that with spark, injector pulses are there to allow fuel injection but if the fuse is blown the injectors won't fire and the plugs will be dry. Cranking the engine a few seconds or longer without firing up would leave wet plugs or flooding. Pulling plugs for inspection can confirm fuel injection.

Does the engine turn over at all? Without locking up and stalling the starter?

...
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
I hope you're wrong about the timing chain as it would mean an expensive repair. At least a compression test can verify whether or not something's wrong with all the cylinders not firing. A compression tester is more informative.

Any chance the 10A injector fuse is blown since its implied that with spark, injector pulses are there to allow fuel injection but if the fuse is blown the injectors won't fire and the plugs will be dry. Cranking the engine a few seconds or longer without firing up would leave wet plugs or flooding. Pulling plugs for inspection can confirm fuel injection.

Does the engine turn over at all? Without locking up and stalling the starter?
All fuses are good. I'll check actual compression nos. tomorrow. Pulled plugs and they are wet. Grounded them, cranked engine and they sparked in sync.

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Old 11-27-2010, 10:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

Last ditch try before the compression test; leave out the plugs and crank the engine to blow out excess fuel then replace the dried plugs for one more start. Sometimes a flooded engine needs to be cranked either as wide open throttle or plugs removed for a quick spin to blow out the raw fuel. This may get the engine started if compression is still there and timing is ok.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 11-27-2010, 10:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Last ditch try before the compression test; leave out the plugs and crank the engine to blow out excess fuel then replace the dried plugs for one more start. Sometimes a flooded engine needs to be cranked either as wide open throttle or plugs removed for a quick spin to blow out the raw fuel. This may get the engine started if compression is still there and timing is ok.
That was my next move since plugs are out. Let it sit all night to dry and try again tomorrow. I will do compression test before re-installing plugs though. Thank you all for your input. Looks like I'll know more tomorrow.

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Old 11-28-2010, 10:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

Any chance that the gas station you bought gas at for 5 years inadvertently sold you bad gas. sometimes they try to refill their underground tanks in the pouring rain.

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Old 11-07-2011, 07:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

Ok so I am having the same problem and wanted to see if you ever figured it out. I had my timing chain replaced about a month ago. My mechanic replaced the whole assembly. About 3 weeks later I went to start my car and it would crank but not fire. He took it back in found out it had skipped a couple teeth. The tensioner came apart so he replaced it again thinking that was the problem gave me my car back at no charge. One week later to the day same thing all over again. Had my car towed back in. He has now had it over a week and can not figure out what is wrong with it. HELP!!! I need my car back. I had already replaced my fuel pump and filter last year do to a different problem so not thinking it is a fuel issue.

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Old 11-08-2011, 07:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

Welcome to Saturnfans!

Posting on a year old thread that was never closed by the OP may not help you. Its difficult to ask anyone to follow up on their posts when positive results get them going to the point that they forget. There may be other issues that have priority in life and closing out a thread may not be on the list................

Are you familiar with testing for fuel and spark? Is your mechanic familiar with EFI systems in general and Saturns specifically? As I see it (and not expert on everything) EFI systems aren't difficult to troubleshoot; its separating mechanical, electrical, and electronic problems from each other as well as identifying what the problem causes to help diagnose and test. Air, fuel, and spark are the three main ingredients to make an engine run. Assuming air is being ingested, leaves fuel and spark to test for; fuel and pressure at the fuel rail's test valve, spark by removing the plugs and ignition coil pack to reassemble out in the open on top of the engine to observe for spark on each plug as the engine is cranked over.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 11-08-2011, 09:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

Everytime he resets the timing it will run just fine. He can not figure out why (and it is always when I go to start it) it jumps a couple teeth on the timing chain. Everyone he is talking to is telling him it is a oil pressure issue. He is telling me that he needs a fitting to check the oil pressure and is unable to get it from anywhere. They no longer make it no one stocks it. I don't know if I should just tell him to put it back together and I will take it somewhere else or what. He is the only one that has worked on it since I have owned it and that has been 9 years and he has always done right by me.

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Old 11-08-2011, 10:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: 2001 L200 Cranks but won't start

I don't mean to question your mechanic's abilities but no one knows everything (including me). The chain jumping may be the hydraulic operated chain tensioner not pushing out to maintain the chain guide against the moving chain. Ask him if something was done or not done that may have left the chain tensioner from operating correctly after retiming. Its an easy oversight anyone can make when performing timing work. There are old threads about timing you may want to search, one at the top of the L-forum as a sticky.

If the oil pressure light never turns on (except at ignition ON, engine off) during an engine run then oil pressure is fine, period. The chain tensioner may be the issue.

An oil pressure fitting you're describing may be the one that's basically a 'T' fitting that screws into the hole where the oil sender unit screws into. This shouldn't be difficult to make. Some shops use off the shelf assembled units made for this purpose while others make it from scratch with available parts to custom fit it to the threads on the engine. There are several threads used for oil pressure sending units that makes using an oil pressure gauge difficult. If this mechanic knows then its just a matter of creating one. The 'T' fitting allows attaching the 'T' to the engine while one side has the gauge and the other side has the sending unit. Even this can be eliminated altogether by simply removing the sending unit and screwing in a pressure gauge. The engine doesn't care if the sending unit works or not but the EFI system does and at most might turn on the SES or wrench indicator but your mechanic would know this. All he needs to do is to match the threads from the engine to the oil pressure gauge.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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