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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I remote started my car the other day, heard it start up and when I went outside to get in I noticed it was not running. I started it back up and the car was shaking and the check engine light was flashing. I looked up the code and got a p0301 (I believe) cylinder 1 misfire. Shut it off, and restarted and it was working fine, and has been for the passed week. The car has 49k miles on it so I'm a little shy of the warranty ending and I don't want to be stuck with repairs. Is there any common problems that it could be? Car is 100% stock and I have been following factory maintenance.

I work about a mile away from the highway and the on ramp is up a pretty steep hill, I have a hard time merging at highway speed with this car but I have begun to notice a surge in the car when trying to get up to speed. It feels exactly like going down a hill with the cruise control on and the car is trying to slow the car down. I can feel it and the tach will jump up and down a few hundred rpms. There problem seems worse on cold days and a lot better when it's over 50f out, but I can still notice it. I tried running high octane fuel and it didn't make much of a difference.

The next problem is something that I didn't really notice until I had the misfire, but could have been happening I just wasn't paying much attention. When I'm driving and give the throttle a quick hit the rpms go up then it will shift a bit harshly, almost acts like a slipping clutch but I have an auto. I also notice while in stop and go traffic the trans will bump into gear a little harsh but I think it has always done that. I manually held the car in gear and tried giving it gas but the rpms stay steady so I'm thinking it may be a computer/tuning issue and not a transmission issue.

Thanks for any help
 

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There's been a few #1 cylinder piston malfunctions. But yours comes and goes. Try a new set of spark plugs. Could also be the coil to THAT plug. 1 guy stated $150 for new ignition coil pack and 4 plugs.

Since you're experiencing other glitches. It's possible the plug boot is leaking teh spark against the engine ground. That would make the electronics go haywire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I did some research before posting and I was going to order a new set of plugs, any recommendations? I'm stock and plan to keep it that way. I have always used the AC Delco plugs in my other cars but I have never had a forced induction car before.

I did have the battery ground problem before,I never got the cable replaced since cleaning the ground had always worked for me. My radio and dash lights start going haywire when there is a problem with it, but I didn't experience that this time
 

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I second the plug change and that would be normal protocol for this concern as a first step in the diagnostic process.
I tend to stick with the brand/type plug the factory originally installed.

The trans concerns you pick up on: For the most part, the torque converter is locked when in third gear and up with steady throttle.
Any time you add more throttle, say for passing, but not so much as to cause a downshift, the torque converter will unlock and remain so till torque multiplication is no longer needed........then it will re-lock.
This is why you see the momentary RPM increase on throttle change.
As you know, the trans goes into a partial neutral when stopped in D and re-engages upon brake pedal release if working properly.
When not working properly, you will experience continual re-engage/dis-engage while holding the brake and stopped......feels like someone keeps hitting the back of the car.
You indicate you only feel one re-engagement so I would say the trans is operating as designed.

You brought up the battery cable......the resistance point that develops is inside the lug at the terminal......the crimp is inadequate and you cannot see the corrosion of the dissimilar metals (due to the poor crimp) happening in the lug.
By disturbing the cable for cleaning you are likely creating a clear path in the lug.
IMO, pursue cable replacement........this ground interruption could be adding to your mis-fire situation.

Good luck!

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, I just ordered some new plugs. What do you recommend the gap be set at? The plugs say they are set at .027, should I leave them there or change them? I have seen people suggest anything between .024 to .035.

The ground cable can be replaced at the dealership even though the car is out of warranty, correct?
 

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I know what I'd go with but that don't seem to be the consensus anymore. So go with .027.

I think the battery cable is 100k, maybe 120k. I could be wrong on that. There's so much warranty info talked about on here. It's hard to keep up with what's what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So we had a warm day today for once and the problem was very minimal with the surging. Still had it but not nearly as bad as when it's below 40f. Haven't had a chance to replace the plugs yet.

Does the air temp change anything with what could be causing the problem? The highway is about 1/2 mile away from work where I feel the surging trying to merge so I can replicate the symptoms every time. We had a day that was 60f last week and I noticed the surging was a lot less as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Replaced the plugs yesterday, the old plugs looked good, the gaps were all perfect.

The problem is still there, any other ideas?
 

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Replaced the plugs yesterday, the old plugs looked good, the gaps were all perfect.

The problem is still there, any other ideas?
did the little springs inside the spark plug boots get realigned? Sometimes when pulling off the ignition coil, the little springs can get cockeyed, and when putting it back on, they don't contact the plug all the way.
 

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As the OP has mentioned in there initial post was @ 49k miles - on another note, I hope you find the issue w/ your Cruze, you know this is a long shot maybe because I have & others has experienced the piston ring landing failure, could this possibly be another? I am just spitting ideas out here.

Because mine would run fairly well at points & then when it decided to act up, wow did it act up & left puff of smoke clouds for everyone behind me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Replaced the plugs yesterday, the old plugs looked good, the gaps were all perfect.

The problem is still there, any other ideas?
did the little springs inside the spark plug boots get realigned? Sometimes when pulling off the ignition coil, the little springs can get cockeyed, and when putting it back on, they don't contact the plug all the way.
I'm fairly certain they were installed correctly.

how many miles on the engine?
52,000

As the OP has mentioned in there initial post was @ 49k miles - on another note, I hope you find the issue w/ your Cruze, you know this is a long shot maybe because I have & others has experienced the piston ring landing failure, could this possibly be another? I am just spitting ideas out here.

Because mine would run fairly well at points & then when it decided to act up, wow did it act up & left puff of smoke clouds for everyone behind me.
Car isn't smoking at all and the oil stays the same level and is staying clean after thousands of miles. I'm beginning to think it may be some type of turbo boost leak. I'm not familiar with turbo engines though. Problem doesn't go away even with running different octane levels even though I can notice a difference in performance. Problem is also way less when it's warmer outside than when it's cold, which is me thinking the turbo pipes are not sealing properly when it's cold. But I could be totally wrong on that one, just a guess.
 

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Mine did this a few months back and at first I swapped the boots around and the misfire followed the boot so I assumed thats what was causing a misfire, I found replacement boots but then 2 weeks later it came back so I swapped the plugs and the coilpack since both were at over 100,000km (60,000 miles) and I still wasn't happy and ended up changing out the oxygen sensor cause it was fouled because last summer/early fall GM fought me on a turbo repair(they ended up finally doing the repair after 10 weeks of driving with lil to no boost). Just for good measure I also changed the EVAP purge solenoid as it failed the test and it came up as a possible problem. Touch wood the car is idling and no power surging or shutters. I'll be honest with the turbo crap last year and then starting the year with this every lil surge or hiccup (normal or not) has me paranoid.
 
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