Trouble Codes P0118,P1391 or 1392?)



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Thread: Trouble Codes P0118,P1391 or 1392?)

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Trouble Codes P0118,P1391 or 1392?)

    Ohhhh..... what a joy I've brought into my life!

    There she was, a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country Lxi, sitting all purple and pretty. Joe, the very old (honest) gentlman who'd owned her for the last 8 years said she was a good old horse, always stabled, lots of love and attention. It was from a small town in KS, so the 165K was definitely highway miles, that's for sure.


    She drove fine for the 350+ mile trip home, lots of power and didn't miss a beat. I puttered around a bit, took it on a small 200 mile road trip, everything was fine. Then the trouble began. The "Purple People Mover" as my 5 year old daughter likes to call it started giving me fits.

    At first it would start fine, drive down the road a ways, and then start to shudder and buck when I tried to add power. The tach would swing wildly, engine miss and the van would threaten to stall unless I let up on the gas. I could get to my destination as long as I babied it and didn't get the RPM's up over 2k. I thought it was probably some water in the fuel line, I live in OK, a very humid area of the country, or maybe some bad gas. I added a couple of bottles of HEET to help dispel that potential problem Anyway, needless to say, that didn't work. It kept progressively getting worse to the point where I couldn't even take it to work just down the street.

    So the story starts here. Joe, the man with the van, said the "sensor" had just been replaced last year. Ok, what sensor? He couldn't tell me, he's not a mechanic and is honestly getting up there in his years. It turns out the transmission was rebuilt last year. When the first code came up, (I have an ACTRON scanner) my research here indicated it would most likely be either the Cam Position Sensor, or the Crank Position Sensor. Time to make a trip to NAPA. I bought both, figured I might as well save myself a trip back.

    The chances were 50/50, and I thought the Crank PS would be the more difficult of the two in replacing, so I started there. Well, it turns out it'd just been replaced, but once I removed it and saw that, it was too late. I installed the new one, with the cardboard spacer attached and threw the old one back in the box for safe keeping. A short spin around the culd-de-sac confirmed it wasn't the correct sensor so I proceeded to replace the Cam Position Sensor, again the little piece of cardboard was left on to provide the proper clearance.

    I thought for sure I'd cleared the problem up. Soooooo, I took it for a spin...it was still rough, but would get a little more horsepower as it missed than prior to mechanical changeouts. Needless to say....I didn't QUITE make it home and employed the help of three generous friends to push it back to the house, one of which is a full ASE certified mechanic.

    Friends one and two are both fairly good mechanics and of course friend two is the real deal, but never worked on a 3.8L or T & C before. He hemmed and hawwed for awhile, checked out under the hood, asked questions, had me start it up and attempt to keep it running etc. Both friends noticed the engine compartment was a bit hot for the short distance I'd driven it.

    They had some kind of a tool to check the spark coming from the coil and determined the spark was rather weak from all of the points. Friend 2 at that time thinks it's solid state as it only happened when the engine was running and heating up the engine compartment. I'd not had the High Coolant Voltage Circuit (Code P0118) pop up until that next morning when the van would finally start (and drive a short distance).

    It runs fine while in park, and will drive a little bit if and only if I run it down the road in the neighborhood right as I start it and the engine/compartment is still cool. I've topped off the coolant, checked the radiator to confirm it is full, replaced the both sensors etc. I've bought a new coil pack if that's the next step. I've not once heard the radiator fan run while the engine heats up, or after I shut it off and I've checked the fuse to make sure it wasn't blown.

    Does anyone have a cure? Should I replace the Coil to see if that helps? I don't want to keep throwing good money away. The engine does seem to run very hot, but the gauge says it's pegged right between Hot and Cold! Could a bad thermostat cause this problem?

    Please......I'm at my wits end, my wife hates my new minivan (it was supposed to be hers) and I'm running out of options without submitting to the local dealer and the diagnostic fees which come with that. I can't even drive it, it'd have to be towed. It just amazes me that it will run fine while idling, drive down the block fine as long as the engine hasn't warmed up a whole lot and it started out and got progressively worse!

    TIA, any input would be MUCH appreciated. I'll get the van up and running tomorrow morning and pull the absolute correct codes once again to see if they keep coming up.

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    I'm no mechanic...don't take my word for it...but if your tach was swinging wildly and you were getting shudders it sounds like something to do with the transmission...Check the transmission fluid. Does it look dark, discolored or smell burnt?

    Honestly those symptoms sound a lot like they have something to do with the transmission, if your engine is revving freely and the transmission isn't "grabbing" then I'd check that out...and let me know what condition the transmission fluid is in.

    If the fluid is in a poor state then it would be worth it to have ALL the fluid drained entirely and refilled with ATF+4 and change the filter as well...

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    No if the tach was going all over it was the crank sensor. As to what is going on here it could be O2 sensors, it could be plugs and wires. Over the net is impossible to tell. You need someone who has the a scan tool with "co-pilot" function. Than everything can be watched. My guess is this won't be a horridly expensive fix. But may cost a bit. The last one I worked on that did this exactly this BTW) it turned out to be the engine control computer. That van is running sweet still. Easy fix but not "cheap".

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    underthehood - have you got a link to something that explains how a crankshaft position sesnor controls the tachometer indication? It's always been my understanding the TCM is the tach signal source via the turbine input sensor. Just trying to keep my ducks in line.
    ******** We took the time to answer your post. Please give us some time and post the fix. You'll help hundreds. ********

    **** Follow all prescribed safety procedures before attempting any repairs. If in doubt, refer to a maintenance manual. ****

    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 206K miles
    07 Fusion / 06 RAV 4 / 06 Accord / 94 Camry

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by th3ha1og0d View Post
    I'm no mechanic...don't take my word for it...but if your tach was swinging wildly and you were getting shudders it sounds like something to do with the transmission...Check the transmission fluid. Does it look dark, discolored or smell burnt?

    Honestly those symptoms sound a lot like they have something to do with the transmission, if your engine is revving freely and the transmission isn't "grabbing" then I'd check that out...and let me know what condition the transmission fluid is in.

    If the fluid is in a poor state then it would be worth it to have ALL the fluid drained entirely and refilled with ATF+4 and change the filter as well...
    The engine only revs freely when cold right at start up and not in gear. It's definitely not a transmission problem. Thanks for the input, and I'm REALLY glad it isn't a that kind of problem....I'd be kissing it goodbye with a smile on my face and a much lighter wallet, but a valuable and expensive learning lesson. I honestly LIKE this van, I want to use it! I just want it back on the road and reliable so my WIFE will have enough confidence to use it as well.

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    Red face I think we've narrowed it down to a Solid State Electronics Issue

    Friend number 2, the real deal mechanic thinks it's a solid state electronics problem based on the symptoms and that it only occurs as the engine/compartment heats up. Now the problem is finding the problem. I'm ruling them out one at a time. The coil is next, I replaced it with a new one this morning and the NEW ONE was bad. After changing out the coil I started the engine and it was missing and running WAAAY rough. It spit out a trouble code (P0358- bad coil) indicating the NEW coil was bad! I swapped out the new one for the old one and ...... it started back up again smooth as silk. I didn't warm up the engine this time or take it for a spin again as I was running out of time before work.

    Hopefully a new coil installed tonight will solve my problem. I AM going to make sure I disconnect the battery and touch the cables together to try and reset the computer and drain out any remaining juice on this run. (That's what mechanic friend #2 told me to do in order to reset the ECU (Or is it the ECM?) So, I'm going to get another coil first before I have it towed off to the dealer.

    If I have to give up and surrender I'm hoping the dealer will diagnose either a temperature sensor problem, wiring short or worse case a bad ECU. I've looked at a used ECU on Ebay for about $50 but I realize a dealer has to program it with the proper VIN and mileage so I'll be looking into the cost before I commit to THAT one. I can bite the bullet and get one from Ebay, Autozone, O'Reiley or NAPA, but I'm looking for CHEAP. (Call me thrifty) The van has 165,000 miles, it's getting Wal-Mart fashion parts, not Neiman Marcus high end fashion parts. No matter WHAT they diagnose, hopefully I'll get enough information that I can cure its ills myself as inexpensively as possible.

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    Another question....

    The engine seems to get REALLY hot, and quickly. My mechanic friend #2 says an engine which isn't running properly will overheat BECAUSE of that. He says the temperature sensor probably never has a chance to kick on the radiator fans because either it doesn't run long enough, get hot enough, or something.......he doesn't have all the answers, but is a great resource, an expert if it was an F body GM product, which this aint. Does an engine which isn't functioning properly REALLY burn fuel and run that much hotter?

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    Question One more....is this worth it for me.....and ethical?

    I have what I believe to beTWO perfectly good parts I'll offer here on the boards for sale. THE Crank and Cam position sensors I just replaced trying to troubleshoot were obviously relatively new (based on appearance), each would just need a small piece of cardboard glued to the ends (matchbook) to set the proper clearance. I'm too lazy to uninstall brand spankin' new ones (which didn't fix my problem) and I DO have a moral dilemma regarding returning parts that I"ve installed on my own when trouble shooting. I'm a packrat......

    Are they worth SOMETHING to someone?

    TIA,

    Jim

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    Your P0118 code is saying the engine temperature sensor or ECT is out to lunch. That is likely your cooling fan problem and could be the answer to all your van's ills. It's used in air/fuel mix calculations and is the initial source for turning on the cooling fans.
    Last edited by RIP; 08-26-2008 at 04:08 PM.
    ******** We took the time to answer your post. Please give us some time and post the fix. You'll help hundreds. ********

    **** Follow all prescribed safety procedures before attempting any repairs. If in doubt, refer to a maintenance manual. ****

    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 206K miles
    07 Fusion / 06 RAV 4 / 06 Accord / 94 Camry

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    No link I just have had it happen twice. Once after a trans rebuild and the guy didn't set it correctly and once I had one actually go into a failure mode. Both instances the tach would jump all over. Close enough correlation to me. Eh? ;-)
    I have also seen this exact symptom the op is complaining about from bad O2 sensor and bad computer. Without good scan tool he is shooting in the dark and wasting time and money and getting frustrated. Get it to a tech that knows and quit shotgunning.

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