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Old 12-02-2013, 12:50 AM   #1
JSTDV8
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Default 2008 vue P0301 code

I'm looking at buying an 08 vue V6 (I think its a 3.5) with 92k on it
but its throwing a code P0301
Cylinder 1 misfire
the owner says she has had GM change plugs and wires but the code came back.
It does not appear immediately and runs and drives perfect when I test drove it after code reset.
Is there any quick tests I can run on it within say an hour at my dads shop to see if I can determine what the cause of the code may be?
How hard is it to switch coils on these motors?
Anything else I could do to narrow it down?

I currently am driving an 02 vue with the 3.0 v6 and everything related to plugs and all that is absolutely buried under all the good on top the engine.
If this motor is like that an hour wont cut it.

Any hints would be helpful.
Ive seen wolfmans 2 scenarios, just wondering about quick tests.
Thanks

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Old 12-02-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSTDV8 View Post
I'm looking at buying an 08 vue V6 (I think its a 3.5) with 92k on it
but its throwing a code P0301
Cylinder 1 misfire
the owner says she has had GM change plugs and wires but the code came back.
It does not appear immediately and runs and drives perfect when I test drove it after code reset.
Is there any quick tests I can run on it within say an hour at my dads shop to see if I can determine what the cause of the code may be?
How hard is it to switch coils on these motors?
Anything else I could do to narrow it down?

I currently am driving an 02 vue with the 3.0 v6 and everything related to plugs and all that is absolutely buried under all the good on top the engine.
If this motor is like that an hour wont cut it.

Any hints would be helpful.
Ive seen wolfmans 2 scenarios, just wondering about quick tests.
Thanks
I've attached extracts for P030X trouble codes, ignition system and fuel injector system (for GM 3.5 engine).

It appears the ICM has three ignition coils and each provides spark to two cylinders.

I don't know how difficult it is to remove a plug but I imagine checking number 1 is near top of your list.

Let me know if you'd like any of documents mentioned in these extracts.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - 3.5 P030X.pdf (25.6 KB, 19 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - 3.5 Ignition Cntl Mod.pdf (65.9 KB, 5 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - 3.5 Fuel Injector.pdf (109.8 KB, 3 views)

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Old 12-03-2013, 02:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Thanks F2G
So I got to pull the vue into the shop today for and hour and look it over.
Here are some observations that may clue you knowlegeable fellas in on something.
So my dad had reset the codes when he test drove it last night, the codes were not on when I picked the car up tonight roughly 24 hours later.
I drove it to my dads shop and put it in park and left it running while I went inside to get him. I come back out and the car is running a bit rough and the SES light is blinking and the traction control "off" light is illuminated on the dash and so it the one right above that with the car inside a triangle and squigly lines behind it. I think it said something about vehicle stability or something like that.
I pulled it in, cleared the code (same code as yesterday P0301) but those two traction lights didnt go off.
We played around with plugs and wires for a bit but didnt dig too far into anything since we didn't have a whole lot of time.
I tried the autostart and it didn't work, I cleared the codes and started the car with the key and no lights at all for about 30 seconds maybe a little less, then the SES started blinking again, threw the 301 code and both traction lights came on all at the same time as a small noise coming from the front of the car started, light an extra humming that wasnt there before.

I reset the codes, traction lights did not go out this time, but the noise went away until the code popped up again in about 30 seconds or less. no throttle, just idling.
and the auto start did start the car twice in a row, but when I went to go the last time it didn't work, but key works fine. Its getting the signal because the lights blink, but the starter doesnt engage.

cylinder misfire and the traction control?

If you don't think they are related, what might I check into for servicing the traction stuff? I'm pretty sure the AWD is not engaging, not certain, but pretty sure.
Thanks

I really like this car if I could figure out these little issues I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

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Old 12-03-2013, 02:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

I should also mention that the SES light would sometimes blink and sometimes be on solid and sometimes it would just go away on its own and then come back shortly afterwards.

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Old 12-03-2013, 12:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

There are many things going on and all are scary to me.

I'm still not sure if the Vue has 3.5 or 3.6 and there could be significant differences in any provided data. (Check RPO sticker - LY7 = 3.6 and LZ4 = 3.5, assuming service manual is accurate).

I'd try to isolate P0301 first. If it damages bank 1 cat (if not already) - it gets pretty expensive.

Traction and stability control might be related to misfire - I've attached a few extracts for your info. Did you try to disable traction and stability?

Small noise coming from front could be ABS pump - if ABS isn't operating correctly neither traction or stability will perform as expected.

I don't know when you tried remote start but there's an interlock to keep it from operating with hood open.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - ESP Info.pdf (72.8 KB, 14 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - ESP Prog Light.pdf (28.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - TCS Info.pdf (88.6 KB, 6 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - TCS Lights.pdf (50.5 KB, 2 views)

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Old 12-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Hmm, the hood thing is interesting, I don't recall.
It is definitely a 3.5
I was going to buy the vue if it was just the misfire since most of those fixes for common problems are fairly cheap to perform myself.

This traction control thing is scary to me though. I don't know much about how it works and I suppose it could get costly.

When the lower light is on it shows the car on a slippery road and it says "off" under it. I'm assuming this is the same light that would come on if you pushed the button under the stereo with the same symbol on it. Only this is happening without me pushing anything.
I'll take a look at your attachments.
Thank you,

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Old 12-03-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

So, after looking over your attachments it looks like the lights are on because when it did its diagnostic tests it determined something wasn't working so it shuts off both systems.
So that's a GM deal to work on that stuff I suppose.

Is there something that would tell me if the cat associated with #1 cylinder is ruined? Would there be another code?
I'm assuming by your answer that it isn't really very safe to drive it in its current condition without risking more damage to the cat.

As far as disabling traction control, I see that if you hold the button under the stereo in for a few seconds it will disable both the stability and traction control.
However, thats going to be hard to determine since both the lights are already solid and seem to already be disabled because the car is disabling them after its diagnostic test. I'm not sure if the button is going to do something different than the car has already done.

When you said the misfire might be linked to the T/C how did you mean? Like because that system might be sucking up power by not working properly its putting excess load on the engine or something?

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Old 12-03-2013, 01:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Also, the ABS on the car seems to work fine. I don't know if that is of consequence but I figured i'd throw it out there.

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Old 12-03-2013, 03:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Not sure I'd buy this car used. Run and find one with less problems.
Plus the 2008-2009 is a pig on gas. Much worse compare to the previous models because it is using a heavier platform. I think it is rated at around 4400 to 4600 pounds, it heavier then some 7 passengers and heavier then dodge caravan. Crazy. Such a bad car from the economy/usability prospective.
IMHO: Stick with pre-2008 VUE or looks elsewhere.

Per EPA:

2008 Vue: City (mpg) 15 Highway (mpg) 22
2007 Vue: City (mpg) 19 Highway (mpg) 25

2010 Chevy Equinox: City (mpg) 22 Highway (mpg) 32
2011 Dodge Caravan: City (mpg) 17 Highway (mpg) 25

With gas pricing this high... I'd looks elsewhere.

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Old 12-03-2013, 07:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSTDV8 View Post
So, after looking over your attachments it looks like the lights are on because when it did its diagnostic tests it determined something wasn't working so it shuts off both systems.
So that's a GM deal to work on that stuff I suppose.

Is there something that would tell me if the cat associated with #1 cylinder is ruined? Would there be another code?
I'm assuming by your answer that it isn't really very safe to drive it in its current condition without risking more damage to the cat.

As far as disabling traction control, I see that if you hold the button under the stereo in for a few seconds it will disable both the stability and traction control.
However, thats going to be hard to determine since both the lights are already solid and seem to already be disabled because the car is disabling them after its diagnostic test. I'm not sure if the button is going to do something different than the car has already done.

When you said the misfire might be linked to the T/C how did you mean? Like because that system might be sucking up power by not working properly its putting excess load on the engine or something?
I just don't know if P0301 could contribute to causing ABS/TCS/ESP failure lights. If it were in my driveway I'd try to fix P0301 before working on anything else.

Cat-cons can fail by: (1) creating too much back-pressure (your dad will know how to test using vacuum gauge) and/or, (2) when catalyst is contaminated or worn out (you'll normally have downstream sensors setting codes P0421 or P0431).

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Old 12-03-2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Ok sweet.
Thanks for all your help. If i decide to buy it I'll keep us updated on what the problem was if I can find it.

Do you happen to know what the maintenance schedule is for the timing belt?
I've heard that this could cause the 300 codes to pop. The car is at 92k so its probably time I suppose. One of my least favorite things to do.

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Old 12-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

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Do you happen to know what the maintenance schedule is for the timing belt? I've heard that this could cause the 300 codes to pop. The car is at 92k so its probably time I suppose. One of my least favorite things to do.
It appears the GM 3.5 has timing chain.

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

F2G
Could you post the procedure for doing a compression test on the 08' 3.5?
I'm not sure if the plugs need to be out or not. Dad also says that he's heard that some vehicles cant be turned over with the plugs out as it harms something.
I can't seem to find anything posted on this one way or another so I want to be sure.
Also, can you post the crankshaft position learning procedure. I saw it in one of the blue areas in that very first attachment you posted that was P300X or something like that.

So to update you on whats gone on since last post, I went ahead and bought all the easy things i thought it might be. Injector (new) Upper intake gaskets (new) coil pack (1 piece new)
We switched the plugs on cylinder #1 and #4
Started it up and within 30 seconds or so the same code pops up again.
I'm not really sure what to go to next. But we will start with the compression test.
starting to get worried its not going to be an easy fix.
We have our own scan tool innova 3140 with live data. If there are some sort of parameters that I can look for when the code is set to see what might be out of whack?
Thanks,

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Old 12-12-2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Here are some more interesting tidbits about my condition.

The SES light seems to only come on if I let the car idle, if I keep it above 2000 RMPS it seems like I can go quite some time (at least 5 minutes) with no code. where at idle it sets within about 30 seconds every time.
Also of note is that it is hard to keep the car within 500 rpms f stable between 1000 and 2000 Rpms. Above 2000 rpms it runs flawlessly, very smooth, below 2000 (approx) it bounces around a lot and it doesn't seem to matter how stable your foot is. And this is before it starts running rough and throws the code P301 with the SES flashing.

Fuel pressure on the scan tool shows around 58 at startup and then goes down to 43 at idle until the code pops up and then it goes back to 57-58. I thought that seemed kinda odd. Fuel pressure on manual test is the same.
I don't know if this is normal, but fuel pressure also rises after the car is shut off it continues to gradually rise to about 80 PSI

Scan tool is not showing negative trim numbers that might be present on a bad fuel pressure regulator diaphragm.

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Old 12-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

If it were me I'd being doing a compression test before going any further.

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Old 12-14-2013, 02:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSTDV8 View Post
Here are some more interesting tidbits about my condition.

The SES light seems to only come on if I let the car idle, if I keep it above 2000 RMPS it seems like I can go quite some time (at least 5 minutes) with no code. where at idle it sets within about 30 seconds every time.
Also of note is that it is hard to keep the car within 500 rpms f stable between 1000 and 2000 Rpms. Above 2000 rpms it runs flawlessly, very smooth, below 2000 (approx) it bounces around a lot and it doesn't seem to matter how stable your foot is. And this is before it starts running rough and throws the code P301 with the SES flashing.

Fuel pressure on the scan tool shows around 58 at startup and then goes down to 43 at idle until the code pops up and then it goes back to 57-58. I thought that seemed kinda odd. Fuel pressure on manual test is the same.
I don't know if this is normal, but fuel pressure also rises after the car is shut off it continues to gradually rise to about 80 PSI

Scan tool is not showing negative trim numbers that might be present on a bad fuel pressure regulator diaphragm.
I've attached extracts for compression test and fuel system.

Have you looked at cylinder 1 spark plug?

I'd say your fuel system is acting strange. You can compare your results with the service manual extract.

This is comparing apples to oranges but fuel system on my 2007 with Honda 3.5 runs up to 70 psi at key on, drops to 60 psi after pump stops (2 seconds after key on) and after engine start - stays in range of 50-54 psi regardless of RPM.

At key off and pressure at 51 psi - I note a drop to 45 psi within five minutes and to 15 psi in two hours.

The increase in fuel pressure after key off could be attributed to engine heating the fuel rails - this really don't make sense to me since when pump stops the fuel is supposed to flow back into the fuel tank.

I'm also thinking that 80 psi is doing a number on your fuel injectors - I doubt if they're designed for that sort of sustained pressure.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - 3.5 Compression Test.pdf (11.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: pdf 08 Vue - 3.5 Fuel System Diagnosis.pdf (19.2 KB, 6 views)

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Old 12-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Well, I have a few updates.
So I read up on this decarbonization process since someone mentioned it might be carbon built up not allowing the valves to close properly.
Went to midas to find out how much it was and ran into the mechanic who worked on the plugs and wires previously.
Turns out this car has a bunch or receipts from GM last spring (while it was still under warranty.
It was throwing pretty much all the P300 codes.
Had a dead miss on cylinder 6 and 9% loss on a leak down test on cylinder 3.
They recommended a valve job, but it looks like they ended up just replacing the whole head on that side.
Anyway, they were having a P303 code at idle, now I'm having a P301 code at idle.
The previous owner said it ran fine after that Gm work all summer (ran out of warranty over the summer) and then this fall, winter she started getting the P301 code.
Took it to midas and they found a badly torn boot on #1 cylinder so replaced the wires (GM had just replaced in the spring) customer came back next day with same issue.
He noid lighted the #1 injector and said it was blinking correctly.

I just bought a leak down tester that came yesterday so I'm going to try and get that test in tonight to check for vacuum leaks.

I've been driving the car and have been just applying a bit of throttle at the stop lights to keep code from popping, no problems.
I also noticed that the code does not pop right away after the car is warm from driving an hour home, it idles approx 8-10 minutes before it finally threw the code, where in the shop with only running a little bit the code would always pop within 30 seconds of startup.

To answer the spark plug question, we swapped plug from #1 to #2 code didn't follow. These was some strange buildup on the plug that we cleaned off, but that may be attributed to it getting these misfires so its not always running properly.

the traction control lights and the auto start not working are all because of this code being thrown. auto start doesn't work with hood up or with the code present. Lights for traction control come on immediately when the code is thrown. apparently to protect it from damage.

So all of that is good, just got to find what is causing this code and I'll be good to go.

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Old 12-23-2013, 05:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

Next update.
So we took out all the plugs and performed a compression and leak down test on all cylinders.
Turns out the #1 cylinder was one of the best.
All cylinders on the back side tested perfect on both tests (1,3 and 5)
#4 cylinder on the front side tested fine, but #2 and 6 were well down in compression and showing 45 lbs of pressure vs 90 on the incoming, so about 50% loss. The odd part was we could not hear any noise escaping, you'd think with 45PSI going somewhere you'd hear it. Compression test on those two cylinders was 120, the others were about 200
We had the oil filler cap off, radiator cap off, no bubbles, nothing coming out exhaust or the throttle body. I'm not sure what that means.

So anyways, after all that we still are no closer to finding the problem with the cylinder #1 misfire.

On another thought, is there a way to program the computer to simply idle at a higher RMP? Or a way to force the engine to idle a little higher to keep the code from popping but not throw another code of some sort?

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Old 12-23-2013, 05:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

I recall one member who bought a used Vue with high idle RPM.

He investigated and found previous owner had used a device (sort of like small vise-grip) to keep the accelerator pedal slightly depressed.

I'm thinking anything you do to increase idle to eliminate the code could eventually take a toll on the torque converter / transmission / u-joints.

Have you tried a general search for known issues with GM 3.5 used in other platforms?

How difficult would it be to swap fuel injectors between cylinder 1 and another?

Have you / can you remove CMP and CKP to make sure there's no debris fouling the device?

Here's a GM service manual extract explaining misfire detection:

The CKP sensor is used to determine when an engine misfire is occurring. The CMP sensor is used to determine which cylinder is misfiring. By monitoring variations in the crankshaft rotation speed for each cylinder, the ECM is able to detect individual misfire events. For accurate detection of engine misfire, the ECM must distinguish between crankshaft deceleration caused by actual misfire, and deceleration caused by rough road conditions. The antilock brake system (ABS) can detect if the vehicle is on a rough road based on wheel acceleration/deceleration data supplied by the wheel speed sensors. If the ABS detects rough road above a predetermined threshold, this information is sent to the ECM. The ECM uses the rough road information when calculating engine misfire. Under certain driving conditions, a misfire rate can be high enough to cause the 3-way catalytic converter (TWC) to overheat damaging the converter. The malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) will flash ON and OFF when converter overheating, damaging conditions are present.

...
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:37 PM   #20
JSTDV8
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 85

2008 VUE 3.5L
2002 VUE 3.0L
Default Re: 2008 vue P0301 code

We put a brand new injector in the #1 cylinder, also put a noid light on the wiring to #1 cylinder.
I'm thinking it can't really be the ABS because it only does it when you are not moving and at idle.
Since we replaced the plugs and wires that last time it has only thrown the code twice and I haven't been giving gas at stop lights.
I'm not sure if its just coincidence or what but it has gotten a lot better for some reason.
I'm concerned about the two cylinders with low compression and am going to sell the car.
The rear head has already been replaced and the front one now needs replaced.
Its only got 93k on it, for whatever reason this engine is not lasting very long.
If I thought I could get another 150k out of it by replacing the other head I'd do it, but I doubt that's going to happen unfortunately. I really liked this car too.

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