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Rough idle intermittent O2 engine code

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17 Mar 2019, 02:23 am
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 21
Default Rough idle intermittent O2 engine code

I was asked to check out a Cruiser that was sputtering badly. I started it and it ran smoothly for about a minute and a half. it had not been started that day so it was cold and didn't have time to warm up at all before running rough and cutting off. Restarted it and ran rough. (Someone else had replaced plugs, wires, coil and both O2 sensors.) Used a Mac scanner to check codes, there were three O2 sensor codes, cleared them and tried to test drive it. Ran like doo-doo, check engine light came on, running very rough with no power. I tried to feel the fuel tank to see how the pump was working and it seemed to be cutting out. I figured the lack of fuel and the extra air from the open throttle caused the O2 code, so I replaced the fuel pump. Started it and it ran smoother than before. Drove it, plenty of power, thought I had it fixed so I drove it the 25 miles back to the owner. No problems at all. Owner was so happy she decided to clean it up after I left. She called me back as soon as I got home. She tried to back it up, said as soon as she started it, it was doing the exact same thing as before. F##K!
When I first met the lady I had tried to get her to tell me exactly what it was doing and all I could get out of her was "it spits and sputters all the time". Talking to her after me working on it, she then tells me that the sputtering was not constant. Sometimes she could drive it with no problem and while she was out and about it began to sputter.
Any Ideas?

Last edited by craigwhill2010; 17 Mar 2019 at 02:30 am. Reason: spelling
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Old 17 Mar 2019, 07:16 am
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southeastern PA
Posts: 370
Default Re: Rough idle intermittent O2 engine code

Does sound like an intermittent electrical problem. I'd probably check the connectors and wiring associated with the ignition system.

I had an intermittent TPS problem (on another car) that ended up being a broken wire deep in the wiring loom. I ohmed (checked resistance) of the wiring to the PCM and ended up splicing a separate wire around the break to fix it. Another time it had a problem with the output speed sensor. This one ended up being a broken wire at the speed sensor connector. When I tugged on the individual wire at the connector (a firm tug, but not crazy hard) it stretched a little, indicating a break in the conductor under the insulation. Replacing the connector solved that problem.

Just a couple of random experiences. Good luck.
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Old 17 Mar 2019, 12:02 pm
Senior Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SW PA
Posts: 1,357
Default Re: Rough idle intermittent O2 engine code

Take fuel sample if you can, might be water in it. Try a different coil. Check the grounds.
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Old 17 Mar 2019, 03:16 pm
Regular Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: east central wisconsin
Posts: 189
Default Re: Rough idle intermittent O2 engine code

I had an Olds act similarly with a intermittent injector shorting to ground. Also a pain to get to. GM split the system in two so disabling the half (pulling fuse) with the short in it smoothed out the engine, be it, only half power. I bet Chrysler does something similar.
An other vehicle would accelerate, die, accelerate..... at one second intervals. A crack in the intake hose opened with engine torque.

Truth is, it could be dozens of things. All cars are similar so spending an hour on you tube will give you valid clues.

Last edited by circus; 18 Mar 2019 at 01:34 pm. Reason: Truth...
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Old 18 Mar 2019, 08:33 am
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 780
Default Re: Rough idle intermittent O2 engine code

Check the PCV Valve and hose. Go around the engine compartment and spray some brake cleaner in various intake areas and look for a vacuum leak. If you spray and the engine surges, there's probably a leak in that area. Also check around the engine compartment for loose ground wires where the wire could corrode and break contact with the frame.

Vacuum leaks will cause rough idling at low RPM but tend to go away as you rev the engine so it may not be a vacuum leak, but it's pretty easy to check for them.

Last edited by rsrocket1; 18 Mar 2019 at 08:39 am.
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