Blinking Red Lightning Bolt - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-29-2017, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Blinking Red Lightning Bolt

I have searched and searched, read just about every thread on this forum and others regarding the lightening bolt of death, annoyance and pure frustration.

A little backstory to the JK maybe to better help diagnose. 08 JKU X package, 3.8 avenger Supercharger, 42RLE auto, Rubicrawler, 05 super duty front, 14 bolt rear on 40's.

Installed the Avenger supercharger almost 3 years ago. had the lightning bolt once early on and never saw it again for about 2 1/2 years. Then it came on frequently. I changed the Throttle position sensor, nothing stopped the lightening bolt, changed the gas pedal assembly since I read that was an issue, didnt change it. Read one guy even replaced a damn harness to solve the issue, checked with a multimeter on ohm's and the wires do not have a short in them. All are good. The connector seemed loose so I used a tad bit gasket maker, let it dry and the additional "rubber gasket" now has a tight fit. That didn't work.

At this point I am not sure what to do, Is it a bad PCM? Is it tuning related? is it Supercharger related? (Alasha has no issues with his Avenger) Could it be Vacuum leak related? What else could it be?

I am stumped and would do an LS but I am pretty in with this setup with the rubicrawler, supercharger and just rebuilt the trans. I think an LS is inevitable but I would like to solve this damn lightning bolt issue once and for all.

Lastly, the symptoms is the lightning bolt comes on (can be idling, or driving, it doesnt seem to matter) I lose all power and the only way to get rid of it is pull over turn it off and back on so it resets, it is intermittent and doesn't seem to have a pattern.

On the scanner it will switch from CL to OL Drive for fuel system 1 and short term fuel trim just zero's out and stays at zero.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 06:45 AM
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I had the same problem. It ended up being the harness to the throttle body was stretched. I rerouted it to where it had some slack and I haven't seen the red lightning bolt since.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by still in school View Post
I had the same problem. It ended up being the harness to the throttle body was stretched. I rerouted it to where it had some slack and I haven't seen the red lightning bolt since.
Wow! Jeez had no idea these things were so damn sensitive. I'll give that a try. Did you try to run it as straight as possible? Was yours wrapped and coiled possibly causing the issue
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08SoCalJK View Post
Wow! Jeez had no idea these things were so damn sensitive. I'll give that a try. Did you try to run it as straight as possible? Was yours wrapped and coiled possibly causing the issue
It was routed going under something, and I re-routed to go above. Can't recall what it was, but it definitely made the issue go away.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll reroute it and report back...

If anyone else did something that I didn't do let me know so I can try multiple things if the problem persists
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 04:45 PM
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How was the "tuning" done on your setup? was it a diablo or some sort of piggyback system?


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post #7 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well the avenger was bought used and came with a diablo tuner but we couldn't get the tuner unlocked to change vins so we had it custom tuned directly into the PCM after a dyno and street tune that was done by tuned by tad. Tune started from scratch.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 07:12 PM
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You didn't mention a trouble code?? Check for codes when it happens. The light can come on for a number of reasons but should always generate some kind of code to give you a indication.
The most common thing I run into is the brake pedal switch. Sometimes it is from my customers using the gas and brake at the same time. Sometimes the switch is faulty. The switch has multiple circuits through it that can act up.
The old guys I deal with usually trigger it when backing up their trailers and using both pedals at the same time.

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post #9 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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I apologize, no codes given when it happens and it leaves the pedal useless, throttle input doesn't cause rpm to rise
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08SoCalJK View Post
I apologize, no codes given when it happens and it leaves the pedal useless, throttle input doesn't cause rpm to rise
I think you are probably generating something but either your scanner isn't picking it up or your programmer is not registering it. I see this with diesel tunes all the time. They are good tunes but eliminate some things for drivability.
A cheap way is still the brake light switch. This is the most common thing I come across. Before replacing it check the adjustment.

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post #11 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds good. My scanner is Centech ABS scanner.

http://m.harborfreight.com/can-obd-i...not%20provided

I will look into the brake light switch adjustment.

The tuner has been a bit tough to deal with, he said free retunes for life if there's issues but has said 2 times his tune wouldn't cause this issue and blames it on basically anything but his tune.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 08:47 PM
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Sorry this may not help but I'm known to ramble about stuff. Your going into a reduced power mode, it's the way ETC (electronic throttle control) or TAC (throttle actuator control) protects you from TAC issues; the lightning bolt is the tell tale for the system.

You probably know the gas pedal (APP) and throttle body(TB) are the primary components of the system which are connected through wiring the harness.

TAC is monitored carefully and has many failure modes including several reduced power modes. Limited speed or a dead pedal is common when a failure is determined. Part of TAC dignostics is electrical​ circuits but part is airflow dignostics.

Checking wires, connectors, and components is a good place to start. JK engines run in speed density and do not use a MAF sensor for actual airflow like an LS engine does. Chrysler uses calculated airflow tables programmed for a stock engine. Forced induction added to a speed density OS has always been a challenge because things like torque management controls transmission shifting and the TAC system needs to stay happy.

We scrapped a lot of GM ECM's messing with the ETC settings on supercharged engines. GM has built in limits which if exceeded the TAC module will commit suicide and brick the module. It has to do with the APP/TB/airflow characteristics.

Since it ran for 2 1/2 years with no issues I would look for what changed? One critical area is ground and low reference distribution. We had issues with reduced power modes in the early Gen IV LS's due to insufficient grounds. GM beefed up the grounds quickly and so did we; Reduced power and TAC issues are why we run so many grounds​ in our current harness. Take the TPS's for example, we run two sensors, redundant, opposite output signals (0-5V and 5-0V) and synchronized. If the TPS signals drift apart more than about 2% over a period of time it will initiate a reduced power mode. The reduced power can be limited to slight power loss, limited speed, idle only (dead pedal) or engine off.

The key is the TB sensors run two power reference wires but only one ground (or low reference - ground supplied by the computer). This way if ground distribution gets weak the signals will separate and throw you into reduced power. So a bad battery, high resistance joint, weak power or ground distribution can all throw the TAC system into reduced power and set off the lightning bolt.

Could be tune related or an electrical issue, or a combination of both. I've had guys​ with a certain AGM battery go into reduced power and I tell them change the battery out, they don't understand why but it usually fixes the issue.

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post #13 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoTech View Post
Sorry this may not help but I'm known to ramble about stuff. Your going into a reduced power mode, it's the way ETC (electronic throttle control) or TAC (throttle actuator control) protects you from TAC issues; the lightning bolt is the tell tale for the system.



You probably know the gas pedal (APP) and throttle body(TB) are the primary components of the system which are connected through wiring the harness.



TAC is monitored carefully and has many failure modes including several reduced power modes. Limited speed or a dead pedal is common when a failure is determined. Part of TAC dignostics is electrical​ circuits but part is airflow dignostics.



Checking wires, connectors, and components is a good place to start. JK engines run in speed density and do not use a MAF sensor for actual airflow like an LS engine does. Chrysler uses calculated airflow tables programmed for a stock engine. Forced induction added to a speed density OS has always been a challenge because things like torque management controls transmission shifting and the TAC system needs to stay happy.



We scrapped a lot of GM ECM's messing with the ETC settings on supercharged engines. GM has built in limits which if exceeded the TAC module will commit suicide and brick the module. It has to do with the APP/TB/airflow characteristics.



Since it ran for 2 1/2 years with no issues I would look for what changed? One critical area is ground and low reference distribution. We had issues with reduced power modes in the early Gen IV LS's due to insufficient grounds. GM beefed up the grounds quickly and so did we; Reduced power and TAC issues are why we run so many grounds​ in our current harness. Take the TPS's for example, we run two sensors, redundant, opposite output signals (0-5V and 5-0V) and synchronized. If the TPS signals drift apart more than about 2% over a period of time it will initiate a reduced power mode. The reduced power can be limited to slight power loss, limited speed, idle only (dead pedal) or engine off.



The key is the TB sensors run two power reference wires but only one ground (or low reference - ground supplied by the computer). This way if ground distribution gets weak the signals will separate and throw you into reduced power. So a bad battery, high resistance joint, weak power or ground distribution can all throw the TAC system into reduced power and set off the lightning bolt.



Could be tune related or an electrical issue, or a combination of both. I've had guys​ with a certain AGM battery go into reduced power and I tell them change the battery out, they don't understand why but it usually fixes the issue.


Thanks for the reply. To add 2 things to the story, a part of the install is adding 15in in length to the TB wires, I did check and it's zeroing out so there still is a connection and I did replace the battery less then a week ago. I know how new stuff is...a new battery can magically cure things.

Any recommendation on grounds to check?
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-30-2017, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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To reference post #2 I rerouted my TB harness with no change. Still happened, sitting in a parking lot idling.

Next will be brake switch and grounds.

I am doing these one at a time to see what does it
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-01-2017, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08SoCalJK View Post
To reference post #2 I rerouted my TB harness with no change. Still happened, sitting in a parking lot idling.

Next will be brake switch and grounds.

I am doing these one at a time to see what does it
I hope you get it sorted out soon. Sorry, I couldn't help futher. When I was having this issue, lots of folks were pointing to the TB connection.
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post #16 of 21 Old 05-02-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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No worries, and yea the connection on it seemed loose I used some gasket maker let it dry and then plugged it in for a snug fit.

Does anyone have a Location for grounds?
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-04-2017, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Update: looked at some grounds (not sure if I got them all, probably not) took em apart and cleaned them up and reinstalled still having the same issue
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post #18 of 21 Old 05-05-2017, 12:23 PM
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Following... gonna try MoTechs advice and see if I can get a good scanner to capture my voltage discrepancy when it faults into limp mode. Seems a bit different than yours but similar. I just know I'm sick of it. And the dealership has been worthless. If I can't figure it out, there's a high performance shop up the street that deals with highly modded cars and I'll give them a shot at it.

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post #19 of 21 Old 05-07-2017, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Fixed! Stupid issue found a kink in the EGR valve line. It had a slight tear, small enough to not leak unless you hit a bump it would cause a leak and trip the code. Replaced the hose and it's all goodn
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-08-2017, 12:32 AM
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Glad you did. Did you replace with silicone hose and slide some trans line in to keep the bend from kinking?

I am a troll. Do not take my advice. It isn't going to help.
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post #21 of 21 Old 05-08-2017, 10:23 AM
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Awesome, glad you tracked it down. I'm still working on mine. Another piece to the puzzle that makes no sense. I just had mine lifted and regeared. It happens but not as often. I'm not sure if because the new suspension rides better than the factory and doesn't hit bumps the same, or that when I reset the tires and gearing with the tuner it cleared the memory: had to relearn shift points, or what. But it still comes on, only on at idle now and not nearly as often. The CE light actually disappeared this morning on its own for the first time since this has been happening. Actually got to race a couple times this morning.

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