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Old 03-22-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
danielbstone87
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2005 ZX4 running rough

so i've got a few weird problems that i have a feeling are somehow connected.

the short and sweet of the situation is i have a 2005 ZX4 thats running really rough. just got this car at an auction and it was repo'ed about 3 months before that. not knowing the state of anything, i did a poor man's tune up on it. (changed oil, trans filter, spark plugs, and seafoamed the fool out of it).

the battery was completely dead. we could jump it off, but as soon as we disconnected the cables, it died. so i also replaced the battery and the alternator (what a joy that was).

to my dismay, when i cranked it up, it still ran really rough. then about 30 seconds after cranking, the battery light comes on. i had the people at oreilly's test it and he said he was getting power coming from the alternator (thank God). but the batt was only at 50% charge. it also had a P0102 error code (but no check engine light).

i know the code is in reference to the mass air flow sensor, so i'm going to get MAF cleaner and clean it later today. i saw a posting where someone mentioned a faulty alternator causing problems with the MAF sensor. has anyone else heard of that, or know of anything else that would cause this???

additional info: i did a vacuum leak check with carb cleaner and didn't find anything. and the engine seems to run rough at idle, or when driving.

Thanks for any help


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Old 03-22-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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I would start with cleaning the MAF. Also make sure a mouse didn't crawl in somewhere and make a nest which could be blocking airflow. In guessing it sat for a while so that's where I would start.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
danielbstone87
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Thanks for replying. I'm doubting it's a mouse. If I disconnect the main air flow tube just above the throttle body, it has no affect. If a mouse is in the system below the throttle body, I guess I would buy a cat and hope for the best
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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Check your battery cables maybe. If they arent secure enough or have a fault somewhere along the line, it may cause symptoms similar to what you're experiencing. Although I'm not sure where the MAF sensor would fit into the equation if that were the case. The MAF needs a good cleaning every once and a while anyways though.

Sounds like you know enough to have probably already checked that though.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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If your mileage is over 100k or you have oil in the spark plug tubes, then that can cause the problems you're having. Mileage over 100k means that the coil boots are probably worn. You can purchase replacements (look for plug wires) at parts stores for $5-8 each. Mine went out at 80k, car started "not running right", so I changed the boots, and that solved the problem. Oil in the spark plug tubes will do the same thing- oil itself doesn't conduct, but the minute particles in the oil do.

The fuel filter might need to be changed. That's a $7, 20-30k mile part. Whatever you do, don't look at the prices for thermostats. Worry about it when you have to replace it.

You can test the effectiveness of your charging system using the electronic odometer trick. Key off, press and hold the odo reset button. Turn the key on, continue to hold the odo reset button until the odo reads [test]. Release the reset button, now you're in test mode. You will remain in test mode until you turn the key off. Each time you press and release the odo reset button, you'll scroll through one of 30 test functions. Look for the one that reads [bat 12.1] or whatever your battery voltage is at the time. When you start the engine, you can read the alternator voltage. Typically these readings are about .2v less than a reading taken at the battery posts. It will give you an idea of how well your alternator is working.

I personally don't like parts store alternators. I've seen plenty of problems with cheap voltage regulators, and prefer to use local rebuilders who use quality parts because returns are not part of their business model.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #6
danielbstone87
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Thanks again for the replies guys

yeah i cleaned the battery terminals and posts already. i also charged it up and cranked it again, light still on.

I hosed that sensor down with MAF cleaner. no change. i kinda had a feeling that it wasn't going to change much once i was looking at it.

to that last reply about the test mode... woah, i had no idea you could do that. i'm gonna try that for sure tomorrow morning, along with changing those boots.

I did also have oil in with the plugs when i changed them.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:26 AM   #7
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Hi! I have a 06 zx4 my car was running really rough and engine was loud and vibrating hard I changed the passanger side motor mount which stopped my engine from vibrating then I bought a new mass air flow sensor and my car is now running smoothly I have another new mass air flow sensor I accidently bought two new ones off ebay so if u need one ill sell it to u cheap :)
Good luck with you car!
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
danielbstone87
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ok, new update. new boots went on and it seems to run a little better (maybe just in my head) but not 100%. there might be a vac leak that my super accurate carb cleaner test didn't find.

and as for the whole test mode thing... woah. i had no idea there was this kind of magic and it was awesome. the reading for the batt was 11.3 and when cranked it read 11.1. still getting a battery light though after about 30 seconds of being cranked. any ideas on whats causing this devil problem?
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
danielbstone87
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ok problem has been solved! just thought i would sum it up for the sake of people on google that find this in the future. after changing the plugs and boots, it really did run better, but there was still a hard vibration. it turns out what the remaining problem was a bad front engine mount. after changing that, runs smooth as silk. thanks again for yalls help!
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:12 PM   #10
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Uh, new motor mounts do not fix battery lights...............missing something there. You'll mis-steer every one on google now..............
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