'Check Engine' Light Finally Came On... - TCCoA Forums

 6Likes
  • 1 Post By Jim3inVirginia
  • 1 Post By scottjohnston
  • 1 Post By T6Rocket
  • 1 Post By XR7-4.6
  • 1 Post By T6Rocket
  • 1 Post By FranklinMint
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
'Check Engine' Light Finally Came On...

Okay, as some of you might have read, I piggybacked recently on Thomas A's thread because I was experiencing similar problems (rough idle, hard pedal, stumbling, etc) but had no 'Service Engine Soon' light come on ... Until today!

Well, I've parked the car and will drive my F-150 the next few days until I get it coded. This time, however, I want to code it with my own engine analyzer as I'm tired of paying for such service, so what's a good one (brand) that will work on both my car and truck? They basically share the same engine size (4.6). I don't want or need too much, but I don't want a cheapie also that will either break down after little use or not provide what I need.

Is there a "Real McCoy" out there that stands out above the rest? If so, give me a name and model number please. Amazon and Ebay await.

Thanks.

4.6, 147,000 miles on it.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
FranklinMint is offline  
post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 05:59 AM
The Parts Guy
 
racecougar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Imperial, Missouri (near St. L
Age: 33
Posts: 7,180
Any OBD-II scanner will do the job. It just needs to provide you with the DTC number.

Rod @ AzzKicker Cars
rodsv6cougar@cs.com
90 XR7-The Meth Addict-KB SC'd 5.0L DOHC Stroker
2004 Mustang GT-The Driver-Intake/Exhaust/3.73's
1995 F150 4x4-The Mud Toy-5.0L/4R70W/33's/Warn 8274 Winch
94 LX w/Splitport 3.8L from 2000 Mustang - SOLD
2 - 90 35th Anny Ed SC's
And a TON of parts cars!
racecougar is offline  
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 07:28 AM
PostWhore
 
T6Rocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,221
At Autozone or Advance, they don't charge to read codes. Probably some other parts stores that do the same.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 68k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 Crown Vic Police Interceptor - Brenda's car
Previous cars:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years
T6Rocket is offline  
post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 02:20 PM
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 147
If you go the free code reading route, get the code(s) then do your research. Don't let the parts store sell you new O2 sensors until you have gotten an idea of what is causing the fault.

I bought an inexpensive Actron scanner from Advance, it was like $100 but $30 off. Pretty much all I use it for is to read codes and reset the check engine light. Occasionally trim codes and O2 sensor output.
Jim3inVirginia is offline  
post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
T6Rocket: It was running so rough that day, I just wanted to get home and park it. And I also heard that Autozone's scanners weren't always in the best of shape.

Jim: That's exactly what I want to do. I just wondered if there were good scanners versus bad ones as far as owning one. They do come in handy from time to time.

Race: What's a "DTC" number? Is that a code?

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
FranklinMint is offline  
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 02:36 PM
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 147
Looks like I mis-remembered what I paid for it. This is the one I bought.
Actron Auto Scanner OBD II Code Reader CP9575: Advance Auto Parts
Most if not all the chain auto parts stores have 20, 30% off coupons from time to time.
FranklinMint likes this.
Jim3inVirginia is offline  
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 05:53 PM
Seasoned PostWhore
 
S4gunn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SF, CA
Age: 38
Posts: 2,082
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklinMint View Post
T6Rocket: It was running so rough that day, I just wanted to get home and park it. And I also heard that Autozone's scanners weren't always in the best of shape.

Jim: That's exactly what I want to do. I just wondered if there were good scanners versus bad ones as far as owning one. They do come in handy from time to time.

Race: What's a "DTC" number? Is that a code?
Diagnostic Trouble Code

Ex (fairly generic list): https://www.engine-light-help.com/fo...ine-light.html

My TCCOA iTrader Rating: (44 / 100% w/ 50+ transactions)
S4gunn is offline  
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
Okay, I just got it coded (Bought some spark plugs, wires, and coils also [Ouch $$$]) and it came back a P0305, a misfire in the 5th cylinder. When I got it back from having the transmission fixed several weeks back, they found the 6th cylinder misfiring at the time. Just a coincidence it's on the same bank, or is the coil just had it?

Thanks, Jim. I'll look into them now that I know approximately what to spend.

Thanks, S4, for the link!

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
FranklinMint is offline  
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 09:13 PM
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 28
The last time I popped this code on my '94 LX 4.6 is was the PCM drawing the injector down so that it was open at all times. Horrible gas mileage and a shudder. I finally determined that the injector signal was supposed to be electrically open unless the injector was grounded to fire. Was always showing ground on the signal wire. Chased it back to the PCM and found the board had shorted to ground on that pin only. Replaced PCM. Easy to test. The injector should read 12V at all time when engine is running on the hot side and should only read ground on the signal side when the car is running. To truly observe you'd need an oscilloscope but its easy enough with a VOM. Also checking injector resistance would be good. (Along with the other stuff you're going to throw at the car in terms of parts).

BTW, I'm using this inexpensive scanner for Android to pull my codes and data. Pretty handy - https://www.amazon.com/BAFX-Products...nner+bluetooth

Works well with several free apps (some of the apps will grab extra data points and help you erase old codes too).
FranklinMint likes this.
scottjohnston is offline  
post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-30-2017, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
Got only a second here (Lunch is over. Gotta return to work), but I put in the two coils last night before the sun went down, and it is still running rough. Real rough. Plugs and wires come next, with cleaning of the injectors planned also. ...I hope it isn't anything serious.

I'll get back to you later, Scott. Thanks!

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
FranklinMint is offline  
post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 08:25 AM
PostWhore
 
T6Rocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,221
You never specified the year of the vehicle. If it's a '97, it's likely the PCM.

Al
FranklinMint likes this.

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 68k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 Crown Vic Police Interceptor - Brenda's car
Previous cars:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years
T6Rocket is offline  
post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
You never specified the year of the vehicle. If it's a '97, it's likely the PCM.

Al
I spent today replacing the coils, wires, spark plugs, removed and cleaned out the intake assembly, replacing the air cleaner, and cleaning (spraying) the MAF, and replaced some old vacuum lines that weren't leaking, and it didn't make any difference. It is running really rough and stumbling, if not worse.

It's a '97 and it just went over 148,000 miles. I replaced the ECU at around 85K as the engine would suddenly cut out while on the freeway at a high speed. Do they go out that often?

Anywhere else I could look before looking into the PCM?

.... By the way, my code was a P0305, but it was the wire and spark plug to cylinder 6 that were different from the rest. The terminal of the spark plug looked dry and corroded compared to the seven others as did the inside of the wire. As if it hadn't fired in a while. All the other spark plugs and wires were consistent in their appearance.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley

Last edited by FranklinMint; 03-31-2017 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Adding one item
FranklinMint is offline  
post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 08:44 PM
1st Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 28
Yes P0305 is a misfire code. You're likely not getting any gas there (based on the dry plug symptom). I'd be metering the injector to make sure it's resistance/impedance is normal and metering the signal and power line that feeds it. Perhaps you have a fuel pressure problem to that injector only? Not sure. I'd be out at a wrecker looking for a cheap set of (or single) injector(s) to troubleshoot with or I'd be moving the injector to another cylinder to see if the problem follows. Moving the injector is probably the easiest way to tell IMO without spending any more money on parts.
scottjohnston is offline  
post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottjohnston View Post
Yes P0305 is a misfire code. You're likely not getting any gas there (based on the dry plug symptom). I'd be metering the injector to make sure it's resistance/impedance is normal and metering the signal and power line that feeds it. Perhaps you have a fuel pressure problem to that injector only? Not sure. I'd be out at a wrecker looking for a cheap set of (or single) injector(s) to troubleshoot with or I'd be moving the injector to another cylinder to see if the problem follows. Moving the injector is probably the easiest way to tell IMO without spending any more money on parts.
Thank you, Scott. The injectors are next, and I had that exact ideal in mind (going to a boneyard and stripping a few). I thought of cleaning injectors as I've seen demonstrated on Youtube, but I don't want to fry them by using too much juice. That's a good idea switching them around as you mentioned. Is it hard to visually see the difference between an injector that hasn't been firing versus one that has? They're ALL getting fuel after all, right?

Thanks again for the tips.

By the way, I was looking at ECMs for that engine and model year and almost all of them are refurbished. Why is that?

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley

Last edited by FranklinMint; 04-01-2017 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Adding a question.
FranklinMint is offline  
post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 09:10 AM
Kind of slapped together
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bossier City, LA
Age: 61
Posts: 4,485
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranklinMint View Post
By the way, I was looking at ECMs for that engine and model year and almost all of them are refurbished. Why is that?
Because it's a 20 year old car; all you'll find are refurbished ones.

What, you think Ford has a plant turning out brand new ones still?

RwP

Fuelly
RalphP is offline  
post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
Because it's a 20 year old car; all you'll find are refurbished ones.

What, you think Ford has a plant turning out brand new ones still?

RwP
No, I didn't think Ford would, and I do not blame them for not producing them anymore, but I thought some firm out there would continue making them.

Are the refurbished ones okay?

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
FranklinMint is offline  
post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
What do junkyards usually want for used PCMs and ECUs? I'm thinking of stripping a couple of recently arrived '97s of theirs and trying them on. Is this okay to do? I've read some things where the VIN number plays a role? I even have the old one F6SF-12B577-AA still around and thinking of plugging it in to see if it will at least idle right. That one was the one responsible for cutting the car off at freeway speed and I'm just wondering whether it will at least provide a good smooth idle as it once did.

Just trying to isolate what it might be.

Grrrrrrr.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
FranklinMint is offline  
post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 03:29 PM
Slightly Disjointed
Super Moderator
 
XR7-4.6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Roselle IL
Posts: 15,504
Garage
Send a message via Yahoo to XR7-4.6
Vin doesn't matter, just as long as it's for your year range (96-97) and engine they plug and play. They usually cost between $40-$50 at the yards I go to.
FranklinMint likes this.

-Matt
XR7-4.6 is offline  
post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 08:01 AM
PostWhore
 
T6Rocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,221
I paid $60 for one, but $100 for another. They are getting hard to find, but the $250 one's are probably still available!

There is a catch code on the inner fender on the passenger side, near the hood hinge. That is the number that you're trying to match. FTE1 is the most common, though many others will work. I have even used the CA emissions one LJC1 with absolutely no difference whatsoever.

Al
FranklinMint likes this.

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 68k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 Crown Vic Police Interceptor - Brenda's car
Previous cars:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years
T6Rocket is offline  
post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
I paid $60 for one, but $100 for another. They are getting hard to find, but the $250 one's are probably still available!

There is a catch code on the inner fender on the passenger side, near the hood hinge. That is the number that you're trying to match. FTE1 is the most common, though many others will work. I have even used the CA emissions one LJC1 with absolutely no difference whatsoever.

Al
Thanks,T6. That was the other question I had but I forgot to ask in my last posting. The plan is to open the hood up and try some quick diagnostic tricks I saw on Youtube as far as checking for spark, coils, and listening for the injectors to fire (I hope the engine stethoscope works), etc. The spark plugs, coils, and wires are all brand spanking new so we'll see what it yields this morning.

Thank you again.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley

Last edited by FranklinMint; 04-07-2017 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Misspelling. Amending.
FranklinMint is offline  
post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
3rd Gear Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 167
Okay, I was just about to leave for the junkyard in my F-150, so I started the engine to the T-bird and opened the hood to read the catch code that T6 mentioned (I wanted to warm it up to see if the fan would kick in [Checking CCRM]) and there was a noticeable semi-loud high pitch knocking sound around the two and three cylinder location. Having just replaced the wires and plugs, I checked one more time for any loose connections etc and momentarily bumped the number four injector, and viola, the engine "woke up" from its rough slumber. It started running like a well oiled sewing machine. I could have balanced a nickle on its edge on top of the throttle assembly. I took it on the freeway and it ran beautifully. Other than my wheels needing a balance, it ran like almost a new car. REALLY!

Before jumping on the freeway, I removed the leads to each injector and found that about half predictably responded, with the other half hardly registering a difference. Was it dirty injectors all along?

Well, I eventually want to remove the injectors and clean them ala the methods (air pressure along with just enough juice to actuate them) rigged and seen on Youtube by many. What's the best way to clean them without frying them? Those things are expensive.

Okay, heading off to the boneyard and then harbor Freight for some cheap diagnostic tools to further my testing.

Signed, CE (Cautiously Excited).
Jim3inVirginia likes this.

"The truth is,everyone is going to hurt you.You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." Bob Marley
FranklinMint is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TCCoA Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome