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Thread: My Aunt's 2008 Saturn Vue

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    Smile My Aunt's 2008 Saturn Vue

    I'll post pics of the actual car some day. For now, this is the 3.6L VVT in my Aunt's Saturn Vue. She is the 2nd owner of this car. I have been performing the maintenance since she got it last year; and I'm doing my best to pick up where the 1st owners left off. I've done 3 oil changes; the last one being the Royal Purple oil change; which I will be switching out real soon. Installed seat covers and floor mats when she was doing her Lyft and Uber gig. Check engine light sidelined her several months ago. I scanned the OBDII and it had a multiple misfire code. After looking the engine over, I determined that the coils were fairly crusty and it probably had the original plugs; which it did. Also discovered that the pcv system is a tube running from the lower intake to the zip tube right in front of the throttle body. I don't see a screen or a valve; perhaps it's built into the block. As such, I decided to install the air/oil separator and the reject throttle body bracket that was intended to be used for the CV. This past weekend, I replaced the plugs and coils; and installed the air/oil separator. I cleaned the zip tube and the throttle body of oil (there was quite a bit). No more check engine (yay!). I test drove the car and it acted fine, but I don't drive that car regularly, so I don't know if anything changed.

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    Killed my 31 year old Craftsman compressor blowing debris out of the spark plug wells. I had a few plugs with cracks in them; are the cracks large enough to pass a charge and cause a misfire?

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    anything that looks like that I'd call highly suspect. I've never seen plugs crack there before. The dark stains are also strange. The hex looks clean, so unless that is combustion gas oozing up through the plug I have no explanation for that either. Unless you cleaned the hex part up extremely well at least, otherwise it might just be oil stains from a leaky VC gasket. Enough oil in the plug well can cause misfires.

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    No oil or moisture in the plug wells; just dry debris. Perhaps the stains are from combustion gases as you said. A dark thought crossed my mind whilst typing this; perhaps the plugs were recycled from another vehicle that had liquid in the plug wells? It wouldn't shock me as my Aunt said the mechanic wanted to charge her $200 to reset the maintenance light. Which was a very easy thing to do as I discovered from YouTube.

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    Are there any recalls on the 3.6 engine?
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    My aunt came over late last night, so I was unable to do anything but check the air/oil separator and change out the cabin filter. The air/oil separator had a tiny amount of oil in it; so I know it's working. I will keep observing it until its half full.

    The cabin filter............well see for yourself. This is a 2008 model year Vue

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    So, my Aunt's Vue is/has (been) throwing a P0430 code for a while now. This is a below threshold result for Bank 2 cat(s). I plotted data on Sunday to compare between Bank 1, which is supposedly normal vs Bank 2 which is having trouble. The only thing I get is that Bank 2 cat is reading LOW values. So I am trying to interpret that data to see if that cat is bad or if it's something else.

    Also noticed that the seam in the air/oil separator is a little moist. No puddle of oil underneath, or anything running down the catch can; just a wet seam. I will monitor that and maybe open up the throttle body to see if oil is getting in there.

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    Changed out the oil yesterday. Only had a little over 2k since the last change; which is good as I thought there would be a lot more. I need to find a 12” long punch; or longer if possible. I tried piercing the oil filter with a 6” punch and couldn’t make it happen. Ended up using my drill and oiled up my drill and arm again; very annoying and messy. The next time I do this; I will unbolt the lower air deflector. Hopefully that will be quicker and cleaner.

    I soaked the catalytic converter flange studs with PB blaster. I will keep doing so until i’m Ready to replace them; probably replace the downstream O2 sensors as I never have not removed old sensors successfully.
    Last edited by packman; 10-11-2020 at 06:32 PM.

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    I think I got everything I need for the cat(s) replacement. I got both cats; upstream and downstream O2 sensors; 2 extra flange studs because 2 were damaged in shipment; and a couple 2-bolt flange gaskets for the mid-pipe to muffler connection. I will probably need to run out and grab whatever size nuts that fit the studs of that 2-bolt flange.

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    So, I bought a couple catch cans from Amazon a few weeks ago for the Explorer. The instructions said that [their] catch cans should be uninstalled during the winter months to avoid condensation build up from clogging the filter in the catch can. None of the other (more expensive) catch cans I installed said this in their instructions. So, I just went outside an hour ago to look at my Aunt's Vue; and of course, her catch can is full of frozen condensation. So I pulled the catch can and I put back the stock pcv hose; but I had to cut the spare replacement hose (I got a back up) because it didn't come with the pcv valve; just the hard tubing and the boot on the engine block side of the tube. But; now if I need to; I can change the stock tube with any catch can in 5 minutes. When the catch can thaws out, I will empty it out, and clean it as there is some oil on the outside of the glass and aluminum part. I will decide if I really want to use it again; or just get another catch can; we'll see. This is good to know as I will be installing catch cans for both the MGM and the Explorer; I will need to plan out swapping in straight hose/tubing during the winter.

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    I had the catch can assembly sitting in the basement next to the furnace all night to get it up to room temperature. I was hoping that it would liquify the sludge; but it did not. I sprayed Gum Cutter in to the hose until it came out the other end. Hoping that this will liquify the sludge so I can empty out the can.

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    Never heard of this before but I see it and it makes sense.
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    Yah, I'm getting another catch can. The spring activated valve at the bottom is clogged with Sludge and it doesn't seem to be dissolving. Whatever I end up getting; should have the ability to be taken apart so I can physically get in there and clean out any sludge.

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    Went out an hour ago to install the Amazon catch I got over the winter. This one is the same design as the one I took off; but it has a thumb-bolt on the bottom that I can easily unscrew and drain. Worse comes to worst; when I pull it next winter; I will take out the thumb-screw and spray the Gum Cutter directly into the chamber. We'll see.

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    My aunt came over a couple hours ago whilst working on the Crown Vic. So I cut that work short to take a look at her catch can. And to my surprise; it was filled with that froth and water. So I figured that I had the flow wrong? I thought with a pcv system; air is sucked in through the air intake tube and through the valve cover. Perhaps that's the idea with a traditional system; air comes in from the air intake tube; through the valve cover; and into the crankcase. Then the crankcase gases are expelled through the (lower) intake manifold and reintroduced through the intake manifold behind the throttle body. In any event; I reversed the flow of the catch can and will check on it next time she comes over. If I see the same thing; I will put it back the way I had it. If it's filled with oil like it should be; I will leave it. And I fail to remember cleaning the other end of the pcv system. I don't think I did that last summer. That's the tube that runs from the top of the intake manifold to the bank# 2 valve cover. Next time she's over; I will pop it off and clean it out for good measure.

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  17. #17
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    On a traditional system the air intake system sucks dirty air from the valve covers or directly from the crankcase. It gets burned along with the fresh air and gas. The PCV meters the dirty air being sucked out of the engine. So unless I am missing something the catch should be between the PCV and the intake with the flow arrow pointing away from the PC valve to the intake. I could not figure out if that is what you have from the pictures.

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    The arrow is by the "K" and is pointed away from the pcv valve fitting. This 3.6 is different from most engines I've dealt with. My 305sbc, both Rangers, the 2.8 in the S-10, the 5.0/5.8 in the CV, and my 4.6 all have a clear intake side of the pcv (usually through the valve cover); and an exhaust side of the pcv (usually from the intake manifold). But this engine has 2 tubes coming off of each valve cover bank. I will see what that catch can look like the next time she's over. I'm also going to clean out the other tube because I don't remember touching it when I initially installed the catch can.

  19. #19
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    If it on the PCV hose & pointing away from the pcv it should be correct on pretty much any install.
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    Side note: If she does lots of short trips and the nights are cool, it could just be condensation built up in the catch can from humid air and not getting the vehicle up to operating temp for very long.

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