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Old 06-12-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
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help: had engine detailed and it died

i searched the archives for a similar issue, but found no leads.
so i'll post my question here and see what happens.
i just bought a 2000 gt convertible. it needed a new rear axle bearing amongst a few other smaller items and had a terribly filthy engine. the p.o. must have lived on a dirt road at some point. there was tar everywhere and you could hardly see fluid levels or anything under the hood.
the biggest thing is that it ran like a top. plenty of power. very smooth idle and also smooth at high rpm.
i immediately had the rear end fixed and drove it straight to a detail shop to have the engine cleaned. here's where you'll probably think i'm crazy. i always thought that the pro's knew what they were doing and there was nothing to worry about. i was wrong.
driving the car home, it hesitated, misfired, knocked, pinged, had no power. at one point, smoke came from the hood and i pulled over. i think it was just steam or soap buring off the block. the detailer told me that it would probably hesitate for the drive home and then i'd be fine. he was wrong. after limping home, i left the hood up and a box fan blowing on it all night. it was the same the next day. i figured no big deal, just pull all the electrical connections i could, spray them with contact spray, and it'll be fine. that didn't help at all. so i pulled the cop's and spark plugs. changed the plugs and sprayed the insides of the cops down with contact spray. i let it all dry over night in front of a box fan. the next day, slight improvement, but still not right. today, i filled up with high octane gas, put in some chevron techron, sprayed down the intake, pvc, maf and resprayed the cop's. now it's really not running well. it won't even idle.
after all that, does anyone have an idea what could be wrong? i'm not leaking any fluids. the only other symptom i have is a metallic pinging noice from under the front of the car immediately after letting go of the gas pedal at high rpm's.
my guess is that it's not firing on all cylinders, or perhaps there's a burned out sensor somewhere giving the computer error messages. i'm guessing that the fuel injectors may have gotten clogged with engine grime....
could it be a fouled o2 sensor?
must be something on the intake side, right? water got into something it shouldn't have?

help, please.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:38 PM   #2
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

i pressure washed my engine a while back after i bought it, as it was pretty nasty(of course staying as far away from intake as possible) but after i was taking off it was sputtering pretty bad. to make fora short story i went on a some back roads and really wound out through my gears for 10-20min hoping it would clear things up. sure enough it did, and has ran superb ever since. my advice as you seem have have really taken the royal shaft is to go back to the place you had do the work and make some kind of agreement that they need to fix ANY part that has been damaged by them as they should have been ALOT more careful with a customers car and they should back there work. i used to detail cars at my dealership and i always hated pressure washing lot cars engine compartments as there are so many cars that tend to NOT be water tight lol. anyway thats my advice, but if you CAN get it running, give it hell an dsee if it clears up, if not then you really need to get uir car to a tech and see what they say and then have the place that pressure wash ur engine pay for any parts.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:55 PM   #3
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

there might be water in your spark wires blow it dry and in your coil pack dry it out and it should be ok
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:55 AM   #4
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

ya, 2 guys had this problem within a week or so of each other, somethin about water getting trapped under a plat on the coils or somethin (i have a 5.0 in my 94 so i don't know ne thing about the coil on plugs thing... but i remember somethin about a plate and water getting trapped in/on the coils...
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There was a case of the stuff stacked at the end of an aisle. Definately not cold or in the cooler. Also it was over $7 for the two bottles.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:21 AM   #5
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

thank you all.
everyone i talk to says the same thing. my fear was that a sensor somewhere got blown and was sending bad messages to the computer, or perhaps just not sending messages anymore.
the mechanics i talk to say it's got to be the coil packs.
does anyone know if the coil packs come apart? maybe there's water trapped inside the electronics and i need to air them out?
btw, i started it up this morning and it was really bad. i lifted the hood, and sure enough, i had left the IAC hose loose. i hooked it back up and now it'll idle/run. i'm going to check the cops one more time and then just drive it for a while to see what happens. i didn't want to drive it much the way it was running for fear i'd make something worse.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

well its not going to good driving it around like that, cause if the coil pack is broken its not going to fix its self... if its just shorting or grounding everytime and not giving you a spark you could do like someone else mentioned and sit there with a hair dryer (or propane torch...tee he) and hope you can evaperate all of the remaining water out...

if you haven't done plugs/wires for a while, now might be a good time, just bite the bullet and if it is really just water trapped in a coil than it should solve it, plus give you a slight tune up at the same time. If you just put new coils on there i would try airing them out and see if i could get the water out of them
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Originally Posted by sti2gsxr
There was a case of the stuff stacked at the end of an aisle. Definately not cold or in the cooler. Also it was over $7 for the two bottles.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

on a 00 mustang every cylinder has its own individual coil pack right? change plugs also tq them back in correctly and use antiseeze
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

i put humpty dumpty back together and drove it around for about 20 minutes (again). it's running. it's idling okay. it has no power. it hesitates and hiccups under load. it will get to 2500rpm, but really struggles to get over 3000rpm.
i took the coils off again and even took the boot off of one. there was no sign of water.
what is the opinion of going after the detail shop if it turns out i need $500 in new coil packs? i didn't pay them nearly that much to begin with (obviously).
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

just heard from the mechanic. cylinder 1 had a misfire. he swapped out coil packs and it's good now. that's as far as he got (early close on saturday). the odds are pretty good that there are a couple more bad coil packs. will just have to work around the block.
the detail shop said that they would work with me on the cost, but didn't make enough money on the deal to be able to afford to dish out hundreds of bucks.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:44 PM   #10
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

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just heard from the mechanic. cylinder 1 had a misfire. he swapped out coil packs and it's good now. that's as far as he got (early close on saturday). the odds are pretty good that there are a couple more bad coil packs. will just have to work around the block.
the detail shop said that they would work with me on the cost, but didn't make enough money on the deal to be able to afford to dish out hundreds of bucks.
It doesn't matter what money they made on the "deal". It wasn't much of a deal apparently if you were left with a car they messed up.

Make them pay for it, all of it. Don't settle for anything less. You're not the one who messed the car up.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #11
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

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It doesn't matter what money they made on the "deal". It wasn't much of a deal apparently if you were left with a car they messed up.

Make them pay for it, all of it. Don't settle for anything less. You're not the one who messed the car up.
damn streight! you didn't pay them them to break it, u paid them to clean it.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:57 PM   #12
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

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damn streight! you didn't pay them them to break it, u paid them to clean it.
wait, you can go to businesses where those aren't the same thing???:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sti2gsxr
There was a case of the stuff stacked at the end of an aisle. Definately not cold or in the cooler. Also it was over $7 for the two bottles.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:19 PM   #13
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

update... replaced all the coil packs. still no dice. the mechanic suggested testing the alternator that maybe it wasn't kicking out enough voltage. battery and alternator tested okay. the only thing on the test was that there was an abnormal drain on the electrical system. the diagnostic computer is only spitting out misfire codes. so my guess is that i have an electrical short somewhere in the system. i would imagine that a defective or burned out sensor would have shown up on the diagnostic, right? so do i just drive the stumbling car until it unshorts itself? that's not a happy thought to me? any ideas where to start looking?
the detail shop owner is not volunteering to work with me on this one. we had a few words on monday and i'm definitely not on his christmas card list anymore. i threatened to sue him (kind of a ridiculous thought) and he didn't budge. said he washes hundreds of engines every week and has never had even one problem. that's funny.
i wonder what mechanic fixes all this guy's screw ups. if i could find him, he'd probably know just what to look for.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:27 AM   #14
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

sad thing about pressure washing engines is all are different. FYI if you do take this guy to court im pretty sure he wouldn't stand a chance! and look at all of your wires under the hood, some are very sensitive and will easily be torn apart by a high powerd pressure washer. im sorry u have to go through this.defently sucks when you put your car in someones elses hand and they screw it up and don't take any responsibility.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:26 AM   #15
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

thanks. man this stinks. i don't want to beat a guy up. i was really hoping it'd just be a common problem, like change your pvc and all will be good again.
the car doesn't have that much wiring. i suppose i can just start at one end and work my way around. urgh.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:37 PM   #16
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

do you have a Cold air intake or the stock intake system on your car? even so take ur air filter and see if it's gatherd some water, though then again id be dry by now =( only thing i can think of would be plugs/coils/ or ur intake took in some water and is lingering around. but the first 2 atleast have already been done =\
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:08 PM   #17
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

Try running some seafoam thru the fuel system and top end of the motor
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:02 AM   #18
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

i have the standard cai on the car. that was going to be my first upgrade since the air filter should probably be replaced while i'm under the hood. i did take it out (no fun on this car) and it's just a little dirty. certainly doesn't look water damaged or needing replaced at this point.

i ran premium gas and a container of techron through the tank. that should have helped the injectors, right? i've heard good things from sea foam. do you put it in the gas tank, or spray it in the intake? i've never used it. i think my issue is electrical, so unless there is a sensor in the fuel system that is stuck causing a short, then i'm pretty confident that it's not fuel related. the reason i say that is that the battery/alternator test picked up an electrical drain of 1.5amps.

my driver's side window suddenly won't go up (or down). it's down now. all the other windows are fine. i've had this once before. i waited a minute and then it was fine. i wonder if this is the short i've been searching for. i removed the switch from the car and sprayed it with contact spray and that didn't help at all. i get a very loud click when i push the switch. sounds like it's coming from around the speaker location in the lower door. does anyone have experience with this? burned out regulator???? hopefully just a bad contact.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:18 PM   #19
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

finally "broke down" and took the car to the dealer. no body could figure out what was wrong. checked every single thing. all the advice to just keep driving and it'll go away just wasn't sitting well. the car felt wrong.
the dealer had it for most of the day before calling and telling me that both cat's were burned up to the point engine failure was imminent. never, ever would have thought of that.
so the million dollar question is... if the car started having issues immediately after the engine detail, how on earth does a powerwash have anything to do with a cat conv? water in intake dislodging years of carbon breaking off and lodging in first thing it sees - the cat? or is it a very freak coincidence?
it's just got to be related, right?
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:55 AM   #20
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

well i personally belive whatever can go wrong......will go wrong lol. but anything is possible any word from the ppl who pressure washed the engine?
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:21 AM   #21
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

I can't see how a cat failure would be related to an engine cleaning. It's not like they sprayed cleaner inside any of the motor. You could get offroad x pipe, or perhaps just a catted x.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:11 PM   #22
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Re: help: had engine detailed and it died

had the cats replaced. they saved the old ones for government reasons and showed them to me. they are empty cans. there are no guts at all. just a little wad of something rattling around inside. their opinion was that there is no possible way that an engine detail could have caused this. i can only imagine that this must have been a pre-existing condition when i bought the car. a little water in the intake probably was the last straw. i don't know how i could go after the car wash for this. i can't believe it had no symptoms at all when i bought it!
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