Cruise and uphill stuttering in very cold weather - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Cruise and uphill stuttering in very cold weather

Earlier this week, I drove the Sky a couple hundred miles to a meeting in temperatures below 20F. The engine would stutter (very brief and minor power drops) going uphill and when on cruise. After it warmed up, everything was fine. Anyone else have this problem?

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 08:48 AM
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I have not had any issues with power when it is cold out. Although my car doesn't move until I see the coolant temp go over 100. I haven't been driving it as much in the super cold since every little bump makes her squeak so much.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 09:44 AM
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yes, my car did the same when cold. Under load your motor will have stumble and have issues when you hit boost./high load situations This is why it is a good idea to avoid high load until the car is warm. (whether than means adjusting driving habits or just letting it warm up before it is driven)

Hope that helps!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 09:50 AM
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She must warm up .
My beater is a 2012 2.0T acts the same way.
people act the same way
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 10:20 AM
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If you mean "after it warmed up it was fine" in reference to the outside air temperature, and this is a repeatable behavior of the car: Then that would suggest something wrong with the barometric pressure sensor that tests outside air pressure and feeds the data to the ECM. (cold air is denser, warmer air is lighter) If the sensor is not adequately reporting data during colder/denser barometric air pressure situations, then the ECM is calculating A/F ratio with faulty data and creating your issue.

If you mean "after it warmed up it was fine" in reference to the engine temperature: Then as others have stated, this is not unusual behavior with our cars, to a certain extent. If you are trying to go into boost, while the engine is still below 175 degrees, the ECM will not allow you to command full boost; as a protection protocol for the engine. And if you jump in and start driving without letting the engine warm up at all, then you will probably observe "stuttering and power drop offs". But once the engine temperature is above about 120 or so, you really shouldn't observe any issues other than the inability to command full boost until above about 175 degrees. The car should perform normally otherwise. If you observe the behavior consistently with the engine temperature below normal operation temperature, but the behavior disappears once up to normal operating temperature (195-210): Then this could be indicative of a malfunctioning cold temp sensor in the engine. The cold temp sensor in the engine feeds data to the ECM so that it knows what temperature the engine is at and adjusts the A/F ratio accordingly, when you first start the car.

For Example: My car has a "cold start cough" it exhibits during the cold start CAT warm up cycle. What is interesting is that it does not exhibit this behavior in the winter, when the engine is very cold at start. But when summer rolls around, the behavior is consistent and repeatable; on cold engine start during warm days. My hypothesis is that the cold engine temperature sensor is stuck on reading engine temp as "cold". So that data is being fed to the ECM and the ECM thinks "the engine is cold-below 50 degrees, so I need to run the A/F richer during warm up cycle". Which is just fine in the winter, because that is condition. But in the summer, the engine is already at 50 degrees just sitting there, so when the faulty data gets sent to the ECM, it is running the A/F to pig rich for the warmer conditions; and I get the "cough" during the warm up cycle. After the car is past the "CAT warm up cycle", the problem disappears. Of course the car throws no Code, so GM's answer is "No Code, No Problem". It doesn't really seem to hurt anything, but it is there. In your case, you may be experiencing something similar, but more in need of being dealt with.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 10:24 AM
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^^ true i did not think of it that way, but valid point.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 10:44 AM
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GS,
Great write up .
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS Stage 1 View Post
If you mean "after it warmed up it was fine" in reference to the outside air temperature, and this is a repeatable behavior of the car: Then that would suggest something wrong with the barometric pressure sensor that tests outside air pressure and feeds the data to the ECM. (cold air is denser, warmer air is lighter) If the sensor is not adequately reporting data during colder/denser barometric air pressure situations, then the ECM is calculating A/F ratio with faulty data and creating your issue.
This is exactly what I meant - temperature wise. On the 200 mile drive up while the ambient temps were 20F and below, the power stuttered both climbing hills and while on cruise (and in neither situation was I getting any boost). And it did it for the entire two hour drive up. Also, keep in mind that the car was in a heated garage before I left the house. After the ambient temps warmed up, I had no problems on the 200 mile drive home.

However, I don't know that I would say it was repeatable. It's never happened before, nor in the few days since.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 02:00 PM
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If an intermittent condition: Then unlikely you have a failed barometric pressure sensor.

But you may have a bad connection to the sensor that surfaces when very cold, because the pins tend to shrink a little. But one would think that the ECM would detect an intermittent data feed and throw a code. And with such an intermittent issue, it could be just about any sensor with a faulty connection, or marginally dirty.

This one is sounding more like a dirty MAF to me, than anything. The x-factor is the observed change in behavior with outside temperature. Typically a dirty MAF won't care about temperature. But maybe it is just dirty enough to not read colder/denser air flow properly?

It would be a good idea to get the codes read. Even if the car has thrown no CEL on the dash, there could still be a stored "silent code" in the ECM history that would lead you in the correct direction.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS Stage 1 View Post
If an intermittent condition: Then unlikely you have a failed barometric pressure sensor.

But you may have a bad connection to the sensor that surfaces when very cold, because the pins tend to shrink a little. But one would think that the ECM would detect an intermittent data feed and throw a code. And with such an intermittent issue, it could be just about any sensor with a faulty connection, or marginally dirty.

This one is sounding more like a dirty MAF to me, than anything. The x-factor is the observed change in behavior with outside temperature. Typically a dirty MAF won't care about temperature. But maybe it is just dirty enough to not read colder/denser air flow properly?

It would be a good idea to get the codes read. Even if the car has thrown no CEL on the dash, there could still be a stored "silent code" in the ECM history that would lead you in the correct direction.
And that's what has me thrown...intermittent issue, but no CEL. I will get it checked.

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