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Old 06-14-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
HV Fam Wagon
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Default P0300 and rough idle

Last month the heater hose leaked and sprayed all around. I replaced the hose. The wagon runs fine afterwards.
A few days ago, I hose everywhere under the hood to wash off the antifreeze. Yesterday, when I drove the car, it idles at around 500 rpm; backing out was very rough. At higher speed, 40 mph or above, it seems OK.
When I drove back home, the "Service Engine Soon" light comes on and stays on. It seems it would die stopping in front of traffic light.
I looked at the air filter this morning, it's a little wet. Nothing else is out of the ordinary. Hope I didn't break anything.
This is LW2 year 2000 wagon with 160K miles.
Any help, suggestion, advice is welcomed.

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

If you suspect water causing this then the easiest initial remedy might be using either low pressure air or the blower exhaust from your large vacuum cleaner, if you have one. Low air pressure can blow out water remaining in all the collection areas that doesn't need high pressure air to blow dry things. It may also be coincidence that this rough idle occurred after engine washing.

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

Sounds like you contaminated the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) with h2o. Heed fdryers advice and blow it out with some air. MAF's arent cheap ($50-$100 IIRC).

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Old 06-16-2013, 12:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

Thanks.
I don't have a air gun. I'll try it with a hair dryer tomorrow. Thanks fdryer, Partymmudasti.
I think I read it somewhere splashing water under the hood won't hurt anything. I guess some parts, like sensors, may be damaged.

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

I can say that washing the engine area down can cause strange things to happen, the last time I washed mine after repairs, I made a short drive to check things out and it did all kinds of stupid stuff. Let it set for awhile and all was good, engine heat dried it all out.

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

Yea. That's what the Autozone guy said yesterday. It seems I have to take off the plenum and dry the banks of ignition coils. I don't know how true it is. I'll post the result when I find out.

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Old 08-01-2013, 11:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

Last month, I opened up the intake manifold and removed the ignition packs over the spark plugs. The #5 and #6 spark plug well had water in them. Dry them up; spray them with CRC "Wire Dryer", and cleaned the MAF sensor with CRC "Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner". The wagon ran much better. But it is running rough at idle, in reverse, and when accelerating from stop.
I don't know whether to change the plugs or change the ignition coil packs; these are expansive. The plugs has been there for 65K miles.
Anyone has any thoughts? ideas? suggestions?

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Old 08-02-2013, 12:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

With absolutely no SES indicator at anytime to scan for error codes, this may require advanced troubleshooting using a reader with freeze frame capability. At the least, a reader to monitor live sensors. I'm interested in the maf sensor output at idle (baseline) and while accelerating. This will require two people as the passenger will have to read and record observations while you drive or vice versa. If you can, record and post idle rpm data.

Replacing parts like the ignition coil pack or maf sensor without any clear indication by way of error codes is just throwing parts at the car. A reader with live sensor display is needed.

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Old 08-02-2013, 09:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

Thanks fdryer.
No Code, no light on the dashboard.
I don't have freeze frame reader. Is there any other way of diagnosing? Or any way to test the ignition coil pack? The spring inside the ignition coil is rusty though.

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Old 08-02-2013, 11:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

I noticed you have two L300's......................this makes it possible to swap ignition coil packs if you feel like wrenching a little. As far as the coil springs being corroded, either order replacements or wire brush corrosion off and coat with dielectric grease, regular grease or oil. Since these springs are basically transferring high voltage from the coil pack to the spark plug, they should be fine with some wire brushing. I'm guessing some coolant or water dribbled down and soaked them. Heat boils water into steam and mixed with air can create help oxidation and accelerate corrosion. Dielectric grease prevents corrosion. You can swap them around too, from car to car.

Our ignition coil packs don't lend themselves to spark testing unless you're willing to have a pack laid out and connected to wiring, plugs connected and bases grounded to the engine block, and have someone turn the engine over as you watch for spark jumping each plug gap.

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Old 08-03-2013, 08:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: P0300 and rough idle

Thanks fdryer. It makes a lot of sense; and inexpensive. I'll try that when I have a chance.

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