Hard to start, acts like it's flooded. Also high engine idle--3,000 to 4,000 rpm


Asked by Mar 12, 2013 at 01:35 AM about the 2000 Saturn L-Series 4 Dr LS Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Have trouble starting half the time. When this occurs I have to hold accelerator down all the way as when an engine is flooded. When I come to a stop in gear it idles at very high rpm

17 Answers

your check engine light tells us what? Bad O2 sensor?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Your 2.2L I4 DOHC 16V FI Engine is designed to start by just turning key without you foot on gas petal.The ECM knows what to do. Same even of you have the higher end LSX with the 3.0L. That may be the problem right there, do not press the petal. If you must for it to start there is a fault in the ECM possibly, that could also explain the high idle, but that is one of many many possibilities, the O2 sensor just as Bob said, the list is too long to go through here

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

The O2 sensor is not a possibility. Engines start using the open loop which is a rich fuel mixture. After ten - thirty seconds, the O2 sensors come in when the ECU switches to closed loop operation. I would look for a vacuum leak which would lean out the starting mixture and cause high idle RPM. As David said, it could be many other things. It wouldn't hurt to get the engine codes read at the parts store.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Engine doesn't go into closed loop until both the engine hits an operating temp of about 160 and the O2 sensors have warmed up. Tenspeed is correct its not the O2 sensors.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Sounds like a vacuum leak. Flooded engine will idle rough not high.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Thanks John. Good to see you again.

Really..welcome back

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Been working


I know the OP's problem has been solved, but I'll add a couple clarifications for the benefit of others who, like I've just done, stumble upon this thread after the fact: 1) A vacuum leak often DOES yield a high idle: in these cases, the leak prevents operation at normal idle speed, so the ECU compensates by increasing idle speed to whatever point is capable of maintaining a sufficiently smooth and sustainable A/F mix. 2) On many vehicles, the ECM will remember a bad 02 sensor reading such that the reading DOES effect engine operation right upon the very next ignition attempt -- not several seconds or more afterwards.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

sounds like OBD-II you're describin' there~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2001 Saturn SL1 and it is very hard to start. When it is cold it starts right up but after the engine is warm it takes forever. Once it is running it seems to be running OK. I have changed the Fuel Filter, the Plugs, Plug wires and PVC Valve.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Any other symptoms like check engine light, engine running rough, etc?


the service engine soon light come on momentarily. Also, when it starts it runs rough at first, the smoothe. I read another post that said the problem could be the ECTS... what do you think?


John, obviously I meant the service light comes on momentarily, (right after the engine starts) Sorry


Coolant temp sensor trends to make a warn engine idle rough all the time, it keeps the ecm in open loop using more fuel and causing the engine to idle rough on the rich mixture. It's a possibility that yours is bad. It also sounds like you may have a slow leaking injector. Child be a handful of things, get the codes scanned and see what comes up if anything.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Will do John, thank you.


Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions. Had my mechanic diagnose both the hard to start and racing idle problems yesterday and the solutiion was replacement of the engine coolant temp sensor. Works fine now. zylicz

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • engine rpm to high 3 answers

    i have a saturn 2001 dual overhead cams .when motoring down the road i pull foot off of gas car continues to pull it self down the road, when i get to stop light i put trans. in nuetral engine goes to...

    2001 Saturn L-Series


    Maintenance & Repair

  • What would cause the RPM to run high in my 2001 Saturn L200? 1 answer

    When I press on the gas to go the RPM go up but the car boggles down?

    2001 Saturn L-Series 4 Dr L200 Sedan


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Check engine light 3 answers

    I purchased a 2000 Saturn LS2 yesterday, and today as I was driving, my rpms went up to 5. I let off the gas, and lightly accelerated. I briefly lost acceleration and blew out a large cloud of whi...

    2000 Saturn L-Series 4 Dr LS2 Sedan


    Maintenance & Repair

  • wyy sathurm after replase ebgine rpmstay3000rpm o/n 3000 rpm 1 answer

    wy my saturn the rpm dont go dow/ inly stay 3000 rpm I feplese tmheengine

    2000 Saturn L-Series 4 Dr LS1 Sedan


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Car started reving high wont stop 2 answers

    I have a 1996 Saturn SL it started revving High the RPMs and it just keeps getting higher it only starts revving when I have the clutch and break down at the same time

    1996 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL Sedan


    Maintenance & Repair


Looking for a Used L-Series in your area?

CarGurus has 455 nationwide L-Series listings starting at $1,250.


Search Saturn L-Series Questions

Saturn L-Series Experts

#1 Ephram Rubin
Ephram Rubin
Reputation 900
#2 FordNut
Reputation 440
#3 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 350
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Saturn S-Series
795 listings starting at $995
Used Honda Civic
487 Great Deals out of 80,458 listings starting at $558
Used Chevrolet Malibu
748 Great Deals out of 88,201 listings starting at $1,900
Used Toyota Camry
831 Great Deals out of 90,858 listings starting at $1,300
Used Toyota Corolla
728 Great Deals out of 74,096 listings starting at $1,790
Used Ford Focus
523 Great Deals out of 55,030 listings starting at $1,495
Used GMC Yukon
393 Great Deals out of 16,276 listings starting at $1,800

Used Cars For Sale

2000 Saturn L-Series 4 Dr LS Sedan For Sale
9 listings starting at $1,250