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Old 02-23-2014, 10:07 AM   #99
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28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM), 3.6L/Diagnosis and Testing
P0117-ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE SENSOR CIRCUIT LOW
For a complete wiring diagram, refer to the Wiring Information.








Theory of Operation

The Coolant Temperature Sensor is a variable resistor that functions as a normal two wire 5-volt sensor. The PCM supplies a 5-volt reference on the signal circuit, and a ground to the sensors low reference circuit.




When Monitored:
With the ignition on. Battery voltage greater than 10.4 Volts.

Set Condition:
The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) detects that the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor input voltage is below the minimum acceptable value. One Trip Fault. Three good trips to clear the MIL. If the vehicle is equipped with the stop/start feature, the system will be disabled when this DTC is active.


Possible Causes
ECT SIGNAL CIRCUIT SHORTED TO GROUND
ECT SIGNAL CIRCUIT SHORTED TO THE SENSOR GROUND CIRCUIT
ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE (ECT) SENSOR
POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM)


Always perform the Pre-Diagnostic Troubleshooting procedure before proceeding. (Refer to 28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM) - Standard Procedure).




1.ACTIVE DTC


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


NOTE: Diagnose and repair any system voltage DTCs before continuing with this test.
1. Turn the ignition on.
2. With the scan tool, select View DTCs.


Is the DTC Active at this time?

Yes

Go To 2

No

Perform the INTERMITTENT CONDITION diagnostic procedure. (Refer to 28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM) - Standard Procedure).



2.ECT SENSOR


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Turn the ignition off.
2. Disconnect the ECT Sensor harness connector.
3. Ignition on, engine not running.
4. With the scan tool, read the ECT Sensor voltage.


NOTE: The sensor voltage should be approximately 5.0 volts (plus or minus 0.1 volts) with the connector disconnected.


Does the scan tool display the voltage as described above?

Yes

Verify that there is good pin to terminal contact in the ECT Sensor and Powertrain Control Module connectors. If OK, replace the ECT Sensor. (Refer to 07 - Cooling/Engine/SENSOR, Coolant Temperature - Removal) .
Perform the POWERTRAIN VERIFICATION TEST. (Refer to 28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM) - Standard Procedure).

No

Go To 3



3.CHECK FOR THE (K2) ECT SIGNAL CIRCUIT SHORTED TO THE (K915) SENSOR GROUND CIRCUIT


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1. Turn the ignition off.
2. Disconnect the PCM C2 harness connector.
3. Measure the resistance between the (K915) Sensor ground circuit and the (K2) ECT Signal circuit in the ECT Sensor harness connector.


Is the resistance below 5.0 Ohms?

Yes

Repair the short to between the (K915) Sensor ground circuit and the (K2) ECT Signal circuit.
Perform the POWERTRAIN VERIFICATION TEST. (Refer to 28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM) - Standard Procedure).

No

Go To 4



4.CHECK THE (K2) ECT SIGNAL CIRCUIT FOR A SHORT TO GROUND


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1. Measure the resistance between ground and the (K2) ECT Signal circuit in the ECT Sensor harness connector.


Is the resistance above 10k Ohms?

Yes

Go To 5

No

Repair the short to ground in the (K2) ECT Signal circuit.
Perform the POWERTRAIN VERIFICATION TEST. (Refer to 28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM) - Standard Procedure).



5.POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Using the wiring diagram/schematic as a guide, inspect the wiring and connectors between the ECT Sensor and the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).
2. Look for any chafed, pierced, pinched or partially broken wires.
3. Look for broken, bent, pushed out or corroded terminals. Verify that there is good pin to terminal contact in the ECT Sensor and Powertrain Control Module connectors.
4. Perform any Technical Service Bulletins that may apply.


Were there any problems found?

Yes

Repair as necessary.
Perform the POWERTRAIN VERIFICATION TEST. (Refer to 28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM) - Standard Procedure).

No

Replace and program the Powertrain Control Module in accordance with the Service Information. (Refer to 08 - Electrical/8E - Electronic Control Modules/MODULE, Powertrain Control - Removal) .
Perform the POWERTRAIN VERIFICATION TEST. (Refer to 28 - DTC-Based Diagnostics/MODULE, Powertrain Control (PCM) - Standard Procedure).
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:08 AM   #100
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Chrysler 300 - The Saga Continues

Could be a problem. Maybe the fans are not getting the signal to come on or to move to high speed.

Chrysler uses fans with a high and low with separate relays for each speed.

When the engine is hot both fans should be at high speed. This should be audibly noticeable.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:34 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
New Info

I checked the levels. It was down about 1 Qt of coolant.

I plugged in my ODBII reader, started the car and immediately got this message:

P0117 - Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Low Input
So the question remains, where is the coolant going ? I go back to my earlier thoughts from several days ago:

into crankcase
out the exhaust
out of the engine onto the floor

...so, pull the dipstick ? What does the oil look like ?
...smell and feel around the exhaust ?
... get the flashlight out and really seriously take a good look under the hood ?
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:07 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
The gurgling makes me believe there are gasses in the cooling system. So does the very rapid rise in coolant temp...form hot to very hot in short time described above. It's a long distance, sight unseen diagnosis, but I really think it's a head gasket or cracked head/block. You should see some lowering of cold coolant level though....and smell coolant at the exhaust.
Rich is RIGHT on the money. I had this same scenario with a Dodge Caravan that I used to tow a Scamp with. Drove me nuts until I realized I had the exact problem Rich is describing. A TINY exhaust leak into the coolant passages. TINY.

Keep in mind there was NO white smoke in the exhaust...the amount of coolant I would lose was SO small as to be deemed (in error, in hindsight) to be "insignificant," there was NO oil in the water, and NO water in the oil. No external leaks, no sweet exhaust smell.

The van would run fine, then spike the temperature in literally SECONDS with no warning. Air bubbles in the reservoir were the first sign; gurgling. I tried everything...flushing, new thermostat, new t-stat housing and gaskets, new radiator, new fan, manual fan override switch...but nothing could stop the reality that I had a tiny head gasket leak. The problem was intermittent and only so very slight such that a tiny bit of super hot exhaust gases was entering the cooling system usually not causing much of a problem however under load or increased temperatures the temperature gauge would rise a quarter inch in seconds. I always drove with my eyes glued to that gauge.

An interesting thing to note when you have exhaust in the coolant...exhaust gas does NOT mix with antifreeze; it turns into a bubbly foamy vapor that forms air pockets in the engine leading to MASSIVE hot spots that surely take thousands of miles off of the engine. Exhaust gas in PLAIN WATER is MUCH more stable; as my Caravan got worse, I couldn't use antifreeze anymore as it would foam IMMEDIATELY. Straight water (while boiling sooner, but under pressure the boiling point rises) was the only way I could drive it with that head gasket leak as it wouldn't foam up like the antifreeze mixture; sure, it would boil faster but at least I could get down the street.

If you can't find someone competent who knows how to truly troubleshoot this (AutoZone will loan you the tester for FREE), you may want to get rid of this car. My Caravan eventually overheated going up a steep 1 mile climb from Pine to Strawberry in Arizona. An air pocket had formed around the temperature sensor in the head so that the temperature gauge stayed "normal" however the engine was basically cooking itself...no warning that the temperature was up this time until I got to the top of the hill and heard massive pinging and loss of power. The result was that in that short period of time the massive heat had warped the heads, blew the gaskets, and required an entire engine rebuild...down to the rods.

Here's the kicker most don't realize...

When an engine overheats several times to dramatic temperatures, the transmission is usually devastatingly damaged. The tranny is bolted right up to the super-hot overheated engine, with many made of aluminum nowadays which leads to very fast heat transfer...so if the engine (not just the coolant) is severely overheated, you can bet that tranny is REALLY hot too...not to mention that even if you have an auxillary transmission cooler the transmission fluid STILL goes through the cooling tank in the radiator, which when the engine overheats that boiling super hot molten coolant is flowing through the SAME radiator, instantly degrading the transmission fluid whilst at the same time super-heating it, flowing overheated devastatingly degraded tranny fluid through a super hot overworked transmission.

The result on my Caravan? When the engine overheated, as stated it was rebuilt down to the rods. Less than two weeks later the transmission (which was ALWAYS trouble-free and had been serviced a month earlier) failed going up a slight hill in Hurricane, Utah due to the heat damage it sustained when the engine fried. Three weeks and THREE transmission failures/rebuilds later (by Cottman Transmission-AVOID at all costs, btw), I was left stranded on Hwy 12 literally in the middle of nowhere about 50 miles outside of Escalante, Utah...van and trailer in the middle of the highway, me walking aimlessly down an empty desolate road with no phone service waiting for SOMEONE to pass. Not fun. An eventual tow to a real shop in Panguitch, Utah and I bought a NEW rebuilt transmission and I was on my way back to Louisiana. Once I got back home I bought a much more capable tow vehicle.

Save yourself a LOT of time and grief. You will likely never trust this tow vehicle again...especially not your wife. Your family's safety is not worth the risk or novelty of towing with a car that you have to extensively modify to tow safely with. If your dealer is so clueless that they can't figure out if you have a tiny head gasket leak (some are VERY difficult to find as explained above) then by all means get rid of this car and get something designed to tow that much weight in the first place. Chrysler...been there, done that. I never towed with mine again.

Be safe!
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:08 PM   #103
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Reading up on the P0117 code, it seems that it won't be the cause of overheating, but rather a result of overheating.

I ran the car w/o trailer this am. After 15 min. of driving it crept up to 230F. 205F is supposed to be normal. The fan comes on, and at 230 the fan is in high speed, but it wont cool down by idling. I could tell that it would o higher, but I didn't want to get stuck again. I am satisfied that it is NOT normal to heat up to 230 just cruising around town in 70F weather. Since the fans are coming on, I am now pretty sure the t-stat is not opening correctly. The debug page says to feel the upper rad hose. It should be real hot if it is circulating. It was not "real hot" - but it was hot. I could hold my hand on it for about 5 sec.

I dipped the oil five times and saw nothing odd. Just oil. I smelled the exhaust and it smelled very normal. No drips under the hood. Maybe that quart of coolant went out the overflow onto the freeway?
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:15 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggoat!!! View Post
Rich is RIGHT on the money. I had this same scenario with a Dodge Caravan that I used to tow a Scamp with. Drove me nuts until I realized I had the exact problem Rich is describing. A TINY exhaust leak into the coolant passages. TINY.

That's a pretty scary story. I've been watching the big reservoir and I don't see bubbles, or foam. When I had the car shut off after yesterday's overheat, I heard some gurgling. Which to me sounded like fluid going out of the res.

So, if the tester is available at Autozone, I suppose this is easy for the dealer to check, right?

Since the car is under warranty, does the dealer have any incentive NOT to do various repairs? I would imagine they want to find something to fix?
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:30 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
That's a pretty scary story. I've been watching the big reservoir and I don't see bubbles, or foam. When I had the car shut off after yesterday's overheat, I heard some gurgling. Which to me sounded like fluid going out of the res.

So, if the tester is available at Autozone, I suppose this is easy for the dealer to check, right?

Since the car is under warranty, does the dealer have any incentive NOT to do various repairs? I would imagine they want to find something to fix?
The tester is SIMPLE for ANYONE to use. All you do is suck up some coolant, add a special solution, and look for a color change that detects exhaust gas:



OEM/Block Tester (27145) | Block Tester | AutoZone.com

You can do this yourself...I would go down to AutoZone and do it in the parking lot right now.

Dealers DO have incentive to fix things; that's how they make money. Whether the techs (not mechanics) there are competent enough to have a clue what to look for...well, that's another story.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:56 PM   #106
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Great. I'll see if my local AZ has one. They are just down the road.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:01 PM   #107
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Blown head gasket.

Block test will confirm is my bet. Don't suck coolant into the glass tube of the test kit. Just gases above the coolant with the engine good and warm. It is the carbon monoxide in the exhaust gases that have contaminated the coolant that cause the reagent in the test kit to turn colors.





Regards,

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Old 02-23-2014, 02:20 PM   #108
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I diagnosed a head gasket leak about 18 years ago with an older school test. Cylinder leak down or just a cyl pressure test. Cylinder Leak-Down Tester This is just an example of the tool. IIRC you pull the spark plugs, set the test cylinder on its TDC and apply shop air to the cylinder. On TDC it doesn't move, valves closed and I wound up seeing the results in the coolant level of the radiator. Each cyl is tested individually. Now the car was actually a Dodge Caravan 1985 2.2L and the process was pretty simple. I fixed it myself and actually converted it from a carb engine to fuel injected in the process. Really helped to have a friend give you all the parts. Ran great after getting all 4 cyl's sealed and a much improved fuel system.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:12 PM   #109
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Isn't this car under warranty?


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Old 02-23-2014, 04:24 PM   #110
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CO Testers can confirm that a Head Gasket is shot, but in my experience, can't confirm that it is good.

I helped my son battle a dealer over a head gasket issue. We bought that same tester and got a negative reading. The car would run fine, then suddenly shoot to 245. Seemed like the gasket would only leak under certain conditions.

Eventually, we convinced the dealer to replace the head gasket under warranty and it's been fine since. Never did get the CO tester to confirm the leak.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:40 PM   #111
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The gas anaylizer on a smog machine is more accurate and easier just dont get the tip into the coolant.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:16 PM   #112
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Well, my Autozone doesn't have such a testor, and never has had one. So, being late on a Sunday, I didn't go further since tomorrow I will have it at the dealer anyway (Yes, warranty).

Just in case this wasn't clear until now, it overheats W/O the trailer. On the way back from Autozone it hit 260F and the alarm went off just as I opened the garage door.

My bumper to bumper warranty has 1,600 more miles. So, I will be pushing like mad for maximum replacements. I am typing up a letter to the service manager for tomorrow explaining how dangerous this condition is, and that they failed to diagnose it correctly once already. Polite, but firm.

Thanks to all of you for your help. And yes, we are now talking over the idea of getting it fixed and then selling it immediately to move on. Trust is hard to get with a car and when it is gone it's hard to get back. Much depends on how definitive the fix is. Of course, I will have to undo the shocks, brake controller and receiver, in order to sell it. Another expense.
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