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Old 03-19-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
Jon Boy
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2001 SC2
Default Hesitation and flashing SES with no DTCs

Last night as I was driving home from work, I got stuck in a traffic jam for a good ten or fifteen minutes. Then I got past it and got up to normal freeway speed for a minute or so when my car suddenly started hesitating.

The SES light flashed for several seconds while it was hesitating, and then the hesitation went away and it stopped flashing. But I seemed to be experiencing a loss of power too—I was flooring it just to keep it at 70mph.

When I got off the freeway and hit the first light, the idle dropped down to almost 500 rpm, then bounced up to 1500 for a few seconds, and then finally settled down to more like 800 or 900. It hesitated again when the light turned green and I started going, but it seemed to drive just fine after that.

I got home and plugged in my scanner, but it said there were no pending or stored DTCs. What gives? Does anyone have any idea what would cause those symptoms and cause the SES light to flash but not trigger a DTC?

Edited to add: It's a 2001 SC2 with a manual transmission and about 138,000 miles on it, if that helps.

Last edited by Jon Boy; 03-19-2019 at 01:33 PM.. Reason: adding information about my car

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Old 03-19-2019, 03:46 PM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hesitation and flashing SES with no DTCs

Severe misfire event. Change the plugs and wires as a first step. If that fails then it could be a coil and/or the ICM. If you were really wailing on it when that happened then see if you have a smooth even idle as you may have fried an exhaust valve.

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Old 03-22-2019, 12:42 AM   #3
Saturn Night
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1995 SC2
Default Re: Hesitation and flashing SES with no DTCs

Flashing SES is for code P0300, cylinder misfire - random. as Nuc stated, change plugs, wires, AND I recommend replacing your ICM and coil pack assembly as well. ICM is likely toast. Burnt valve will usually isolate your cylinder misfire to P0303, for cylinder #3, since that is the cylinder that loves to eat valves like I love eating pizza.

The ICM likely got hot, when you were stuck in traffic, which causes spark scatter and a plethora of issues with a failing ICM. Heat destroys them. Once you get back up to speed and air flow hits it to cool it down, it will begin functioning correctly, and the codes will clear themselves with OBD-II sysytems.

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"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

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Old 03-22-2019, 07:43 AM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hesitation and flashing SES with no DTCs

Further info. The gen-3 ICM is quite temperature sensitive and becomes more-so with increasing age. The earlier ones are not.

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