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New reatta owner with some questions


Guest Recian

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Guest Recian

Well in the last week or so I acquired my first reatta. It was my best bro's first car. He sold it years ago and about a month ago I saw a nose you cant forget sitting in a random person's yard. Low and behold the guy who bought (stole) it from him parked it there 6 months prior. Talked to my bro and worked things out and he got the car back. The title had never even been put in the guys name it was still in my bros name! So he got the car back and I had just put an engine in my honda and got it running and he wanted it so we worked out a trade.

Im now the proud owner of a 1989 reatta with 168k miles. I'll get pics up soon. I just have a few questions. I've seen alot of useful info on this site and no guys putting people down for odd or stupid questions so here goes.

It seems to be not running right. It takes alot of gas to make the car move like something's putting a load on it. In the past year before it was parked it's had new plugs, wires, fuel/air filters changed but it runs kinda sluggish. I know it has trans issues but i've changed the fluid and it gradually gets better the more I drive it but it still seems like a 3800 should run better.

It also seems to float really bad. Its got new struts and sway bar bushings but still seems to float bad over bridges and bumpy roads. I dont remember it being that way before. It's like you have no control over 50 on rough roads.

Last, it may just be a bad sensor but it's got a CEL on now for the O2 sensor heater, is there any issues somebody has seen with this?

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Guest Mc_Reatta

I'd definitely go after the O2 sensor problem. If voltage from ECM is OK, replace the sensor. Will have an affect on performance if not working correctly.

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Guest Recian

could be the sensor. if the heater isnt working it wont work right since i havent heated up the car to operating temp yet. I still need to do some suspension and brake work before I drive it far. the strut mount is split. I drove it til it ran out of gas and put fresh 93 in it and changed the fuel filter

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Start with the simple, cheap stuff. Fresh gas. 93 won't necesarily make it run better. 87 will do. Seafoam cleaner, see instructions on Ronnies site. Clean up the battery connections. It won't hurt to disconnect and clean up (electronic cleaner) any electrical connections. As mentioned above, fresh oil. There is a FSM on line that can help you troubleshoot various components. Don't throw money at. It will just eat it without thanking you.

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Guest Recian

it's got a new battery and terminals were cleaned. I changed the oil but havent gone for a good drive since I changed the oil. Now the cat could be a possibility. I forgot about that. Good thing it's a non-emissions car and im a NC state inspector. I can take care of that. The tranny did have some issues after the car sat it wanted to stall out when putting it into gear. Makes me think the t/c was locking up. We changed the pan gasket and put in clean fluid and filter. It doesnt stall but any chance the tranny could be loading it down?

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Am a little confused. If you are getting a Check Engine Light then there should be a code set (is that what makes you think it is the O2 sensor) ? BTW the Reatta uses a single wire O2 sensor and has no heater.

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Guest Recian

that's what i thought. I'll pull the code again tomorrow but it said according to the code through diag on the touch screen ED40 something OXY SENSOR HEATER which i cant even find in the ESM and i didnt think they started using heated O2s til 2002+ cars. Ill check when i get home tomorrow. for some reason i cant remember how to enter self diag. i know it was 2 buttons on the a/c or radio screen.

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You would benefit from spending some time on my website, Reatta Owners Journal - Home. It was designed with new Reatta owners in mind.

How To Access Trouble Codes - '88 & '89 Models*-*ReattaOwner.com

Please add the model of your Reatta, (and any other relative information), to your signature line or include it with all your questions. It will make it easier for us to help answer your questions without repeatedly asking you about the specific model you own.

Click "User CP" in the menu at the top of this page and scroll down to "Edit Signature"

Thanks!

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It is possible it has the wrong PROM however since it has the touch screen (89) the diagnostics are fairly easy to use. Agree there is no code "40", O2 sensor could be code 44 or 45, either indicates a need to replace.

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Guest Recian

thanks to ronnie i got my diag screen up again. E041 is whats displayed for engine controls. lots of B codes but thats down there on the to do list

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Code E041 is the cam position sensor.

ECM Diagnostic Codes*-*ReattaOwner.com

It is usually set because the magnet that triggers the cam position sensor has fell out of the cam sprocket. It is a very common problem but usually doesn't cause sluggish performance that you describe. Thanks to Padgett there is a relatively easy way to replace the magnet.

Simple 3800 Cam Magnet Replacement*-*ReattaOwner.com

For sluggish performance I would start with the basics if you haven't done so. Check and replace if needed the spark plugs and wires, replace the O2 sensor, replace the fuel filter, check the fuel pressure (should be 35-40 psi) and do all the other things you would normally do when tuning up an engine. Once you know the routine items are in good condition you can start investigating the less obvious things that can cause your problem.

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Guest Recian

thanks for the link. Knowing it doesnt effect engine performance i may save it for when the weather cools off like a weekend "im bored" project. I've done the fuel filter already. that was my first step. I'll check the plugs, probably wouldnt be a bad idea to just change them anyway. All 6, knowing the guy that had it before he probably didnt do the back 3. With the sensor being 22 years old I may just get an O2 sensor and replace it anyway, could be getting sluggish and not switching as fast anymore

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