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Old 12-11-2011, 02:17 AM   #1
Setapart22
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2005 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Question Car going into limp mode??

Hey guys,

Started my car last night and it was going fine, then all the sudden I noticed the car light with a "!" came on and my car and also the yellow light in the bottom that looked like a battery?? Went into what seemed limp mode. I was going down the highway about 60mph and it would not accelate to much although it slowly reduced speed. It seemed like it let me keep the gas on it but not enough to keep the speed. I pulled over and it was misfiring like crazy, to the point of the car shaking. I quickly turned her off and restarted, same light same issue shaking like crazy. Turned off again and then it wouldn't even click over (like the battery was dead). Waited 5 mins then it fired up just fine, no lights, nothing. Been driving it without any lights or issues, other then the SES light (that was on before cabin filter code).

Any thoughts?

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Old 12-11-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
2006 ion2
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2007 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

I don't think the cabin air filter has a code..., get the codes read and report back.

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Old 12-11-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

cabin filter, lol

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Old 12-11-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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2003 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

Maybe you lucked out. It had a brief "event" which passed (or the vehicle switched/adjusted to a "default" setting) and you were allowed to go home.

Hope the codes will give you some idea. Until then... might not hurt to consider the quality, brand, station you've been using for fuel. Might have gotten some "bad fuel".

A GM recommended "Top Tier Detergent Gasoline Standard" fuel might be best to avoid the potential of Fuel Injector related misfires, etc. from a less detergent fuel...

Good Luck hope it is a straightforward fix.

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:48 PM   #5
Setapart22
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

I will take it to Advanced auto tomorrow the code that I got (when I checked it back about a month ago) was p0446 Evaporative Emissions control vent control circuit. No idea why I called it cabin filter?? Maybe I had cabin fever? Lol.

Two things,

Number one I tried searching for the p0446 code and it didn't really seem to help? Any ideas?

Two, has anyone else seen this issue (limp mode, if you will) it kinda freaked me out lol.

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Old 12-12-2011, 01:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

Sticking with Fuel issues and Evap Canister... Avoid "topping off" your Tank. (Prevent "overflow" fuel getting sucked into the Evap Emmissions system instead of just fumes. Keep it running properly.)

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Old 12-12-2011, 01:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

This DTC (P0446) tests the evaporative emission (EVAP) system for a restricted or blocked EVAP vent path. This isn't limp home mode. A loose gas cap can cause the SES indicator to turn on. Ignoring the indicator can turn serious; driving with a flashing SES indicator means excessive unburned fuel is entering the catalytic converter to fire up a furnace melting situation that can cook and quickly destroy the catcon if driven this way in less than 50 miles. An expensive repair. Always seek out advice or try Autozone quickly to retrieve any SES diagnostic error codes. They provide a free service for you to write down error codes. Decline any suggestions.

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to read the owner's manual, specifically when something goes wrong and what indications to look for as far as display information. Read and understand the various instrument panel symbols. The circle with the '!' in it is for the brake system. Is this what you saw?

Leave the gas cap loose? Air filter replaced? Spark plugs?

Reduced Engine Power Mode
When the ECM detects a condition with the TAC system, the ECM may enter a reduced engine power mode. Reduced engine power may cause one or more of the following conditions:
  • Acceleration limiting--The ECM will continue to use the accelerator pedal for throttle control; however, the vehicle acceleration is limited.
  • Limited throttle mode--The ECM will continue to use the accelerator pedal for throttle control; however, the maximum throttle opening is limited.
  • Throttle default mode--The ECM will turn off the throttle actuator motor and the throttle will return to the spring loaded default position.
  • Forced idle mode--The ECM will perform the following actions:
  • Limit engine speed to idle by positioning the throttle position, or by controlling the fuel and spark if the throttle is turned off.
  • Ignore the accelerator pedal input.
  • Engine shutdown mode--The ECM will disable fuel and de-energize the throttle actuator.


You may have several issues as reduce power should have an indication as well as the symptoms felt.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

Ok a few things. I always top off my tank so I will avoid that, I have noticed this car overflows VERY easy compared to others. Second most of what you explained happened. I have seen and felt limp mode on other cars and am somewhat familiar with it. However I was not aware that cars would shake as much as this one did, it was like it was choking out the engine or 3 out of 4 of the plugs were foul.

A little history with this car, I bought this repo and did pretty much everything you could think about to this car to make sure it had a tune up. K&N, plugs, boots, Seafoam, oil change, tranny flush, brakes, tires you name it. The code went off about 2 weeks after driving it. We did have to replace the air duct (the nice sized black piece that is in between the inner fender and connects to the airbox), I was maybe thinking that had to do with the code.

On the "!" I have no clue why it came on but it came on with the light in the bottom right that looked like a battery indicator, but I still had power to the car.

As for the SES light flashing, I have never seen that, nor would I ever drive with a blinking =). I know enough if it through a code to go check into it but I had read things like loose gas cap (which I always have tight), and thought that I would clear the code and it would go away, it came back within a day about 2 weeks ago. Haven't got around to looking into it again.

With it being that code could it be an O2 sensor? Just throwing out ideas.

As always guys I very much appreciate your help.

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:07 PM   #9
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2005 ION Red Line
1999 SC2
Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

What kind of spark plugs did you install?

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Old 12-12-2011, 07:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

AC Delco factory ones.

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Old 12-12-2011, 07:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

Can you point out which indicator represent the '!'? You can copy and use Paint to mark the indicator.

Unless you can find Autozone or other auto store that can provide free readings of SES error codes, guessing can be costly. O2 sensor faults have their own error codes that will be displayed.

I'm guilty of continuing to fill my tank repeatedly, long after the first auto shut off occurs and have never had a P0446 code. Perhaps different tanks react adversely to overfilling?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg '05 Ion.jpg (107.3 KB, 19 views)

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Old 12-14-2011, 12:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

Ok an update, I talked to my mechanic in great detail about this. He said (and I am completly paraphrasing) that these cars can run into issues when there is a part that is not working of course and it causes a back draft (prob. wrong term) that can do some nasty stuff to the car. He called an evap sensor and then called it another thing (which is what my code was). He said that it can cause stuff like this to happen, he also said not to over fill it and that my gas cap might be bad.

It is very easy to overflow these cars so I have stopped doing that. I also plan to get the part he said fixed. Here is that picture, I think hes on to something, he said it made sense after 5 mins that it would work as I allowed the pressure to go away.

Here is the picture.

Ion.jpg

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Old 12-14-2011, 02:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

Insist on the DTC's (diagnostic error codes) when talking to your mechanic or anyone that's wielding a reader/scanner. This reduces misinterpretation. The Advanced Auto error code, P0446, is from a long list of emission codes. Almost any generic code reader will display error codes in the same format, 'P' followed by four numbers.

The picture you edited shows; the bottom left engine symbol next to the '(ABS)' and battery symbols means the 'Service Engine Soon' indicator (including error codes stored in memory for retrieval), the symbol of a large padlock next to a car means the factory Passlock theft deterrent system is enabled, the bottom right side engine symbol with a large arrow pointing down means 'Reduced power mode'.

Reduced power is to protect the engine from damage while still allowing limp home mode to get off the road into a safe place. What ever caused this to occur, reset when you stopped and shut off the engine as this can reset whatever caused the problem rather than continue driving on. Since there are more electronics that run our engines and everything else in the car, one of the most prudent things to do when trouble occurs with engines would be to park and stop the engine for a minute, long enough to allow restarting and allowing the electronics to automatically perform its own self tests (at every start up) to reset any easy errors just before the engine fires up.

Try this site for a copy of the owner's manual; http://www.saturn.com/owners/owner_r...s/manuals.html

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Old 12-14-2011, 06:31 AM   #14
2006 ion2
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

You drove the carfor 3 weeks with the cel on? Your car gave you plenty of warning, you just chose to ignore it. We need the coses.

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trifecta dealer for the U.P. and WI. There is no two door ion. Proudly driving one of the last saturns produced before gm killed the brand.

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Old 03-07-2012, 01:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: Car going into limp mode??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Setapart22 View Post
I will take it to Advanced auto tomorrow the code that I got (when I checked it back about a month ago) was p0446 Evaporative Emissions control vent control circuit. No idea why I called it cabin filter?? Maybe I had cabin fever? Lol.

Two things,

Number one I tried searching for the p0446 code and it didn't really seem to help? Any ideas?

Two, has anyone else seen this issue (limp mode, if you will) it kinda freaked me out lol.
It could be the coil pack, or ignition module

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