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Old 04-09-2016, 10:05 PM   #1
freedomsr40
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Default 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

hey everyone, this is my FIRST post and i really hope you guys can help. my moms car recently died and we purchased an 03 3.0 L v6 AWD saturn vue with 148k miles to replace it. it does have one major issue: it randomly stalls out. the people we got it from had a random stalling issue (usually stalls out within 15 minutes of it running, but its random) it will always start back up right away after it stalls. they took it to the dealer, they said it was the ignition switch and that there was a recall on it(havent verified this but its what they were told) they picked it up from the dealer, got half way down the road and it stalled out again. they took it back and then the dealer said it was the ECM. then i purchased it (im pretty handy with cars and i felt good about this, and we only paid $1,150$ for it) i got it home and did some checking of my own , heres what i did. i checked the obvious things, battery tested good. i then did some homework on it and checked the back of the inner fuse box to check for burns, no burns or corrosion. i then checked the fuses, they were good. i then made sure the ignition switch was correctly plugged in, that checked out ok. i then decided to switch out the relays (engine relay and fuel pump) and it did stall but it lasted alot longer about 15-20 minutes on, then it did before. i ordered new relays but they arent here yet. anyway, when it stalls out it has the CEL and SES lights, and the battery light on, thats it. i ran a check for codes and got only 1 pending code for EVAP (dont remember the code off the top of my head) and that is where i am. if the new relays dont work what do you think i should try next? its a strange issue and i hope you can help!

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Old 04-10-2016, 12:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

With 148k miles on this Vue, there may be some things contributing to random engine die offs. Was the fuel filter replaced at 100k miles? Can you check fuel pressure? Autozone have loaner tools. Spark plugs replaced at 100k miles? Maf sensor and throttle cleaned of build up? Air filter dirty? There are several things that can contribute to this problem so checking and replacing things needed at suggested mileage intervals is a good start and gets these things out of the way for more troubleshooting.

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Old 04-10-2016, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomsr40 View Post
hey everyone, this is my FIRST post and i really hope you guys can help. my moms car recently died and we purchased an 03 3.0 L v6 AWD saturn vue with 148k miles to replace it. it does have one major issue: it randomly stalls out. the people we got it from had a random stalling issue (usually stalls out within 15 minutes of it running, but its random) it will always start back up right away after it stalls. they took it to the dealer, they said it was the ignition switch and that there was a recall on it(havent verified this but its what they were told) they picked it up from the dealer, got half way down the road and it stalled out again. they took it back and then the dealer said it was the ECM. then i purchased it (im pretty handy with cars and i felt good about this, and we only paid $1,150$ for it) i got it home and did some checking of my own , heres what i did. i checked the obvious things, battery tested good. i then did some homework on it and checked the back of the inner fuse box to check for burns, no burns or corrosion. i then checked the fuses, they were good. i then made sure the ignition switch was correctly plugged in, that checked out ok. i then decided to switch out the relays (engine relay and fuel pump) and it did stall but it lasted alot longer about 15-20 minutes on, then it did before. i ordered new relays but they arent here yet. anyway, when it stalls out it has the CEL and SES lights, and the battery light on, thats it. i ran a check for codes and got only 1 pending code for EVAP (dont remember the code off the top of my head) and that is where i am. if the new relays dont work what do you think i should try next? its a strange issue and i hope you can help!
Check fuel pressure with a gauge - expect value of 50 - 60 psi with key ON and engine OFF - gauge will probably hover around 50 psi with engine idling.

With engine temp as hot as possible - plug a scan tool capable of reading live data into OBD port - set to read RPM - temporarily remove fuel pump fuse - crank engine and check for around 200 rpm on scan tool. A good reading indicates crank position sensor (CKP) has valid output. No reading - or an intermittent reading - indicates CKP has failed.

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Old 04-10-2016, 11:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
Check fuel pressure with a gauge - expect value of 50 - 60 psi with key ON and engine OFF - gauge will probably hover around 50 psi with engine idling.

With engine temp as hot as possible - plug a scan tool capable of reading live data into OBD port - set to read RPM - temporarily remove fuel pump fuse - crank engine and check for around 200 rpm on scan tool. A good reading indicates crank position sensor (CKP) has valid output. No reading - or an intermittent reading - indicates CKP has failed.
how hard is the CKP to replace? i know on my f150 its pretty easy... maybe just replace it anyhow?

is there any chance it is the ECM? im hoping not because they are expensive and need to be programmed, just want to explore the possibilities

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Old 04-11-2016, 06:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

EVERYTHING GRUMPY SAID - He's probably forgot more about Vue's than most of us know.

GM RECALL - I assume that the dealer replaced the key cylinder lock assembly and didn't do what they usually do - They put that silly restrictor on your ignition key.

If they didn't replace the key cylinder, that would be the first thing I would do. OR - Take it back and tell them it keeps cutting off.

Next stop would be Fuel pressure. two items:

1) One quick item you might want to try is replace the fuel filter. The fuel injection pressure regulator is an integral part of the fuel filter. If you decide to replace the filter, use the OEM part only. There have been reports of weird pressure regulators in aftermarket filters that cause a P0171 code to be set. ( The car runs, but it throws a "LEAN MIXTURE" code, I'm working on this with my Vue right now) Save your old filter.

2) If you can measure the fuel pressure immediately after the stall, that would be great, a meter would be the best way to do this.. You can do an "unscientific" method, but you need to be careful and know what your seeing.

Immediately after the stall, before attempting a re-start, remove the cover from the fuel pressure test port and press on the shrader valve. You should get a good strong squirt of gasoline.

a 13 year old fuel pump with 150k miles on it raises my suspect. HOWEVER - Having just replaced a fuel pump in a 2003 Vue, Its a real $##%$#^&*$%(%

I'd make sure it really is the pump before I'd go to the trouble of replacing it. Measure the pump voltage at the connector (maybe a test light wired into the pump wire) The connector can be seen in the rear / passenger side wheel well. Also monitor the fuel pressure with a test gauge.

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Last edited by waiter21; 04-11-2016 at 06:48 AM..

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Old 04-11-2016, 06:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

OH YAH - If you suspect the relays, just switch the fuel pump relay with the rear wiper relay. (the one next to the fuel pump relay)

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Old 04-11-2016, 08:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

thank you everyone, im still in the process of sorting all of this out, but there are a few new symptoms,

i put in the new relays today, started it up and had it in park and running for a good 20-25 minutes- no stall. i then went ahead and drove it around the yard, and it was fine, i drove it for about 5-7 minutes, i put it in park and got out and it stalled. when i originally started it after the relay replacement it gave me the check engine light and it had that original code of the evap and fps . so i erased the code and thats when i drove it around the yard and it stalled. after the stall i restarted it (it started right up ) and it had the "service engine" light on. i ran the code and it was the p0221 code. that was new because it didnt have that before. i must also point out that i did this when it was getting dark and we have alot of the car apart so i will double check the connections and all tomorrow morning, its possible something for the TPS came loose.


my thoughts on the fuel system being the issue- it might be . but my only question is is if it was the fuel filter and or pump wouldnt it "sputter" when it stalls? and wouldnt it take an extra minute extra after it stalls when i try to restart it to repump the fuel through the lines? just my thoughts.

im going to do some more tests tomorrow. this is a head scratcher for me. i had a strange issue on my f150 a year or so ago. it wouldnt turn on when it was warm , it would crank and crank and crank but never turn over. i tried the obvious stuff (crank sensor, battery checked ok, cam sensor,etc) and nothing, i wound up taking it to a shop for them to test the electrical system (i dont have those tools) turned out to be a 10$ relay that they charged me 250$ for (including labor) to fix. so thats what im trying to avoid. i thank you ALL for your help!

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Old 04-11-2016, 09:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Personally, I can make guesses to explain some things to waste time but if this were my Vue, I would use a fuel pressure gauge to remove all doubt.

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Old 04-11-2016, 10:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Quote:
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my thoughts on the fuel system being the issue- it might be . but my only question is is if it was the fuel filter and or pump wouldnt it "sputter" when it stalls? and wouldnt it take an extra minute extra after it stalls when i try to restart it to repump the fuel through the lines? just my thoughts.
I recently pulled fuel pump fuse while my 3.5 engine was running and the engine lost RPM pretty fast but died so smoothly it was spooky. No gasping or wheezing - it just went from 750 RPM to 0 RPM in a linear manner with all sorts of grace and dignity.

I do believe the engine would sputter if a filter or clogged line caused uneven fuel pressure - especially if fuel pressure drops significantly below 50 PSI.

Regarding TPS (or ETC) ... you could pull the kick panel from area next to drivers left foot - there's a 40 pin connector behind the panel which has a bad-rep for wires making poor contact. It might be worthwhile to wiggle the harness with engine running to see if you can induce failure.

I'd try same thing with connector at throttle body and the IP fuse box (next to front pax left foot).

You could also pull the ENG MAIN Relay and put a jumper between sockets 30 and 87 - start the Vue and check results. If engine keeps running you probably have a bad wire between ECM and underhood fuse box.

Don't forget to remove jumper when testing is completed.

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Old 04-14-2016, 07:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

NEW SYMPTOMS-


hey all, first off thank you all for your help it has been a blessing and i truly truly thank you for your help! over the last couple of days my uncle and i have done a few things to see if we could figure it out. heres what we did - replaced the relays- no change . we also replaced the battery and still no change. i also sprayed some throttle cleaner into the throttle and still no change but that got me thinking , maybe something with the throttle? i did get that TPS code but only once and it hasnt come back. i found that i can get the car to stall at ANY temperature if i put my foot on the gas, then let off , then put it on the gas, then let it off, and after a few times it WILL stall. i tried that several times and it had the same result. you can feel the engine "flutter" (i cant think of a better word) then it stalls. its also like a struggle sort of ,like its getting to much fuel and not enough air, or to much air and not enough fuel. i should note that it still stalls randomly when my foot isnt on the gas and its just at idle , but that only happens on its own when the engine warm. one interesting note. we noticed that SOMETIMES when it stalls (maybe 60-75%) you can hear a clicking coming from the throttle (i think its coming from the thing on the body that is plugged in, im not sure whats its called) and you can also hear a high pitched buzzing, its hard to determine exactly where that is coming from so that may be unrelated.

with that said, i understand there is a sensor (of some kind) that is part of the gas peddle and there is also some sort of sensor that is mounted on the throttle body. i always called the things mounted on the body the throttle position sensor, but that apparently isnt what its called. what do you guys think? thanks!

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Old 04-14-2016, 09:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

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how hard is the CKP to replace?
There's nothing that's any easier, but check the resistance . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=217691

I don't think mine ever caused a stall, only a "Crank - no start".

This might be a long shot, but when my '03 started stalling, it was due to a blocked CatCon. Does your scan tool read O2 Sensor signals?

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Old 04-14-2016, 09:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomsr40 View Post
NEW SYMPTOMS-

i understand there is a sensor (of some kind) that is part of the gas peddle and there is also some sort of sensor that is mounted on the throttle body. i always called the things mounted on the body the throttle position sensor, but that apparently isnt what its called. what do you guys think? thanks!
You are twice right - there are two throttle position sensors used in throttle body. See post 2 of this thread for a description:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=161517

IIRC the most common fail point for electronic throttle control is corrosion in the 40 pin connector behind kick panel next to drivers left foot.

I would gain access to that area and wiggle connector and wiring harness while engine is running and check results.

You can remove air intake tube from throttle body and with key ON and engine OFF have assistant press and release the gas pedal a few times. The throttle blade should move smoothly in response to gas pedal.

You can also wiggle connector at throttle body to see if make a difference.

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Old 04-14-2016, 10:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
There's nothing that's any easier, but check the resistance . . .

I don't think mine ever caused a stall, only a "Crank - no start".

This might be a long shot, but when my '03 started stalling, it was due to a blocked CatCon. Does your scan tool read O2 Sensor signals?

was your stalling situation like mine?

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Old 04-14-2016, 10:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

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was your stalling situation like mine?
Not exactly. Mine only stalled at speed. Sometimes it would bog down and not want to take the gas. A quick check would be to see if your Emission Monitors are ready. If they are, it's not the CatCon. My experience is here fwiw . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=202843

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Old 04-14-2016, 11:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
There's nothing that's any easier, but check the resistance . . .

I don't think mine ever caused a stall, only a "Crank - no start".

This might be a long shot, but when my '03 started stalling, it was due to a blocked CatCon. Does your scan tool read O2 Sensor signals?
yes it does if you mean fuel trim, those were good

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Old 04-15-2016, 06:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

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yes it does if you mean fuel trim, those were good
I'm not sure if that's what I'm talking about. See the MSR file (produced by my scan tool) in this post . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...76&postcount=6

The Emission Monitors are looking at O2 Sensor signals. If they are not right, the car is "not ready for emission testing", and we fail inspection - in NY anyway. My downstream O2 Sensor signals indicated my Pre-Cats were shot.

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Old 04-17-2016, 04:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

im hoping someone could help me, if anyone here has a saturn vue 2003 (or close to 2003) preferably with a 3.0 v6, would you be able to go out and just turn your key on and see if you hear a clocking coming from the throttle body at all. if you can try it a few times and post your results. i think that the throttle is bad, the clicking is opening and shuttering and closing on its own. i have 2 ford vehicles and they dont do this but i know this is a GM with electronics Throttle controls ,please help! thank you!

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Old 04-17-2016, 06:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

Suggestion ... read post 12 ... particularly part about monitoring throttle blade movement.

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Old 04-17-2016, 07:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

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Suggestion ... read post 12 ... particularly part about monitoring throttle blade movement.
got it, i did check the voltage at the plug plugging into the sensor on the throttle body. i had a reading of 3-4V on one pin and a constant 3V on another pin. the seems kind of low, right? your post says 5V. with that said i unplugged that sensor on the accelerator pedal and started it up, it still stalled after a few minutes, and i still had the 3-4V and 3V. any ideas?

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Old 04-17-2016, 09:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue Stalling out

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got it, i did check the voltage at the plug plugging into the sensor on the throttle body. i had a reading of 3-4V on one pin and a constant 3V on another pin. the seems kind of low, right? your post says 5V. with that said i unplugged that sensor on the accelerator pedal and started it up, it still stalled after a few minutes, and i still had the 3-4V and 3V. any ideas?
I'm thinking you're making a little too complicated ... easiest way to determine if if throttle body valve follows gas pedal is to turn key on - have one person monitor throttle body while another person mashes gas pedal.

Its common for throttle body butterfly valve to move when ignition is turned on - the blade will move from parked position to previously learned idle setting.

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