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Old 02-22-2013, 12:46 PM   #1
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default 2003 Vue FWD 4CL. P0302 Misfire. Spontaneous recovery, then back to problem

Dear Saturn fans,

2003 Vue FWD 4CL. Manual. 125k miles. P0302 Misfire. Spontaneous recovery, then back to problem.

Suddenly last Monday engine started misfiring as I start the car, happens at idle and any gear, hot and cold engine. Tank half full. Always Premium 93 gas.
OBDII sees p0300 with one reader and p0302 with another reader. No other codes.

For a few months smell of fuel at start. Decided to work on fuel line this next Spring (fuel filter change, techron cleaner liquid, leak checks, injector checks,...) but now I can't wait (assuming fuel line is the guilty player). Spark plugs are new, coil is new, wires may be old (I have no record of when they were changed). Bought the car last summer, have done some basic tune ups.

The puzzling event is that last night, I added the techron fuel line cleaner liquid and filled up on gas (First time I use fuel cleaners ever but I had to try this time). No immediate change (obviously). 1 hour later I opened the hood and disconnected a vacuum hose (intake manifold port I think and hope) wanting to check for vacuum leaks. Could not even get a proper reading with the vacuum gauge. But, in 30 seconds of the engine being on, and misfiring/shaking, the engine misfires dropped in frequency. I reconnected the vacuum hose that I had disconnected and the engine continued to behave better and better. At that point I guessed that the techron cleaner was magically starting to act. Got in the car, drove around the block, perfect car behavior. Noticed the rpms at idle were lower than usual (800 instead of 1000). Drove again 5 minutes later and no problems either.
This morning, started the car and misfires again. As bad as before.
Dropped the car at a garage so they can have their guess.
Is the spontaneous but temporary recovery that I saw last night a clue at all? Does anything else that I have written give you a hint?

Thanks in advance for your input.

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