Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, SES Misfiring DTC P0300 My hunch is..... in Cadillac Engine Discussion; ....is this caused by the 'coil pack' 'ignition module'? (please see attached picture)
98 Deville is misfiring again. First time ...
....is this caused by the 'coil pack' 'ignition module'? (please see attached picture)
98 Deville is misfiring again. First time it was a bad plug wire. replaced all plugs and wires and problem solved) few months later it happened again, dealer replaced one of the four 'ignition modules' (sorry dunno what its called) pictured below. You can see the 2nd from the left (controlling cylinders 3 and 8) is new while the rest are the originals that came with the car.
The symptoms I have now are very rough idle, SES on and flashing sometimes, hiccuppy accelaration leads me to believe its one of the other three unreplaced 'ignition modules'.
It started a month ago with very slight hiccups while idling (i saw the rpm jump around 600-750 sometimes). Then last week, the SES light came on and it feels like I am running on 6 cyclinders.
I guess it could be another bad plug wire or spark plug but they are all new Ac Delco's only 1 year old........can plugged injectors, fuel filter or fuel rail cause this as well?
Should I take it to the dealer and have them diagnose it or should I gamble and buy a new one of these 'ignition modules' and try replacing on my own?
You can easily swap out the coils one for another to see if the misfire changes. I think it's only two little bolts holding each one in place. If two cylinders are missing, it's probably another bad coil. There are four of them and they replaced one of them for you. You can get the ignition coils from various parts stores. I hate to keep advertising for Rock Auto, but they do have a good price on the coils at about $40 each. www.rockauto.com There is an AC-Delco coil and an Standard Motor Products coil. They look the same, but the SMP one is a dollar more expensive for some reason. Anybody know about the two brands? Obviously the Delco is the one to get, but why is the SMP higher price? Anyway, they have the coils you can easily replace it yourself. If you look through the forum, I have another post with a code to get an additional 5% off a Rock Auto order. When you do, just be very careful to plug the wires back in the same position they were before.
I would try swapping the coils around first to see if it changes. If so, then you can be reasonably sure it's a coil problem, then it's just a matter of tracking which one it is and replacing it with a new coil.
Two excellent tools to have to help you troubleshoot a problem such as your's is an inductive timing light and a mechanics stethoscope. Both of which can be picked up at your local auto parts store or even Sears.
You'll be checking for fuel and "fire" to all your cylinders with these two basic tools. Since the ignition(the "fire") is the most common problem, I would start by checking that system first as follows....
- Start the vehicle
- Take the timing light and connect it up to the battery terminals.
- Zip/cable tie the trigger ON and lay the timing light down somewhere where you can see it easily but securely away from falling into moving parts.
- Take the inductive pickup and clamp it onto each spark plug wire and watch for the timing light to flash. Each wire should produce a flash. If one or more is not flashing, you now have an idea where/what to go after. Otherwise, check the fuel system next...
- Start the engine
- Touch the tip of the stethoscope to each of the fuel injectors. You will hear "clicking" noises as the injector opens to emit it's fuel spray. Listen for ones that do not sound as loud or the same as the others.
Hope this helps to get you started in the right direction.
Michael: As far as swapping ignition coils around....do I have to buy a new one first? (I mean, if I swapped one of the existing coil packs with one of the other ones on there, the engine would still misfire (now in two other cylinders) right? So, unless I had some way of detecting which cylinders aren't firing, this wouldn't work........ leads to next question: I don't own an inductive timing light nor scanner, are there any ways to figure out which cylinders arent firing? (like from DTC codes?)
BlueMoon: sounds like those tools are great to have, I bet I can use the mechanics stetho to help isolate another one of my problems....a noisy pulley. (I cant tell where the sound is coming from) Is it cheaper to buy a inductive timing light or just drop 30-60 bucks on a new coil pack and see what happens?
You can spit on the exhaust ports to see which ones don't sizzle to find the dead cylinders and it's free. If you want to be a little more sanitary you can use a spray bottle of water. If you are really anal you can go to a welding supply store and get temp sticks to find the colder exhaust ports.
If you don't want to deal with hot stuff, you can pull each spark plug wire one by one (with the engine running), putting each one back as you go, to see which one has the LEAST effect on how the engine is running.
dkoz: Thats agreat idea, thanks for the suggestion! I think I'll try the water drop method. The thing I'm concerned about is, if the cylinder is not totally dead *ie. intermitten misfires* the temperature differential may not be large enough to detect this way. Also checked into temp sticks, looks like theres a wide assortment of sticks that melt at various temps, so I gotta narrow down the range of temps/sticks to make it efficient.
krashed: Thats sounds like a good plan too. In fact I was gonna do that. A concern here is that when I tried using this method last time I had the problem, pulling any of the plug wires off caused a very large difference in the way the engine idled. I wasn;t able to isolate which one caused the 'least' effect because the engine sounded so rough if any one of them were pulled. (again its probably due to the fact that the problem is intermitten)
Let it run in the mode that makes it run the worst to accentuate the problem. Maybe wet the exhaust with the engine cold and then see which ports dry first when you start it. The slow ones are the culprits. I have been doing it this way for over fifty years.
dkozloski: thats a great idea to prewet and watch them dry! Got my flashlight charged up, I am on my way. Thanks.
Krashed989: Thank you for taking the time to list the codes, I figured there was an electrical issue too. I posted on the electrical section that the car loses electricity when parkd sometimes. Sometimes its fine even after parking it for a few days, but sometimes I park for an hour, come back and find the remote doesn't work (nor the interior lights or anything) until I turn the car on and let it idle for a second. The wierd thing is the trunk pulldown seems to work even when the rest of the car is electrically off. Another obesrvation I made, when its in the electrically dormant mode and I go to start the car, if I dont start up the car on the first few cranks of the key, the dash lights up like a xmas tree and blinks a few times. I have to wait a bit before restarting.
Will they be able to check to make sure ots the alternator and not the battery at autozone? (the battery is about 1 year old die hard sears, the alt has been in the car since I got it 35k miles ago so it would be consistent)
It doesn't take much power to run the trunk pull down motor. the dash board lighting up is probably from the antitheft devise. The alternator may be having a hard time charging the battery because the alternator is going bad. You should have it tested.
I couldn't even see the exhaust manifold (so packed tight in the engine bay), so I couldnt try the water drop method....however since the problem is so intermitten I have a feeling its not gonna be obviously colder.
The ServiceEngine light went out, I think its because it didnt register a serious enough misfire in the last few engine on/off cycles. (its that intermitten) But the rough idle persists, and it surges under acceleration.
I tried pulling the plug wire off each of the four front side plugs, and I think I noticed (maybe, very subtle) that the #8 cylinder produced the least difference when disconnected. I couldnt get to the rear 4 cylinders to check, but I did disconnect the #3 wire from the coil. The arc shocked me :-( but it felt like it produced very little difference once again......so it may be the coil controlling 3 and 8 again. (it was replaced by the dealer to the tune of $350 less than a year ago.......do these things fail so quickly?)
Alternator: The battery Volts used to read about 14.1 volts when the car was running (past observation) but its now showing about 13.2-13.6 volts.