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Old 05-08-2019, 07:07 PM   #1
thinfatman
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Default Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

I just bought an 03 Vue v6 3.0L awd from an auction and it is throwing a bunch of codes on the obd.

p0154 - 02 sensor bank 2 sensor 1
p0161 - 02 sensor bank 2 sensor 2
p0155 - 02 sensor bank 2 sensor 1
p0141 - 02 sensor bank 1 sensor 2
p0050 - 02 sensor bank 2 sensor 1
p0056 - 02 sensor bank 1 sensor 2
p0036 - 02 sensor bank 1 sensor 2

to me it seems like maybe there could be a grounding issue in the wiring harness or maybe a bunch of the sensors went bad. I'm not really sure so I thought I'd ask to see if I can get any advice on what to do. Part of me just wants to go buy all 4 sensors and replace them all but I dont want to waste money if it's not going to solve my problem.

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Old 05-10-2019, 08:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

Yesterday my cousin hooked the car to a really nice obd meter that gave live statistical data. Apparently one of my 02 sensors was not responsive at all and the two downstream 02 sensors were not working properly and supposedly my car is not running fuel rich so the catalytic converters should be fine. The non responsive sensor did not have its wire connected. That was almost certainly the problem there. I'm waiting on parts to come in today and then I'll replace both of the downstream 02 sensors this afternoon after work. Hopefully this gets the service engine soon light sorted. Please let me know if you have any advice on what else to do or what else may be going on. Thank you.

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Old 05-10-2019, 11:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

This Vue with issues may be the reason for auction - buy as is. Mileage? If you're lucky, the catcons aren't damaged but until its on the road, there may be little indication of an other problems. How's the general condition of this Vue? Interior? Exterior? Undercarriage? Engine? Exhaust system?

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Old 05-10-2019, 12:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

The car came from an auction but it was a trade in from a local dealership. It's got 130k on its odometer. The engine and exhaust and transmission sound fine and seem to work very well. The oil was just changed 1000 miles before it was sold acording to a little sticker in the window. The framing looks good. It looks like it was garage kept because there is very little rust or even debris on the frame and underside of the car. The exhaust system is quiet and the pipes are fairly clean. The interior is nice and clean. One of the passenger windows doesn't work but the motor sounds like it's working. It might just be off track or something. It looks like an elderly person had the vehicle before me. There were some remnants of medical equipment in the back of the car when I got it. I really hope the 02 sensors get me sorted and I don't have to replace the catalytic converters too. It looks like the 2 upstream sensors were very recently replaced. I kind of think the previous owner replaced the upstream sensors and then it didn't resolve their problem so they were just done and sold the car. IDK people are weird. I really hope that replacing the downstream sensors get me sorted and I don't have to replace the catalytic converters too.

Last edited by thinfatman; 05-10-2019 at 12:14 PM..

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Old 05-10-2019, 02:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

Hopefully this was a buy with the least expensive repairs. Are you familiar with wiring diagrams? If wiring to O2 sensors are suspect and not sensors, examining for wire issues may be next. I can post wiring if needed.

In EFI systems with pre and post catcon O2 sensors, the precat sensors are crucial to engine running and prevent excessive unburned fuel from reaching catcons. Excessive unburned fuel burns in catcons, melting the ceramic substrate, destroying catcons. Post catcon sensors are used to measure catcon efficiency - a way to announce catcons losing efficiency for eventual replacement when necessary.

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Old 05-10-2019, 02:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

I am unfamiliar with the wiring diagrams. I dont even have the haynes manual yet. It should come in the mail in a week or so. Please send me links to the wiring diagrams if available. I plan on replacing the downstream 02 sensors after work today and hopefully that will get me sorted. If it doesn't then I'll start the process of testing the wires and then maybe find out about catalytic converter replacement If i cant find a short anywhere and there is proper resistance/power going to and from the sensors. IDK i think if the sensors don't get me sorted I'll be doing alot of research to figure out where to go next. Thank you for helping me out.

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Old 05-10-2019, 04:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

Below is a copy of wiring for all O2 sensors. The common point is the EMISS 10A fuse. Is it blown?

From the service manual:

DTC P0030, P0036, P0050, or P0056
Circuit Description
Heating elements inside the heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) minimize the time required for the sensors to reach operating temperature, and to provide an accurate voltage signal. A low-side driver within the engine control module (ECM) is pulse-width controlled to provide current to the heater elements. During warm-up the ECM will reduce the ON time to prevent thermal shock to the sensor components from moisture in the exhaust system. The ECM will not allow full HO2S heating until calibrated limits of time, temperature, and intake airflow have been reached. The ECM periodically monitors the HO2S operating state by briefly turning OFF the heater low-side driver at regular intervals. A small reference voltage of approximately 3.6 volts is present at the heater low control circuit. When the low-side driver is commanded ON, the reference voltage is low. When the low-side driver is commanded OFF, the reference voltage is high, close to battery voltage. If the ECM detects that the HO2S heater low control circuit voltage is between 2.6-4.6 volts when the heater is commanded OFF, an open circuit is indicated and the following DTCs will set:

*DTC P0030 for HO2S bank 1 sensor 1
*DTC P0036 for HO2S bank 1 sensor 2
*DTC P0050 for HO2S bank 2 sensor 1
*DTC P0056 for HO2S bank 2 sensor 2


These codes suggest heaters in each sensor failed, power, loose connections or wiring breaks.

DTC P0154 will set for HO2S bank 2 sensor 1.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

I replaced the 02 sensors after work and when I hooked the battery back up and started the car there were no codes present and no check engine lights so hopefully that will have my car sorted. Thank you very much for your help. I'll definitely be back for more help if this doesn't get me sorted.

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Old 05-13-2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

ok so that did not get my car sorted as I had previously hoped and I haven't received the haynes repair manual I've ordered for the car yet. There are not any o2 sensor codes popping up again but now I've got a whole new set of codes.

P0507 - idle air control system higher than expected

P0171 - system too lean bank 1

P0174 - system too lean bank 2

I didn't notice the car idling high. It was maybe 700-800 rpm when idling in park right after start. I was thinking maybe the issue was the mass airflow sensor but it looked super clean and I cleaned it anyway with some mass airflow sensor spray. I checked all my hoses to make sure none of them are damaged or dry rotted. And i also cleared the codes and drove the car around for a while to see if they would come back, they did after about 30 miles. And then I was looking online about cleaning the throttle body and maybe replacing the idle air control sensor and I came across something that said you can get your drive by wire throttle body to reset itself and change it's calibration by putting your key into the ignition and switching it on but not starting the car and not touching the pedals and then waiting like a minute or so and then shutting the car back off. I don't know if that is a real thing or some random garbage the internet tricked me into doing. However after doing that reset thing the high idle code went away and my car wasn't throwing its check engine light but the bank 1 and bank 2 lean codes were still stored in the memory when I checked with the obd meter. Again I drove the car about 30 miles and the bank 1 and bank 2 lean codes threw the service engine soon light again. So basically my question is what should I do to get my system too lean codes to go away and also is that reset thing a real procedure or is that not real. I could really use some help.

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Old 05-13-2019, 12:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

Did you check for blown fuses or not?

If you're searching for good info, some bit of advice may help. First, unless you trust any site or person with credentials, be very leery. Infowars/Alex Jones is the equivalent of the American version of Russian lies. Anyone too lazy to check facts fall prey to lies, false rumors and inaccurate facts. Reddit is filled with false facts. A current blog is about 100 leaded gas with a picture of pump showing 100 octane next to the other three octane selections. I can't tell if this picture is Photoshopped or not. One Reddit poser claims 160 octane is equivalent to 50:1 compression. 160 octane gasoline? Diesel compression averages around 20:1 making 50:1 inaccurate false info. Two stroke engines use a fuel/oil mixture of 50:1. Maybe false memory relating this number to compression ratios?

Saturnfans can separate good info from false as long as members police themselves and others while refraining from spreading false info. Other sites with credibility can be found but you have to ensure they're reliable for information. Most have been around awhile with many topics to cover many things related to engines, EFI systems, individual sensors, and have detailed info on diagnosing/testing sensors. Sensor manufacturers are another source of technical info with some providing troubleshooting help.

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Old 05-13-2019, 01:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

I checked the fuse and it looks fine. I hope the haynes manual can give me some more info. I don't know what could be causing my system too lean codes. The car doesn't seem to be hesitating or lacking any power. When I hooked the car to a really high end obd meter with live statistical read out everything looks fine as far as i can tell. What percentage should the fuel to air ratio or whatever be? Would it help if I take some pictures of my live data readout and upload them to let you see whats actually going on with my car? I'm tempted to bring my car to a proper shop to get it sorted but I'm afraid to put alot of money into this car since I got it at an auction and I don't know it's history or if it's even worth it to have the expensive repairs done.

also as a side note when I checked the fuses again I noticed the abs fuses were pulled and that had me afraid there are more issues with the car that have been hidden by the previous owner. There isn't any type of abs or brake light illuminated on the dash and the car is braking fine but that has me very afraid to put more money into this car.

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Old 05-13-2019, 02:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

Every buyer from an auction inherits whatever problems are with a vehicle. That's the beauty and horrors of auctions. Everyone rolls the dice. Lifted abs fuse(s) is a hint. As you already know, without abs, brakes are fine and act the same before abs - you should be able to lock up brakes unless they're worn.

It may or may not help to put up images of scan info. You might as well put up screen shots of everything. This problem or problems may be finding more than one needle in a haystack. The front/upstream O2 sensors should fluctuate several times per second (approximate guessing) between 0.3v-0.8v. Technically and not shown on any scanner/reader is the fact that O2 sensors measure oxygen levels and sends info to the ecm. The sole aim of this is for the ecm to continuously adjust air/fuel mixtures to as close to stoichiometric as possible, 14.7:1. Ideal air to fuel ratios for minimum exhaust byproducts for the catcons to convert without overloading or burning it out (excessive unbuttoned fuel). Mixtures fluctuate on either side of stoichiometric by a few tenths of a point. The higher the frequency of sampling rates the higher the management of a/f ratios reducing pollutants and prolonging catcon life. Lambda sensors are wide ratio types, improving on older sensors for better overall performance. Scanners should display waveforms, not straight lines across the screen. The peaks and valleys are voltage fluctuations. Sampling rate is the number of these peaks and valleys per time elapsed in seconds.

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Old 05-13-2019, 03:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

ok so I have not been able to upload pics of the nice obd meter readout for the live statistical data. IDK it just didn't work on my phone. So i typed it all up on a desktop. Hopefully this helps.

mil status - off
DTC's in the ECU - 2
Readiness completed - 7
readiness not copmpleted - 0
readiness not supportyed - 3
datastream supported - 28
ignition - spark
protocol type - KWP
Fuel system 1 status - OL
Fuel system 2 status - OL
calculated LOAD value - 2.7%
engine coolant temp 37C
short term fuel trim - bank 1 - 0.0%
long term fuel trim - bank 1 - 4.7%
short term fuel trim - bank 2 - 0.0%
long term fuel trim - bank 2 - 4.7%
engine rpm - 1033 /min
vehicle speed - 0
ignition timing advance for #1 cylinder - 15.5 degrees
intake air tempature - 23C
airflow rate from mass air flow sensor - 4.50 g/s
absolute throttle position - 2.4%
oxygen output voltage (b1-s1) - 0.080V
short term fuel trim (b1-s1) - 0.0%
oxygen sensor output voltage (b1-s2) - 0.485V
short term fuel trim (b1-s2) - 99.2%
oxygen sensor output voltage (b2-s1) - 0.710V
short term fuel trim (b2-s1) - 3.1%
oxygen sensor output voltage (b2-s2) - 0.480V
short term fuel trim (b2-s2) - 99.2%
OBD requirements - ODB2
distance traveled while MIL is activated - 0km

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Old 05-13-2019, 05:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

I despise the metric system . 23C/73F, 37C/98F (thank you Google). With high idle (1033 rpm) this data appears to be cold engine startup. Are you aware that there's an open and closed loop mode of emissions control where the first few minutes of cold engine running, the EFI system ignores the upstream O2 sensor signals until they heat up above 600F? The best scans are after full warmup with normal operating temps (185F-200F) and idle (650-800 rpm). Then log data. Use coolant temps as a guide when to log data into a file for later retrieval (if possible). Saved data can be compared later to other data. Although no one ever does this except a few (myself), recording cold and warm engine running data (baseline) allows for future comparison of engine problems when they occur. I've done this and found a faulty maf sensor for a member. Of course we both had to have OBD II readers capable of logging data. It didn't matter which reader was used as long as data was recorded for retrieval. We managed to compare data and with conversion of metric data, found an errant sensor. A little more effort than checking for an empty gas tank or low tire pressure.

I don't see anything out of the ordinary yet but I'm not an expert on discerning data unless there's more to compare with. Unfortunately we don't have good data from a normal engine without issues. Perhaps another member with the same engine and OBD II reader can record cold and warm engine data and post them (baseline data). The same as how I was able to help another L300 member find a faulty maf sensor.

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Old 05-13-2019, 06:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

I drove the car a little bit and the SES light came back on. It has the 2 lean codes and the high idle again. I guess whatever reset I thought I had done did not really solve my problems. I'm leaning towards replacing the idle air control sensor in the throttle body but until I get the manual I won't be able get it apart and clean it out and see if that helps. The Saturn Vue is way different than the Sl1 that I have had for about 10 years. The Sl1 seemed so much easier to work on. The throttle body on the Vue has coolant going through it? Idk I stopped there because I have no idea. I can't wait to get a good look at that manual. Thank you very much for your help.

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Old 05-13-2019, 10:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

Lean codes on all six cylinders may point towards; maf sensor, throttle actuator, low fuel pressure/fuel pump and more. Your throttle body is not repairable. Its electric with two position sensors and air temperature probe. Its part of the drive by wire system - electronic pedal, electric throttle driven by a servo motor and ecm. Pedal signals are sent to the ecm, the ecm commands throttle plate movement. The maf sensor measures air volume so the ecm knows how much fuel to use along with coolant temperatures.

Coolant flows thru the throttle assembly for the temperature sensor. The maf sensor and throttle actuator have temperature sensors along with the coolant temperature sensor - all used by the ecm to tune fuel mixtures. The two upstream O2 sensors measure exhaust for oxygen as feedback to fine tune fuel mixtures. EFI systems are complicated.

Cleaning throttle actuators requires a little more care as electronics are inside and drowning it with solvents is a no-no. Soaking a rag then wiping off crud build up avoids shorting electrical circuits inside. Maf sensors are cleaned with maf sensor cleaner, similar to electrical contact cleaner.

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Old 05-15-2019, 08:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

ok so I'm in a sort of good news bad news scenario now. The good news is that the calibration reset deal for the throttle body is a real thing. I got my haynes manual and it is listed there and when I did the reset after clearing my codes I was able to get my car to go through inspection and I'm tagged for 2 years. The bad news is that today the SES light is back on and I'm throwing all 3 codes again high idle and both banks lean. I'm thinking that maybe cleaning the throttle body will help get me sorted. I'm waiting on a gasket to come in to do that work. Also with the lean codes part of me is thinking a new air filter can't hurt. I don't think it's the fuel filter because there isn't any hesitation and I don't feel like I'm lacking power or anything. Honestly I don't think the car is really idling high either. it usually idles around 500-750 rpm depending on if its warmed up or not. Hopefully between cleaning the throttle body with damp rags will help get my system sorted and atleast I'm through inspection and that takes the rush and time constraint away. I'm thinking that since the throttle body is so sensitive I'll try using the mass airflow cleaner on it because that stuff is kind of meant to be used on delicate parts.

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Old 05-15-2019, 02:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn Vue 02 sensor issues/obd codes

With a new sticker good for 2 yrs, you dodged a bullet but still have error codes. You can search within Saturnfans for a wealth of free information second to none elsewhere unless you're willing to pay for it from desler repairs. And dealers may not reveal any info other than a non descript summary of repairs to restore engine function free of error codes. Here's where forums like Saturnfans can help fill in the gaps with practical knowledge and experience from other owners. An occasional former Saturn tech steps in too for help. As you know, no one gets paid here and valuable information shared freely can beat any repair shop unwilling to give away the store........ Basic background info comes from either service manuals (alldata, Mitchell) or Haynes/Chilton manuals. The latter two are not as informative though compared to factory service manuals.

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