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Old 06-15-2004, 10:15 AM   #1
Worknclassbug
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Default Massive flat spot/loss of power

For some time now I have been having problems with a power loss at mid throttle. It is like a lean missfire. I misses but it is not a hard miss. Last night after I got on the interstate it got 10 times worse. Anywhere from about 10% throttle to almost to the floor is a little or no power and the whole time it is burbling and jerking with no repetitive jerk like a spark miss would be. It's like it tries for a second then goes back to burbling. When I floor it it seems to pick up and be ok and it idles ok. It is a 01 SL1 with 61K and a 5 speed.
I have changed plugs twice and the wires.

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Old 06-15-2004, 10:37 AM   #2
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could be the ignition coil packs. does the check engine light blink off and on when this happens?

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Old 06-15-2004, 09:20 PM   #3
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No lights or anything else. Drove it 40 miles today and it was fine. It did this one time before but it wasn't as bad. It still has an uneven power delivery at the same throttle locations. I don't know. I can't fix what isn't broken so I guess I wait until it just dies. I suspect the fuel filter but it is like $75. I wish it would throw a code so that I would have a place to start looking.
What majorly sucks is that I use it to pull an ATV trailer and if it does like it did last night while I am pulling the trailer I will be screwed.

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Old 06-15-2004, 09:31 PM   #4
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2008 VUE 3.6L
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Injectors clogged?

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Old 06-15-2004, 11:12 PM   #5
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I WOULD ALSO CHECK A POSSIBLE COOLANT TEMP. SENSOR IF IT IS READING ERRATIC IT WILL CASE LEAN/RICH CONDITIONS AND BUCKING!

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Old 06-16-2004, 02:01 AM   #6
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You mention you "changed the spark plugs twice" ...why? You also state that when you "floor it" it behaves ok. This suggests that it is a sensor related fuel trim item. The reason I say this is that at throttle positions above 85% (WOT) teh PCM ignores sensor data and uses a preset fuel trim mixture for maximum power. Since you are getting no codes, I doubt it is an O2 sensor issue or misfire as the PCM is very sensitive to those. Since behavoir improves at WOT, it is most likely NOT related to a fuel injector or filter issue as they would affect things at WOT as well. This pretty much narrows it down to the ECTS, OR the EGR valve, as EGR function is also shut down at WOT but an EGR valve with sealling issues can cause surging/bucking as well. Most, but not all, EGR issues will also set an SES light on OBD2 cars such as your 01' as well however.

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Old 06-16-2004, 11:15 AM   #7
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I have changed the plugs twice because the problem appeared shortly after I changed the plugs for routine maintenance. I thought that maybe I had a bad plug. Changed them again and it didn't make a difference. I know the problem has to be sensor related. You are right, Wolfman, a clogged fuel filter would choke the system off more when you asked for more (it would still run like crap on the floor). The ECTS makes sense. I left the car in my garage last night (it is a basement garage and stays cool). When I left, the car ran perfect for about 15 min into the drive and started acting up again. When I got back in the car after letting it sit for an hour it was still running poorly. Where is the ECTS located and how much is it? Are the ECTS and the sender for the temp gauge separate? The temp gauge seems to read the same as it always has. Also, what can go wrong with the egr valve?

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Old 06-16-2004, 09:02 PM   #8
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depending on what year your saturn is 96 and newer have only 1 senesr and that is located on the trans side of the motor in the side of the head it is a 13mm socket to remove it. also what kind of plugs are you running?

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Old 06-16-2004, 11:00 PM   #9
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The ECTS is located on the DRIVERS side of the engine just below and to the right of where the upper radiator hose attaches to teh ENGINE. There are instructions in the "How To" section of teh boards on replacing it. About a $15-$18 part. Also check to ensure when you changed the plugs you did not mix up the firng order. Cylinders are numbered left to right 1 2 3 4 coil pack connections left to right are 4 1 2 3

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Old 06-17-2004, 11:34 AM   #10
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Firing order is ok. I always change one plug at a time. Thanks for the info. I'll pick up a sensor today and try it.

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Old 06-30-2004, 01:41 PM   #11
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It has been a couple of weeks now and replacing the sensor seems to have fixed the prob. My mileage is better than ever and the power delivery is better but still has some surges but they are not that bad. Thanks for the help guys.

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Old 06-30-2004, 11:15 PM   #12
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check the intake gasket for leaks while the vehicle running spray intake cleaner at the intake manifold where it meets the head.
pay close attention to the passanger side of the manifold as that is the common spot for the gasket to fold causing intake leaks!

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Old 07-03-2004, 09:45 PM   #13
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ever thought about a faulty Throttle position sensor? I believe it actls like a varibale resistor so you could check the ohms with an volt/ohm meter for resistance through its whole travel.

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Old 07-04-2004, 03:30 PM   #14
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yeah i would check the TPS with a ohm meter while slowly opening and closing the throttle

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