96 SL2 Post-repair problem

I have a 96 SL2 that drives fine and has had very few problems over the years. Got SES light, brought it in to a local and (supposedly) reputable
repair shop. Ended up having to replace the valve gasket cover. While the car was there, so we decided to get some maintenance done because the car is very low-mileage and we can definitely get more years from it. So, we got a maintenance tune-up (including spark plugs), the ATF replaced, cooling system flushed, and something called an air induction and fuel system service (my hubbie agreed to that -- bye, bye tax refund!).
OK, we picked up the car right at the end of the day and drive it home. Now, for the first time, the car is hesitating when we accelerate from a stop and seems to be idling slightly faster than before. I'm going to bring the car back to the shop tomorrow or Friday, but I'd like to go there knowing what they did to create a problem that did not exist before, so that they can't say it's something new. So, any suggestions? Thanks for your help.
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I don't know how a SES light could point to a valve cover gasket. I'm also thinking they did something else (like trying to degunk the EGR valve) and messing it up.
B~
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Wonderful. I picked this place because it got good ratings from AAA and local magazines. So much for that! I had to get the EGR valve replaced a few years ago, and the car's not behaving like it did when that valve went bad.

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and
A local shop tried to rip off a friend of mine for a new transmission. Luckily he called me and I was able to diagnose the problem as two 75 cent bushings. When my friend went back and asked the shop to install the bushings (don't ask, loooong story..) the shop refused, saying "We stand behind our diagnosis, you need a new transmission". I put the bushings in for him, this was about 2 years ago, transmission is fine.
Got an advertisement from the rip off shop last week, they are a "Top AAA" recommended shop.
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Don't feel bad. I once agreed to a dealer replacing the 'valve cover gasket' (~$100+)and less than a year later, the same dealer said I needed the "cam cover gasket" replaced. I asked how did it fail in 6 months. They said they had no record of the cam cover gasket ever being replaced, I say it's the same cover, just before for you guys refered to as the valve cover. He shrugged his sholders and said, this is no valve cover, so no gasket, I have no clue what you had done in the past.
I refused it, and replaced it myself for 20 bucks. Plus you can guess I didn't go back to them ever again.
Not saying you were scammed, but in the process of tracking down the SES light, they might have noticed a leak, and rather than retorqueing the hold downs, you got a whole new gasket.
later,
tom @ www.Love-Calculators.com

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If I thought that the Saturn dealer would be more reliable and less likely to pull things like this than a local repair shop, I'd drive the 40 minutes to get there, but I'm not sure that dealers are much better. And they seem to be more expensive.

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I've had good dealers, I've had bad dealer, I've had good local shops, I had bad local shops. But.... one thing was more consistant, dealers were always more expensive, and the worse is a bad dealer. :(
So, I see why more and more people forgo using the dealer after the warrenty period is over.
:(
later,
tom @ www.MedicalJobList.com

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I agree the valve cover gasket would not likely set a fault code. It would just leak some oil and cause a mess. Sounds like they messed something else up. Take it back and get it fixed, then never return there.
Bob

also
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Well, the code supposedly, IIRC, was that one of the cylinders was not firing, which they said was caused by the leaking oil. Does that make more sense?

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Sounds like total rubbish. Whoever said that is a complete BSer. Besides, you'd need to add freaking quarts of oil.
I think the best thing is to take it to a dealer. May be easy to say, perhaps you don't have one near.
I also have a 96 SL2, low mileage, 104,000 km. I think here the ATF and coolant are done at the 100,000 km mark. In your case I'm not sure if that's early or late. Maybe more unnecessary maintenance.

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The reason we didn't take it to the Saturn dealer is that the nearest one is a good 40 minutes away, more during rush hour. In any event, the problem was found to be corrosion on the coil tower, and the shop owner said the tech should have noticed it yesterday, but didn't. He was very apologetic about the whole situation. They fixed it, and now the car runs smoothly again. I did have to take the day off from work to deal with it, but the good news is that, after dealing with the shop, I had the time to go see The Aviator, which was simply fantastic. Thanks for all the help, everyone. I appreciate it greatly.

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Great! Glad you had a good outcome. Yeah, corrosion on the coil tower sounds more likely than a river of oil flowing into a cylinder. I suppose the shop didn't mention that again, hoping no one would remember.
I don't know about The Aviator though! From the previews it looked like it was half CGI. Just doesn't look right to me.

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OT: There wasn't too much CGI, and was there was was fine. The big plane crash was absolutely terrifying. DiCaprio was superb, the best performance I've ever seen from him. Who knew he had it in him!

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Fantine wrote:

Yes, actually, if it comes from a leaking cam cover gasket. The oil collects in the wells surrounding the spark plugs. It's not unusual to have an inch or more of oil collected there. Eventually you start misfiring due to the oil shorting out the plug. -Rick
--
Rick Murphy, K1MU/4
Email to rick will work if you use rickmurphy after the "@" and dot-net
  Click to see the full signature.
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