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oachalon 02-13-2013 08:51 PM

2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire

I have a 2007 Saturn Aura XR with the 3.6L. I am currently get a P0300 misfire code. Mileage is around 36,500

More info on it.

When we hooked it up last time there was misfire counts only on one bank of cylinders. If I remember it was the left bank. All 3 cylinders had almost equal amounts of misfire counts.

Misfire counts and misfire only happen at idle. When under load or not at idle all misfire counts and misfires go away.

Car runs perfect other than you can feel misfires at idle. No lack of power, no loss in fuel economy, no bad smells, and no other issues. Car doesn't even sound like its misfiring, but you can feel it at idle.

Engine light has popped up 4 times for this in 3 months. Figured bad gas but multiple tanks and from different fueling stations and it still throws the code. Only pops up when idling for a while at traffic lights.

I know timing chains is common on these, but it doesn't seem to be that.

Any ideas?

oachalon 02-14-2013 06:50 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire

Today leaving work car threw the service traction and then a flashing engine light. Still P0300 code, but not happy to see the engine light flashing. Before it was a solid light.

lugnuts 02-15-2013 08:08 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
Check your plugs/ coil packs

oachalon 02-16-2013 10:10 AM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
I will, but I am leaning towards o2 sensor. That is really the only item that would cause a complete bank of cylinders to misfire and misfire at the same rate.

I also did some research and have found o2 sensors causing bank misfires on these motors.

Hoping to get it connected to a scan tool soon enough and see whats going on.

jbn7474 02-22-2013 02:32 AM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
My girlfriends 07 Aura XR 93k was hesitating and getting the traction control message on and off for a while. We had it tuned up, replaced plugs, all fluids, coil packs, and it was still running a little rough and shuddering. Then we just drove it to Florida from New England and it drove well on the way down. Once here towards the end of the week the hesitation turned into slipping gears and clunking. Having this happen 1500 miles from home is not a comforting feeling. The service traction control light went off a few times, too.

We ended up digging through her paper work and found her purchase date which was five years to the date she bought it. So we called GM and they referred us to a local dealer. We were literally two hours from closing time to get the car in to still be under the 5yr/100k warranty. They then said initially it was a misfire or bad gas, and we didn't have any codes either. We left the dealership and it started slipping bad and hesitating. We brought it back and insisted something was wrong and they further investigate. They took it out with two techs for a good ride and came back reporting they felt the slipping. They ended up taking the tranny apart and found that the wave plate snapped and the fragments made a mess and destroyed parts. After research I have found this is a common issue with the drive train. We were fortunate to catch this on the power train warranty. They had to do an overhaul and order parts to fix this issue. I am still waiting for the car, supposed to be done tomorrow, and then drive it back north. I hope they fixed it right for my long journey home. It seems all the early 07 auras are having tranny problems due to this wave plate.

oachalon 02-22-2013 01:18 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
I hope it gets fixed. Mine is definitely not a transmission problem. I am only having an at idle misfire. Under load and power the car runs fine.

I still haven't had enough time to diagnose what my problem is.

lugnuts 02-22-2013 02:41 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
Are you sure the whole bank is misfiring you would be in limp mode

greenman 02-23-2013 02:23 AM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire

I know timing chains is common on these, but it doesn't seem to be that.

A 6 y/o car with 36K?

Cyl 2, 4 & 6 misfiring on a 3.6l. From your description it sounds exactly like a secondary timing chain issue. Do you have any reason to believe the chains have already been replaced?

oachalon 02-23-2013 01:47 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
I know the timing chains haven't been replaced. I bought the car brand new with 10 miles on it.

I get misfire counts on a bank of cylinders only at idle.

So when hooked up to a scan tool when the car is idling you can see misfire counts on every cylinder in that bank. So I see cylinder 2 has 20-30 misfire counts, then cylinder 4, then cylinder 6. Again only at idle and the counts will bounce around on each of those 3 cylinders If I just tap the throttle all cylinder counts go away and the car runs perfect.

Im not eliminating the timing chain, but I have spoken with 3 mechanic friends and they said every single 3.6L they worked on with a bad timing chain threw timing codes and cam actuator codes. I only have a P0300 code. This code and misfire only occurs at idle, which doesn't seem to match a timing chain issue.

Most of them told me to look at either throttle body, o2 sensors, or corroded wires somewhere.

greenman 02-23-2013 11:29 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
[QUOTE=oachalon;1955559] ...every single 3.6L they worked on with a bad timing chain threw timing codes and cam actuator codes.[/QUOTE]

Pretty much my experience as well.

[QUOTE] Most of them told me to look at either throttle body, o2 sensors, or corroded wires somewhere.[/QUOTE]

Well, whatever the cause, it's pretty dang intermittent except when its acute (i.e.-CEL flashing).

TB makes no sense. O2 sensor is easy enough to rule out with a basic scan tool.

Injectors 2,4,6 share a common power feed & coils 2,4,6 share a common power feed, ground & 5v lowref.

greenman 02-24-2013 02:00 AM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
By the way, what are the total misfire counts per cyl & what scan tool are you using?

oachalon 02-24-2013 01:23 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
I forget what the total counts were off hand, but I want to say 20-30 counts per cylinder.

Using a Tech 2.

I haven't had access to the scan tool lately, so I haven't been able to rule anything out.

I definitely have not ruled out electrical as well. I was going to start tracing wires, looking for frays or possibly corroded connections.

Thanks for the help on this.

I am hoping its not the timing chain or a bad head. It is very intermittent and I have not come across any bulletins with this specific info. Reason I was leaning towards o2 at first was because on some of the v8s they used to get bank misfires for bad o2 sensors.

greenman 02-24-2013 02:56 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
[QUOTE=oachalon;1955922]I forget what the total counts were off hand, but I want to say 20-30 counts per cylinder. Using a Tech 2.


20-30 total misfires per cylinder is nothing. Its background noise. When your CEL is blinking is when the misfiring is acute. What are those totals?

Sounds like an electrical issue but very hard to find when its so dang intermittent. I'd probably just drive it & see if it gets worse & pops a more helpful code.

You might want to invest in a scan tool program like ScanXL (couple hundred bucks, IIRC) so you'd have full-time access to your real-time data.

You might also want to pay attention to any intermittent pending codes that may issue & quickly disappear by keeping a cheap code reader plugged in.

greenman 02-24-2013 03:59 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
Also, given the mileage the car must of sat unused for long stretches, rodent chewing damage is always a possibility.

greenman 02-24-2013 04:47 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
So had that car been unused for a long period prior to noticing this issue?

oachalon 02-24-2013 06:18 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
Car never sits unused. I drive it everyday back and forth to work. The longest it sits is maybe 1 day. My roundtrip to work is maybe 6 miles. The mileage is low because its probably city driving 4 days a week and highway 3 days.

In terms of time the car is actually on and operating is high, its just the distances aren't far. The car will be 6 years in july, so its averaging a little more than 6k a year. Its my daily driver, but as I said its not traveling long distances. Most of the mileage is during winter months because in the summer I drive my 2010 Camaro, but the Saturn is still driven daily.

The code started happening 3-4 months ago. Went out to the car one night to go somewhere and it popped the engine light. The next day I checked the code it was a P0300. Figured possibly bad gas, so got new gas, did an oil change, and cleared the code. The car had a little idle hesitation throughout that time but didn't throw a code for about 3 months. Then just this month the idle has been getting very slightly worse and the car has been throwing the codes more. Lately I have been driving the car more so the codes have been more frequent. If I am not idling long I can go a long time not seeing a code, its just if I am remote starting in the morning, stuck in traffic, just extended period of time idling. For example the code came back on Thursday night and went back off Saturday night. It will probably stay off until next Thursday or Friday when I have to be doing major city stop and go driving.

I have not had a scan tool when the engine light has been blinking, as I don't have access. Right now to read the codes I have my SCT X3 programmer from my Camaro. I leave it in my car so when it does show a light I can see what it is. All times it has been P0300. I wish it would throw something different, but so far just that.

I don't drive the car that easy, so its not a grandmas car where its loaded with carbon. There's no excessive carbon build up, engine oil is always changed on time (mobil 1 synthetic since day 1), not getting any oil consumption, and only sonoco or speedway gas is used.

I am leading towards electrical as well.

oachalon 02-24-2013 07:43 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
Does anybody by chance have the wiring diagram incase I need to start following harnesses?


greenman 02-25-2013 05:26 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
[QUOTE=oachalon;1956065]Does anybody by chance have the wiring diagram incase I need to start following harnesses?


anonymous tip:

Occasionally, you find someone selling copies of the dvd version of the GMSI on ebay. I have no opinion on the legality of buying those as it's none of my business.

aurakr 04-09-2013 10:30 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
what happened, I have the same thing just happen to mine this weekend

The dealer claims it is misfiring on cylinders 1, 3 and 5.

you can barely notice it at idle most of the time.

Dealer today did a compression/leak test, thinks it has a failed intake valve.
Originally quoted $3500 to repair, machine and replace gaskets.
Now wants to try something else before fighting with GM.

aurafan2008 04-10-2013 06:09 PM

Re: 2007 Saturn Aura XR misfire
I had the same thing happen on my 2008 with the 3.5 the way it felt like you said. It would happen when you went up a steep hill or something that put a load on the motor then it would happen. Then it would run fine afterwards. I thought for sure it was the transmission. It was still under warranty at the time. Took it to out local Chevy dealer. Come to find out it was a cracked spark plug. But make sure you get the best plugs you can. I first used the cheapest just to see if that would eliminate the problem and it did. But the plugs didn't last long. I replaced them with premium plugs and it has been running fine so far.

I hope it is something as simple as plugs in your case. But it is not an easy job changing the plugs on my 3.5l. B/C changing the back plugs are a pain.

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