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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, it's time to take care of some problems, but I ain't doing it. Going to bring it to my mechanic because I don't want to get my fingernails dirty.

Plus, I got my tax refund, so let me support my local, loyal mechanic who's always been good to me, while I drink a few beers.

1) I know I need brakes, but I'm getting a cricket sound at slow speeds from the front driver's side (so it seems), which goes away at higher speeds. It comes back at lower speeds, then goes away for the duration of that road trip. (Sometimes.) Could this be related to my brakes, or could it be something with the suspension? (Ball joint, etc.)

I KNOW my belt needs tightening, so maybe it's related to that.

2) This is the biggie:

I am having intermittent loss of power, SERIOUS loss of power, right after start-up of the vehicle. Then, she's okay--but I know something is very wrong. Electrical seems to be doing what she should be doing (judging by revving sound), as well as Tranny (auto). HOWEVER, one day, I couldn't depress the button(s) at all to move the stick into drive upon startup...took a few seconds.

This minor stick problem should have nothing to do with the loss of power, right? Like, a problem with that cable ONE time wouldn't relate to consistent tranny problems, would it, creating my loss of power?

I now warm the truck up in the morning for a few minutes before heading out, even though it's warm here all night and day. She revs normally high for a minute or two, then settles down to normal RPM. I am getting white exhaust fume during this start-up, then no smoke.

And oh--no cat on the thing.

SO...

It's been forever since I've read up on what I'm supposed to do, so is this correct:

A) Use toggle to kill CEL.
B) Use paper clip to get code.
C) Report back here when I get code.

Let's assume it's 51. What do I tell my mechanic to do FIRST regarding the EGR? I mean, I'd like to be able to guide him on the ins and outs of this particular vehicle, since you guys know so much more about it than him. Also, I know that he's going to do his own scan, but his interpretation might not be correct based on YOUR experiences.

EDIT:

I'll also unhook the neg battery terminal to clear the codes.
 

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You can remove the dome fuse for a minute to reset the ECU. Confirm that your check engine light is on with the key on and off once the car starts. Also confirm that you can get a code 12.
Check Engine Light
Without knowing the maintenance on your car - if it was my car I would do a compression test first, to verify the engine timing on the car, before I started hunting around for other causes. You should give a bit more detail about your 'serious loss of power'. The fact that you could not get the shift lever into gear may just be the linkage or switch that prevents you from doing this unless your brake is depressed, and may be a separate issue from the power loss.
What maintenance have you done on the car? When was the last time it was timed or tuned up? What do the tips of the spark plugs look like? It is probably difficult to give your mechanic any direction without doing diagnostic tests first - and some of them will get those fingernails dirty.....
By the way, a code 51 normally means that the EGR valve and circuit needs to be cleaned. Another dirty job.... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can remove the dome fuse for a minute to reset the ECU. Confirm that your check engine light is on with the key on and off once the car starts. Also confirm that you can get a code 12.
Check Engine Light
Without knowing the maintenance on your car - if it was my car I would do a compression test first, to verify the engine timing on the car, before I started hunting around for other causes. You should give a bit more detail about your 'serious loss of power'. The fact that you could not get the shift lever into gear may just be the linkage or switch that prevents you from doing this unless your brake is depressed, and may be a separate issue from the power loss.
What maintenance have you done on the car? When was the last time it was timed or tuned up? What do the tips of the spark plugs look like? It is probably difficult to give your mechanic any direction without doing diagnostic tests first - and some of them will get those fingernails dirty.....
By the way, a code 51 normally means that the EGR valve and circuit needs to be cleaned. Another dirty job.... ;)
Thanks, Bex. My hero!

I changed the plugs, cable, dist cap and rotor a few years ago. Did it myself, with the plugs that don't have to be gapped. But like I said, the revving sounds fine. Of course, I'll check everything anyway, but the intermittent loss of power steers me away from thinking it's electrical.

And by loss of power, I mean the car is going 10mph when first accelerating and it should be at 30mph. Takes 20 seconds, maybe more, to get up to regular speed--like it's going to break down almost. But no unusual noises, shaking, etc. But only when first setting out--then it's fine.

I'm going to the mechanic on Monday, and will be checking for my codes sometime this weekend. (My wife and kids have my life completely planned for the weekend, so I have to squeeze it in. And my wife's part of the plan, like always, probably doesn't include sex.)

When my CEL came on in the past, I got a 12. I simply hit the toggle first to turn it off, did the reset, did my check, got the 12, and she always drove fine. But this time, I'm expecting that 51. After all, the EGR has never been cleaned.

So if I come back with that 51, should I tell him the recommended first step is to remove that EGR and soak in carb cleaner, and what else re the ports? And I'll do the compression test as well. (Can't be expensive, is it?)

Does the EGR ever have to be replaced, and is it usually readily available via local U.S. parts suppliers?

Will check back here in an hour or two:

Gotta do one of those things on my wife's list of things for me to do, starting now.
 

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Sounds like your wife has you properly trained.... ;)
Actually, there is no need for special plugs in this car - and the gap that the circuit needs is small - usually far smaller than standard gaps. Also, as plugs get older, the gap widens. Your plugs really should be around .28" when they are first installed.
The EGR is simple enough to do - if it is just the valve and passageways that are clogged. Your car will have the thermoprobe as well, so its possible that there is a wiring issue. But if the EGR is clogged, it needs to be removed, cleaned with carb cleaner (and yes, you can soak it but don't soak the diaphragm itself) so that the EGR diaphragm snaps back strongly on its spindle and all openings on it are clear. While the EGR is off the car, you will see intake and exhaust ports that should also be reamed out. Before you put the EGR back on the car, start the car for about 2 seconds - it will rev extremely high - and may blow some loosened carbon out for you.
When you have loss of power, is the car bogging or hesitating?
Engines can go out of time - timing belts and ignition timing, etc. If your car is not really bogging or bucking, but just sluggish, then I would probably think this is more of a timing issue. Presumably your car starts fine, idles high at cold start, and slowly drops as it warms up to about 800 rpm. Your 16v also has a MAF, which can cause the engine to be sluggish. If you unplug the MAF, and you find that you get some power back, you probably need to clean the MAF. In your car, the ECU will not throw codes unless it is a severe fault, so many of these circuits can be poor, with no codes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm 8v.

Xxxxxxxxxcx
 

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Whoops! :eek: That's called not paying attention.
Ah, but 8v, even better....;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I assume I'm bogging...whatever the hell that means. Is it like I'm a Scottish warrior, my legs being bogged down in the muck? Yes.

As opposed to a sprinter, who's slow out of the gate?

It's like I'm on the Belt Parkway on a Sunday morning in the summer, heading out to Jones Beach, and can't go faster than 12mph. And then I can.

But like I just got home and there was no problem at all.
 

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Bogging is just another word for hesitating or stumbling - you give the car gas, and the car stumbles and doesn't respond right away. It can feel like an old carburetor that is dirty - you rev up the car trying to blow the dirt out of the carburetor. If the problem is electrical - like temporary loss of spark, then it is more severe, kind of like bucking, instead of hesitating.
I think that sitting on the Belt on a Sunday morning in summer is more like parking, actually....
A fast story about the Belt. My first new car was an MGB. I worked for 3 years to buy it. The car was 4 months old, lovely and shiny, and I used to keep it spotless, washing it all the time. One day, I was traveling on the Belt, heading for Brooklyn. There was a ball field just on the right side of the parkway, and I was in the left (fast lane). Kids were playing baseball, and just as I passed, some kid hit the ball - it sailed over three lanes of the belt and hit me on the front panel just behind the headlight. From that moment, I realized that no matter how well you take care of the looks of a car, there will always be something out of your control that could happen to it. I never got into the looks of my cars again.....no more waxing, polishing, etc. Actually, hardly ever washing either...:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Was that YOU?

Shit, it wasn't my fault:

He threw me a hanging curveball.
 

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Funny!! Send me your address so I can give it to my attorney.... ;)
 

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I find that story very hard to believe. Shouldn't that have read "I was sitting in my broken down MG one day when........."
 

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I find that story very hard to believe. Shouldn't that have read "I was sitting in my broken down MG one day when........."
Funny!! But no, this was one of the few days when it did what it said on the tin, as they say. Sadly, it was probably the most undependable car I ever owned....and as a kid, I had worked so hard to get it. At the time, the MGB cost $3000 US. For $500 more, I could have bought my all time dream car - a 1971 TR6 (probably just as unreliable, perhaps). But back then, $500 was big bucks.....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
90% of the MGs I remember seeing in the 70s were forest green.

What color was yours?
 

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Tan. I wanted it in white, but they didn't make it in that color that year. It was tan with saddle interior and wire wheels. I adored it. I wonder if I could even get into it now. I seem to recall sitting on the seat with my legs extended straight out. I'd probably need a hoist to get in and out now. But I still would take the TR6, even so....;)
 

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Funny!! But no, this was one of the few days when it did what it said on the tin, as they say. Sadly, it was probably the most undependable car I ever owned....and as a kid, I had worked so hard to get it. At the time, the MGB cost $3000 US. For $500 more, I could have bought my all time dream car - a 1971 TR6 (probably just as unreliable, perhaps). But back then, $500 was big bucks.....:)

As a teenager we had a saying "You know its the first day of Spring when you see the first broken down MG".
It was a very true saying because they all came out of their garages on the first good day.
 

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Weren't those old MG's Lucas configured electrically like most Brit rides?

You know, Lucas. The renown "Prince of Darkness". :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm going out there in about a half hour, so if you guys aren't subscribed to this thread, I would appreciate it if you could check back later to advise on my results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I pulled the dome fuse and put it back in, CEL is now off, but on when first starting the car. (My brake light also went off, and I know I need brakes.)

I jump the thingy, and I'm just getting a 12, nothing else.

Next step?
 

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Did you check for codes while cranking?
 
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