Car idles like a diesel and misfires SES light on and Reduced Power light comes on. No codes can be pulled

Tiny
KEEGENMOULD
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 SATURN VUE
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 170 MILES
I have an '03 Saturn Vue 2.2 l eco-tech ls6 and the Idle sounds like a diesel, it goes"puff. Puff. Puff" and when driving, it sometimes works ok, but sometimes it will misfire a whole bunch and will stall if I don't give it gas when I stop. I have replaced the spark plugs, coil pack, ignition control module, checked for a burnt valve, replaced the valve cover gaskets, and checked the timing, none of this has worked and the service engine soon light is on and the reduced power light comes on periodically. I have good gas and the cap is on tight. The fuel pressure goes up extremely slowly, it takes 15 minutes to get to 30 psi and the 15 gallon tank was near empty after 65 miles. Please help. THANK YOU! No codes could be pulled.
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Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 AT 10:48 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Have you checked the coils? They go bad on those far more often then the module. Also if the check engine light is on with the check engine light then there has to be codes in the computer. Also there is a problem with the throttle by wire system if the reduced performance light is coming on. How did you check for codes and burnt valves?
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Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 AT 12:23 PM
Tiny
KEEGENMOULD
  • MEMBER
I have replaced the coil and the throttle is electric, I had autozone check for codes and took off the cylinder head to look for burnt valves.
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 AT 7:24 AM
Tiny
KEEGENMOULD
  • MEMBER
And the Service Engine Soon Light is on which is Saturn's equivalent to the Check Engine light but yes, there are actually no codes, something triggered the light but no codes are showing up on both O'Rielly auto parts' scan tool and Autozone's Scan tool
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 AT 9:55 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You don't have to remove the head to check for burnt valves you would do a compression test if you had low compression on a cylinder. You would then perform a cylinder leak down test which would tell you you where the compression was going valve etc. Have you performed a compression test yet? Also I worked for saturn for over 16yrs and have never seen a check engine light and reduced performance light come on with there not being codes in some computer the car has. Most free scans and diyer scan tools can be hit and miss with code reading
I have seen diyer scan tools show no codes and then used my professional scan tool and got code's. If there is a reduced performance light coming on I can tell you that you have a problem in the throttle by wire system. The wiring gas pedal sensor or even the throttle body itself. Also when its in reduced performance mode your not going to go anywhere fast. It retards the timing etc as a fail safe.I know those vues had corrosion issues in the inline connector causing throttle issues.I need codes.
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 AT 12:58 PM
Tiny
KEEGENMOULD
  • MEMBER
I did a compression test and got 205 psi, 195 psi, 205 psi, 210 psi, from left to right, and the mechanic said that that it must be a burnt exhaust valve, which is why I took off the cylinder head. Everything is back together now. The throttle system is electric, not fly by wire. The reduced power and SES lights only come on sometimes, so I have to be lucky to be able to get them and the dealer has to make me wait to scan the codes, after which time it will usually not have the lights on.
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Friday, February 27th, 2015 AT 5:41 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
With those compression readings I dont know why he would have said you have a burnt valve with a burnt valve you would have a low compression reading on one of the cylinders. Also its throttle by wire there is no throttle cable. We need the codes that would be a great starting point for diagnoses.I have seen the throttle bodies go bad on those also seen some throttle pedals and the wires. Even corrosion on the inline connector on the drivers side under the forward kick panel by the door.
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Friday, February 27th, 2015 AT 6:34 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
With the lights on you might be able to get a code as long as you dont cycle the key off. Pocket code readers are really cheap and nice to have.
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Friday, February 27th, 2015 AT 6:37 AM

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