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Old 03-29-2016, 12:11 AM   #1
saturnbrakesman
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Default Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

I have a 2004 L300 with the I4 2.2L EcoTec. It just recently began having a rough idle and some hesitation at the beginning of an acceleration. No engine codes were found taking it to O'Riellys (start simply! .

I replaced some rather worn spark plugs but that didn't solve the issue.

I noticed some stains (likely oil) on the air intake tube surrounding where the hose from the cam/valve cover connects to the air intake. There was actually some wetness surrounding/under the throttle body dripping down the intake maniforld (likely oil). When I removed the air inlet at the throttle body the throttle plates were wet/discolored with what i assume is oil as well.

I disconnected the hose connecting the valve/cam cover to the air intake. It was outputting smoke into the air intake at idle.

I read up and found that the 2.2L EcoTec does not have a true PCV valve. On the inside of the valve cover apparently there is a Crankcase Vent Valve (Oil separator check valve, ~$125).

Can anyone tell me if I'm searching down the right path to resolve my rough idle problem? Should I be seeing the oil stain on the outside of the air inlet tube & and on the throttle plates/body? Could any of this be causing my rough idle? I don't want to spend $125 on a new Vent Valve to find out it's something else. Hopefully this is something simple, not anything worse. The engine has 201K miles.

I can upload photos of the throttle body/air intake if that would help.

Thanks!

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Old 03-29-2016, 06:49 AM   #2
billysvue
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Auto parts stores aren't the best @ interfacing with Saturn OBDII to get codes. That's no secret. I fixed that with a SCANGAUGE II

I've cured misfire ,twice ,with new coil paks( after swapping in new AC delco Iridium plugs.


WOrn plugs overwork the coil(s) and degrade/kill 'em

NOt familiar with the ECo tec on the L-series.......

...
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:02 AM   #3
Russet
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by billysvue View Post
Auto parts stores aren't the best @ interfacing with Saturn OBDII to get codes. That's no secret. I fixed that with a SCANGAUGE II

I've cured misfire ,twice ,with new coil paks( after swapping in new AC delco Iridium plugs.


WOrn plugs overwork the coil(s) and degrade/kill 'em

NOt familiar with the ECo tec on the L-series.......
Not all scanner are equal what you think yours is another will say there will do the same thing as yours a fixed their problem. So your own reasoning here is mute. Want scanner GM TECH II scanner is the only options of you can afford it but it is only available to Dealers.

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Old 03-29-2016, 01:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnbrakesman View Post
I have a 2004 L300 with the I4 2.2L EcoTec. It just recently began having a rough idle and some hesitation at the beginning of an acceleration. No engine codes were found taking it to O'Riellys (start simply! .

I replaced some rather worn spark plugs but that didn't solve the issue.

I noticed some stains (likely oil) on the air intake tube surrounding where the hose from the cam/valve cover connects to the air intake. There was actually some wetness surrounding/under the throttle body dripping down the intake maniforld (likely oil). When I removed the air inlet at the throttle body the throttle plates were wet/discolored with what i assume is oil as well.

I disconnected the hose connecting the valve/cam cover to the air intake. It was outputting smoke into the air intake at idle. I read up and found that the 2.2L EcoTec does not have a true PCV valve. On the inside of the valve cover apparently there is a Crankcase Vent Valve (Oil separator check valve, ~$125).

Can anyone tell me if I'm searching down the right path to resolve my rough idle problem?
Welcome to SaturnFans! You've learned correctly that the L Series ECOTEC 2.2L engines don't have a common PCV Valve, something which I found quite strange as I looked into it a few years ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnbrakesman View Post
Should I be seeing the oil stain on the outside of the air inlet tube & and on the throttle plates/body?
No.
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnbrakesman View Post
Could any of this be causing my rough idle?
The presence of smoke in the inlet tube and of some engine oil on the throttle plate suggests that it is entering the into the combustion process so there should be a negative impact on the idle and power. Oil has no place in entering into the air intake and mixing with fuel to be burned. Did you not see any oil on the spark plugs which were replaced?
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnbrakesman View Post
I don't want to spend $125 on a new Vent Valve to find out it's something else. Hopefully this is something simple, not anything worse. The engine has 201K miles.
Regardless, since oil is exiting through the Oil Separator Check Valve, then it has to be replaced. Common sense dictates that engine oil needs to stay inside the engine. You could pay a visit to a Pick Your Part wrecking yard and locate a replacement valve and valve cover (if you'd prefer the whole thing) for your car. That will save you a good chunk of cash. I believe there was no significant change in them since M.Y. 2000, but check for yourself at your favorite GM OE parts website.
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnbrakesman View Post
I can upload photos of the throttle body/air intake if that would help.
New members aren't allowed to upload photos until they've reached 15 posts. If you'd like, I can upload them on your behalf. Send me a private message (pm) and I will explain.

If after performing this repair you're still experiencing the same symptoms, then you're probably looking at replacing the coil packs or the spark plug boots with their contact wires.

...
273,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 03-29-2016 at 02:09 PM.. Reason: additional information

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Old 03-29-2016, 06:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

POPPYCOCK to Saturns not readable by store readers and new members not able to post pictures!?

1-The most troubling vehicle in the Saturn family are Vues with many here having trouble with store readers. This doesn't include the rest of the Saturn family; all S-series, L-series, Aura's, Ions, Outlooks and Relays. Vues, for whatever (technical difficulties) seem to defy the standardized universal communications protocol all USA vehicles adhere to for universal decoding of 'P' type error codes agreed to by every manufacturer abiding by USA EPA emissions standards to allow anyone to decode 'P' type error codes with generic readers.

2-New members have posted pictures (oblivious to a certain set of rules). One is the restriction until fifteen posts are made (to prevent spammers attempting to post pictures). This doesn't restrict some new members from including pics in their first post by not realizing restrictions from a simple over sight that prevents most new members posting pics; file size. Picture file size appears to be the main reason no one, including new members, are unable to post due to a simple little known technicality. Thumbnails are restricted to 150 kilobyte file size while the overwhelming majority of cell phone and digital cameras create several million megabytes of file size due to demands for high resolution images for printing page size pictures in detail. These oversized files are not allowed as thumbnails unless resized (and sometimes reformatted to jpeg) to well below a megabyte file size. I do this all the time when needed to display images in keeping with "a picture is worth a thousand words" credo to make a point clear when descriptions aren't clear enough. Copying images and checking its file size before adding it as a thumbnail lets me edit, resize and reformat to jpeg using Paint (my personal choice) before including as an attachment. Resizing to reduce the file size below a megabyte while reformatting to jpeg (I haven't tried TIF, PNG or GIF) as jpeg works fine here.

saturnbrakesman, please update your profile to reflect what your drive; its either an L200/2.2L 4cyl engine or L300/3.0L V6 engine. Presuming yours is the 2.2L 4cyl L200, its much easier to replace spark plugs compared to the near impossible feat attempting to replace plugs on my 3.0L V6 engine, requiring removal of many upper engine parts before the plugs are revealed for access. If you accept several hours (I needed two days) to replace a t-stat on a V6 engine, you'll understand our headaches with V6 engine access.

At 200k miles, plugs are required for replacement at least every 200k miles. Be aware that the overhead ignition control module sitting in the nook of the ignition coil pack are susceptible to heat related failures. Most reported here are about icm's failing whether its due to engine heat cycling or failing from worn plugs causing undue electrical load to the icm. This icm/coil pack is used elsewhere - Ions, Vues and other GM models with the same ecotec engine. Astra coil packs are the most expensive replacements (>$400) until members tried the chinese knockoffs costing around $80 with no failures). I'm not certain if Astra coil packs incorporate icm's within or have this part of the circuit integrated into the ecm/pcm.

Rather than googling for parts and being misled, try either rockauto or various GM parts online (you can tell they're genuine GM sites) as they allow anyone to use their parts diagrams to locate exact replacement parts. I'm guessing there's no need to buy a crankcase vent valve (if it actually exists) if the ecotec engine did away with the pcv valve. L300 V6 engines don't have a pcv valve as its a carryover from the old days and no longer necessary as engineers simply developed a simpler way to use conventional passages to feed crankcase gases back to the intake system without the extra plumbing from the pcv configuration. Without examining the crankcase vent valve (if used on your engine), this may be a clogged valve needing nothing more than removal for solvent cleaning to rid it of any crud build up to restore full function. Normally, crankcase ventilation does not cause idling issues as its part of emissions control. My guess is the mileage and other issues are creating this odd idle. A cleaning of the throttle body may be all that's needed as most engines go many miles without any periodic cleaning older engines needed as part of 'tune up' routines. With more reliable EFI systems and less maintenance needed, a new set of longer intervals before cleaning is needed when problems pop up. This is already outside service manuals as most cars pass warranty requirements without need for cleaning or tune up parts. This is a loss to dealers everywhere relying on periodic customer visits to introduce non essential services to less visits needed due to more reliable engines not needing tune ups anymore. Cleaning throttles is something almost anyone can do at home without any skills other than familiarity under the hood.

The oil stains may be the normal crankcase gases precipitating when blocked by a partially clogged crankcase vent valve or tubing. Normal crankcase gases include oil vapors and blowby gases from combustion pressure getting by worn piston rings. These gases are fed back to the intake air system for recycling instead of being vented to the atmosphere.

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Old 03-29-2016, 06:36 PM   #6
billysvue
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russet View Post
Not all scanner are equal what you think yours is another will say there will do the same thing as yours a fixed their problem. So your own reasoning here is mute. .
It's not reasoning, it's what works for me, and what has worked for others on this forum( how I heard about it) and fit's SCANGAUGE's description of the product in regards to being able to interface with the OBD port...
If you don't want to believe SCANGaugeII works to read codes in SAturns, that's your choice.

YOu're right, it's mute here ,as no one is speaking( only writing).

...
'05 ,2.2L, FWD,5-speed stick with transaxle death rattle is history,,,
'17 Suby Forester

245216 mi. VUe is off to the dealer auction
I'm a secondhand vegetarian.
Cows eat grass, I eat cows.

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Old 03-29-2016, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
At 200k miles, plugs are required for replacement at least every 200k miles..
That frequently?

...
'05 ,2.2L, FWD,5-speed stick with transaxle death rattle is history,,,
'17 Suby Forester

245216 mi. VUe is off to the dealer auction
I'm a secondhand vegetarian.
Cows eat grass, I eat cows.

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Old 03-29-2016, 06:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Oops, my bad. I meant every 100k miles for spark plugs specified with platinum or other exotic expensive metals. With my luck, if I tried 200k miles between plug changes I would probably find engine parts in the driveway............

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Old 03-29-2016, 08:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Yes, as fdryer says, it would be very good to have the profile updated with the car information. The OP's information as stated was, of course, correct. A little reminder about Saturn's renaming of the L Series car: in model year 2004 the L200 and LW200 designations were dropped and all L's were labeled as L300. Differentiating between trim levels was done by adding a .1 (2.2L), .2 (3.0L), or .3 (3.0L with higher trim elements). His car's full model designation should be L300.1. Back in '04 this renaming was to align the L's with the newer Ion's model trim levels, 1, 2, & 3 (whether or not it was sensible to do so).

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 03-30-2016, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
Yes, as fdryer says, it would be very good to have the profile updated with the car information. The OP's information as stated was, of course, correct. A little reminder about Saturn's renaming of the L Series car: in model year 2004 the L200 and LW200 designations were dropped and all L's were labeled as L300. Differentiating between trim levels was done by adding a .1 (2.2L), .2 (3.0L), or .3 (3.0L with higher trim elements). His car's full model designation should be L300.1. Back in '04 this renaming was to align the L's with the newer Ion's model trim levels, 1, 2, & 3 (whether or not it was sensible to do so).
Thanks for that Pierrot. I was just about to mention that but you beat me to it.
Perhaps our esteemed Supermembers should check facts before lording it all over the place. Knowledge is not a monopoly

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Old 03-30-2016, 09:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rough Idle and Hesitation during Acceleration

I hate Saturn for changing the model numbers and glad members correct me each time I misstep. I am certainly not all knowing and base my questions less on model designation and more on engine size/xmission numbers. This reduces and most times eliminates confusion from model numbers.

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