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1.8T Died while driving

9777 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jakenney
My daughter's 03NBC 1.8 shut off while cruising at a leisurely 40mph, AC on, radio on. No warning just shut off (the red battery light did come on). She coasted into a parking spot and called for help. Older daughter got there about 20 minutes later and the car started up. The red battery light was off but the CEL was on. So they decided to just leave it for me.

I arrived a couple hours later and ran my trusty Torque app, found 11 codes. All seemed to me to be indicative of the car just shutting down abruptly. I did capture the freeze frame which was essentially blank. So I cleared the codes, checked everything under the hood and headed home. Ran in both city traffic and highway (65mph). Twenty minutes later and home. No CEL, no codes.

A search indicates that the random shutdown could be caused by the Crank Position Sensor. Figured at 111000 miles it wouldnt' hurt so I ordered one.

I did just replace the alternator, belt tensioner and belt. But the car has run fine other than today's hickup.

Anyone else have a similar experience?
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Please post any and all trouble codes.
Yeah, it sounds like the infamous CKP sensor. I had the same thing happen to my beetle. My bug would cut off when I went over this dip in my subdivision. Got the codes like you did, and it was for the CKP sensor. It's an easy fix. Fishing the sensor is the biggest thing. It's a plug and play.
Died again today - codes

Pulled these codes - Crank Position Sensor is due in tomorrow..in the meantime it died while running again.

P0261 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 1 Injector Circuit Low
P0267 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 3 Injector Circuit Low
P0270 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 4 Injector Circuit Low
P0264 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 2 Injector Circuit Low
P0445 - POWERTRAIN - Evaporative Emission Control System Purge Control Valve Circuit Shorted
P0418 - POWERTRAIN - (No info for this one).
P0010 - POWERTRAIN - "A" Camshaft Position Actuator Circuit (Bank 1)
P0414 - POWERTRAIN - Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve 'A' Circuit Shorted
P2401 - Powertrain - Evaporative System Leak Detect Pump Control Circuit Low
P0037 - Powertrain - H02S Heater Control Circuit Low (Bank 1 Sensor 2)

None of these appear to be the Crank Position Sensor ... any ideas? In the meantime I will dig into each one.
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These 4 codes:

P0261 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 1 Injector Circuit Low
P0267 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 3 Injector Circuit Low
P0270 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 4 Injector Circuit Low
P0264 - POWERTRAIN - Cylinder 2 Injector Circuit Low

are for the injectors, somewhere there is a problem (wiring or injectors) and probably the cause of the car shutting down randomly. I would purchase a "noid" test set and verfiy that the wiring to the injectors is good.
Replacing the crank position sensor turned out to be a near impossible feat - it is behind the Oil filter which is behind several AC and cooling tubes. No room to work at all so I shelved that plan for now.

After digging around on the forum it became apparent that much of the codes above dealt with electrical issues. Followed a recommendation and replaced the fuel pump relay #409. That seemed to work as I took a nice 15 minute drive through the country. As soon as I pulled onto a smooth blacktop highway the car stumbled. 15 seconds later it stumbled again and the CEL came on. About 5 seconds after that the red battery light appeared and we were coasting. Not a busy road (by choice) so I got into onto a farmers field entrance and let it sit for a few minutes. FIred it up and drove it home without incident.

Same codes as listed above appeared so it looks like I will have to get flexible and pull out the CPS - think I will pull the Oil Filter first and give me some room to work.

FIngers crossed on this one:confused::rolleyes:
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Definitely sounds like the CPS; replace it and let us know how it goes!

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Intermittent crank sensors usually do not trigger any codes from my experience, they just lead to random performance and stalling problems with little to no clues.

The fact that there are some many codes for different systems and they are all either a shorted or Low logic level tells me there is a primary power or ground problem.

First thing I would do is check the connections on top of the battery and the fuses on top of the battery. Look for loose and and discolored connections. Then I would check any ground connections.

Also search here and other forums for other similiar situations. I believed I have seen this same type of issue before on the forums before, if I can find the threads, I will link them here.
JFOJ - I hear ya... gut tells me its something electrical. However, I replaced the Crank PS and took it on a 25 mile ride. No issues. Living out in the country I was able to drive about 15 of those miles on VERY rough roads (hell some of it barely qualifies as road!). Had the AC cranked, the radio blasting, the lights on...no issues. Checked the fuse box on top of the battery - no issues (I fixed the repeated melting fuse box by replacing the wire to the alternator with a thicker guage - did that last summer and haven't had any issues since then).

I have my fingers crossed this is the solution. Several posts on here and on the Vortex indicated Crank PS, or the fuel pump relay. I have now replaced both.

Update - decided to brave a drive with the bug to work this morning. Failed - at 65 in the left lane it shut down. EPC, CEL and a host of other lights. Manhandled it off to the shoulder and waited 5 to restart. No joy. Failed to start, sat waiting for the tow truck only to watch as the battery died. Had it towed home while I took another car to work. Jumped it when I got home and got it backed into the garage. Battery is less than 1 year old, new alternator, new fuel pump relay. No issues with the fuse box on top of the battery (I fixed that last year by putting in a larger gauge wire). So now off to pull fuses whilst I check for parasitic draw....oh I can't wait to get rid of what will turn out to be my LAST german car.:mad::rant2:
Sorry to hear you are continuing to have problems; did you get any trouble codes? Have you done a fuel pressure test or Has the fuel pump or fuel filter ever been replaced?

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Trouble codes were the same as before. I am going to replace the fuel filter (I bought the car at 108K.. no idea what PO did before - 111K now). Doesn't appear to be fuel related as it always starts, and runs for the most part. The codes are all related to a 'short'...so I am hunting around for a power draw. I am replacing the fuse box on top of the battery just for grins. And I had the battery tested today - it was ok. I will now have to replace the oil pan as the tow truck cracked it. :mad:
Update - found some slight charring on one of the connections on the fuse block above the battery. So I replaced it and repaired the cracked oil pan. Battery was trickle charged and has been in the bug for a week. It starts fine and runs. This weeked I will take if for a long drive to be sure I have the issue fixed. Then its off to a Honda dealer to trade it in.;)
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