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355 Suspension Malfunction Light on

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by delaney, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    678
    St Petersburg, FL
    Full Name:
    PETER DELANEY
    Ladies/Gents etc ...

    96 355 ... suspension malfunction light on, followed by check engine light.

    Assuming it's one of the actuators ..... any way to check before I wheel it to the dealer?

    Regards.
     
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  3. tonyc

    tonyc Formula 3

    Oct 19, 2003
    1,483
    Monterey, CA
    Full Name:
    Tony C
    Hello Delaney,
    I recently had a check engine light come on in my 99 F355. I went to a local
    auto store and purchased an OBDII computer reader. Plugged it in under the steering column and checked the code. After looking it up in the book I cleared it and it has stayed off. I figure if it comes back I will take it to the shop, if not then it was an error. The reader cost about $130. I think your car has an OBDI computer.

    This was a small investment compared to having to take the time to visit the shop :)

    BTW, over the past 6 months my suspension light has come on twice but it went away by itself when I restarted the car the next day.

    --tony
     
  4. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
    678
    St Petersburg, FL
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    PETER DELANEY
    Tony,

    Thanks for the quick reply. An important point you raise ..

    96 F355 ....OBD1 or OBD2 .... anyone?


    Pete
     
  5. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    Feb 6, 2004
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    Cincinnati, Ohio
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    Richard Wallace
    I believe the 95 was an ODB1 - 96 and above was the ODB2 readers...
     
  6. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
    678
    St Petersburg, FL
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    PETER DELANEY
    Richard .. thanks for the reply.

    Tony ... you said in your original note that you cleared the check engine light. Is 'clearing' a function that comes with the analyzer?

    Regards,


    Pete
     
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  8. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
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    Feb 6, 2004
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    Richard Wallace
    With the ODB Readers (around around $130 or so - you can find the best place to order) Check Previous threads..

    You can reset errors with the readers.

    Rich
     
  9. tonyc

    tonyc Formula 3

    Oct 19, 2003
    1,483
    Monterey, CA
    Full Name:
    Tony C
    Pete,
    I purchased the INNOVA Model #3100. One of the functions on it is to
    clear the check engine light. It was pretty easy to do. The package says that it works for all US,Asian and European OBDII systems 1996 and up.
    Its funny how my car seems to drive a lot better without that light on :)

    --tony
     
  10. malibumk

    malibumk Karting

    May 14, 2002
    167
    Malibu, CA
    Full Name:
    Mike Klein
    Pete:
    The suspensiion light is completely seperate from the check engine light.
    The check engine or "MIL" light requires the OBDII check/reader to read/erase as discussed above. The manufacture specific OBD codes are in the "diognostics" section of your shop manual.

    The Suspension computor (Bilstein) is located under the pass. side toe board below th fuse box. It resets itself every time your turn the key off. The dealer can read it for faults, but I suggest you start with the following.

    Each red shock actuator cycles and zeros itself during the start/key on process for the system self check. If they don't turn....the fault is recorded and the light goes on.

    The most common failure is that one of the four actuators gets hung up and doesn't turn. Can be just stickey, or failed actuator, or failed shock.

    Heres what to do;
    1) starting in the rear where it's easiest to access the actuators, unclip the red actuator on one shock at a time. Lay it sideways so you or a friend can observe the female spile in it as you turn the ignition on. It should turn on its own, in both direction and then stop in the middle somewhere.
    2) the male spline on the shock should turn with your fingers.
    3) if both occur, then move on to the next shock.
    Note: you can just clip the actuator back in place, you don't have to index it to the shock or spline....thats taken care of on the start-up cycle where the computor finds the end stops and then goes to the mid position.

    If the shaft on the shock is stuck....you need a new shock. But you might succeed in forcing it free.
    If the red actuator doesn't turn....swap it with another one from the car to isolate it to that part.

    I have found that as often as not, just removing and turning things by hand frees things up and the problem goes away.

    Also worth checking is the electrical contact/cleanliness at the actuator connectors. If there is a fuse for the system.... start there.

    Good luck...call if I can help further.

    Mike
     
  11. tonyc

    tonyc Formula 3

    Oct 19, 2003
    1,483
    Monterey, CA
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    Tony C
    Great info Mike! Thanks, I will file this away in my "How to debug a F355" folder :)

    --tony
     
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  13. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    PETER DELANEY
    Mike .... incredible post. I will do as you say and hope for the best.

    Very best regards.
     
  14. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
    1,665
    Ft Laud
    Full Name:
    Frank Lipinski
    Mike's description is right on the money.

    I'm going through that right now, however the "spline" on top of my the shock simply "spins" freely...menaing an internal broken gear or pin.

    If the shock is bad (as in my case) hold on to your wallet. The shocks are about $1K each and dealer sells them only in pairs. We found one dealer who was willing to break a set and sell us only one.

    The other options is a member of the site, who is the only guy I know of that can rebuild them. Rob @ Delta Vee Motorsport (847) 638-4226. I think it's about $250 each. Turn around is about one week.

    Frank
     
  15. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
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    St Petersburg, FL
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    PETER DELANEY
    Frank ...

    The actuators .. do they just pull off ... or is there a screw somewhere?

    Regards,


    Pete
     
  16. Jbuffa

    Jbuffa Rookie

    Nov 7, 2003
    28
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Joseph Buffa
    There is a metal clip near the bottom of the actuator, remove it and it will pull off.
     
  17. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
    678
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    PETER DELANEY
    Mike was right on .... back rear female spline was broken.

    Thanks everyone.


    Pete
     
  18. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Just had this happen to my 1995 355 I took on trade.....gonna print this out and go to my mechanic.

    Thanks !!!! Great post........!!!

    9 months later........gawd I love the search function.
     
  19. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior
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    Nov 8, 2003
    678
    St Petersburg, FL
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    PETER DELANEY

    ~ $700 from the main dealer ... As I recall Sodacoms price was ~ $400.


    Pete
     

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