2004 P1399 (multiple cylinder misfire) code with diagnostics
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Thread: 2004 P1399 (multiple cylinder misfire) code with diagnostics

  1. #1
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    2004 P1399 (multiple cylinder misfire) code with diagnostics

    I have a 2004 with 288K miles on it and this is the first time my van has set a code since I got it at 40K miles in 2007. Though I have already determined the cause of the code I thought I would share my symptoms along with how I diagnosed it.

    Some background. About a year ago (about 20K mi) I noticed my exhaust system starting to rattle. I investigated and couldn't get it to reproduce the sound while up on ramps or on jack stands either in gear or park/neutral. The only issue noticed was the flex pipe was starting to deteriorate. This is issue has gotten progressevily worse up to the code being set.

    Starting a month and 2K miles ago I started to notice some very slight hesitation under light load before the engine warmed up. This would happen in both drive and reverse. I checked for plugged EGR passages, checked coils by unplugging them, checked spark plugs and PCV. Additionally I checked for codes and monitored O2, TP, ECT sensors, VTEC and other various sensors.

    Four days ago going up a mountian pass with my family which I have done many times before the van wouldn't accelerate up the hill. I could hold speed by flooring it but the van wouldn't accelerate and the van wouldn't go over 4500 RPM. No misfires, no codes, no stumbling but the van just didn't seem to have enough power. Agian I checked codes, and monitored live data. I used the scan tool to perform a test of the idle air control system, EGR, VTEC, and EVAP system. Agian everything tested find.

    Yesterday was about 200 miles from home on the other side of the pass. I accelerated hard to merge onto the interstate and at about 30 MPH the car started missfiring and stumbling and wouldn't accelerate. The check engine light begean flashing and turned off once I stoped trying to accelerate. I was able to gently get the van up to freeway speed without any other issues. I checked codes and found the p1399 code was pending and that missifires where detected on cylinder 1,2,4,6. I cleared the codes and continued to our next stop. From this point the p1399 code began to set anytime my rpm was above 3500 and the van would agian began to missfire and stumble, and not accelerate. The van would now not go over 70 on flat ground and any hill encountered I would have to decrease my speed to 50mph to keep the check engine light from flashing and prevent driveability issues.

    While driving home I discovered that I couldn't accerate above 4500 RPM and anything about 3700 RPM would result in the van actually slowing down like it wasn't getting enough fuel but I knew this was not the case based on a normal fuel trim. I decided based on this symptom that a plugged catylitic converter could be my issue even though that particular code was not set. Once I arrived at my friends house I decided to pull out the upstream O2 sensor and clear the codes. Once completed I took the car out and discovered that I could now accelerate pass 70mph, and could reach 6000 rpm without any driveablity issues. I checked codes agian and the p1399 code was no longer pending.

    This seemed to confirm my diagnosis and once I reached my home I ordered a new Walker 16457 Ultraex Direct Fit Catalytic Converter, and upstream and downstream NGK/NTK O2 sensors. Today I pulled my old Cat off and discovered that the back half of the converter substrate had broken loose. I knocked out the substrate and reinstalled the converter and o2 sensor and agian verified that the van ran without any drivability issues confirming my diagnosis that a plugged converter was causing my p1399 code. This also fixed my rattling noise in my exhaust system that has been present for the last year.

    I will report back after I get my new parts installed and let everyone know how the o2 sensors work out. I know that most people point towards plugs, coils, egr or valve adjustment for fixing this code but I wanted to let people now about my experience.
    2004 ody ES with RSE 8 12v and 1100watts worth of power.

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  3. #2
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    Wow. Simply amazing. Great job of careful diagnosis.

    You knocked down all the usual suspects methodically and got right to the root cause, with what looks like it will be an efficient solution. Thanks for the story.
    2011 Odyssey LX, 106k miles
    1999 Odyssey EX, 234k miles, original owner

  4. #3
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    Just reading though your description I wasn't leaning toward plugs, coils, EGR, or valve adjustment at all. I was thinking MAF problem or low fuel pressure until you said fuel trims were normal. I didn't get the chance to think plugged exhaust as you gave the answer too soon in your description. Nice job. It just underscores the fact that codes do NOT tell you what part to change. They only give you clues on where to start looking.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black-Totaled
    2012 VW Passat-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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  6. #4
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    Pulling out that upstream 02 sensor and then driving some with it being out is a very good way to verify that the catalytic converter is plugged up to some major degree.
    In case some reading this don't know, removing the upstream O2 sensor relieves the back pressure that a partially clogged Cat causes. This is for temp and diagnostics.
    Nice detective work.
    Buffalo4
    PS: Hopefully with the new cat and new NGK O2 sensors, your power and mpg should both increase. Most on here recommend the NGK or the Denso brand for O2 sensors.
    2003 EX-L
    190k miles orig tranny Sept 2018

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    I guess I should state what I was looking for when monitoring everything. I will start with the fuel trim. If I had low fuel pressure due to a failing pump, clogged fuel filter or issues with injectors the fuel trim would be reading high probably above 10% or so.

    For o2 sensors I was looking for the upstream sensor to be switching fairly rapidly (going from low to high). For the downstream sensor I was looking for some fairly consistant voltage. The PCV system was checked by listening for a clicking noise when the system would activate. The ECT was monitored to ensure it was sending the proper information to the PCM regarding temperature. If the temperature isn't getting reported incorrectly VTEC won't work correctly and air/fuel mixtures could be thrown off causing driveablity issues.

    EGR ports where tested using a scan tool that automaticly tests the system. In addition I also checked the ports by removing the top plate cover on the intake. Issues with the EGR typically causes idle issues, which was my first driveability symptom to show up.

    I also monitored the cam/crank/engine speed/car speed to ensure that they where also sending the proper information as issues with the cam/crank sensor can cause misfires and these sensors along with engine speed and vehicle speed can cause issues with vtec agian causing driveablitly issues. I monitored a host of other sensors as well but these where the primary ones I looked at.

    My plugs only have 50K miles on them but i checked for carbon tracking, the gap and any unusual wear or discoloration. I also checked for unusual wear on the coils. I have a K&N air filter installed that was cleaned less then 6k miles ago and was clean when I checked it a week ago. I haven't yet checked for valve clearance but it is due in approcimently 12k miles. I will do the plugs and the valve clearance at the same time before I go on any summer vaccations.

    Buffalo4 I am hopefull that I will get a little power and MPG boost as well. The GPS mirror I installed has a MPG tracker and I have noticed about 1 MPG drop over the last month but I don't have any evidence it was caused by the converter.
    Last edited by mwe2121; 03-28-2019 at 12:06 AM.
    2004 ody ES with RSE 8 12v and 1100watts worth of power.

  8. #6
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    Sounds like you have an excellent plan.
    Hopefully you will get an increase in power (esp under full throttle when back pressure is max) and some increase in mpg.
    Thanks again for your detailed posts.
    Buffalo4
    2003 EX-L
    190k miles orig tranny Sept 2018

  9. #7
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    The downstream o2 sensor was damaged by the old converter substrate breaking loose and unfortunelty amazon sent me the wrong one. I just got back from a camping a trip and the new and correct sensor is finally here so I will install it tomorrow. I can't say much other than the rattling is gone and the upstream o2 sensor is switching much faster now. I have only used 1 tank of gas so far so can't comment on gas milleage yet but power does seem to be up. I have a longer trip for my sons baseball tournament comming up and I will report back.
    2004 ody ES with RSE 8 12v and 1100watts worth of power.

  10. #8
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    I have three tanks of gas through the van now and both my milleage and power is up. The slight hesittion and stumble I had under light load is now gone.
    2004 ody ES with RSE 8 12v and 1100watts worth of power.

  11. #9
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    I would recommend removing the K&N and putting the stock filter back in. Over time, oil from the K&N filter will contaminate the mass air flow sensor causing driveability problems. I've seen it numerous times on vehicles I've worked on for other people. A K&N is fine for a vehicle with no MAF but on MAF vehicles it can cause problems.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black-Totaled
    2012 VW Passat-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

  12. #10
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    I have had my k&N filter on for at least 200K miles with no problems. I agree with you that the oil can cause issues but I have only found this to be the case when people over oil them after cleaning them.
    2004 ody ES with RSE 8 12v and 1100watts worth of power.

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