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Old 11-18-2006, 06:04 AM   #1
viking
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2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default SES light, P0300 engine misfire

Hi all,

My 2005 Ion is acting up. The SES light comes on intermittently with codes P0300/P0171. I took it in for service 3 times, had the ECM (and a spark plug) replaced and reflashed twice, all to no avail. Last time (a week ago) I was told that Saturn was well aware of the problem and had just released an update to the firmware specifically addressing this issue, so all the tech did was reflash the ECM. I suspected he was pulling my chain, and well, tonight the light came back on.

"Trasher" seems to have had this exact problem a year ago (thread 67790, SES light comes on and off). The coils have not been replaced, but doing so didn't seem to help in his case. I did change the air filter a couple of months before all this started. It's an STP brand, from Autozone. Could that possibly be the culprit?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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Old 11-18-2006, 10:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: SES light, P0300 engine misfire

Yes, your filter is the culprit. I would say this with about 98% certainty. To test, pop in a new OEM filter from your Saturn dealer, disconnect the battery to reset the computer, put it all back together and fire it up. Those flat panel filters are more of a hassle than anything else. No real horsepower gain, no real fuel economy gain, they get changed less often, and they throw codes that result in your car being down for a few days while the dealership scratches its head.

...
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:16 PM   #3
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2003 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: SES light, P0300 engine misfire

Quote:
Originally Posted by THX712517
Yes, your filter is the culprit. I would say this with about 98% certainty....
Hooky Smokes!

I'm using the same filter (2003s use the same filter yes?). STP/Autozone. No problems here. Cheaper and easier access getting it local, then going to my Saturn Dealership.

I'm tempted to think you are joking THX... but all things considered it certainly seems a reasonable Troubleshoot. (You can't get good product 100% of the time I suppose) Pop a known good filter in there and see what happens. If it doesn't work you've got a spare Filter for next time...

Is it possible Viking you were given or picked the wrong filter for your vehicle?

Was it identical to the original? (On mine there is a couple beads of "caulk" keeping the pleets in place... but otherwise it is of identical design.)

I know there has been talk of using the Saturn ION Oil Filters over other brands since the other brands haven't always seemed to hold up well to longer change intervals... I wasn't aware of a similar issue with Air Filters.

Could it simply be a loose or badly sealed Air Filter Housing?

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Old 11-18-2006, 11:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: SES light, P0300 engine misfire

I think there's TSB for this issue...

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Old 11-19-2006, 12:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: SES light, P0300 engine misfire

'05s and up use MAFs which are sensitive to those filters for some reason. Can't explain it exactly, but we've had a few Ions in the shop that have had plugs, boots, ignition module, and coilpacks thrown at them only to have it fixed with a twenty buck filter.

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Old 11-19-2006, 06:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: SES light, P0300 engine misfire

Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave
Is it possible Viking you were given or picked the wrong filter for your vehicle?

Was it identical to the original? (On mine there is a couple beads of "caulk" keeping the pleets in place... but otherwise it is of identical design.)
The filter fit perfectly and is identical to the OEM one except it lacks the wire mesh. It's a plain paper filter, not coated with oil like the K&N one, so I can't imagine what could be throwing the MAF sensor off. As you say, I have nothing to lose by swapping it out, and at this point, I'm willing to try anything.

I'll pick up a replacement later this week and let you know how it turns out. Thanks everybody for your comments.

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Old 11-19-2006, 10:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: SES light, P0300 engine misfire

THX712517,

Thanks for the clarification. Didn't know about the "sensitive" 2005+ IONS.

Does make you wonder exactly what specs the third party brands aren't making sure the Filters are meeting.

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