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Old 04-21-2018, 02:54 PM   #1
internetpimp
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Default 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Hello all,

I have a 2004 Saturn with the 2.2 Ecotec and a manual transmission. The problem that I am having is that I am stuck in Reduced Engine Power mode.

I have checked out quite a few things so far, and I believe I'm at the point to where I would need to replace the ECM. I was hoping for some input and maybe some advice on this subject before I do. I have recently checked the TAC and everything seems fine there with the module and wiring. The problem that I believe I am having is that I am getting between 4.2 - 4.4V On the TP 2 sensor signal input pin(C2[Pin 26]) on the ECM(with C2 disconnected from the ECM) when I have the ignition in the "Run" position.

I checked out the TP 1 sensor signal input pin(C2[Pin 55]) (with C2 disconnected from the ECM)and I am getting 0V with the ignition in the "Run" position. I assume this is correct, and the voltage that I'm seeing on TP 2 sensor input to the ECM is incorrect possibly due to the pull down resistor for this circuit going bad.

I was planning on swapping the ECM but I was hoping someone had some insight on this process. I believe on most cars the ECM has to be taken to the dealer and be programmed to your vehicle. From my understanding on what I have read on various forums is that the ECM on these vehicles are adaptive and are basically plug and play with the other systems on the vehicle except for the Passkey relearn sequence and the throttle position relearn sequence. Can anyone confirm whether I would need to have the replacement ECM reprogrammed by the dealership or not?

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Old 04-21-2018, 04:35 PM   #2
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Before you go down this path, did you attempt to read any codes??

When I resurrected my "Rescue" Vue, I bought an ECM on e-bay.. The programs are very specific for 2.2 and 4 speed manual tranny. Make sure that the donor is a 2.2 and manual..

The Passlock is stored in the BCM, so changing the ECM will not effect it.

NOTE - The ECM will have the VIN number of the donor, so if this is important (smog inspection) you may need to visit the dealer to have it re-programmed..

My ECM came out of a 2005 2.2 with manual. It still has the 2005 VIN ijn it.

...
2003 Vue - 2.2L with Manual Trans. (Swapped)
Originally had 2.2L and Auto trans.

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Old 04-21-2018, 05:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

There is a check engine light on, a service engine soon light on, and a reduced engine power light all on the IP. I used an Actron OBD2 code reader that I have, and it returned no codes for some reason. I used a bluetooth OBD2 code reader with the OBD car doctor app and it did show that 3 codes were present, but could not retrieve the codes. It did let me reset 2/3 of the codes, but the 2 codes that were reset immediately came back.

I have read in some forums that due to the nature of the can bus protocol on these models, it is difficult to read the codes with some OBD2 readers. I'm not sure how accurate that is. Anyhow, this car has actually had this issue for a couple of years(since I bought it), and has just been sitting in my garage. I just now got around to working on it as my primary vehicle has recently been giving me problems. I would have taken the vehicle up to Autozone by now to have them try and scan the codes, but the car currently does not have a plate or insurance on it.

So as long as I find a ECM from a donor vehicle that has the same 2.2 engine, and 5 speed manual transmission as my vehicle I should be ok with not having to have the ECM programmed? I just have to worry about the VIN numbers being incorrect in the ECM? Sounds good to me! I have zero issues with that! Looks like I'm going to try and find one at a local salvage yard, hopefully I can find one cheap.

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Old 04-21-2018, 06:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

internetpimp, if you become familiar with this site and search threads, you'll find Saturns using Passlock (yours) can use donor BCMs or ECMs without dealer programming. The modules are plug n' play but a 30 minute relearn procedure performed at home marries the two modules. The Passlock password is learned before the two modules can work otherwise the security light flashes and injectors are disabled, preventing the engine from running.

If the engine light is ON, an error code is stored for retrieval with most readers. Reduced power mode involves the electric/electronic throttle, electronic pedal and ecm. The easiest troubleshooting to try is; turn on ignition (engine off), observe throttle plate movement as someone presses the pedal. Throttle plate movement should mirror pedal movement. Throttle and pedal have dual feedback position sensors.

DTC P2135 describes the throttle actuator. Try Autozone for decoding stored codes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2004 Saturn VUE - FWD.jpg (148.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: png DTC P2135.png (72.5 KB, 9 views)

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Old 04-21-2018, 06:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Understanding that the throttle has dual position feedback sensors, from what it looks like to me, the ECM may have a malfunction on one of the 2 inputs that that these sensors plug into. With the Connector 2(has the throttle position feedback signals) disconnected from the ECM, and just measuring at the ECM pins, I have 0V at the input pin for the first signal, and 4.2 - 4.4V fluctuating on the input pin for the 2nd signal. I would assume, that with nothing connected here, they should both read 0V as there is a pulldown resistor on each of these inputs (I just measured both of these pull down resistances, both look good at 220K OHMS). It seems as if the 2nd input circuit may be defective somehow within the ECM. I'm not quite sure what else could cause this signal input to have voltage on it already, with no device connected to this pin. My assumption is that due to this voltage already being present on the 2nd input signal, "Reduced Engine Power" is present due to the difference in voltage between the two inputs(I assume they should always be pretty close to the same voltage).

I would have already taken the vehicle to Autozone to have the codes read, but the car is currently uninsured, and not registered. I have tried to read the codes with my 2 code readers, both with no codes being returned for some strange reason.

I understand that retrieving the codes is the best place to start with an issue such as this. Unfortunately I have not had any success retrieving the codes so far myself, and having Autozone try their scan tool is currently not an option as the car is not currently legal to drive on the roads yet.

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Old 04-21-2018, 07:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Dud you review the descriptions of how the two throttle position sensors work in opposite directions, one at 5v while the other at zero? As throttle is moved, each sensor goes in the opposite direction - the 5v sensor reduces voltage output while the other sensor increases voltage with each feeding output to the ecm. It may help to measure those sensors connected to the ecm and use a multimeter to observe voltage changes before concluding a faulty ecm.

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Old 04-21-2018, 07:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Oh wow, so I was actually way off assuming that both sensors were supposed to supply the same voltages back to the ECM. This gives me a great deal of information on where to start looking at now. As you suggested, I'm going to inspect the throttle position sensors. TYVM! I appreciate all of the feedback you guys have given so far!

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Old 04-21-2018, 07:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

fdryer, I just noticed that your attachment explained how the throttle signals respond. Please forgive my ignorance.

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Old 04-22-2018, 08:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Lol, nothing to forgive. Attached Thumbnail should read Click Attached Thumbnail

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Old 04-22-2018, 04:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Update:

So as I was checking the resistances on the TP sensor signals, I came across a resistance reading of almost 7M Ohms from the "5V reference 1" to the "TP Sensor 1 Signal" wires, and did not change even when I manually opened and closed the butterfly valve. So, I started wiggling around some wires at the connector and magically the resistance started changing to some values that actually made sense, and fluctuated when I manually open/close the valve.

So, it looks like I may have a bad connection or perhaps a broken wire at the TAC module connector. I'm taking a break for lunch right now. I will further update later on. Hopefully this was what was causing the "Reduced Engine Power" issue.

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Old 04-22-2018, 05:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

There are two service bulletins related to reduced power issues. PM me an email address and I'll send them (each file is too large to attach here).

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Old 04-22-2018, 05:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

It looks like I found a bad section of wire on the "5V reference" for signal 1. There is a tight bend for these throttle position wires where the bad section is. When I straighten the bend, I get good readings. When they are put back at the roughly 90 degree bend, I get bad readings on this wire(extremely high resistance).

So, to tackle this issue, would you guys recommend that I replace the entire harness? Or just cut out the bad section of wire and solder in a new wire in that section? Or perhaps something else? Obviously the latter would be much easier, but I'm not really keen on "Jury rigging" things just to get them running.

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Old 04-22-2018, 07:06 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

You found the problem and can repair the damage as it isn't considered jury rigging when a repair results in correcting an intermittent reduced power problem. One of the service bulletins explains extending the wire harness. Email sent.

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Old 08-15-2018, 04:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

I know it has been quite a few months since I last posted, the car has still been sitting in the garage all this time and the problem still exists.

I ended up finding a poorly done job where it looks like someone previously replaced a section of the harness going from the ECM C2 to the TAC module. After soldering & heat shrink tubing the connections, I verified good connections from the new splice.

Anyhow, I seem to still have the Reduced Engine power, Check Engine, and SES light still on the dash when I start the car, still with no codes displaying when I use my OBD2 reader. I tried to do the Throttle relearn procedure after with no luck as well.

Ideally I'd like to be able to see what codes are showing up, but my OBD2 readers cannot read the codes for some reason, and I was told that even the readers that Autozone use will not return the codes for this vehicle.

At this point, does anyone have any advice on what I should look at?

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Old 08-15-2018, 06:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Going back and reading some of the posts on this site, I came across a thread that discusses what the resistance values should be between the 5V and Signal wires should be on the TAC module. Granted, this is for an 05, and mine is an 04, but I would assume the values should be the same for both years. The values that I see on my vehicle are much different than what I found on this thread:

saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=193925&highlight=reduced+engine+p ower&page=2


The approximate resistance values given in that thread are:

Resistance between pin H & D with throttle blade open = 550 ohms
blade closed = 1460 ohms

Resistance between pin C & A with throttle blade open = 475 ohms
closed = 1330 ohms


This seems to be much different that what I am seeing on my vehicle. On my vehicle the readings that I am getting are:

Resistance between pin H & D with throttle blade open = aprox 1.1k ohms
blade closed = aprox 2.3k ohms

Resistance between pin C & A with throttle blade open = aprox 5k ohms
closed = aprox 3k ohms

Does the aprox resistance in that thread sound accurate? Is the resistance that I'm seeing on my vehicle completely way off from what I should be seeing?

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Old 08-20-2018, 07:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Just as an update, I borrowed a OBD2 code reader from a friend and it worked. I am getting a P0701 and a U0101 codes.

The U0101 code(Lost Communication With Transmission Control Module) is making me think that the previous owner may have put a ECU in this vehicle that came out of an automatic transmission. As far as I know, this car doesn't have a TCM.

The P0701(Transmission Control System Range/Performance) is another code that seems to point at an automatic transmission.

I was able to see 3 codes a while ago with my bluetooth scanner, but I could not read the codes at that time. Right now these are the only 2 codes that currently exist, I assume I fixed the 3rd code that was there by fixing the poor splice from the TAC to ECU.

Can anyone give any additional input on this before I go searching for a new ECU to toss in? Does it seem like a good guess that the previous owner replaced the ECU and put one in from an automatic trans?

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Old 08-21-2018, 03:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

1-Did you buy this Vue with reduce power mode (RPM) right from the beginning?

2-Was this Vue in your hands before RPM occurred? How long have you owned this Vue before RPM occurred?

Some introspection on your ownership and when RPM occurred may answer your questions.

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Old 08-21-2018, 07:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

1. Yes, I bought the vehicle in RPM. At the time I purchased the vehicle I drove it(at low speeds around the neighborhood) and everything seemed fine. The guy selling it at the time said that there were no codes and that the CEL, RPM, SES lights were just glitches. I didn't believe him so I scanned with my old OBD2 code reader and no codes came up with that reader so I just believed him and bought the car.

2. No, RPM mode was always on this vehicle since I purchased it. The CEL, RPM, and SES lights have always been on the vehicle.

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Old 08-21-2018, 09:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

Sometimes, just sometimes a person can see evidence of repairs. Scrapes from corroded fasteners, new fasteners out of place against all others having years of weathering, new parts not showing signs of corrosion among everything under the hood showing weathering/age, Cleaned connectors that show they were removed, etc.. If you examine your ecm and siamese multiple pin connectors and everything in the area, sometimes physical evidence may show someone may have removed or replaced the ecm. Personally, from one example at work, persons before me attempted wholesale replacement in hopes of repairing electronics. When my partner and I followed up (shift change) we discovered (older style) non keyed multiple pin connectors were 180 degrees off. Simply turning a pair of non keyed parallel cable connectors around to a hard drive corrected a simple problem that turned into a major cluster ****. We chuckled at how simple 'experts' tripped over something easily overlooked.

I have the same multiple pin connectors on my ecm sitting over my 3/0L V6 engine and very leery of removing them unless absolutely necessary. Connectors have improved to have keys to prevent putting them on backwards, 180 degrees off, plugging them into incorrect sockets, etc.. Even removing these multiple pin connectors may create a new problem. If not disconnected according to procedures, male or female terminals may pull out or bend. When someone unfamiliar with multiple pin connections attempts to diy repairs, bending one pin or pushing a pin out of place can wreak havoc with electronics.

Your ecm may be original but if a diyer thought its easy to remove and replace or disconnect and examine male/female terminals and not pay attention to the pitfalls of creating new problems like bending one or more pins, an earlier problem now has an additional (the bent/pushed out) problem.
Attached Images
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File Type: gif 2.2L ecm.gif (64.1 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by fdryer; 08-21-2018 at 09:15 PM..

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Old 08-23-2018, 03:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2004 Vue - 2.2 Manual - Reduced Engine Power

As far as connections go, everything I see looks good with the pins and connections on the ECM. I just surfed around the local salvage yards online and one of them says they have an ECM out of the same manual transmission vehicle for $30. Since it's only $30 I plan on trying to pick that up tomorrow and swapping with the current one that is in my vehicle(suspected to be out of an automatic transmission vehicle).

Once I replace the ECM, are you aware of any other relearn procedures that I will have to do besides the throttle position relearn procedure? I did read on here that there is a passlock relearn procedure, but I can't remember if that is required if you replace the ECM or the BCM.

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