Same 6 CEL codes and nothing is wrong?
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This is a discussion on Same 6 CEL codes and nothing is wrong? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I purchased an '02 2.0L turbo bugeye ~60K miles from my uncle around March this year (08) and the check ...

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    Same 6 CEL codes and nothing is wrong?

    I purchased an '02 2.0L turbo bugeye ~60K miles from my uncle around March this year (08) and the check engine light was not on. The car is in emaculate condition and he had no issues with it to speak of. It was
    one of the first '02s over on the boat from Japan and has the darker blue engine bay from before the
    BRP repaint that they do for the Americas.

    A little background on my Unc, he has worked on cars forever, used to race and work on cars in AZ. and is
    a professed racing and car nut while also being very knowledgable on on all things auto.



    These are the mods to the car which he installed:

    1) Grounding mod

    2) Added the factory 3 guage cluster where the clock used to be probably using
    the clock power wires only to power the 3 guage cluster dimmer lights.

    3) He also added pencil beam driving lights which can be turned off and on via a switch. They only come on when the brights on the regular high beams are engaged. The factory fog lights come on when the dims are engaged. This means when all switches are on and you have "dims" selected on the light stalk, the regular
    headlight dims are on and the factory fogs are on. When you have "brights" selected on the light stalk, the
    regular headlight brights are on and the inner pencils are on. It switches back and forth between supplemental lights outside fogs to inside driving lights and its pretty slick.

    4) He also installed the 'daytime running light switch' so the daytime running lights could be disabled because he didn't like the look of them which is fine by me.

    5) K&N filter replacement in the stock airbox


    I had the belts and all pulleys replaced after I purchased the car from him. He already had purchased them and mentioned that around 60K was when this should be done to avoid any issues. The work was done at the Subaru dealership in Bloomington, IN.

    When I purchased the car from him it was in mint condition. I purchased a COBB access port to flash to
    a stage 1 91oct map just to see a little performance gain from it.

    The first time I hooked up the AP I decided to check out some of the features of the AP and decided to see
    if there were any trouble codes currently registered on the ECU. There was currently NO check engine light on nor had he seen one recently and he professes that any CEL that had ever come on, he thought was curious and by his account went off on its own after a very short time. My uncle and I are fairly close so as far
    as him "fudging" or lieing in anyway is not a conclusion you can draw.


    (Please let me say as a preface to this, I have read every CEL thread I could for the past 2 weeks)

    So I navigate to the CHECK CODES section and this is what comes up:


    P0500 - Vehicle speed sensor malfunction -COND> Immediately at fault recognition

    P1518 - Starter switch circuit low input -COND> Failure of engine to start

    P1591 - Neutral position switch circuit low input -COND> Erroneous idling

    P0136 - Rear Oxygen sensor circuit malfunction -COND> Two consecutive driving cycles with fault

    P0132 - Front oxygen sensor circuit range/performance problem (high input) -COND> Two consecutive driving cycles with fault

    P0131 - Front oxygen sensor circuit range/performance problem (low input) -COND> Two consecutive driving cycles with fault



    I have added the definitions from the factory Subaru manuals.

    Keep in mind that at this time there was NO CEL on nor had there been in some time. Everything on the car seemingly functioned fine. Acceleration, cruising, braking, etc., no issues to speak of.

    So I clear these codes and recheck the ECU, all is good and my unc tells me not to worry about them unless they come back.

    I flash to the stage 1 91 octane map.

    Not alot of noticable top end performance, though some, and the mid-range torque was much improved in my
    opinion, the shift points considerably better with smoother transitions.

    This is all I wanted from the reflash. Other than the above mentioned mods the car is bone stock.

    So 2 days of driving and the CEL comes on.... with all the same codes as above.

    I'm thinking "WHAT THE HELL"... the light wasn't on before and the codes were present. Everything the car does it does like new. If the light were not on, you'd never know anything was wrong.

    In any case I cleared the CELs and ran though all normal maintanence on the car, changed the gearbox oils, tranny fluids, engine oil/filter, air filter, topped off any fluids, cleaned MAF, etc,etc. The car has never leaked a drop and the engine looks and drives practically new.

    2 days later the CEL comes on again. I drive with it on for 2 weeks and there is nothing noticable regarding
    the cars performance.

    I ordered a front O2 sensor and picked up a crows foot O2 tool at AutoZone per "Peaty's" recommendation and that made changing the front sensor a cinch. Thanks to Peaty for that and to everything else I've read on the forums. Alot of great information on here.

    In any case I disconnected the battery terminal and let the car sit for 30min or so. Reconnected the battery and no CEL for 2 days... then the light comes back on.

    With all the same codes.



    So I'm trying to troubleshoot this and would appreciate any input that I can get... I HATE that the CEL is on
    and do not want to just put a piece of electrical tape on my instrument cluster!!!

    P0500 - The vehicle speed sensor malfunction makes no sense --- I've never noticed ANY odd behavior from it. It acts completely as a speedo should and if the code is saying "malfunction", why is there no odd behavior? I don't believe there is anyway the switch could be bad.

    P1518 - Starter switch circuit low input -COND> Failure of engine to start -- The car has NEVER failed to start. It always turns over probably from 3 to 8 times and starts. Maybe 8 turnovers if its been sitting in the hot parking lot at work for a day, but always cold starts in the morning in probably 4 turnovers. Never since I'ved owned it has the car failed to start nor shown any reluctance to start or turn over.

    P1591 - Neutral position switch circuit low input -COND> Erroneous idling -- Another stumper... The car idles with the A/C off around 400 RPM with the brakes on in gear (auto transmission). That is low as hell but it feels smooth and quiet and has never died. My uncle said it has always done that since it was new. If I turn on the A/C the idle is around 600-800 RPM and still smooth as silk, no hesitation, etc. I can make nothing of this error code.


    P0136 - Rear Oxygen sensor circuit malfunction -COND> Two consecutive driving cycles with fault
    P0132 - Front oxygen sensor circuit range/performance problem (high input) -COND> Two consecutive driving cycles with fault
    P0131 - Front oxygen sensor circuit range/performance problem (low input) -COND> Two consecutive driving cycles with fault

    These last three codes.... The front OxySensor has been replaced, as per the manual, I checked all wiring to the ECU, the ECU appears brand new, removed all connectors and cleaned with electrical cleaner on both ends of the wiring to the front O2 sensor.

    Because the front O2 sensor has been replaced and still yields the same codes, the speedo is acting completely normally and the acceleration and fuel delivery system seems tip'top I don't know what to make of these codes.

    So I've deduced from this experience that obviously none of items in the list need replace. The car is running and continues to run exceptionally and I believe it to be a problem in the wiring.


    What are anyones suggestions as to what could be wrong? I desperately want this freaking CEL to go out.

    Tomorrow I'm going to go over this with a fine tooth comb...er multimeter... and let you know what I find out but from all I can gleam from the forums... its a grounding/short issue somewhere?

    It appears the front and rear oxygen sensors are on the same circuit, as are the speed sensor / neutral position sensor so maybe something there?

    hrm.... I'm just sad I guess that as good as the car runs, looks, and feels, i have to stare at a check engine light and I just want any ideas or helpful suggestions I can find.

    I hope its not an Occam's Razor thing where its something simple because this is emmensly frustrating.



    Thanks for reading this long boring post and I appreciate any positive feedback I can get!

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    I would take off the grounding mod and see if anything changes, and make sure all the original factory grounding points are good...
    '02 WRX 4EAT, 311,000KMs/194,500Miles, Sold. Best car I ever had. '09 STi stage 1, hope this one will be good too...

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    I'll thoroughly check that this weekend. Thanks for the input.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Sounds like the green diagnostic connectors used for flashing are still together.... They need to be left disconnected.I am assuming if you turn the car to "on" and not running the fans cycle on and off?
    Last edited by Donkey; 07-13-2008 at 11:43 AM.
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    Donkey, what do you mean?

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    So today I fixed the issue with the rear rotors rubbing the inside plate under the parking break adjust mechanism.

    I also did my 3rd transmission drain and refill.

    While I was under the car I disconnected the rear O2 sensor plug and cleaned both end thoroughly with electrical cleaner, reassembled and nytied the plug to the bracket there. It was not strapped in well at all and could have been flopping around. It was also completely filthy and now it is clean.

    From what I know from grounding, additional ground could not hurt the operation of the vehicle. There were however a couple connections to the body that where not bare metal on bare metal and where reliant on the threads of the bolt itself to be 'metal on metal'. So I took some emery cloth and sanded down all metal on metal connections. Everything looked good.

    Prior to everything I picked up the AT fluid at Autozone and while I was there had them pull the codes. I did not have a check engine light on at the time. There was a code however. P0457 Evaporative emissions control. This is the "infamous" gas cap CEL. One thing about the P0457 code though is that it is NOT listed in the factory Subaru Service Manuls, odd.

    So no CEL 'light' but a P0457 code. So after all the work I did I took about a 3 hour drive to Bloomington, IN., knowing in the past that the CEL would come on after a couple days of driving to work which in total was around 30min of driving. It was a perfect cool, dry day out and the highway there is curvy and hilly and shaded by trees and its a great drive.

    Got to Bloomington and no CEL... half a tank of gas, so I refilled the tank to full, turn the gas cap 15 clicks, and got back in for the ride home. I'm about 20min from home and CEL comes on. I go right back to Autozone once I get in to town and he pulls the codes. I'm expecting the same 6 + possibly the P0457 that was registered earlier even though it had been cleared.

    The ONLY code was the P0457 code. HOORAY!

    I can't believe it. Only 1 code now and it's the gas cap or charcol canister issue with the fuel tank vent. I really wish the P0457 code was in the service manual so I could check everything it tells you to check.

    In any case, down to only one code now and all the others have dissappeared. I'm tickled. I'll have to see what happens over the next few days and what crops up, hopefully this will be the only one for a while.

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    Registered User wrxmuch?'s Avatar
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    Disconnect the exhaust gas temperature sensor just for the hell of it. See what happens.
    Cobb Accessport v1 stage 2 93 map, Nitto Invo Tires, Sti Front and Perrin Rear Sways, Rota Torque Wheels, APS Exhaust 3.5" turbo back. Catless TurboXS Up pipe, Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake lines, Hawk HPS Brake Pads, Paranoid Fabrications Cowl Braces, Group-N Tophats, Group-N Trans and Engine Mount, Tokico Dspec w/ Rce Black springs

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnabuns View Post
    Donkey, what do you mean?
    The green connectors you had to put together in order to flash the Cobb maps to your AP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnabuns View Post
    The ONLY code was the P0457 code. HOORAY!

    I can't believe it. Only 1 code now and it's the gas cap or charcol canister issue with the fuel tank vent. I really wish the P0457 code was in the service manual so I could check everything it tells you to check.
    Maybe you should have your gas cap checked (or replaced). The gas cap on one of my previous cars needed to be replaced after about 5 years.

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    Donkey, what about them? I always unplug them when I'm done with my AP.

    jeremy96gase, I checked that, ty. It turned out to be the curved tube up in front of the engine next to the alternator that connects to the little blue T fitting. It slipped off like I'd read in other posts.

    All CELs have disappeared, thanks for all the input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnabuns View Post
    Donkey, what about them? I always unplug them when I'm done with my AP.
    The original 6 codes you got come from starting the car with the diagnostic connectors together.I garentee if you put them together right now and start your car you will get those same 6 codes again.Happens all the time to people flashing their car.
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    I see what you mean. The Autozone guy did not connect the 2 green test mode connectors to pull the codes and based off Cobbs instuctions it seemed like you had to. When I stopped doing that only the P0457 code remained and I've since taken care of that so lesson learned.

    Don't connect the green test mode connectors to pull codes.

    Thanks for all the help. I've been code free for a week now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnabuns View Post
    I see what you mean. The Autozone guy did not connect the 2 green test mode connectors to pull the codes and based off Cobbs instuctions it seemed like you had to. When I stopped doing that only the P0457 code remained and I've since taken care of that so lesson learned.

    Don't connect the green test mode connectors to pull codes.

    Thanks for all the help. I've been code free for a week now.
    You don't need to connect them to check codes.If you flash the car and forget to disconnect the green diagnostic connectors and start the car you will get those exact codes.
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    Thumbs up Bump

    Great tread.. had the same issue just fixed it
    On my 2002 WRX auto

    pulled codes p0500,p1591,2 other sensor codes.

    Disconnected the green diagnostic connectors
    and boom no more codes..


    Thanks
    Last edited by mstuning; 04-18-2009 at 04:36 PM.

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