Sebring lxi '97: rough idle. throttle position code

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:49 PM GMT

Question

HI ROLAND, MY SEBRING HAD 2 OXYGEN SENSORS CHANGED IN IT THIS PAST WEEK, IT WAS SPUTTERING REAL BAD WOULDNT IDLE, AND THEN DIE. I TOOK IT TO AUTOZONE HAD IT PUT ON THE CODE CHECKER, AND THE MAN TOLD ME IT WAS OXYGEN SENSORS, WELL HE SAID 1 OXYGEN, AND 1 THROTTLE POSITION SENSOR. HE SOLD ME 2 OXYGEN SENSORS, CAUSE HE SAID THEY WERE BOTH OXYGEN SENSORS, SO I REPLACED BOTH OXYGEN SENSORS. I'M 69 YEARS OLD AND NOT MUCH ON MECHANICS SO I TOOK HIS WORD HE MIGHT KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT, NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT GENTLEMAN SHOULD NOT BE WORKING IN AN AUTO PARTS STORE SELLING PARTS OR GIVING ADVICE, I WAS TOLD AT OREILYS THROTTLE IS NOT AN 02 SENSOR. AFTER THE REPLACEMENT OF 02 SENSORS AND THE RESET, THE TEST DRIVE REVEALED THE CAR STILL SPUTTERING WHILE IDLING, & AT TAKE OFF, & SEEMS NOW TO DO IT MORE WHEN THE AIR CONDITIONER IS RUNNING. WHEN AIR IS OFF THE IDLE PICKS UP AN SEEMS TO TAKE OFF A LITTLE BETTER, NOT MUCH, BUT WHAT COULD THAT BE? I NEED TO HAVE AIR & I ALSO HAD IT CODE RAN AGAIN AND ITS NOT PICKING UP ANY CODES AT ALL, SO COULD YOU BE SO KIND AS TO POINT ME IN THE CORRECT DIRECTION NOW? DESPERATE SENIOR OLD LADY.

Answer

Hi Betty, The snafu about the fault codes is too bad. You might try a couple of things before doing any more repairs. First, turn the ignition switch 'on-off-on-off-on and leave on', doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the 'check engine' light which remains 'on' to see if it begins to flash, pause, flash, etc. If it does count the number of flashes before each pause, then repeat the process to be sure of an accurate set of flash counts and let me know what they are. It may not work because the '97 model year was at the transidtion time between this approach and the plug in code reader approach to getting the fault codes. Alternatively, you could try driving it for another few trips and then getting another free code readout at an auto parts store. Then ask for the 4-digit codes and then let me know what they are. It may take a few trips for the codes to appear once the old codes were erased. I would not throw parts at it without a firm fault code. IF a code for the throttle position sensor being at fault re-occurs then checking that out would be my next suggestion as it would, if faulty, cause the sort of problem that you are reporting. It is located on the throttle body which is easy to access being on the top of the engine toward its rear. The removal and installation is pretty easy, but before doing that it would be good to have the person who is hired/helps examine the three-wire harness that plugs into the position sensor see whether there might be any melting of the insulation on those wires because that is a fairly hot region when the engine is running. If that checks out OK, then he could verify (with the ignition switch turned to the 'run' position# that the center pin of its plug shows more than 0.6V at idle and a bit less than 4.5V when the throttle is full open, and that the voltage varies smoothly as the throttle is opened and closed, which would say it is OK. Either the wires could be shorted due to melting of the insulation or the position sensor may need to be replaced. While the person is at the throttle body they should clean out the throat and the idle air passageway that is to the side of the throat as that too may, if dirty, cause poor idle and low speed response. I can xerox copy and postal mail you a page or so of the manual to do it yourself or show to someone who might be able to do this position sensor job. Let me know a postal mailing address via a follow-up question. Please 'rate' my answer #see below#. I'm 75 so I 'hear' you! Thanks, Roland

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