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Asterisk 06-16-2022 01:40 AM

CEL Code Buffet.
I bought a 2008 Saturn Astra. Had it for five months. CEL finally popped up and it reported 5 codes.
Pulled from an Actron reader.

First is P065E Intake Manifold Tuning Valve Performance (Bank 1), this code was listed twice.

P1101 Intake Airflow System Proformance

P0128 Coolant Thermostat (Coolant Temperature below thermostat regulating temperature) - signal invalid

P2A00 Oxygen Sensor circuit range / performance bank 1 sensor 1 - signal invalid

P0135 Oxygen sensor heater bank 1 sensor 1 - short to battery

4 other codes are pending but I didn't take a picture of them.

I don't even know where too begin. I think this may be a vacuum or ground problem? Possibly a cam sensor?
I check the battery cable and there isn't any play. Car operates pretty well just not shifting as smoothly.

AstraFasta 06-16-2022 10:58 AM

Re: CEL Code Buffet.
You can search the forums here for each of those codes for more data. The UK forums can also be helpful but their engines are slightly different.

The z18xer engine is a bit sensitive as you see but it is a pretty good engine IMHO. There are a few common parts that need attention; sometime you fix one or two and all the codes disappear.

[B]Can you read the ST & LT fuel trims? Can you look at the performance of o2 sensors? Those would be helpful to start.
How many miles? [B]Which transmission?
Without anymore info for now, we can start with the free and easy fixes, they have a decent chance of clearing some of the codes or eliminating issues. Then consider the cheapest/easiest.

Check the [B]oil level[/B]. The valve system is very sensitive to oil level. You should be using only DEXOS full synthetic oil as noted in your manual. I think GM reduced the oil change interval on these via a technical note so I would not go beyond say 5k miles or use conventional oil. Not so important for older-style non-vvt engines.

[B]Check spark plugs and coil pack[/B] The OEM spark plugs are 30k mile replacement items. If they were not changed the increased spark gap stresses the coil pack and kills it. Check the condition of the spark plugs and gap. If there is oil in the spark plug wells, the valve cover gasket needs to be replaced (see below).

[B]Check for vacuum leaks.[/B] The valve cover gasket & integrated PCV flapper fail frequently on these cars. Cheap and easy to change.

-PCV flapper is integrated into the valve cover and the rubber rips over time; so replacing the valve cover from time to time is required (maybe around 100k miles?)

- The valve cover gasket would show oil weeping outside the valve cover, vacuum leaks, and/or oil on top of the spark plugs-coil packs.

Fix is to replace the valve cover (which has integrated PCV flapper) and valve cover gasket. Very easy to change.

For the [B]P1101 (Intake Airflow System Proformance)[/B], let's address some general basic Astra issues. Should take less than an hour:

- Make sure you have the complete factory air intake ducting. And that there is nothing blocking the intake or inside the air filter box

- Make sure you have a new, clean, high-quality air filter (not K&M or oil type reusable)

- Check there are no leaks on the air intake (e.g. all the pipes are well connected/firmly clamped, no damage to intake components, MAF is properly installed, airfilter box is closed tightly...)

- Does your car have an aftermarket MAF sensor? If aftermarket, that should be changed to OEM. If OEM, then remove the MAF sensor and clean with cleaner made specificly for MAF sensors (don't use anything else and don't touch). Let dry and reinstall.

- Clean the throttle body & butterfly (including sides of butterfly). Do not use Carburetor Cleaner, buy throttle body cleaner. Use a soft rag. Be very careful of the butterfly as the springs can seriously damage a finger. Find some guides on the internet if you haven't done this before.

[B]P0128 Coolant Thermostat (Coolant Temperature below thermostat regulating temperature) - signal invalid [/B]

The thermostat and temp sensors rarely fail in the US Astra...but the thermostat in particular won't last forever.

In your case, you might check the wires and connectors for any obvious damage.

There is a "secret menu" on the radio screen that shows coolant temperature in Celsius (search the internet on how to enable that secret menu). These engines should warm up quickly and should keep pretty consistent around 92*C. The Astras sold in Europe run hotter for emissions purposes FYI (that matters if you read Euro forums. Or if you want to buy a new thermostat you might not want to source one from Europe). In any case your thermostat will have temp stamped on the body.

Do you have the automatic transmission. If so, the radiator is poorly designed and coolant can combine with auto transmission oil. That happened to our Astra and it killed the transmission. And killed the thermostat o-rings (replacing thermostat fixed P0128 on our car). If the coolant tank on your automatic transmission shows brown milkshake liquid, you may have the same issue.

This P0128 thread is great


[B]P2A00 Oxygen Sensor circuit range / performance bank 1 sensor 1 - signal invalid
P0135 Oxygen sensor heater bank 1 sensor 1 - short to battery [/B]
Check the wiring and connectors for obvious issues.

Also, the o2 sensors don't last forever and some people advise changing both say every 75k-100k miles. You can see the o2 performance on a decent scanner so that can prevent buying unnecessary parts. These are pretty common failure items on older Astras. These are cheap and easy to access; use only OEM.

P065E Intake Manifold Tuning Valve Performance (Bank 1)[/B]

The exhaust flex pipe on these tends to fail. Check there is no leaks there. You can also read this thread for ideas. There is a big part that can be changed but not common failure here.


Asterisk 06-17-2022 12:35 PM

Re: CEL Code Buffet.
Update. I deleted the codes and drove around and the check engine light immediately came back. I got in touch with a gm mechanic I went too trade school with. We both went through the diesel program and he came back and went through the auto program. I got a job working on Peterbilts. He used a gm specific data tool through a computer based software.

The code is p065e-04 which means the IMRC valve is stuck open, broken, inoperable. He command it to close and it never did. He said that this is most likely causing the p1101 because the air is taking longer to get to engine than what is programmed. P1101 came on in low torque load.

The coolant needs flushed but is reading fine and within range. O2 was deemed with within range.

The fix is too replace the intake manifold.

AstraFasta 06-17-2022 02:31 PM

Re: CEL Code Buffet.
A few people here posted they cleaned the intake to clear the code (assuming it is not broken). This Canadian GM tech also said he cleaned some of the intakes for this code:


Here are some diagnosis steps which you may have already been through.


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