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Old 01-23-2013, 03:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Vision Function re-flash, P0139 MIL

I live in Texas and my inspection is up this month. So, this is urgent.

I just got my ECU back from vision function. I drove it for less than 10 minutes and the check engine light came on. Very disappointing. P0139 is the code.

P0139 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Post Catalyst)

I cleaned the MAF just because I could and it's an O2 sensor. No effect. It came on again.

If I climb under the car and clean the O2 sensor on the exhaust will that have any effect? With limited diagnostic tools what are my options? I would happily buy the correct diagnostic tool if it was reasonably priced. I don't like taking my Lotus to a shop.

Thanks Guys
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can try replacing the rear O2 sensor. Any code reader will work to read and reset the codes. You can buy them for like $40. I suggest you take the problem up with the people who sold you the reflash. Likely they will know what the cause is and how to disable it.

-Michael
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had that code couple years ago. I ended up replacing both O2 sensors (not saying you have to do both, can start with just the rear, I did it as maintanance).

When people say you can get them for $40 (maybe more like $40-$70) they are referring to the "universal" 4 wire heated sensor, like this one.
Bosch/Oxygen Sensor (15733) | AutoZone.com

Those will require chopping off the harness from the old and soldering/grafting it on to the universal. The Lotus specific one will be plug and play, but runs $150-$200. Operation wise there is no difference.

I am currently on "universal" ones and have no problems.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Westrock. I bought the Bosch universal O2 sensor last night. So, I'm very glad to know it will work. I was worried. And, I was planning to replace both if this one fit. So, very helpful. Thanks.

Now that I think of it, I have had some hesitation when the car is warming up. That very well could have been the O2 sensor. I'll let you know.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Some of us have had good luck ignoring it and letting it clear itself after a few days of driving it. If you manually clear it, it will likely just come right back.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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P0133 and P0139 require that the engine reach 60C and be running for at least 200 seconds. If you stomp on the gas the sensor has to switch from lean to rich within 2 seconds and when you take your foot all the way off it has to switch lean within 5 seconds. Since I haven't had a lot of issues with those codes I didn't go any further into the logic of how many failures it takes to trip the code. Obviously this is all provided the reflash you have didn't change those criteria.

Knowing this you can clear the code, warm the car up to full operating temp and on the freeway try accelerating briskly for more than 2 seconds, then letting your foot off the gas for more than 5. If the code comes on after doing this repeatedly you have a good idea that the problem lies either in the rear O2 sensor or the cat itself.

Hope that helps.

-Michael
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have two new Bosch 15733 O2 sensors. I drove around for about 30 minutes and hit 8k rpm a few times. No Light. So, I think that did it!

The Vision Function re-flash has made me feel just as excited as when I bought this car. Like a puppy with a cheese filled bone. (dog owners know what I'm talking about). I can upshift and stay on the big cam now. That is going to be amazing on the track! Can't wait to try it soon.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Spoke too soon.

Of course, I spoke too soon. After driving around a bit more the same code came up. I'm pretty sure I didn't waste my time on the O2 sensors, the car does seem to run smoother. So, that's nice. However...

Does anyone have more suggestions? I can try just driving it around and hoping it goes away, but I'm more of an active problem solver.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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How about flash your stock file back in and see if the code comes back. That will eliminate the flash as being a contributor.

-Michael
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Two way shipping across the country isn't worth it yet. I LOVE the upgrade otherwise.

I'm actually considering the simulator. I have a few 555's laying around. I'm a computer engineer, so breaking out my soldering iron sounds appealing.

It took about 50 miles to come on. So, maybe the 'wait and see' approach will work. I'll give it two weeks then I'll have to put the simulator on there to get it inspected. Or just take my chanes it won't come on in that 10 minute window. Of course, I've been in this universe too long to hope that won't happen...
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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1995 called, they want their LM555's back... I still work on the occasional ECU that has thru hole. Lotus is unfortunately BGA. UGH!

You probably could fool it with a small micro - ADC in and PWM out. I haven't decoded the '05 ECU yet but any Y2K+ ECU is generally too smart for a basic pulsed signal. You will trade you P0139 for a host of other codes.

Realistically you need to model what the rear O2 should be doing. Take the primary through an op-amp and RC to slow it down and you might be able to do it.

The difficult part for many of the e-tests is that many areas have been expanding the items they check. Most places now require you to have all the monitors enabled and passed and a certain number of miles since the last MIL clear. The latest tests even do more stringent checks like calid and such to make sure you're up to date and compliant there.

Maybe borrow an ECU for a day and narrow that down.

At the end of the day the CEL is being caused either by tune settings or a dead cat. You can go with trickery or just fix the problem. Personally I enjoy the trickery more but trying to be environmentally responsible the cat might be needed.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That's not a bad idea. Anyone in Austin with an 05 lurking here that might be willing to trade for a day? The reflash is fun...

Here's the diagram for the simulator. It's pretty simple and I think there's a thread here somewhere that says some of us are already using it successfully.
Oxygen sensor simulator (for 96-98)

I could hook up my oscilloscope. That might be fun. Just hit freeze at different rpms and see what it's giving. But, without a 'good' comparison it's probably meaningless data. Anyone know what it's supposed to give if it's functioning correctly?

I think we can assume the O2 sensor works now. So, somehow I need to eliminate either the cat or the reflash.

Here's a goofy guy that shows you how to test your cat. I'm sure I can borrow one of those pressure guages.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wouldn't let that guy check the oil on my lawnmower. I can't imagine any professional mechanic crawling under a car with no jackstands. Drilling holes in the exhaust? Seriously?

If you stick your scope on the sensors you should see the front switching from 0-1v (approx) as it oscillates richer and leaner than 14.7. This is normal and it feeds the latter stages of the cat with the gasses they need to operate. The post cat signal will look like the pre-cat signal but out of phase and if memory serves the time spend in the rich (more than 0.5v) will be smaller.

So the ECU records the amount of time it takes for the switchover to happen both on the leading and trailing edge of the primary sensor signal. It uses this to determine if your cat is working. There is a calculated ratio for this and if it's not met you get a P0420. The O2 simulator works by assuming this is the only thing the ECU checks.

When the car hits decel fuel cut the ECU watches that the primary O2 signal drops and that the secondary follows suit within a couple of seconds. If not you get a P0139. If during this time the secondary O2 switches from low to high you get a P0421 or a P0136 (if memory serves).

If under hard acceleration the rear O2 fails to follow the front O2 and stay high you get a P0170 or often times whatever the ECU happened to feel like throwing...

There is a lot of complex logic in these ECUs. Besides the fact the guys selling the O2 sims got fined out of existence by the EPA the simple pulser circuit only worked on older cars.

You can definitely solve the problem with a cheap micro. Since I do this sort of thing for a living I can't justify spending $1000 in time to fix a $500 problem. Figuring it out then selling the units is also a bad idea. I think the original fine was 1.5 million. You could buy a lot of lotuses for that...
Casper's Electronics, Inc. | Civil Enforcement | Compliance and Enforcement | US EPA

-Michael
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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ok. So I can't drill holes in my exhaust, humf... No simulator either.

That leaves two expensive options. Either replace the cat, or replace the reflash.

Maybe I'll put a wanted ad here for a swap of ecu's.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:35 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Vision Function is awesome

Believe it or not, but Jermaine at Vision Funciton is going to send me a spare ecu to test with. Now that's customer service!
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