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Old 02-16-2020, 02:08 AM   #1
blueknigh7
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1997 SC2
Default P0304 after WOT

P0304 = Cylinder 4 Misfire

Just got this issue today, and I'm in the middle of a move, so really not a good time to troubleshoot. I know it can be a variety of things that I'm about to check (plugs, injectors, ignition coils, compression issue?), but my stuff is in a variety of places and thought I'd ask the collective if they've experienced the below.

The weird thing is that it starting happening after a freeway merge when I went WOT to try and get up to speed. I normally don't go full out, but it was a short ramp, and the Satty's handled it before. Would going WOT trigger anything in particular?

I was able to check for spark via the bare ignition coils and that seems to be fine for the moment. Maybe it's a simple spark plug or wire, but I've never had an NGK fail on me before either. This is the first blinking SES light I've ever gotten.

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Old 02-17-2020, 03:08 PM   #2
SLfun
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1998 SL2
2006 ION Red Line
Default Re: P0304 after WOT

Depends on how many miles are on the motor and what condition it is in.

A dead cylinder (if it is actually dead) after WOT usually points to a burnt valve in these motors, but you'll just have to go down the list to say for sure
( is there spark, fuel, and compression wet and dry).

Best of luck!

...
My 96 SL2 and 98 SL1 have joined together to become one. So I guess I now have a 1996/8
SL1-2.

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Old 02-17-2020, 05:29 PM   #3
onlinebiker
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Default Re: P0304 after WOT

Wide open throttle?

What?


You mean it's NOT digital?



...
92 SC2
93 SC2
96 SC2
97 SL2
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99 SC2
01 SC2 x 2 yellow
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02 SL2
parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.

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Old 02-18-2020, 05:34 PM   #4
fdryer
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Default Re: P0304 after WOT

A blinking engine light means misfiring but more importantly unburned fuel going into the catalytic converter and fueling a hotter fire. Excess fuel burning in the catcon can damage it permanently is as little as 50 miles while the engine light flashes. It doesn't matter what rpm.

One way to troubleshoot P0304 would be moving spark plugs around, swapping plug #4 with #1, 2, or 3 and see if the problem moves with the plug or not. The same with plug wires. Ignition coils swapped around too.

...
VCX NANO

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Old 02-18-2020, 11:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: P0304 after WOT

Get a loaner tool and check compression, that at least will tell you if the mechanical part of the engine is ok.

Good luck, mine ended up reading less than 20 psi.

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Old 02-22-2020, 02:26 PM   #6
blueknigh7
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1997 SC2
Default Re: P0304 after WOT

Welp, I've ruled out the easy ignition coils, spark plugs, and wires. I can do a compression test next, but if it's that, then it may be the end of this Saturn ride..

Anyone near San Francisco interested in a parts car? Tires have less than 3k on them. I also have a spare DB starter

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Old 02-22-2020, 04:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: P0304 after WOT

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknigh7 View Post
Welp, I've ruled out the easy ignition coils, spark plugs, and wires. I can do a compression test next, but if it's that, then it may be the end of this Saturn ride..

Anyone near San Francisco interested in a parts car? Tires have less than 3k on them. I also have a spare DB starter
Too bad you are so far...

I have 2 low mileage rebuilds that would work....

How is the undercarriage??

...
92 SC2
93 SC2
96 SC2
97 SL2
97 SC2
99 SC2
01 SC2 x 2 yellow
02 SC2
02 SL2
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2 94 SC2 parted out
2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.

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Old 02-24-2020, 03:30 AM   #8
blueknigh7
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Default Re: P0304 after WOT

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post

How is the undercarriage??
I think it looks fine. The car was first in Arizona I believe, and then in California all its life. No salt roads or rust to speak of. That said, there's a fairly long list of other leaks (oil pan, valve cover, engine seal, trunk).

My fears are realized, compression test reveals 0 pressure in cylinder 4. It even sounds strange as there's no pulse of the engine when turning it over when testing cylinder 4. The other three are fine.

So goes the trek to the great saturn factory in the sky. Total mileage for my 97 SC2, 287689 miles. For me, 15 years and 187k miles on a used car that costs about the same as a TV is a pretty good total. (The original owner had it for 8 years and 98k). I'm going to dig the original window sticker out of the glove box and post it.....

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Old 02-24-2020, 04:40 AM   #9
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2001 SC2
Default Re: P0304 after WOT

honesty saturns get good mpg keep the car rebuild the engine well worth it u can do rebuild for 600-700$ and last u another 250K + plus lots of threads and specs here to do a DYI rebuild just need time some tools and engine stand to rebuild/pull motor its not hard to pull these motors or transmissions out

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Old 02-25-2020, 01:24 AM   #10
onlinebiker
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Default Re: P0304 after WOT

Zero compression?

That is most likely a valve
....

Did you test for that? Do compression test. Add oil to cylinder. Retest. No change = valve. Compression increases = rings.

A rebuilt head isn't that bad to swap - or too expensive...

It makes sense after WOT too.... A weak valve spring. Valve floated. Hit piston and warped.

You could confirm with an inspection camera to look for impact mark on piston...

...
92 SC2
93 SC2
96 SC2
97 SL2
97 SC2
99 SC2
01 SC2 x 2 yellow
02 SC2
02 SL2
parts
2 94 SC2 parted out
2 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.

Last edited by onlinebiker; 02-25-2020 at 01:30 AM..

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Old 02-25-2020, 07:10 PM   #11
blueknigh7
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1997 SC2
Default Re: P0304 after WOT

I wish I had time and money to keep the Sat alive - it was the first car I bought with my own money and a strong desire to learn a manual.

Alas, it's purpose is strictly a daily driver, and I have another car (2005 Acura TL picked from a friend) that was waiting in the wings to replace it. Even though I just got tires and brakes, it's probably time to retire the Sat. I don't have garage space, time, or even energy to do more major maintenance. At 23, it's showing its age in many ways - probably the oldest thing I own.

It was kinda a source of pride to keep driving the Saturn. I'd say it's a "collectors item" as the company no longer exists. I'll do a quick post in the WTB section, but I'll probably try and get it off the lawn pretty quickly.

Good Luck to the rest of you - keep them running!

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