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Old 11-02-2017, 09:05 AM   #1
CoolUsername
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Default Misfire troubles

Hi guys!

My name is Gregg and recently I came across a 2001 Saturn SL1 at auction and picked her up for quite a deal. Many of the issues it had I have addressed, however I'm still having some issues with it misfiring.

When I first bought it it pulled several DTCs, some of which I've figured out and some of which I haven't been able to pinpoint the issue. It's currently at my buddy's house and he's trying to figure it out since the only experience I have around cars is basic oil/lube tech work.

Anyway...

P0302 Cylinder 2 misfire detected
P0340 Camshaft position sensor circuit A malfunction
P0341 Camshaft position sensor circuit A range/performance (x2 of this code)
P0404 Exhaust gas recirculation circuit range/performance
P0705 Transmission range sensor circuit malfunction (x2 of this code)
P1404 Exhaust gas recirculation closed position

Since I bought the car sight unseen online I was hoping some simple plugs/wires would take care of the misfire, cleaning out the EGR would fix that and there seems to be some information around the web about the trans range sensor and the cam position sensor faults. However I replaced the plugs and wires and the car runs better than it did but still misses, gets a bit jerky when cruising steady at in-town speeds, and even died on me at one point when the service engine light began flashing. My buddy said that last night he pulled the DTCs and it had a misfire on cylinders 1 and 2 and found that the throttle plate was also sticking so he ran through some fuel induction stuff and it didn't do a dang thing -- it still misses except now the miss is only on cylinders 3 and 4.

Any insight on this issue? Any help is appreciated!

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Old 11-02-2017, 11:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

I gotta ask... have you checked compression and fuel pressure yet; does the ECT reading look reasonable in live-data?

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Old 11-02-2017, 12:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

P0340 are usually just spark plugs & wires, don't use fancy ones of either as they cause issues simply by existing. Plain copper $1.50ea plugs work best.
Also make sure the wires are routed properly:
The coil towers:
4-1-2-3
Engine cylinders:
1-2-3-4
If that checks out then measure for 4-6v on circuit 633 (brn/wht wire, pin D) on the ICM connector, if there is the ICM failed...if there isn't the line is shorted to ground between the connector and the PCM.

P0404 = clean and/or replace EGR valve. commanded position doesn't match actual location of the pintle, doesn't matter how much you clean the lines. Combined with P1404 replacing the EGR valve is the more reliable fix.

P0705...wow, that sucks...starts of slower than normal due to forcing 2nd gear starts >.< Have to replace the range switch, the code won't/can't be set for it out of adjustment (here's how to set it after replacing).

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Old 11-04-2017, 06:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

My buddy checked compression, I don't know what he came up with for results, I should ask.

We ran some cleaner through the system and it seems to run a little smoother but I definitely still get a jerky experience when cruising at around 40mph, it's not bad or noticeable when slower or at highway speeds. It also clunked yesterday when downshifting, and now when I shift into park it holds steady after it shoots up to 1900rpm.

My buddy said he got the misfire under control yesterday when he let it idles for a half hour and drove it for a half hour and it had less than 150 misfires on one particular cylinder and the check engine light stayed away. Now it's back on and while it does run and sound better the issues seem magnified.

I'm kind of at a loss. Am I looking at a tranny issue?

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Old 11-04-2017, 07:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

Have you checked the transmission fluid yet?
Level, color (light red is best, dark red=time to change), should smell sweetish, but not burnt in odor.
It is a spin on filter, under the air snorkel and in front of the battery case.
Only use Dexron III compatible fluid, nothing else, even if it says II, IV or VI don't use it.

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Old 11-05-2017, 02:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolUsername View Post
My buddy checked compression, I don't know what he came up with for results, I should ask.....I'm kind of at a loss. Am I looking at a tranny issue?
You've been given valuable info to go by. Did you copy and print out this thread to show to your friend that may be able to use it or al lest have him go online to read this thread?

What's mileage of this car? When noticing the check engine light flashing, this means excess unburned fuel (misfiring) is going into the exhaust system and feeding the catalytic converter. If the CEL is allowed to continue flashing while driving, you risk permanent damage to the converter. The ceramic substrate is porous to allow exhaust gases to flow thru while reacting, creating harmless gases and water vapor. Excessive unburned fuel entering the catcon simply burns up and overheats the catcon until it melts internally, destroying the catcon. This may lead to blocking off exhaust flow - engine constipation if exhaust can't flow thru a blocked catcon. One simple way to determine if the catcon is damaged and causing engine/xmission problems is to remove the front O2 sensor (on the exhaust manifold) and drive. The LOUD exhaust may allow sudden engine improvement to indicate a blocked catcon. A soup can diverter may be needed to redirect hot exhaust gases that can melt nearby plastic.

Personally, I think this isn't a xmission problem. The engine has to run right before the xmission can shift gears. The xmission is electronically controlled by the same pcm that controls the engine EFI system. It's entirely possible to have a misbehaving engine followed by erratic xmission shifts where the engine is causing incorrect xmission operation. It would be unfortunate if you bought a problem car with engine and xmission issues. I would work on eliminating every engine problem first before guessing a xmission issue even with xmission error codes. There are instances of false error codes due to cascade effects when one problem generates other problems, mistakenly generating false error codes. Good troubleshooting can separate false errors from genuine ones.

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Old 11-05-2017, 02:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

^^ Sure, but pulling out the tranny dipstick is not a long involved task and might clear up some questions about the tranny health in itself, no?

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Old 11-05-2017, 03:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

I didn't mean to exclude xmission fluid checking as it's on any list of easy things to do without reading too much into it. By all means, everything should be checked during initial assessments and described here for everyone interested.

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Old 11-14-2017, 01:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

Fluid condition isn't ideal -- it could use a change. However it is not low or overfilled.

Only one cylinder is consistently misfiring now, cylinder two. Compression is good. New plugs and wires. I'm kind of at a loss of even where to begin. The code for the cam position sensor is also still present -- from my research it can be remedied with a simple plugs/wires swap, but I just did plugs/wires. My friend is also guessing high idle is due to the misfire -- fix the misfire and fix the high idle.

Thoughts? I'm not overly keen on spending $200 on a trans fluid flush when I just wanted to flip the car, and it doesn't smell burnt and isn't excessively dark in color. Would a filter/fluid change suffice?

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Old 11-14-2017, 02:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

In addition to new wires and plugs, you want to check that:
  • wires go correctly from plugs to coil (see fetchitfido's post). waste-spark, so it's possible for wires to go to the wrong one and still run reasonably well
  • run wire 1 & 4 parallel to each other for most of their length; run 2&3 next to each other the same way. The car came with spacing clips that made this easier.
A few people had rust issues under the coil packs (?) I think it was. Cheap and easy to unbolt and look. Some folks have immediate problems with fine-wire (platinum, iridium, etc) plugs, others don't.

Quote:
I'm not overly keen on spending $200 on a trans fluid flush
You're gonna love the Saturn trans. No flush. Cost = 4~5 qts of Dex III or Dexron/Mercon ATF (avoid Dex VI regardless of what it says about compatibility), plus filter. If you decide to do this:

You drain the ATF from a drain bolt, just like draining the engine oil. Look inboard of the driver front wheel, from the front of the car. Then you unscrew a canister filter (just like the oil filter) located under the battery tray.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65426

Hardly anyone here thinks flushing is a good idea. Drain and fill if needed is sufficient

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Old 11-14-2017, 04:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

I gotta ask... what do you consider to be "good" compression?

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Old 11-14-2017, 08:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Misfire troubles

It might be worth taking off the throttle body and cleaning out all the orifices on it. It could be the result of a vacuum issue too possibly? Someone will have to check me on this one haha I haven't had vacuum issues on the 1.9 in this vehicle but did on a Ford Windstar V-6 and it ran quite poorly until this was resolved.

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