Edmunds Answers

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  • avatar zaken1 12/16/11 4:03 pm PST

    Disconnecting the battery to clear codes only works on OBD1 (1995 and older vehicles) When that technique is used on OBDII (1996 and newer vehicles) the code remains in the computer's memory, and will soon come back and throw the vehicle back into limp mode, where the idle speed is raised.

    The proper way to clear codes on OBDII vehicles is to use a code scanner which has the capability to clear codes. The cheapest code retrieval devices are called "code readers" and cannot clear codes. You need a code scanner, not a code reader. You should be able to find one for about $50. They hook up by simply plugging into the test point; which is usually under the hood.
    Again and again; I have seen Sea Foam wipe out a perfectly good set of spark plugs. I would not use this product.

Answers

  • Stever@Edmunds 12/16/11 2:04 pm PST

    Engine indicator lights and codes get information from sensors that help narrow down where your problem likely is. It doesn't mean the sensor is bad.

    I like swapping parts as much as the next guy (when they're cheap and they might fix an issue), but it doesn't sound like you have any sort of diagnosis to help you fix the problem.

    Sounds like it's past time to find a mechanic to sort this out.

    That said, Seafoam is relatively cheap. :-)

  • zaken1 12/16/11 4:03 pm PST

    Disconnecting the battery to clear codes only works on OBD1 (1995 and older vehicles) When that technique is used on OBDII (1996 and newer vehicles) the code remains in the computer's memory, and will soon come back and throw the vehicle back into limp mode, where the idle speed is raised.

    The proper way to clear codes on OBDII vehicles is to use a code scanner which has the capability to clear codes. The cheapest code retrieval devices are called "code readers" and cannot clear codes. You need a code scanner, not a code reader. You should be able to find one for about $50. They hook up by simply plugging into the test point; which is usually under the hood.
    Again and again; I have seen Sea Foam wipe out a perfectly good set of spark plugs. I would not use this product.

  • Stever@Edmunds 12/16/11 4:21 pm PST

    No magic in the bottle eh?

    So, assuming one of the sensors was bad, will clearing the codes with a scanner likely prevent the Rodeo from going into limp mode again?

  • zaken1 12/16/11 4:55 pm PST

    Steve, the fact that the idle initially did not speed up for several days after the battery was disconnected, means that what he did corrected the problem. If the problem had not been corrected; the light would have come on about as soon as the car warmed up the first time.

    Once the code is erased from the memory with a scanner; the light will stay off (at least from this cause).
    Sea Foam definitely removes deposits; it just is not worth the cost and labor of replacing a set of spark plugs; particularly when Chevron Techron will also clean the engine effectively; and will not damage the plugs.

  • Stever@Edmunds 12/16/11 5:01 pm PST

    Thanks, wondered how that would work.

    I used to buy Chevron gas a lot but it's not available around here.

  • zaken1 12/16/11 5:19 pm PST

    There is one issue which would cause the EGR code to set when there is not a problem with the EGR system; that would happen if the ignition timing was set improperly. It is necessary to disable the electronic spark advance circuit before adjusting the timing; and also to use a timing light; rather than setting it by ear.

    When I recommended using Chevron Techron; I did not mean to use their fuel. Techron can be purchased separately, in a black bottle, from (of course) Chevron stations, Auto Zone, Wal Mart, and O'Reilly parts stores. Chevron fuel has also had another additive, called MTBE in it; which was determined to cause cancer, and was banned in some states. They continued to use that additive in California; and I don't know whether they ever stopped. So I have gone to Shell (which used to be the worst gas on the market) but which has since dramatically improved, now outperforms other brands, and does not contain MTBE.

  • Stever@Edmunds 12/16/11 5:45 pm PST

    Yeah, but their fuel does have Techron in it, so I never purchased it by the bottle (or any other "injector cleaner") when I was buying the gas. It's about the only additive I really trust.

    MTBE is banned in California, here in Michigan, and banned or limited in ~15 other states. (eia.gov). I think ethanol has replaced it in lots of places.

    Source: 

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