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Megan's Volvo

Megan (and I, tentatively) are headed up to NC this weekend, and so I was getting all the little things on her car checked out/fixed. Yesterday, there was a Check Engine Light, a Service Light, a Coolant Level light (this one is periodic), and a Lamp light all on. As of right now, there are none.

Yesterday, I noticed, when filling the radiator, that the radiator cap was cracked pretty badly (It's a plastic one, and it looks like over-tightening is the culprit). Today I got a new cap for about 9 bucks (9 bucks!) and put it on. The light's still off, and I hope it stays that way this time.

For the easy one, I picked up a bulb for the driver's side door (the only light I could find) at O'Reilly's. Replaced it, and the indicator light stayed on. Went to the back, and one of the tail lights was out. I checked it like seven times last week and didn't see it, so it may have come on while the other one was out. Got that bulb replaced, and the indicator light went off. Two for two.

While I was there, I picked up the Haynes manual (I should've already had this). Looking through the book, trying to figure out how to get the Service light to turn off (it's just an oil change reminder), I found a section for Engine Management System faults. Put the lead in A6, push the test button, do some voodoo chanting, and bam! Engine codes. Well, I got a 1-1-1. No fault detected. (edit: I should have noted here that this isn't an alarm-clock display. I was "reading" a series of blinks on a single LED. 1 blink. Pause. 1 blink. Pause. 1 blink. Long pause. Next code, etc.)

I was kinda pissed, so I looked through the book some more to find that Service light, and a stumbled upon another fault diagnostic, this one was called Fenix 5.2 system. Turns out there are SIX different diagnostic systems, at SIX different sections of the Haynes manual! Why wouldn't they put them all in the same place? Or at least have an index listing for "diagnostics", "faults", "engine codes", "codes", I checked ALL these.

Anyway, they span everything from Power Seat system to Fuel Injection. Next to the Fenix 5.2 system (that's not an audio system, mind you), there were two more charts. These are other Fuel Injection systems, and the only one applicable to you is the one your car is equipped with. Since there were three, I found mine in the owner's manual (for the hell of it, it's an LH Jetronic 3.2), and I wrote all these sockets and page numbers in a text document, and put it in my Reference folder. While trying to find my Fuel Injection system, there there on the page was "Resetting the Service Reminder Light". I wrote that down, too, and then went to check my codes.

All of these systems yielded 1-1-1, except for the Jetronic system. It gave me a 1-2-1, MAF sensor fault. Mass Air Flow sensor. So I disconnected the air intake hose, disconnected the sensor, held it up in the air to examine it, and then put it back. After all, it was 9:45, and nothing was open anymore. Re-attached everything and reset the Service Light. Started the car. The Check Engine light was off. Drove around the block. Came home. Tested all the systems again. 1-1-1 on everything. I guess it was loose or something.

For once, messing with a car yielded four (count em!) positive results, and I didn't once make something worse than it was before. Yay.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 19th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
You're such a modern boy. To me, messing around under the hood always meant changing the plugs and replacing and setting the points. Maybe goofing around with the carburetor settings. These days they don't have points or carburetors, and you can't find the plugs under all the stuff. I don't even open the hood any more.

I'm surprised the codes aren't in Swedish. huerrdy duerrdy MAF gone guerrdy.

Mar. 19th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
My headlights spontaneously failed (at the same time!) while I was driving home from dinner Sunday night. I pulled into a gas station, dug the manual out of my glovebox, grabbed my fuse tester, and went prowling around the fusebox.

I found the headlight fuses (six of them!) and they were all good. I found a blown fuse for my cigarette lighter (which explains why it quit working a few weeks ago) and replaced it.

After checking everything else, I thought to myself, "Self, there's no way that both of those bulbs blew at the same time. It doesn't make sense."

So I grabbed a can of compressed air out of my laptop bag (we all have one of those handy, right?), pulled out all of the headlight fuses, wiped them down with my t-shirt, and blew the socket out with the air. Nothing.

So I looked in the manual again, at the fuse box diagram, and found it: Headlamp Relay. I pulled that out, inspected it, and it looked fine. Wiped down the contacts, blew out the socket, plugged it back in. Bingo.

My headlights work!

How's that for old-school? :P
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
I've never owned a car that didn't have relays lol. But that's more a testament to my old-ass cars. I didn't realize they didn't have them anymore, but with ECUs, it doesn't really make sense to.
Mar. 19th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
You think I'm modern, but compared to most people I know that have to hook up a computer to their car, reading blinking LEDs feels rather old-school to me.

And thanks for belittling all my hard work, by the way!
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
LJ stalker....
I has one.
Apr. 1st, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re: LJ stalker....
Haha. I wondered if you were ever gonna use it again.
Apr. 2nd, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
Re: LJ stalker....
I reckon. Lol, our icons are baller.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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