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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jul 2009, 08:53 pm
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Default P0138 Fault

Hi Guys,
I'm shiny new here so let me introduce myself. I was a Ford Auto trans tech for 27 years. Basically all of my adult life. Got hurt...don't twist wrenches anymore. I recently bought an '05 Touring Edition for my son. I bought it right, it was a repo and the company only wanted what was owed on it. So any repairs I've done I consider still a bargain.
It does have higher than normal mileage, but it's clean body and paint wise and the interior is like new.
Now, my son hasn't seen it yet as he is out of state, so instead of driving my Super Crew (10 mpg if I'm lucky) I've been cruising in the Cruiser. After I put about 400 miles on it, I was idling one morning and I got an amber check engine light. I have a scan tool and pulled a P0138 from the processor which apparently is an EGO (or might be HEGO) circuit malfunction. I cleared the code. And it remained. On Fords we call that a hard fault which is usually hardware. But a friend who was a driveability tech (Ford) said maybe I should try to force the clearing of the code by pulling the negative cable, jumper between the negative post and cable and hit any light or cause a draw of some type. I did and it went away.
Came back the next day, only it could not have been a hard fault because it turned itself off.

The only thing I can go by is Ford. So with Ford, the HEGO circuit had actual resistors on the processor's main board which would go out and would also constitute a hard fault. But I've not personally experienced a resistor healing itself.
Now, I said all that to say all this..I can say it did not exhibit any driveability concerns when the light was on. however, since I got it, it has had an issue with idling rough. Not with the A/C off, but with it on, it will begin to lope, then eventually shake like a dog...well you know. then die.

So possibly this is a common concern with these vehicles? I apreciate any input. This is not an emergency thing...son won't be back and ready for school for another 3 weeks, and I have my own ride.
Thanks for putting this forum on line. Guys like are lost enough as it is.
Joe
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jul 2009, 08:56 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

I forgot...it's an '05 as I said, 2.4L Non-turbo, automatic, not a convertible if that means anything. I suppose that that's it. It's a fun vehicle to drive and I think my son is really going to like it.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jul 2009, 09:06 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

Welcome to the forum Joe.

I'm not sure what a HEGO circuit is but the P0138 for your PT should be the upstream 02 oxygen sensor. If it's really bad I guess it could cause your symptoms but then there's a lot of other things that can cause a rough idle and shaking including plugs and wires.

Here's something to read while your waiting.

http://www.motor.com/magazine/pdfs/032008_02.pdf


Last edited by CREWZIN; 30 Jul 2009 at 09:10 pm.
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Old 30 Jul 2009, 09:07 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

Sorry about that guys. I suppose I should have looked at some of the earlier posts about this fault code. It is not uncommon for Ford HEGOs to take a dump, and I'm sure they're made by the same vendors. They look like it. It has not come on since it turned itself off, but I envision it coming on again.
I noticed the one guy had possible vacuum leak. I don't remember if anyone replied to that, but certainly if it has a good sized vacuum leak, it will try to fatten up (at least Ford's strategy would) and hence would throw a code of some type at least for out of range.
thanks again
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Old 30 Jul 2009, 09:11 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

Welcome to the Forum!!! Because you do not have any previous history on how it was maintained, and because the first thing we suggest is to replace the plugs (Champion platinum) and plug wires, anything but stock. If you look at the "stickys" on the plug replacement it will be an easy job. I know for a fact that many garages & owners are gapping them at .050 as the sticker on the hood states, Chrysler has decided that the gap should be .040. That is where I would start.
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Old 30 Jul 2009, 09:11 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

Thanks Crewsin,
You're likely right on the money. Even though this is clean, I don't think they were really big on the maintenance thing and likely has original plugs. The air filter element was so black and gummy it was probably starving for air. Of course I replaced that, but if that's how they maintained the cheap and easy parts, I can imagine how plugs would have been on a priority list.
Thanks again
By the way, Ford changed the Exhaust Gas Oxygen sensor circuits a bit by adding a heating element to the sensor hence the H (heated)EGO. You don't want to touch one of those babies if the key is turned on while it's out of the cat. Whew. They're hot.
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Old 30 Jul 2009, 09:19 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

Hooligan,
You're right. I have zero history on the maintenance with this thing. It was obviously used for commuter vehicle which can really test even the best car here in Southern California. Somehow the guy that repossessed it, must have forgotten to ask them for a maintenance log. But even though the engine and trans oil look like they just been done, and engine compartment etc is dusty but pretty clean, I'm suspect that not much if anything has been done to this car. It has 115,000. Miles on it. On my SuperCrew, that would be nothing. I put about 60,000 a year on mine. It's an '07 and has almost the same mileage as the Cruiser. And will easily go another twice that before any real failures will likely occur. But I don't know much about these vehicles. All my life I owned Fords because I never paid for any parts and had plenty of techs who wanted trans overhauls, so naturally all labor was free too.
I'm pretty impressed with some of the innovative design features, and I figured since it's an '05 and looks like they have been out since '00, that would plenty of time to dial in any repeat failures for the most part.
Looks like I'll wind up pulling at least one plug to see what it looks like. Are there any particular brand of plugs it doesn't like? Fords do not like Champion and some models don't like Bosch.
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Old 30 Jul 2009, 09:30 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

Don't forget what myself and Hooligan said: plugs AND wires. The wires cause more problems than the plugs (if they are stock or replaced by the same kind from the dealer). We recommend platinum Champion plugs (#7440 or 7570) and any good wires.

You have another problem that I'm sure you won't want to hear. Your way past the time for a timing belt and water pump change. It's probably the hardest part to do because of what has to be done to get to the belt. In fact, your shaking, rough idle and hesitation could be because the belt is starting to stretch and slip.

It takes an expert about 5 to 7 hours to change the belt and water pump. It's a complicated procedure even for someone who knows what they are doing. The engine has to be moved in order to gain access and usually the air conditioning lines have to be moved after the system (R134) is purged.

The engine is a non-interference type but the valves can hit each other if the belt breaks especially if your moving at a decent speed.
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Old 31 Jul 2009, 07:11 am
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post

I'm not sure what a HEGO circuit is but the P0138 for your PT should be the upstream 02 oxygen sensor.
I know we've covered this before and I'm not trying to argue but P0138 turned out to be my downstream O2 sensor.

You've mentioned it previously what is this code as well...

To the OP, the downstream sensor at the cat was $25... unsure of the cost of the upstream. May be wise just to change both... I didn't though, I just cleared the code and changed the downstream sensor and it hasn't returned.

Edit:

It's a bit confusing to say the least... I got this message from Autozone's computer and was told it was the downstream sensor. I also got P2097 in addition to P0138.

P0138 (M)
O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage
(Bank 1 Sensor 2)
Oxygen sensor input voltage maintained above normal operating range.

But looking at this Ive got a 2006 PT Cruiser that has started idlei... - JustAnswer says it's the upstream.

I'm baffled... changing the downstream has not returned the code so I've just let it ride.
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Last edited by Travis2k7; 31 Jul 2009 at 08:09 am.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 31 Jul 2009, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: P0138 Fault

I'm a Chrysler Tech. You will need to replace the upstream o2 sensor. Very common problem. I speak a little Ford and it is related to your HEGO. The problem is the O2 heater sensor. It is open circuit in the sensor. Replace it and that'll fix it. Right off the top of my head I'm not sure but I think there is a flash for that also.... but I'm not 100 percent sure. If mileage is under 80k then the dealer should do it for free under emissions warranty.
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