2009 Saturn outlook intermittent "reduced power mode" with white smoke

Earlier today the car started throwing a fit when I left the neighborhood. I was sitting at a stop sign ready to pull off when “reduced power” message came on along with the CEL and once I started to take off from a stop it seems to have started misfiring. Looking behind me I noticed a little bit of white smoke from the exhaust. Very strong smell of exhaust inside the vehicle. Immediately turned around came back home. Let the car sit for a while turned it back on and it was running fine, although the CEL was still on.

Here’s the codes I found P0089 P0087 and P00420, the 420 has been on there forever but the 87 and 89 are new. On my way to autozone to get the codes pulled I gave it the beans even uphill to see if I could get the issue to come back, ran absolutely fine.

I know the 87 means low pressure at the rail but is it perhaps possible that a stuck open injector could cause the low rail pressure and white smoke? Fuel filter? Pump?

The white smoke and rough running AND intermittent nature lead me to think you have a stickIng fuel injector. If you have lots of miles (you don’t say) on this engine, whatever it is (you don’t tel, us that either) the injectors could be worn or really dirty.

about 145,000 miles.

3.6l V6 sorry forgot that info

Should I start by running some sort of cleaner and see what that does or is there something else more likely?

White smoke? hmmm … well, maybe the Cardinals voted and elected a new Pope :wink:

Are you losing any coolant?

George has a good thought with the coolant. If you are not using coolant, I would try injector cleaner. Couldn’t hurt.

Might be best to have the fuel pressure checked, especially if the original fuel pump is still in place. Key on, idle and rynning down the raod plus leakdown time key off.

Let it cool all the way down and I checked the coolant this morning. Overflow was at full cold and the radiator was completely full, apparently holding coolant well. I guess it’s a bottle of gumout at the next fillup. I’ll see if I can get hold of a gauge and scantool again.

Check the engine oil, an injector that is/was stuck open can pollute the oil with gasoline. If there is gasoline in the oil, it needs to be changed along with the failing injector.

1 Like