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Thread: '04 Saturn Ecotec 2.2L rough idle, no power

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    '04 Saturn Ecotec 2.2L rough idle, no power

    Just happened yesterday morning. Ran fine for over two years.
    Checked plugs, looked worn and gaps way too big (65 to 90).
    Replaced plugs, gapped at 42-45.
    Still runs rough, no power.
    Get flashing engine light when first started high on left side of panel, then constant light on lower portion of panel.
    Took to O'Reilly's, they were unable to pull codes on two testers.

    Could this be electronic or mechanical?
    ICM or timing belt?

    How best to determine problem without tearing down first?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
    David Reed
    Springfield, MO

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    See TSB:
    PIP3433D: SES Light and Sever Engine Misfire On Cylinder 1 And 4 or Cylinders 2 And 3 - keywords ICM ignition miss module no P0300 P0301 P0302 P0303 P0304 plug repeat replacement spark.

    Replace ICM and plugs

    It is very important to OEM spark plugs. A blinking engine light means failure is catalytic damaging. A misfire in this Engine WILL kill the cat , so don't drive with missfire

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    Not sure where to look for the info you provided. Give me a hint.......
    David Reed
    Springfield, MO

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    The complete TSB is below. This is the most likely what is wrong , The ignition coil may also be failing but less likely. If your Ion has (checked with scan tool) dtc's p0301 and p0304 or p0302 and p0303, then replace the ICM and spark plugs. Use OEM parts



    #PIP3433D: SES Light and Sever Engine Misfire On Cylinder 1 And 4 or Cylinders 2 And 3 - keywords ICM ignition miss module no P0300 P0301 P0302 P0303 P0304 plug repeat replacement spark - (Jul 24, 2007)
    Subject: SES Light and Severe Engine Misfire on Cylinders 1 and 4 or Cylinders 2 and 3

    Models: 2002-2005 Chevrolet Cavalier
    2005-2006 Chevrolet Cobalt
    2006-2006 Chevrolet HHR
    2004-2006 Chevrolet Malibu
    2004-2005 Chevrolet Malibu Classic
    2002-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
    2007 Pontiac G5
    2002-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
    2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada Only)
    2002-2005 Pontiac Sunfire
    2003-2006 Saturn Ion
    2004-2005 Saturn L Series
    2002-2006 Saturn Vue
    with 2.2L Engine (VIN D or F - RPO L61)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This PI Supercedes To Remove 2007 Model Year. Please Discard PIP3433C


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

    Condition/Concern:
    Some customers may comment on a severe engine misfire and a SES Light. Upon inspection, DTCs P0300 - P0304 may be found due to misfires on cylinders 1 and 4 or cylinders 2 and 3.

    Recommendation/Instructions:
    If this concern is encountered, inspect circuits 406 (IC Control for 2/3 Coil) and 423 (IC Control for 1/4 Coil) for an intermittent short to ground or poor connection on either end. Depending on the model, these circuits may short on the AC lines near the AC compressor, on the transmission mount, or on the transmission lines where they enter the transmission. If there is no problem found with these circuits, inspect the ignition control module ground to ensure that it is clean and tight.

    If there is no problem found after performing the suggestions above and the SI diagnostics lead to ignition module replacement, replace the ignition module as directed but also replace all of the spark plugs and clean the ignition module ground to possibly prevent future ignition module damage.

    Please follow this diagnostic or repair process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.
    GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.

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    What brand of plugs are you using? These cars like AC and can have problems with other brands.
    More humans=more problems
    Don't worry nothing will be done until it's too late, there is money to be made.
    Maximum profit and overpopulation will ruin all the major economies.

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    It had AC Delcos that looked like original plugs. Very worn.
    AC Delcos were not in stock, so I had to take NGK's, but got the same type, heat range and plug depth.
    New plugs did not alter the engines' behavior at all.
    I now suspect ICM, rather than timing belt.
    Will know later today when I am able to replace it.
    David Reed
    Springfield, MO

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    Yeah the ICM seems to be a common problem with these cars. I can say that the NGK's are the only other brand that you can use.
    More humans=more problems
    Don't worry nothing will be done until it's too late, there is money to be made.
    Maximum profit and overpopulation will ruin all the major economies.

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    Testing at O'Reilly's today, we got misfire codes, but no cylinder numbers. Po300 and 200 I believe.
    They don't have proper cable to test ICM and no test available for Coil.
    Have Compression gauge to eliminate head gasket failure.

    Will report readings here.
    David Reed
    Springfield, MO

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    Compression test show 72psi on first three cylinders from LEFT TO RIGHT FACING THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT, and 68psi on the fourth.
    What is the correct compression psi for this engine?

    What I found is -Engine cranking compression pressure - 185-225 psi. at this link
    http://www.ecotecforum.com/forums/sh...ht=compression
    Not sure this is my engine, though. If the above spec is correct, it would seem my compression reading is VERY LOW.

    NEW plugs show burn on 1st and 4th cylinders, no burn at all on 2nd and 3rd. That seems to indicate an electrical problem.
    So, is it the ICM or the Coil?
    Or do the low compression readings and no burn on two plugs indicate I might have TWO problems, electrical and mechanical?
    Last edited by dbreed53; 05-06-2013 at 04:08 PM. Reason: greater detail.
    David Reed
    Springfield, MO

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    Can you put a teaspoon of oil in and recheck the compression?
    That is by far the worst compression psi I have ever seen. Are you sure that the gauge is good?
    On my other car I have had a ICM kill coils. I had a bad one and replaced it, only to have the new one go bad a month later. After the ICM and coil were replaced I had no problems.
    How many miles are on this engine? If the timing chain tensioner broke you may have some bent valves.
    More humans=more problems
    Don't worry nothing will be done until it's too late, there is money to be made.
    Maximum profit and overpopulation will ruin all the major economies.

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    O'reilly's specs say 100psi compression, but that 72 is not bad for 130,300 miles.
    Also, lowest reading is => 80% of highest reading.

    Replaced the ICM, and prayed.
    Prayer answered.
    Normal idle and power restored.
    New plugs improved performance and smoothed out the idle, also.

    I'll be back to talk about the transmission in the future.
    Thanks for your advice, information and feedback.

    David
    David Reed
    Springfield, MO

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