Piston Slap: No OBD-II Code, No Clue Edition
TTAC Commentator Detroit-Iron writes:
I have a 2000 Ford Ranger, 2wd 3.0L V6 with 143k miles. The CEL has been on for at least last 70k and I finally went to AutoZone and got the code read. Turns out the O2 sensor is bad and the EGR valve is stuck. Is that the kind of thing that I can fix myself? I don’t want to put a whole lot of money in this truck seeing as it has a lot of miles and has been running reasonably well, if inefficiently (21 mpg all highway), for so long. I have an ok tool set and I do my brakes, but I recently paid $70 to have the fuel filter replaced-I’ve done it before and I didn’t want to do it again. The truck is going back to my parents to be semi-retired and put into “farm use” so I wouldn’t mind fixing it up a little before giving it back but I don’t want to spend a lot.
No soup for you until you get the actual code from AutoZone! Never, ever throw parts at something: always ask the engine computer what’s wrong, then Google the code for a diagnosis.
Days later, Detroit-Iron replies:
Finally got the code again. It is P1400, it looks like a couple different possibilities ranging from a bad hose to a short. The funny thing is, the first time I got them read (and promptly lost the slips) am pretty sure there were two codes, the other being for a misfire. The print out is as follows:
Definition: BBDPFE ciruit low voltage detected.
Explanation: BBECM detected the EGR pressure sensor (DPFE) voltage below expected values
BB1.-Failed DPFE sesor (EGR pressure sensor)
BB2.-Open or short circuit condition
BB3.-Sensor hose defective
See, isn’t that much better? Back to your original question: yes, you can fix this yourself. And after your second email, you know where to attack the problem. Let’s not worry about the misfire you may have for now, because the EGR system is your biggest problem.
I had the similar code with my Lincoln Mark VIII, a new DPFE sensor (LINK: http://www.focushacks.com/?modid=80&ht=DPFE%20Sensor%20and%20EGR%20Information) ) fixed the code, it’s usually the fail point on this diagnostic tree. Before you pull the trigger on a new sensor, check the rubber hoses going to/from the DPFE before you buy a new sensor, maybe the vacuum line (BB3, from above) is cracked or rotted. And do a visual on your EGR wiring to make sure that BB2 isn’t the problem.
Bonus! A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:
Don’t cheap out on replacement engine control sensors. Stick with OEM or a name brand like BOSCH or Borg-Warner to ensure you don’t replace this part 12 months from now.
(Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Generic advice. To de- pressurize a fuel system for service. Start the engine, remove the fuel pump fuse. When engine stalls, turn off key. Always, just " crack" a pressurized fitting to let it bleed.
Change out the two upstream O2 sensors. Bosch for about $50 each Standard for $42 each. EGR valve is about $40. Way past their lifetime. Check for access, use a little penetrant on just warm exhaust. O2 socket will cost about $10.