The Mistress is Punishing Me HARD!!

Didn’t I say that the Mistress will find a way to kick my hindparts?

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, she has in a BIG, BIG way! The Mistress doesn’t like those who want to play by their own rules and because of this, (a swear word is coming so those with issues with cussing, cover your eyes…NOW) she is causing me one Hell of a ASSACHE!! If the YouTuber that goes by the handle of OneLonelyFarmer has patented the a term used above, I guess he would be getting some royalties from me.

What has she possibly done now?

Good question and the answer lies with the vehicle known in my household as the Jeep from Hell!!! This thing has caused me some grief before with it about every two months or so setting the check engine light with a code P0441. This means in layman’s terms a small EVAP leak. Ok so there is some sort of leak going on with that system. That won’t be fun to find but since the code sets not that often, I have prolonged fixing this.

However new issues have arisen that is causing me a TON of GRIEF!! These are hard starting sometimes after engine is hot and the computer constantly setting P0171 and P0174 codes.  The codes mean that the banks or each row of cylinders on a engine is running way too lean. These codes are a cause for concern because they can eventually cause the catalytic converters to go bad and that can be costly!

You know what is going on, why is it being such a PITA?

  • Well in a nutshell, here is what will cause the P0171 and the P0174 codes.
  • Vacuum leak or a fuel delivery issue (Low fuel pressure, clogged injectors, etc..)

It doesn’t say what circuit is at fault, it just points you in these different directions and it is up to you to figure out what is wrong. So really the computer is not helping me here with a diagnosis.  It is telling me something is wrong however it is not really telling me where exactly to look.  I have to figure that out on my own.

I have spent quite a few hours figuring this out to no resolution! I tested the fuel pressure at the fuel rail with a known good gauge and it is at what the spec for this year vehicle should be. So from the fuel tank to the fuel rail that supplies the fuel to the injectors is at least good. I think (More on this in a moment).

The trim numbers that I get from my low budget scan tool is showing signs of a vacuum leak one day and fuel issue the next so I’m getting mixed results.  Since I did the fuel pressure check and the engine seems to be running without missing, I went after a vacuum leak using the old school methods of water and parts cleaner.  So far, I found one issue and got that fixed. However the trim numbers are still high! I’ve done both of these tests several times and got the same result both times.

Crap! Now what? Well since I’m on a budget, I will have to build a homemade smoke machine to see where the leak (if any) is on this vehicle since the water and parts cleaner tricks didn’t find anything.  Now after I use my low tech smoker and I don’t find any leaks (Which I doubt because of my P0441 code remember), then I will have to go after fuel once more!

This doesn’t sound like much fun.

It isn’t! This vehicle is our only mode of transportation and it acting the way it is and the computer is not really helping me get any closer to fixing the *insert a line of swear words here* thing. So the old school ways have to be used.  If they fail me, then I will give up and take my punishment like a good obedient slave to the Mistress!

Remember earlier that I said that it still might be fuel? Not sure how accurate this is but the engine has been replaced in this motor with a 2004 model and it may have 2004 year injectors still in the intake. Why is this important? If they are from a 2004 engine, then the fuel pressure required on this engine is a bit different and might be the cause of this huge problem that I now have! I will have to research this and see.

Fun, Fun, Fun…

I have a new saying anymore and this might prove the saying has some truth in it

My saying is this.

“There is a low tech solution to a high tech problem.”. If the smoke machine does indeed find this leak, then this low tech device found what the computer couldn’t pinpoint.  Of my remaining choices, I much rather find the vacuum leak and fix it than to deal with the fuel because I will have a choice and neither one is pleasant.

Replace all the injectors with ones that will fit a 2002 year model (if they will even fit)


Change out the fuel pump to one for a 2004 engine.

Either way it won’t be a happy day for me so I’m hoping for a vacuum leak here!

So let me get busy with what I have scheduled for today and I will let you know what I find with the old school way of finding out what the issues are with this vehicle!


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