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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings from an ancient member.

My 2008 cabrio started acting up. Things got so bad I got towed for the last 30 miles of the Labor Day weekend travel.

I am getting a huge number of scan codes with "Network Communication Error" labels. The symptoms include that my gear indicator goes from "D" to the dreaded three bars and back and forth while the car bucks (the clutch is obviously slipping when some of this goes on), the power steering goes manual, and the AC stops blowing very cold. There's nothing that declares itself a cause yet but the onset of problems which usually starts with the center triangle with the exclamation point glowing amber have been caused on 2 accounts by accelerating hard (electric clutch engaging?), one of turning AC to recirculate, one of using the left turn signal, another of hitting a bump in the road.

I've jumpered my Area451 Cruise Control out of the situation and the problem still occurs. I searched the forums and don't see much beyond the three lines of death coming from battery issues. My battery is tested as solid, my voltage according to an ODB tool is decent before and during these events: between 13V on the deepest dips to 14.5V max, typically 14.0V.

My car is experiencing the automotive equivalent of Multiple Sclerosis and I'm 3 hours from the nearest dealer.

Any thoughts before I start randomly disconnecting "non essential" systems that might be taking down my network bus?

Thanks to anyone with insights.
(or greeting)

- John_H

network.
communication.
error.
Why couldn't it be a head gasket?
 

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Welcome back! Any codes? Maybe bad/loose grounds, although all those things have the SAM in common so maybe loose connections there or water intrusion? Just guessing....:)
 

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Are all these codes "U" codes? It sounds like something is corrupting the communications bus. A aftermarket European capable scan tool should be able to access about eleven different systems. I would look for one that is not reporting faults. That may be the stupid one.

As suggested, check grounds and water intrusion first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Codes which haven't been cleared include:
U0100 - Network
Lost communication With ECM/PCM "A"
U0140 - Network
Lost communication With Body Control Module
U0122 - Network
Lost communication With Vehicle Dynamics Control Module
U0103 - Network
Lost communication With Gear Shift Control Module "A"
U0001 - Network
High Speed CAN Communication Bus
P0500 - Powertrain
Vehicle Speed Sensor
P1600 - Powertrain
[Various definitions for various manufacturers]
P0811 - Powertrain
Excessive Clutch Slippage
P1A10 - Powertrain
[unknown]
U0146 - Network
Lost communication With Gateway "A"

Otherwise the smart's still runnin' strong even with the pellet hole in the rear gate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The grounds I've been able to see are pristine. I need to figure out where they all are and go spelunking!

The battery well seemed dry. Where is water intrusion a problem?
 

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The grounds I've been able to see are pristine. I need to figure out where they all are and go spelunking!

The battery well seemed dry. Where is water intrusion a problem?
WOW John.....great to hear from you !!!!

My 451 led still makes be smile everytime it lights up :)

As far as water intrusion, EVERY connector you can possibly find, clean and use dielectric grease :D

I'd take the body panels off to see those pesky harnesses.

Might even be a "chaffed" wire somewhere....good luck hunting it down.... let us know how it all pans out !

We thought you fell off the planet :)
 

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Water intrusion into the SAM.... would require a body leak of some kind but it has been a problem on some 450s. Again, just another straw to grasp at. :)
 

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Totally off-topic, but what's this talk about A451 CC LED mods? My A451 CC is on it's way from SmartieParts as I type this...


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
WAY BACK in the day, John put together an incredible led mod that moved the "on" led from the stalk (where you can't see it anyway !!) to light the speedo "cruise" icon :)

It was a great kit and long since been out of production :(
 

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WAY BACK in the day, John put together an incredible led mod that moved the "on" led from the stalk (where you can't see it anyway !!) to light the speedo "cruise" icon :)

It was a great kit and long since been out of production :(
Gotcha. I had the factory cruise in my last fortwo and the icon in the cluster was nice. Oh well.
 

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Hey, John, good to see you back, sorry it is like this.
I would start in the area of the sam looking for a ground issue or loose connector there. I believe I remember seeing a cluster of brown wires grounding on the chassis on the Driver's side under the carpet. A bad ground seems plausible because it would disrupt communication to all circuits simultaneously.
Good luck and good to have you back.
Rich
 

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Hey, John, good to see you back, sorry it is like this.
I would start in the area of the sam looking for a ground issue or loose connector there. I believe I remember seeing a cluster of brown wires grounding on the chassis on the Driver's side under the carpet. A bad ground seems plausible because it would disrupt communication to all circuits simultaneously.
Good luck and good to have you back.
Rich
That is correct. There is a ground in the driver's footwell with a tree of wires coming off it. Not under the carpet, but next to the firewall on the left side. I'd check for corrosion and tightness.

You can also remove the SAM from its cradle (requires a Torx driver) and see if you see any moisture damage on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I checked the ground by the SAM yesterday and it seems solid.

There have been issues in the past with other folks when a GPS was plugged in the cigarette lighter, for instance. While some of my troubleshooting involved *not* charging my phone while driving, I failed to disconnect the charger from the extra outlet I wired into the SAM with the appropriate fuse-holder extension.

I've had 2 short drives error-free but the various codes are still not cleared by the ECU; a few more trips will tell.

I'll drop the SAM and reseat connectors if the problems shows up again.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Several short trips and all the ECU-clearable fault codes have cleared off. No troubles. Yet.

So if it is the cigarette lighter adapter for the cell phone charger, what in the SAM Hell would cause a tiny plug-in charger to bring down the SAM? ...especially when it isn't charging!

And now how do I charge my phone on long trips?
I'd be much happier if there were a reasonable explanation for the item causing the Automotive Multiple Sclerosis. If all I needed were a power-feed ferrite to smooth out high frequencies, I'd be set. If a capacitor would solidify things, I'd be set. But I can't explain the behavior from an electronics standpoint.

Alas,
Happy weekend, folks!
- John_H
 

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Seems to be the luck of the draw. The GPS in our car stays plugged into the 12v outlet and a radar detector feed is wired from the SAM - no issue with either. Also have a multi-12v/USB outlet wired direct to the battery with no issues. Who knows? :shrug:
 
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