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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay so my bird has had this interesting problem since I can remember. When it rains heavily overnight and you take the car out the next day, the engine feels like it's misfiring once it gets into 3rd and 4th gears and it jolts the car when you're in those gears. There's also barely any power behind the pedal. The idling is also a bit rough.

However, after the engine warms up to normal operating temps and 5 or so minutes pass, the roughness magically vanishes and never returns (unless it sits in heavy rain, cold, overnight).

As I was driving back to where I went today, the OBDII threw a P1132 at me (while the engine was acting weird). Shortly after that the problems went away, so I cleared the code after I read it. Ironically I checked the computer yesterday morning for any pending codes and nothing showed up.

I looked up the code and it apparently means "HO2S 11 Indicates Rich", the O2 sensor nearest the engine on the passenger side is reading rich. What could be causing that? Why would it only do it when cold and wet, and how in the heck is it getting wet if it's in the engine compartment? Is it just a bad sensor or is there something more serious going on?
 

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Not sure of the rain, but when warming up it is not using the O2 sensors. I think it is using the MAF, TPS, and the tables that have been computed during fully warmed up over a period of time and adds in a little more fuel.

When the problem happens again, I would try resetting the computer. You can pull a certain fuse I think or unplug the battery and wait like 30 seconds. I wonder how the car would behave on default settings.

I believe a symptom of an aged O2 sensor is that it will read as if it is rich. How many miles are on the sensors? Could also be the fuel injectors or plugs. You may get some clues by pulling all the sparkplugs on the passenger's side and seeing if any are black. If you have 3 clean and 1 black the culprit is either the plug or the injector.
 

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Oh I see you are waiting on changing the spark plug wires as well. May want to change them as well if they are 107,000 miles old.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply. The plugs were just changed ~1500 miles back, about the same time I cleaned the MAF. All the sensors, to my knowledge, are the originally equipped ones, so a dead HO2S would not be out of the question.

It never does this except after it's been sitting outside in the rain for a while. Almost like rain water or humidity is clogging up a circuit somewhere until the engine heat can evaporate it away.
 

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If you think it is actual water on something, you can get a car cover that can be water resistant. I wonder if a quick swap of the first O2 sensors would also swap the code. I believe I have a similar code on my cougar, that I believe to be the O2 sensors as well, but do not see any drivability issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On mine, the code comes after the symptoms I mentioned above, and it doesn't always show up. While cruising at 30 or 40 MPH (lower RPM zone on 3rd or 4th gear) the engine feels like it's misfiring and it shakes... even jolts the whole car forward and backward. I'm starting to wonder if it is a set of bad wires - or even coils...? But I get stumped there because it only happens after huge storms when the car's sitting cold for hours and hours in the rain.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So yesterday I noticed the rubber seal at the back of the engine compartment was detached from about the midpoint on to the driver's side. So needless to say I reattached it, but I also noticed a slight drip (snow melting off the windshield/hood) coming from some kind of hose or wire coming up to the middle under the ledge. I think I'm going to attempt to trace that and seal it off with silicone or something, same goes for that seal that I had to re-attach. Hopefully that's my (only) source of water entering the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the computer just threw a P0420 at me - "Catalyst system below efficiency - Bank 1". Could these two codes be related, other than the fact that they're both for the passenger side?

The last time I saw this code it was eh, 6 or so months ago with the "old" PCM. If this means I need to replace my cats, it's going to be a looooooooong time before that happens. Big bucks, I have not. Big problem, this is not. Low priority this is.

Forgive the Yoda-speak at the end. :D
 

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ODB2 requires a check of the cat efficiency by measuring before and after the cat. The after cat should notice a drop in oxygen as it should have ignited the polution in the cat. That being said, if the first O2 sensor is going bad it will read less oxygen to begin with, possibly not giving the difference it wants to see in the second reading. Similar to the thought before is, it will be best to replace all four O2 sensors, especially if they are all 108,000 miles old.
 

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I vote for replacing the plug wires. Moisture and degraded insulation = misfire, which could lead to a few different codes. Once the engine warmed up the problem would clear. Let us know what you find...

Mike
 

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Replacing the o2 sensors will probably help; On my cars I had to replace both sets of sensors to clear the different cat-related codes I was getting.

My black car sticks an injector sometimes; popping the throttle to the floor for a second will clear it up. This will cause a rich code if I don't notice that it's hung.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for the tips guys. New plug wires are on my list in the next couple weeks - I'll probably start pricing around here in a week or so. O2 sensors are also a thing I'll probably end up doing here, but not within the next six months or so. Speaking of the cats, is there an easy way to tell if they need to be replaced short of taking them out? If I need to replace the cats I figure I'll do them and the O2s at the same time.

Also, I checked the stray drip that I mentioned in post #7 - it comes from what looks to be the connection for the windshield wiper motor (or the hose for the washer fluid, can't recall what it was) at the center of the top rear of the engine compartment. The drips fall onto the transmission, or at least that's what it looked like. I suppose I'll find out tomorrow morning with tonight's rainstorms if my "resealing" that weatherstripping was the cause of the strange behavior, hopefully it was.

One more remark. When the engine is doing its "hoppy" dance which, like I said, shakes the whole car rather violently and I need some power to accelerate, I get the throttle pretty close to WOT (around 80%) and it magically clears up. But, it returns after I start driving normally again until it has time to "dry".

EDIT: Just hopped on rockauto to check plug wire pricing. The cheapest one from a brand I might buy from was the "Standard Motor Products" set for $35+ shipping. Would it be worth the extra $10 to get the ACDelco set? Once I decide I think I'll just go ahead and get them, that way I don't need to worry about plug wires being a possible cuplrit.
 

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Healthy O2 sensors will keep your cats healthy. After you are fully warmed up, smell the exhaust. If it smells ok then you should be fine. Also if you had an infrared thermometer or something else you could meaure the section of pipe before the cat and then the cat. The cat should be hotter. Not sure the temps though. But I'd imagine it would be a very noticable reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay, so taking advantage of the nice weather today I took the car out for a wash to clean the crap out from the underbody. While I was in the wash the engine started idling roughly, which to me indicated it was missing again. On the way home it did its lovely dance routine like before, and again it threw a P1132 at me. The new plug wires are coming FedEx today, so hopefully that should clear out my problem. At least now I know how to "force" water into the engine compartment so as to have the problem replicated!
 

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hey guys, This is my first post here. I've been lurking for years, but had to get a new user name to get posting rights.

anyway, I would also recommend putting dielectric grease on the spark plug wire connections at the coils & at the plugs. If there is water getting in there, it will help keep it off the connection & will help with conductivity (is that even a word? haha)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well it's time for the moment of truth. New wires all hooked up (and yes, I used dielectric grease on both ends of all the wires) and there's rain forecast today, tonight, and tomorrow. Hopefully I won't see any more codes or feel any shuddering.

By the way, anyone know the name of the guy at Ford who decided to run half the wires between the manifold and block under the alternator? I'd like to sponsor him in a cranial examination.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay well, so far so good. I'll declare this problem fixed, unless the problem comes up again in the upcoming days.
 

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so I've been having a p 1132 problem as well. the car will misfire and when it does it enough the check engine light comes on. it will stop doing it, the light goes away, then in a few weeks the problem starts again. I've also noticed that when I take off from a stop when the problem is happening, sometimes the car will have no power, then instantly gain it at like 2500rpms. I have replaced both front o2s within the past two months and the rears are turned off. thanks for any help

-steve
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I probably should've mentioned... The new wires seemed like they fixed the problem when it rained overnight - I have yet to encounter it as a result of the weather. However... I got it again after I washed my car and sprayed down the deck by the windshield wipers a couple weeks ago. I really don't know where else to look...
 
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