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Old 08-08-2021, 10:38 PM   #1
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P0191 - weird breakdown yesterday - Fuel System Issue??

I've put down a good 3,000 miles on my 2008 V10 6.8L since May and it's been running like a top without issues until yesterday when I was driving out to middle of now-where Idaho. I made it 100 miles out of Boise on a mostly uphill trip doing 45 - 65 mph, when I noticed the van was really struggling to accelerate on the uphills and not able to go faster than 40mph - my GF was driving at the time and when I hopped behind the drivers seat I immediately noticed something was wrong.



Main symptoms were:
  • loss of power - very little throttle response, flooring it and not getting any increase in RPM or speed. Not able to get above 45mph.
  • sputtering / fluctuating RPM around 500RPM at idle, typical idle is closer to 1000RPM
  • Then came the check engine light with a code P0191 and a P0301 misfire on cylinder 1. Code P0191 is fuel rail pressure sensor circuit problem ( I keep an OBD II reader in the van)
All fluid levels were normal: oil, radiator, tranny were good.



At this point I was well out of cell service and 20 miles from the nearest gas station. Tried to get a AAA tow to no avail (by hitch hiking back and forth to said gas station) and camped out last night on the side of HWY 21.



I have the haynes manual for the E350 van and based on the code decided to relieve the fuel pressure, uninstall, and reinstall the fuel rail pressure sensor and see what would happen. The wire harness and connector pins looked fine, sensor visually looked OK, there was a little bit of dirt build up on the mating surface of the sensor and the fuel rail which I cleaned up before reinstalling.



Engine started right up and felt completely normal, getting up to 75mph without issue and given the location I decided to bail on my planned 4 day camping trip and return to Boise. 100 mile drive back was non-issue, I don't get what went wrong but plan on replacing the sensor and fuel filter anyway just for good measure.



Has anyone experienced anything similar? Any thoughts or trouble shooting tips? Really perplexing behavior. The only thing different about this trip compared to any other in the last 3 months was that my girl friend was driving ... LOL so obviously it's her fault
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Old 08-09-2021, 03:44 AM   #2
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I'm not necessarily against changing a sensor that has seemingly triggered a DTC, for a time I'd drive the van around town to see if this one repeats it's fault.

I don't know this is similar however out of no where one day driving in freeway rush hour traffic my 2005 E350 w/5.4 engine went into limp mode, engine still running but no throttle response. DTC's were shown as: P2104
(Throttle Actuator Control System Forced Idle) and P2111
(Throttle Actuator Control System - Stuck Open). Those events had never been experienced before and have not repeated themselves, I've done absolutely nothing in terms of further diagnosis or repair.

From 2005 onward the E-Series came with the CAN-BUS network system which in my case included the electronically actuated throttle body with its accompanying throttle pedal position sensor. In your case the fuel pressure sensor DTC and re-installing it might be coincidental to it not returning OR something you did joggled a loose connection etc.

Stick to cell phone coverage areas while putting more city miles on the van to see if the fuel pressure sensor DTC comes back. Perhaps another code will be triggered in the meantime? I would suggest checking and monitoring the actual fuel pressure at the rail fitting for a while to determine if there is an emerging situation with fuel delivery.

In the meantime here's a site I find useful occasionally: https://actron.com/code-lookup

Hope even a bit of that ^^^ is helpful.
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Old 08-09-2021, 04:24 AM   #3
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fuel pump most likely
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Old 08-09-2021, 05:12 AM   #4
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Symptoms match low fuel pressure. If the fuel filter hadn't been changed on schedule, that is the likely culprit, but it could be the pump too.
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Old 08-09-2021, 07:39 AM   #5
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Fuel Pump......or....


Do you happen to have any anti theft devices that disable the fuel pump inertia switch? How many miles are on the van?
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Old 08-09-2021, 08:22 AM   #6
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Just went through this on mine. First round I blamed the fuel filter and after changing it the system worked properly for one month. Then it had the same failure and the pump was dead. Vowing to never have this issue again I cut an access hole in the floor and installed a new OEM pump along with a spare aftermarket in the tool kit. When I changed out the faulty pump it was not the original so this seems to be consistent with my issues at least.

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Old 08-09-2021, 08:25 AM   #7
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I have had that code trigger under heavy, heavy loads going up hills. I am almost certain it is the fuel pump on its way. I just get an error light with no performance issues. I clear the code and it runs fine. If you need help, I am in Stanley and could lend a hand.

Edit: I changed the fuel filters as well. Nifty tool to have on board FYI.
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Old 08-09-2021, 10:14 AM   #8
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I don’t know why everybody assumes the fuel pump first thing, when the fuel filter is more likely and often very neglected.
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Old 08-09-2021, 01:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
I would suggest checking and monitoring the actual fuel pressure at the rail fitting for a while to determine if there is an emerging situation with fuel delivery.

Hope even a bit of that ^^^ is helpful.

Thanks JW - is there a way to hook up a fuel pressure gauge to monitor it in real time?





Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Symptoms match low fuel pressure. If the fuel filter hadn't been changed on schedule, that is the likely culprit, but it could be the pump too.

Yeah I haven't changed the fuel filter since owning the vehicle and that was about 3 years ago and 20,000 miles ago. I'm definitely going to start with changing the fuel filter out ASAP as that's cheap and easy. I might pre-emptively purchase a new fuel pump and keep it in the van. I was looking at the procedure for replacing it and although it does appear to be a PITA I think it is something I could do in the field if I broke down due to a fuel pump if I had a replacement part on hand. Looks like you can get a fuel pump rebuild kit as opposed to needing to swap out the entire module.





Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperdrive
I have had that code trigger under heavy, heavy loads going up hills. I am almost certain it is the fuel pump on its way. I just get an error light with no performance issues. I clear the code and it runs fine. If you need help, I am in Stanley and could lend a hand.

Edit: I changed the fuel filters as well. Nifty tool to have on board FYI

Thanks hypderdrive! that's actually where I hitch hiked to is the gas station in Stanley - I saw they had a mechanic there, but go figures it was 6:15pm when I got there and they closed at 5pm. I'll keep you in mind for next time I go out to the sawtooths! I was hoping to go backpacking near yellow belly lake just south of Stanley.



Yeah sounds like the sensor probably isn't the issue it was just doing it's job and telling me the fuel pressure was out of range.



I've put 116 miles on the van since the issue and haven't had any problems, on the way back to boise there was a pretty large hill I had to get over and the van chugged up it no problem.



In regards to heavy load - my van is sitting at about 8700lbs right now when I have a passenger, I'm not towing anything but that is within 1000lbs of the GRVW. Is that considered a heavy payload? I remember when I bought the van and weighed it empty it was about 6700lbs. By my estimate I added about 1400lbs of interior build and another 600lbs of gear. Defintely glad I went with the 6.8L V10 as it generally doesn't feel under powered when driving - it does feel slow and boat like / lumbering compared to a car but not under-powered. I'd be worried the V8 would probably struggle a bit more with that much payload. Dunno.



Thanks for all the fast responses and I'll update this thread with any new or relevant information as it comes along.



Cheers!
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Old 08-10-2021, 03:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Anderson View Post
Thanks JW - is there a way to hook up a fuel pressure gauge to monitor it in real time?
Find a test gauge, install it as required and simply drive around in a daily driver configuration while monitoring the gauge. This will most likely require removing the dog house for the test drive unless you'd invest in a somewhat pricey electronic aftermarket fuel pressure gauge temporarily wired to function.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Anderson View Post
In regards to heavy load - my van is sitting at about 8700lbs right now when I have a passenger, I'm not towing anything but that is within 1000lbs of the GRVW. Is that considered a heavy payload? I remember when I bought the van and weighed it empty it was about 6700lbs. By my estimate I added about 1400lbs of interior build and another 600lbs of gear. Defintely glad I went with the 6.8L V10 as it generally doesn't feel under powered when driving - it does feel slow and boat like / lumbering compared to a car but not under-powered. I'd be worried the V8 would probably struggle a bit more with that much payload. Dunno.
Have your van weighed in its present configuration----you might be shocked how much the interior build added.

A "heavy load" doesn't necessarily mean approaching or exceeding the GRVW however a restricted or slightly malfunctioning fuel supply can simulate a bonafide heavy load somewhat explaining what you're calling a sluggish vehicle.

Before assuming the worst weigh your van and more fully assess the real condition of your fuel supply---it could be as simple as a bad fuel filter. I do wonder if parts of the air intake could be at fault too? Air filter, MAF sensor, throttle body needing cleaned---typical stuff on these engines.

Good luck with this!
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