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#523 of 838 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall?
Sep 11, 2008 (8:57 am)
I have a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica and am struggling to figure out how to proceed in solving my problem with it.
The check engine light came on about a month ago. I took it to Midas and they read the computer (for $60+ bucks!) and said the computer reported a problem with the bank 1 sensor 1 oxygen sensor. Since the car was driving find and the quote seemed high to replace it, I left. A few weeks later the car started to exhibit a dangerous problem: if you hit the gas, the car would just idle without warning. The problem was intermittent. Thinking that the problem was related to the oxygen sensor, I took the car back to Midas and had them replace the oxygen sensor. They also convinced me to pay for a fuel system cleaning. When I left Midas, the check engine light was still on. Midas said it was probably due to the fuel system cleaning and would likely go away in a few days.
I therefore continued to drive the vehicle and occasionally it would exhibit the aforementioned problem of not moving when you hit the gas pedal. About a week ago I drove a few miles to a store and when I left the store to return home, I could leave the parking lot. The car would not do anything but idle when I hit the gas.
I had the car towed to Midas. Midas inspected the vehicle the next morning. They called me and told me that the check engine light was no longer on and the car was behaving normally. They said the computer only read out the previous oxygen sensor error message (same bank 1 sensor 1).
I had read about the 2005 Pacifica recall related to the Fuel Pump Module and Power Train Control Module (PCM) Software (NHTSA recall number: 06V432000) the evening before Midas inspected the car. Midas recommended that I go to a transmission company. I showed the Midas representative the recall notice and he said that it was unrelated. So I left Midas and drove to AutoZone where I heard they give free advice.
I drove the car to AutoZone. The check engine light was no longer on, but the representative read the computer and just saw a two part message, which he showed me. The first part said there was a problem with the oxygen sensor in bank 1 sensor 1. The second part said they same thing but had a pending attribute on the message. The representative said that was probably just there because Midas didn't clear the message. He asked me if I wanted him to clear it. I said yes and he did so. He said it was probably an electrical problem and to bring the car back to read it when the light comes back on.
The light came back on later that day (yesterday) and I took it back to AutoZone. The representative read the computer and it had the same two part message about the oxygen sensor. The representative said the pending attribute on the second part might suggest the problem isn't just limited to the oxygen sensor.
My theory is that the message is suggesting there is a problem with the fuel mixture due to a malfunctioning fuel pump and power train control module as specified in the recall. Chrysler said my VIN did not match the recall. However, I dropped the car off at the Chrysler dealer and told them my theory. They said they will charge me a $106 to look at the car and will refund me the money if it turns out the recall does apply. I'm now waiting to hear back from them.
If they say the recall doesn't apply, I'm not sure what to do next. Any suggestions? I'd appreciate any guidance.
#524 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [drnager]
Sep 11, 2008 (9:07 am)
So far you have made two mistakes that I can see. Take the car to someone who knows what he is doing. The dealer is where you should have gone once you knew it was an O2 sensor. Depending on your mileage, they are covered by the emissions warranty.
#525 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [drnager]
Sep 11, 2008 (9:12 am)
If I am not mistaken, I believe that the Pacifica does NOT have an accelerator cable attached to a throttle body like older model cars do. I believe it is an electronic throttle device, either wired or wireless depending on the vehicle. If it were me, I would check in that area. You may be looking at a sensor problem. Like I say, I am not 100% sure, but thats where I would be looking. I have an 07 Pacifica with the 4.0 liter engine, and my car has no accelerator cable. Hope this helps. Anyone else have any suggestions?
#526 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [bulldozer]
Sep 11, 2008 (12:16 pm)
Thank you for the replies rhollis and bulldozer.
Rhollis, I hear you. I originally emailed and called my Chrysler dealer for a quote for the o2 sensor replacement. They never provided me with a quote. Are you suggesting that Midas may not have replaced the o2 sensor effectively? If so, do you believe it is possible that the dangerous problem I am experiencing could be caused by a faulty oxygen sensor?
Bulldozer, I don't know how to determine whether my Pacifica has an accelerator cable or an electronic throttle device. The car is currently at the dealership. The recall I am worried about says the following:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE FUEL PUMP MODULE AND THE POWER TRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM) SOFTWARE MAY ALLOW THE ENGINE TO STALL UNDER CERTAIN OPERATING CONDITIONS.
THIS COULD CAUSE A CRASH TO OCCUR WITHOUT PRIOR WARNING.
Does this seem to potentially match my symptoms or does the o2 sensor message better match them?
#527 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [drnager]
Sep 11, 2008 (6:32 pm)
Damon: Taking your car to Autozone and Midas were huge mistakes. These outfits hire inexperienced, and generally trades men that don't have what it takes to work at a dealership. (not even a closed down Yugo shop) The parts these places use are usually a cheap imitation or poorly made parts from some place in a country you never heard of before. These parts don't last and may actually damage your engine.
With a few exceptions the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep dealership can find the problem, and fix it properly with less cost and hassle than most places. The o2 sensor is usually replaced in pairs, top and bottom. Unless the correct one is replaced right and cleared form the computer the problem still continues. Often when just one sensor is replaced the other one will go out real soon too. (voice of experience on our 96 Dodge neon)
Many years ago I use to take my cars to these places thinking I was saving money. I was young and trying to save time and money. It wound up costing me a lot more time and money too. I am older and I hope smarter.
Here is one example, Oil Changes at Walmart for our PAC is $29.98 with their cheap oil. My dealer sends me coupons and an oil change is $21.95. I also get Mopar oil filters, and Mobil 10w 30w which is what the owners manual calls for. The car gets washed and inside is cleaned too, for $8.00 less. Jiffy Lube is $32. for the oil change, no brake there either. See what I mean.
By going to the dealership you find right up front if there is a recall or some other needed thing. The dealer is the one with the best communication from the factory for recalls and computer updates on their equipment that finds your problems.
I sure hope this helps, as you have been drug into muddy waters by these so-called automotive shops. And no I do not own Chrysler stock, but I have bought 17 Chrysler made vehicles and been very pleased with the service and the care our vehicles have gotten.
#528 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [farout]
Sep 15, 2008 (11:48 am)
Thanks for the response, farout.
I have to admit that I am a bit skeptical of all the Chrysler dealership recommendations. I like competition in markets and the idea that only Chrysler dealerships have access to the means of proper diagnosis concerns me. That said, I feel like I'm forced to go to the Chrysler dealership after the latest turn in events.
I paid the dealership $95 for their diagnosis that the bank 1, sensor 1 o2 sensor needed to be replaced, something I was already told by Midas and AutoZone. I was a bit frustrated by this. I felt I got something for my money when the dealership gave me a dealerconnect technical bulletin that said the 05 PAC o2 sensor needs to be replaced by an 04 PAC part. The issue was discovered in 2005, which makes me suspicious of quality.
I took the bulletin with the recommendation back to Midas and asked them to replace the o2 sensor with an 04 PAC Chrysler part. I left them a copy of the recommendation. They followed it and during testing after replacing the part with the part from the dealership, the check engine light appeared again stating a problem with the bank 1, sensor 1 o2 sensor.
I'm now planning to head back to the Chrysler dealership. I hear your comments about the quality of Midas technicians. However, I'm very reluctant to pay the Chrysler dealership to replace the o2 sensor a third time. I'm very suspicious of the computer in this 05 PAC. I wish I could find out if any of the 127K 05 Pacificas that were recalled had symptoms related to the o2 sensor. I wish I didn't have to trust the dealership, but I feel like I'm backed into a corner.
#529 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [drnager]
Sep 16, 2008 (4:19 pm)
The dealership did determine that there is a problem with the PCM. Problem now is that there is no ETA for the replacement.
So I've paid Midas for a o2 sensor I didn't need and have no idea when I'll get the replacement part I need.
#530 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [drnager]
Sep 16, 2008 (7:29 pm)
drnager: I expect the dealer may have your PCM or know when it will arrive by now. If you feel that AutoZone or Midas gives you better service than the Chrysler dealer than it would be best to stick to one place for general repair. But for techincal service I would advise you to stick to the dealership for that. Howerver I would reconsider these other two outfits. Call the BBC and see if either of these two other places have a record of problems and if they resolved them.
I do not know what you paid for your PAC, but new our PAC was more than I earn in a year. In fact it's the most expensive vehicle I have ever bought. I want to protect our investment and for me the Dealership is the only one I trust, but that's just my opinion. Be well.
#531 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [drnager]
Sep 17, 2008 (5:18 am)
Looks as though you received "The Midas Touch".
#532 of 838 Re: 02 sensor => related to 2005 recall? [rhollis]
Sep 18, 2008 (8:36 pm)
Yo....nothing is more frustrating then a drivability problem.
I speak from experience. This is my advice:
1 - O2 sensors and modern car tuning is one of the most mis-understood areas of a modern car. If an O2 sensor is bad, especially the first bank, the car can run like total crap. O2 sensors send a voltage signal from .1 to 1.0 volts to the ecm which tells the computer if the car is running rich or lean. They are narrow-band senors, so they don't record a true air fuel ratio, but rather give the computer a "rich" or "lean" signal. The car then "learns" and adapts as you drive as the fuel injector are pulsed based on this signal. The sensors are used only to fine tune the a/f as the ECM has a built-in fuel table.
2 - ONLY use OEM O2 sensors and get them from the dealer. The quality of "off" brand or non-original sensors are not very good. Just ask any dyno-tuner. You won't find them anywhere but the delear.
3 - The PAC's are equipped with a drive by wire system. They don't use a throttle cable. This may be where your problem lies. Although, the car may not like the O2 sensor signal, so it could be preventing you from driving it to prevent damage to the motor. I can't say for sure, as I don't know the car well enough.
4 - You need someone who is good with tuning or diagnostics. You won't find this at Midas, Sears, Wallmart etc.... You either need to go to a dealer OR find a good local guy who owns his own shop with a good reputation for solving problems. The car needs to be road-tested or put on a dyno with a data-logger to find the problem. Only then will the tuner be able to read the O2 signal and will be able to see what is going on. Going to Auto-Zone or Midas only get's you in the ball-park as far as codes are concerned.
5 - If you are on a tight-budget, make sure they know that. There is nothing wrong with that. Most shops will work with folks and cut them breaks....not usually dealers though, but it is still worth a try.
6 - Any shop that sells fuel system cleaning services should not be trusted. IMO, no reputable shop or mechanic would sell those services. They are a scam.