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Old 01-02-2019, 11:28 AM   #1
Max Somerville
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Dizzy Slow/Sluggish acceleration

I bought my 2003 3.0 v6 Saturn Vue sometime in August. Started driving it daily in September and I didn't have any problems until I noticed my transmission slipping when I put it from reverse into drive. The day after I noticed a small amount of delay between reverse and drive I could not move for approximately 5 minutes as I sat in the middle of the road stuck like I was in neutral. I finally got it to go and drove off didn't have any problems for another week but I decided to add more trans fluid. I now have an exhaust leak as well and my service engine soon like is on. I got the codes read and I found out random or multiple cylinders misfiring. I did a spark plug change cleared the codes and now I notice it sounding healthier but still slow acceleration.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Welcome Max - how many miles on this '03?
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

It has 110,000 miles roughly
edit: I am thinking it needs ignition coil pack
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Somerville View Post
edit: I am thinking it needs ignition coil pack
Not a common failure item. Can you post all the trouble codes?
Has the ATF ever been changed? How does it look and did you check the level correctly (see attached)?
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File Type: pdf Aisin FWD ATF.pdf (121.2 KB, 6 views)
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Transmission fluid was very very low to almost none when I bought it in August of 2018 and I also didn't know how old the oil was so I had my Oil change place fill the ATF as well as change the oil and I haven't lost any off the ATF dipstick according to the certified lube tech. Also, they did the necessary steps to check the fluid properly.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

So I did the Spark plug change last night and did about a 20 mile drive to see if there were any codes and it wasnt until just now that I got the service engine soon code again. The Code read Multiple or Random misfires. Cylinders 1 and 3 Misfire. So I am going to order an ignition coil pack and install it next weekend hopefully.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Somerville View Post
I did a spark plug change cleared the codes and now I notice it sounding healthier but still slow acceleration.
Chaz is 3.0 / Aisin expert but I'm curious if engine revs free and fast when you hit the throttle in Park or Neutral?

It'd be good to separate possible engine problems from transmission bogging down in wrong gear which can happen if you have minor corrosion in connectors at cabin/engine bay interconnect, TCM or transmission.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Engine revs fine in neutral and park. I also wondered if it was a tranny problem. I can put my pedal all the way down and it shifts perfectly just pretty slow.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Somerville View Post
I can put my pedal all the way down and it shifts perfectly just pretty slow.
So is the tranny obviously slipping? RPMs going high without the expected acceleration?

PS - I'm not that much of an expert since I can't even get mine running.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

The only time it does is when its cold and I shift from reverse to drive it takes maybe a 3 seconds(((Is this the transmission slipping?)))after I am driving there is no slippage whatsoever.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Quote:
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(Is this the transmission slipping?)
No - that's just a delayed shift.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Is there anything I can do about it? Sometimes its up to 10 second delay.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Somerville View Post
Is there anything I can do about it? Sometimes its up to 10 second delay.
Max ... the really smart guys will be able to offer practical help and all I can do is throw a few service manual extracts against the wall.

Let me know if any of the thumbnails mentions another document which might be useful to you.

If it were mine I'd disconnect transmission related connectors and check for corrosion or poorly mating contacts. Connectors would be at shift lever, transmission control module and transmission.

Repost if you need assistance locating any of these connectors.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg screen_2019-01-02 21.27.54.jpg (157.7 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg screen_2019-01-02 21.50.46.jpg (135.4 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg screen_2019-01-02 21.52.22.jpg (102.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg screen_2019-01-02 21.55.42.jpg (140.8 KB, 5 views)
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

I am VERY sorry I did not reply to this back in January, hopefully the original poster gets some kind of notification that there was replies to his post

Any way, I am very well familiar with the 3.0L V6 after owning a 2003 VUE since, well, 2003 and keeping it running all these years, and having owned three L Series cars with the same engine.

Your cylinder 1 & 3 misfire at 110,000 miles can very well be the coil pack, as that was the most common one to fail (1-3-5). If you replaced the spark plugs, it is VERY important that you use the OEM Bosch #FGR8KQE spark plugs. This is CRITICAL with this engine.

The Aisin transmission is generally reliable. However, it alarmed me when you said you had it changed at a shop - That transmission needs Toyota T-IV transmission fluid ONLY, despite what you may have read/been told elsewhere. I have changed the transmission fluid in my 2003 VUE every 50k miles with Toyota T-IV fluid directly from the Toyota Dealer (spoiler alert: Genuine Toyota T-IV trans fluid is CHEAPER at the actual Toyota Dealer, than the GENERIC grap at auto parts stores!!). Any ways, having used the incorrect fluid will quickly lead to the demise of an otherwise very hardy unit.

Lastly, at 110,000 miles and 16-17 years, you are way overdue for a timing belt, timing pulleys, and water pump replacement. If this has not been performed, you are on BORROWED TIME. Sometimes, people start getting performance/misfire issues before the belt breaks, as it stretches and makes the vehicle timing offset.

Since you haven't replied, I can only hope it was your coil pack. But I sure do hope you check back and read what I wrote.

Oh, and since it sounds like its your first 3.0L powered VUE, they are great engines, I have always changed the oil at 5,000 miles with full synthetic and a quality oil filter. At 177,000 miles, mine does not leak burn or use any oil at all between oil changes. The #1 killer of these engines, our VUEs and L-series cars, is the owners failure to replace the Timing Belt at 100,000 miles. They are interference engines and a timing belt failure means you just created a 3.0L paperweight.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:32 PM   #15
Max Somerville
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Default Re: Slow/Sluggish acceleration

I appreciate you taking the time to respond even if it was a few months back. I am glad to say I changed the coil pack and my Saturn 3.0 engine is running amazing! On the other hand, I did research on what kind of fluid to put in the transmission but apparently, I did not do enough as I have been using premium atf assuming it would be the best kind. The transmission cooler line was leaking badly from a rust spot and I basically was putting a quart of premium atf a week into it before I finally decided to fix it. The transmission has been a major issue since I bought the car and I think I am finally going to just go ahead and find out if it is rebuildable or whether I should buy a junkyard transmission to get that rebuilt. I was planning on doing the disassembly and reassembly myself to save a bit of money. I was planning on doing struts, water pump, etc. this summer. Again it's great hearing from someone with experience with this car unlike myself thanks.
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