Question about Saturn Vue

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Saturn vue 2002 engine shaking when idle.

Went to start 2002 saturn vue manual 4cylinder today. Didn't turn over on first attempt to start vehicle but did on the second try. It immediately started shaking and the service engine soon light started to flash. Popped the hood and nothing was noticeably wrong with anything other than the pretty unusual shaking of the engine. Also, there is a noticeable smell when you step out of the car. Took it to auto shop for a diagnostic and it read as an engine misfire. No other codes. I've gather from many various forums information about possible need for new spark plugs and/or an ignition control module. My concern is that If that is the case I have also read that continuing driving this way will cause damage to the catalytic converter however the guy at auto shop said its most likely just a need for new wires and to actually drive on it more. I am curious if anyone has any other suggestions for what this might be and advise on how, where, and how much money to fix this. Added info on vehicle 146k miles Bad left strut Possible wiring problems causing headlights to dim or not work.

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  • Master
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The problem can one of many conditions: If prior to the initial problem mentioned, the car ran smooth, you may have a problem with the wires leading to the plugs. They age and get brittle, insulation cracks, connectors get loose or corroded. This leads to misfire and poor timing intervals. Engine misfires also occur when the timing is advanced or decline, timing belt loose or damaged, or electronic brain needs a reset. If you checked the plugs and they are gapped properly and clean; tight in the engine block, and top connector clean; then rule out the plugs. 146K is not a lot of time on that engine, but routine maintenance is your best bet to avoid costly bills down the line. As for the cost to repair....no way to know without a diagnostic workup.

Posted on Dec 25, 2013

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  • Saturn Master
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Continuing to drive with a misfire will shorten the life of the cat. converter,burn more fuel, loss of power, and can lead to other more costly repairs. Best recommendation is to 1st, replace plugs and wires, clear codes and recheck. Recommend O.E. Delco parts, depending on where you go, parts and labor would be around $150-$250.

Posted on Dec 25, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: possible bad alternator?

I went through three alternators before we found a good one for our saturn sl2. Now she has been good for two years. All I did was go back to where we bought it from, they hooked up the alternator to a machine and gave us a new one when it read that it was faulty.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009

onyxvu
  • 74 Answers

SOURCE: 2002 Saturn SL1 rough, sputtering idle - cylinder #1 misfiring

spray some carb cleaner on the passeger side of the intake manifold, right behind the alternator. it is very common for those to leak there and cause those exact problems

Posted on May 23, 2009

SOURCE: Random misfire, #4 misfire, and catalytic system below threshold

I own a 2004 V8
Have several hundred dollars in manuals

First -If it has a 3.9V8 it has to use 91 and most likely won't run well even on 93.
Second-the code you got is a PO 304,which is a bad COP Coil On Plug on cylinder #4. That is a common Ford failure. DO NOT replace ALL the Coils
Just replace #4 if that is the code. They are $59.00 and tax at auto part store.
I believe you need a 7mm socket and short 7mm wrench. Remove coil cover on top of valve cover,then coil. All same tools.
Third- FORGET the other codes. The LS will set all kinds of codes that will drive you crazy and go away,once you do the bad coil.
Fourth-one problem does not cause another
Fifth-The threshold bank code, is the result of the misfire and how the O2 Sensor sees things, as a result of incorrect fuel mixture (Misfire)
Make sure your O2 Sensors did not loosen up

Now the bad news

Expect-Coil Issues
- Bad Egr Valve
- Bad Trans Solenoid Trans Pack
Change the trans fluid -Mercon V
Flush the P/S Fluid-Mercon
Flush Brake Fluid
Flush Coolant-Yellow GO5
Cabin Filter- Remove round push pins on plastic wiper cover. Filter below on pass side
Gas Filter- Remove left front tire and loosen inner cover,next to door hinge

Use the OEM Spark Plugs
On a V8 -FR5AP-11E The were Motorcraft made by NGK
NGK-6569
Special Plugs.

Unless you have deep pockets-stay away from the dealer.
This is a very complex vehicle
Forget about gunning it. Baby it.

Posted on May 03, 2010

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1. Try putting the gear shift in neutral and then attempt to start. If your VUE starts, replace the neutral safety switch.

2. Turn on the headlights and attempt to start while someone is watching for the lights to dim. If the lights dim while trying to start, remove starter and have it tested.

3. Take proof of ownership to the dealer and have them cut a new key. There is a chip inside the key, that when it's inoperative, will let you turn the key to the start position, but vehicle will not start.

May 24, 2008 | 2003 Saturn VUE

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