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Thread: 2007 Saturn Vue 2.2L bogging under load

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    2007 Saturn Vue 2.2L bogging under load

    I apologize if there is an obvious answer somewhere that I have missed. Sometimes using the right search words can be a challenge.

    This is my girlfriends car and it has been driving me insane.

    The Car:
    2007 Saturn Vue (Base) 2.2L Ecotec FWD 5-speed. Non-return type EFI.

    The Symptom:
    Poor mileage. Acceleration seems weak but I'm not used to the car so I can't be sure. Definite "bogging" or "choking" at high speed/high load. Initially the symptom was very difficult to reproduce, but now all I need to do is go about half a mile and I can get it to misbehave. While accelerating hard in 2nd or 3rd gear, at about 4500RPM, it will start to buck and kick and the RPM's will drop. At that point if you clutch it and bury the throttle, the engine will surge back and forth, but will not exceed 5000 RPM.
    At the beginning I was getting lots of "random misfire" codes, but I'm not getting those very often now.

    What I have done so far:
    Initially suspected fuel pressure, so hooked up a pressure gauge. 60psi. During an "event" there was no noticeable glitches in the pressure.

    1) New plugs (NGK Platinums?) Used (ebay) ICD, Coil pack and boots.

    2) New ICD, Coil pack and boots.

    3) Replaced Crank-position sensor with new.

    4) Replaced MAP sensor with new.

    5) dropped exhaust to inspect for clogged cat and to my surprise the cat has been previously hollowed out. Unable to discern any downstream restrictions using an air hose.

    Before my last test drive this morning I had a P0300 (Random Misfire) code, which I cleared. During the test drive (<1 mile) I could make it act up under load. When I got back, while parked I would bury the throttle and the RPM's would go up, hesitate before 5K and this time it would surge between 2500 and 5000. Check Engine light was flashing but no code was stored. Fuel pressure was steady at 60psi.

    Live data reports 40% engine load at idle and 100% engine load when acting up. All sensors seem to be reporting properly and fuel trim values look good based on my limited reading, though I have not tried to view this when I've got it misbehaving.

    As I see it the remaining items are the Fuel pump ($300), ECM ($300+) and injectors ($200). This car does not appear to have a fuel filter, though O'Reilly Auto is happy to sell you one!

    My reading of the fuel pressure lead me to not suspect the pump, but hey, I'll do it if I have to!

    I am looking for any guidance I can get. Ask me to run a test, check something, replace something and I'll do it. I'm down to using the dartboard to diagnose it.

    If anybody out there has experienced a similar problem, I would be most grateful.

    Thanks, Ken
    Last edited by eventhorizons; 05-31-2015 at 04:27 PM. Reason: added engine to title

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    I certainly wouldn't jump at a new pump, injectors, or ECM at this stage of the game. I would be very interested to know what your fuel trims are doing during the problem event. I found this Service Bulletin (TSB Saturn 03-06-04-030F.pdf) linked to Saturn's from '00-'08

    Considering you have no filter post pump, I might consider closely clogged injectors. Hopefully it is as easy as just running some cleaner through the system.

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    On the possibility of a clogged or otherwise misbehaving injector, I went ahead and pulled one so I could verify the part number. (I have had a lot of trouble working on this car with suppliers, including GM, not identifying the correct part.)

    With that, I was able to get a set of 4 "refurbished" injectors, I installed them this evening and went for a test drive.

    No real quantifieble change. It "seems" a little smoother, but that is highly subjective. But it still starts bogging down as my speed goes up.

    When i got back to the garage, sitting in neutral, I was able to run the RPM close to about 6K. Then I noticed that the more I pressed the pedal the RPM's didn't go up. At some point it started to jump around and then with the pedal to the floor it was bouncing all over the place.

    While it was doing this I looked at the live data and both fuel trims were solid at 0.0 and Engine load was 100%. Idle engine load is now about 25%.

    I have not been able to examine the butterfly. It is possible there is an issue with the electronic throttle? Can't see how that wound create the random mis-fire that I am still getting.

    Should I change the ECM now? Any other thoughts?

    Thanks, Ken

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    Clogged PCV system?
    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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    Sorry it's been so long since an update. My real life interferes with my ability to get things done!

    The car had been sitting for a month, so I took it out for a quick spin to verify the problem. Less then a quater-mile down the road, pushing it hard, and it started bucking and missing under full throttle in 2nd gear. The Check engine light was flashing and it was throwing a random-misfire code.

    Came back to the shop and while parked, slowly revved the engine up to about 5500 RPM. Started missing, and was able to bury the throttle while the RPM bounced from 3K to 5K. CE light flashing.

    Climbed out and my friend got in the driver seat. Removed the air intake boot and had him rev it up. Went to 6K+ before it started acting strange and I could see the butterfly flopping around even though he was holding the threottle steady.

    However, it was different then before. Realized that the redline, as marked on the tach, was about 6.5K, so started thinking the rev-limiter was kicking in and causing it to flutter.

    Hmmm.

    Data point: Behaving differently with the intake boot detached.

    Inspected the air filter. Little dirt but no big. Left the air intake boot detached from the air filter box and went for a spin. No issues.

    Inspected air induction. Used a shop vac on it. No apparent clogs or restrictions. Re-assembeld with old air filter and drove into town to get a new Fram. During drive into town was not able to exactly duplicate the problem. Not perfect, but not really bad either.

    Installed new filter. Drove hard in all gears. Pulled a long grade on the freeway. Pushed it really hard! While winding it up. it would sometimes sound like maybe it missed, but no codes or faults.

    Gave it back to girlfriend to drive. Will report back in week.

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    Time for a Sea Foam clean? Thanks for the update!
    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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