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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car has developed a nasty new problem, where it starts running on only 4 cylinders after being driven on the highway for a few miles. The yellow "Check Engine" light flashes while it's sputtering under acceleration.<p>If I turn it off and let it sit for about 15-minutes, it will restart and run normally until the next time it has an extended run.<p>Has anyone else experienced these symptoms? If so, what was the fix?
 

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That happened to me once <u>at startup </u> about a year ago, with about 18k miles on the car. I turned the car off and restarted, the problem didn't re-appear.<p>I did take it to the dealer, no codes were stored. The problem hasn't recurred. Good luck tracking down the problem.
 

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Re: Occasional loss of a cylinder (02s60t5)

If the check engine light went on, there will be codes for the tech to use as guidance. Sounds like a vacuum leak or maybe an electrical problem. <p>This should be a cut-and-dried warranty issue, so there's no reason not to bee-line for the dealer.
 

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Re: Occasional loss of a cylinder (Dyno)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Dyno</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">If the check engine light went on, there will be codes for the tech to use as guidance. Sounds like a vacuum leak or maybe an electrical problem. <p>This should be a cut-and-dried warranty issue, so there's no reason not to bee-line for the dealer.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>yeah...a vac. leak would cause a roughness or sputtering to occur, but it wouldn't just knock out one cylinder...it would cause all cylinders to act funny.
 

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Re: (liverichly)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>liverichly</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">How do you know only 4 cylinders were being used? Did it say or did you "feel"?</TD></TR></TABLE><br>-1 cylinder would be a nice vibration with a noticeable difference in exhaust tone<br>-2 cylinders would be much more rough and hard to rev.<br>-3 or more...good luck keeping it running <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: (liverichly)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>liverichly</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">How do you know only 4 cylinders were being used? Did it say or did you "feel"?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I'm just assuming it's still running on 4 cylinders based on "feel." I suppose it's possible that more than one of the cylinders are being impacted.<p>To me it feels like it's running the way it would if you pulled off one of the spark plug wires.
 

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are you able to repeat this situation everytime?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: (phuz)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>phuz</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">are you able to repeat this situation everytime?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Not quite sure yet exactly which set of circumstances create the problem. I've encountered the issue 4 times so far, and each time has been near the end of a highway drive. I've done several highway drives without encountering the issue as well though.<p>Unless I take a LONG detour on the way to the dealer, it might be hard to show them the issue as it's happening.<p>Best hope is that the "Check Engine" light is throwing a code that will lead right to the source of the problem.
 

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Re: (p0cket penguins)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>p0cket penguins</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">thats how it felt when my MAF sensor went bad<br></TD></TR></TABLE><br>Could be
 

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Re: (02s60t5)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>02s60t5</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I'm just assuming it's still running on 4 cylinders based on "feel." I suppose it's possible that more than one of the cylinders are being impacted.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Does the Check Engine light <B>flash </B>while it was happening, then <B>goes out </B>when it recovers? If so, it was a single- or multi-cylinder miss. You can probably pull an OBD code which will tell you which one(s). My V50 did this when I got a tank of bad gas.<p>If so, I recommend a can of isopropyl drygas and another bottle of Techron, on a good clean tank of gas.<p>If not a flashing/then off CEL, it was probably something else.<p>Tom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: (tmtalpey)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>tmtalpey</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Does the Check Engine light <B>flash </B>while it was happening, then <B>goes out </B>when it recovers?</TD></TR></TABLE><p>That's exactly what it does... It flashes while I'm accelerating and it's missing, then when I let off the throttle it goes out.
 

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Re: (02s60t5)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>02s60t5</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">It flashes while I'm accelerating and it's missing, then when I let off the throttle it goes out.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Bad gas. The only time the CEL flashes and goes out is for cylinder miss detection. If it stays on, there are other issues.<p>I learned something about miss detection when this happened to my V50. The car detects a miss by watching hiccups in the flywheel rotational speed. A miss will cause a sort of hitch in the momentary accelerations the ECU expects to see from each ignition stroke.<p>When this happens, it tries to figure out which cylinder should have been firing at the time. It does the same thing with the knock sensors, basically it does a time-domain comparison of what it thinks the engine should be doing with what the sensors are reporting. That in turn lets it figure which cylinder(s) are having the issue.<p>If you pull OBD codes, I'm sure you'll find a multi-cylinder result (P0300), with two or more single-cylinder P030x where x is cylinder 1-5, all of which are the likely bad gas. If not, it could be a hardware issue.<p>Tom.
 

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Re: (02s60t5)

Sounds like it could be a faulty injector. I've seen where a engine runs fine until the temps get to a certain point and the injector fails. Pull over, shut off car, restart and the problem is gone the next cycle.<p>Kevin
 

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Re: (KVB-R)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>KVB-R</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Sounds like it could be a faulty injector.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>If it's a single-cylinder code, I would agree. Or a bad coil pack, or a bad plug, or a leaky valve, or...<p>Tom.
 

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Re: (tmtalpey)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>tmtalpey</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">If it's a single-cylinder code, I would agree. Or a bad coil pack, or a bad plug, or a leaky valve, or...<p>Tom.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>I wasn't really focused on the single cylinder code, but more the fact that it resets at shut-off, restart 10 secs later and it's gone for a while till next time or drive. Who knows, it could be anything with the computers involved with everything....lol<p>edit: I see that he waits 15 minutes and then the car is ok again.....I wonder if that long a wait is required to clear the problem??
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: (KVB-R)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>KVB-R</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">I wasn't really focused on the single cylinder code, but more the fact that it resets at shut-off, restart 10 secs later and it's gone for a while till next time or drive. Who knows, it could be anything with the computers involved with everything....lol<p>edit: I see that he waits 15 minutes and then the car is ok again.....I wonder if that long a wait is required to clear the problem??</TD></TR></TABLE><p>If I immediately restart it, the problem is still there. It only goes away after the engine has had some time to cool down.<p>The car is at the dealer now. Today the "Check Engine" light came on solid, and remained on, so hopefully it threw a code that'll lead the tech to an easy fix. If not, I may be taking a trip over to the BMW dealer to check out the new 335i a bit sooner than planned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well the dealer thinks it's a bad coil pack, and they ordered one. Until it arrives on Tuesday I get to drive around in a Focus rental car that doesn't even have power windows or locks <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthdown.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>My problem sounds almost identical to one I found in the archives though... <A HREF="http://forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=50737" TARGET="_blank">http://forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=50737</A><p>In that case, it was actually a bad fuel rail sensor causing the problem. If the coil pack doesn't fix it I'll bring that up as a possibility to the dealer.
 

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Re: (02s60t5)

I'm sure he's choosing that route because the codes indicate it. Probably a single-cylinder one. Fuel rail sensor would cause multiple cylinders, and would throw other, fuel-pressure specific codes.<p>Tom.
 
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