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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Help me solve this mystery...

Driving my 2004 6 (3.0 Liter V6) in a traffic jam on the freeway. The Traction Control light comes on for about 10 seconds, then goes away. I thought, "gee that was odd." A few minutes later, ALL the dashboard warning lights come on, except for the oil light, which begins to flicker every time I give the car gas. The car begins making a horrible chattering sound whenever I give it gas (chattering is perfectly in sync with the oil light flickering). The engine temperature gauge drops all the way to zero (C). Other than that, the engine is running normally at idle.

I pull off the freeway, and on the exit ramp the car just switches off. Engine dead, all dash lights (including gauge lights) dead. Headlights and interior lights still work. I try to restart the car, it will not catch but makes the horrible chattering sound with the oil light flickering.

I have the car towed home. Check the oil, it's fine. Try to start the car again--and it starts right up, runs completely normally. I check the battery (12.6V) and the alternator (about 14.2), all seems fine. The only CEL code is P0117, which is Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Low Input (from when the gauge dropped to zero), and some preexisting P1410 and P0443 Emissions codes I've been dealing with, but those are old and surely unrelated).

Next day I drive the car around for awhile. It runs great.

So--what the heck happened to my car?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 06:13 PM
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Is the battery hitting the hood or grounding out anywhere? My 03 did that when I 1st bought it. At some point someone had put a battery in there that was too tall. It wore a hole through the hood liner throughout time and all of a sudden it started acting up. I'd start checking all the grounds and positive wires on the battery. Good luck because electrical gremlins suck!!


Edit: how are the CV axles? I've seen on other cars where the inner joint will go out and not drive the axles as the should. Might be worth jacking the car up and see if the axle and joint have a lot of play in them.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 07:39 PM
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I have also read about throttle body issues (early 1st gen) that can wreak the type of havoc you speak of.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFeelGood View Post
I have also read about throttle body issues (early 1st gen) that can wreak the type of havoc you speak of.
I had a throttle body issue waaaaay back in 2005. It behaved much the same way you describe, except it didn't shut down completely. I pulled off the road, shut it down, waited a bit and started it back up. Of course, it threw a code and it was covered under warranty and there was a tsb for it.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'm on the right track with a ground or electrical issue. The battery is not touching the hood, but I did pull the main wire bundle connector at the engine fuse and relay box and there was some kind of schmutz on two of the connectors. Cleaned it up and hope that's it.

I don't think it's throttle body because the car doesn't throw a CEL and it is basically idling fine till it conks, the TSB I ready described revs going crazy and the car jerking, I had none of that.

Last edited by toecheese; 02-23-2019 at 04:05 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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So I test drove the car, and now the thermostat seems to be bad - car took forever to heat up to normal, and at full temp produces no heat from the heater.

This SEEMS like it would be completely unrelated, but could it somehow be connected to the problem at hand? It's such a coincidence for two things to go bad at the same time...
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 05:01 PM
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Sounds like a weird short.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 05:39 PM
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Could it be a bad ECT sensor or connection/ground to that sensor? Maybe all the illuminations and chattering were a limp-home mode due to no input signal from ECT...

Also maybe explains the low coolant T code and why your engine apparently (how did you confirm) is running cold?

The ECT is just a thermistor, you can do a two-point water temperature test (RT and boiling) of the resistance using an ohmmeter and a styrofoam cup.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 08:29 PM
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Electrical engineer here. - Certainly sounds like and electrical problem to me. If you dont own digital multi meter I would suggesting going and buying one before you start throwing money at parts. They are like 10 on ebay. 15 in store. - Check the resistance of your wires and your sensors per manufacturer manual. Look at all the things that COULD throw that code. Cause that code that was a thrown is a catch all for potentially 5 different things. A lot of people are lacking general electrical awareness which makes it difficult to do modern day car diagnostic for a lot of people. From my experience. ---- Best of luck, let us know the results.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 03:55 PM
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12.6 on a battery isnt good.

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