Cold start 1999 Saturn SC1

Asked by Dec 18, 2015 at 12:45 PM about the 1999 Saturn S-Series 2 Dr SC1 Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1999 Saturn SC1 and a I have a problem
that just makes no sense to me. When my car sits
for more than a few hours it will crank, sometimes
almost start, and then stall unless I feather the gas
for ages and not let it get below 1200 RPM or it will
stall. After anywhere from 5 minutes to 50 minutes
of starting, stalling, revving, it will magically click
into proper working order. I can hear a change in
its exhaust not when it does this and I know that I
can let it just idle and it won't die.

I replaced the CPS, and my starter since constant
starting killed the old one, and the alternator looks
new. I can't hold the gas pedal when feathering or
it will die. I don't understand it. I thought it could be
the fuel pump, but if I can rev it for so long, so I
think it is working okay. And it works perfectly fine
once warmed up. A weak fuel pump would give out
on the highway from what I am used to.

I am going to replace the EGR valve because I
suspect it could be the culprit, but if I have a
vacuum leak elsewhere why does it go away when
warmed up? Is it bad compression?

I am totally at a loss and may just look into a new
car if I can't figure it out soon.

Thank you all for any help and suggestions that
you have.

4 Answers


Saturn's have quirky coolant sensors and the electrical connectors to this sensor. Replace the coolant temp sensor and carefully look at its connector. If the connector is bad you will have to splice in a new one. These are available through your GM dealer. You can have this confirmed if you have a friend with a scan tool that can read the temperature sensors of the car when its cold.

I replaced my radiator, my egr valve, and some washers on my battery bolt today. Long and frustrating day, but my car is acting nice so far. I don't know which one possibly fixed it, but I will know if it ia truly fixed if it works good for the next few days. I have a scanner and don't see any odd readings from the ect. I will update next week on good or bad news.


Two things I could think of our the throttle position sensor TPS sensor that would make it so you can't remain an idle or it could over Idle the engine that could be a culprit makes a problem where are the engine was staying at a high revs you know automatically when I put it in park even after the car was cold or warm didn't matter and then the other thing that could be wrong is your crank position sensor which makes it very hard for a car to start those two sensors really play games and with starting the vehicle. To begin with I would try those two sensors to be honest with you get back to us.

Well, A few weeks later it still takes about 3-5 tries before it starts and stays running, but I am happy with the improvement of it takes 20 or minutes of me messing with it before it stays on. I don't want to spend more money on this car and will see about getting a new car within the year. I would rather spend money on payments for a reliable car with a/c and radio than replacing a car that is falling apart piece by piece. I have done that for half of my life and I am tired of it.

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