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"Powertrain malfunction indicator" (wrench light)

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by Worktofish, March 7, 2011.

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    1. Worktofish

      Worktofish New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
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      I have a 2006 4.0L 4x4 Explorer that just lit up the "powertrain malfunction indicator" (wrench light) on the dash.

      I bought this vehicle over 4 years ago, and it has always hesitated when cold, (similar to a cold, carbureted engine for those of you who remember those...). It runs fine after.

      However, today after starting it cold, it hesitated, then shimmied, and then the powertrain malfunction indicator came on. I drove it 4 miles home, but it had shifting issues.

      I was planning on having it towed to the dealer, however, after reading another post, I see that it can be intermittent. Sure enough, I just went back out and started the vehicle - no light!

      Any ideas what this means???
       
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    3. swetrid

      swetrid Well-Known Member

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      You need the trouble codes from pcm to help diagnose.
       
    4. PEAR0119

      PEAR0119 Active Member

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      I had the same sorta issue with my 06. I was driving down the highway and all of a sudden it hesitated and shimmied then the wrench light came on. I pulled over, turned the car off then back on and everything was OK until the next day. It eventually got so bad that I couldn't even drive the car and it finally threw a MIL light that stayed on.

      When I read the codes it threw a "Throttle stuck open" and "Forced idle" codes. I can't remember the exact code number. So, I brought it to Ford and they replaced the TPS sensor on the throttle body as it was throwing "erratic voltage" codes when they read them. Been driving daily for 5 months since and have had no issues.

      My issue was intermittent but since the wrench light turned off every time the car was turned off, I would of gotten the runaround from Ford. Once the MIL light stayed on I then brought it to Ford and they replaced the TPS sensor under warranty.
       
    5. PEAR0119

      PEAR0119 Active Member

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      I found them. I was getting:

      P2104 Throttle Actuator Control System - Forced Idle
      P2111 Throttle Actuator Control System - Stuck Open

      My best guess would be the TPS as your symptoms sound very similar to mine.
       
    6. Worktofish

      Worktofish New Member

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      Yes, that sounds very similar. I'll pull the codes and see what I get.

      It ran fine this morning on my short drive to the gym and back. I'll pull the codes tonight.

      Thanks for the information, I was having fears that the transmission was toast.
       
    7. PEAR0119

      PEAR0119 Active Member

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      Mine ran fine somedays and others was a complete nightmare. My first reaction was that the trans was toast too. Once I read the codes I knew it was the TPS and Ford confirmed it for me. I was relieved to say the least.
       
    8. Worktofish

      Worktofish New Member

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      Any recommendations for a code reader? I was shocked to see the cheapest one for $60, and up to $250. I'm old school. The only way I ever read codes was to count the sweeps on a voltmeter. Can that still be done?

      Also, I haven't had any problems since the original, but I'll see if I can get the codes off this weekend.
       
    9. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You should be able to get the codes read at your local auto parts store for free. Around here AutoZone and Advance Auto Parts do it for free and give you a print out of the results.
       
    10. FordService

      FordService Official Ford Rep

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      Worktofish,

      This is Seni with Ford Customer Service. I am sorry your Explorer is not performing to your expectation. We recommend that your vehicle be inspected by a Ford dealership to determine the cause of any symptoms your vehicle may be experiencing. If there is no coverage under applicable warranties, recalls, or ESPs, repairs and services would be your responsibility. As you mentioned, the problem may be intermittent, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. Your next step is to make an appointment with your servicing dealership to have your vehicle diagnosed. Please PM me if further assistance is needed. Thank you.

      Seni
       
      Last edited: April 25, 2011
    11. DavidEBSmith

      DavidEBSmith Elite Explorer

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    12. mcucciare

      mcucciare New Member

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      I had the same problem with my 06 4.0L. It started off very intermittently, but over a year or so it got worse and worse. Pulled codes and there were 3. They were related to the TPS. There is an updated throttle body assembly that comes with the TPS. Replaced that and all has been good for about a year now. Seems to be a pretty common problem on these. I've heard of people going through 2 or 3 before they get a good one. Good Luck!

      Mike
       
    13. Phildad

      Phildad New Member

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      Backyard Mechanic

      I also had Limp Mode problems that got worse over a period of a week or two. P2104, P2111, & P2112. After reading quite a bit, I replaced the TPS but no better at all. Finally got so bad that as soon as I touched the throttle it would show the wrench and limp mode.
      Had already cleaned the MFS and the ETB and they were very clean. Checked the connectors and wiring and everything seemed fine.
      Frustrating.
      So read a bunch more and decided I was going to have to spend the money and get a new ETB next... But didn't want to spend that much money.
      As a final option, I took the ETB drive apart and found the DC motor had very dirty armatures. It was tricky, but gently pulled the brushes back and put 600 grit sandpaper in front of them in a very tiny piece. Using the brushes, I pressed the sandpaper against the Armature gently and twisted and twisted the DC motor spindle. Took three pieces of sandpaper to get most of the black off the Armature. This was rather tedious and you have to be gentle. Also tricky to get it all back together, but after PCM reset, reassembly and starting the truck, and going through learning procedure, it ran perfect. Yay!
      Just wanted to pass this on to those of you that know much more than I do. Hope it may help you understand why the error codes trip and the engine becomes useless.
       
    14. cadguy49

      cadguy49 New Member

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      2007 explorer Powertrain malfunction indicator

      Powertrain malfunction indicator wrench comes on when I start the vehicle, then goes off in a matter of a minute. I don't notice any power or shifting issues. Any thoughts?
       
    15. Johnbuccat0419

      Johnbuccat0419 New Member

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      I have a 2007 Ford Explorer 4.0 4x4
      Wrench light came on so I replaced the transmission, After a week it came back on again, This time checked the TPS and replaced them, still the light remains. Checked all the wiring to the trans, cleaned off all sensors and still the light won't turn off... Fustrated and tired. Can someone please help me???
       
    16. Explorer_PL

      Explorer_PL Elite Explorer

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      John -

      you did not replace the tranny because of the light I hope ?

      When my tranny was acting up (different since it is v8) it was also throwing different codes like MAF sensor, TPS and other junk. It turned out it was a torque converter the first time, and the second time it was faulty ignition coils. Did they install a new TC ?

      The tranny is still good.
       
    17. Machine090767

      Machine090767 Active Member

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      I really do hope that John didn't replace the transmission and do all of the other items without first finding out what the actual problem is. Just because the "Wrench light" is on does not mean your engine and transmission are doomed.
       

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