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1999 Saturn SC1 Stall Problem

I am having an issue with my 1999 Saturn SC1. The majority of the problem started Friday, July 13.

Driving to work I was rounding the last turn before I reached my place of employment I put the car in 3rd gear and if felt like I had chosen to high of a gear, so I dropped down to 2nd. Once getting more speed I returned to 3rd gear to find the same result. I then down shifted to find that car was still acting the same. Just as I pulled in to the driveway, half a block from the corner where the problem began, at work the car completely stalled out and would not restart.

Later that afternoon my fiance came to inspect the car on his lunch. He could find nothing wrong. The car started right up for him and he drove it around the block a few times. When I got back into the car I could not get it to start until I waited three seconds with the key in the on position. I was able to drive home from work, which is about 12 miles. However, a mile from exit on the freeway the RPMs dropped to 0 and the car felt like it was going to stall, then the RPMs jumped back up to 3,000 then a second later dropped to 0 again. Once it returned to normal I exited the freeway ASAP and finished my drive home on city streets.

Today, July 15, my fiance and I tried to recreate the issue. It will not do anything out of the normal when cold, but once it was warmed up and driven around a same circular condo parking lot when left to idle for 5 mins it quietly stalled out. No luck in restarting as of right now.

It sounds like it is not getting any gas. Battery is fine, my car clock has not lost a minute. I am pretty sure it is getting spark because we can get it started up. When we check the fuel pressure test point and we are getting fuel.

There is plenty of fuel and my fiance says he hears the fuel pump engaging. He thinks it might be the throttle position sensor?

What do you think?

Please help!

The problem might be caused from a defective Crankshaft Position Sensor being effected by heat. If this sensor no longer sends a signal to the computer, the computer doesn’t believe the engine is rotating. The computer then shuts down the fuel and ignition systems.

Because the crank sensor is a primary input to the computer a failure might not turn the Check Engine light on.

The sensor is located on the side of the engine block towards the firewall. The sensor can be removed, although this can be difficult because of carbon buildup on the sensor inside the engine, and then measure the resistance of the sensor. Then apply heat to the sensor with a hair drier/heat gun to see if the resistance goes out of spec.

Tester