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Qavion

Check Engine Light but no faults in Freescan

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Just wondering if anyone has experienced the following:

CEL light on, fans on (cold car), engine running really rich, rough engine, turbo boost limited and Freescan not talking to the ECM.

I returned to the car a hour later, started up the engine and the CEL extinguished and Freescan now talked to the ECM, but no faults logged. However, when I went for a drive, the CEL came back on again and the car started running badly.

Does this sound like I need a new ECM?

When I first couldn't get the normally reliable Freescan to talk to the ECM on my ancient Windows 95 laptop with serial port, I thought I'd switch to a Windows Vista laptop and use a recently bought USB/Serial adaptor and Espritmon to talk to the ECM (with the CEL light on). However, I couldn't get that running either. This may have been due to a faulty ECM... or just finger trouble on my part. I should have tried to get the new Vista setup running with the car OK, to see if all the pieces worked.

Thanks for any insight.

Cheers

Ian.

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Sounds like a bad ECU or bad wiring. Do you have the EMH section of the manual?

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Ian, I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine about ECMs that give up the ghost - this is exactly the symptom that you get. There's a rudimentary "limp home" mode which just bombards the engine with fuel. My friend told me about an acquaintance of ours that got stuck in a traffic jam when this happened - the catalyst started to burn.

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That's exactly the symptoms that mine had.....prior to me collecting it.

New Ecu did indeed sort it out

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Thanks guys. Considering the risks, I've put my order in for a new one (or rather a Remanufactured one from Rockauto.com).

 

I do have EMH Travis. Any suggestions?

 

Cheers

Ian.

Edited by Qavion

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EMH.4 Page 16 CHART EMH. 4-2

NO ALDL DATA OR WON’T FLASH CODE 12
“CHECK ENGINE LIGHT” “ON” STEADY
 2.2L INTERCOOLED TURBO LOTUS ESPRIT

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Thanks, Travis

The first part of the chart just seems to be removing the possibility that the CEL circuit is faulty. I'm pretty sure I had a hard fault with the ECM. 

 

The ECM has been replaced, and apart from a few worrying hiccoughs whilst the ECM was relearning, all is well now.

 

I also made sure my injectors hadn't shorted out causing problems prior to the new ECM being fitted.

 

Cheers

Ian.

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Hello Group,

 

I sent a message to Travis earlier this morning about this issue with my 91 SE.  It appears my car is doing about the same thing as described and it's fuel consumption has increased from moderate to very thirsty. It is rough idling and the turbo is not smooth and seems to hesitate.  The car still runs and this just started last night.  I took it out for about 20 miles and noticed about the same issues, but the CEL light has disappeared.

 

I also notice my clock (which appeared to have burnt out LEDs was working?),  My ice warning sensor is lighting up (both Green/Red simultaneously) even though it's nearly 80 degrees. My A/C center console as not worked since I got it, but I suspect the ECM has been slowly failing over time.  I picked the car last Labor Day and it has almost an entire C service completed.  Ran out of money to finish it since I had to put in a new clutch, new flywheel , new clutch slave, HD timing belt, v belt, water pump, upper and lower ball joints, rebuild rear brake calipers, new plugs the list gets bigger.  I should probably say what wasn't done:

 

Air Filter - which I'll go an order a K&N filter.  Anyone have the part number off hand? 

Master Clutch cylinder

A/C service leaked to atmosphere - so no A/C for me.

 

As I just put brand new plugs in, will it be necessary to swap out for new plugs after replacing the ECU?  You can smell the fuel, but it's not leaking and no fluids can be seen dripping from the engine bay.  Oil pressure seems okay and Water Temp only goes hot when stuck in traffic 100 C (just right at the red line), but goes down after moving again just above 85 C.

 

I purchased the CD rom for my car.  Is the EMH part included and what does EMH (forgive my stupidity) stand for?  It has the Workshop and Parts modules on the CD.

 

Lastly,  Freescan - do you plug it into the rear of the car where the fuel reset switch compartment is located?  Being that I have similar symptoms as others, I'm not sure if I should bother with Freescan.  I have Win 95 and Win 7 laptops to use Freescan, but not sure if it's truly needed at this point.

 

One thing I noticed is many Esprit owners are very talented mechanics by necessity.  Unfortunately, I don't fall into that category so I'm very jealous of you guys with skills.  I'm doing my best to learn, but it's a struggle.

 

 

"Got stuck in traffic and catalyst started to burn" - what catalyst is Vanya referring to?

 

Sorry, for so many questions and logic jumps in advance.

 

Bill

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Freescan is a superb tool..... And simple to use. It tells you what is going on and when - the guide is pretty good too.

You need to scan the car and then go from there. Anything else is guessing and you may get lucky but is pure luck and guesswork.

Plug into the plug in the back by the fuel cut off and read the codes.... That will give you a starting point.

The folks on here are mega helpful.

Emh is just a section of the workshop manual - you may need to read it - may not - find out the faults you have.

If you can't get the pc to work ( you need to ! So persevere ) you can do the paperclip trick and short out the connection to read off the codes - there's a thread in here somewhere which will tell you which pins to short

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I also notice my clock (which appeared to have burnt out LEDs was working?),  My ice warning sensor is lighting up (both Green/Red simultaneously) even though it's nearly 80 degrees.

 

Sounds like you have some unrelated issues which you have just noticed. These might be caused by loose earths. The Service manual will have wiring diagrams for these systems, along with the general location of the earth (although not necessarily in the same sub-section).

 

Lastly,  Freescan - do you plug it into the rear of the car where the fuel reset switch compartment is located?

 

 

On my '89 SE, I have two locations, one under the glovebox (at least on my RHD car) and one near the fuel reset switch. They are identical. Make sure your Check Engine Light is still working and hasn't burnt out. Just turn on the ignition (without starting) and make sure the light comes on.

 

As I just put brand new plugs in, will it be necessary to swap out for new plugs after replacing the ECU?

 

 

Just have a look at the condition of them. Mine looked a bit black, but generally ok. I hadn't changed them for a while, so I thought I'd replace them anyway. It's probably not necessary for you.

 

I purchased the CD rom for my car.  Is the EMH part included and what does EMH (forgive my stupidity) stand for?  It has the Workshop and Parts modules on the CD.

 

 

When I purchased the paper manuals for my '89 SE, the EMH part wasn't included. There are some digital S4 manuals available online which do include the EMH section (The SE shares the same system). I'm not sure what it stands for, I just assumed the numbering system was alphabetical in some way.

 

"Got stuck in traffic and catalyst started to burn" - what catalyst is Vanya referring to?

 

 

The exhaust catalyst after the turbo and prior to the muffler/silencer. Of course, some people de-cat their exhaust system (for extra power/noise), so you may not have one. The only way to check the condition of the cat is by pulling the exhaust system to bits and looking at both ends of the cat. I wouldn't push your luck by continuing to drive the car. Cats are expensive to replace.

 

Sorry, I've forgotten the P/N of my K&N. Google came up with a few numbers, but I'm not sure which is the right one.

 

Hope this helps

Cheers

Ian.

Edited by Qavion

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P.S. Regarding your clock and ice detector, some of the wiring runs through a common electrical plug "BHC" i.e. (instrument panel) binnacle harness connector. Make sure the electrical plugs and wiring under your binnacle are connected properly and not damaged. There are four electrical plugs attached to the binnacle (which need to be disconnected if you need to remove your binnacle... EDIT: .. as well as the speedo cable and windscreen demister ducting connection, of course).

Edited by Qavion

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P.P.S. Of course, there are other things which may be causing the thirstiness, rough idling and non-smooth, hesitating turbo. With  Freescan and/or Espritmon you can help pinpoint the problem/s even if there is no CEL on at the moment. The gurus here will help you setting up the programs AND help with the analysis. 

 

One thing I noticed is many Esprit owners are very talented mechanics by necessity.  Unfortunately, I don't fall into that category so I'm very jealous of you guys with skills.

 

 

 

I can't say I was particularly knowlegeable about cars before I started, but after 16 years of Esprit ownership.... it's hard not to pick up a few skills ;)

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Ian and Barry - first of all Thank you for all this information and for responding so quickly!

 

I also sent a message to Travis earlier as well.  I'll be working on getting the software downloaded and ordering the cable.

I will work with my mechanically inclined neighbor today to check the electrical and do the old school check on the plugs.  Take a plug wire off and see what happens (if nothing happens, then that could be a problem plug/wire). Not sure if I would get a bad batch of plugs.  I doubt it since the new plugs have about 300 to 500 miles on them and this issue just reared it's ugly head after the 3rd time I got my car back.

 

The CEL light still works when turning the ignition to accessory position.

 

I won't be driving the car until I get to the bottom of the code issues.  I believe I only put about 40 miles on it with this issue.

 

I'll see if we can check the electrical for the clock/rheostat for A/C lighting/ice probe, but I'm a little apprehensive about taking off the binnacle.  Getting into "lotus" position is not comfortable either plus I'm a little claustrophobic so that doesn't help at all.  Why didn't I take auto shop in high school - damn it!

I'm learning everything I can from my exceptionally skilled neighbor but I'm ashamed to say that I don't have the gift.  However, I did "guess" right on the gear linkage when the Lotus repair shop didn't tighten it down.

 

I'm just happy when the clutch slave went belly up that I didn't start the car in first and drive through my family room.  My car and home insurance people would have loved that claim.  My clutch foot was all the way to floor and the car still lurched backwards (again lucky with other cars were not behind me).

 

Ian - the love the Blue color on your Esprit!  Mine is yellow. Of course, there's very few colors that the Esprit doesn't look good in.

 

In the Midwest, I get people looking at the car and they don't know what it is.  I drive where they consider a Corvette an exotic (which it isn't) so the Midwest backwards thinking public get very confused when I pull up.  At least in England, they "know" what your car is!

 

Bill

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I got Free Scan loaded and ordered the cables today.  Hope to have diagnostic codes when I receive the cable.

 

Working on finishing up my Master Bath remodel, so might not be able to check the electrical.

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I'll see if we can check the electrical for the clock/rheostat for A/C lighting/ice probe, but I'm a little apprehensive about taking off the binnacle.

 

 

Ah... I didn't mean for you to remove the binnacle, Bill. It was just advice for maintenance in the (hopefully) distant future :P

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Thanks Ian.  I figured that was the case.

 

Got Freescan and CDM com drivers loaded.  Waiting for cable to arrive to get the codes.  I will send them to the forum when I get them.

 

Bill

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I ordered the K&N air filter.

 

Lotus Part number A907E6182F / K&N part number 33-2784 about $60 shipped. I hope this is the right one.

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Guys,

 

As I was test driving with Freescan running, my throttle cable broke.  Thought I would be back up and running, but it turns out that I have the 1st generation throttle cable (looks like a microphone) is obsolete (confirmed by Lotus England yesterday morning).  So the oversized cable is coming back to me since I need to re-engineer the abutment bracket (Lotus stated to file it out).  I also cannot get a new abutment bracket which fits this 3rd gen throttle cable since that's obsolete.  So after I get the cable tomorrow and reworking the abutment bracket to fit it,  I will again try to get the throttle cable installed.

 

In the meantime, I picked up a new ECM.  I have replaced the fuel filter, air filter (K&N), plugs, plug wires and ignition coils during the downtime.  Is there a simple test for the fuel injectors?  There are 6 total, correct?

 

Thank you,

Bill

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There are 6 total, correct?

 

 

 

Yes, but two types, primary and secondary. The electrical side of things can be checked using an ohmeter (different resistance values for different types). However the spray pattern may also need to be checked (to make sure there are no blockages).

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Thanks Ian,

 

Are the 2 injectors on the charge cooler the Secondary ones?

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If you mean the 2 that squirt into the plenum on the right hand side of the engine, yes. These have an impedance of around 16 ohms with a lower flow rate. The Main fuel injectors (4) have an impedance of about 2 ohms.

 

Cheers

Ian.

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The specs for the Esprit injectors are:
Primaries = 370cc/min LOW impedance (Lotus says 1.9-2.1 Ohm) "Peak and Hold".
Secondaries = 190cc/min HIGH Impedance (~14 Ohm) "Saturated"

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Ok,  the throttle cable is back on and boy that wasn't an easy task.  We also put in the new ECM which is now throwing a Check Engine Light  immediately after turning over the engine.  Also fixed a transmission bolt discovered after my car came back from service (nut fell off into the pan below).  Fixed the sunroof latches (new pins). 

 

Unfortunately, I tried just pulling out the car and it appears to be in "limp home" mode.  Fuel smell, running rich and rough idling. 

 

I will run Freescan to see what codes now populate.  I'm guessing I got an O2 sensor or Idler sensor that's bad since there is brand new plugs, plug wires, ignition coils, fuel filter and air filter in place.  We also verified the battery was good.

 

I'm pretty exhausted as we worked on it most of the day.  The abutment nut had to be drilled out to get the 3rd generation cable through it.  Also discovered another abutment nut (even smaller one in the bottom pan).

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I just ran Freescan.  Error code 41  Engine Speed Signal Missing is displaying.  Only ran the car for 4 minutes for the log file. 

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