1994 Saturn SL Idle Problem

My boyfriend has a 1994 Saturn SL with about 125,000 miles. He is having a problem with it idling high. It is a standard transmission and when you put it in neutral (stopping for a red light) and then go into gear…it starts idling high at about 2500 - 3000 RPMs. After about 25 seconds it returns to normal.


Karen K

That seems to be more common on Saturns than most anything else. It’s caused by a called (I think) an idle speed motor. You should be able to tell any knowledgeable parts counter person what it’s doing and get the part. Shouldn’t be a big deal to put it on. The parts guy may even be able to point at it on your boyfriend’s engine.

The most common problem with this engine is the intake manifold gasket. If he, or his mechanic, sprays some WD40 or a carburetor/fuel injector cleaner around the manifold gasket around the #1 cylinder and the idle changes, that is the problem. It only affects the #1 cylinder because there is no bridge between the #1 and #2 cylinders on the head side and only three studs around that port. Use an FelPro gasket as a replacement instead of an OEM from the dealer.