Check Engine Alarm

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by unlvrebel, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. unlvrebel

    unlvrebel New Member

    341
    Mar 24, 2008
    Clearwater, FL
    2005 220 Sundeck
    2002 Dodge Durango 5.9L
    5.0 Merc
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forum so please bear with me. After searching the posts I was unable to come up with anything that might help me so I thought I would throw this out to the experts before I take my boat in to the stealership.

    I have a 2005 220 Sundeck. No mods, just stock from the factory. Mercruiser 5.0 with Bravo outdrives. Nothing fancy. Anyway, while out on the water Easter Sunday I received a random "Check Engine" alarm. Engine temp,oil pressure and electrical were perfect. Not hot and not excited. Even cycling through the digital readout showed those three systems to be "OK".

    Two plus hours before we had run aground at about 20 MPH :smt021. Nothing too shallow, probably 24-30 inches of water. Enough to drag the bottom to stop us but not stall the engine. I immediately backed off the throttle and put the trim up. Then got out of the boat and pushed it to deeper water and continued on. No problems. We docked the boat at Caledesi State Park for a while. We then proceeded on our one to one and a half hours of trip back. Right at the end of the trip the alarm went off. We were ten minutes from the ramp so we continued on. The boat ran fine. Also, at home, the engine restarted without issue to flush, except the alarm.

    Since I am a marine mechanic neophyte, do these engines have the same types of electrical sensors (oxygen, etc.) as standard auto engines? If so, how do you test the sensors? Is there a device to read the "codes"

    Sorry for being so vague, but I don't have much else to go on. Anyone else run into a check engine alarm that did not result in an issue from the cooling or oil systems?

    Thanks!

    John
     
  2. Nehalennia

    Nehalennia Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Marysville, WA
    2001 310DA twin 350 MAGs, Westerbeke 4.5KW
    Twin 350 MAG V-drives
    Welcome aboard.

    Did you visually look in the engine compartment to see if anything obvious, (water in the bilge, any disconnections etc)?

    Did you check your engine oil level?

    Also, I assume you have a Bravo III not II outdrive. I'm pretty sure you have a drive oil reservoir. Double check that. Bravo III's are known for using drive oil especially on longer runs.
    If all of your assessment of "ALL" gauges are accurate.

    Double check you Gear oil.
     
  3. Dave S

    Dave S Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Upstate South Carolina
    Boatless
    Boatless
    Your Smartcraft manual will explain alarm situations to you. It's on page 2-10 in my manual. I'd recommend you read that first since the Smartcraft System is supposed to display the reason for the alarm.

    Having said that, if your Smartcraft shows no current problems and your alarm is not going off now the only way you will know what happened is to have a technician hook up a scanner to your ECM. The fault code will be stored in there and they should be able to tell you what happened
     
  4. Nehalennia

    Nehalennia Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Marysville, WA
    2001 310DA twin 350 MAGs, Westerbeke 4.5KW
    Twin 350 MAG V-drives
    Hey Dave, he mentioned it was still going off. I say check the gear oil reservoir and if it's good it's off the dealer and have them scan it as you suggest.
     
  5. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    CT
    2015 L650 Fly #509
    CAT C-18, 1,150 HP
    You were going 18 knots and you hit bottom hard enough to stop the boat? You are lucky you are still alive to worry about the damage you did to the engine and/or outdirve.
     
  6. unlvrebel

    unlvrebel New Member

    341
    Mar 24, 2008
    Clearwater, FL
    2005 220 Sundeck
    2002 Dodge Durango 5.9L
    5.0 Merc
    Thanks for the suggestions all.

    Todd,

    I did visually inspect the engine compartment. Nothing obvious noted. But I did not physically check the engine oil. Good call as I just had it serviced. Sure they are supposed to fill it, run it and recheck, but... Using drive oil on this run wouldn't make sense to me as I have had the boat since 2005 and been on significantly longer runs with no issues. Will check the gear oil as well.

    Dave, I'll check the manual. I am assuming it will give a range of possible issues for "Check Engine". I have only received that alarm once before an lo an dbehold it was the last time I grounded. I tried to power through and got the engine a little warm and the readout told me so. That was a year plus ago and two annuals. No damage.

    You can buy the OBD readers for autos for about a hundred bucks. What about the readers for these beasts?

    John
     
  7. unlvrebel

    unlvrebel New Member

    341
    Mar 24, 2008
    Clearwater, FL
    2005 220 Sundeck
    2002 Dodge Durango 5.9L
    5.0 Merc
    I think I said something about dragging the bottom. It was quite a jolt. One bumped knee but nobody got thrown out of the bow. It wasn't go then stop, more like go then drag down to a stop. Like I said, we were still in 24 to 36 inches of water.
     
  8. jacktm

    jacktm New Member

    175
    Oct 16, 2006
    ny
    boatless
    boatless
    My sundeck uses quite a bit of drive oil. I would check that
     
  9. RiverRat

    RiverRat New Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    Creve Coeur, MO
    03 280 Sundancer
    Kohler 5 KW Gen.
    95 13' Boston Whaler Dauntless
    Twin 4.3 MPI
    Alpha 1 Gen 2
    Is it a constant beeping or does it beep a half dozen times then wait about a minute then beep again?
     
  10. papogator24

    papogator24 New Member

    639
    Feb 20, 2007
    Miami, Fl
    2007 240DA - Stolen
    5.0L Bravo III
    3Kw Westerbeke
    5.0L Bravo III
    DO what these guys told you...check your drive oil first and then check your water pressure. Mine went bad
     
  11. unlvrebel

    unlvrebel New Member

    341
    Mar 24, 2008
    Clearwater, FL
    2005 220 Sundeck
    2002 Dodge Durango 5.9L
    5.0 Merc
    A little morse code. Several beeps and silence. About three minutes later again.
     
  12. Dave S

    Dave S Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Upstate South Carolina
    Boatless
    Boatless
    First off any serious alarm you get usually results in you not being able to bring the engine up to full throttle afterwards. For instance, low oil level in your outdrive reservoir will give you the constant alarm every one mentions but you also cannot bring up the engine RPMs since the ECM won't allow it.

    Next, in looking at my Smartcraft Manual (for 2006 models.........2005s may be different), there is a whole myriad of warning display screens that pop up, I didn't see "check engine" but there are things like "Fault MAP" and "Fault MAT" which require the dealer to interpret using a scanner. If you consider a chartplotter in the future, if you buy a Navman or a Northstar, they will interface with Smartcraft and they have a screen which tells you what the faults are that are stored in your ECM. Here is a picture of mine.

    [​IMG]

    And as far as scanners go, there is no "simple" scanner available that I am aware of. One of our members, FC3, bought his own scanner from Rhinda (SP?) who makes them for Mercury. That's probably your only choice.

    Given the sudden stop as you were cruising and the alarm which no one seems to be able to identify, I recommend you bite the bullet and see your dealer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  13. unlvrebel

    unlvrebel New Member

    341
    Mar 24, 2008
    Clearwater, FL
    2005 220 Sundeck
    2002 Dodge Durango 5.9L
    5.0 Merc
    Deleted...
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  14. wish2fish

    wish2fish Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Locust Creek, Ohio River mm 433
    2003 220BR
    5.0 MPI
    John,
    I'm vacationing in St Pete so come get me an I would be glad to check it eout for you! How does Thursday sound?:grin:

    I would check the outdrive oil level as stated above. After recent maintenance/gear lube change you usually need to top the fluid level off.

    Be sure to add you boat info to your signature line!
     
  15. unlvrebel

    unlvrebel New Member

    341
    Mar 24, 2008
    Clearwater, FL
    2005 220 Sundeck
    2002 Dodge Durango 5.9L
    5.0 Merc
    So I checked the drive oil. All good. Checked the power steering. All good. Checked the oil. All good. Also, looked in the SmartCraft Manual and there was not a listing for "Check Engine" A bunch of listings for other messages, just not check engine.

    Unless there are any other ideas out there it looks like it will be off to the stealership.

    Thanks guys.
     
  16. papogator24

    papogator24 New Member

    639
    Feb 20, 2007
    Miami, Fl
    2007 240DA - Stolen
    5.0L Bravo III
    3Kw Westerbeke
    5.0L Bravo III
    Did you check the water pressure? When you are idling, what is your water PSI reading?

    I had a similar problem like yours and my water pressure sensor went bad. It was an easy fix under warranty.
     
  17. HudsonHauler

    HudsonHauler New Member

    52
    Sep 23, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    270 Sun Deck
    496 HO Bravo 3
    I agree that this is most likely a drive oil (same as gear oil) issue. I had the same "check engine light" and it was the gear oil. I believe the Alpha and Bravo outdrives consume a fair bit of the stuff even when not being ground into the bottom of the waterway.

    You had the bottoming issue that requires you to check all fluid levels, bits and pieces, etc.

    Once you get back up and running, make a habit of doing a pre-outing check of engine oil, power steering fluid and gear oil check level. Yes, every time. Sounds geekish but prevention is the best cure!

    Good luck.
     
  18. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    I see several posts in a couple different threads saying that their out drives use a quite abit of oil. They really shouldn't. It's an indication something isn't right. Anything more than a ounce of two in a season IMO requires service. Yes, I understand after a drive oil change that they sometimes need to be topped off.
     
  19. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    You've only had this problem twice. Both times involved grounding the boat. I would think you have a cooling water pressure problem. By your disciption who knows how much junk you are sucking up or forcing into the water pickups. Sooner or later grounding your boat is going to generate a real big repair bill. You draft(drive down) is 36, if you ground it in 20-24" of water guess where the water pickup, prop are.
     
  20. unlvrebel

    unlvrebel New Member

    341
    Mar 24, 2008
    Clearwater, FL
    2005 220 Sundeck
    2002 Dodge Durango 5.9L
    5.0 Merc
    I've only had this problem once. The other time the message explicitly stated that the engine was getting hot. This time it is a generic message of check engine.

    I am sure along the way I have picked up a few pounds of crap. The stealership performs all of the annuals which includes taking apart the outdrive. Shouldn't that clear up any gunk on the inside?

    My draft with the drive down might be 36" but while on plane it isn't that much. Yeah, I know, if I grounded on plane then I was in less water. I guess that depends on your definition of grounding. I must have hit a small bit of shoaling while on plane and plowed through it, as when I jumped in the water immediately after backing off the throttle and lifting the outdrive I was in waist deep water.

    So, hitting bottom of any kind is grounding to me, but I was still floating.

    With regards to consuming outdrive lube, in the almost three years that I have owned this boat I haven't had to add an ounce of lube. The resevoir has always been full. This time I guess I figured it should not be a problem since it was the first outing after service.

    I'll have to check on the water pressure. I don't know that I was aware of a water pressure sensor. I always checked the temperature.
     

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