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Old 07-09-2012, 03:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Misfires out of nowhere

I initially thought I was having a bad case of the 'herky jerkies' but it suddenly got much worse and I realized the car was misfiring. My Ultragauge beeped and it showed 3 pending codes (P0300 P0302 P0303).

I cleared those and drove the car gingerly to see if I could diagnose the behavior.

The bucking starts at around 2200RPM and disappears around 3000RPM. It is periodic and dependent on pedal pressure (slower acceleration often yields no bucking at all).

After driving it a bit (was at work when this happened), I saw a pending P0303 two more times, but the P0300 and P0302 didn't reappear. The car is driving fine the majority of the time.

If it matters, the car had been sitting for a week while I was on vacation.

The spark plugs were replaced 40K miles ago, but I think it still has all the original coils.

Any tips on where to start looking? Could the EGR plate or valve cause something like this? (I suspect they are in poor condition)
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you looked at the diagnostic spreadsheet?

Plug's loose?
Coil bad?
Bad earths on engine?
Egr bad?
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I saw intermittent P030x codes with a bad EGR valve and severe "herky jerky". This only happened in lean burn though. Your problem sounds different....

I'm going to suggest coil packs, but I find it interesting that you had a missfire on each cylinder initially.

How are the ground straps?
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Finally had a chance to look at it today and quickly found the problem. It was as simple as it was odd.

I had removed the engine cover to replace the spark plugs awhile back and had left it off since I was planning on changing the coolant among other things. I never bothered to replace the cover and didn't think anything of it.

There are two bolts on the rear of the engine cover where it mounts onto the top of the engine. What I found was that these bolts also hold in place the rail that has the wiring to the coils attached.

The back right bolt remained with the cover when I took it off and the rail was no longer firmly attached. The back left bolt kept the rail loosely in place, but the right side was flapping around freely with the vibration of the engine. I'm guessing it was losing its ground connection when it lost contact with the top of the engine.

I fixed the problem temporarily by simply sticking in a random bolt I found at work. I'll reinstall the engine cover in the morning to make the fix permanent.

It is always nice when a potentially expensive repair (I was envisioning having to replace two different coils) turns out to be such a simple and cheap (free!) solution, even if it was a bit embarrassing when I discovered what the problem was.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Varak:
It was missing because of the loose coil connection, not because of the bad ground. The coils are grounded within the circuit, not through the attachment bolt.

HTH
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just a followup to this problem.

I had thought I had fixed it, but it continued to appear on a sporadic basis(work fine for weeks then misfire badly for 5-20 minuted then be fine again).

Last night it reappeared again but this time it was persistent. My regular mechanic was booked solid so I had to take it to the dealer.

Even though I told them it was electrical, they insisted on doing all the mechanical tests first and everything checked out fine.

After talking with me again they finally traced it to corroded wiring in the main harness. They said it would $900 to replace (is that even possible?) But they could repair via soldering for *only* $300. Guess they are including the cost of all the unnecessary testing they did.

I really hate going to the dealer, but my only other option was renting a car for the weekend.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just checked prices and the engine harness retails for 775 with an online price of 562. That is crazy.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Bad wires in a harness are a real pain in the @$$ to find. Knowing what is wrong is half the battle, can you provide a picture of what harness and where issue was at.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Don't have a picture, will see if I can spot it tomorrow. Here is what they described it as.

Performed Open/Short procedure from coil to PCM and found open in ground wire and one power wire.
Inspected wire harness and found and fixed the two open sections of wire.

This was after they:

Tested spark plug
Tested resistance of ignition coil
Tested Injector with noid light and hds
Performed compression test on all cylinders

For this they charged me 3 hours of labor and $360.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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On an upnote, I guess you know all that other stuff is good now! So I'm curious if there is a common point on the wiring harness that might affect others, that's why I'm curious where they performed the harness repair.
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