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Old 06-18-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
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2008 Astra XE
Wrench I am replacing a bad ignition coil this week. Codes: P0304, P1101, P0496, P0068.

Hi all,

I just want to post to help others learn from my experience and to get some help in the process. There's going to be a wall of text, so let's get this onion peeled.

I am from Austin and I drove to Houston two Friday's ago on the 8th in my 2008 Saturn Astra XE (~78000mi). On Saturday my car had a very rough idle and when put into gear the engine was noticeably puttering. It felt like a piston was misfiring.

The check engine light was on and the interior of the car smelled like there was mold in the car which I attributed to being in the car with 3 adults and a baby for a three and a half hour drive.

I took the car to a reputable local mechanic and he told me that the P0304 code denotes the fourth piston is misfiring and he determined the cause was a bad ignition coil and possibly the ignition module. The foul smell in the car was the bad fuel/air mixture getting into the catalytic converter and possibly damaging it. I explained to him that I would check to see if it was covered under warranty.

I made an appointment with Champion Chevrolet in Houston, TX, the authorized repair dealership. I didn't want to drive the car the 22 miles to Championship Chevrolet -- I'm in Baytown East of Houston -- so I started doing some research about the repair, towing and whether it was covered under warranty.

The service tech at Champion Chevrolet said it was covered under warranty, but I doubt that it is. I called Roadside assistance, explained the situation and tried to get it towed the 22 miles to Champion Chevrolet even though there is a dealership here in Baytown called Ron Craft Chevrolet. She understood and spoke to the service manager, Paul, at Ron Craft Chevrolet.

Service at Ron Craft was terrible; it did not meet my expectations after speaking with Paul. They reconfirmed the bad ignition coil and said that not only is the coil not covered under warranty, but since the spark plugs weren't changed at 25,000 miles they damaged the coil. I am out another diagnostic fee.

I don't have a copy of the warranty information on me as the car is still at the dealer, they close at 7. Long story short, I need a new ignition coil and spark plugs. I have contacted Saturn warranty and left a message with the customer rep. I'll keep y'all updated on what they say.

I am going to pick the car up tomorrow, order some spark plugs and an ignition coil. I came across these forums with info on both those issues.

[I can't post URL links until I hit 15 posts, so I'll ad the links when possible]

I have never changed the spark plugs in a car, so I am looking forward to it. The ignition coil shouldn't be terribly difficult to get to according to one of the forums from there. I am mechanically inclined, but I don't have much experience and I don't have the service manual (even though according to the forum it doesn't help.)

I need help with ordering the part and selecting spark plugs. Any input would be appreciated it!
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: I am replacing a bad ignition coil this week. Codes: P0304, P1101, P0496, P0068.

You can have access service manuals to pirate dvd's, buy pirated cd's on ebay, some local libraries for free access to Alldata, subscribe to Alldata for a small yearly fee or buy the paper service manuals.

Tried or various GM parts distributors (most are GM dealers advertising online) online?
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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2008 Astra XR
2002 SC2
Default Re: I am replacing a bad ignition coil this week. Codes: P0304, P1101, P0496, P0068.

Saw your post and figured I might be able to save you (and maybe others) some time, money, and frustration.... I have a 2008 Astra with about 130,000 miles on it, so back in Jan, 2011 I too needed to replace my ignition coil.... Right around that time the Saturn dealerships were disappearing, along with availability of any parts... Long story short: couldn't find the coil ANYWHERE. The best anyone could do was put me on different waiting lists, like GM Parts Center, etc.... I actually PREPAID $470.60 to OE Parts HQ for the part, although they had no idea if they would be able to locate one at all.... So, I'm waiting for GM to decide if they have enough demand to make the part.... and I'm waiting to see if the other places can even find the part... but I continued to search....for 6 long months I drove a rental car....hopeless it seemed.....until FINALLY....I found one.... Alibaba. is a worldwide site of wholesalers where you can find almost anything....they are wholesalers, so they sell in large quantities - so the secret is to tell them you want to buy "a sample"....and most will then sell you just one.... I paid $157.53 for the same exact coil I was charged $470.60 for....and that was to my front door; that included shipping it from somewhere in Asia all the way to Arizona (I think it was $90 + 67 for shipping..)....So, I got the $470.60 refunded, and installed the coil myself in less than 5 minutes.... Problem solved....Oh yeah, btw: I also needed a replacement side mirror - same deal - took about 4 months before I found one at micksgarage. com in Ireland... ($200.) vauxcentre is another source....Just remember its an Opel/Vauxhall when you are Googling for parts.... Hope this info helps anyone looking for Astra parts...
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engine misfire, ignition coil, p0304, powertrain warranty, rough idle

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