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Old 08-30-2010, 10:41 AM   #1
indianaSL1
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2001 SL1
Default Random Misfire

I know there are lots of misfire posts out there but I have not been able to track down what is going on here.

I have a 2001 SL1 (sohc) w/260,000 miles. Last week it started randomly misfiring on me. It usually happens when I'm cruising along at 50mph but not exclusively (I live in the sticks and most of the time, I am just cruising around at 50mph)

I changed the plugs (not platinum) and wires thinking that was it, to no avail. I then changes the ignition coils and that did not help either. I drive 30 miles to work and generally it won't miss until after I've driven 5-10 (sometimes 15) miles and then it might happen 2-3 times on the rest of the drive.

I checked the codes when it 1st started happening and had...

P0410 (secondary air inj. system)
P0300 Random Misfire
P0341 Camshaft Pos Sensor
P0218 - coolant temp
P0442 - Med. Leak in EVAP system

I cleared the codes when I changed the coils and drove it roughly 40 miles with maybe 5 or 6 misses and checked the codes and only got P0410.

I'm not sure where to go from here. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks....

...
Original owner of a 2001 sl1 w/ 268,000 miles

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Old 08-30-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
quantumech
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2000 SL1
Default Re: Random Misfire

Has the intake manifold gasket been replaced yet?

How old is the fuel filter?

What temperature is it running at (via scan tool, gauge or both)? ECTS replaced with a brass one? ECTS connector checked for corrosion? (temp code)

Might need to take a look at the gas cap too, make sure the rubber that seals it is in good shape, it and the mating surface are clean, otherwise you might need to replace it. (EVAP code)

My gut says that both the temp and EVAP codes are at the heart of the issue.

...
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
indianaSL1
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2001 SL1
Default Re: Random Misfire

Thanks for your help!

Intake manifold gasket has not been replaced & the fuel filter is the original. I don't have a scan tool reading, but the temp on the gage is running a hair above the 1st mark where it has run for years.

I did the ECTS swap a few years ago with a brass tipped gage. My gut says the temp codes are red herrings, the car has been throwing odd temp codes for over a year (the thermostat & the ECTS didn't seems to agree w/ each other) The EVAP codes may be at fault here. I won't have time to get into the intake manifold gasket today, I never pulled it on this car, but I'm guessing it will be quite the chore, I'll have to see what I can get at tomorrow.

Any other thoughts out there?

...
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
quantumech
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Default Re: Random Misfire

You need a new 195 F thermostat. The temp should read between the 1/4 and 1/2 during normal operation. Stant or Gates are good ones to go with.

The intake gasket should probably be replaced. The 2000 and 2001 have issues with the original gasket, and you're more then likely developed the leak, most noticeably at the cylinder #1 joint. It's not that bad of a job if you search and follow the how-to, plan out ahead of time, and would also be a good time to do the thermostat/flush the cooling system and get new coolant in there. It'll take an afternoon, but it'll be worth it. When I did it last spring, I didn't find that I needed to tilt the engine forward, but I have smallish hands.

You will also likely want to replace that fuel filter as well. It has a pressure regulator bult-in, which makes it expensive, and it should have been replaced twice already. Save yourself some headaches and get OEM or the Wix. Other filters are prone to cause problems.

If you do these things, you'll likely find most of those codes and the misfire to go away. The only other thing is that your cat. con. might be plugged from excessive running rich from a failed fuel pressure regulator and/or running too cold. But checking that one out can wait until the other issues are resolved.

...
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:15 PM   #5
indianaSL1
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Default Re: Random Misfire

I got the manifold off this morning (I have skinny hands too and did not have to unbolt the mounts to get it off). I did have room to get the whole manifold out and there is a lot of gunk in the engine block especially in the #1 intake. Would it be a good idea to scrap out what I can out of the engine block, or should I leave it alone? I'm worried about freeing too much stuff up and causing more problems than I solve.

...
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:06 AM   #6
quantumech
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Default Re: Random Misfire

I think you should be able to scrape some of it off carefully, it couldn't hurt. Just be careful of the intake valve...don't want to mess that guy up. Any gunk that gets inside will just be burned and show up as a nice blue cloud of smoke for a small bit.

...
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
indianaSL1
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Default Re: Random Misfire

So I got everything back together and went to start it up and now the engine revs up to 4000rpm and held for a few seconds and idles down to roughly 3500rpm!!!!

Any ideas what I did? I'm searching the forum hoping to find something.

...
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Random Misfire

A very large vacuum leak can cause the over revving like the brake vacuum boost hose falling off on the backside of the intake manifold. Look for it as it the only large diameter vacuum hose.

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:32 PM   #9
indianaSL1
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Default Re: Random Misfire

I went back through the intake system and realized the throttle body gasket had slipped on me when I was re-installing it. I put it on right and the problem went away. It is still idling a little high (1000-1200 RPM), I don't know if the computer needs a little time to relearn, but regardless I'll pick up a new gasket in the morning and make sure it it fully sealed up.

I did just take it for a test drive and otherwise everything feels great!

Thanks for the help!

...
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Random Misfire

Not sure. There might be another small leak, or it's just not warmed up completely.

...
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