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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I am having issues with a misfire on my 2014 Cruze LS 1.8L gas manual 6 speed transmission (United States). The following codes show up P0301, P0351, and P2301. These codes as a quick reference say about a cylinder 1 misfire, ignition coil A primary/secondary circuit, and ignition coil A primary control circuit high, respectively. I also get a service stabilitrak, service traction control, and service tire pressure monitoring (though this one is irrelevant since the dealers screwed up the tire sensors or whatever the hell they did). I also had two codes P0597 and P0598 which say thermostat heater control circuit/open and thermostat heater control circuit low (don't suspect that they are relevant, but they are now gone). They disappeared after I had my mechanic friend change timing belt, water pump, and serpentine belt for maintenance while having this misfire.

These are the solutions I tried with my car. I switched spark plugs 1 and 2 from their positions. I must also say that these are new spark plugs that were installed on July 2019 with Denso IK20 iridium plugs (ordered on Amazon). Therefore, by that logic, they should have switched cylinders if a spark plug was bad. Quick inspection showed spark plugs still looked fine. However, it still shows that misfire is on cylinder 1. I move onto replacing the ignition coil pack from an ACDelco brand new pack (ordered Amazon). The new ignition coil pack did not get rid of misfire upon turning on the car and letting it run for a minute or two. I then change spark plugs 3/4 to locations 1/2 and vice versa with new coil pack. Still the same. Changed with oil pack and still the same. At this point, my mechanic and I suspect that it is neither the ignition coil nor the spark plugs.

He then suggests that it may be the computer next to the battery (ECM?). He disconnected the three connecting terminals, sprayed all connections and ECM with some electronic cleaner. This did not result in anything.

I then did some research and saw that the misfire may be due to fuel injectors. After all, I take my car to dealer to do oil changes and they always recommend to do fuel injector system cleaning, but they're always expensive.

anyways, so I will be doing tests to fuel injectors right now, and will also test the ignition coil packs with multimeter. I checked the prongs yesterday on the fuel injectors, and they all were basically at 13.7 or 13.9 ohms. this seems to be in the margin of error. for some reason, i was not able to do the fuel pressure test. even with key set to on and car turned on, the gauge stayed at 0 psi. i don't think that is possible, so I probably need to find right adapter.

sorry that I have a long post, but I want to give as much info as possible, to have a better understanding for you kind experts. can also update if i find anything on my car. thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yea I find that to be the case. I tested the resistances of the old coil pack and the prongs are giving me considerably high resistances compared to the new coil packs (primary coils). as for the springs inside (secondary coils) the boots, I'm also getting a tough time reading the resistances compared to the new coil pack. if I get it to pick up resistance, old coil pack tends to read above 14k ohms.

the spark plugs are new, but the only thing I'd say is that the threads closest to the electrodes are black from carbon or whatever. the ground and central electrode are fine.
 

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P0301 can be caused by bad timing. You had the timing belt replaced right? That would be my main suspect after testing the plugs and coils like you did. Sounds like the belt is off a tooth or 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yes, i had the timing belt replaced. i suppose i should have replaced the coils first to make sure that the timing belt maintenance could be ruled out. however, i don't think it would be timing belt. my mechanic did the work. i was alongside him, and helped him install the timing belt. it fit in nice and snug. i also drove it for ~80 miles after that work, so i imagine if it was the timing belt, then critical issues would have already arose but who knows.

the fuel pump gauge that autozone rented to me was defective, so i could not test fuel pump pressure. i'll get another set to test out the fuel pump pressure, but i think i should rule it out after the fact.

idk if this is significant, but when using multimeter on 20 dc voltage and using the leads on both connector ends (not the prongs) of the fuel injector connectors, all of the non ground connectors showed 12 V, as suspected. 3 of the ground connectors showed 2 or 3V, but the one on 1st fuel injector connector showed .18 V. again, I don't know if this is significant, but the ground connectors weren't consistent.

i will try tomorrow to check fuel pump pressure to rule it out. otherwise, i'll look into a vacuum leak, low compression, and cam/crank sensors. i also forgot to mention that i changed the valve gasket cover, since some oil was leaking inside of cylinder 2 and some drops inside of cylinder 1.
 

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idk if this is significant, but when using multimeter on 20 dc voltage and using the leads on both connector ends (not the prongs) of the fuel injector connectors, all of the non ground connectors showed 12 V, as suspected. 3 of the ground connectors showed 2 or 3V, but the one on 1st fuel injector connector showed .18 V. again, I don't know if this is significant, but the ground connectors weren't consistent.
I'd expect the ground side to be "open", so the voltage could be most anything. However, since you have the injectors unplugged, you might ohm the injectors as well.
 

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If the timing belt were off one tooth. The entire engine wouldn't run.

And since he ran 80 miles before issues arose. You can most definitely rule out the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
the readings on the 4 fuel injector prongs were 15.5 or 15.3 ohms. as far as I know, as long as they are within 0.5 ohm, then it's fine. this was yesterday's reading. idk if this is significant, but the day before, the readings were like 13.7 and 13.9 ohms. idk the exact number they should be, but my car has 86.5k miles. I've heard fuel injectors begin to give out after 80k miles?
 

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What would shut off the engine?
If the valves aren't timed with the pistons. The motor won't run.

If the belt is off one tooth. The valves aren't timed.

I would assume that same logic still applies to today's variable valve timing engines.

The engine was driven 80 miles and the misfire problem is #1 cylinder ONLY. That's NOT the timing belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
update:

i ran a test with the noid lights for fuel injectors. all fuel injectors were blinking with the noid light. this confirms that power is being sent to the fuel injectors.

i ran a fuel pressure test since i finally got a non defective gauge. when key is turned to on position, gauge read a max of 61 psi, and eventually dropped to 51 psi. when turned on, the gauge maintained 61 psi roughly. i would safely rule out fuel pump as cause.

i went ahead and ran a compression test, dry and "wet" (some oil in cylinder). i have the results in the picture attached. it seems to me that I can safely rule out low compression as cause for misfire.

i also checked the fuel injector resistances and connector voltages and results are also in the picture. main takeaway is that the resistances are not consistent from day to day. 1st day was around ~13.4 ohms, 2nd day around 15.5 ohms, and today dropped to around 12.7 ohms. this might be an issue? i would like to do a fuel injector test, but i can't get a hold of the specific tool yet, but I have a feeling it may be injectors that are dirty or clogged.

i got more error codes after finishing my 3 tests. they were P0055, P0202, P0203, C342D, and C3064, in addition to P0301, P0351, and P2301. however, after some time, I erased codes and was not able to get the 5 new codes to show up again. i assume this is because of the tests i did.

next steps I wanna do are to check any vacuum leaks, but I haven't really heard anything afaik. I also want to change positions of fuel injectors, similar to how you would change a spark plug from cylinder 1 to cylinder 2 spark plug. i don't know if i could apply the same logic for fuel injectors and thus would instead get a misfire on cylinder 2. if so, this would confirm bad fuel injectors. i am so over this already lol, but i don't really want to throw more money until I am sure what needs to be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
update:

i ran a test with the noid lights for fuel injectors. all fuel injectors were blinking with the noid light. this confirms that power is being sent to the fuel injectors.

i ran a fuel pressure test since i finally got a non defective gauge. when key is turned to on position, gauge read a max of 61 psi, and eventually dropped to 51 psi. when turned on, the gauge maintained 61 psi roughly. i would safely rule out fuel pump as cause.

i went ahead and ran a compression test, dry and "wet" (some oil in cylinder). i have the results in the picture attached. it seems to me that I can safely rule out low compression as cause for misfire.

i also checked the fuel injector resistances and connector voltages and results are also in the picture. main takeaway is that the resistances are not consistent from day to day. 1st day was around ~13.4 ohms, 2nd day around 15.5 ohms, and today dropped to around 12.7 ohms. this might be an issue? i would like to do a fuel injector test, but i can't get a hold of the specific tool yet, but I have a feeling it may be injectors that are dirty or clogged.

i got more error codes after finishing my 3 tests. they were P0055, P0202, P0203, C342D, and C3064, in addition to P0301, P0351, and P2301. however, after some time, I erased codes and was not able to get the 5 new codes to show up again. i assume this is because of the tests i did.

next steps I wanna do are to check any vacuum leaks, but I haven't really heard anything afaik. I also want to change positions of fuel injectors, similar to how you would change a spark plug from cylinder 1 to cylinder 2 spark plug. i don't know if i could apply the same logic for fuel injectors and thus would instead get a misfire on cylinder 2. if so, this would confirm bad fuel injectors. i am so over this already lol, but i don't really want to throw more money until I am sure what needs to be fixed.
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Hook up your fuel pressure guage. Disconnect power plug from all injectors. turn the key on to pressurise the fuel system.. The pressure should come up and stay at high pressure whn=en the key is turned off.

If it doesn't you have an injector that is not shutting off.

Now carefully use two probing leads to power each injector.. if you can get the fuel pump to run continuosly its better for this test.. when you add 12V and ground t each injector the injector will open and the fuel pressure will drop to the same value for each fuel injector.. If #1 only drops halfway or not at all you have a fuel injector problem.

You could also move the fuel injectors to see if the problem moves.

You could also have a cylinder head gasket leak into Cyl #1.. You want to pressurise the cooling system.. preferably when warm (be careful not to get scolded!) and stick a camera down the #1 spark plug hole.. South Main Auto did this the other day on a Cruze. Check out the video below.. Of course you'd have a loss of coolant as well.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hook up your fuel pressure guage. Disconnect power plug from all injectors. turn the key on to pressurise the fuel system.. The pressure should come up and stay at high pressure whn=en the key is turned off.

If it doesn't you have an injector that is not shutting off.

Now carefully use two probing leads to power each injector.. if you can get the fuel pump to run continuosly its better for this test.. when you add 12V and ground t each injector the injector will open and the fuel pressure will drop to the same value for each fuel injector.. If #1 only drops halfway or not at all you have a fuel injector problem.

You could also move the fuel injectors to see if the problem moves.

You could also have a cylinder head gasket leak into Cyl #1.. You want to pressurise the cooling system.. preferably when warm (be careful not to get scolded!) and stick a camera down the #1 spark plug hole.. South Main Auto did this the other day on a Cruze. Check out the video below.. Of course you'd have a loss of coolant as well.

thank you for your insight! I do not suspect that it is a head gasket leak because I changed the valve gasket cover recently. either way, i took a look inside cylinder 1 and it looks fine, just like all the other cylinders. plus, the coolant leaks seem to be a thing of the past now. hope it stays like that lol.

i got some fuel injectors and the fuel line for $60, brand new, so I am going to install them when they arrive soon. If this does not fix anything, then I am certain it is a vacuum leak. I am hoping the vacuum leak is attributed to the fuel line/injectors, but I was not able to pinpoint the vacuum leak location.
 

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The best way to find a vacuum leak is to build a smoke machine and pressurise the intake with smoke.. then look for leaks.

Don't go above 0.5psi (use a propane regulator if you want to use compressed air). There are many how too videos to make a simple smoke machine on Youtube.
 

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The following codes show up P0301, P0351, and P2301. These codes as a quick reference say about a cylinder 1 misfire, ignition coil A primary/secondary circuit, and ignition coil A primary control circuit high, respectively.
You're looking at an electrical issue in the ignition system. You've changed the coil pack, did this go away then? If not, then you may have a wiring issue or a bad ECM.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i just changed the the fuel injectors along with the fuel injectors, all brand new. fuel does not seem to be a problem for the misfire code. spark does not seem to be an issue.

i will do a smoke test to see where a possible vacuum leak is coming out of tomorrow. the purge valve is working as intended, so it is not an internal leak. i am hoping that if there is a vacuum leak, it is not the PCV valve inside the intake manifold. otherwise, it will be quite expensive for that part.

the error codes i got after i changed the fuel line are P0301, P2300, P2301, and P0599. P2300 and P2301 are conflicting, as one says the ignition coil a control circuit is high while the other code says it is low.

a new coil pack did not do the trick. it is possible that it may be a wiring issue. i was also suggested an ecm issue, so it might be that.
 

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When codes come in bunches like that, it's probably more significant than an air leak. But if it does turn out to be a bad PCV, I think they sell a repair kit for it that is much cheaper than buying the entire manifold.
 

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From the codes, it sure looks like there's an internal problem with the ignition. Compression and fuel are not going to set a P2300 or P2301. You've either got a bad module or a problem in the wiring or connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I also think it is an electrical issue now. I took out the ECM and saw that 5/6 pins were damaged on the middle thing. I tried opening the ECM but it has a black sealant and it is hard to open!

it could also be the connector, which seems lightly damaged. it could be one the other or even both, but I am not sure because I don't know how to test it, can't open ECM, nor do I have wiring diagram to confirm these damaged pins are causing misfire!
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