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Long term P0301 error, newer P0522

 
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Old 08 Aug 2011, 08:45 pm
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Default Long term P0301 error, newer P0522

Hey all,

My 2004 4-cylinder automatic Cruiser seems to have two separate problems going on, a P0301 and a P0522. Since the second one's easier, I'll talk about that first.

The P0522 code first showed up just over a month ago, after I got an oil change and had an engine flush done. The people I take it to partner with a shop and sent me over to have it looked at, but the guy there told me that the Cruiser's oil pressure gauge was notoriously sensitive and that there might have been some residual whatever floating around to annoy it. He said I could have them change the oil again and it would be fine but it would probably go away on its own. Within 48 hours the oil light was off and the code had disappeared, so no big deal. Today as my daughter was driving the check engine light flashed about four times and promptly shut off; I checked the codes and got my trusty P0301 and also the P0522 again.

(She's a new driver-- I always told her that if the engine light started flashing it meant imminent destruction and she should pull over and turn off the car. Does this still apply if it flashes a few times and goes out?)

Now for the other: I learned how to check diagnostic codes on this forum about six months ago and discovered I had a P0301 going on. A little back story:

My car has been idling rough for a year and a half or so. It kicks, it shudders, it doesn't like to accelerate, and it REALLY doesn't like to accelerate uphill. Last year I took it to the shop, who said it was a PCM problem. I called the dealer and they told me there was a PCM recall and to bring it in, they'd fix it for free. I did that. It ran okay for a few weeks, maybe a month, and started punking out on me again, so I called the dealer and they said it was probably my spark plugs... they'd noticed one didn't look so good. I had the shop run a diagnostic even though at this point I already had the code myself. I had the spark plugs changed. I had the oil changed. I had the ignition coil replaced. The check engine light came on sometimes, but not all the time, and even when it WAS on for the longest time the shop wasn't getting any diagnostic codes. Finally I got them to see the P0301 but they said it won't run rough for them.

Finally the guy told me it wasn't going to hurt anything and my car wasn't going to stall out, and asked me if I'd tried sprinkling holy water on it. HA HA. I'm really not sure I believe that running a 4-cylinder engine on 3 cylinders with the other one dragging and puffing and lurching isn't going to hurt anything, and now I'm out of ideas, as is my mechanic.

Anyone have any clue on either code?

Thanks!

Santa Vaca

Last edited by CREWZIN; 08 Aug 2011 at 09:35 pm. Reason: Edited to change code number due to absent-mindedness
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Old 08 Aug 2011, 09:03 pm
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Default Re: Long term P0501 error, newer P0522

If you haven't thrown in an oil sending unit, I would do that first for that code.

As far as the P0501, that's for vehicle speed sensor performance but you're talking about it like it's a misfire code. Did you mean a P0301, cyl #1 misfire?
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Old 08 Aug 2011, 09:05 pm
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Default Re: Long term P0501 error, newer P0522

I sure did mean P0301! Cylinder 1 misfire. I'm sorry, someone was talking to me the first time I typed it and then I just kept repeating the mistake! Thanks for the correction.
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Old 08 Aug 2011, 09:23 pm
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Default Re: Long term P0501 error, newer P0522

is there oil on spark plug number 1? if so you need new valve gaskets that sometimes causes a misfire
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Old 08 Aug 2011, 09:44 pm
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Default Re: Long term P0301 error, newer P0522

Also, igntion wires are a common problem as well.
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Old 09 Aug 2011, 04:32 pm
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Default Re: Long term P0301 error, newer P0522

You guys (and gals) are fast! Thanks so much for your input-- I'll look into the issues you brought up.

I still have a few really basic questions:

1. I know that a flashing check engine light means pull over NOW because the powertrain is about to destroy itself. If the check engine light flashes a few times and goes out, does that still apply? Or is it just being glitchy?

2. Is it true that running a four-cylinder with a long-term cylinder 1 misfire will not damage the vehicle?

3. Someone told me that the misfire could be related to the catalytic converter. True or not true?

Thank you for helping this complete noob. I sound so impressive whenever I talk about my car now.

SV
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