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2004 xB - Runs like crap!

Old 05-06-2008, 01:36 PM
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Default 2004 xB - Runs like crap!

Hello!

I've been having issues with my xB for months... The problems began back in December of last year. Up here in Chicagoland, the winters get pretty cold, and it seemed that once the temps dropped below 20F or so, my box would decide to turn itself off and stay off for 15-20 minutes.. It seemed to happen most when the RPMs got over 3500, though it did happen at other RPM levels as well.

So, one cold day I am driving home from work and sure enough, the car stalled out while going 70 on the highway. I move over onto the shoulder and coast down in speed and all of a sudden I see a giant block of snow/ice in my path. I cannot jam the brakes due to the icy/snowy condition of the shoulder of the road, but I slowed as much as I could, but sadly, it was not enough. I hit that block of ice going about 35, and I can hear the splintering crunch from my front lip of my body kit, and I see my license plate go flying over the guardrail. I wait for the typical 15-20 minutes, and the car starts and runs like nothing was wrong. I finish my drive home and in my driveway, inspect the damage.

The lower front is smashed pretty good, but at the time, it only seemed like the kit took the damage. Little did I know, that's the least of my problems.

A few more weeks go by, car still dying occasionally when the temps are really low.. One morning, it chugs like it's running on two cylinders, so I take it to the dealership and they tell me that the MAF sensor is fouled and needs replacement.. I am thinking at this point that I am really glad that I took out that extended warranty, since after the deductible, everything is covered. So they replace it and do the 50k mile service, and all seems ok... For a few more days anyways.

One morning a few days later, it just refuses to start. It cranks, but does not catch. I have it towed to the dealer, and they tell me that the MAF sensor is fouled again. I ask them WTF, since it was just replaced, and reminded them that while my warranty could take care of it, their limited parts warranty should replace it. "Oh no", they tell me, "This is all caused by aftermarket parts, so you are gonna have to pay. Oh, by the way, we called your warranty company too, they won't cover it, and wow, it's too bad, now they know about the parts on the car."

So I am getting pretty ____y with the guy, and he takes me to the car and shows me what the problem is.. Apparently when I hit that block of ice, it pushed the front bumper piece back into the cold air intake hard enough to break the pipe free from the support right at the weld, leaving a hole in the pipe the size of two nickels side by side. And apparently, this hole allowed moisture to foul up the MAF sensor again, so clearly he says, it is my fault, and I must pay. I ask why the first time I was there and the MAF sensor was replaced no one bothered to tell me about this hole, and why was it warranteed at that time, but not now? He tells me that they did it as a gift... So I ask him that since it was a gift, did they not feel obligated to tell me about the holewhich caused the problem, which most certainly would happen again? Oh no he says, we're not obligated to tell you, even though I am not sure why you were not told.

So between the tuneup, brake job, unwarranteed parts replacement, I have dropped $1400 on the car, and it still hasn't run correctly, and I have tapped all my available cash and cannot afford to pay to get it back in spec. Believe me, I would gladly put the stock intake back on if I had it, but the kid I bought the car from did not include it.

I am machanically inclined so I buy a short ram intake from Spyder (the cheapest I could find) and a MAF sensor and a set of Bosch +4 plugs and get to work... The short ram intake comes with no directions, no info to tell me that it is for my car, and certainly doesn't line up to be able to bolt to the car.. The place where the MAF bolts to is too far from the harness to allow it to plug, and the hose they include to run from the manifold is too short to reach.. Great, I just wasted more money...

Since my AEM cold air is ruined, I take a hacksaw and modify it a bit, so that instead of having the air cleaner down in front of the driver's side front tire, it is now located behind the left headlight. Put the MAF sensor back into the AEM, bolt it back up, replace the plugs, and remove fuse 12 to reset the computer.

At first, it seemed to do the trick. It idled beautifully, did not bog or stutter when I stepped on it... So I took it for a test ride... a few minutes into the ride, the engine light comes back on and flashes, VSC and Trac lights come on as well, and the engine starts missing and stuttering again.

So I am at the end of my rope.. I don't know what else to do to it, I have very little cash to play with, and I rely on the car to drive me 60 miles a day for work..

Does anyone have any experience or ideas they can throw my way? And perhaps someone would like to sell me their stock intake from their xB? ;)

Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:05 PM
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First thing to do is dump those Bosch +4 plugs and get the proper plugs for your car (some NGK or Deno).
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:33 PM
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^X2, Get the proper plugs first, that may stop the misfiring. When the Check Engine Light flashes when driving it means the misfire is so bad that the computer is going into failsafe mode. The other lights are just coming on in response to the flashing CEL.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:04 PM
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^X3 damm those plugs mess up my buddy xa drove his computer crazy..i think they mess up our timeing... idk but once he put a diffrent set it work fine
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:58 PM
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Well, I just installed a set of NGK Iridium plugs that the local Auto Zone had in stock, and it still runs the same... Poorly.

I've seen on other threads that people use and like this plug... Is it the correct one?
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:34 PM
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#1, check your fuses. Not to see if they are blown. My xB would randomly die on me, and when it died the VSC, traction and engine light would come on. Also, it would not restart for 20 minutes afterward. it ended up being the EFI fuse was loose in the engine fuse holder. I found this out by turning the car on and then wiggling each fuse in the engine fuse block with my finger. Sure enough, when I wiggled the EFI fuse, it killed the engine. To fix it, I used a tiny screwdriver and bent the fuse holder prongs closer together for better contact. Hopefully that's your problem.

Next thing you may want to do is get the error codes read, Autozone does them for free.

If it's not electrical, this may not be your intake. My first guess on the mechanical side would be the intake valve, it's very cheap to check. Get a compression tester from any local parts store, they should be under $40 or borrow one. Disconnect your fuel injectors, unplug the coil packs and remove the spark plug, and put the tool in the first spark plug hole. Crank the starter 4-10 times to build up compression in the cylinder, it needs to be between 156 psi and 213. Do this for the other cylinders. See if there is a big difference between cylinders, 14 psi max is recommended. if it is low it will be either a valve that isn't seating and may be bent or the piston rings aren't sealing. Put a small ammount of oil (1-2 tsp) in the cylinder and retest. The oil will seal the rings temporarily. If compression is still down, it's the valve.

I really hope it's the fuse.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:26 PM
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Default 2004 XB runs like crap

If I read your post correctly, it said that you only had these problems when the temps get below freezing. Could it be moisture in the gas tank freezing and shutting off the fuel supply? Because our fuel systems are non recirculation, the fuel doesn't get warm (from being recirculated) before being injected. Have you tried fuel deicer during these times? Does it run fine when the temperature is above freezing? Did you ever get a CEL during these times when it was running poorly? If so, what was the error code? Just trying to get a better idea of the circumstances.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:55 AM
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honestly...i would try to sue the dealer at this point and use what that tech said against him. If they knowingly replaced a part that an aftermarket part had caused damage to and had the warranty company cover it...they are then responsible for it. They should have told you first what was really going on. And by them saying that the warranty covered it...they are being fraudulent and commiting a crime...don't let the dealer bend you over...at least not without a reach around
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BuddhasTC
honestly...i would try to sue the dealer at this point and use what that tech said against him. If they knowingly replaced a part that an aftermarket part had caused damage to and had the warranty company cover it...they are then responsible for it. They should have told you first what was really going on. And by them saying that the warranty covered it...they are being fraudulent and commiting a crime...don't let the dealer bend you over...at least not without a reach around
Not a bad idea, but where's the proof? Maybe if he went back and hid a tape recorder in his pocket and got them to say it all over again.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:55 AM
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Oh, sorry for the confusion.. The original problems I had when the temps were really cold was just causing the box to turn off and not come back for 15-20 minutes. One of these cold temp experiences led to the snapping of the support for the CAE, opening a hole in the pipe which led to the fouling of the MAF sensor.

As far as suing the dealership, believe me when I say that it's crossed my mind, but the burden of proof lies on me to prove they said those things, and the fact remains that I still have non-TRD parts on the car which they can blame as culprit for the car's problems.

I think my best option is to get the stock manifold from somewhere and then take it to a different dealer..
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:40 PM
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On your hacked AEM intake, how much distance between the filter and MAF sensor? Turbulent airflow around the sensor would give bad data to the computer and make it run poorly. I agree that your best bet is to install a stock airbox and go from there.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:29 PM
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Stock air boxes cost way more than any after market one I've seen. There has only been one time I've seen the price for stock and it was in the 400's. So if you want one that bad, either look for a junk yard, or maybe someone on here just got an after market one and would like to sell their stock one.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mb2008
Stock air boxes cost way more than any after market one I've seen. There has only been one time I've seen the price for stock and it was in the 400's. So if you want one that bad, either look for a junk yard, or maybe someone on here just got an after market one and would like to sell their stock one.
Yep, junkyard or someone selling used would be the best. The problem with getting another aftermarket is that if his xB still has the problem, he'd be in the same situation. The dealer could just blame the intake and refuse to work on it.

I don't think the warranty not covering the work had to do with the aftermarket intake. Damage was caused by a collision with the ice, which caused other problems. If you had a stock intake, hit something and somehow damaged it and had the same issue, that wouldn't be covered either.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:15 PM
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Well, even the TRD one is less than the stock one, makes no sense, but it is, and that one should have no problem with the warranty. http://www.trdsparks.com/displaypart...&parts_id=1063
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:30 PM
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There's a stock airbox on ebay for $35 bid, $55 buy now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=250246387114
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