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Random misfire and O2 Sensor

I have had this problem for several months now and my mechanic has tried everything he can think of and has given up I think. It started with just the O2 sensor indicated by the CEL code. That was changed twice and the longest it would go without the CEL coming back was 4 days. Then it also stared getting the O2 Sensor and random misfire codes. The random misfire went away for at least a month but is back now. The CEL comes and goes, maybe for a day, maybe for a week. When I first start off the engine seems to have no power then suddenly surges to catch up. If I accelerate too much, such as entering the freeway it misfires but at normal speeds (fast or slow) or slower acceleration, no problem. Another mechanic looked at it and pointed to the ignition coils and said "oh, that shows carbon arcing" on all 6 coils - is he just blowing smoke? Any suggestions?

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One major problem with mechanics today is they don't test anything, just replace parts.
The O2 sensor codes do not tell you to replace, only to check. Either the sensors are telling the computer the fuel mixture is too rich, too lean, or not changing at all.
I would have someone check base fuel pressure and volume next. You could be low on fuel pressure or the fuel system may be weak enough to be too lean under some conditions.
The coils could be arcing if the mixture is too lean, electricity takes the shortest path to ground. If the mixture is lean the plugs may be too tough for the electricity to get to ground.

Posted on May 07, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Misfire

One question, have you replaced the ECTS (Electronic Cooling Temperature Sensor)? These cause no end of different seemingly unrelated problems on Saturns. Peice is about ten bucks and is an easy install. Just search on youtube for a how-to video. Even if that's not the problem it is reccommended to replace this peice just the same as they ALL end up going bad at some point.

If that's not a fix, start pulling plugs. Check to see if they're correctly gapped and if they have any damage/corrosion. If you're running Platinum plugs, immediatly change to a copper plug as Platinums have no place in these motors. Most people have the best luck with NGK copper.

Check to make sure that your plug wires haven't been crossed. This sounds like a plug or wire issue most likely so it has to be in that family, if the plugs are good, wires good and not crossed, sensors are fine, then time to replace your coil packs. If you've replaced everything up to the coil packs then that is most likely the cause of your dillema.


Posted on Oct 25, 2008

  • 93 Answers

SOURCE: 1997 Bonneville - Engine light code P0303

the code you have is for a misfire on #3 cylinder. (im sure you knew this right?). the crankshaft position sensor will not cause one individual cylinder to misfire. what i typicaly do in this scenario is switch the ignition wire off of the guilty cylinder onto a known good firing cylinder and see if misfire moves to the other cylinder. i repeat this process by switching the spark plug and finaly the fuel injector. a compression check may be in order as well (but not a likely cause) unless you have access to a tech 2 (gms diag computer) you will need to clear this code after each component is moved and see if you get a new code ie :p0304 if switched to #4 cylinder..other wise if you do have access to a computer that has a misfire chart in its features you can quickly identify the guilty component. as i side note the ignition coil may also be faulty, but i believe your vehicle has a 3.8liter meaning that it has a coil pack....switch the others i listed and see ow you make out....good luck!

Posted on Jun 11, 2009

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SOURCE: code reads random cylinder misfire. sporatically

well... the misfire codes are logged in when its running bad, but first I would want to verify fuel pressure when its running bad.

Posted on Oct 18, 2009

  • 87 Answers

SOURCE: I have a random misfire code that comes up. the

is this a quad 4 ? if so you should replace the housing also , double platinum sparks plugs are advised also..

Posted on Jan 03, 2010

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SOURCE: Check Engine Light coming on

get the soft ware up grade. and have the coils checked.

Posted on Mar 03, 2010

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Check engine light code p2196,p2197, po300 ,304,305,306,p2 ,Im freeking out.


P0300 Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected P0301 Cylinder 1 Misfire Detected P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected P0303 Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected P0304 Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected P0305 Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected P0306 Cylinder 6 Misfire Detected P0307 Cylinder 7 Misfire Detected P0308 Cylinder 8 Misfire Detected P0309 Cylinder 9 Misfire Detected P0310 Cylinder 10 Misfire Detected P0311 Cylinder 11 Misfire Detected P0312 Cylinder 12 Misfire Detected P0313 Misfire Detected with Low Fuel P0314 Single Cylinder Misfire (Cylinder not Specified) P0315 Crankshaft Position System Variation Not Learned P0316 Misfire Detected On Startup (First 1000 Revolutions)

Read more at: http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/
Copyright © OBD-Codes.com
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P2195 O2 Sensor Signal Stuck Lean Bank1 Sensor 1 P2196 O2 Sensor Signal Stuck Rich Bank1 Sensor 1 P2197 O2 Sensor Signal Stuck Lean Bank2 Sensor 1 P2198 O2 Sensor Signal Stuck Rich Bank2 Sensor 1

Read more at: http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/
Copyright © OBD-Codes.com http://www.obd-codes.com/p0002

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