Saturn engine turns over, but wont catch :(



I started my 1998 Saturn SW2 this morning and it was idling very roughly, almost as if it was mis-firing or something. I turned the car off for a few minutes then tried to restart it but to no avail. The engine turns over just fine and occasionally sounds like it wants catch but never does. It was about 20 degrees and clear and dry out…not humid at all.

Like I said the engine turns over fine, so not a dead battery issue, I checked and even replaced all the plugs, which are getting a good white sparks just fine and I know the car is getting fuel at least up to the pressure relief valve next to the fuel-injector rail. There are no computer error codes after putting a reader on it even though my service engine light has not come on. I am now stumped and hope someone might have some ideas where I could look next! THanks!


I should also have added that the car was working superbly the day before without any problems at all, even though it was colder out and I drove probably 200-miles.


When you attempt to start the engine next time, spray a little starting fluid into the air intake and see if the engine fires up then quits almost immediately.
If it does, you’ll know you have a fuel supply fault.

When was the fuel filter last replaced?

You say there is fuel at the Schrader valve, but is it the correct pressure?

Perhaps the fuel pump is weak and on it’s way out, OR maybe sucking up some foreign matter in the tank.

Have you checked the fuel pressure regulator? Pull the vacuum hose off and if you see fuel come out, replace the regulator.


Had a similar issue with my 97 SL1. Turned out to be a Crankshaft Position Sensor. Ellusive problem, since there were no codes and all the other requirements for ignition appeared to be present. I would receommend that…pretty simple (and cheap) fix.