Code 17, Not As Cool As It Sounds

This has been an interesting 24 hours. So this weekend JagGuy was showing off a throttle position sensor he bought cheap. It was an omen of things to come.

On the way into work today I had an engine stumble at highway speed. Thirty seconds later another. And a minute later…it was very disappointing. My first guess was not the throttle position sensor. I had suspected I was having alternator issues.

I got to work and thought nothing more about it until lunch. I came out, started her up and the Check Engine Light came on. “Good,” I thought. “At least now I know it was something with a label on it.” I got to my favorite Monday lunch spot, VZDs (VZDs.com). I went around to the passenger side and looked at the Code Reader. 17.

I went in and ordered the meatloaf. Its made with ground buffalo. So delicious. I looked the code up on my Samsung 3 smart phone and confirmed what I had guessed. That is the throttle position sensor code. I finished lunch by checking for a replacement part.

Atlantic British has a replacement for 449.95$(US). That is roughly 1/5th of the value of my Land Rover in it’s current state. I can’t do that. I sourced one from eBay for 80$(US) used. I will continue to do this and pull parts from the breaker’s yard as long as I can.

I had an errand to return some fencing bits to Lowe’s that we didn’t use to fix my former neighbor’s fence. I drove home with lots of stumbling along the way. I thought it was the TPS so I swapped it with a spare from my supply. I got about 2 miles from the house and the Big White Bus coughed and shut down. I coasted to a side street.

Just before she shut down, the tachometer stopped working. That is a tell-tale sign the alternator is dead. So to review:

  • I thought I was having alternator issues two weeks ago.
  • The alternator light occasionally glows when I have the lights on.
  • The tachometer stopped working.

I called JagGuy to confirm the theory, he concurred with my hypothesis. My awesome neighbor Larry was the first to answer his phone when I called and after delivering a pizza to his wife, he came and gave me a jump. The charge was just enough to get me to the Walgreen’s across the street from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts. The plan was to have them check the output on the alternator and the condition of the battery.

Instead they had to charge the battery just to test it. I grabbed some dinner and waited. Jacob said it was done and tested good. I grabbed some nitrile gloves and the oil change stuff for our Honda CR-V.

I installed the battery and it was enough charge to get me back to Casa de OkieRover. It occurred to me that I had a spare OEM alternator on the shelf. That last trip to the breaker’s yard has turned out to be very fruitful. I installed it and it worked as expected. No troubles.

I bought the dead alternator from NAPA Auto Parts in 2005. That one failed in 2008 and under warranty I replaced it. Turns out it is time for a third. I see on the invoice that I paid 335$(US) for it with a lifetime warranty. If I replaced it today:
Atlantic British charges 359.95$(US) for their rebuilt 100 amp alternator.
NAPA is offering one from 213.00 to 279.00$(US).

So that’s the good news in all this. I have a spare alternator and I can get the replacement part as early as tomorrow because their website said they were in the warehouse and its FREE…AGAIN.

I should have the original receipt laminated. That thing is really paying off. JagGuy suggested I keep the OEM in the Range Rover until it dies. I probably will.

I have a TPS coming in for 80$(US) off eBay. I think that’s a fair cop. Beats 450$(US) all day.
I will have a spare alternator on the shelf by the end of the week.

I still need to figure out what broke on the sunroof.
I still need oxygen sensors. I will probably buy those the first week of June.
I still need a sound system. JagGuy said he would help with that. I have fond memories of his radio in the red van.
I still need air conditioning. Mrs. OkieRover will not tour with me in the Big White Bus without it.
I still need the springs installed. I am going to pay Mickey’s Garage (Google+) to do that for me along with the air conditioning.

So you can see this looks like the summer of electrical gremlins. This is the first thing that comes to mind when gremlins raise their ugly heads.

Diabolical sabotage!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

 

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