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Old 12-13-2015, 04:04 PM   #1
redrider0104
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Default 04 Saturn running rough

Hey guys
I've got a 2004 Saturn ion2 with 191k miles. It's been running rough lately, rough idle and rough under load. If I've got it under load it misses/hesitates along with no power but if I let off just a little it runs smooth again. The CEL is also flashing. I just changed the fuel filter, changed the spark plugs, cleaned the maf sensor and the idle air control. Any help is appreciated
Thanks

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Old 12-13-2015, 05:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Just replaced the icm and coil pack... Didn't fix it

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Old 12-13-2015, 07:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

1st step-get the codes from the CEL...

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Old 12-13-2015, 08:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

I took it to autozone and had them read the codes. It had 14 codes, cel has been since I put a aftermarket header/high flow cat. Most common was one about a inlet air temp sensor? Didn't know it had one or the location
Thanks for the reply

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Old 12-18-2015, 11:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Ok here's the codes I have
P0113
P0141
P0037

I looked those codes up I don't see how any of those could be giving me the problems that I'm having

Last edited by redrider0104; 12-18-2015 at 11:13 AM..

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Old 12-18-2015, 02:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Just to translate for everyone else
P0113 Saturn - Intake Air Temperature Circuit High Input
P0141 Saturn - O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction Bank 1 Sensor 2
P0037 Saturn - HO2S12 Heater Control Circuit Low Voltage

a bad O2 sensor can have a small impact on engine performance, bec it relays info on whether to use more or less fuel to keep the air/fuel ratio balanced.

gas mileage will be affected, and engine performance may have a tiny impact since it can either run with not enough fuel, or too much fuel.

when you did the exhaust upgrade, did you make sure it is secured in place, and that it did not get bumped or knocked around in between the times of removing it from the old exhaust to installing to the new exhaust?

EDIT: as far as the idle air temp sensor, that may be in reference to the idle air control sensor on the intake.
03 and 04 have a tiny sensor.

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Old 12-18-2015, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Thanks for the reply Kevin...the exhaust was installed around 50000 miles And I also have a cold air intake.
I did take the idle air intake sensor off and cleaned it. Also did a quick test of unplugging it while the car was running and it performed as expected.
I took the maf sensor off and cleaned it too and did the same test

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Old 12-19-2015, 07:23 AM   #8
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrider0104 View Post
Hey guys
I've got a 2004 Saturn ion2 with 191k miles. It's been running rough lately, rough idle and rough under load. If I've got it under load it misses/hesitates along with no power but if I let off just a little it runs smooth again. The CEL is also flashing. I just changed the fuel filter, changed the spark plugs, cleaned the maf sensor and the idle air control. Any help is appreciated
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by redrider0104 View Post
I took it to autozone and had them read the codes. It had 14 codes, cel has been since I put a aftermarket header/high flow cat. Most common was one about a inlet air temp sensor? Didn't know it had one or the location
Thanks for the reply
No maf sensor or idle air control on your Ion. You may be describing the map sensor. Your Ion has a drive by wire throttle/pedal system. At close to 200k miles and a flashing check engine light, excessive unburned fuel is causing the flashing cel. Whether or not it's damaged or worn out and falling apart internally to partially block exhaust flow has yet to be determined. If the catcon isn't damaged, something is causing unburned fuel. A compression and fuel pressure test may help here. The intake air temperature sensor is on the intake air tubing. It's possible a disconnected or damaged iat sensor may affect fuel/air mixtures and cause excessive fuel injection, causing the flashing cel. This sensor along with the coolant sensor and others are used for engine management of the EFI system.

There are direct and indirect consequences of faulty sensors with many problems not pointing directly to sensors. Wiring problems contribute to this too.

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Old 12-19-2015, 09:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

I guess I just assumed that it had a throttle cable considering I can see the cable on the throttle body. They sell a IAC for my car but As far as the sensors go I'm bad with them but it sounds like we're on the same page hah. I might go pick up a compression tester today and see where that leads me.

Edit: I just looked it up in my hanes manual it does have a cable for the throttle and it does have a IAC. Says that's years 2005 and later have a maf and a map sensor

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Old 12-19-2015, 10:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

The current service manual has descriptions for both, throttle actuator/electronic pedal and conventional cable operated throttle body/pedal. My bad. With a throttle body, the idle air control valve and throttle position sensor are parts mounted on it. Now that I'm on your page, troubleshooting remains the same. I suggest borrowing the fuel pressure and compression gauges from places like Autozone if you don't have them. They can help assess the overall status of the pump and engine.

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Old 12-20-2015, 03:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Compression test was as follows
1- 100psi
2- 130
3- 115
4- 92

Hanes manual says within 75% of best cylinder so 97psi. It's not far off enough for me to think that to be the problem

The fuel pressure looks real good held at 55psi

I'm starting to think you might be on to something on the cat being blocked.
It does have a pretty good size dent on it from either ice or a dead animal, but at the same time it's been like that for a while

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Old 12-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Those compression numbers are way off standard readings. Good compression should be around 185 psi, making yours a well worn engine (worn piston rings). A rebuild or engine replacement should be considered. To determine whether its worn rings or valves, squirt some oil into each cylinder and take another set of compression readings. Oil helps to temporarily seal worn compression rings and raises compression. Worn, burned exhaust valves won't seal with compression remaining the same before oil was put into cylinders. Remove the fuel pump fuse to prevent fuel from being injected during these compression tests. Replace it afterwards.

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Old 12-20-2015, 06:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

She's got to many other problems to be doing overhaul haha.. It was my first car and is now just my work car. I might have to take it to a shop and have them diagnose the problem
I do want to thank you for the help I'll keep you updated

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Old 12-21-2015, 02:51 AM   #14
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

You're taking it to a shop why? It needs a rebuild, as stated the compression in that engine is almost half of a healthy one in two cylinders, and still not good in the other two. That's the main bulk of your problem.

Fdryer, 03-04 have a cable and iac, but no maf. 05-07 have tbw and a maf, fyi. Just think of it as the maf is a more advanced metering method than just map. That should make it easier to remember.

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Old 12-21-2015, 11:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: 04 Saturn running rough

Thanks for reconfirming what we already confirmed....

The manual states that it should be within 75% of the highest cylinder. Yes it does have significantly lower compression than a newer engine but it's got 200k miles it's going to be lower. I'm taking it to a shop to have the cat replace or cut out, exhaust work is usually pretty cheap

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