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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, if you don't know, I just bought the Bird a week ago.

It was pinging very badly since I bought it, and even with 93 octane, it was still out of control.

A couple of days ago, went to the parts store to check for codes with their handheld scanner. Both banks showing running lean. So I know it's pretty odd that two O2 sensors would go bad at the same time, my hunch was on either the CTS or mass air.

Since right now I am on a tight budget, I didn't want to spend money getting a fuel pressure gauge to check for fuel, so instead, I decided to disconnect the mass air meter completely to allow the PCM to run on limp mode.

Started the car up, it ran like crap for the first minute until the limp mode kicked in; after that, it ran smooth as butter. Then drove around for about 1/2 an hour to do errands and also to see if it would ping. No ping whatsover. Car also felt a stronger. Led me to believe that the fuel system is just fine.

Now, before I start going out to buy a new mass air, what do you guys think I should do next?

Buy a can of CRC to spray the mass air element? Or is it too far gone to save?
 

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id start by at least cleaning the maf and see how it is. a simple electrical cleaner and a q-tip will be a good start.
 

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Hey guys, if you don't know, I just bought the Bird a week ago.

It was pinging very badly since I bought it, and even with 93 octane, it was still out of control.

A couple of days ago, went to the parts store to check for codes with their handheld scanner. Both banks showing running lean. So I know it's pretty odd that two O2 sensors would go bad at the same time, my hunch was on either the CTS or mass air.

Since right now I am on a tight budget, I didn't want to spend money getting a fuel pressure gauge to check for fuel, so instead, I decided to disconnect the mass air meter completely to allow the PCM to run on limp mode.

Started the car up, it ran like crap for the first minute until the limp mode kicked in; after that, it ran smooth as butter. Then drove around for about 1/2 an hour to do errands and also to see if it would ping. No ping whatsover. Car also felt a stronger.

Now, before I start going out to buy a new mass air, what do you guys think I should do next?

Buy a can of CRC to spray the mass air element? Or is it too far gone to save?
You could try that, but if it were me, I'd just replace the MAF sensor and be done with it.
 

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Hey guys, if you don't know, I just bought the Bird a week ago.

It was pinging very badly since I bought it, and even with 93 octane, it was still out of control.

A couple of days ago, went to the parts store to check for codes with their handheld scanner. Both banks showing running lean. So I know it's pretty odd that two O2 sensors would go bad at the same time, my hunch was on either the CTS or mass air.

Since right now I am on a tight budget, I didn't want to spend money getting a fuel pressure gauge to check for fuel, so instead, I decided to disconnect the mass air meter completely to allow the PCM to run on limp mode.

Started the car up, it ran like crap for the first minute until the limp mode kicked in; after that, it ran smooth as butter. Then drove around for about 1/2 an hour to do errands and also to see if it would ping. No ping whatsover. Car also felt a stronger.

Now, before I start going out to buy a new mass air, what do you guys think I should do next?

Buy a can of CRC to spray the mass air element? Or is it too far gone to save?
a dirty maf will send out low bank errors. i would suggest you buy a can of cleaner as its cheaper then buying a new maf and see what happens if nothing else you can easily obtain a maf sensor off a junkyard bird for dirt cheap it unbolts from the top so you dont even need o remove the whole maf.
 

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a dirty maf will send out low bank errors. i would suggest you buy a can of cleaner as its cheaper then buying a new maf and see what happens if nothing else you can easily obtain a maf sensor off a junkyard bird for dirt cheap it unbolts from the top so you dont even need o remove the whole maf.
What exactly is a low bank error? A dirty MAF sensor may set a code and it might not. And the codes may be about the MAF sensor, or the oxygen sensors, or the A/F mixture, etc. There is no defined, predictable behavior.
 

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My car threw the bank 1 and bank 2 too lean code as well, I cleaned the MAF with 99.9% pure alcohol and lint free q-tips and the codes went away and all my power came back. I never got a miss or a ping, but it was just gutless and often it wouldnt shift right. Cleaned the MAF and wham all better.
 

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What exactly is a low bank error? A dirty MAF sensor may set a code and it might not. And the codes may be about the MAF sensor, or the oxygen sensors, or the A/F mixture, etc. There is no defined, predictable behavior.
all i was doing was giving a suggestion as i had a dirty maf give me bank 1 and bank 2 running lean readings.
 

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hummm...... I had(before the car was parked) a bank 2 sensor 1 and 2 heater circuit failure(IIRC). The car ran like complete and total junk. Now I'm wondering, when I get it running again, if it's because of the MAF being dirty. I have the CRC electrical parts cleaner so I'll give that a shot and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tonight, interestingly, for the first time the check engine light went out. I was so happy I wanted to jump around, open the sunroof so I can sit on top of my car while I use my feet to steer. I don't think the police would've approved.

Then stopped by to get a sandwich. Came back out, started the car and about another minute or two, the CEL came back.

I'm convinced that the O2 sensors are happy with not running lean anymore but the EEC is not happy about a disconnected Mass Air, thus CEL coming back.

I haven't gotten to cleaning it yet but hopefully I can in the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hummm...... I had(before the car was parked) a bank 2 sensor 1 and 2 heater circuit failure(IIRC). The car ran like complete and total junk. Now I'm wondering, when I get it running again, if it's because of the MAF being dirty. I have the CRC electrical parts cleaner so I'll give that a shot and see what happens.
heater circuit failure.. not sure. Doesn't sound like a fuel mixture problem... maybe your O2's are not getting power to them when your car is cold?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
update: I just CRC'ed the Mass Air and hooked it back up. I've been driving around all day and didn't notice a lick of pinging. Maybe the EEC needs to get reacquainted with the mass air but my hopes are high so far and won't have to buy a new one.

Check engine light is still on but that could be due to the EGR.
 

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If the o2 sensors are stock, I'd replace them. All 4. Yeah, that's expensive, but you will pay it off in gas mileage in no time. Heater circuit failures were shorted sensors , in my case.

Lean codes in my case always meant vacuum leaks. There are tons of hoses, and all are crumbling by now if they are stock.

Check the brake booster, see if it is leaking vacuum. If the master cylinder goes bad, replace it and the booster.

Clean the MAF. It is the first thing to do when it starts running funny.

Pulling fuse 15 in the underhood fuse block, and trying to start the car will clear all the codes in the EEC, without losing your radio presets.

Seafoam. Seafoam. Seafoam. Seafoam. Seafoam. Search. :)

Check the rubber lines at the gas tank; those being bad will cause evap system errors.

This is where troubleshooting starts with these engines... :D These are just the known issues...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If the o2 sensors are stock, I'd replace them. All 4. Yeah, that's expensive, but you will pay it off in gas mileage in no time. Heater circuit failures were shorted sensors , in my case.

Lean codes in my case always meant vacuum leaks. There are tons of hoses, and all are crumbling by now if they are stock.

Check the brake booster, see if it is leaking vacuum. If the master cylinder goes bad, replace it and the booster.

Clean the MAF. It is the first thing to do when it starts running funny.

Pulling fuse 15 in the underhood fuse block, and trying to start the car will clear all the codes in the EEC, without losing your radio presets.

Seafoam. Seafoam. Seafoam. Seafoam. Seafoam. Search. :)

Check the rubber lines at the gas tank; those being bad will cause evap system errors.

This is where troubleshooting starts with these engines... :D These are just the known issues...
well the knocking came back again. CRC'ing the mass air didn't do anything so I still need to determine if it is actually bad before I unnecessarily start replacing O2's and what not.

The last owner really took care of the car so aside from some dust in the engine compartment, all the hoses look like they are in great shape. Remember, without the mass air connected, the car runs like a champ.
 

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my MAF was doing that too cleaing it didn't help much, so i got a cheep one from the local parts store. ran better, but still has no power... got my dads genisys scanner and the MAF isnt peaking fast enough when you touch the throttle... and expecially when you floor it. so.... i went to Ford and bought one of theirs... same crap... all my O2's seem to be in range, but it runs lean on acceleration till the MAF slowly climbs in voltage(then it rich/leans)... really annouying me... every now and then it will scare the pants off me when it suddenly runs great. (spinning tires, and all) since i have to half throttle it to get it going as fast as the cars beside me that are barely even driving hard. im getting passed by 4 cylinders.... :(

but... anyway, if cleaning it dosnt work just go get an O'rielly's one or something... they seem to be ok, since the $150 Ford one i have now is doing the same thing that one was. and is anyone has some suggestions on my problems it would be much appreciatied.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK, let me retract my last post. The CEL is now OFF. I've been driving all day with it off. I'm very happy about that! The knocking is still there, but not as pronounced like before. Hopefully, with a full tune-up with new plugs/wires/fuel filter and seafoam, should eliminate most of the knocking.

CRC'ing did indeed help.
 

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Pull the octane plug under the hood, and see if the knocking goes away; you may have bought crappy gas.

EDIT:

Wow, that was an asinine post (by me); You stated it's been doing this for awhile.

Vacuum leaks are Really common, as well as bad O2 sensors.

As long as the wires on the MAF sensor are unbroken, (you can see the windings with a magnifier) the sensor is likely fine.

Pulling the maf and going into limp mode richens the mix a bunch, and will take up for a pretty big leak. It also doesn't use the O2 sensors, so it masks problems there too.

If the sensors are old, I'd replace them. Especially if they see oil or coolant...
 

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Cleaning MAF first is always a good idea. When my NPI motor died at 110K due to horrible pinging, I replaced it with a PI motor. I was shocked when my car still ran like crap. Then I cleaned the MAF....can you say night and day?

If its really bad, you might need to VERY CAREFULLY wipe it with a qtip along with contact cleaner. Not a bad idea to let it sit for a while before starting the engine either, as that contact cleaner will get it awfully cold.
 

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My MAF went bad - again! Started bucking one night, the next day threw a code. Put an Advance MAF in it, just replaced the element, so much easier. At least it was all over with quick!

I am not convinced that CRC elec contact cleaner does not also shorten the life of the MAF. My original MAF only lasted 6 months after it's first cleaning. I am on my 4th MAF, all of them cleaned with CRC, although one of them wasnt completely bad, just was "out of range" according to Robert P.

These cars eat MAF's like candy.

Al
 
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