Vehicle Dies At Idle Intermittently

Silas Owner Anna, Illinois Posted   Latest   Edited  
Question
ATS - Automotive Test Solutions
Driveability
2009 Ford Escape XLT 3.0L (G) 6-spd (6F35)—1FMCU03G59KC11220
Vehicle Dies While Idling

Hello to each one, thank you for taking time to read this post. I have a very hard to find issue with this Escape. I have been scoping and working at this for over a month off and on. I will try to give a background to these issues. 

#1. Customer brought vehicle for dying while the vehicle idles.(He lets it idle in his driveway for hours at a time so it's comfortable when he gets back in.)

#2. Customer had to turn the key real hard to start the car sometimes or make multiple attempts at trying to crank. ! This issue we fixed when we installed a new lock cylinder housing including a new ignition switch!! That issue was then resolved but the vehicle would still die at idle.

Back to the dying. Usually when the vehicle was warmed up it would die within 20 min of running. So after scoping (with the ATS scope) crank signal and fuel injectors and powers and grounds we realized that the computer was getting to the point where it would stop grounding the fuel injectors and the ignition coils for approx 200 ms. The car of course would die but after the 200ms the computer would make an attempt and turning on the fuel injectors and the coils. (See pic below) So we said the PCM is getting hot inside or something shutting down. Condemn the PCM. So we installed a good used one. Now the vehicle ran for 2 or 3 hr and never shut off. So fixed!! Right? Well, the customer informed us it is still doing it although not as frequently. This was true and so we said lets try another used PCM. Did that and same exact thing is happening. After the vehicle gets fully warmed up it may take 2 hours of running but just like you turned the key off it will die.

I can list the items we scoped: Rear bank cam sensor, Crank sensor, all powers and grounds at the PCM and reference voltage and 5v signals, low amp all coils and injectors, all 6 wires for the throttle body. one point in our testing we disconnected the primary wires to the alternator and the big red wire. We then put a battery charger with a steady charge on the battery and ran the vehicle for 6 to 7 hours and it never died. Then we reconnected the wires to the alternator and with in 1.5hr the vehicle died. So we decided to try Napa alternator and Motorcraft battery. Vehicle died within 2hr. So we reinstalled the old alternator and battery and the vehicle continues to die. We also tried a new throttle body and that made no difference either.

So what about codes setting? Well nothing sets in the PCM or TCM, but after clearing the codes and making sure there were no codes in any module we ran the vehicle and had it die a number of times and then when we rechecked for codes there were several U codes in the IPC, Front Display Interface Module and the Accessory Protocol Interface Module. We attempted to scope the high speed CAN and medium speed CAN. And while we were scoping all these different signals, we never saw an anomaly in any pattern that would take place at the time the PCM shut off the fuel and fire.

In the pic below notice how the cam and crank are still present when the pcm stops grounding the coils and injectors for approx 200ms. I have the cursors set if you look closely.

Any questions, I will try to answer. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank You.

  • Silas …
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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
   

Silas, Scope out your 5v reference circuits. I had a Impala earlier this year that would do the same exact thing. The root cause of the problem was a faulty secondary air check valve. The 5v sensor in it was corrupting the reference circuit. Here's a video I did on the bad valve. I have a new valve sitting on the motor and I'm switching the connector back and forth while scoping the 5v…

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Saifullah Diagnostician
Ottawa, Ontario
Saifullah Default
   

While you have your scanner connected and the vehicle shuts off, do you lose communication to the PCM? What is your charging voltage? Voltage drop on main grounds? I dont think there is an issue with 5v ref here, your crank signal does not drop out. When it shuts off, do you hear the throttle body resetting? I am leaning towards some sort of voltage drop/backfeed from charging system that the…

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Ray Diagnostician
North York, Ontario
Ray Default
   

Saifullah, the ckp sensor is a 2 wire sensor and it does not have a 5v reference wire. The cmp has a 5v reference wire. The stalling could be caused by a 5v reference wire being pulled to ground by one of the sensors, such as the FTPS, or a 5v reference wire can be shorting to ground. I would look for wiring harnesses rubbing and shorting to ground. Scope the various 5v reference circuits…

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Saifullah Diagnostician
Ottawa, Ontario
Saifullah Default
 

You are right, didnt look at the diagram. My apologies

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Saifullah Diagnostician
Ottawa, Ontario
Saifullah Default
 

But still dont think its a 5vref issue. Just doesnt fit with the rest. In my experience you get codes, and other issues

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

That car I posted about set no codes either. Don't let that fool you. My car would shut off like the key was turned off. The scope showed injectors and ignition cutting out simultaneously. It was all caused by a bad 5v sensor. Don't be too quick to rule anything out unless you have proved it.

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Silas Owner
Anna, Illinois
Silas Default
 

So there are no codes setting presently. It has died multiple times today and no codes. The codes it had the other day were U0255 in the Accessory Protocol Interface Module, Anti-Theft (PATS) - Memory Codes U2023 | Vehicle Communication Network Fault Instrument Cluster Module - Memory Codes U2023 | Vehicle Communication Network Fault. I have scoped all the vref signals to the pcm today and no…

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Bob Owner/Technician
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Bob Default
 

What I saw on mine that you can see in the video I posted was that the 5v ref going to the bad part appeared to have noise that looked like a/c ripple. If you don't see that in yours it could still be a sensor that intermittently shorts to ground. You can try disconnecting sensors one at a time and see if anything changes. The sensors i would focus on first are things like A/C pressure sens…

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Jim Owner/Technician
Charlotte, North Carolina
Jim Default
 

Check the PCM relay, I've had a few of those fail with similar symptoms,

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Pam Owner/Technician
Tampa, Florida
Pam Default
 

Before going further... Lets start at the beginning. Put everything back to its first-time drive-in, including the original PCM. Verify good battery, charging system. Then, check calibrations (Mode 9); TSB. (Don’t forget to run IDS in 113.) Check extended warranties (I.e., throttle body). And, smoke it (check for emission issues like a sticking purge valve - which would cause a stall…

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Silas Owner
Anna, Illinois
Silas Default
 

the reason we didn't go with new was of course the cost and somewhat the uncertainty of the PCM for sure being the issue. As we look at what is happening can we say it is a box when 3 boxes do the same thing? What are the odds that 3, 2009 escapes would have the same dying issue?

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Troy Owner/Technician
Longbranch, Washington
Troy Default
 

I would at this time have to agree that at this time I would not think it was the pcm

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Humberto Owner/Technician
Redwood City, United States of America
Humberto Default
 

I would check that Cam Signal Again, It looks like you lost the signal right before you lost your injector pulse.

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Ray Diagnostician
North York, Ontario
Ray Default
 

This Gif is from a 2010 F-150 with intermittent no crank, stalling and high speed CAN U codes. Sometimes, when I hit the front fuse box or when i tapped on the cluster, the CAN would glitch. The problem was a bad solder connection on the cluster circuit board.

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Troy Owner/Technician
Longbranch, Washington
Troy Default
 

if I am not mistaken these had a problem with pcms and coils which requiered coils and a pcm, if you are getting used ones then they may not have been updated and would have the same problem, but if they all are stalling somthing is killing it, the pcms are in the cowl which i belive is in the air flow of the air box so maybe the cabin air filter is a clogged or there is no air flow pull out the…

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Glen Owner/Technician
Arthur, Illinois
Glen Default
 

Can you post any codes that did set?

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Silas Owner
Anna, Illinois
Silas Default
 

Glen did you see the codes that I replied with?

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Glen Owner/Technician
Arthur, Illinois
Glen Default
   

I did, Thanks. Can you list any AM accessories or electronic parts. Since I have an IDS I would be monitoring any fault pids that would be related to injectors or coils. Also monitor voltage, vref data, case ground or TQ_CNTRL PID if available. After the stall event can you tell if the KAM has been reset?

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Elion Instructor
Chicago, Illinois
Elion Default
 

Have seen some Ford / Lincolns with idle time out. 2013 Lincoln MKT to be a bit more exact. Timeout was around 20 minutes. Could this be the case ?

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Silas Owner
Anna, Illinois
Silas Default
 

This vehicle might run for 30 min and die or it might go for 1 or 2 or 3 hours till it dies.

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Saifullah Diagnostician
Ottawa, Ontario
Saifullah Default
   

Why don't we start thinking outside the "box"? since the vehicle now dies frequently, try that alternator bypass test you did earlier. You said it ran for about 6 hours like that. Just a thought

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Saifullah Diagnostician
Ottawa, Ontario
Saifullah Default
 

Does the scanner stop communicating to the pcm when the engine dies?

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Silas Owner
Anna, Illinois
Silas Default
 

No the times I checked it the scanner continued to communicate.

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Nathaniel Diagnostician
Ashton, Ontario
Nathaniel Default
 

Silas, I really wouldn't ignore the U code in the instrument cluster on these vehicles. Especially if it consistently sets only when the vehicle stalls. If it's not the bad news right now, it's bad news waiting to happen. Chasing that down might be a sidetrack, but it's worth resolving. Can you tell me a couple of things?: - Does the vehicle only stall when idling? - Does the vehicle always…

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Silas Owner
Anna, Illinois
Silas Default
 

- Only stalls while idling. - Always restarts immediately. The U codes did not reset after multiple dying events. I cleaned the grounds real good and scoped the powers and grounds through various stalls and it never showed an anomoly. - Yesterday while scoping the vehicle ran 6 hr before it died and then after it restarted it ran for about 2 min before it died. I am presently going through all…

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Timothy Owner/Technician
Ga, Georgia
Timothy Default
   

Hi Silas, One thought that came to me while reading your post was about the coolant overtemperature protection strategy on some of those Fords. As stated in the attachment I attached some vehicles will shut the engine down after seeing an overtemperature event through the cylinder head temperature sensor. However as it states here I would expect you would see related codes to that…

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Chris Diagnostician
Bryans Road, Maryland
Chris Default
 

This is a very good point and I have dealt with this causing stalling at times. But like you said I also had a related code that lead me in the direction to figured that out. Defiantly worth taking a peak at !

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Jason Technician
Lakewood, Colorado
Jason Default
 

Hi Silas. After staring at your waveform for a while, I noticed that when the injector function returns, it appears that the PCM may be firing all the injectors at once. You would have to bring up your deep record file of this screen shot and start droping off channels to confirm. If the PCM is firing all the injectors at once, this may be a PCM reset. Ive only ever seen this before in case…

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