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Code Clearing?


Fishcop
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So the highlight of my 3000km trip to Luftwasser was a coil pack failure and CEL light 2 hours from home ūüėē

Big thanks to @Port 911 and the Port Mac crew for fitting me into an already well loaded wagon and getting me home.  The car enjoyed a night in the Heatherbrae Pies carpark and I retrieved it with a trailer the following morning.  I was very lucky the failure was on the very back end of a wonderful week of driving.

Realistically the car has done well - the coil packs are the original 18 year old units and the last service noted that they would be due getting close to failure.  And I did drive the car ;).  I have new coil packs ordered and on the way, but my question is whether I'll need a code reader to clear the CEL, or will it self clear with new coils?

The segue here is whether indeed I should invest in a code reader and if so, the recommended unit?

TIA

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Luckily for me a good friend lives 5 mins away and has the Durametrics code scanner, it’s come in handy a few times... as I live about an hour from my preferred shop, so it has saved me a handful of 2 hour return journeys for a 5 min code scan. 

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I have been pleased with the iCarSoft device. Lots of info and choices and I don’t need to buy an old PC laptop to use it in the car, as on the more costly Durametric . I inherited a new set of Beru coil packs with the car and should probably fit those at the next service. It has only done 50K but I guess coil packs fail with time as much as use or heat cycles. 

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Any of you that have had the CEL and a failed coil pack - can you recall if the code needed clearing, or will it self-clear with the new coil packs (I have the newer 997# packs) - not really looking to drop another $300 for the iCarsoft just right now.

 

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11 hours ago, Merv said:

I haven't done this job yet John. It is on the agenda.  Happy to lend you the iCarSoft if that helps.

Hi Merv, thanks for the offer.  I guess I'll see how I go once I've changed the packs - but it might be something worth investing in long term?

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No worries John.  They are good value for these cars IMO. Always a useful starting point for any issue, as the problem is often not what you think it is. I did the 'packs and plugs on my Boxster and I found a few useful videos on the process. On the 996 I suspect the muffler will need to come off its bracket.

On your trip how did you find the AWD?

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Plugs can be done with the mufflers on, but access is a little easier with them removed.  The right-rear pot is the most awkward (#4?), but on both sides the bits really in the way are the chassis rail and the muffler bracket that remains attached to the motor, so removing mufflers helps less than you might think.  Once heat shields are removed, you're generally working from underneath, or reaching behind the muffler bracket, so the muffler itself isn't really in the way.

Interested re the scanner, I still haven't got around to buying one.

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Well I don't think my wrists have been this sore since I was 13...

I changed over all 6 packs this evening - plugs were only 3k old, so skipped replacing them.  I left mufflers and bumper in situ and it was entirely doable with a stubby 1/4 ratchet.  @st3ve - you're spot on, #4 was a bitch.  Too late to start and test - hopefully issues are resolved though.

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Looks like the change of coils has done the trick, engine is running well - though I'm a bit anxious and 'hearing' noises and pops etc... which I'm sure were probably there before.  For the record though, the CEL remains on.  Searching the net indicates it 'may' turn itself off over a few kilometers, but most recommend using a scanner and clearing the code directly, so I've ordered myself an iCarsoft Por V2 unit.  Crossing fingers it puts my anxiety to bed!

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31 minutes ago, Fishcop said:

Looks like the change of coils has done the trick, engine is running well - though I'm a bit anxious and 'hearing' noises and pops etc... which I'm sure were probably there before.  For the record though, the CEL remains on.  Searching the net indicates it 'may' turn itself off over a few kilometers, but most recommend using a scanner and clearing the code directly, so I've ordered myself an iCarsoft Por V2 unit.  Crossing fingers it puts my anxiety to bed!

John, just a secondary thought, your new car is a Tip?  From a city area?  I had problems with rough running in my old C2 Tip, with CEL light coming on fairly regulalrly.  The problem diagnosed was clogging of the variocam actuators with oil.  Common problem with Tips driven in city areas if they are driven fully in auto, on freeways where the transmission changes up at lower revs.  Oil never really gets hot, and the hot oil doesn't get fully moved around the engine.  If the oil is cooler, then it doesn't drain out fully when engine is turned off, and can gum up the works.  The solution advised by Autohaus to my mechanic was to do an oil change using an engine cleaner, replace and drive the ring out of it, and do it all again.  First change, when the car would have only done 1500kms max (test drives around Sydney and then trip back to Tassie), the oil looked as if it had done 20,000kms.  Same next time after 5000kms, then back to normal afterwards.  CEL light regularity improved significantly, although I did end up changing the variocam actuators in the end.

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47 minutes ago, TwoHeadsTas said:

John, just a secondary thought, your new car is a Tip?  From a city area?  I had problems with rough running in my old C2 Tip, with CEL light coming on fairly regulalrly.  The problem diagnosed was clogging of the variocam actuators with oil.  Common problem with Tips driven in city areas if they are driven fully in auto, on freeways where the transmission changes up at lower revs.  Oil never really gets hot, and the hot oil doesn't get fully moved around the engine.  If the oil is cooler, then it doesn't drain out fully when engine is turned off, and can gum up the works.  The solution advised by Autohaus to my mechanic was to do an oil change using an engine cleaner, replace and drive the ring out of it, and do it all again.  First change, when the car would have only done 1500kms max (test drives around Sydney and then trip back to Tassie), the oil looked as if it had done 20,000kms.  Same next time after 5000kms, then back to normal afterwards.  CEL light regularity improved significantly, although I did end up changing the variocam actuators in the end.

The car is a low mileage manual, and I suspect it's been driven quite gently - mostly in metro.  My big drive put on 2600kms and I drove it pretty hard in a few places and I do believe under-driven cars come with their own issues. 

My big fear was the variocam lifters - not catastrophic, but an expensive job to replace.  Touch wood it's just the old coils but I'll monitor the lifters, cheers!

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Thought I'd round this thread out (hopefully)

My iCarsoft arrived today and I ran the diagnostics - coil pack #4 had failed (which was the one I suspected after finding a hairline crack), there was also a camshaft position sensor (hall effect) code, but reading up it is likely as a symptom of the misfiring #4.  I've cleared all codes and the CEL appears to have cancelled .  I'm only able to idle in the garage at the moment due to the severe weather , so a proper drive is going to have to wait.  But crossing fingers, it seems to have been resolved.

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