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Old 08-04-2014, 11:25 AM   #1
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2002 SC1
1999 SL1
Default 02 sc1 P0302 and P0128 and blinking SES

Hey everyone,
I've been doing some research so I have some ideas on where to start with this but wanted to hear others' thoughts.

My saturn is a 2002 sc1 with 216k miles. I've owned it since 103k. Manual transmission. I've never had to do any major work on it beyond plugs, wires, oil changes, brakes, rotors, and a wheel bearing. The car lives in North Carolina so not too extreme of weather and it is primarily used as my commuter car (which in my weird profession is a once a week 300 mile drive to or from the mountains on I40).

It had the ses light on solid in the winter and I believe it was the cylinder 2 misfire code and a code related to my secondary intake system. In March when I had to get the car inspected, a friend and I changed the spark plugs and got a pump in the intake system that was not running to work again (appears to have just been something in the fuse box). I did my drive to work and the ses light went off. After my shift, drove back and the car passed. There was still a pending misfire code but it did not cause my light to come back on.

Then in April I drove to a concert in Florida. On the way back had an issue that has come up several times. When accelerating a bit on the hard side around 1st-3rd gear the car will start jerking/running rough, lose power, and the SES light blinks. Getting the car into 4th-5th results in this smoothing out and performance returning to normal. The SES then either goes off or stays on solid for a couple hundred miles. Shifting gently prevents this from happening at all. Today driving my ses light came on solid and I've got P0302 and P0128.

I originally thought I had a transmission issue but when I recently googled the blinking ses, I found out that it's a significant misfire condition that can harm the cat con. I did the plugs in March and had the cylinder 2 issue before then so I'm thinking the plugs are probably fine. I can't remember when I last got new wires (could have been 2 plug changes ago, could have been 3) so I'll try those next then maybe switching the coil packs to see if the misfire moves to a different cylinder?

For the P0128 I understand that is frequently the coolant sensor or thermostat. I'm assuming these 2 codes are coincidentally occurring together but if you have other thoughts I'd love to hear. I haven't done major repair work so keep in mind that simple explanations are good lol.

Sorry that was a bit long winded and thanks!
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:38 AM   #2
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2002 SC1
Default Re: 02 sc1 P0302 and P0128 and blinking SES

P0128 - Have you ever replaced the ECTS? The '02 models came with the brass version, but they can still fail. What does your temperature gauge read when driving with the car warmed up, and how long does it take to warm up. Thermostat may be stuck open.

P0302 - cylinder 2 misfire. Blinking SES indicates the misfire is quite pronounced to the point of possibly dumping raw fuel into the catcon. Change the plug wires if their age is unknown. If the code returns, swapping the coil packs is a good idea. If the code moves to cylinder 1 or 4, you have a bad coil. If it stays on cylinder 2, a compression check would be in order.
2002 SC1 5M
RIP Sept 1 2018
315,344 miles
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blinking ses, p0128, p0302

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