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Old 09-12-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
IRONODIN
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Default 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

Ok so I picked up this 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 pain in my ass lol. 118k miles , it runs but runs rough, I have codes p2100 , p2101, p2119, p0638 . First three relate to the throttle body, I get that I got another one and put it on and same thing even after relearn procedure , the harness is good I back probed the wires made sure there was power, the old throttle body had no movement with the throttle blade at all, I mean nothing even when key turned on there is no sound no movement, replaced with another used one same thing no sound no movement , I push gas pedal it goes up to 2100 rpms max, in power reduced mode, check engine light on, I'm at whits ends with this, the pedal is proven to be good if I can push the pedal and it responds to the rpms up to 2100, maf is good and clean, the throttle blade is not binding or anything its in home position but no movement at all. Drive by wire systems are a pain in the ass. Engine also shakes and sounds like it wants to give , running rough, I may have got another bad tb idk. But ordered a new one if that don't fix it what's my options ? App sensor ? Or ecm ? Been missing me off.
Like I said the harness looks good the pig tail connections look good, no corrosion or anything. I'm lost anyone have some advice ?

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Old 09-12-2016, 10:40 PM   #2
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

Hi Iron,

I'm new here also, but I found this site which may provide some troubleshooting for you: troublecodes.net/p2codes/p2101/

I hope it helps. Is it possible that the Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor is not sending a signal to the throttle body motor to open more, in relation to the pedal position? I haven't worked on my throttle body, but is there a way to connect a meter to the electrical connection at the throttle body, and then press the accelerator and see if the throttle body receives a current to open?

Just trying to get the ball rolling...

Gabe

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Old 09-12-2016, 10:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

The pedal is working it attempts to open throttle blade up but there is no response from the throttle body, a voltmeter can be used to check for voltage I believe is between 2 and 4 v max like to see 3v or so. My app sensor seems to be in working order. I think the ecm can be bad with these symptoms but more than likely its another bad throttle body.

Thanks for the reply!

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Old 09-12-2016, 11:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

Ah ok! I've ordered lots of parts for various cars I own from RockAuto. I find them very reasonably priced with the exact product I need. They have a brand new ACDelco Throttle Body for your car: $246 (ouch)! The part number is: ACDELCO 13105809. I found my MAF sensor from Ebay by googling the part number. It was about $128 on Rockauto, but I found it on Ebay for $80 (brand new, worked perfectly).

I wish I knew more about electrical trouble shooting to help. That's something to be really sure of before buying such a high $ item, just to be back at square 1.

Please keep us posted! I enjoy learning this high-tech troubleshooting stuff. Give me a '66 Chevy and I'll have it purring and running fine for years. But throw me a Check Engine Light, and I'm white as a ghost.

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Old 09-13-2016, 02:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

Some basic info from the service manual for DTC P0638. As you are aware, the other error codes all point to the throttle actuator assembly. Drive by wire systems like our L300's are basically removing the throttle cable between pedal and throttle and using electronics to replace the carburetor and pedal. What was replaced is now a servo driven throttle with two position sensors, a pedal with two position sensors and the engine computer (ECM). The pedal sends position signals to the ecm and the ecm responds by sending commands to move the throttle plate thru a servo motor. The four position sensors are designed for redundancy; if any one sensor fails, the ecm has a default program to run in reduced power mode as a safety precaution against any possible runaway engine. When the problem is resolved, the ecm will detect it and return to normal engine controls.

The other error codes describes similar issues with the throttle actuator. Reduced power mode issues are usually about either the parts or wiring. With ignition ON, pressing the pedal should result in a master/slave relationship; move pedal and throttle plate moves the same amount. Reduced power mode removes this master/slave relationship so you're seeing the result of it as the ecm will not allow 100% pedal signals to affect throttle position. As long as reduced power mode is active, nothing will change until the correct repair is made. Unfortunately, this is how electronics works by not being forgiving; to remove any possibility of an engine runaway, alert the driver with the reduced power mode indicator that something is wrong, and presume a vehicle is serviced by Saturn/GM. Service manuals describe Saturn techs using GM's Tech II scantool to command throttle movement as part of diagnostic procedures diyers are not privy to. Most repairs shops investing in high end scantools will have the capability for advanced diagnostic troubleshooting. Generic readers and scantools will not have this capability. For the rest of us diyers, unless advanced electronics and GM EFI systems are understood, any diyer attempting home repairs would need service manuals for reference. This doesn't mean easy repairs as dbw systems are complicated with software programs designed with safety in mind. To have a general perspective, throttle actuator, ecm, pedal and all associated wiring make up dbw systems.

Carburetors are unique in that they require understanding how float mechanisms operate to allow fuel entry, jets sized for correct mixtures, and other things added that make carbs difficult for anyone not familiar with them. The EFI system is no different as it does need understanding electronics, electrical wiring, EFI system basics, and how programs allow EFI systems to work better than carbureted engines. Emissions controls complicated things so EFI systems adapted by using O2 sensors as feedback mechanisms to tighten air/fuel mixtures with catalytic converters cleaning up exhaust byproducts. Carburetor equipped engines cannot fine tune air fuel mixtures fine enough for catcons. With several generations of EFI systems, the return of muscle cars are only due to continued engineering in software to allow higher power while still meeting emissions requirements.

Its difficult to determine a solution at this point in time.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DTC P0638-1.jpg (185.4 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg DTC P0638-2.jpg (194.3 KB, 1 views)

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Old 09-13-2016, 06:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

Thank you for that great info, with the pedal sensor I have done the relearn procedure with the other throttle body I installed correctly and reset any trouble codes then I start the car immediately these same codes come right back instantly, with the pedal sensor though rpms will go to 2500 rpms but that's only half the pedal I can travel the pedal from half way to fully pressed and no change in rpms I wonder if the app sensor may be bad? Previous owner her grandson took it to the drag strip and probably abused the crap out of it . Not sure if slamming the pedal to race may have caused the pedal sensor to be bad. Also the driver side air bag was deployed after the little old lady bumped a light pole by her drive way and I'm guessing after this happened that's when it went into reduced power mode. The air bag has not been replaced yet , funny thing is the air bag light does not come on while its running. I'm going to try one more throttle body there is a possibility that I got a used bad one. I will keep you all posted as I see no one ever updates with their correct findings on how to correct this issue with the drive by wiring systems.

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Old 09-13-2016, 12:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

There is one member that did follow up on his dbw problem; replacing his throttle assembly with a used one corrected his problem. A Vue with the same 3.0L V6 engine. I recall his purchase of a used throttle was around $50. Once installed, the engine was fine although I can't recall whether or not he had reduced power mode. This occurred several years ago.

As I mentioned, unless a repair is correct, reduced power mode restricts engine power to prevent any possibility of an engine runaway. This is known more commonly as limp home mode. My guess at this point is the replacement throttle may be OK but wiring or other unknown is still detected by the ecm to prevent normal engine running. I cannot say the ecm, wiring or pedal is faulty based on little information given. It's easier to say "swap out parts until its fixed". I can state that airbag deployment is not a factor here. The airbag system is completely separate from the EFI system. Other Saturns still run with airbags deployed while a member posts about it to find out how to repair it. While these Saturns aren't dbw systems, the concept remains the same. Unfortunately, you bought a problem car.

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Old 09-13-2016, 01:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

Alright so I found out it is the pedal sensor as I can barely push it down and turn key forward and the check engine and reduced power light will go away and starts right up fine if I feather it down more the light pops up if I back off it the light pops up as well and had someone look at throttle plate and it does indeed move slightly . So I am going to replace the pedal sensor and follow up .

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Old 09-15-2016, 06:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 Saturn l300 3.0 v6 throttle actuator control issues

UPDATE! alright so after a massive headache with this car I attempted to replace the throttle body it did me no good so I replaced pedal did me no good same issues so I got a used good ecm from the junkyard which was a aftermarket one and basically new least it looked brand new and I three it on mine and reprogrammed it and boom ! Car runs and drives excellent again no more codes no more tracking issues down it fixed everything ! So anyone having my issue I suggest getting a new ecm and program it and your troubles should be gone. Sensitive to moisture and other abuse such as a minor wreck or something , can blow the ecm . I reprogrammed it myself very easy to do and your on the road again! I went through 3 throttle bodies and 2 pedal sensors and no luck finally it pointed to the ecm if ecm didn't fix then track wires down but in my case the Damn ecu or pcm , which I got for 20! Anyone needs one cheap I can get good parts cheap locally.

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