Repair and maintenance information for Saturn vehicles
TOP 4 SATURN REPAIR PROBLEMS
Knocking or pinging in the combustion chambers.
Check if your knock sensor is still working. Using a volt meter tester, try tapping on the knock sensor gently. If the tester's needle fluctuates, your knock sensor is still fine.
Check your spark plugs for excessive carbon deposits on their electrodes. Carbon buildup can cause make the spark plug ignite the air and fuel mixture too early. You can also check if the spark plugs have the correct gap measurements. If the gap is less than the recommended measurement, the spark plug may fire too early.
Clean your engine's cylinder walls. Soot and carbon buildup can create hotspots in the chambers and ignite the air-fuel mixture even before the spark plug fires.
Maintain your engine's normal operating temperature. If the cylinder is too hot, the air and fuel mixture can get ignited even before the plug produces a spark.
Have your engine compression ratio tested. Too high a compression ratio-coupled with high engine temperature-can combust the air-fuel mixture even as the piston moves upward and before the plug produces a spark.
Use a higher octane rating fuel. The octane rating determines how much resistance the fuel has to being combusted. Before using fuel with a higher octane rating, however, be sure to consult with your trusted mechanic or the car manufacturer first.
Thick smoke coming out the tail pipe
This may be caused by an air and fuel mixture that's too rich. Check your air intake system for clogged air ways. Also, clean or replace your air filter if it's already too dirty. To check, take out the air filter and tap on it slightly. Dust falling off means it has already accumulated enough dirt and needs to be replaced.
If the emission is blue or gray in color, then the crankcase oil may be seeping into the combustion chambers. To remedy this, check your piston rings for cracks and jagged edges. Replace worn ones and test run the engine. It's also recommended to clean the cylinder bore for carbon deposits. If you've done all of these and nothing changes in your emissions, have your engine's compression tested by a mechanic. You might need to rebore your cylinder.
Check the catalytic converter. Rattling means you should already replace it.
Also called cam walk, this problem is caused by the camshaft moving laterally forward or backward in the engine block. When a cam walks, the cam lobes become misaligned with the cam lifters. This ruins the ignition timing, makes the gears wear faster, and can eventually damage the lobes and cam lifters. A cam that walks forward also usually leaves scores on or flexes the timing chain cover.
To solve this problem, you can install a cam button or cam thrust button at the front end of the camshaft. This would stop the cam from walking forward. You can also use a sturdier timing chain cover made of stainless steel to avoid cover flexing.