O2 Sensor Longevity... - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 08:23 AM
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Nicholas Orros
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O2 Sensor Longevity...

Had to take the D down to a place in town called 'Dermeister'... They are one place in town where they're used to dealing with foreign cars and seem to know what they're doing. I hesitated because of the lack of Land Rover's at this place but when I drove by last Friday there were about 8 Land Rover's there (Disco's & RR's, not setup for offroad really), so I said 'what the hell'. I was sick of my transfer box leaking and the D JUST STARTED hesitating in 1st & 2nd occassionally.
In any case, they said that I'm getting error #44 which is the driver's side O2 sensor I believe...

So my 2 questions to you all are:

'How long is an O2 sensor supposed to last ?'

&

'Can a genuine one go out in less than a year ??'

I vividly remember changing both out less than a year ago.
I was told by a friend that they can go out if you use a fuel conditioner. I've been using Redline Fuel Conditioner for years and never had a problem but right about the same time this was happening I had just put in a bottle of LAND ROVER GENUINE FUEL CONDITIONER (off of expeditionexchange.com)... I'm not saying that's what happened it's just what I was told.
Even closer to the event of Code44 was the fact that I really beat on the D one weekend going through the muddy Appalachicola Forest.

I'm going to switch the O2 sensor out regardless, but if anyone has any input... type away.

Thanks,

Nicholas Orros
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  #2  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 09:48 AM
Eric Siepmann
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Eric W. Siepmann
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Sounds like they died a little early to me. I use the genuine fuel conditioner myself and have had no problems. My other sensors needed replacement when I hit 20k a few years back. No problems since.

EwS
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  #3  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 11:15 AM
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Robert Dassler
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The 14CUX fuel system is a fairly simple system, but you have to interpret what it is telling you. A code 44 does not necessarily mean that the O2 is bad...just that the ecu cannot adjust the fueling to get the O2 voltages that it wants to see. The O2 could be bad but more often than not you will find a problem in the ignition or fuel system causing a misfire. I spent almost 10 years at the dealer and only ever replaced a handful of O2 sensors. For a correct diagnosis it is imperative that you look at the other systems first and verify the integrity of the ignition system first. Since only one bank is flagging a fault, it will most likely be a plug, plug wire, or injector having issues.
Rob
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  #4  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Nicholas Orros
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Robert,


Good call... and thank you for your reply.

I just picked the D90 up and they asked me if I put Platinum plugs in it... The answer was Yes, for the first time ever... I got conned into buying them from a shop I get my Amsoil from. The place that was working on it said that for this engine, Platinum plugs are a big no-no. They may work initially but after time you 'could' see problems... OR it's a bad O2 sensor. They said the 'juice' is there and it may be an O2 sensor after it's all said & done.
So, I'll switch them out tomorrow, have no time tonight... And since that 'new' hurricane is sweeping through the Gulf headed to Texas (Sorry Texas... Hey CVC: If you need somewhere to crash head on over to Tallahassee!! ) it's raining a bit here... well, cloudy at the moment.

Thanks,

Nicholas
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  #5  
Old September 22nd, 2005, 01:47 PM
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Robert Dassler
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I would never put platinum plugs in a Land Rover. I always sell my customers NGK and use them in all 3 of our Land Rovers as well. I'd change out the plugs and reset the light and see what comes back. Also beware cheap caps & rotors...always use genuine even though it is expensive...I have seen the aftermarket rotors burn through and cause intermittent problems under load...secondary voltage passing through the plastic of the rotor and finding ground through the distributor shaft...but only under load, idle is fine. Fun stuff.
Rob
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadsiderob
The 14CUX fuel system is a fairly simple system, but you have to interpret what it is telling you. A code 44 does not necessarily mean that the O2 is bad...just that the ecu cannot adjust the fueling to get the O2 voltages that it wants to see. The O2 could be bad but more often than not you will find a problem in the ignition or fuel system causing a misfire. I spent almost 10 years at the dealer and only ever replaced a handful of O2 sensors. For a correct diagnosis it is imperative that you look at the other systems first and verify the integrity of the ignition system first. Since only one bank is flagging a fault, it will most likely be a plug, plug wire, or injector having issues.
Rob
I just had a code 44 show up. This is after having an intermittent stalling problem for the last 4 months. The truck has been stalling, idling rough, or losing power, on random occasions. If I try to keep it running by giving it more gas I will smell fuel and get black smoke out of the exhaust. If I let it die, it starts up again right away and runs fine.

My plugs are 3 years old and on the drivers side appear slightly shiny black compared to a flat black on the passenger side plugs. The plug wires have been replaced and they appear to be in good shape. How would I know if I'm having issues with an injector? Would that be intermitent?
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  #7  
Old December 3rd, 2005, 10:51 PM
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Well, yes, injectors can have intermittent faults. However, since spark plugs are $2 each and injectors are $200 each, and your plugs are 3 years old....I think I'd start with a fresh set of plugs. I have heard of injectors sticking and causing a flood condition or bleeding down and causing a hard hot restart. You can watch the voltages on an oscilloscope, check voltage drops and check the resistance across the injector...but it probably won't tell you much that is meaningful to you, especially as your condition is intermittent. I'd check that everything in the ignition system is ok, check coil connections, and check fuel pressure. Also check that the distributor shaft bushings are ok and that the reluctor gap is correct. If you haven't solved your problem you could pull the injectors and have them serviced by a specialist and checked for a proper spray pattern and leakage. I have replaced very few injectors over the years, so my inclination is to rule everything else out first.
Rob
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  #8  
Old December 4th, 2005, 12:31 AM
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Could also just be a bad connection in there somewhere. Unless you put some kind of electric grease on the connections, they can potentially corrode and not get the proper signal.

Best way to be sure is throw an ohm meter on it. But these aren't normal. They aren't variable voltage, they're variable resistance IIRC.

-Hans
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  #9  
Old December 5th, 2005, 10:40 AM
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If the sensor really is the problem, then now that the check engine light is on I assume that the computer will ignore the sensor and the problem should go away. Is that correct?

SO maybe I should just drive it some more and see what happens?
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  #10  
Old December 5th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Well, the ecu will ignore the input and substitute a set of fixed values. It will run, but not optimally.
Rob
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Old December 5th, 2005, 11:03 AM
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It may not operate optimally but it should not stall anymore if the O2 sensor truly is the only problem. If I continue to see the stalling problem then I'll know that I need to go through the entire fuel/ignition systems looking for the cause.

I tried resetting the display and the same code came up when I restarted the truck so the only code getting thrown is 44.
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  #12  
Old December 5th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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I read recently the best thing to do is look at the output of the O2 sensors on an o-scope, if memory serves, it is supposed to be a pretty mucha square, and then you can check thier response by opening up a vacuum leak and it should drop to a lean condition and then check the other response my placing some carb cleaner or such at the vacuum leak for a rich condition. The signal should change as expected (flat-line lean or rich). This will let you check O2 sensor response. I understand the O2 sensor 44 flag is more usually something upstream preventing the O2 from responding as the ECU expects.
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  #13  
Old January 13th, 2006, 04:24 PM
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After getting the code 44 I changed my spark plugs and fuel filter. The truck started up and sounded better and appeared to run fine the first few times I took it out.

My rotor, distributor cap, and ignition lead wire were replaced 22 months ago (less than 8k miles) And my spark plug wires were replaced 27 months ago (less than 13k miles) All these parts look to be in good condition.

Driving down the highway the other day I start to smell fuel and lose power so I pull over. The engine was idling rough & low and then the check engine light came on and the engine returned to idling smooth. I checked the display module and there was no code?!? So I continued driving and within 15 minutes the check engine light went out.

After leaving the highway the truck stalled when I took it out of gear and was stopping at a light. I tried immediately restarting it and it wouldn't start up. I waited a minute with the ignition off, and it started right up and ran perfectly.

The shop manual I have reccomends changing the O2 sensors @ 82.5k and seeing as I'm beyond this I might just do it as a maintenance issue. I just hope it solves the problem, this intermittent problem is driving me crazy.

My brother is in town and he's afraid to drive it...I guess I'm just used to the D's quirks.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 06:22 PM
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Ok, so before I replaced them I decided to just unplug the drivers side O2 sensor and take iot for a test drive. Well the problem is still there, it both stalled and did the fuel smell/rough idle thing on a short test drive at normal operating temperature.

I noticed one new detail, I have to wait for the fuel pump relay to drop out before it will start up again. If I try to start it before hearing the click, it will just stall again. So now I'm thinking that maybe all these problems, and the source of the code 44 might be the fuel pump relay.

Is that possible?
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Old February 1st, 2006, 08:05 PM
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switched fuel pump & ecu relays and the problem started occuring more regularly. Replaced both relays ($27 w/shipping) and the problem seems to be gone.
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  #16  
Old February 2nd, 2006, 03:48 AM
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Barry O'Mahony
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What is in fuel conditioner, and what is the goal for using it?
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 05:13 PM
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i spoke too soon. I test drove it for a good 1 hour or more without any sign, then today it happened a couple of times during a series of short drives. The idle either drops to 200 and runs rough or just dies. But it starts right back up and runs fine as long as I wait for the fuel pump relay to kick out before trying to restart.
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  #18  
Old February 14th, 2006, 02:48 AM
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I have had similar problems... No stalling, just a rough idle which sometimes drops down to 300 or even 250.
I have gotten plently of code 44s thrown. Usually it comes back after 1-5 days or so of normal driving. I just got a code 68 tonight. Now could the speed sensor be the problem? It would make sense, because the idle seems to drop down low when I come to a stop. Sometimes it drops while driving though.

I recently swapped the stock distributor for a mallory unilite. (the vacuum advance was shot on the stock unit, so I just went for a new unit). I melted the stock bosch coil in a couple of days (what a mess). Just threw a old coil from a chevy 350 on there temporarily.

What would account for a rough or sometimes surging idle at rest?
I have cleaned the relativly new stepper motor.
The plug wires are magnecor.
The plugs are fairly new, but I think I'm going to get some new ones anyway.

Any luck with your problem?
-Heath
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Old March 9th, 2006, 10:16 PM
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Try unplugging your speed sensor. I unplugged mine three days ago and the truck has been driving much better. Today I got some low idle issues when stopping once but it wasn't bad and the truck didn't stall. Today's the first day in weeks that I have stalled at all. But I don't drive much so I'm not completely convinced that I have all the problems ironed out. But I definitely know the speed sensor was a major culprit. Before unplugging it would drive ok and maybe stall once on my way to work (1.5 miles), but then it would seem to stall at every stop on the way home and generally run like crap.
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  #20  
Old March 9th, 2006, 11:17 PM
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Heath: Code 68 is for the VSS sensor, as Antionios mentioned. I'd check there first, as the symptoms also describe the VSS.

About the coil, is it the correct voltage for the Unilite? Do you have a resistor in there for it? I'd just go straight to the recommended matching coil from Mallory and run new wiring for it to make sure everything is where/how it's supposed to be. If you don't plan on adding a Hyfire or MSD box, just go with the internally regulated Promaster coil, and you won't need a resistor anywhere.

-Hans
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