• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

HELP 2013 3.7L PIU not able to pass inspection due to oxygen sensors not ready

Rob_I

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 19, 2020
Messages
138
Reaction score
34
City, State
New Hampshire
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 PIU 3.7 NA
I'm sure we can work something out. However, I would need to plug in my battery charger to a 110v outlet somewhere. System requires +13v volts.

Also, I have not been able to get into IDS engineering mode to go deeper. I get to the screen where it says to select model (by code) or input a Vin. Neither option work, and I can't get past it, or at least not in a meaningful way to do anything to my vehicle. Is there an IDS expert in the house? Sadly my functionality is limited to rather generic stuff. I can add modules, program with latest calibrations, get as-built data from mother Ford, run some service functions, but engineering mode is where it's at. The latest Forscan has almost more functionality though higher risk.
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




Nibroc99

Active Member
Joined
August 21, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
8
City, State
Rochester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'13 PIU Base
I'm sure we can work something out. However, I would need to plug in my battery charger to a 110v outlet somewhere. System requires +13v volts.

Also, I have not been able to get into IDS engineering mode to go deeper. I get to the screen where it says to select model (by code) or input a Vin. Neither option work, and I can't get past it, or at least not in a meaningful way to do anything to my vehicle. Is there an IDS expert in the house? Sadly my functionality is limited to rather generic stuff. I can add modules, program with latest calibrations, get as-built data from mother Ford, run some service functions, but engineering mode is where it's at. The latest Forscan has almost more functionality though higher risk.
So, my vehicle is currently at the Ford dealer for the reflash. I just got a call saying that they replaced an O2 sensor and have diagnosed that it needs new spark plugs, intake tubing, catalytic converters (both of them), down pipes, flex pipes, and all of it would cost $3500. They are going to charge me $350 for the O2 sensor replacement. And they DIDN'T REFLASH IT LIKE I ASKED. They said that the O2 sensor they replaced was a downstream sensor that was broken or something. Any suggestions of what I should do? They are saying (direct quote from the mechanic) "There is no reflash for this vehicle." He won't even tell me why there isn't a way to reflash it I call bullshit. And the $3500 of other shit is absolute bullshit as well if you ask me... They said that they detected misfires but there were no codes for misfires (no codes at all, for that matter) when I brought it in yesterday.
 




Rob_I

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 19, 2020
Messages
138
Reaction score
34
City, State
New Hampshire
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 PIU 3.7 NA
Sounds like they don't really want to do any diagnosis, they just want to slap all new parts and call it. I mean, plugs aren't bad to do if you don't know the age, and there IS a service bulletin on certain PIUs for cat replacement (provided it's throwing specific codes). I'm assuming they are saying you need the rest of the exhaust stuff because in the process of the cat replacement, chances are the rest of it will snap off or frozen in place. Typical New England exhaust stuff. Going straight to the cats is like the LAST resort because of the cost and labor.

350 for a single O2 is insane. If memory serves they are about $50. I did my 3 in a matter of about 30 min, which included a 5 min PB blaster soak. O2 wrench, muscle, and thread in a new one. MAYBE chase the threads with a tap if needed.

As for the CA flash, I honestly don't know. Maybe you do have the latest calibration, just not set to CA emissions. I believe there was a TSB on the PCM flash so maybe it was done at some point. Can check the VIN with a dealership or online to are what has been done for bulletins. Again, as for setting to CA, I don't know how without going to engineering.

Misfires are an evil thing to diagnose. Plugs are usually the go-to step 1. There are other simple'ish things to try too but the forums are flush with misfire diagnostics and fixes.

Intake tubing? Is it cracked or torn? Sounds like a stretch. Sure they didn't say "intake manifold gasket" because that is technically supposed to be replaced whenever you take the manifold off which you need to do to get at the rear plugs.
 




Rob_I

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 19, 2020
Messages
138
Reaction score
34
City, State
New Hampshire
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 PIU 3.7 NA
Also, I don't have the time to read back, but what have you don't to it thus far mechanically? Anything?
 




Nibroc99

Active Member
Joined
August 21, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
8
City, State
Rochester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'13 PIU Base
Sounds like they don't really want to do any diagnosis, they just want to slap all new parts and call it. I mean, plugs aren't bad to do if you don't know the age, and there IS a service bulletin on certain PIUs for cat replacement (provided it's throwing specific codes). I'm assuming they are saying you need the rest of the exhaust stuff because in the process of the cat replacement, chances are the rest of it will snap off or frozen in place. Typical New England exhaust stuff. Going straight to the cats is like the LAST resort because of the cost and labor.

350 for a single O2 is insane. If memory serves they are about $50. I did my 3 in a matter of about 30 min, which included a 5 min PB blaster soak. O2 wrench, muscle, and thread in a new one. MAYBE chase the threads with a tap if needed.

As for the CA flash, I honestly don't know. Maybe you do have the latest calibration, just not set to CA emissions. I believe there was a TSB on the PCM flash so maybe it was done at some point. Can check the VIN with a dealership or online to are what has been done for bulletins. Again, as for setting to CA, I don't know how without going to engineering.

Misfires are an evil thing to diagnose. Plugs are usually the go-to step 1. There are other simple'ish things to try too but the forums are flush with misfire diagnostics and fixes.

Intake tubing? Is it cracked or torn? Sounds like a stretch. Sure they didn't say "intake manifold gasket" because that is technically supposed to be replaced whenever you take the manifold off which you need to do to get at the rear plugs.
Supposedly the guy spent 6 hours on the thing but they aren't charging me for the full 6 hours or something... They were very vague about that on the phone. So some kind of diagnosis and repair that I did not authorize happened. Again, my vehicle is throwing ZERO codes. Nothing related to the cats, nothing indicative of misfires (when driving there is no feeling like there are misfires either).

In terms of the $350... It cost me $250 for a different dealership to tell me that I had one non-OEM sensor. That was their "diagnostic fee." They did not even change out the sensor - that was going to cost an additional fee! What a scam from the other place too.

As far as the intake, he said "intake tubing" on the phone. He didn't even mention the gasket, which I actually know should be replaced since you have to take the manifold off to do the plugs like you said. The intake tubing is pristine. No cracks, no tears in the intake boot anywhere. I know this for a fact because I had it out not long ago to detail the engine bay and I cleaned that while it was out of the bay, so I was getting up close and personal with it. I was very gentle and careful about it and didn't cause any damage.

I just can't see why the vehicle isn't throwing a single trouble code, not even p1000. It doesn't make sense to me. Something has to be missing from the equation...
 




Rob_I

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 19, 2020
Messages
138
Reaction score
34
City, State
New Hampshire
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 PIU 3.7 NA
So now it's going from not reading the O2s properly and non-CA emissions to replacing intake and exhaust parts.

I wonder if like 1991 sploder stated before, the force ready damaged the PCM in some fashion? Also maybe there is a exhaust leak that's throwing it off. Just doesn't make sense.

Before you get the car back, assuming you plan to without them doing this $3500 worth of questionable necessity work, have them give you a DETAILED analysis of exactly what and why. No vague description. Sounds like they are feeding you the classic "blinker fluid" line. Just because they are a dealership doesn't mean they have to be ethical or are right.
 




Nibroc99

Active Member
Joined
August 21, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
8
City, State
Rochester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'13 PIU Base
So now it's going from not reading the O2s properly and non-CA emissions to replacing intake and exhaust parts.

I wonder if like 1991 sploder stated before, the force ready damaged the PCM in some fashion? Also maybe there is a exhaust leak that's throwing it off. Just doesn't make sense.

Before you get the car back, assuming you plan to without them doing this $3500 worth of questionable necessity work, have them give you a DETAILED analysis of exactly what and why. No vague description. Sounds like they are feeding you the classic "blinker fluid" line. Just because they are a dealership doesn't mean they have to be ethical or are right.
Yeah, the dude was being super vague on the phone and we already told him we've been dealing with this since August and dont want any upsells or anything, we are trying to get to the bottom of the problem and want to try the reflash. We did not authorize them to make any other repairs.
So far the mechanical stuff we've done is there was one exhaust leak detected early on, so that was welded and repaired. More recently, my local mechanic ran a smoke machine UV smoke test on the evap and exhaust systems, and detected no leaks at all. We replaced all 4 O2 sensors with brand new FoMoCo sensors to no avail. The local mechanic also did a wiring check, and verified that all of the sensors' wires are in good working order. There were no faults or breaks all the way from the sensors back to the PCM. We have NOT replaced the cats yet though, simply because that will be the absolute last thing we could think to do before it becomes a game of slapping new parts on it. Plus, the Cat monitors are coming ready, and no Cat codes are being thrown, so we have somewhat dismissed them as being the problem since the readings from the O2 sensors say that the Cats are working fine.
I must have missed the part about "the force may have damaged the PCM already" - what does that mean? The force of what?
I will definitely be asking for a detailed report of what was done... No worries there, I will definitely be getting the info and I will not be paying them any money because I didn't authorize any of the extra work they did. All I asked for was an ECU reflash to comply with california emissions, and they said they would call me when they got it in the shop to tell me whether it worked or not. They ended up calling me at the end of the day telling me they put 6 hours into it and this and that needs to be replaced etc. Sadly both ford dealerships so far that I've been to have pulled the "trying to get as much of my money as possible" approach so far.
 




Rob_I

Elite Explorer
Joined
June 19, 2020
Messages
138
Reaction score
34
City, State
New Hampshire
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 PIU 3.7 NA




Mbrooks420

High Voltage.
Elite Explorer
EF Vendor
Joined
February 2, 2002
Messages
10,645
Reaction score
1,786
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
Also forced ready mode sounds like the best way to blow a pcm yet.... No such thing unless they hooked it up to a tuner to make it say please no codes basically or when something comes up No error reported. If they did that it will never ever EVER read ready. Only they can tell the computer to not mil indicator when throwing a code.... It wont even come up.. If they did force it like that take it back and say take off the force ready.... It's just continuously test mode...big nightmare out here in California I've heard of endless ways to pass smog force ready isn't a thing...or anywhere
All false assumptions. They did a scanner test that puts them into test mode. Nothing was dangerously forced. This is a standard type of testing. They didn’t leave anything “forced” on.

I’d have certainly done the buy back. There’s a reason they offered. That 2k spent might just be the tip of the iceberg. Plus, I think you typically get everything back.
 




Nibroc99

Active Member
Joined
August 21, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
8
City, State
Rochester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'13 PIU Base
All false assumptions. They did a scanner test that puts them into test mode. Nothing was dangerously forced. This is a standard type of testing. They didn’t leave anything “forced” on.

I’d have certainly done the buy back. There’s a reason they offered. That 2k spent might just be the tip of the iceberg. Plus, I think you typically get everything back.
Had I done the buy back, I would have lost about $2000 anyway because of stuff that I've done to the vehicle plus the tax and repairs. Unless I take off the additions, many of which are made for the 2013 PIU (like the brush guard, rear seats, seatbelts, bunch of stuff...), And just try reselling the parts or hope to God that I find a nearly identical vehicle within my budget... It ended up working out that my dad and I decided that we would be better off keeping it and learning how to fix it. In hindsight, of course, had I known that it would've been such a problem, I wouldn't have touched anything on the damn vehicle until it got properly inspected and passed inspection! We thought initially it was just a bad O2 sensor and dismissed it, so I went ahead with my modifications because we assumed it'd be a cheap-n-easy repair (which the dealer I bought it from paid for anyway, no cost to us).

Anyway... I have an update.

So I just got it back from the dealership, and when I told them that I will not be paying for unauthorized work that was done to my vehicle, he handed me the keys and told me to **** off. They also unplugged my dashcam so I have no footage of them working on the vehicle. Sketchy as hell. When I asked for a copy of the work slip, they told me to **** off again. They said "you pay me nothing I give you nothing." I am assuming that the new O2 sensor is installed on the vehicle, if that was even ever done. But man, I will be staying far away from dealerships from here on out. Time to find myself a local-enough mechanic with a Ford IDS that can help me going forward.
My next possible steps:
1. Keep looking for someone who can attempt to reflash or at least tell me if it's possible (Someone here who said they were a Ford tech said that it likely is not possible sadly)
2. Replace the cats
3. Take it to a professional tuner, or purchase a Red tuner myself and do the work myself for the $350 cost of the tuner and it's software for my car


Any advice is appreciated. Thank you SO MUCH to everybody who has contributed their opinions and input... You are all tremendously helpful and I'd buy you all a beer if I could. Thanks all. 🍻
 




1991 sploder

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 5, 2016
Messages
551
Reaction score
186
City, State
Lompoc
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 eddie bauer
Just say f## it take out the downstream o2 sensors plug them all up but 1 hole on the tip of each with jb high temp weld.... Reset the ecu and do a few drive cycles.
 




Nibroc99

Active Member
Joined
August 21, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
8
City, State
Rochester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'13 PIU Base
DRUMROLL PLEASE...

It was a bad Bank 1 catalytic converter all along.

Got the service history from the prior owner (police dept. of a town in New Hampshire) and that cat had never been replaced, but the bank 2 cat was replaced. I replaced the bank 1 cat (had it done by my local shop) and drove about 30 miles and VOILA! IT'S FIXED! I should've stuck with my gut and just done this to begin with. Only down side is it cost me $600 in parts and labor. But now it's fixed for many years to come, and I know a lot more than I intended to about my car (not a bad thing at all)!

Just wanna say thank you to everyone on this thread. You've all been a tremendous help in this process and I appreciate the f**k out of y'all. Thanks everyone. ❤️🙏
 




Top