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99 Leg, sputter, stink, no temp/speedo


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18 replies to this topic

#1 mikeamondo

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 06:50 PM

Our 99 Legacy, 2.2L, auto, AWD, 135k miles.... with a newly transplanted motor from an 01 Impreza. Car has been running great since the motor swap, but on the way home from watching WVU get tromped by Syracuse, tonight, it had an episode....

First, the speedo has not be working for a few weeks.... it will work intermittanly, but mostly it's just dead. SO..... tonight..... the engine begins to sputter coming up a short hill, and we smell a weird odor in the car. It gets worse and car is barely running so I pull over, and then limp to a gas station..... it was low, but not empty... took 12.1 gal. to fill it.

After the fill up, the car ran great again... in fact, we drove across town and then all the way home, maybe 20 miles total, with no problems.... ran great.

Half way home I noticed the temperature gauge was barely above C, but the engine should have been at reg. operating temp. Shorty there after, the gauge dropped all the way down, but the car continued to run fine.

The speedo was working right after the fill up, but stopped working again somewhere on the way home.

Sube Shop says the speedo is bad (very common in 99's so they say) and are going to swap it out next week. So..... Non working Speed, odd smell, sputter, sputter, and failing temp guage.... what's that all add up to?

thanks!
Mike

#2 Suba9792

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 12:23 AM

I'd say fuel pump I believe its 16gal tank, as for the smell, was it syrup like? if it is then its a coolant leak, just an FYI most of them smell when going uphill, just my experience. Did it throw a code at all?

#3 Suba9792

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 12:25 AM

as for the temp drop, Id say thermostat failure.

#4 mikeamondo

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 08:07 AM

The smell is def. not coolant... I'm dealing with a bad heater core on my town car, so I'm all too familiar with that smell. Also, the smell was only there while the sputtering was occuring.... cleared up immediately when it was running correctly. And it was more like burning rubber or garbage... that's not quite right, but close... a hot, burny, yucky smell. What does it smell like when it runs on too rich a mixture?

No codes. as of yet.

If it's a weak fuel pump, we should see it again if the tank gets low, correct? Had that happen on a '90 Leg we had.

We're driving the car into town this morning, so we'll have a chance to see if it repeats....

#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:45 AM

The smell is def. not coolant... I'm dealing with a bad heater core on my town car, so I'm all too familiar with that smell. Also, the smell was only there while the sputtering was occuring.... cleared up immediately when it was running correctly. And it was more like burning rubber or garbage... that's not quite right, but close... a hot, burny, yucky smell. What does it smell like when it runs on too rich a mixture?

No codes. as of yet.

If it's a weak fuel pump, we should see it again if the tank gets low, correct? Had that happen on a '90 Leg we had.

We're driving the car into town this morning, so we'll have a chance to see if it repeats....

there's a fix for the speedo. add a ground wire to the circuit board. i found it on another site and posted it hrer. search "speedofix" or 99speedofix.

the temp gage could be a -stat or maybe a bad connection on the cluster. when you have the speedo out clean the contacts.

#6 mikeamondo

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:33 AM

Okay... new symptom. I really think we're dealing with multiple issues at the same time..... Thanks for the speedo fix. We're going to give that a try.

So, we had decided it was likely a fuel pump issue on the sputtering, and we're running the current tank out to see if it repeated when low on gas. Going up a hill this morning, 1/2 tank of gas, it started sputtering again. Didn't notice the smell this time, but we got off the road quick, and the windows were up. But the AT OIL TEMP light started flashing the instant that the car started missing.

The AT light kept on flashing, constantly, after the engine was shut off and restarted. Turned the car around, came back down the mountain to a conv. store and checked the tranny fluid. MAYBE a little low.... it was showing at the F line when cold, but the car had been driven about 5 miles. After sitting in the lot for about 10 minutes, I restarted the car and the AT OIL TEMP light was no longer flashing at all. Again no codes on the CEL.

What does a constant flashing AT light mean? At least constant for 5 minutes or so? Is it possible that the fuel pump failing caused the engine to sputter and surge under load, which in turn threw a sort of mental curve ball to the ECU, causing it to say "What the hell?" and trip the AT light? While surging/sputtering, the tranny seemed to be searching for the right gear....

Thanks!
Mike

#7 OB99W

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 10:02 AM

The ECU and TCU constantly communicate with each other. There are engine-related faults that the TCU "knows" about (TPS and baro come to mind offhand). Reading the TCU fault code(s) could be helpful in finding the problem.

#8 mikeamondo

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:15 PM

Considering this car had a recent engine swap, I'm thinking the following:

1) the speedo problem predated the engine swap, so it's likely unrelated to the other issues.
and...
2) there may be a problem with one or more electrical connectors between the ECU / TCU / Engine & Tranny.

Would you agree? If so, where are the connectors that would have been disconected and or replaced in the swap? (If I can find them, I'll check for corrosion and bent piins) AND... could a bad connection in those connectors cause the sputtering/stalling issue, for example, if the VSS's could not communicate....?

B) Can you direct me to the secret handshake method of checking TCU codes on my 99? I understand there's an engine on, gear shift, left leg in, left leg out, turn yourself about thing you can do and then watch for blinking light codes....

THe sputtering still feels exactly like what my '90 did years ago when the fuel pump got weak....
Thanks!
Mike

#9 Rooster2

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:30 PM

Considering this car had a recent engine swap, I'm thinking the following:

1) the speedo problem predated the engine swap, so it's likely unrelated to the other issues.
and...
2) there may be a problem with one or more electrical connectors between the ECU / TCU / Engine & Tranny.

Would you agree? If so, where are the connectors that would have been disconected and or replaced in the swap? (If I can find them, I'll check for corrosion and bent piins) AND... could a bad connection in those connectors cause the sputtering/stalling issue, for example, if the VSS's could not communicate....?

B) Can you direct me to the secret handshake method of checking TCU codes on my 99? I understand there's an engine on, gear shift, left leg in, left leg out, turn yourself about thing you can do and then watch for blinking light codes....

THe sputtering still feels exactly like what my '90 did years ago when the fuel pump got weak....
Thanks!
Mike



A clogged fuel filter could also be the source of the sputtering. You may want to replace the filter first before replacing the fuel pump.

Still you need to pull all the codes to learn what they are trying to tell you.

#10 johnceggleston

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 01:15 PM

there are some engine malfunctions that will throw an AT Temp light code. i think TPS and IAC are ones that can / will throw an AT light, MAF too.

the flashing AT light means there is a code in the TCU, flashing at start up means there was a fault during the last drive cycle.

if it does not flash on the next start up then the fault did not repeat itself.

#11 mikeamondo

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 01:41 PM

The problem has repeated twice, with 3/4 and the 1/2 tank... so I'm thinking it's not fuel pump.

There seems to be no corrolation to driving condition.... uphill twice, fairly level the next. Here's a breakdown of what it does....

It will be running great, then begin to miss heavily. It sputters, lurches and gasps, and the stinky smell appears. (I'm assuming it's a overly rich mixture smell, but not sure). AND... the transmission begins to shift and slip... like it's searching for the right gear, going into neutral or slipping and then back into D or L. Shifting into 3 or 2 makes it change gears but not to the right one. Lurching, shifting, sputtering, you can still make 20mph or so level.... and get off the road. If you let off the gas, it will die.

Once off the road, I shut it off, and start it up again within a few seconds. It will start and run okay, but with a continuous blinking light. I shut off the car again, wait 10 seconds and restart. The light is gone, and the car runs great again. Drove over 20 more miles with no problems.

QUESTIONS:
1) Will the TCU still be holding the code that caused the flashing AT OIL TEMP light, even though it's no logner flashing? And can Advance Auto Parts scan TCU codes?
2) Which would be the most likely culprit? TPS, Fuel Pump? Something else?
3) I checked the connectors on the passenger side of the engine, grey and copper colored, below the TPS, bought 1 inch square. Are those the main connectors between eng. and ecu/tcu? They looked clean, as did the TPS connector.

Any thoughts? What should I try first?
Thanks!
Mike

#12 johnceggleston

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 03:45 PM

Once off the road, I shut it off, and start it up again within a few seconds. It will start and run okay, but with a continuous blinking light. I shut off the car again, wait 10 seconds and restart. The light is gone, and the car runs great again. Drove over 20 more miles with no problems.

QUESTIONS:
1) Will the TCU still be holding the code that caused the flashing AT OIL TEMP light, even though it's no logner flashing? And can Advance Auto Parts scan TCU codes?
2) Which would be the most likely culprit? TPS, Fuel Pump? Something else?
3) I checked the connectors on the passenger side of the engine, grey and copper colored, below the TPS, bought 1 inch square. Are those the main connectors between eng. and ecu/tcu? They looked clean, as did the TPS connector.

Any thoughts? What should I try first?
Thanks!
Mike



since it gives you a blinking AT Temp light i wold concentrate on the things that can cause that and engine problems. such as TPS, or MAF, or maybe IAC, not sure about that one. when you start and stop the engine when the AT Temp light id blinking with out driving it you have passed the beyond the conditions that create a blinking AT light. in other words it blinks at startup the NEXT time after you drove it and it had a problem. if you start it and turn it off with out driving it or you drove it and didn't have the problem it will not blink the next time.

the only way i know to read the TCU codes is to ground out a pin on a connector under the dash. search "transcodes" to find a how to post. or maybe "readtranscodes". i don't think advance can do it.

i don't know if the TCU stores the code or it clears when the flashing is gone. but once you have learned how to read the codes, i think you can do it pretty easily any time, especially when it is blinking. i assume you will get another opportunity.

TPS is a pretty good guess given the way the trans reacts, or so my very inexperienced mind tells me. if the trans does not know where the throttle is it could well be guessing what gear to be in. but i really don't know, just a guess.

Edited by johnceggleston, 31 October 2010 - 03:49 PM.


#13 mikeamondo

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 01:32 PM

Well... finally found the proceedure to pull th TCU code on my 99.... there is no connector in the #5 slot of the fabled 6 pin connector..... so you have to do the Tranny Code Dance.... Got the code of 45. Anyone know what that is, or where I can find it?

Thanks!
Mike

BTW.... I'm going to try to attach the dance card for the tranny code dance....

Attached Files



#14 mikeamondo

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 03:16 PM

So I've found that TCU Code 45 is "Intake Maniford Pressure".... does this clue me into what has been causing the problems? Does it fit the symptoms?

Thanks,
Mike

#15 OB99W

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 03:29 PM

As you found, TCU code 45 relates to the intake manifold pressure signal (the "baro", which I mentioned previously), and indicates an open or short in the circuit. This can be "real", or due to a problem in the TCU itself. The first thing to do is check the ECU for codes, even if the CEL isn't lit. Specifically, P0106/7/8 might show up.

As you brought up before, it could be that there's a swap-related connection problem, but let's hold off on that until you see if the ECU is storing any codes.

#16 mikeamondo

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 06:36 PM

So, I finally sprang for my own OBDII scanner.... very basic model, and yet I feel so empowered!

.... back to the Soobie.... First, let's back up a day. Yesterday afternoon, I found and took off the TPS, blew out any dirt and reassembled. Took apart the large grey and large copper colored connectors (about 1" square, pass. side, below the TPS) and blew them out, inspected and reconnected. These had wire harnesses going to the firewall and also to the o2 sensor. I'm assuming TCU and ECU connections. I also wiggled and unhooked various other connectors as I found them. I did not see anything overly dirty or corroded. I also noted that the air filter was very dirty, with some dark oily patches where hoses came into the air filter housing. I didn't have a new filter, so I put it back, rotated 180 degrees, so the heavily soiled areas were in a different location.

After all that, last evening I drove the car into town and back, about 20 miles total. Then, into town and back twice today, another 40 miles, WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT.... ran like a top. Prior episodes were maybe 10 -15 miles apart....

When I got to Advance Auto Parts this evening, I bought the scanner and pulled the codes.... it showed P0325, P0117, P0113, and as you predicted, P0108... in that order. I don't know the last time the codes were pulled, so I have no idea how old any of those were. I cleared the codes and then drove home, as I said, with no problems. When I got home (about 10 miles from Advance), it was still showing no codes.

SO..... what do the codes mean, and should I wait to see if it repeats before we do anything else, in case the problem was in the connectors?

Thanks!
Mike

#17 OB99W

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:07 PM

So, I finally sprang for my own OBDII scanner.... very basic model, and yet I feel so empowered!

Is it a scan tool, or just a code reader? Either way, more info is better than less. :)


.... back to the Soobie.... First, let's back up a day. Yesterday afternoon, I found and took off the TPS, blew out any dirt and reassembled. Took apart the large grey and large copper colored connectors (about 1" square, pass. side, below the TPS) and blew them out, inspected and reconnected. These had wire harnesses going to the firewall and also to the o2 sensor. I'm assuming TCU and ECU connections. I also wiggled and unhooked various other connectors as I found them. I did not see anything overly dirty or corroded.

You may have "fixed" the problem, or at least made it go away for a while. (More on this below.)


I also noted that the air filter was very dirty, with some dark oily patches where hoses came into the air filter housing. I didn't have a new filter, so I put it back, rotated 180 degrees, so the heavily soiled areas were in a different location.

I'd suggest a new air filter (okay, that's obvious :)). To perhaps stop (or minimize) the oil contamination, clean or replace the PCV valve, and make sure the related tubing is free of sludge.


After all that, last evening I drove the car into town and back, about 20 miles total. Then, into town and back twice today, another 40 miles, WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT.... ran like a top. Prior episodes were maybe 10 -15 miles apart....

When I got to Advance Auto Parts this evening, I bought the scanner and pulled the codes.... it showed P0325, P0117, P0113, and as you predicted, P0108... in that order. I don't know the last time the codes were pulled, so I have no idea how old any of those were. I cleared the codes and then drove home, as I said, with no problems. When I got home (about 10 miles from Advance), it was still showing no codes.

SO..... what do the codes mean, and should I wait to see if it repeats before we do anything else, in case the problem was in the connectors?

P0108 Pressure sensor circuit high input
P0113 Intake air temperature sensor circuit high input
P0117 Engine coolant temperature sensor circuit low input
P0325 Knock Sensor Circuit Malfunction

These are all circuit faults, most likely due to bad connections. Your work on the connectors could have resolved any or all of them. If the problems never return, there's nothing more to do. If any of the symptoms and/or codes recur, let us know. It should then be possible to determine which connector(s) and pin(s) are the likely culprits.

#18 mikeamondo

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 08:02 PM

Hey, thanks for the input! I guess bad connections is the best of possible outcomes! The tool I got is just a reader.... keeps me from running to Advance all the time.... I think they were getting sick of me....

A further clue that it was the connections is the fact that the temp gauge has been working again... so I'll let it ride for a while and see what happens next!

Thanks!
Mike

#19 OB99W

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 06:03 AM

Hey, thanks for the input!

You're welcome!


With so many sensor circuit problems apparently resolved, it's possible that one of the multi-pin E/B (engine-to-bulkhead) connectors at the rear passenger side of the engine wasn't fully seated until you removed and reinserted it.




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