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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning while driving to work, my xB suddenly started stuttering and the Check Engine light started blinking and the Traction Control light came on. I thought I noticed a slight loss of power, but as soon as it happened, I immediately let off on the gas. I did push on the gas again and it kept stuttering. This continued for about a half mile until my exit. As i came to a stop, it idled rough for about 5-10 seconds and then both lights went out and the engine seemed normal. I drove it another 2 miles to my job without any other incidents. When I parked, I put it in park and let it idle. It does seem that it is idling a little rough and at one point, I thought it would stop.

Background: Car has 160K. I've put about 100K of that in the past 4 years (I put approximately 400-450 miles on an average week due to a long commute). There has been no modifications to the engine. I had the oil changed this past Saturday. I have noticed over the past 6 months that I'm losing oil somewhere (2-3 quarts between oil changes @ every 4500 miles). There is no noticeable oil leaks and no obvious smoke coming from the exhaust. I park it on concrete and I've never seen any oil spots under it. When the oil was changed, I asked them to look for anything obvious, but they couldn't see anything obvious. They did not notice any obvious sludge either. The technician said that If I was burning that much oil, the area around the tailpipe and the back of the car would show it. i've had no major issues with my car since I've had it.

I've looked online and I now know that the oil issue is a common complaint When I tried more detailed searches, I found a variety of potential problems, from excessive engine sludge to bad piston rings to an issue with the head bolts. Almost all of these were on older cars (2008, 2009).

Can anyone give me give advice as to where to start? I'm not a mechanic but I do understand most of the workings of engines. Due to some bad experiences in the past, I typically have a slight distrust of repair shops, especially dealerships. But since I will have to take this somewhere, I'd like to go in with some kind of idea of what the cause may be so that if the shop tells me I need to replace a $500 muffler bearing, I know I need to go somewhere else.

Thanks in advance and ask me anything I may not have covered above.
 

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Lots o leather and copper
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What you are describing, in terms of oil loss, is exactly the symptoms of the faulty piston rings. The repair is new rings and piston, plus any other parts that have been damaged due to running the car with low oil. Due to the cost of labor of stripping the engine down you might be better off buying a used engine with less miles and swapping it in, as long as you can verify it did not have the oil consumption issue. You'll need to price both option out locally to see which is best. Alternately you can keep running this engine and just top it up every week to make sure it doesn't run low. I was doing that at one point until they got the whole extended factory warranty thing sorted out and had the pistons and rings done at the dealer.

The check engine light coming on and flashing that means there was something serious wrong. The check engine light has two stages, solid and flashing. Solid means, there's something out of whack, get it checked. Flashing means, stop driving now, the ECU is putting the car into limp mode so you can't do more damage and it needs to be looked at immediately. Have the codes pulled to see what it thought was happening and get it fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The check engine light coming on and flashing that means there was something serious wrong. The check engine light has two stages, solid and flashing. Solid means, there's something out of whack, get it checked. Flashing means, stop driving now, the ECU is putting the car into limp mode so you can't do more damage and it needs to be looked at immediately. Have the codes pulled to see what it thought was happening and get it fixed.
As soon as this happened I slowed and came to stop at the top of the exit. But the lights went out a few seconds after and there's no lights now.

I may have a coworker with a scanner to check. Waiting to hear. One person in our Service Dept. says his mother had one and it did that. He said it was an electrical issue with hers. Another service guy thinks it may be dumping raw fuel in the Cat, but he's guessing. Getting the code is my next priority. Both said that with the lights no longer on I should try and drive it home. I have a hour's drive so I'm a little hesitant about that.

Thank you for your response. I'll post as soon as I find the code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Was able to read the code: P0303 - Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected.

As I stated, the Check Engine Light is not lit. Someone suggested swapping the coil packs between 2 & 3. That way if it happens again and the code shows a misfire on cylinder 2 then that narrows things down. I turned the vehicle on and let it idle for a while and never got a code. I didn't have the tools to pull the plug to check that. I'll drive it home and see if it happens again. I have the code reader with me so I can check it where I stop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Drove home last night with no issues. Drove to work this morning with no issues. Will continue to keep an eye on it and update when necessary.
 

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Lots o leather and copper
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Yep, swapping coils is the way to check if it's the coil or something else. Main culprits for misfire are coil, spark plug or fuel injector. Electrical issue is possible but that only happened on the early production 08 models so unlikely on yours. They had a defective main engine harness.
 

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This morning while driving to work, my xB suddenly started stuttering and the Check Engine light started blinking and the Traction Control light came on. I thought I noticed a slight loss of power, but as soon as it happened, I immediately let off on the gas. I did push on the gas again and it kept stuttering. This continued for about a half mile until my exit. As i came to a stop, it idled rough for about 5-10 seconds and then both lights went out and the engine seemed normal. I drove it another 2 miles to my job without any other incidents. When I parked, I put it in park and let it idle. It does seem that it is idling a little rough and at one point, I thought it would stop.

Background: Car has 160K. I've put about 100K of that in the past 4 years (I put approximately 400-450 miles on an average week due to a long commute). There has been no modifications to the engine. I had the oil changed this past Saturday. I have noticed over the past 6 months that I'm losing oil somewhere (2-3 quarts between oil changes @ every 4500 miles). There is no noticeable oil leaks and no obvious smoke coming from the exhaust. I park it on concrete and I've never seen any oil spots under it. When the oil was changed, I asked them to look for anything obvious, but they couldn't see anything obvious. They did not notice any obvious sludge either. The technician said that If I was burning that much oil, the area around the tailpipe and the back of the car would show it. i've had no major issues with my car since I've had it.

I've looked online and I now know that the oil issue is a common complaint When I tried more detailed searches, I found a variety of potential problems, from excessive engine sludge to bad piston rings to an issue with the head bolts. Almost all of these were on older cars (2008, 2009).

Can anyone give me give advice as to where to start? I'm not a mechanic but I do understand most of the workings of engines. Due to some bad experiences in the past, I typically have a slight distrust of repair shops, especially dealerships. But since I will have to take this somewhere, I'd like to go in with some kind of idea of what the cause may be so that if the shop tells me I need to replace a $500 muffler bearing, I know I need to go somewhere else.

Thanks in advance and ask me anything I may not have covered above.
I've been using regular Costco gas and Sinclair, one day I was low and put some random gas at a random station, I can never remember the name because they switch owners almost every other year. I thought my car was gonna die after 25 miles with that gas. I wait to finish tank, Lucas cleaner and regular gas solved it. I have around 180k miles on my 06 xB. Mine consumes around a quart every 3 weeks to a month. My only issue is probably the harmonic balancer, car vibrates a lot when idling in drive.
 
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