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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to figure out if this square was deliberately placed to cover a warning light but I'm unsure which one goes there and not finding much information on it. I have a new to me 01 model and just trying to learn more. Thanks in advance
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Woober Goobers!
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That tape is covering up the Check Engine Warning Light (CEL) !
 
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Ronbo is exactly right. Somebody went through the trouble to remove the cluser and put black tape over the check engine light...SMH!
 

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You probably want to get the codes and find out what the problem is - either do the key dance or use a code reader if you have one, or borrow one at an auto parts store. (Key dance = key from Off to Run and back to Off, repeat, then to Run and keep it there while the odometer displays any codes (in succession if more that one), then "done".)

We can tell you what the codes mean if you don't have a manual or other list.
 

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Thanks, I scanned it with Torque and a OBD2 dongle and got a bunch of scary codes like PCM/TCM checksum error and incorrect gear ratio 1 and 2. I cleared them all and went for a ride, I had successful trans operation through all the gears and all seemed well. No codes have returned so far but previous owner complained of speedo stopping working after running for some time, will look into input/output sensors first possibly if that persists. Appreciate the help

Edit: a code has returned, P0601

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Discussion Starter #6
P0601 keeps coming back. Guess I'm PCM hunting. Is alternator output regulated by PCM on these cars? I read voltage could be an issue, my new battery keeps dying and I'm only seeing 13.2v output after jump starting the car

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Would've been nice if you disclosed any issues along with your first post!

How about a list of your current codes?

What symptoms/problems are you seeing? I'm not going to bother until you get that info posted. Otherwise Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Am sorry, just learning about it all as I go along. Only code now is P0601. Symptoms are intermittent speedometer and gauges going out after driving a while, low alternator charging voltage (measuring 13.2v at the highest so far) and that's all really. Battery goes dead between drives, it's a 5 month old battery. I'm just at a loss about what's causing what

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13.2V actually sounds like it's charging. Where are you measuring that?

Is it only the Speedo that drops out? What about other gauges on the instrument cluster. Speedo drop out could be a transmission output sensor issue.

P0601 is a PCM ROM Checksum error. Possible failing PCM. A few people have had that code with no symptoms but obviously you have issues.

Symptom List:
P0600-SERIAL COMMUNICATION LINK
P0601-INTERNAL MEMORY CHECKSUM INVALID
Test Note: All symptoms listed above are diagnosed using the same tests.
The title for the tests will be P0600-SERIAL COMMUNICATION
LINK.
When Monitored and Set Condition:
P0600-SERIAL COMMUNICATION LINK
When Monitored: With the ignition on.
Set Condition: Internal Bus communication failure between the Engine and Transmission
processors.
P0601-INTERNAL MEMORY CHECKSUM INVALID
When Monitored: With the ignition on.
Set Condition: Internal checksum for software failed, does not match calculated value.
POSSIBLE CAUSES
PCM INTERNAL OR SPI
TEST ACTION APPLICABILITY
1 The Powertrain Control Module is reporting internal errors, view repair to continue. All
Repair
Replace and program the Powertrain Control Module in accordance
with the Service Information.

Sourcing a new PCM is most likely the way to go. Do you have factory alarm? Does your ignition key have a Black or Gray plastic cap? If Gray you have Sentry Key and it complicates the PCM replacement.
 

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With engine above 2000 rpm, charging voltage should be above 13.5V. The actual spec. is, with engine at 2500 rpm, 13.5 to 14.5.

The PCM adjusts setpoint lower in warmer ambient, higher in cooler ambient. So in summer, will be closer to 13.5V, in winter, will run closer to 14.5, but should always be between 13.5 and 14.5 at 2000 rpm or higher.

Ron - Years ago, it was suggested to have the dealer re-flash the PCM with certain problems, and that sometimes worked. I guess problem is that if it doesn't fix it, then you've paid for that, and then you've got to get another PCM anyway. I don't know what dealers are charging these days for re-flash.
 

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One more interruption, then I'll shut up: When your gages are acting up, does your odometer display "no bus"?
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Hello,

Am guessing a PCM reflash is out of the question with that code stored in it. Just gonna leave it be for the moment as I don't have any symptoms for now. The car still charges at only 13.2v or so, but has begun being able to restart under it's own power, the previous owner said it had to be jumped every time before.

I don't have any experience with the cluster going dead issue yet but I'll let you know. But I guess anything is suspect if a previous owner tore into the cluster just to cover the CEL.

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You could also have corroded battery/cable connections. Not only at the battery terminals but also at the positive jump post behind the passenger side headlight and the negative jump post/cable at the top of the passenger side strut tower. All of these should be inspected and cleaned with a wire brush or sand paper etc.

A no start/jump start required is often the symptom of poor battery/cable connections.

How old is the battery? If age is unknown...get it load tested and replaced as necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You could also have corroded battery/cable connections. Not only at the battery terminals but also at the positive jump post behind the passenger side headlight and the negative jump post/cable at the top of the passenger side strut tower. All of these should be inspected and cleaned with a wire brush or sand paper etc.

A no start/jump start required is often the symptom of poor battery/cable connections.

How old is the battery? If age is unknown...get it load tested and replaced as necessary.
Hello, it has a date sticker of 10/20 on it so not very old I suppose. I'll check those connections out, appreciate it

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Ronbo is exactly right. Somebody went through the trouble to remove the cluser and put black tape over the check engine light...SMH!
Looks like they broke the bezel when removing and taking apart the cluster to put the tape in. You can see the break in the plastic in the lower right of the picture!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Haha yeah definitely not the best ownership decision or work but have always wanted one of these cars and couldn't pass it up for the price. No doubt I can make it better than it is today lol

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you can always add a regulator to the alternator circuit through the ground/control side of the plug.
it'll over ride the computers control of it if it's not working well.
 
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