saturn idle.question.

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Apr 28, 2011
missouri usa
My 98 Saturn sl2 5sp when started cold idles at 1200 and over the course of the warm up period it slowly goes down to about 875 when fully warm. It has no issues runs great do they all do this. I'm not to concerned just wondering if its normal. Thanks all.
I've never had a vehicle that did it. All my previous cars idled down to normal within two mins or less this thing does it till its warm. I'm glad to know its seems normal though
My 99SL2 tends to get a lower idle fairly quickly when it is cold outside. I have changed the thermostat twice. Warm up was better after changing the thermostat. After about 100,000 miles mine did not work like they should. My warm idle is 850. Sometimes 825. I just cleaned the throttle body while on car and always spray the hole for the idle air control valve with cleaner. That may account for the idle going a little lower, but I could be wrong.
the one way to be sure if the temp sensor is ok and not giving the computer wrong engine temp would be checking the engine temp sensor and the air temp sensor are the same before starting up cold.
Temp sensor is new Thermostat new tb cleaned everything is clean and good that's why I thought well maybe its normal.
Yes, my Saturn does the same and it is normal. All the items listed are up to date on mine too.
Most cars get to normal idle speed rather quickly.
Yours seems a bit slow, but could be perfectly OK.
Is the temperature coming up OK?
Or maybe a faulty coolant sensor?
My '96 I once had always did that. I had an auto but remember driving several manuals and always noticed they rev back down very slowly while shifting as well.
Normal. my saturn does the same thing...and also if you drive it as soon as you start it up cold it will run at higher than normal rpm as well until the temp gauge gets up to normal operating temps.
I had always wondered if it was to avoid using a secondary air system for emissions, although IIRC '00+ S-series had the AIR system anyway.

I seem to recall reading something once about other engines with the lazy revving while shifting being programmed like that for such a reason.
It's not wasting too much gas really with no load. I like how the extra inertia of a slightly faster idle covers the inevitable putt-putts and misfires of a very cold engine.

The EPA makes carmakers do stuff like high cold idles to warm the cat up within a set number of seconds. My old 1989 mazda 323, first generation fuel injected, would scream at 3000-3500 RPM for minutes (!) until warmed up. Anything made since then idles great by my standards.
The only thing I would add to this is when my 97 Saturn starting experiencing a high idle,I found a vacuum leak on the short piece of hose going between the intake and valve cover,it also has a Pcv valve. My hose had dry rot and when replaced the idle lowered by a good bit.
It is common though to have a higher idle for maybe a minute or two at cold start up.
Originally Posted By: moklock
My '96 I once had always did that. I had an auto but remember driving several manuals and always noticed they rev back down very slowly while shifting as well.

It was feature meant to try and help you rev match the next gear. That way no throttle was needed to shift, I thought it was a tad annoying but livable.
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