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2003 Matrix 4 Cyl 1.8L XR
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* November 11, 2008, 04:19:02 AM
Quick question.  Missfire on #2. Changed spark plug and coil pack.  Drove around about 30 min.  Check #2 spark plug and coil pack I noticed oil on the spark plug.  Car shutsdown at stops.  Can\'t really go past 30mph.  Any ideas? Need some help here.

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* November 12, 2008, 03:36:07 PM
#1
Need a bit more information.

Did you check compression on that cylinder and see how it compares to the others?  

Does the car use any oil between oil changes?

Why can\'t the car go past 30MPH, vibration, shaking, sputtering, hesitation, engine cuts out, etc.?

How does the car idle, how does it act at part throttle?

Can you rev the engine in neutral or in park?  Does the engine still foul the #2 plug?

Did this just happen out of the blue or was the car acting funny before this happened?

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* November 12, 2008, 08:30:50 PM
#2
No I didn\'t check the compression.  
No oil between changes
Did you check compression on that cylinder and see how it compares to the others? No idk how, once we get past the spark plugs the rest is foreign to me.

Does the car use any oil between oil changes? No

Why can\'t the car go past 30MPH, vibration, shaking, sputtering, hesitation, engine cuts out, etc.? Not sure, I had a mechanic tell me it was the pistons in #2

How does the car idle, how does it act at part throttle? upon initial startup the idle is fine but once driving a few min, will more than likely stall out

Can you rev the engine in neutral or in park? yes

Does the engine still foul the #2 plug? yes

Did this just happen out of the blue or was the car acting funny before this happened? It just happened

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* November 13, 2008, 02:34:35 PM
#3
I\'d have them do a compression test - pretty simple to do and can give you more information to work with.  You can swap coil packs from plug to plug to rule out a bad coil over plug unit, if it stays with that particular cylinder.  Some possible culprits:

- a bent or stuck valve
- broken or stuck piston rings
- leaky valve seal
- dead piston (cracked or damaged piston head)
- heavily scored or out-of-round cylinder
- dead or sticking injector
- damaged camshaft (unlikey)

Could also be an issue with the induction system (airbox, intake manifold, throttle body, etc.), fuel system (fuel pump, fuel filter, pressure regulator - all inside the tank, fuel log under the hood), ignition system (coil packs, plugs properly gapped with appropriate plugs, good chassis grounds, crankshaft and camshaft position sensors are working), or engine computer issue (they can suddenly die with no warning).

Also - after swapping out coil packs, you should have reset the ECM so that it relearns fuel trims and other engine parameters - good idea to do this with any part change as well.  Easiest way to do this is to pull the negative battery cable off for a few minutes and step on the brakes to bleed off any residual charge.  Of course, if you have an anti-theft radio or similar - make sure you have the code for them, or you\'ll end up with a paperweight.

I\'d also make sure there is no other underlying issues that will compound the symptoms.  Double check the vacuum lines for leaks and cracks, even missing vacuum lines - check the PCV valve.  Check the induction system to any leaks or cracks - a leak downstream of the airbox or around the intake manifold (some Corolla/Matrix had a cracked intake manifold or bad intake manifold gasket), or leaky throttle body can cause an overly lean mix - as the ECM cannot see that extra air coming into the system.  Check the MAF sensor and associated IAT sensor - generally not a serviceable part - many had very good luck cleaning it with throttle body solvent, alcohol, or brake cleaner.  Same with the throttle body, make sure it is not gummed up with varnish or carbon deposits - a good scrubbing with throttlebody cleaner and an old toothbrush works wonders.  Could also be a bad tank of gas - if there was any contamination in the gas (water, diesel, etc) it could look like oil fouling on the plug.  Run a good quality fuel injector cleaner, like Redline or Chevron, in the tank and see if that changes anything.

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* November 13, 2008, 09:17:49 PM
#4
ok great i will get this done. thx for everything!

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