The Electronic Control Unit, or ECU, of an Evinrude Ficht has on on-board self-diagnostic system that monitors each of the signals from various sensors in your engine and stores a diagnostic code in memory when a problem is noted. These "trouble codes" are the outboard motor equivalent of the diagnostic codes an auto mechanic gets when he plugs the computer into your car. You can retrieve and interpret these trouble codes to guide you in troubleshooting your motor's problems without a computer or a mechanic.
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Turn off the ignition switch to stop the motor, and turn the key back to the "On" position without starting the motor. The four LEDs in the warning gauge, "Oil Level," "Water Temperature," "Check Engine" and "Oil Pressure" will light briefly and go out, one at a time, then begin to flash the trouble codes.
Count the flashing of the "Check Engine" light to determine what trouble codes the engine is showing. Interpret codes by counting the flashes. Notice that more than one trouble code may flash: a short pause separates the digits of the two-digit code. A longer pause warns of the start of a different trouble code. Record each code as it flashes -- it will repeat itself three times.
Watch the flashing trouble codes a second time to verify the information you recorded. Turn off the ignition. Compare the codes that flashed with the list of trouble codes to determine the beginning point of your search for a problem.
Ensure the connections to the sensors that provided the code are clean and tight before you take more extreme steps. Always start with the simplest explanation or fix and work toward the complicated repair.
Connect a garden hose to your motor flushing attachment, and connect the flushing attachment to the motor's cooling water intakes. Turn the water on full force, and start the engine. Allow the engine to run at idle; the LEDs will go out within 3 minutes, if all is in order.
Tips and warnings
- Check the trouble codes before disconnecting the battery. Once the battery is disconnected, they're gone for good.
- The "check engine" light is not only used as a warning, but it displays the trouble codes by short flashes of the check engine light. Three flashes, a break and four flashes is trouble code "34"
- Evinrude produces diagnostic software for the 4-stroke FICHT/EFI motor that can retrieve codes and other stored ECU operational data. The connector for the diagnostic computer is on the front-starboard side of the motor. The software package contains directions for using the software.
- The trouble codes are as follows:
- When the code "34," appears, that means the intake manifold pressure is improper with the engine running. The trouble code "42" is the crankcase sensor's response to a loss of manifold pressure. The code "31" indicates an inoperative idle air control valve, "22" shows a loss of manifold pressure from a closed throttle plate, and "14" is a cylinder temperature warning. Trouble code "23" indicates an intake air temperature incident and "11" shows a fault in the voltage regulator or rectifier. Finally, "15" is an exhaust manifold temperature warning.
- A code doesn't mean a particular component is at fault, only that the ECU received a signal beyond the normal range. For example, the code that a throttle plate is closed may result from a broken spring on the throttle plate, a bad sensor or a loose connection. Look for the simplest solution first.
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