No start. PCM dead?

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No start. PCM dead?

Post by supercommuter » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:18 pm

This is really strange. I try to start the engine, and nothing happens. The battery has 12.5 volts, all the connections are good, the lights, horn, radio, etc all work. Definitely not a battery issue. The starter doesn't even try to turn. I get no click from the relay, nothing. Also, the fuel pump doesn't come on. When I try to start it, nothing at all happens. All the dash warning lights come on like they're supposed to, EXCEPT the CE light. I know that the CE lights works.

I checked all fuses in the dash and under the hood. Checked all grounds. Like I said battery is charged and cables are clean and tight. The fact that no starter or fuel pump relays come on, and that the CE light doesn't come on when I turn the key, makes me think it maybe is the computer?

Here's what led up to this. Today I replaced my exhaust manifold with a used factory replacement. Put everything back together, torqued all the bolts, reconnected all the hoses, lines, etc, everything that I disconnected while swapping the manifold. I left the downpipe disconnected and started the car up to check for leaks. It turned over but didn't start, but after a few minutes I realized I forgot to reconnect the primary wire on the coil pack. Onec I connected that it started right up and ran fine. I let ir run for a few minutes while I checked for exhaust leaks, and noticed that the CE light was on whereas it wasn't before I swapped the manifold. I shut the car off, and started it back up a few times. Then I reconnected the downpipe, and started it back up to check for leaks again. Still starting and running fine. Then I chut it off, ate dinner and came back out an hour later, and now it's completely dead.

So, any ideas?
Last edited by supercommuter on Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by NickKo » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:48 pm

I don't think your PCM is fried.
Whenever I have really fried my PCM, the engine would turn over just fine, and almost start.

Two things that come to mind:

- Battery Terminals. Are they tight enough ??

I once got stranded at a gas station (almost) when I failed to tighten the batt.terminals enough after doing some work to the car.
I was driving back from work, stopped for gas, and then couldn't re-start. Nothing. No starter, no fuel pump, etc. Just dead.
Turns out I didn't have the nuts for the battery terminals tightened down all the way. :oops:

- O2 sensor / wiring problem
A short in this area, will kill power to the fuel pump (although I suppose the engine would still crank).

- Alternator shorted or fusible link fried.


I hope this helps..... Please let us know what you find.



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Post by supercommuter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:22 am

I triple checked all my grounds, and yes the battery connections are clean and tight.

I tried another O2 sensor, but it didn't make a difference.

Maybe I'm calling it the wrong thing by saying the CPU, but I mean the cars computer. The reason I suspect that is because all electronics work when the key is in the ON position, but when I try to start it, absolutely nothing happens. No clicking or whirring from the starter solenoid or fuel pump relay. That and the CE light no longer comes on when in the ON position, yet I know the bulb is good.

I'm at a complete loss here. It's just sitting in the driveway dead. Is there any way I can test the CPU? Or could it be something else? I thought maybe it has to do with the round grey key, I remember the PO telling me that it had a security chip in it or something.

It's a stock 2000. Thanks again!

Also, just for clarification, is what I'm referring to called the ECU? And is the PCM just another name for the same thing, or is it something different? Thanks!

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Post by occasional demons » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:52 am

PCM is the "correct " term. Powertrain Control Module.

Did you check the grounds above the headlights on the core support, or possibly on the '00 they are in that corner on the inner fenders. If those grounds are not good, the PCM cannot ground the relay coils, or coil pack to energize it.

When you key on, do you hear the FP running briefly? Also what was the code for the CEL?

Have you tried to manually push the relay contacts to see if the related component works? Just pull it from the PDC (Power Distribution Center) and remove the plastic cover. Then reinstall, and use your finger to close the contacts. Just be sure the car isn't in gear, and the brake is set/wheels chocked.
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Post by supercommuter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:03 am

occasional demons wrote:PCM is the "correct " term. Powertrain Control Module.

Did you check the grounds above the headlights on the core support, or possibly on the '00 they are in that corner on the inner fenders. If those grounds are not good, the PCM cannot ground the relay coils, or coil pack to energize it.

When you key on, do you hear the FP running briefly? Also what was the code for the CEL?

Have you tried to manually push the relay contacts to see if the related component works? Just pull it from the PDC (Power Distribution Center) and remove the plastic cover. Then reinstall, and use your finger to close the contacts. Just be sure the car isn't in gear, and the brake is set/wheels chocked.
Thanks, so then what is the ECU?

I checked the two grounds you're referring to last week when I repaired the front end (remember I had a fender bender a couple weeks back), but I'll check them again when I get home from work.

No, when I turn the key on nothing from the fuel pump.

I didn't have time to get the code, because the CE light only came on right after I fired it up after replacing the manifold. I figured it was because it was a used manifold and the O2 sensor is the old used one that came with the manifold, so for all I know it could be bad, so I assumed that was the reason for the CEL. I just figured I'd throw on my old O2 sensor since I know that one is good. So I shut it down, and came back out an hour later and that's when it was dead. So I never did pull the code. Now the CE doesn't come on at all, even during the self test when I turn the key in the ON position and all the other dash lights come on.

I swapped around the relays, but that didn't make a difference.
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Post by occasional demons » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:58 am

supercommuter wrote: Thanks, so then what is the ECU?
Same thing.
Electronic Control Unit. 1970's/80's terminology. There was also ESC: Electronic Spark Control :D
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Post by supercommuter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:01 am

occasional demons wrote:
supercommuter wrote: Thanks, so then what is the ECU?
Same thing.
Electronic Control Unit. 1970's/80's terminology. There was also ESC: Electronic Spark Control :D
Cool, thanks. Is there a way to test the PCM? I'm borrowing a scan tool this afternoon, so I'm hoping that will tell me something.
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Post by Gnuserup » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:09 pm

Do you have an OBD-USB-Interface and tried to connect to your PCM ?
I had similar problems a few weeks ago -
viewtopic.php?t=55513
and found the ground wires caused them.

If you could get a response wih that kind of interface, your pcm might not be dead.

Have you tried a jump start ?

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Post by supercommuter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:14 pm

Gnuserup wrote:Do you have an OBD-USB-Interface and tried to connect to your PCM ?
I had similar problems a few weeks ago -
viewtopic.php?t=55513
and found the ground wires caused them.

If you could get a response wih that kind of interface, your pcm might not be dead.

Have you tried a jump start ?
I'm borrowing a code reader this afternoon, I don't think it has a USB interface, but I'm hoping it will tell me something.

I'll try and jump it. The battery was reading around 12.5 last night, but now that I think about it, maybe that's not enough to start the car? I would have thought I'd get something though.
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Post by Gnuserup » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:29 pm

You could make a little try by switching on your headlights. Then try to start your engine. If the lights will stay on but the engine won´t crank, the batterie should definitely be fine.

I had something like this some years ago in summertime. Parked the car after I have been riding a lot kilometers. After 2 or three hours - absolutely dead if I tried to crank, if not, the rest had been working. I swapped the batterie and the problem was solved.

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Post by jdusty914 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:01 pm

Try turning your key from off to acc 4 times in a row....there is a thing where the computer can lock out the gas line completely. It did it on mine and I had no clue what was going on. Dealership said to try that and see if it fixed it and it did. Just a suggestion.

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Post by OB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:16 pm

First, to clear one thing up, a bad 02 sensor will not cause a no start. Even upon startup, the 02 sensor's data isn't used by the PCM until they reach operating temperature. You could take both sensors completely out and the engine will start fine. 02 data is only used when the PCM is in closed loop operation.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but it's possible the 'crank' position of your ignition switch is faulty, causing an incomplete or weak circuit to the PCM. Does the fuel pump prime with the key ON but just not when you crank it, or does it never work at all? It's still possible that the ign switch is the culprit, since the power going to the dash and accessories isn't necessarily controlled by the PCM, but rather the body control module, which has nothing to do with the fuel pump/start up components.
-Derek

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Post by supercommuter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:36 pm

Okay, just double checked all grounds, battery terminals and connections are all tight. battery is reading 12.75 volts. I tried jump starting it with another car, still nothing.

All electronics work as they should, lights, wipers, horn, radio, etc. All gauges work, and all dash lights come on when the key is in the ON position, except for the CE light.

So I connected the scan tool, and nothing happened at all. It's supposed to come on automatically when the key is turned on, but the scan tool didn't show anything.

And still, no clicking from the starter solenoid, and nothing from the fuel pump.
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Post by occasional demons » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:32 pm

Have you tried keying on three times? The odometer should then give you codes. If that doesn't work, then you may have issues. At the least, it should give you p01684, and Done.

If you have some small alligator clips, you can test the coil. Just clip 12 volts to the center pin, and ground either outer pin. When you release the ground, it should spark. You may want to fuse either the ground wire, or the positive, in case the coil has shorted. No need to burn your fingers. If it has shorted, then the PCM is prolly dead. There is no protection against a high current load on the coil drivers.

Did you try to manually run the fuel pump/starter relay?

Try swapping the horn relay for the various other ones, after blowing the horn to be sure it works.

With a test light, check for power at pin 24 starter relay, when the key is set to crank.
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If there is no power there, you are not getting a signal from the ign switch. if it lights, then the start circuit is good.

If you then ground the light to pin 28, while leaving it in 24, and it does not light, then the PCM is not grounding/able to ground it. If there is SKIM, that could be a possible cause, or the ASD relay is not working, either by design, or plain failure.
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Post by supercommuter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:49 pm

Thanks Bill, I'll try that tomorrow when it's light out. I just went out now and cycled the key on three times, and after about thrity seconds the CE light does finally come on and stay on untill I turn the key off. It now does this every time. The odometer does not show any codes, and the CE light does not flash, just comes on and stays on, but only after I've left the key in to ON position for at least thrity seconds.

Still nothing from the code reader. I plugged it into the Durango to make sure it worked, and it comes on the second it's plugged into the port. So the code reader works, I don't know why it doesn't work when plugged into the Neon.

Also I noticed the red dot in the upper right corner of the gauge panel stays on.

And what is a SKIM?
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Post by occasional demons » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:01 pm

That red dot is an indication that SKIM is activated. If you key is not the black plastic, but the tan, you have SKIM. It is an immobilizer for theft protection. If you are using a cut key that has not been programmed, it will lock out the PCM. If the original key is black, then It is prolly a good bet the PCM is bad.

Did you by chance replace the PCM? if you did, and it was a SKIM activated unit, and your car is not SKIM, it will be basically worthless to you.

Edit: It should have never ran at the start if it was SKIM, just cranked for a few tries, and locked down.

But stranger things happen. I am currently running a SKIM PCM in a non SKIM car. Don't know why it works, don't want to try to find out. My luck it would lock down. R/T pcm's aren't exactly the most common things.
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Post by supercommuter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:20 pm

I've got two keys for it, one that is round ad grey and the PO told me to always use that one because it has a chip in it and it's the only one that will start the car. He also gace me a black one that he said will only open the dooor, but if I were to try to start the car with it, it would only run for a minute and then shut off. I've only ever used the grey security key, I've never used the black one.

Prior to this, it had started up just fine. I got the car about a month or so ago, and I never had any problems starting it. The only thing that changed between now and when it used to start and run fine was when I replaced the exhaust manifold on Sunday. After I got the new manifold in, I fired it up for a few minutes to check for leaks, it ran fine, I shut it off and fired it up a couple more times to check for leaks, shut it off, came out an hour later to go to the store... and nothing. It's been dead since.
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Post by supercommuter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:06 am

I keep leaning toward PCM, but I guess only because there's no communication with the code scanner. I'm half tempter to try and find a used PCM at the junkyard to to swap it in and try it, but I thought I read somewhere that not just any PCM will work, it has to be for the same year, same tranny, and same emissions (CA vs. FED). Plus there's something with the security system key?

And as far as the ignition switch, as someone suggested, would a replacement switch even work, with this stupid security key thing?
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Post by OB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:16 am

If my memory serves me correctly, the SKIM key (gray key) sends a signal to a receiver within the SKIM module, when it is within range. If the signal matches and there are no faults, this module then allows the PCM to start the engine. Did your key get wet or damaged in any way? I've heard of keys going bad, and in a few cases, SKIM modules failing and/or locking out for no apparent reason.


And one more thing, the OBDII port not working doesn't necessarily mean the PCM is bad. Perhaps the PCM being locked out due to a SKIM issue is keeping data from transferring. I don't know too much more about SKIM diag unfortunately, I've never gotten into it much with these cars.

Interested to know if the key dance will pull codes on the dash...
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Post by supercommuter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:24 am

OB wrote:If my memory serves me correctly, the SKIM key (gray key) sends a signal to a receiver within the SKIM module, when it is within range. If the signal matches and there are no faults, this module then allows the PCM to start the engine. Did your key get wet or damaged in any way? I've heard of keys going bad, and in a few cases, SKIM modules failing and/or locking out for no apparent reason.


And one more thing, the OBDII port not working doesn't necessarily mean the PCM is bad. Perhaps the PCM being locked out due to a SKIM issue is keeping data from transferring. I don't know too much more about SKIM diag unfortunately, I've never gotten into it much with these cars.

Interested to know if the key dance will pull codes on the dash...
Is there a way to bypass or eliminate the SKIM thing? I don't really need a security system, I'd rather have a car I can drive to work.

And no, the key dance doesn't do anything.
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Post by OB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:30 am

So when you turn the key 'on/off' three times and leave it 'on' the third time, nothing happens on the odometer screen whatsoever?

I think the only way to get rid of the SKIM would be to buy a non-SKIM PCM, then go to the dealer and have them flash the new PCM to the VIN of the car (this way it communicates with the other modules in the system). I wonder if they can make a SKIM PCM a non-SKIM unit with a flash procedure, or if it's a hardware difference.
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Post by supercommuter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:34 am

OB wrote:So when you turn the key 'on/off' three times and leave it 'on' the third time, nothing happens on the odometer screen whatsoever?
Right, nothing happens. Only the mileage is displayed.
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Post by OB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:42 am

Really... To be honest I've never heard of it not working. Are you positive you're doing it correctly?
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Post by occasional demons » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:12 pm

With a 2000 to 2002, you can just swap PCM's to non skim. No VIN flashing required. The only draw back is the mileage will not match between the PCM and the cluster. This would only be an issue if something major happened with the car, and savvy lawyers got involved. It will in no way affect the operation of the car.


Just remove the SKIM part from the steering column. If you don't the non SKIM PCM will sense it, and become SKIM.

Since you don't have two good chipped keys, you cannot program a new one to see if it fixes the problem. Chances are all that has happened is the key or SKIM receiver in the column went bad. If you can get a non skim '00 pcm for cheap, I would go that route. You will be looking at prolly a minimum of $200 for a dealer to look at it and program a new key. Possibly a lock smith can do it if they have a DRB tool to get the 4 digit SKIM code.
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Post by supercommuter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:55 pm

OB wrote:Really... To be honest I've never heard of it not working. Are you positive you're doing it correctly?
I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right... stick the key in, turn it to the ON postion, then off, then on then off then on again and on the third time leave it in the on position.

When I do that, the odometer just continues to display the mileage.
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Post by OB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:17 pm

occasional demons wrote:With a 2000 to 2002, you can just swap PCM's to non skim. No VIN flashing required. The only draw back is the mileage will not match between the PCM and the cluster. This would only be an issue if something major happened with the car, and savvy lawyers got involved. It will in no way affect the operation of the car.


Just remove the SKIM part from the steering column. If you don't the non SKIM PCM will sense it, and become SKIM.
News to me! So as long as a 00-02 non SKIM PCM doesn't see a SKIM module, it will work normally?


OP - Yep you're doing it right. Very unusual that it isn't pulling codes. Now the real question is, can a faulty SKIM cause this, or is the PCM causing this lack of communication? Or both...
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Post by supercommuter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:33 pm

So just to clarify, you're saying that I could swap in a PCM from 2000-20002 with no SKIM and it should work as a car without Skim? I really don't need or want the Skim anyway.

But it does have to have the same tranny and emissions, right? Since my car has that stupid ULEV emissions, I'd have to get with that, right?

I don't know, I hate just replacing random parts as a troubleshooting method, but if I can get a used PCM for $50 it might be worth a shot. I can always re sell it if that's not the problem.

I'm at a loss here. I don't want to have it towed to the dealership.
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Post by Gnuserup » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:23 pm

.
As I linked to my thread some replies above I like to quote myself:
Gnuserup wrote: "Just tried the OBDII-Plug on my 2000. It connects to the PCM even without a key. Then it shows something like adpater ok, connected to the bus but no response. If i turn the ignition on (only, without cranking), it connects and shows some values like throttle position, temperature and so on.
"
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So I would suggest, don´t buy useless parts, get a cheap USB-OBDII-Interface

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=usb+ob ... m270.l1313

take your Laptop or borrow one and check that out first.

So forget the SKIM-thing as long as you have not tried out the OBDII-part, even as it definitely works without any key in reach for the first step, and it definitely works without cranking for the second step.
My opinion is, if you get a response by doing that, any other PCM won´t help fixing your problems.

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Post by supercommuter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:33 pm

Gnuserup wrote:.
As I linked to my thread some replies above I like to quote myself:
Gnuserup wrote: "Just tried the OBDII-Plug on my 2000. It connects to the PCM even without a key. Then it shows something like adpater ok, connected to the bus but no response. If i turn the ignition on (only, without cranking), it connects and shows some values like throttle position, temperature and so on.
"
Image

So I would suggest, don´t buy useless parts, get a cheap USB-OBDII-Interface

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=usb+ob ... m270.l1313

take your Laptop or borrow one and check that out first.

So forget the SKIM-thing as long as you have not tried out the OBDII-part, even as it definitely works without any key in reach for the first step, and it definitely works without cranking for the second step.
My opinion is, if you get a response by doing that, any other PCM won´t help fixing your problems.
I tried a OBDII code reader last night, (just a handheld, not a USB) and I got nothing at all. The scanner wouldn't even come on. I then connected it to my Durango and it came right on and started searching before I even turned the key. So that tells me that the code reader is good.

So if there is no communication with a handheld, what makes you think a USB type would work?
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Post by supercommuter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:02 pm

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but when replacing the manifold, I broke off the little black box on the back of the head, just below the valve cover. I figured it was a ground wire, and the black box was just a fancy wire terminal, so I chucked it and connected that wire directly to the bolt on the back of the head. Apparently that was a "noise suppressor"?

I'm wondering if I could have damaged something by connecting that wire directly to ground?
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