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Old 10-05-2006, 10:51 PM   #29
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With regards to your comment about "letting it go for awhile"...I'm not sure I would do that. Even if the truck is still running well, you still don't know what is happening under the hood so you could be further exacerbating the problem by letting it go.

Hi, I say that because like I said, "if it is still running well" Let it go for a while. First, if it is not running well, you have a problem. But, if it's on for the gas cap and Ford says drive it for three normal drive cycles and it will reset itself, Don't panic! My wife's 1995 Thunderbird has had the check engine light come on and off several times for the past two or three years. I took it to work [I work at a Ford dealer] for normal service and while in the shop I had one of my techs check it out and it was determined to be one of four Oxygen sensors. It obviously is only slightly out of range and has not effected anything to date. Shame on me! Working at a Ford dealer, I should fix it. But my wife plans on just giving the car away maybe next year, so we don't care.
O.K. now if you can't tell if your car is running right; or if you drive for extended periods with a definate miss fire, you could destroy your catalitic converters. Your car, your choice.
Some transmission repair shops advertise "If your check engine light is on, we will check it for free." [Aamco] Why, because some times that engine light is on for a transmission / code / problem.

Bob
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:58 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
What a great topic! I have read this with interest because our check engine light also comes on periodically...
I too am very excited about this thread. I feel like I'm getting a new education! I've learned quite a bit about this technology in the last few days between this thread, Internet research, talking with friends, and real-live testing on my own vehicle.

The excitement is still building...I just ordered the factory service manual from my dealership!

...and research still continues for the OBD-II scanner...
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:35 PM   #31
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I'm starting to get real excited now...my dealership called me today to let me know my factory service manual has arrived for me to pick up. I stopped by the dealership to pick up the manual and discovered it is five volumes. I'm laughing at the differences in vehicles and their manuals between my 1990 Mazda Miata factory service manual about 2" thick vs. the 2003 GMC Sierra factory service manual which is five volumes -- each volume is about 4" thick!!!

I also have done some more research on after market ABS scanners and have found one for about $500. Any opinions on this product?

ABS READER
One of the newest testers is OTC's ABS Reader. This hand-held tester includes "GM-approved" software for full bi-directional control on 1991-94 Delco VI and 1988-91 Powermaster III ABS systems. The tool can also be used to troubleshoot Bosch, Teves, Kelsey-Hayes and Mazda MECS ABS systems.
The ABS Reader has an easy-to-read four line, 19-characters per line LCD display, with nine input buttons. The display shows diagnostic codes with descriptions along with live data stream information on ABS sensors and switches, plus record and playback of data stream. It also allows bi-directional inputs for the Delco ABS systems which provides the following:
  • Powermaster III; manual control, hydraulic control, Powermaster bleed, pump run tests (run cycle time, total time, leak down, cycles without brake), system identification, data stream and fault codes.
  • Delco VI; manual control, hydraulic control, electromagnetic brake (EMB), motor test, gear tension relief, relay test, voltage load test, lamp test, system identification, motor rehome, data stream and fault codes.
  • Mazda MECS; wiggle test plus fault codes.
  • Bosch & Teves; data stream and fault codes.
  • Kelsey-Hayes; fault codes only.
On the Delco VI system, the manual control test checks each of the three motors to determine if they are operating properly. The EMB test and motor test can help you find problems with the motor pack. The gear tension relief test can find a defective hydraulic modulator. The relay test checks to see that the relay is supplying power to the ABS system. The motor rehome test opens up the ABS circuits so the modulator can be bled. The hydraulic control test lets you check the operation of all three ABS channels (left front, right front & rear) to detect problems. The voltage load test checks system voltage to verify that it is within specifications. The lamp test checks the lamp circuit and driver module. The system identification test provides information on the ABS control module, eliminating the need to check part numbers visually.
The OTC ABS Reader retails for $449 (tool and manual only P/N #3758), or $599 with adapter cables & carrying case (P/N #3757). For further information, contact your OTC distributor or call
1-800-533-6127.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:28 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
O.K. now if you can't tell if your car is running right; or if you drive for extended periods with a definate miss fire, you could destroy your catalitic converters. Your car, your choice.
Some transmission repair shops advertise "If your check engine light is on, we will check it for free." [Aamco] Why, because some times that engine light is on for a transmission / code / problem.

Bob
If the engine is actively misfiring, the MIL (check engine light) will start to flash. If you read your owner's manual, it says to stop driving the vehicle if the light flashes, as it can damage the converters.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:31 PM   #33
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If your ABS light comes on, it is a different thing from the MIL. Some high dollar scanners will scan engine, transmission, body (yes, there is a computer to run your power windows now), and ABS.
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Old 10-13-2006, 08:53 PM   #34
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hello yukionna, Are you planning to do ABS work alot? The ABS doesn't have
alot of troubles at all ,BUT the black module above the brake unit under the drivers side door ,mounted to the frame does go out ,causes the relay to continually run the abs pump .It mounts to the top of the unit with all the brake lines going to it ,and you can replace it on the vehical with the right
tools .I think you would be better to get a powertrain /trans scantool
with some ABS capability as you will have more happening there ,
evaporative emissions codes ,misfire ,throttle sensor ,gas pedal position
and O-2 sensor readings and cross count info ,much i have posted before.
I do very little ABS ,sometimes the GM module on tahoes and suburbans
2000 and up ,but thats it .Majority of all diagnostic jobs coming in have
the MIL light on /service engine /check lite .So much you can do in the
powertrain department /trans etc,rather than ABS .I do automotive repair
and use the genesys almost daily for powertrain diagnostics .I use it even if
the check/MIL light is off ,for IM readiness (for smog test) and tuneups ,
catalyst efficiency checks ,O-2 sensor readings and fuel trim readings for
checking vacuum leaks /lean conditions .Any modifications you may make
like a chip install ,you can compare information ,before and after and see the
fuel data ,timing data and such needs work .Case of a customer going to the
dealer for a 5.3 poor cold idle (no MIL on or flashes ) they concluded a bad
MAF (mass air flow meter ) or vacuum leak or both ?? I ran the data scan :
grams of airflow was right on ,5 to 7 at idle tested cold and warm .Did a fuel
trim test with the scan tool ,while spraying WD-40 around the plenium then
throttle body cleaner ,fuel trim did not change at all ,hence no leak found .
found a dirty ,as in black fuel, filter and lots in the tank and injectors .The
dealer was incorrect ,and I could just run the scan tests to prove it and
solve the real problem ,so thats somthing you can do with the right scan tool.
Somthing to consider on your scan tool purchase .

Scott
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:15 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
If the engine is actively misfiring, the MIL (check engine light) will start to flash. If you read your owner's manual, it says to stop driving the vehicle if the light flashes, as it can damage the converters.
Hi, Are you talking about G.M. here? Because I road test Fords all the time with plug or coil miss fire and no engine light comes on unless they are really bad. Then the engine light comes on and stays on steady. [Not flashing] Older Fords used to pop the light on practically on a single miss fire. [Too sensitive] Ford changed that.

Bob
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, Are you talking about G.M. here? Because I road test Fords all the time with plug or coil miss fire and no engine light comes on unless they are really bad. Then the engine light comes on and stays on steady. [Not flashing] Older Fords used to pop the light on practically on a single miss fire. [Too sensitive] Ford changed that.

Bob
All OBDII vehicles are supposed to do this, in theory. But we know about theories... Ford's misfire monitor now just shows "misfire", and you have to guess which one, unless you have an advanced scanner, and can pull up misfire counters. GM's misfire is just a P0300, and maybe you can find the misfire in a freeze frame, and maybe not. All other manufacturers use P0300 as a random/multiple cylinder misfire code. Other manufacturers show P0301 as cylinder #1 misfire, P0302 as cylinder #2, etc.
I like the C.O.P. tester that has come out in recent years, you can just rest the paddle of it on top of the coil, and youwill know immediately if the cylinder is firing or not.
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:07 AM   #37
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All GM vehicals OBD II have cylinder misfires counts and will store a code for the cylinder as well ,If the misfire is small ,it will store a PO300 and you still
can go to the data stream and check for misfire counts Cyls 1-8 or whichever
size engine you have ,so as to still see which cylinders are having a problem ,
in addition you still can have individual stored codes in the engine data misfire
on your scantool if it has the capability and data .Chrysler /jeep turns on
the MIL in any misfire also ,fords are funny that way and you can run a code check and find a PO302 stored ,their not as worried about the CAT as much
as GM is .Remember ,its that unburned fuel that overheats the CAT and kills it
You can pull a cylinder specific misfire on any Ford OBD-II vehical if your
scantool has the capability to do it .Many scanners cannot do what a high
end technician level scantool can ,try going into mode 6 on the scantool ,
that gets you even deeper into very accurrate diagnostics using dealer level
information ,its much more complicated ,but information is your friend. How about a cyl 3 injector intermittant on a 5.2 grand cherokee ? or a ignition
reference signal on a no start ,same vehical ,the cam sensor that sits in
the distributor fails ,all seen by the scantool without opening the hood .
Really ,really cool stuff here you can do with OBD-II and more ,and on those
5.4 and v-10 fords ,change those coil on plug units as they do corrode and
the coil saturation time can be erratic causing poor performance and misfires
but now were talking about hooking up the labscope looking at current ramping waveforms ,whew

Scott
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:52 AM   #38
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$'s or DOLLARS!

Hello all -

Reading this thread with interest.....

Have a '01 2500HD 'Burb. Went out of town for a few weeks some months back while we had torential rains for nearly my whole absense.... Truck sat as opposed to the near constant use otherwise...

Wife got in the beast to come and get me at the airport.... Started but ran like cr*p.... smoke.... stumbling....died. Restarted.... smoke.... stumbled.... drove 8 feet in reverse....died.... Check Engine Light. She had a panic situation!

She called the tow as she was terrified that "it was dead" or that driving it "would kill it".... It is 'my' car after all, and THE TV when SilverToy is in use.

Upon my return, yet that night, I went to the local fix-em-up where it was towed (outside storage) and checked under the hood. Rodent tracks. Started the truck - ran like cr*p but only at idle....

Drove it home. Did let the shop know in the AM so they didn't wonder???

Drove about 80+ miles the next day where it ran fine, except at idle. While in town I went to AutoZone where they did a free OBD-II scan which showed 5 codes.... all top of the engine (rodent tracks area) and the truck ran fine at everything above idle. Went to the local Chevy place that gave me the "$100 minimum scan fee..." spiel.... Right!!!!!!!! I showed 'em the codes and they looked at me like I was martian! "$100 to even look at the codes you got" and BTW, "where did you get those codes???" See ya!

Autozone scaned again (same 5 codes) and even reset the codes when I bought the top end sensors.... Did the reset again after I installed the sensors and needed an accurate check on my work. All good!

Bottom line for me. These OBD's will kill the motor before they let it kill itself.... not like the old 302's, 351's, and 289's!!!! Can't speak to the downstream cats and the like, but the codes are really just, as others have mentioned, an indicator for areas to investigate.

For me, I put a few hours of investigation and about $60 bucks into new sensors.... found a chewed wire - repaired that. Added the new sensor and the TV is back to good as new.

Beats that "$100 dollars...." to start to look at it. Can't think what a dealer repair would have cost!!!!!!!

BTW - The tow (less than 1 mile!!!!!!!!!!! ALL DOWNHILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - $75 DOLLARS!!!!!!!) cost more than the sensors and parts. Burns me just to think about it.... even now.

Anyway, just a thought for the frugal out there. Get a Haynes manual (or the like) and READ IT!!!!! Lot's of good and $ saving info in there! Even a 'normal' person can, if not fix everything themselves, at least be a well informed consumer when it comes to handing your vehicle over to someone else. Knowledge it power!

Axel
SilverToy
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:57 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
Hello all -
...Went to the local Chevy place that gave me the "$100 minimum scan fee..." spiel.... Right!!!!!!!! I showed 'em the codes and they looked at me like I was martian! "$100 to even look at the codes you got" and BTW, "where did you get those codes???"
Good story! Same thing happened to me yesterday when I went to my GMC dealer to pick up my factory service manuals. I mentioned the P0300 code for the cylinder misfire and the service manager looked at me in horror and mumbled something about how did I get that code. Apparently he wasn't aware of the AutoZone freebie nor that aftermarket OBD-II scanners are available every where nor that there is a website which decodes the codes and offers up advice on what to look for.

I was up front with him and reminded him how he charged me $100 a few months ago to tell me my gas cap wasn't on securely and that moving forward we would be doing our own work, thank-you. It was a polite conversation and he even offered us some tips of what to look for to diagnose the ABS issue.

It also helps too that my hubby is an ex-GM mechanic with a SnapOn tool box full of tools that reaches to the ceiling!
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:47 PM   #40
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OK, hubby pulled the brakes apart today and look what we found (see picture below)! The top half of the photo shows the rotor with just a small strip in the center where the brake pad touches it (the shiny part) -- the other parts where the brake pad should also touch are all caked with layers of rust. In the bottom half of the photo is the actual brake shoe which has a raised center piece which is the part of the shoe which is touching the rotor. The top and bottom part of the shoe doesn't touch the rotor anymore. This probably has something to do with our ABS issue!

I wonder what caused this to happen!
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:32 PM   #41
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Interesting picture of the rotor and pad. I'm guessing there is a severe warpage that lead to that condition. Seems like either the casting was bad or the original machining was botched. I've found that buying up from the lowest cost rotors is well worth it. When possible I try to buy what they call Fleet Service parts.

It's been years since I dealt with or thought about buying a scanner. Silver Toy's post reminded me that back then I'd bought a book and, low and behold it's still here on the shelf. It the Chilton's Engine Code Manual. This one's cira 1995 (still works for my '86 Crown Vic with cop engine, cop brakes,... ). Anyway, it has loads of useful explanations not just of the codes but explains how the systems work which is a big help in the investigative work that comes after you find out what the codes are.

Also in the pages of the book was a sticker sheet from the Actron/II scan tool I bought back then and returned. Since the Crown Vic is first generation OBD and the tool wasn't upgradeable or OBDII compatible I just (thanks to the explaination in the Chilton's) used my analog VOM to read the codes.

The new generation of scan tools are very interesting. I own a digital automotive multimeter made by OTC and have been very happy with it. I wouldn't hesitate to buy more equipment from that company. $500 is a little rich for a a toy that I don't need right now but if I start to have issues it might start to sound like a bargin. Maybe Santa will buy into that story that I've been an extra good boy this year

-Bernie
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:48 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
OK, hubby pulled the brakes apart today and look what we found (see picture below)! The top half of the photo shows the rotor with just a small strip in the center where the brake pad touches it (the shiny part) -- the other parts where the brake pad should also touch are all caked with layers of rust. In the bottom half of the photo is the actual brake shoe which has a raised center piece which is the part of the shoe which is touching the rotor. The top and bottom part of the shoe doesn't touch the rotor anymore. This probably has something to do with our ABS issue!

I wonder what caused this to happen!
Hi, I have never seen rusted up rotors like that on any vehicle that was still in use. Looks like something you would find that has been at the bottom of the ocean for several years. Can't say that is what your ABS problem is, but sure wouldn't work well like that. Left alone, it would take several hundred miles for the pads to wear all that rust off of the rotors.

Bob
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