Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:05 pm

We inherited a 2006 Ford Freestar mini van when my father-in-law passed away in May. A message appeared on the dash board saying it was due for an oil change. I did the oil change but the message has remained on the dash. Anyone know how you reset that?

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:10 pm

http://service-light-reset.com/resettin ... ar-2004-06

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:17 pm

Thanks Don. Sure beats the hammer I was going to use. :lol:

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:36 pm

Rick, we deal with that stuff everyday and it seems all cars a different.
I liked the Chevy trucks a few years back, turn the key on and stomp the throttle 3 times and it's reset.
I always yell for one of the younger boys to do them anymore, I'm at the age where I don't want to learn anymore. I guess you could say I'm full up. :lol:

Since 09 all cars have sensors in the wheels that tell you if a tires going flat. Some of the cars tell you which tire position, so each time the tires are rotated we have to go through a similar process to reprogram all that junk too.
Of course there's all different ways of doing that too. :roll: :x

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:01 am

Yogie wrote:Since 09 all cars have sensors in the wheels that tell you if a tires going flat. Some of the cars tell you which tire position, so each time the tires are rotated we have to go through a similar process to reprogram all that junk too.
Of course there's all different ways of doing that too. :roll: :x


I'll just about bet there is a nuisance charge involved :wink:

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:51 am

Bill E Bob stated...”I'll just about bet there is a nuisance charge involved”

Oil and tires maintenance lights are the “tip of the iceberg” on today's vehicles for as maintenance upkeep.
Once today’s vehicles are out of their manufactures warranty you may have to get a loan to repair nuisance issues.

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:30 am

The engine light in our 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan has come on a couple years ago .. 3 or 4 anyways and stayed on. I have put it on the analyzer/computer a number of times, cleared the codes/faults and the light may go off for a while but always comes back on. There is nothing wrong with the engine as the top end has already been redone, all the emission stuff has been replaced and functioning as it should and we always ensure the gas cap clicks. So we have just let it go. I do know that with just about 400,000 kms on the van that it uses a bit of oil, that may be what is causing the light issue and it is the only thing I can think of or the mechanics that are working on the van. I just check the oil every few days and that's about it.

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:06 am

Rudi, both of our cars here at home have the check engine lights on. I've checked them on the computer at work and it's always some type of gas tank vent stuff and we've replaced caps and did all sorts of work to them. Turn the light off and it's good for a couple days and back on again. I finally gave up, mines now been on for about 3 years. :roll: :lol:

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:13 am

My Dad's (man I still miss him) remedy for those nagging check engine soon lights but nothing wrong.
Put a piece of black tape over it so it's not so bright.

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:40 am

Yogie wrote:Rudi, both of our cars here at home have the check engine lights on. I've checked them on the computer at work and it's always some type of gas tank vent stuff and we've replaced caps and did all sorts of work to them. Turn the light off and it's good for a couple days and back on again. I finally gave up, mines now been on for about 3 years. :roll: :lol:

We had the light come on on my wife's Chevy Equinox. I went to the local Auto Zone, where the guy pulled the code and said it was the gas cap. (No surprise, the ratchet thing inside the cap had broken and you could hardly put it on.) He cleared the code and a bought a new cap. The light came back on after a while. I took it to a local mechanic who told me to go buy a new cap from the dealer. After that, he cleared the code and it never set again.

Sometimes the replacement caps don't seal well. The mechanic seemed to indicate this was a fairly common situation.

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:10 am

Yogie stated
some type of gas tank vent stuff

I think what the scan tool is illustrating is fuel tank vent valves; one or both are malfunctioning. If you have G.M. model car this is a common problem and most models they are easily accessed.

randallc stated
remedy for those nagging check engine soon lights but nothing wrong. Put a piece of black tape over it so it's not so bright
.
Some states and city metropolitan areas require this to be repaired during a vehicle inspection before you can get your license plates.

My story is a little embarrassing because of being a car/light truck technician for 40 years. (Mostly Chevrolet and a little Ford).

A few years back a retired couple bought a new Silverado at a Chevrolet dealer I was working at and management asked me to do a pre delivery inspection in front of the customer. This was not very common pulling a line technician off the job to satisfy a customer, so I asked why. The explanation was the customers previous truck started having issues that couldn’t be repair and they wanted to be sure their new truck was ok before they took it and do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer to get the truck out the door. My thinking was at the price they paid for their new truck it was justifiable.

When I was performing the inspection the new owner and I had a long conversation about his new truck and also the issues of his old truck. His old truck was a “top of the line Dodge” that developed an intermittent engine miss at 80,000 miles only when the transmission shifted into second gear under light acceleration for about four to five seconds. He also told me he only took it to Chrysler dealers for service and he personally spent a lot of money with no remedy of the engine miss. Chrysler engineers got involved because the engine miss-fire was emission related and they thought maybe there was a PCM (Computer) programming problem but, they couldn’t find the problem either.

The retired couple traveled a lot and pulled a RV and they thought it was time to get something different. The customer was very honest and told the dealer about the issue of their vehicle because mostly they didn’t want a new owner to go through what they did. Little did they know the dealer could care less and the truck was headed to the wholesale area or to an auto auction.

At the time I was looking for a truck for my then high school son that had small business that required a pick-up truck that could pull a trailer. After work that day I checked the Dodge out and it was a nice looking truck so I got permission to test drive it. When I drove it, I didn’t feel an engine miss-fire and decided to negotiate with the dealer to buy the truck. About a week later we came to a deal.

After a period of time the truck started to do exactly what the PO said it was doing to them. The funny part was; when you accelerated hard and when pulling a trailer up a hill the engine would not miss-fire only under light acceleration from first to second gear change. After about one year of my diagnosis plus technicians that I knew that could fix anything we gave up. From time to time I would try different things but no fix was obtained.

After a while the truck was passed down through all my sons. My youngest son who had the truck force on him cut and sold wood in the winter and ran a truck farm in the summer to help pay for college. The truck pulled a trailer most of the time and he was after me to do something with the engine miss. I than tried everything again with the same outcome.

After a period of time my son told me he did a Google search with the problem we had with our Dodge and he said a person posted they had the same problem with their Dodge and after two years of their truck in and out shops they decided to drive it until the problem became more prominent. They stated in the Google post about a year after trying to fix their truck one day it started missing more and stopped running completely. They had it towed to a repair shop and found a fuel pump failure. After the fuel pump was replaced the trucks engine miss-fire was gone. The repair shop took the fuel pump apart and found a badly worn armature at the brush contract.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. One of the tests I did during my diagnosis was a fuel pressure check. In fact I taped the head of the fuel pump test gauge to the windshied of the truck while I was driving to confirm the fuel pressure specs while the engine miss-fired. The fuel pressure was two pounds above specs!!!

After some arm twisting from my son we found a fuel pump on E-bay for a reasonable price. The fuel pump was replaced and the engine miss-fire was gone. We took the pump apart and found a badly worn armature at the brush contract.

During a conversation with an aviation hydraulic technician at a college my son attends and telling her about our dilemma she said "on fluid pumps not only pressure is important but flow is more important”.

Obviously the fuel pump was the problem for the engine miss-fire. I didn’t have the equipment to check the fuel flow for the fuel system and I guess the previous techs during their diagnosis didn’t either. It still bewilders me how the engine can run good under pressure and run bad under light pressure with a fuel flow problem.

We still own the truck and after 226,000 miles it still running good.

Links of the truck earning its way…
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v688/Jackf/Making%20a%20Living%20the%20Old%20hard%20Way/Wood.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v688/Jackf/Making%20a%20Living%20the%20Old%20hard%20Way/Deer.jpg

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:36 am

JackF wrote:Obviously the fuel pump was the problem for the engine miss-fire. I didn’t have the equipment to check the fuel flow for the fuel system and I guess the previous techs during their diagnosis didn’t either. It still bewilders me how the engine can run good under pressure and run bad under light pressure with a fuel flow problem.

It doesn't make any sense to me either. How could it maintain proper pressure if it isn't delivering enough flow to keep up with demand? But if it fixed it, it fixed it. Hard to argue with what works!

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:51 am

Jim stated:
How could it maintain proper pressure if it isn't delivering enough flow to keep up with demand?

I don't know Jim, The fuel filter is built into the pump and I thought that was the problem… but if it was restricted…you wouldn’t have pressure. Why did the truck perform good under heavy engine load and bad under light engine load?
I destroyed the pump when taking it apart so it can't be reassembled for testing. But…Hard to argue with what works!.... Still it’s hard for me to believe….Had to be something else…

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:01 pm

I agree, there has to be another piece to the story. I'm just grasping at things, but how about this piece of it?
JackF wrote: The fuel pressure was two pounds above specs!!!

Could the miss have been because of running rich rather than lean? Most modern fuel systems (that I have any familiarity with) have a pressure regulator and a return line to the fuel tank. I don't know if the return line connections to the tank are tied in with the fuel pump and related hardware. Could there have been a restriction in the return line that was coincidentally fixed when the pump was replaced?

Re: Cars Today Are Smarter Than Me

Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:30 pm

Jim stated:
I don't know if the return line connections to the tank are tied in with the fuel pump and related hardware:

Yes they are and if restricted the regulator is not functioning and the fuel system will go to full pressure until the fuel pump by-pass valve will open up.

I’ve never seen a blocked fuel return line fuel foul an engine before but, I guess it could happen in open loop. Maybe that’s why they have the clear flood mode with the gas pedal? After in closed loop the PCM would close the PWM (pulse width modulation) down on the injectors to compensate. The spark plugs on my truck burned perfect and no signs of fuel foul, but I replaced them anyway.

This particular vehicle has no fuel return line and is equipped with a pulse width modulated fuel system controlled by the PCM. Fuel trim on the scan tool was at times adding fuel by 2% when the engine miss-fire which showed a lean condition but 2% is well within specs under a light engine load. The SES light never set except for an occasional miss-fire code and that was never on any certain cylinder. That would also show a lean condition. Under a heavy load the scan tool readings would never indicate a lean condition only adding fuel well within specs of the MAP and throttle position sensor reading. The O2 sensor when tested via the scan tool past and when I did a manual test its readings were very accurate per the scan tool.

One thing I didn’t mention before was; after a trip when pulling a heavy load under heavy acceleration the vehicle’s engine would not miss-fire for a period of time (maybe up to a month). I also replace the intake plenum gasket which causes those trucks for having miss-fire problems only to find the PO had it done.

I still think the PCM programming has something to do with it. Maybe the PO had an aftermarket reflash done to the PCM, but I think they would have said something. They were very upfront on everything else.

A lot of miles have been put on the truck since the fuel pump replacement and no issues yet!!!