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sprinkles08
sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 21977
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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Saturn VUE: Engine misfires ever since traction control kicked

Customer Question

Engine misfires ever since traction control kicked in on snow-covered hill. Tried clearing error codes. Did not work. Replaced ignition unit (coils and module) on top of engine with new, problem got worse. Put original back in, and still runs rough. Any other suggestions?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!If it's missing on a single cylinder then it could be a loss of spark, loss of injector pulse, a failed injector, a localized vacuum leak causing just that cylinder to run lean, or it may be a cylinder sealing/valvetrain issue.Are any codes setting besides the P0301?Are there any abnormal noises from the engine?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I apologize for the delay getting back to you.Other than the Misfire code, if I recall correctly, nothing else was showing up. However, the " no Traction Control" light came back on after clearing the faults from memory, and has remained on. The dash switch does not turn on Traction Control.There are no other abnormal noises. It was running well, traction control kicked in for about 30-40 seconds while I crawled up the hill, then it disengaged when the road leveled out, and the engine began misfiring.When I first replaced the coil unit on top of the engine, it initially ran well. However, it started to misfire after about 1/4 mile, then became even worse than the when the original unit was still there, missing on at least 2 cylinders, and sometimes 3 (this based upon the extreme lack of power - I barely managed to get back home).I've tried swapping old and new , and the old unit works the best, ***** ***** only one cylinder. With the new unit in place, it runs very rough(if it starts) and stalls out .
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
What year and model is the vehicle and what engine do you have?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
2004 Vue with 2.2L - 4-cylinder
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
Are there any abnormal noises from the engine?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No abnormal noises....
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
Did the problem start not long after getting fuel?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, in fact I drove for a few weeks with misfire occurring, and filled tank on several occasions. I was hoping it was simply fouling due to Traction Control kicking in. I first disconnected the battery for a few days, thinking that might get the control circuitry to reset. When it didn't get better, I replaced the plugs, which also had no effect. My next step was to replace the coil unit.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
Have you checked spark plug condition?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
New plugs with correct gaps...
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
When were they replaced as opposed to the problem starting?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Plugs were replaced after problem started. Did not resolve problem. Gaps were checked when problem persisted.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
What was the condition of the plugs when they were removed?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The initial plug change was done by a mechanic, so I did not see the original plugs. The new ones, when I checked the gaps, were in good condition, although one seemed as if it had not fired, and was wet with gasoline. Swapped that plug into a different cylinder, and problem persisted. I do not know if the misfire was occurring in the same cylinder after swapping the plugs, or if it moved with the spark plug.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
Was it the number 1 plug that was wet?If you haven't checked to see what codes are currently setting can you remove that plug again and see if it's still wet?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
How are the cylinders numbered? I cannot check now (late and no garage) and am expecting a lot of rain tomorrow, but will look ASAP.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
The number 1 cylinder is the first from the front of the engine.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Cylinders aligned left to right...
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
The front of an engine is where the crank damper is.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'll check when lighting and weather allow.
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 9 months ago.
Ok.