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Old 02-28-2018, 11:33 PM   #1
rwbenner
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Roll Eyes 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

To whomever,

I am trying to diagnose my girlfriends car from about 290 miles away so I can pick up the most likely part on my way to her this weekend. She has a 2004 3.5 L Saturn Vue. From what she describes, it sounds like an ignition control unit. However, I looked on autozone, advanced auto, and rock auto sites and could not find one. Looking online, I find all kinds of images for the 4 cylinders ignition control units, but nothing concrete for the V6.

So here is my question, does in fact the 2004 3.5L V6 actually have an ignition control unit? If so, does it have a name other than ignition control unit? I can find all kinds of "engine control module", which is not what I believe I need.

Is this maybe a junkyard and/or dealership only part?

Thanks all, RB

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Old 02-28-2018, 11:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

This engine uses coils over plugs. The coils are controlled by the ECM/PCM so there is no ignition control module.

What is the issue with the car? What is it doing or not doing? Any codes?

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Old 03-01-2018, 08:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

I've not laid eyes on it yet or gotton codes off it. But she tells me that she drove it to store, ran like charm. Started it again later and the engine was running very rough, the engine light started blinking, and she couldn't get it over about 40 mph due to lack of power. No change in fuel, or fuel system as of late. When I googled "flashing engine light" for her vehicle, found many blogs that discussed Saturns doing that when they lose the ignition control module. The description of the engine dysfunction also matched hers to the "T". So that was my leading Dx without looking at it yet.

I did change plugs about 2,000 miles ago.....

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Old 03-01-2018, 08:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

Every USA vehicle since 1996 is required to have on board self diagnostics, OBD II with a plug in port under the steering column area. Memory stores error codes when the check engine light turns on after starting and driving. AutoZone has free readings to display error codes or buy a reader, a wired type or popular Bluetooth adapter along with Torque for cellphone display. Retrieving error codes are one of the first things to do in addition to symptoms in diagnosing engine problems.

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Old 03-03-2018, 02:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

Yea, plug in a scanner, get the codes and then we can likely help. Otherwise it's just like target practice in the dark!

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Old 03-06-2018, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

Folks,

So, finally laid eyes and scanner on car. First, codes pulled were "injector circuit/open cylinder 5" (P0205). The second code was "Cylinder 5 misfire detected (P030).

I started car and disconnected the wire from the coil atop cylinder #5 with no change in idle speed. I then did the same for the cylinder beside it with a drop in idle speed. I then swapped the coil from the dead cylinder to the cylinder beside it and #5 was still dead. I then pulled the plug and found it as dry as a bone. Seems no fuel getting to cylinder #5. I am though getting spark to the #5 plug.

I had already purchased a replacement ECU when the gf first described the symptoms to me, in case that was the problem. On a whim, I replaced the ECU with the one purchased, and after the "relearn" process, the misfire was still there.

So it seems to me that the injector on #5 either suddenly took a dump, or for some reason it is still not getting the signal to inject fuel. Its not the ECU, so that leaves me with a bad injector or a wiring problem.

Does anyone here have a thought/experience with changing injectors on these? I've seen a few videos, and other than seeming tedious, it seems reasonable to do given my skill level. But I am just wondering if/how an injector suddenly fails...and is it as simple as changing the injector?

Any insight from any of you good people about what to expect, what to think, or what you've experienced about injector failure on this beast would be appreciated!

Thanks all, hope to hear back soon, Randy

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Old 03-06-2018, 05:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

You may be one of the very few with injector failure. Review the wiring diagram. All injectors are supplied 12 volts when ignition is turned on. The PCM switches/pulses ground to each injector to feed pressurized fuel into each cylinder at specific times. To determine if #2 injector failed; swap #2 with an adjacent one. The problem will either move and point to a faulty injector or work in the other cylinder.

With ignition on, all injectors should measure 12 volts on each wire with the multimeter ground probe connected to engine ground. Remember, 12 volts sits both sides of each injector with injectors plugged in. The PCM electronically switches ground to power each injector at the appropriate time. With ignition on, engine off, wires on each side of each injector should show 12 volts.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:26 PM   #8
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Thumbs Up Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

fdryer,

Just wanted to say thanks for the wiring diagram and your insight into the Vue's injector problem.

Also wanted to follow up and say that it was actually a faulty injector. After verifying it was bad (as you instructed in your post), I swapped it out with another one and she-bang....I got fuel spray when bumping the key. The only thing that I noticed which was dissimilar to your post was when I checked for 12 volts on each side of the the injector plug, it only registered on one side. I noticed the same for the other two injector plugs on that bank so I assumed that it was normal. Not sure why it was different than your diagram, but really don't care cause as we speak the gf is on her way to work a happy camper in the Vue. So again, thank you for the insight and helping to troubleshoot the problem. Be cool! RB

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Old 03-09-2018, 08:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

Glad that you got it fixed. Just for reference for anyone in the future, a cylinder misfire code can also be caused by a loose spark plug. Don't ask me how I know that one....

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Old 03-09-2018, 09:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2004 3.5 V6 Saturn Vue Ignition Control Unit

A dead injector eh? That's very unusual. It's great that you followed thru to isolate it by swapping in a known good one. I can't explain why you couldn't read 12v on both sides of each injector with the negative probe to ground but who cares as long as you fixed the problem and put the Vue back on the road.

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