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Old 09-18-2009, 12:19 PM   #21
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

I got a look at a 2001 schematic. It is possible that your problem is a bad connection at teh I/P panel. This will shut the car right off and if it then reconnects the car will immediately restart. You will see the symptoms you are seeing. On the back of the I/P panel ther is a 68 pin black connector. The continuous power for the radio and fuel pump comes in on position A-2. The positions are numbered on the side and lettered across. The wire/connection in question is a large, 3mm, red wire. The wire will probably look pink. It will be in one of the 4 corners so it is easy to find. Just push in and gently pull out on it a couple of times. This may fix your problem. The connection is damaged/overheated by installing high power aftermarket stereos. There is no telling what the original owner did so this is where you start to fix this.

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Old 09-18-2009, 03:26 PM   #22
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

I'm not completely sold on OldNuc's theory, but I think he's on the right track and I do feel that his suggestion is worthwhile. I think that the failure is occurring with either the IP/BATT (30A maxi-fuse) or the IGN 1/4 (30A maxi-fuse) circuit. Both of these circuits start in the underhood fuse block and that is where you'll find the big fuses for them. OldNuc's suggestion addresses the former circuit at the destination end, but doesn't address the latter circuit at all. Do what he suggests, but I'd also carefully remove the underhood fuse block (unhook neg bat terminal first), take it apart and inspect the wires there.

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:11 PM   #23
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

The drawing for the 2001 shows the feed from the IP BAT is functional by analyzing the symptoms. The I/P A-2 failure is a common problem, AKA F-5 in the gen 2 cars. Its easy to reach and juggle so its a place to start as the next place is the ignition switch as the other parts of IGN 1/4 and/or IGN 3 are functional. Its one or the other, start with the easy one. The logic for looking at ther I/P and ignition switch instead of the UHJB is that it is the small gauge wiring that fails first. And, the previous owner had a big stereo in the car and that is known to cook wiring. Although the present owner removed this wiring from the car and it was all installed properly you really do not know if that was how it was done the first time.

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Old 09-18-2009, 08:49 PM   #24
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Thank you very much oldnuc. I think you may be onto something. I'll check the I/P tomorrow. It makes sense to be inside rather than outside in my mind. Further out on the circuit and I should have seen other symptoms. If this wire does in fact control the power to both the fuel pump and stereo, it's possible that this is the problem. I'll let you know tomorrow evening. Here's hoping!!!! lol

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Old 09-18-2009, 09:00 PM   #25
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1998 SC2
Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Actually, that wire powers all of the continuously powered items inside the car. The fuel pump is an added benefit. the radio is always an obvious sign. Part of the problem is that GM radios use the continuous power for memory and the power comes from teh switched source. the aftermarket radios are just the opposite. The heavy load is on continuous power and the on/off control is from the switched source. If that connection, A-2 has ever been hot you will be able to tell from the back side and as yours has not just up and quit minor mechanical agitation might be all it needs. If it has been hot enough it will be backed out of the plug as far as it can come.

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Old 09-19-2009, 03:03 AM   #26
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

nevermind...misread something

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Last edited by ruley73; 09-19-2009 at 03:09 AM..

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Old 09-19-2009, 11:14 AM   #27
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1998 SC2
Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Not a problem, it is real easy to do....

Actually, these problems are better solved by adding eyes and comments.

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Old 09-19-2009, 09:34 PM   #28
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

"Part of the problem is that GM radios use the continuous power for memory and the power comes from teh switched source. the aftermarket radios are just the opposite. The heavy load is on continuous power and the on/off control is from the switched source."

I'm a bit confused. You said the GM radios and aftermarket are opposite, but, er, it looks like you just said the same thing for both. My aftermarket is actually installed under the same principal as the factory install(Been an installer for almost 20 years). Although I know what you mean. The aftermarket has a bigger "draw" on power from the memory wire. The key is to never use the ground wire for the factory stereo. Always ground the aftermarket directly to the battery. Takes care of that pesky "flashing lights" problem. I checked that wire and gave it a couple push/pulls. Crossing my fingers as the car has not yet died out. I don't know if this is important or not, I don't think I ever said that when the car died out, it was when I was coming to a stop, never while actually under throttle...????
And for everyone giving advice, THANK YOU VERY MUCH....I am an audio/visual installer and I've been doing body customizations for almost 20 years, but as far as diagnosing auto problems, I'm a bit of an idiot...lol

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Old 09-19-2009, 10:38 PM   #29
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1998 SC2
Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Its entirely possible I was less than clear. GM ties the low draw memory to the continuous source of power and drives the amplifier from switched. The aftermarket ties turn on control power to switched (low draw) and the amp and memory are tied to continuous power. I think we are saying the same thing.

Coming to a stop and having the car die is usually a different problem. This takes us back to the P0138 issue. This code is only coming up when you are slowing down to a stop right? A excessive rich mixture will cause the car to die. I am going to go back to the top and read through all of this again.

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Old 09-19-2009, 10:51 PM   #30
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1998 SC2
Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Quote:
Back in May my car would "shut down" randomly while slowing down. Everytime this happened the stereo would reset. Memory would disappear. I thought I had solved this by getting rid of the amplifier wires that were put in the car.
The loss of radio memory etc is most likely caused by the I/P panel wire you agitated. With any luck that should be fixed.

If not, I think it is best to take these as 2 separate problems.

Manual or automatic transmission?

When you are coming to a stop if you put the trans in neutral does it still die or try real hard to die?

Leafy mentions front O2 sensor. Its a possibility. Is the one in th car original?

Need some car history here.
  • Mileage.
  • Has the filter/regulator ever been changed.
  • Have you cleaned the throttle body.

The idea is to start with the low cost stuff and go from there.

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Old 09-20-2009, 09:25 AM   #31
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Car is automatic. 135458 miles. Original front O2. Cleaned Throttle body. Changed ECTS yesterday, code came back today. The stalling and the radio are together. Car stalls, Radio dies. lol I think I may just put it on the scanner to read what all these sensors are doing at running temp...*sigh* Don't really know if it stalls in neutral. It just shuts off. There is no warning. Just as if you turned key off.

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Old 09-20-2009, 11:14 AM   #32
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

The electrical problem is probably not related to the P0138 issue.

If you have a scanner that shows live data take a look at these 3 items, short fuel trim, long fuel trim, and front O2 sensor signal. The performance issue is going to eventually lead to solving teh electrical issue.

As a quick idea warm the car up till the fan cycles and then post back what you are seeing for the Short Fuel Trim and Long Fuel Trim values.

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Old 09-22-2009, 11:18 PM   #33
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Changed ECTS and of course it didn't solve the engine light...arrrgh!!!! Gonna have to spend money now to put it on a scope...

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:25 AM   #34
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1998 SC2
Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

At this point that is probably the low cost solution as throwing parts at it gets real expensive quick.

The electrical problem could be nothing more than a bad ignition switch but that is not going to set a P138 and if that code is real and not a bad sensor then the cause of the P138 needs to be corrected first.

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Old 10-05-2009, 10:12 AM   #35
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

Ok, thank you for all your help. Problem is not fixed...arrgh I took it to a dealer to have the analyzer on it, it only told me what I already knew. They figured a bad connection somewhere between the downdraft O2 sensor and the PCM. I haven't checked it as of yet, but I did take a trip the other day. Four hour highway trip at average speed of 85mph..I don't know at which point, but I looked at my gauges and noticed the service engine light went out. It stayed off til I came off highway and slowed down. It's still on, same code P0138!!!! Lucky me...

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Old 05-20-2018, 05:21 PM   #36
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

What was the issue? Just curious because I have the same issue, and when people post their car problems rarely do they come back and post what fixed it.

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Old 05-20-2018, 11:11 PM   #37
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Default Re: P0138 Code Problem

BConrad74, you can either review this old thread and follow up with any comments or just start a new thread. It's doubtful the original poster will reply after leaving his last reply in 2009, nine years ago........

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