P1381 Code and some oil near the motor mount - Focus Fanatics
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:05 PM   #1
mbradican
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P1381 Code and some oil near the motor mount

This afternoon my stalled out on the highway, then wouldn't idle after re-start. The only code I got was P1381. After I had it towed home I noticed a little bit of oil in the area of the front/pass side motor mount. The car has 117k on it. I changed the timing belt at 95k and it ran fine then. I loosened the cam gears and used the pin and cam bar and everything came out fine. I've never changed the VCT solenoid. It's a little grungy around the base, but doesn't have any wet oil on it. The spark plug holes have some oil in them, but I thought that was the valve cover. Any ideas? It runs and I drove it up the driveway into the garage, but it barely idles and shakes a lot.


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Old 06-14-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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Moved to "General Technical Chat". The P1381 code means that the VCT is over-advanced. But there are a variety of reasons that this could happen as well. The easiest way to figure out the problem is through the process of elimination of the problems that could cause this. I would check the VCT solenoid and sensor to make sure they are properly functioning. One way to do this is to clear the codes, and drive the car until the codes come back on. Another reason might be the timing belt is not tensioned properly. I am sure if you check these bits you will solve your problem.

Now as or the oil around the motor mount. My guess would have to be that the motor mount had blown. Lucky for you this is the easiest mount to check and replace. The mount has a dust cap on top of it, just take that cap off to see inside. If you do need to replace it, I would highly recommend going with one directly from Ford. They seem to be better built than what the auto parts stores have to offer. To change the passenger side motor mount is easy too. Support the motor from underneath with a wood block between the oil pan and floor jack, unbolt the coolant reservoir and set it aside leaving the hoses connected, remove the two 18mm nuts connected to the block(if that doesn't work you can always take out the studs using a reverse torx bit, but remember those studs are held in with loc-tite), then remove the three 15mm bolts holding the mount bracket, pull the mount and bracket out as a complete assembly, then remove the 18mm nut which is holding the mount and bracket together.

I hope that this helps you, and good luck.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetecDon View Post
The P1381 code means that the VCT is over-advanced. But there are a variety of reasons that this could happen as well.
To elaborate on zetecDon's good advice:

From Ford:
"P1381 - Variable Cam Timing Over-advanced (Bank 1)
The comprehensive component monitor (CCM) monitors the VCT position for an over-advanced camshaft timing. The test fails when the camshaft timing exceeds a maximum calibrated value or remains in an advanced position.
Possible causes:
Cam timing improperly set
No oil flow to the VCT piston chamber
Low oil pressure
VCT solenoid valve stuck closed
Camshaft advance mechanism binding (VCT unit)
P1381 DTC is a check of the VCT unit. Testing should not include electrical checks. Diagnostics and repair for the VCT unit are located in the Workshop Manual."
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:22 AM   #4
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If belt has jumped you are damaging engine by continuing to run it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:47 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone. After thinking about it, I imagine the oil is from the mount. It doesn't look like it came from the engine and the car was towed from the front at a steeper incline than it ever experiences driving. Maybe that's why it never leaked out before.

I'll try to tear it down and check the cam timing next week. Is there an ohm spec on the VCT solenoid? I got 10 ohms between the terminals. Infinite to the body. That sounds OK. How do I test it other than that? Should it click when the key is turned on?
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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Problem solved: I pulled out the VCT solenoid, sprayed some carburetor cleaner in it and re-started. It runs fine so I think it was stuck. It has 117,000 miles on it so I will replace it anyway. As a side note, I did switch to synthetic oil a few months ago. Maybe that loosened up some old deposits and dropped them in the wrong place; or more likely it's just old. Anyway, thanks for the helpful suggestions. I will order a new motor mount too.
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