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Old 11-20-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
SpohnSoftware
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2009 AURA XE
1999 SL2
Default 99 SL2 Misfire

OK here is the deal. I have a misfire on my 99 SL2, 230,000 miles. I have tried the following:

1.) New PVC value
2.) New plugs, wires, coils, NOT control module
3.) New fuel filter
4.) New OS2 sensors(they came up in an emissions test)

The cars idles fines, throttles up fine. Definite loss of power, and misses and bucks like a b*tch once I reach 60-75 miles per hour. Yes, I must go that fast otherwise I will get "run over" on the turnpike here in PA. If I stay below 50ish, and simply drive around town, the misfire is defintitly not as bad. Obvious power loss, but drivable. I really don't want to get rid of it, as this is the only really issue.

So, my question is this:

1.) Should I invest $120 in an ignition control module?
2.) Could it be a head gasket? I don't notice any loss of anti freeze, and it looks fine in color. I do keep an eye on that as I had to replace the water pump about 15,000 miles ago.
3.) Fuel pump???
4.) Fuel Injectors???

Kindof grasping right now.

Thx

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:27 PM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Go to Harbor Freight and buy a pressure tester, 13.00 and the part number is 92699. Max pressure is 51psi either on prime or at idle.

Then run a compression test. You can get the cheap Harbor Freight tester for 8.00, I do not have the part number for that one.

Next after getting some numbers if nothing bad shows up go to your local pick and pull and get an ICM (ignition control module).

Have you replaced the ECTS with a brass one? Where does the temperature gage sit during normal driving?

Before spending big bucks lets see if we can find out what is wrong.

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

The temp gauge runs fine. A little below the first line, however it has been cold here lately. I have NO cooling issues, even in the summer time. Sorry, newbie here, but what is and where is the ECTS?

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Do all four plugs seem to look the same after some use - or can a problem be traced to a particular cylinder that way?

My Duralast plug wires from autozone had a spark jumping right through it to the block on #4 cylinder after about 3k miles. New doesn't guarantee installation issues either.

230k - backkpressure from plugging up converter a possibility too

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Well, we know what your problem is. The proper temp gage reading is between the first and second mark. You have at least one problem and maybe 2, ECTS and/or thermostat stuck open.

First deal with the ECTS. You can buy one at any autoparts store. For info on where and how take the forum jump at the bottom of the page and select How-To Library. The first post has the index and links to the richpin DIY videos and the 2nd and 3rd describe in detail how to change the ECTS. You need to get the engine up to operating temperature before looking for the cause of the misfire.

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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1997 SL1
Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

I'd say it is running too cool. T-stat is weak, opening too soon, cheap to replace but probably not your main problem. It's not getting any warmer in PA for quite a while so you might as well schedule a t-stat replacement. Keep you warmer all winter.

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Harbor freight number for the compression tester is 92697.

What kind of plugs did you use? Hopefully not platinums.

Your gauge is running low. Definitely need to check the ects. Go to the jump forum box at the bottom and go to the how to library. It will be in the first couple of links. Thermostat may be stuck open also.

Oldnuc will be lots of help. He's helped me several times.

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

WOW. First off, let me thank each and everyone of you. I stepped out of work for 5 minutes and had 4-5 responses!!!!! Unreal! I will first try the ECTS and thermostat this Saturday. ECTS cost is?????

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

ECTS is real easy and even easier while the fluid is drained to do the t-stat.

Check out the Rewards program if you have a local AutoZone. Basically trims 20% off purchases.

...
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:08 PM   #10
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

ECTS is about 10.00 at the parts store and the thermostat is about 20.00 to 30.00 depending on where you buy it. As you have to drain the coolant to change the thermostat this is a lovely time to flush th system. you can buy a gallon of DEX-Cool or the Universal antifreeze, either one is fine. the plain green stuff is the last choice. Also add distilled water to fill it up. Use most of the new gallon and add distilled water to full. the system has a continuous vent and does not air lock. For ease of removing the thermostat housing remove both ends of the lower radiator hose. The radiator drain valve will prove difficult, forget it. Flush system out with a garden hose until the water runs clear. Flush in both directions.

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Old 11-21-2008, 05:37 PM   #11
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Happy Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Happy Ending!!!!

After checking the pressure of exhaust, we determined is was very low. After we disassembled the exhaust, the cat. converter was essentially blocked, pretty much completely. After a new one was purchased and installed, ALL issues have pretty much gone away. Power has returned, and I am hopeful MPG returns to 33-34(it was down to 20). The car has new life, and doesn't constantly downshift to get power. Thank you everyone on this forum! I really do appreicate the help.

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Old 11-21-2008, 06:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Good troubleshooting!

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Old 11-21-2008, 06:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Thanks! It was actually the post below that led me onto something. What did make sense was the car ran fine for the first 5-7 minutes in the morning. Then, once it heated up, it got worse. I knew that the converter would start to work once things got hotter, and that the "honeycombs" inside would also start to expand once they got hotter. Then I remembered I had never actually changed this piece even though I did replace the exhaust system twice in the life of the car. So, it was my first suggestion, and thankfully I was right.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fredsfix View Post
Do all four plugs seem to look the same after some use - or can a problem be traced to a particular cylinder that way?

My Duralast plug wires from autozone had a spark jumping right through it to the block on #4 cylinder after about 3k miles. New doesn't guarantee installation issues either.

230k - backkpressure from plugging up converter a possibility too

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Old 11-21-2008, 07:01 PM   #14
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

There is a way to clean out a CAT. You run the car till at normal temperature and then inject water into the engine while maintaining a 2000 RPM high idle. You have to inject water with a hose as this takes a while. You will eventually see water vapor out the exhaust and this will turn black and then back to white. When white you are done. Will not hurt the engine unless you do something like really drown it. This also gets all of th carbon out of the top end of the engine and might even help the oil rings.

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Old 11-21-2008, 07:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
There is a way to clean out a CAT. You run the car till at normal temperature and then inject water into the engine while maintaining a 2000 RPM high idle. You have to inject water with a hose as this takes a while. You will eventually see water vapor out the exhaust and this will turn black and then back to white. When white you are done. Will not hurt the engine unless you do something like really drown it. This also gets all of th carbon out of the top end of the engine and might even help the oil rings.
Inhect water into the engine how? and how much water?

...
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Yea i would like to know this??? I thought water in the motor bad?

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Old 11-21-2008, 07:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Through the PCV hose is right convenient. Stick an adapter into it and use a pair of vice grips on your longer hose to regulate flow. Stick the loose end in a bucket and also your garden hose. What you are after is about 1/3 to 1/2 throttle opening while adding water to hold 2000 to 2500 RPM. This takes a while and is a drastic fix but it will get it cleaned out. You will have all of the crud strewn down the drive. The trick is to get enough water in there to make steam but still keep the converter hot. Steam severely slows the conversion reaction.

There has been discussions here relating to this process. Search on steam clean and you will find them.

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Old 11-21-2008, 07:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

I would be afraid of hydrolocking the engine and causing permenant damage. I would be cautious with the new converter wondering why it plugged. I got 245,000 miles out of mine and only had to change it because it was rusted to the other pipes I was replacing.

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Old 11-21-2008, 09:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Unless you go crazy with the water its a vapor when it hits the intake and becomes real steam in the combustion chamber. You are not going to drown it. The last time I did this it was to a Jag XK motor that had been fed very bad gas for a very long time. Blacked out the neighborhood.

An engine that is pumping oil and running cold will foul out a CAT rather quickly. As these motors tend to consume oil and if the plastic ECTS cracks then they can run cold and that will oil soak it and it will fail.

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Old 11-21-2008, 11:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: 99 SL2 Misfire

Still replace the ECTS....and thermostat if the gauge reading doesnt change.

Or youll be back on here in a few months with another issue

...
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