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Old 08-26-2018, 09:26 PM   #1
dbtoth
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Default Low engine performance?

Hello, I have a 2008 Saturn Astra XR 2 door with about 110,000 km on it. The car started acting up one night on a drive home from work. Check engine light came on and it diagnosed as multiple misfire and I got the ignition coil pack, spark plugs and engine air filter replaced. Shortly after the check engine light started coming on intermittently but had to leave town for work for a couple months leaving the car behind. Came back home and replaced battery (the old one was pretty worse for wear as I bought it used a couple years ago). Noticed the check engine light on again and took it in. So they replaced the exhaust cam sensor and the check engine light has been off ever since. However, the engine still seems to be low power. I would floor it and the car with accelerate but rather slowly. It was much more rev happy before the whole ignition coil pack fiasco. No check engine light or reduced engine power light. Car is perhaps a little louder than normal but other than that no smells, lights or other indicators. Any ideas?

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Old 08-27-2018, 11:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

Do you have any codes to share?

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Old 08-27-2018, 08:00 PM   #3
NJastra
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

When this happened to me, it was the cam position sensor that triggered the engine light and resulted in low performance.

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Old 08-28-2018, 10:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJastra View Post
When this happened to me, it was the cam position sensor that triggered the engine light and resulted in low performance.
Same with me. I forget the code numbers, but this is a common problem with these cars.

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Old 08-29-2018, 12:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

I just scanned the computer and no codes are coming back. I'd hate to take it into a garage and have them tinker around with it and try to figure out what the issue is. Would be an expensive and time consuming endevor.
With all of the components that were replaced and the fact there are no codes, I'm at a bit of a loss.

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Old 09-14-2018, 02:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbtoth View Post
I just scanned the computer and no codes are coming back. I'd hate to take it into a garage and have them tinker around with it and try to figure out what the issue is. Would be an expensive and time consuming endevor.
With all of the components that were replaced and the fact there are no codes, I'm at a bit of a loss.
I know that you replaced the coil pack, but I wonder if there's a chance that it might be faulty? When I had a sensor go bad one time, the lack of performance appeared random or at least not regular. Eventually the engine light came on. Maybe in time it will trip a code and light? But it can be dangerous to drive around and not have power when you absolutely need it. Flipping the A/C on must feel even worse, it already is a strain on a well-functioning motor (hey maybe the extra strain will make the motor be like, ok dude, enough...here's your damn light lol). If I remember correctly, my light came on both times under acceleration when it was lagging.

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Old 09-15-2018, 01:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbtoth View Post
I just scanned the computer and no codes are coming back. I'd hate to take it into a garage and have them tinker around with it and try to figure out what the issue is. Would be an expensive and time consuming endevor.
With all of the components that were replaced and the fact there are no codes, I'm at a bit of a loss.
I had the same issue a couple years ago, No CEL but poor performance. I tracked it down to a cracked cam position sensor, $100 part and about 2 minutes to replace in your driveway.

There's also a little screen on the cam position sensors that can get clogged up giving you poor performance with no CEL

...
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

I have run into low engine performance several times on my Astra. These maintenance items all helped me boost performance at different times:

1. Double check gap on all your spark plugs.

2. Do you have proper spark plugs (there are a few recommended here and by GM). Wrong temp or gap could cause drivability issues.

3. Possible bad coil pack as a few people here got cheap ones that had issues right away. OEM is lower risk, higher cost.

4. The two camshaft solenoids (intake & exhaust) each have 2 (?) orange filters. Many of us removed them. I think there was a GM service note on that.

5. If engine oil is old, get that and filter changed. The cams perform poorly with old oil.

6. Run a few tanks of ultra-premium gasoline from one of the majors (like Exxon or Shell). They have very expensive detergents to clean.

7. Look for vacuum leaks (make sure air filter box was properly closed when you recently changed air filter).

8. Clean MAF (only use MAF cleaner and don't touch wires!).

9. Clean throttle body. There are instructions here so you don't lose a finger or knock off calibration.

10. The noisy engine & low power could be a bad flex joint or catalytic converter. The flex joint is a frequent item to fail in salty environments (like Canada I suppose). Typical replacement is just to cut out small section and weld in generic part (the GM part is expensive and may be difficult to get). A dead cat would be more expensive but less common; when really acting up should throw a code.

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Old 09-30-2018, 08:26 PM   #9
Astra08
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Default Re: Low engine performance?

Along with reseating and checking your gas cap if you're not seeing any codes with the CEL..yes, I know it sounds weird.

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