ETC Engine Failsafe Mode, but only when snowing.

Lincoln LS

  1. Joshawa

    Joshawa Active LVC Member

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    Hey all, I looked up results for etc engine Failsafe Mode occurring but no one has my scenario.

    Basically, it can be snowing out and I go clean off my car, drive it for about 10 minutes and then ETC Engine Failsafe Mode comes on. I saw that many things can happen when this appears, so what is happening to me is when it comes on my engine power is greatly reduced. When I'm on the gas it chuggs along seemingly normally, but the instant I let off it almost forcefully goes down to idle.

    I don't get any check engine lights, and this has happened 3 times all were snowing. This had not happened in rain or extremely dense fog. One of the times I noticed that when I stopped and parked at home, there was steam, not smoke, coming from my engine bay and parts were visibly wet.

    Any ideas/ suggestions? I tried to be thorough but if more info is needed I'll try my best to provide.
     
  2. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Well, this sounds familiar. There was(is?) a guy on here who was getting ETC failsafe only when in was snowing. I did a search for that thread, but I only found a couple of other threads that mentioned getting ETC failsafe in the snow, but those were a little different.
    Anyway, if I recall correctly, there was no solution on that one thread.

    I think you may have a good clue with the wet (steam) engine. I wonder if maybe snow is able to get to some places under the hood that rain can't. It seems like this could be, since snow is way lighter than water drops. Maybe it can float (blown) to somewhere the rain misses, and maybe it melts into way more water than mist or fog could get there?

    You could pull the coil covers off and pull COPs out to see if you find evidence (rust stain) of past water in any of the plug wells. (I guess the rust comes from the plugs? It's not the aluminum wells.) If it's towards the back of the engine, then you may need to replace the wiper cowl seals.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Joshawa

      Joshawa Active LVC Member

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      Always appreciate your input, Joe. I'm coming up on about 100k on my LS, it was time to change the plugs and coils anyways. (How hard is it on the 03 V8? + Who do you recommend brand wise?)

      I think if it was the wiper cowl it would be worse with rain, but who knows could just be one of those weird things.
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      Not too difficult, only pain is two or three of the coil cover bolts are hard to get to.
      NGK and Motorcraft, respectively.
       
    • Joshawa

      Joshawa Active LVC Member

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      Where's the best place to buy the Motorcraft COPs? It looks like Ford parts giant selfs the coils and boots separately?
       
    • joegr

      joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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      Tasca claims (on-line) to still have 2W4Z-12029-B, which should still have the boot, unlike 2W4Z-12029-BD. Of course there price is about the same as FPG's price for the coil and the boot separately. If you go that way, you may want to call them to be certain.
      Ignition Coil - Ford (2W4Z-12029-B) | TascaParts
       
    • AmsterDutch

      AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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      I agree 100% with Joegr ...you may have to replace your wiper cowl seals ...winter is hell on cars
       
    • Joshawa

      Joshawa Active LVC Member

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      But why would that only cause issues in snow
       
    • AmsterDutch

      AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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      I'm not 100% sure this will fix issue...just seems logical if the slush is sitting in different places it shouldn't be due to cowl not sealing properly...my first instinct if the car is going into reduced power would be check coolant level and thermostat if this was happening to me I would think mechanism failure somewhere...maybe a good coolant drain and fill with a good tune up ...COPS and NGK plugs is the way I would go...people swear by MotorCraft COP's and MotorCraft plugs ...personally I got the cheapest COP's money can buy on my LS Amazon open box deals I paid $23.00 dollars for 8 COP's running it with NGK plugs and she is running like a dream starting all winter and purring like a kitten ...but remember my car is just a daily driver not a show Car so I would follow the advice of Senior members here and stick with MotorCraft parts...do As I say not as I do...all my best
       
    • AmsterDutch

      AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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      Forgot to ask if you hooked up the code reader to your pcm just to make sure you're not having a misfire ...from personal experience I had a misfire a cylinder back about a year ago ...I could tell by the sound of the engine it was misfiring around 45-50 mph but no engine light came on...well long story short I left it go another month and finally the engine light came on and told me which cylinder was missing...don't know why but it took a good month for the damn thing to register...I could tell by the sound and feel way before...point being Joegr is right when he tells you to check the cylinders closest to the windshield just to be sure you don't have water/ moisture creeping into the plug wells
       
    • RigsLS

      RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Dutch, it won’t store a code in same drive cycle on a marginal failing coil. It may flash a CEL on the dash while pulling a hard WOT (Wide Open Throttle) but if it’s within the 2% of its allowable tolerance it’ll simply clear 2 second later when within tolerance.

      If anyone suspects an intermittent misfire one could hook up the OBDII code reader to the port and take it down the road, while beating on it with some hard full throttle pulls, when the CEL flashes, quickly read the code reader to obtain the corresponding reported marginal misfire. This would give a code relevant to the cylinder that fell outside its allowable tolerance while it misfired slightly.

      There is a difference when comparing marginal coil failure vs. Complete misfire.

      A marginal coil failure error will immediately reset itself in same drive cycle and not set nor store a code.

      A complete failure of coil, plug, wiring would keep any misfire constant. It’ll be reported as a DTC code while it remains outside of its allowable tolerance. As in set a code and not clear itself until corrected.

      What did you do to your LS today?


      .
       
      Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
    • RigsLS

      RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Josh, no matter rain, snow or cornflakes your coils & plugs are done.

      They are old, worn and tired. Any moisture is going to irritate them and cause your current symptoms.

      Not to take away from any of the advise already given above, I would focus on coil# 4.

      It’s most likely getting shorted out when damp and freaking out the nearby not-shielded-enough (EDIT: removing the word “tempest”) PCM by means of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference).

      This is a known issue with the LS. It’ll destort the inner workings of the PCM, store false Throttle Body codes and throw it into limp-home fail safe mode.

      Rather then just fuck around with replacing one or two coils and maybe a new plug here and there, the proper way to do it is to do a complete refreshment of all coil and all plugs.

      You don’t just change one sock after a shower do ya? It’s no good having uneven aged, worn plugs and coils in there. All fresh and new, correctly gapped is the way to go. Good glob of di-electric grease down the boot and plug well is needed also.

      Keep an eye on the inlet at the very back where the coil harness enters into the coil housing at the cover. It needs a seal there or water moisture will find its way in.

      - All new OEM DG529 coils
      - All new NGK iridium plugs correctly gapped.

      - inspect Coil cover gaskets
      - inspect wiring harness
      - inspect coil connector clips

      - inspect for water or oil down the plug wells, don’t pull plugs out if you see any of that. It will need to be cleaned out beforehand or it will enter into the cylinders and who wants that.

      - replace fuel filter in driver’s wheel well
      - clean Mass Air flow sensor
      - bottle of STP injector cleaner blended into fresh 93 octane full tank

      = like new Lincoln LS

      Throttle response will be stupid like never before.

      ... and yes, the wiper arm cowl gasket seal will need to be inspected for possible leakage on water down onto the engine appearance cover and/or coil cover on passenger side.

      Cowl to glass seal has to be firmly seated and correctly prevent water or melted snow to get down past it.

      GLWR
       
      Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
    • RigsLS

      RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    • RigsLS

      RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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      Re&Re - Wiper Arm Shaft Cowl Seal


      Also note, check the passenger windshield washer spray tubing underneath the wiper arm cowling.

      It’s been known to go brittle and leak washer fluid directly on top of the coil covers at #4

      #NotMakingThisStuffUp

      .
       
    • AmsterDutch

      AmsterDutch Dedicated LVC Member

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      As always Rigs advice= priceless ...Rigs you are truly cut from the ' Not F ing around crew...about time you get back on here lol
       
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      • RigsLS

        RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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        Josh, check all your plastics underneath the engine and wheel wells. Might be possible snow is finding its way up high inside the engine compartment.

        Either or ... misfiring somehow.

        .
         
      • SoonerLS

        SoonerLS Dedicated LVC Member

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        My advice on replacing the COPs is replace all of the COPs and plugs as a unit. An 8mm (maybe 7mm?) wobble socket (combination socket and universal joint) is useful for removing the back bolts on the COP cover. You'll also need some RTV, as you're supposed to use it to seal where the cables come out from under the COP cover.

        It's not particularly difficult. I did mine while listening to the first half of a college football game, and I was taking my time while doing it.
         

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