HELP! CEL, erratic idle, any way to get codes w/out a scan tool? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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HELP! CEL, erratic idle, any way to get codes w/out a scan tool?

98 4.0, 5spd, 54K mi, stock.

On my way home today and my Check Engine Light popped on. Then I notice it's not idling real well. Get it home, air filter's fine, cleaned the throttle body, disco'd the battery. Started it back up, idles bad, CEL came back on, stalled out after hunting for idle for 3-5 minutes. Got in to drive it and it starts off OK, but fuel sporadically cuts out, and then kicks back in. (could be spark?)

Auto parts store won't put a code reader on it after dark for security reasons.

Weird: I just got done typing that and my horn starts blowing on the Jeep, it's been sitting there for 30 minutes. I did get rained on today, and that probably explains the horn issue, but the idle thing still has me stumped.

Any help?

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Old 08-11-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
that's what she said

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put the key in the ignition in the off position. then quickly turn it on off, on off, on. the codes should come up in the odometer.

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Old 08-11-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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Tried that. I don't think it works in a 98. (thanks though!) Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Can anyone confirm?
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:43 PM   #4
that's what she said

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i know on older models (yj's and previous) you would do the same on off pattern and instead of the code coming up on the odometer you would have to count how many times the CEL flashed.

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Old 08-11-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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If you have more than one vehicle over 5 years old, an OBD reader is a worthwhile investment. I paid about $110 for the Actron CP9145 AutoScanner from Amazon.

The first time you use it, you almost recovered the cost based on the $80 most shops will charge you.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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if you can make it to auto zone they will run scans for free
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhcSavage21 View Post
if you can make it to auto zone they will run scans for free
See first post. " Auto parts store won't put a code reader on it after dark for security reasons. "

I'll be returning tomorrow.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:09 PM   #9
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my bad, is the idle just low or all over the place?
i had a slight issue with a bad idle after disco my battery after i finished replacing a O2 sensor and it idled and stalled for several min before it got back to its normal idle.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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OK - something really weird is going on. Now I'm starting to think that the problems are all caused by some kind of interior water intrusion.

Remember how I said for no reason my horns started blaring? Well when they did, I went out and unplugged them.

I just went back out and tried the off/on/off/on/off/on trick again. No CEL. ?

Started the Jeep up. Runs perfect. No CEL ???

Thought, hmm...

Plugged a horn back in- quiet. Plugged the other horn back in- quiet.

Now everything's hunky dory????????
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:13 PM   #11
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I just did the on off on with my 97 and it worked. I had to hold down the tripmeter reset button while doing the on off three times and then waited about thirty seconds and the codes just started flashing. Be patient they will flash.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhcSavage21 View Post
my bad, is the idle just low or all over the place?
i had a slight issue with a bad idle after disco my battery after i finished replacing a O2 sensor and it idled and stalled for several min before it got back to its normal idle.
all over, but not hunting or hovering for idle. Drops to 300 RPMs one minute, then idle(d) at 1500 the next. ?

But weird - now it's OK???

Why do I get the feeling I'm going to start off tomorrow feeling great that my Jeep is running perfect, then get exactly half way to work and end up calling a tow truck.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdeanblvd View Post
I just did the on off on with my 97 and it worked. I had to hold down the tripmeter reset button while doing the on off three times and then waited about thirty seconds and the codes just started flashing. Be patient they will flash.
I'll try that if it acts up again. I'll admit, I'm about out of patience.

Thanks!

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