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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I really need help from you guys,

To make a long story short, I took my P38 to be deep cleaned. When I came back the car was outside with the hood open and battery disconnected. They said the alarm had gone of. When I reconnected the battery, the horn was on full blast, and the wipers (front window, lights), windows, and washing liquid where all going nuts, and the siren as well a little later. I managed to drive most of the way home, by taking out fuses for all of the above. Got 90% af the way home, when the car started to loose power and starting "turning on and off" for a little bit, and then died, making a bad smell in the process. Was able to park it and later tow it the rest of the way (did that correctly btw).

I dried the car for 48 hours, assuming the deep cleaning guys had wet some of the electronics. I also charged the battery. After the 48 hours, all the electronics where back to normal. But...I can't start the car. It says "Gearbox fault" in the dash board. I have checked all the smaller fuses, they are all OK.

I have read everything there is to read online, and I have gathered that this is probably a low voltage thing. However, the battery is fully charged, and I have tried jumpstarting the car. Even tried waiting a few minutes with the cables attached (to a Ford E-150). Nothing worked. Most recently I tried the blackbox ECU immobilizer reset that I got from a local, but that didn't work either.

And now I am out of solutions. Can anyone help?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I hate to say it, but it sounds like either the BECM or the underbonnet fuse box (or both) have failed.

Given all of the faults and errors you had, and the alarm going off - and the fact that the gearbox ECU gets it's power from the BECM fuse box... I would be saying that they have managed to kill your BECM when they were cleaning the inside of the vehicle.

You might be lucky and it might just be the power board in the top of the BECM. If you take the BECM out and onto a bench, you might find that there is a burnt track or tracks on the board which are stopping it from powering the gearbox ECU/sending the signal to the fuse box to start the vehicle. However, I have a bad feeling that the logic board may have been damaged aswell, in which case it might be a case of replacing the BECM itself, or getting a working one cloned with the information from your vehicle - which will then keep all the programmed information (VIN, mileage, remote key fob codes etc) and should be *plug and play*

You have nothing to lose by taking the battery off again and having a look in the BECM to see if there is anything obvious - you might get lucky and find it's something simple.

Unfortunately if you had got it towed back to start with and let it dry for the 48 hours before running it then you may have been luckier and got away with no real side effects - as water and electronics really don't go together - especially when they're running and current if flowing! However, you weren't to know that at the time, and hindsight is one of those amazing things!

Sorry I don't have better news - but I hope it is something simple for you!

Marty
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hate to say it, but it sounds like either the BECM or the underbonnet fuse box (or both) have failed.

Given all of the faults and errors you had, and the alarm going off - and the fact that the gearbox ECU gets it's power from the BECM fuse box... I would be saying that they have managed to kill your BECM when they were cleaning the inside of the vehicle.

You might be lucky and it might just be the power board in the top of the BECM. If you take the BECM out and onto a bench, you might find that there is a burnt track or tracks on the board which are stopping it from powering the gearbox ECU/sending the signal to the fuse box to start the vehicle. However, I have a bad feeling that the logic board may have been damaged aswell, in which case it might be a case of replacing the BECM itself, or getting a working one cloned with the information from your vehicle - which will then keep all the programmed information (VIN, mileage, remote key fob codes etc) and should be *plug and play*

You have nothing to lose by taking the battery off again and having a look in the BECM to see if there is anything obvious - you might get lucky and find it's something simple.

Unfortunately if you had got it towed back to start with and let it dry for the 48 hours before running it then you may have been luckier and got away with no real side effects - as water and electronics really don't go together - especially when they're running and current if flowing! However, you weren't to know that at the time, and hindsight is one of those amazing things!

Sorry I don't have better news - but I hope it is something simple for you!

Marty
Thanks Marty for the honesty. Since none of the simpler answers online have worked so far, I was really starting to think it was something more complex, like you are suggesting. So I guess I've been prepared for a little while now. You may be right in saying that if I had towed it right away, this may not have happened. Fact of the matter is that the windows ended up open (and wouldn't go back) and it was starting to snow, so I decided to get it home :) hindsight is a ***** ...

If it matters at all now, I just plugged a diagnostic scanner (bluetooth one), and the only code that came up was P0705, which is a "Transmission Range Sensor TRS Circuit Malfunction".

Could this have happened during the cleaning, and if so, how on earth? They may be liable if I can prove something went wrong.
 

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When my crank position sensor decided to go AWOL the only warning message on the display was the gearbox fault one. When you say won't start do you mean it cranks but won't fire or it won't crank at all? CPS problem resulted in the latter for me.
 

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Good point Garvin..

I'm more worried by the fact that it randomly started failing whilst they were cleaning it.. Sounds scarily like moisture getting into the BECM to me :( but crank sensor and under bonnet fuse box are both worth checking too in case it is a simple issue.

Was the fault code pulled from the engine ECU or gearbox ECU?
 

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If it is in fact tied to the CPS, try cleaning and giving C509 (in the GEMS box) a blast of WD40. Water is more likely to have been forced in there by a pressure wash than the CPS itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When my crank position sensor decided to go AWOL the only warning message on the display was the gearbox fault one. When you say won't start do you mean it cranks but won't fire or it won't crank at all? CPS problem resulted in the latter for me.
I had read about it maybe being the crank position sensor, but like Marty I assumed it was more likely to be an electrical issue because it happened when water was around. And no it does not crank! (if I understand you correctly,) there is only a single tick, it doesn't really try to start.

Marty, I have checked all the small fuses in the fuse box under the bonnet, they are all ok. Don't know yet about the green and yellow relays. BTW, does the fact that all the electronics are working fine (windows, wipers, A/C) change your diagnosis at all? Doesn't the BECM control those?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When my crank position sensor decided to go AWOL the only warning message on the display was the gearbox fault one. When you say won't start do you mean it cranks but won't fire or it won't crank at all? CPS problem resulted in the latter for me.
The fault code was pulled from the diagnostic control unit, in the passenger side footwell, near the transmission tunnel.
 

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Gearbox fault normally means low battery voltage, single tick from the starter could be the ignition switched relay in the BeCM dropping out as it is supposed to (to turn off the radio, heater, etc while cranking), the starter relay in the underbonnet fusebox clicking in or the starter solenoid trying to do something and failing. In which case, it might be that the battery terminal is not making proper contact so it can't deliver enough current to turn the starter. As it has been disconnected, check all the connections carefully. If one is bad then the alternator will have been working overtime to get some charge into it and has burnt itself out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
TL;DR: See question at the bottom

A couple of new developments. I ripped out the engine management ECU under the bonnet, and unscrewed the lid. I had an electrician take a look at the circuits with me and we came to the conclusion that they look OK. I cleaned out connection 509 with WD-40 as per Orangebean's advice, and plugged everything back in.

Basically, nothing changed. But now the battery is almost dead, it shows 9.3 volts and almost no charge, because of all the fiddling around and trying to start the car for the last two day. Two things did change: Now there is no tick when starting, just nothing. Probably because of the battery. Second, I now have an Airbag fault going on (that might just go away as many of them have)

I have to wait until the battery is charged to get a voltage read from it again.

However, do any of you think that there is any reason to believe that the car would start with a new battery, when it didn't start when getting a jump from the E-150?

An answer to the last question would at least set my mind at ease in that regard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Also, might we be overlooking the fact that this might simply be the transmission range sensor, like the diagnosis reported?

I have removed the plastic cover in front of the BECM and took a quick look at the connectors, everything looks good and there is no sign of water, although it would probably have evaporated anyways.

The CPS is actually also starting to look like the culprit. The page linked here below states that this is "the most important sensor in the engine", and that its failure will result in the car not starting.

http://workshop-manuals.com/landrov...n/component_descriptions_up_to_99my/page_456/
 

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You can have all the juice in the world at your finger tips and it won;t start if you have a failing cable, poor connection or dirty starter. Most of the time when folks say they cleaned their connections it only means the ones at the battery. FOlks seem to forget that every cable has two ends. THey fail to clean the ends at the starter, shock tower etc. When you add in that P38 cables are getting quite old there is all sorts of locations for a starting/charging circuit to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
But with a fail CPS the engine would still turn over on the starter, it just wouldn't start because there would be no sparks. You haven't got it turning over on the starter so aren't getting that far yet.
Interesting, Garvin said that his didn't crank at all, and that the CPS was to blame. I'm sorry, English is not my native language, I'm from Iceland actually .. the engine turning over, and cranking are the same things right?
 

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Yes, cranking and turning over are the same thing. When the starter turns the engine, the CPS detects the crank position ( as the name suggests) so the ECU knows when to fire the sparks. With a dead CPS the ECU doesn't even know the engine is turning so no sparks so no start. But it will still crank/turn over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, cranking and turning over are the same thing. When the starter turns the engine, the CPS detects the crank position ( as the name suggests) so the ECU knows when to fire the sparks. With a dead CPS the ECU doesn't even know the engine is turning so no sparks so no start. But it will still crank/turn over.
OK good to know. Odd that Garvin's engine didn't turn over then.

Seems like we're eliminating more and more possibilities, but at the same time approaching more and more obscure ones :) I am approaching the point that I don't have a choice but to tow it to the nearest approved LR shop.
 

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What I am not seeing in all this is the testing of the starter or cleaning of the BeCM. Obviously if you suspect the BeCM would it not make sense to remove it, clean it and make sure it is dry? Same with the starter. Have you jumped the starter to see if it is working? Have you checked for signal to the starter?

It's easy to jump to the worse case scenario without checking the basics.
 

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The fact that all the other electrics have returned to normal is a count in the positive side for the BECM - usually when they get water in them then you get all the weird things happening that you've had - but they don't stop. I would still open it up and check the boards for signs of water ingress and give it all a clean out.

Do you have the orange engine icon (check engine light) come up on the dash before you try to turn the engine over? I am wondering if the BECM/engine ECU have lost sync - as on a GEMS vehicle it won't crank/turn over if it's not in sync. The later ones will turn over, but won't fire. If you have the orange Check Engine light on when the key is in position II (before starting) then this isn't the problem - but if there is no Check Engine light, then the ECU and the BECM need the security code synced up. Which could be possible given the other issues you've had, and the battery going flat.

Airbag Fault is also one that can some from low voltage, so I wouldn't worry about that too much at the moment - being as you have an earlier model, then chances are this will need to be cleared with diagnostics at some point - though if it's due to low voltage and not actually an issue in the airbag wiring anywhere then you *may* be lucky.

Follow the advice of the others whilst the battery is charging and inspect all the +ve and -ve battery cables carefully at both ends. Whilst the battery is off, I'd also pull the BECM and give it a proper look over to make sure there hasn't been any water get in it - if there has then give it a good clean and spray with electrical contact cleaner, as if moisture builds up in there it will corrode the board/tracks and will cause failure at some point (I have a very corroded board sitting in the garage from someone who got theirs a bit wet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The fact that all the other electrics have returned to normal is a count in the positive side for the BECM - usually when they get water in them then you get all the weird things happening that you've had - but they don't stop. I would still open it up and check the boards for signs of water ingress and give it all a clean out.

Do you have the orange engine icon (check engine light) come up on the dash before you try to turn the engine over? I am wondering if the BECM/engine ECU have lost sync - as on a GEMS vehicle it won't crank/turn over if it's not in sync. The later ones will turn over, but won't fire. If you have the orange Check Engine light on when the key is in position II (before starting) then this isn't the problem - but if there is no Check Engine light, then the ECU and the BECM need the security code synced up. Which could be possible given the other issues you've had, and the battery going flat.

Airbag Fault is also one that can some from low voltage, so I wouldn't worry about that too much at the moment - being as you have an earlier model, then chances are this will need to be cleared with diagnostics at some point - though if it's due to low voltage and not actually an issue in the airbag wiring anywhere then you *may* be lucky.

Follow the advice of the others whilst the battery is charging and inspect all the +ve and -ve battery cables carefully at both ends. Whilst the battery is off, I'd also pull the BECM and give it a proper look over to make sure there hasn't been any water get in it - if there has then give it a good clean and spray with electrical contact cleaner, as if moisture builds up in there it will corrode the board/tracks and will cause failure at some point (I have a very corroded board sitting in the garage from someone who got theirs a bit wet!
The check engine light does come on. Also, I've already used this: http://www.blackbox-solutions.com/downloads/Product_literature/BeCM_Sync_Mate_file.pdf to put them back into sync anyway, as that was one of the suggestions from a local. So I guess that is not the problem :)

Next up is both checking the BeCM (I've started to get it out), and checking the starter. I've been told that removing the starter first would probably be best, so as to not damage anything when jumping it.

After that I will check all of the +ve and -ve battery cables.

What is mostly holding me back is lack of knowledge in electrical matters, but I will give it my best.

At this point I would like to thank you guys for the help so far! I deeply appreciate it. I'm a university student and have way too much of my money invested in the car. That alone probably wasn't smart, but what are you gonna do ... I wanted it.
 

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I've been told that removing the starter first would probably be best, so as to not damage anything when jumping it.
No need to take it off. Crawl underneath and you will see two big connections on the back of the starter solenoid. One will have two cables on it (one from the battery and one to the alternator) the other will have a short link cable going to the starter itself. Drop a jump lead down the side of the engine so it is dangling near the starter, crawl back underneath and connect it to the connection with the link cable to the starter. Get out from underneath and dab that lead onto the positive of the battery. If the starter spins (it won't engage with the flywheel, it will just spin), there's nothing wrong with the starter. On the back of the solenoid you will also see a smaller connection with a wire onto a spade terminal. Drop a length of wire with a spade connector on it down the side of the engine and connect it to this terminal. Get out from underneath and touch the other end of that wire to the positive on the battery. The starter should engage and turn the engine over. If it does nothing, the solenoid it dead, if it just goes click and doesn't turn, either the solenoid internal contacts have burnt out, your battery is toast or the cable from the battery isn't making a good connection at one end or the other.

At least then you will be able to verify if it is a starter motor problem or not.
 
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