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Discussion Starter #1
I was driving today on a well maintained (no potholes or big bumps) road that I drive every day. The Limit is 55, and when i got up to around 40 MPH after accelerating conservatively as usual, when the tranny was about to shift to 4th there was a mild 'pop' and then the VSA light, the AWD indicator light (triangle with ! inside,) and the check engine light all came on. I immediately pulled over and kept it in drive with my foot on the brake and listened for any odd sounds and heard none. I then put it in park and turned the car off.

Upon turning the car back on, the VSA and AWD lights had turned off but the check engine light persisted. I put it in drive and inched forward a few feet to listen for noises or see if anything felt funny. Gas and brake pedals were fully functional. I was just a mile from home so I decided to get back on the road and hope for the best. Again, accelerating slowly, I got up to speed no problem. The AT shifted smoothly as it normally does. I got up to 65 without a problem, running the same RPMs I usually do.

As I was going the AWD and VSA lights randomly came back on, this time without any pop or hit or anything. I came to a spot where traffic was stopped for some roadwork and turned the E off in park and waited until we got going. It started back up fine and the AWD and VSA lights turned off again and have not yet turned back on.

I got home no problem and took the E out later after doing a little research to see if i could feel out some potential issues. I have read about these symptoms resulting in the engine bucking and shifting problematically, but locked in first gear I got it up to 5000 RPM without any weird feelings or sounds. It shifted all the way up to 5th normally without any issue. I wanted to test the AWD to see if the light coming on earlier meant anything to do with that. AWD works fine when tested on mud.


The E seems to be driving without any problem, so my question to all of you is - have any of you experienced this? If so, did it materialize into anything? If this sounds unfamiliar, I would love to hear some ideas of what it may be.

I plan to go get the code read just for my peace of mind, and depending on the verdict will probably just have the code 'resolved' in the computer and be done with it.

Thanks,
Coleman
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should add that I put powerful LED dome lights in the front and rear 2 days ago. I doubt that has anything to do with the problem i'm having, but I have heard of new electronics causing check engine light to come on.

A few credible sources have installed these same lights with no issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
> the AWD indicator light (triangle with ! inside)
That's the VSA activation light (see 2008 owner's manual page 64).
The triangle with the “!” always kicks in as the AWD does, so I’m not sure what that would mean if it’s supposed to kick in with the VSA. There is another light that has the letters VSA which I have never seen illuminate before the occurrence I described in my post.
 

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Finally, a post to which i can respond in a timely (though maybe not relevant) fashion.

My case was different in almost every regard, but your words struck me in the gut, I'm having a flashback.

Like you, I had recent electrical mods done (installation of lights/outlet in the upstairs)

I was rolling eastbound and over the Sierras at night in light snow (departure having been delayed a few hours at Ursa Minor for antenna relocation).

I can't say if it there was a distinctive pop or not, but there was an abrupt and substantial shift in the ****pit environment. At a minimum the check engine light had come on, power had diminished and a sobering, if not alarming, sense of foreboding eclipsed my theretofore enthusiastic mood. Something had changed and the situation seemed to be deteriorating rapidly, in the dark, alone, at some altitude and it was cold outside.

I considered pulling off but just clenched my butt, reduced speed (though feeling total failure was impeding) and made it the last mile or so to the top, where there was an exit and convenience store. I parked and broke out the laptop.

Long story short, if it’s not too late, my issue apparently involved the O2 sensor and emission control system (it’s been a lifelong challenge ?).

Once I started down the hill and into denser air the problem resolved as quickly as it had begun, never to be repeated as I e-camped my way back to MD.

Intermittent/unexplained issues drive me nuts.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
StlthE,

Ouch! Sounds like quite an alarming experience. Glad you managed to get it fixed.

My check engine light has since turned off and I haven’t had any more issues, mechanical or electrical. I’ve decided the “bump” was a cylinder misfiring and it totally freaked the computer out, but since it didn’t happen again and it didn’t hurt anything the the comp just reset itself.

Thanks so much!
 

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Hi CS17,

I have had a near identical situation with 2008 2wd. After refueling and driving approximately 5 miles at highway speed, the VSA, !, and check engine light came on. I took the next exit to look up in the manual. Since it didn’t seem critical, I planned to continue on my trip. On restarting, the VSA and ! were no longer illuminated, but check engine light remained. After another 10 miles the VSA and ! came back on. Within 5 miles, I felt the engine miss or lurch and immediately exited the highway as there was a ramp right there. At the stop, the engine sounded fine, but as we accelerated to ~30 mph the car repeated the issue. We slowed and accelerated 3 or 4 times always having the same result. We (my son and myself) parked and turned off the engine. We discussed the issue trying to understand the connection between the warning lights and power issue. We decide to check if the power issue was occurring at the ~30 mph point or was it occurring at a certain rpm. We restarted the engine, lights were no longer illuminated, and rev’d the engine. No loss of power or anything amiss. We decided on another road test to confirm it happens at ~30mph. But nothing happened. After some head scratching, we decide to try at highway speed. Still no issues. We expect the VSA and ! To come back on, but they didn’t. And at some point later that day or maybe the next, the check engine light went off.

That was 2 weeks ago, and everything has been normal since.
 
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