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Old 10-08-2007, 04:05 PM   #1
Kawabuggy
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Default '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

I am having multiple mis-fire codes on the car. Currently have:

P0300 Random Cylinder Mis-fire
P0301 Cylinder #1 mis-fire
P0303 Cylinder #3 Mis-fire
P0305 Cylinder #5 Mis-fire

I see that those 3 cylinders are on the engine bank closest to the firewall of the car, and that they all share the same coil pack. I have already swapped the coil pack with a new one-problem still exists! If I clear the codes, and then start the car, the SES starts flashing within a minute.

Has anyone experienced this problem before? My plans this afternoon are to:
1. Swap o2 sensors from bank 1 to bank 2, and 2 to 1 to see if the problem moves with the sensor
2. Test all of the injectors to make sure they are receiving a signal from the ECM. Problem here is that the computer upon detecting 19 mis-fires in 200 cam revolutions turns OFF THE INJECTORS! How will I figure out what the problem is if the ECM has turned off the injectors for that bank?
3. Test the signal wires from the ECM to the coil pack for 1,3,5 to see if the signal is being sent to the coil pack.


My list of suspects at this point:
1. ECM
2. Stuck/sticking/malfunctioning EGR
3. O2 Sensor
4. Coil pack-even though it is new, does not mean it is good!
5. LEAST LIKELY SCENARIO-cam timing belt/chain has slipped on this bank of cylinders and is causing the problem.

If anyone has any ideas that I should try, please reply back and let me know. I really need to get my car fixed, and get back to work.

I do have a Snap-On MT-2500, & a Modis at my disposal. I have never used the Modis, but my uncle said I could borrow it if I needed it. I am pretty competent with the MT-2500.

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Old 10-09-2007, 12:11 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

With cylinder misfiring in almost both banks I'm looking from another perspective; the MAF sensor being common to the air/fuel mixture along with the coolant sensor and MAP sensor. More MAF sensors failed in early L-series motors than coolant and MAP sensors. If you read the past threads in the L-forums you'll see a definite pattern of MAF sensor failures. This is presuming that you've eliminated the fuel pressure, fuel filter, and fuel pressure regulator as possible contributors to misfiring. Eliminating the ignition coils would only solve one bank but not for both banks leading you back to suspecting the ECM. The remote possibility of partial failure of the ECM, in this instance since most cylinders have the misfiring would lead me to asking if the ECM is mounted securely to the engine block/frame as the body of the ECM must be grounded electrically as well as bolted mechanically at the same time. The other possibility in common to cylinder misfiring may be the crank position sensor as a failing cps will disrupt the fuel pump, ignition system, and injector pulses all at the same time. An intermittent cps is usually indicated as a hot/cold engine problem, either killing the engine after its fully warmed up or never allowing a start until air temperatures rise from the early morning coolness. Some food for thought.

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Old 10-09-2007, 08:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

Well, I spent more time working on it yesterday.. All to no avail. I pulled the original Bosch plugs and replaced them hoping that would make a difference. It did not.

I went back to using the scanner. In the misfire data section, the motor running, I could see that the counter for misfires for cylinders 2,4, & 6 were constantly counting up and/or rising. Cylinders 1,3, & 5 were at ZERO and not moving for a few minutes. Then after a short period, 1, 3 & 5 started counting up as well. After a minute more, 1,3, & 5 zeroed out and then sat there at zero for another minute or so, and then started counting again. Why does the scanner lose count, go back to Zero, and then start counting again????

Seems odd that the computer is only setting hard codes for mis-fire on 1,3, & 5, and yet in the DATA stream, I am seeing 2,4, & 6 mis-firing and yet there are no codes setting for them! The car will start and run normally. The only indication that there is a problem is a very slight hesitation. It feels like the car might be actually missing on just one cylinder at a time. It might be a single cylinder, or it might be missing randomly on all cylinders.

I did do a compression test yesterday. All cylinders are between 170 & 180 PSI. I know the motor is healthy internally. I know the problem lies in the controls/electrical. Since I am not an electrical engineer-or a millionaire-this may prove to be a daunting issue to resolve. I don't have the time or money to simply start throwing parts at the car. Each day of work I am missing, is less money that I have to spend. Prior to buying this car I owned a '93 Honda Accord. I put 239K miles on it and the most severe work I ever did to it was a timing belt. Minor stuff was tires, battery, air filters, oil changes and other basic maintenance, but I never took it to a shop. This experience with this Saturn is telling me I was STUPID to have bought domestic. My sister is driving the Honda and it is still going like stink. My friends are rubbing it in my face that I got a Saturn. I am embarrassed to say anything, but I am starting to agree that I think I did make a mistake in buying this car.

The person posting above indicated that it might be a MAF sensor, or possibly a Cam Position Sensor. Is there any way to test those before simply replacing them?? Can't I use the Modis to scope the MAF and CMP?

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Old 10-09-2007, 09:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kawabuggy View Post
P0300 Random Cylinder Mis-fire
P0301 Cylinder #1 mis-fire
P0303 Cylinder #3 Mis-fire
P0305 Cylinder #5 Mis-fire

I have already swapped the coil pack with a new one-problem still exists! If I clear the codes, and then start the car, the SES starts flashing within a minute.

I do have a Snap-On MT-2500, & a Modis at my disposal. I have never used the Modis, but my uncle said I could borrow it if I needed it. I am pretty competent with the MT-2500.
I wouldn't doubt that the original coil pack was bad. The new coil pack is ok, but the converter may be clogged from all of the misfires prior to the replacement of the coil. Remove the O2 sensor from the manifold on that back of cylinders and see if it runs any better (doesn't misfire). This would make all 3 of those cylinder misfire.

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Old 10-09-2007, 09:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

I'm not familiar with any equipment you posted but if one of them is an o'scope you can certainly check input/output signals on any sensor, the difficulty is placing the probe in an appropriate spot that's accessible or the wiring has to be pierced to probe correctly. I described only the crank position sensor and not the cam position sensor but both can be scoped if necessary. I also incorrectly thought you had both banks misfiring when you described one bank and the ignition module should have corrected the problem. This begins to appear as an intermittent symptom from your description. If possible, clear any codes and reset the ECM so new codes generate.

I re-read the part of observing the counts and the only explanation I can guess at for the counts resetting is that the ECM gives you live data and as soon the misfiring goes away and starts again the counters reset automatically, not indicating the time between good firing sequences. Why would a count be left for display when ignition resumes correctly? My thinking tells me that when the very next misfire occurs the counters will tally this. Remember the cylinders are firing several hundred times a minute and increase exponentially as the rpms rise so you're looking at a very small moment of time in the scheme of things. Its great to observe the misfiring counts to verify it but when the count stops there isn't any misfiring going on so the counter stops reporting it. The desire is to have zero counts all the time. The problem is isolating the misfiring and it appears again to lead me to believe that the MAF sensor may be outputting incorrect signal data. I'm away from my FSM's to study the action of the MAF sensor but in theory the MAF sensor is a differential amplifier using the airflow as the variable against a temperature compensated reference. Any physical damage to the heated element, that's used as the actual airflow measurement device, disrupts the precise calibration of the MAF assembly, the reason for many failed MAF sensors.

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

I am having the same problem on my 02 Saturn VUE AWD V6 after my water pump and timing belt was changed. You have any suggestions as to why this may have happened? Think it could be the MAF sensor?

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Old 11-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

Since we never had a follow up post with results, its still speculating on our part. Upon reviewing this post its possible that CrewCab may have hit on the closest solution, a clogged pre-catalytic converter. A recent L300 owner went through a list of things and found his pre-cat clogged in one cylinder bank. Removing the forward O2 sensor of the misfiring cylinder bank allowed better breathing to verify this. Removal for access confirmed it.

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Old 11-02-2009, 06:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

You think I could check that Pre-Cat coverter on my Vue? I have few mechanic skills but I could probably take out an o2 sensor to check. Do you know where it would be on my car?
Thanks for the info.

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Old 11-02-2009, 07:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

This may help. Its just the left side pre-cat O2 sensor, the same on the right side. Either removed will be LOUD when the engine is run and you'd have to be aware of the exhaust flow onto anything it may burn. Loosening them may require a short engine run to pre-heat the exhaust manifold. You may have to conjure up a temporary deflector to prevent burning anything. Anti-seize (nickle based) compound is used o the threads to prevent seizing from the heating/cooling cycles.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

I will have to give it a try. If it runs better with the o2 sensor off does that mean the Cat is bad? I do feel a bad skip/hesitation when i accelerate quickly from 0mph between 3k-4k RPM's and my service wrench light is on all the time. It never goes off. It has been on even before the misfire codes became a problem as soon as my water pump and timing belt were replaced about 2 weeks ago. Engine runs well other than this problem.

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:12 AM   #11
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

Not necessarily as this post revealed; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...71#post1514671. It was determined that the firewall side of the pre-catalyst was broken and caused engine problems. Until removal of an O2 sensor, there's almost no way to determine if a catcon or pre-cat is faulty; we have four cats to deal with.........................

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

had a problem with the same codes..
see an old post of mine
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ht=timing+belt
Herb

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Old 11-11-2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: '00 Saturn LS 3.0L-Misfire Codes! Help!

Thanks trebelhook for the info. I did get an OBI II scanner and played around with it. It is reading that the H02 sensor, O2 sensor and Catalyst not ready? You think this may be the problem? How many O2 sensors are we thinking about on this? P0300, 301, 303 and 305 are still showing. Seems to happen at idle with the AC compressor off? Engine runs around 600 rpm at idle and seems to run rough at idle when cold.

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