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rfg
08-25-2011, 09:46 PM
This problem totally vexing me!! My x-star has been off/on progressively getting worse about going into safe mode for apparent reason.
Starts up and idles like a champ all day long. Apply power and it now no longer even gets past idle. When first happened after purchased dealer claimed to have replaced ECU. Problem slowly crept back over a month of twice weekly use. Replaced fuel filter & had tank purged and problem seemed to be gone for about a year. Ran with sea foam and kept full tank and would only occasionally trip to safe mode last year. Got progressively worse and finally will not do anything but Idle and go into safe mode.
Today I replaced entire fuel module thinking clogged filter and maybe weak pump. No bueno, same problem and will not go into gear (other than safe mode). Carefully checked both tank and fuel line and no debris or clogs. Pump primes when key turned on.
Perfect pass seems to be operating fine and no seized servo issue. Alternator had always been working and charged when it didn't go into safe mode. I went thru every plug, sprayed contact cleaner and reconnnected. Impellers look good (just replaced 2 month ago) and old ones were fine. Goes right to thermostat controlled temp of about 160 and holds.
Dealer is backed up almost three weeks here in Austin and I'm wasting some serious lake time (especially now that all the kids are in school and lake is ghost town in the mornings again!!). Any thoughts are really appreciated!!!

willyt
08-26-2011, 09:26 AM
have you made sure your knock sensors (or i think its just sensor, singular, on the 05's) are plugged in?

vision
08-26-2011, 12:56 PM
I could be wrong, but insufficient fuel will not usually trigger the ECM to place an engine in reduced RPM mode. To double check, you can usually purchase a fuel pressure gauge at any auto parts store (they are inexpensive) and simply read the fuel rail pressure. It is a simple way to test if you are having fuel pump/filter problems.

Safe mode is controlled by the ECM and hooking up the ECM to a Diacom should tell you or any marine mechanic (MC or other) what abnormality is indicating a problem to the ECM. My local Nautique dealer hooked up my X-star to their computer when my MC dealer was backed up 4 weeks and within minutes I knew the cause of my boat going to limp mode.

If the boat has always run perfectly, but just started going into safe mode, I am going to guess an O2 sensor or something similar since it has been intermittent and perhaps altered by the quality of fuel you were burning.

Do you have a mobile certified marine mechanic in your area?

rfg
08-26-2011, 05:29 PM
thanks! knock sensor would make sense especially if loose connection. i'm leaning towards an electrical or sensor problem somewhere as have ruled out pressure problem. Gets good pressure up to rail and figure if problem inside rail it wouldn't idle.

Jerseydave
08-26-2011, 06:17 PM
http://www.freeautomechanic.com/diagnostictroblecodes5.html

Got this info from JimN on here. You can read trouble codes by just using a paper clip on the ALDL connector. Check engine light on dash will flash the code if you have one.

As stated before, check all of your sensor connections, such as temp sensor, knock sensor, etc.

BallBushing
08-27-2011, 11:54 AM
Check your transmission cooler water inlet line for a clog. Had the same problem (and went through the same checks as you). Cleaning out some weeds solved the problem, boat has never run better.

rfg
08-28-2011, 09:25 AM
Went to local MC dealer and got a knock sensor but was pretty surprised to find they were wrong style. Not their fault as it turns out boat is a 2004 (thats an entirely different issue!!) and has two sensors with electric connections that are a lot like battery post connectors. There was a fair bit of corrosion on both the connections which I was able to clean up replace and try again but no luck. Same problem.
Thanks JerseyDave! Paper clip trick looks like slick and will definitely try that next time. I think the dealer took pity on me and agreed to take boat and bump it into the queue. It went in shop yesterday and hopefully will get checked out monday. They said that solutions to this problem they have seen have been: Sensor related: Knock sensor/(s)/O-2 sensor (depending on year model), throttle position sensor, alternator fail or short in line/connector. Mechanically they said that older boats at around 500 hrs the older style distributers had small part holding a cam in the distributer that breaks and allows timing to get out of adjustment. New distributer more durable and replacement and resetting cam alignment generally a long term fix.
Whatever the solution they come up with, I'll definitely post it under this thread.
Correct about no codes for fuel problem per guys in MC shop. They were pretty sure that fuel pressure problem alone would just cause boat to die and should not in theory throw a code though. They said that generally there is little or no indication/symptoms that pump getting ready to go.
The new fuel module was pricey trouble shooting method for sure!! The upside it that it was real easy to track down replacement pump and now I can rebuild it with new pump and filter in my garage at my leisure and drop a new one in each summer. Kinda overkill but since we mostly fill up on lake and all they have is 10% ethanol it seems to do a number on the filter. Old one seems to have kind of a slimy gel like film which I'm guessing is not conducive to good fuel flow.

JimN
08-28-2011, 10:49 AM
Went to local MC dealer and got a knock sensor but was pretty surprised to find they were wrong style. Not their fault as it turns out boat is a 2004 (thats an entirely different issue!!) and has two sensors with electric connections that are a lot like battery post connectors. There was a fair bit of corrosion on both the connections which I was able to clean up replace and try again but no luck. Same problem.
Thanks JerseyDave! Paper clip trick looks like slick and will definitely try that next time. I think the dealer took pity on me and agreed to take boat and bump it into the queue. It went in shop yesterday and hopefully will get checked out monday. They said that solutions to this problem they have seen have been: Sensor related: Knock sensor/(s)/O-2 sensor (depending on year model), throttle position sensor, alternator fail or short in line/connector. Mechanically they said that older boats at around 500 hrs the older style distributers had small part holding a cam in the distributer that breaks and allows timing to get out of adjustment. New distributer more durable and replacement and resetting cam alignment generally a long term fix.
Whatever the solution they come up with, I'll definitely post it under this thread.
Correct about no codes for fuel problem per guys in MC shop. They were pretty sure that fuel pressure problem alone would just cause boat to die and should not in theory throw a code though. They said that generally there is little or no indication/symptoms that pump getting ready to go.
The new fuel module was pricey trouble shooting method for sure!! The upside it that it was real easy to track down replacement pump and now I can rebuild it with new pump and filter in my garage at my leisure and drop a new one in each summer. Kinda overkill but since we mostly fill up on lake and all they have is 10% ethanol it seems to do a number on the filter. Old one seems to have kind of a slimy gel like film which I'm guessing is not conducive to good fuel flow.

Before you try the paper clip, check with Indmar to find out if it's safe to do that. EngineNut posted that it should no longer be used on newer vintage engines, but I don't remember when it changed.

JimN
08-28-2011, 10:55 AM
This problem totally vexing me!! My x-star has been off/on progressively getting worse about going into safe mode for apparent reason.
Starts up and idles like a champ all day long. Apply power and it now no longer even gets past idle. When first happened after purchased dealer claimed to have replaced ECU. Problem slowly crept back over a month of twice weekly use. Replaced fuel filter & had tank purged and problem seemed to be gone for about a year. Ran with sea foam and kept full tank and would only occasionally trip to safe mode last year. Got progressively worse and finally will not do anything but Idle and go into safe mode.
Today I replaced entire fuel module thinking clogged filter and maybe weak pump. No bueno, same problem and will not go into gear (other than safe mode). Carefully checked both tank and fuel line and no debris or clogs. Pump primes when key turned on.
Perfect pass seems to be operating fine and no seized servo issue. Alternator had always been working and charged when it didn't go into safe mode. I went thru every plug, sprayed contact cleaner and reconnnected. Impellers look good (just replaced 2 month ago) and old ones were fine. Goes right to thermostat controlled temp of about 160 and holds.
Dealer is backed up almost three weeks here in Austin and I'm wasting some serious lake time (especially now that all the kids are in school and lake is ghost town in the mornings again!!). Any thoughts are really appreciated!!!

This isn't a computer- there's no "safe mode". It's RPM reduction and it occurs because of only a few situations, like overheat. The only reason they even allow the engine to run when it overheats is so the user can escape in case staying put would be dangerous. If danger isn't present, the engine is supposed to be shut down until the problem has been found and repaired. All of the people who run the boat in "limp home mode" are risking major damage to the engine and it's not covered by warranty.

Do you have throttle by wire?