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Old 06-18-2015, 11:57 AM   #1
Ramsey
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Default Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Hi everyone,

I bought the car used about 3 weeks ago. I bought it knowing there was a p0496 evap code, so I fixed it by changing the Vapor Canister Purge Valve (since the car would stall when I put gas). I also changed the 4 spark plugs (OEM from GM).

Code eventually went away and 2 days after changing oil (put 5w30 full synthetic with Wix oil filter), I got the P0011 code "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1).

I changed the air filter (bought a new ACDELCO one), and weird enough the code went away but since the car was slow, wouldn't accelerate well after reaching second gear and third and fourth, then I knew problem was still there. Also, I'm having terrible mileage. I'm at 10l avg (23.5 MPG) and I'm driving slow to not make it go higher. Engine has a diesel type of noise, not sure if that's the normal noise but anyways, it feels like it's using more gas.

After lots of reading, I changed the camshaft solenoid (variable timing actuator something, that part has like 5 names, no idea what it really is lol but I got 2 of those from GM and got them changed). Part 55567050. The old part was a bit shorter so I bet I got the revised one, good, but again, not much difference! so I feel terrible having wasted $110 Canadian for that.

I changed the front brakes and I have the rear ones to do soon since they're full of rust and make a noise (maybe that's causing bad fuel? it could be that they're being slightly activated due to rust and such, no idea).

My options are to change the Camshaft sensors next (2 of them), or the o2 sensor, or a sprocket of some type that could be broken? no idea, need professional diagnosis, or to clean/change Mass Airflow Sensor. The cheapest option is to clean the MAF. I don't have a check engine light anymore so I don't know what could be the issue.

What do you guys think? I really want to solve this or I'll have to sell it because I'm putting too much money into this and it's not solved yet. Gas waste is terrible and it's worse than a V6. Will end up costing me a lot more than the Toyota Yaris that I had before this.

Oh and the AC doesn't blow any cold air AND the passenger side mirror glass fell off so I'll buy 3m molding tape today to stick it back, seems like I'm getting all the issues that Astra owners get :/. No idea what to do with AC yet.

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Old 06-18-2015, 12:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

I also changed the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (ECT) the day that the P0011 code appeared (before it appeared). Had to change ECT because the car kept turning on the fan as if it's overheating, and gave me a code, it's fixed now.

I think that the hesitation and all that happens the hotter the car is. The bad mileage is always though.

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Old 06-18-2015, 05:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

There is a service note on US Astras regarding the two Engine Camshaft Position Sensors 55352609.

Apparently the orange filters on the sensors get gummed up and the fix is simply to remove both sensors and throw the filters in the bin. I did that on my Astra and it cleared some codes, improved mileage, and improved engine response. When the sensors are not working properly, the engine probably goes into limp mode, running rich to protect itself. You can do this for free in 30 minutes.

Also, you might also look at the exhaust flexpipe; it is a rapid wear item and replacing that provided better engine response. Rather than replace the entire system, I had a muffler specialty shop weld in a stainless flex section for about $200.

Do some searching on this site for some more in-depth comments, knowledge and full tutorials.

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Old 06-18-2015, 07:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstraFasta View Post
There is a service note on US Astras regarding the two Engine Camshaft Position Sensors 55352609.

Apparently the orange filters on the sensors get gummed up and the fix is simply to remove both sensors and throw the filters in the bin. I did that on my Astra and it cleared some codes, improved mileage, and improved engine response. When the sensors are not working properly, the engine probably goes into limp mode, running rich to protect itself. You can do this for free in 30 minutes.

Also, you might also look at the exhaust flexpipe; it is a rapid wear item and replacing that provided better engine response. Rather than replace the entire system, I had a muffler specialty shop weld in a stainless flex section for about $200.

Do some searching on this site for some more in-depth comments, knowledge and full tutorials.
Thanks for your help! I'll try to remove the filters.
Are there any consequences for removing the filters? what about in one year let's say?

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Old 06-18-2015, 08:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Should I remove the filters from the camshaft solenoids also? Those are the news one that I put in with new filters and all that. I didn't' feel a difference though when the news ones were installed.

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Old 06-18-2015, 10:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsey View Post
Should I remove the filters from the camshaft solenoids also? Those are the news one that I put in with new filters and all that. I didn't' feel a difference though when the news ones were installed.
The filters on the camshaft solenoids are the ones that need to be removed. Are you still having the slow acceleration and diesel rattling noise even with the new solenoids? If yes, maybe removing the filters will help.

I know from reading the forums there's also a common issue with the ignition coil pack going bad and causing terrible acceleration and fuel usage.

When I bought my Astra the rear brakes were also full of rust and making noise which started after about 20 minutes of driving, it was a high pitched metal on metal noise, sounded like a rock was stuck in between the pad and disk or something. I changed the rear pads which were in terrible condition and rusted(fronts were in great condition by the way) and it fixed that problem.

Check and see if the AC compressor activates when you turn the AC on. If yes, it might just need a simple recharge.

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Old 06-19-2015, 07:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

So I've got 2 answers here, removing filters for solenoids and for sensors. Do the sensors have a filter?

This is the solenoid one that I have: gmpartsdirect.com/part_images/55567050.jpg
I just have to remove those 2 light green filters right?
I remove it from both of the solenoids? intake and exhaust.

Other threads are really suggesting to change the sensors (55352609) but some are saying that the issue came back after a few months and had to be changed again. I think I bought the wrong car I love it but I don't want to be spending anymore.

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Old 06-19-2015, 04:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Wow, reading this I think I've had 4 of the issues described here.
  1. Exhaust flex pipe: have had that replaced at a muffler shop twice in the last 2 years.
  2. Coil Pack: Last October, the first cylinder coil completely failed, causing a very bad misfire and a significant engine buck.**
  3. Various sensor issues: 3-4 months prior to the coilpack failure, I was getting various camshaft/o2 sensor codes. replaced the front 02 and probems 'went away'. I started getting
  4. A/C: I was actually taking my car to get the A/C inspected when the coil pack went out. Go figure. The clutch is apparently bad. I complained about the noise & drag on the engine when engaging the A/C within the first 8 months of ownership. I was told nothing was wrong. I'm now convinced it was destined for failure.

** So, as a result of the engine buck, the Hydro transmission mount failed, oozing out all over, but I didn't have $800 to replace the mounts at the time. Soon after, I started getting an intermittent grating noise in 4th gear. No shop could effectively diagnose it. Problem continued getting worse and spread to other gears. Eventually could hear it entering gears and the flywheel spun up, and then when there was load on the transmission (ie, downshifting). Took it back to dealership again, and now they want $5700 to replace the Transaxle, Clutch plates, flywheel.

:'(

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Old 06-19-2015, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Wow - The car in not worth that much. Time to cut your losses and Move On Doggie - Move On...

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Old 06-19-2015, 06:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by crzyalbo View Post
Wow - The car in not worth that much. Time to cut your losses and Move On Doggie - Move On...
Right. However, I'm pretty suspicious of their diagnosis. In fact, the service advisor told me they hadn't taken it apart yet to investigate.

Moreover, my drivetrain warranty only expired right around the same time as the coil pack fail, misfire, engine buck, mount failure. Is there any chance I could argue this should be covered by warranty, perhaps directly through GM? (the non-wearable parts, anyway) Unfortunately, I did not take it to a dealer then, because they were giving me 3 week lead time just for appointments, and another week at least to even look at it, would not offer a loaner, and I was traveling for work a lot.

I've also read here (I think?) that some of the noise I'm hearing may be related to the failed mount. In fact, I believe there has been a direct correlation between the gradually-increasing motor shake from the worsening mount(s) and the increase in the clutch/flywheel/ noise.

I'm inclined to only replace the flywheel and clutch plates and mounts, to see if that fixes it, but I don't have a non-sheisty mechanic friend I can tap to really give me any advice one way or another.

My next steps are going to be to demand they let me see what they say is damaged, and why, and actually talk to the mechanic, as opposed to the advisor who tried to pass me off to his dad in sales (yah, no conflict of interest there..)

I'd take it to another dealer, but every other GM dealer in the area has told me they can't work on it because of the lack of tools...

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Old 06-19-2015, 07:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsey View Post
I just have to remove those 2 light green filters right?
I remove it from both of the solenoids? intake and exhaust.
Correct. The filters need to be removed from the camshaft solenoids. The camshaft sensors don't have filters.

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Old 06-19-2015, 10:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

For clarity and to avoid confusion of terms, below are some links relating to the service note on US Astras regarding the two Engine Camshaft Position Sensors 55352609. I can't find the GM note right now, but I think it is on the forum here or you can find by google.

The Chevy Aveo shares some DNA with the Saturn Astra. The link below has photos which illustrate what the orange filters look like and are the sensors look similar. Hopefully that clarifys my comments.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...light=55352609

http://www.motor.com/newsletters/201...S7_Saturn.html

http://www.aveoforum.com/forum/f108/...ormance-13668/

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Old 06-19-2015, 10:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstraFasta View Post
For clarity and to avoid confusion of terms, below are some links relating to the service note on US Astras regarding the two Engine Camshaft Position Sensors 55352609. I can't find the GM note right now, but I think it is on the forum here or you can find by google.

The Chevy Aveo shares some DNA with the Saturn Astra. The link below has photos which illustrate what the orange filters look like and are the sensors look similar. Hopefully that clarifys my comments.
Thanks for the links. Those are definitely the solenoids (55567050) and not the sensors (55352609). I'll have to buy the kit to remove the bolts to take out those solenoids and remove the filters asap! I really want better performance and less gas waste.

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Old 06-19-2015, 11:10 PM   #14
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Ha - I am the one confused!

The photos and links are obvious and the orange filters in the Chevy Aveo are clear.

Good luck, and apologies for any confusion!

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Old 06-20-2015, 01:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

I went to my mechanic. He took out the camshaft solenoids and saw that the filters are very clean (I changed them last week). He advised me against removing them even though GM said to remove them. I kept reading online that people who removed them had only a temporary fix to the issue. I think my issue isn't the solenoids since I just changed them without any effect.

I think it's either the Cam sprockets or the camshaft sensors.
*sigh... I don't have money to spend on it anymore so I'll have to wait and either sell or keep driving it. It's fine other than that. I just have to suffer with low performance and bad mileage.

You know, the hotter the weather and the longer I drive it, the hotter the engine gets, obviously, but the worse the performance issue and the neutral-idle has a harder shifting to it as well and most gears also have a harder shift. I hate that as it makes me feel like the transmission is going bad. What do you guys think? I think it's related to the camshaft stuff.

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Old 06-20-2015, 04:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsey View Post
I went to my mechanic. He took out the camshaft solenoids and saw that the filters are very clean (I changed them last week). He advised me against removing them even though GM said to remove them. I kept reading online that people who removed them had only a temporary fix to the issue. I think my issue isn't the solenoids since I just changed them without any effect.

I think it's either the Cam sprockets or the camshaft sensors.
*sigh... I don't have money to spend on it anymore so I'll have to wait and either sell or keep driving it. It's fine other than that. I just have to suffer with low performance and bad mileage.

You know, the hotter the weather and the longer I drive it, the hotter the engine gets, obviously, but the worse the performance issue and the neutral-idle has a harder shifting to it as well and most gears also have a harder shift. I hate that as it makes me feel like the transmission is going bad. What do you guys think? I think it's related to the camshaft stuff.
Is the check engine light on? Do you have a code reader you can use to check if there are any stored codes?

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Old 06-20-2015, 05:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

No check engine light. I wish there was one.
I'll try to get the stored codes next time.

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Old 06-27-2015, 07:05 AM   #18
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Still NO check engine light but here are the stored codes according to a component scanner (those that cost like $10,000):

P0011 (I think I fixed that one though when I changed cam solenoids, not sure).
P000A
P1101 (Couldn't find much info about this one)

My mechanic cleaned the MAF and Throttle body (not sure he cleaned that one well though as he just sprayed without scrubbing the inside). MAF seems to be running fine according to component scanner.

We checked ignition coil pack and it didn't look burned.

I put some Lucas fuel treatment to clean some of the inside since before buying it this car was sitting for quite some months.
Car may have a little bit more power but still same issues.

Next step I think I will change the Cam sensors once and for all, what do you all think? I found them online for about 102 USD (2 sensors + shipping).

New info: ever since I bought it, I always see the speedometer needle going up and down slightly when driving at a constant speed (such as with cruise control or just maintaining a constant speed). Never had that issue before with other cars.

Also, the car seems to run hot after about 20 minutes of driving. The issues and Hard shifting get worse at that point.


I think I never mentioned this but my car is the 4-door 2008 Saturn Astra XE

Last edited by Ramsey; 06-27-2015 at 07:12 AM..

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Old 06-27-2015, 10:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

P1101 is probably the throttle body needing to be cleaned. I didn't remove mine, but I forced it open and cleaned it with a rag and throttle body cleaner. The code hasn't come back. I had previously replaced the MAF sensor, and that didn't clear that code.

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Past Cars: 08 Astra, 15 Acadia, 12 Enclave, 09 Traverse, 05 Vue, 04 Grand Prix, 00 Alero, 97 LeSabre, 72 Cutlass S

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Old 06-27-2015, 05:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: Hesitation on acceleration, using lots of gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsey View Post
Still NO check engine light but here are the stored codes according to a component scanner (those that cost like $10,000):

P0011 (I think I fixed that one though when I changed cam solenoids, not sure).
P000A
P1101 (Couldn't find much info about this one)


Next step I think I will change the Cam sensors once and for all, what do you all think? I found them online for about 102 USD (2 sensors + shipping).
I had the P000B code (which is the same as P000A but for the exhaust side) and slow acceleration etc, and removing the filters from the exhaust cam solenoid fixed the problem for me.

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