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Straight from the Twilight Zone

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Old 07-20-14, 08:00 AM   #1
fixmiester
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Default Straight from the Twilight Zone

I've seen a lot of things, but this was bizarre. Other night we had a big storm roll in, got a lot of rain, and a bunch of lightning. '99 was parked inside the garage, my '06 Merc was outside. One lightning strike was so close there was an instantaneous report, so it had to be within a hundred feet or so.

Next morning I drove my Merc to the store, and the engine fan was making a huge roaring noise, but no CEL. Everything else behaved fine. After driving to a few more locations and restarting a few times, the problem went away, and everything was back to normal.
Then the wife went to do some shopping in the Lex, and when she returned home she told me several "lights" were on in the instrument panel. Took a look, and sure enough, the CEL was on, "check VSC" was lit, and "Moon roof open" message showed.

Got my code reader, and it showed only one code P1126 : Magnetic Clutch Circuit Malfunction. Now, the only magnetic clutch I am aware of is in the AC compressor, and it seemed to be working fine. Also, the moonroof was not open, and it opened and closed fine. Could not find any engine or shifting issues, so I cleared the code, and everything appears to be fine. Here's the weird part: my Merc Mountaineer DOES HAVE a magnetic clutch in the variable-speed engine fan. It has only given those "roaring" symptoms once before, when a squirrel ate a few wires under my V8 intake manifold. And it too is working fine now.

So, am I to believe that this is a case of of my Lex telling me I had a problem with a car parked about 30 feet away, just in case I needed to know? Of all the great features these Lexus' have , I had no idea they were so helpful. Gotta love 'em.

Steve
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Old 07-20-14, 09:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by fixmiester View Post
... Now, the only magnetic clutch I am aware of is in the AC compressor, and it seemed to be working fine...

Steve
That magnetic clutch that code P1126 refers to is connected to the throttle motor:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls40...6-cel-vsc.html

And I will try to attach a PDF that explains it for Tundra, should be very similar.

But I like the idea of LS reporting problems with cars in the vicinity

It seems that the lightning struck too close to both of your cars. As soon as there is such a strong electric field, all coils in the car will get current in them, sort of like what Tesla was doing with plugging light bulbs into the mountain somewhere in Colorado... and if the current is too high, things get fried. The first things that get fried are sensors and computer chips, then coils in all kinds of solenoids... you will probably need to figure out what got fried first.
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Last edited by peterls; 07-20-14 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 07-20-14, 01:58 PM   #3
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While it's possible something died, I would advise you to do a full electrical reset (unplug power for a few minutes then reattach leads to battery) and the drive the car. Lightning near/on cars makes them do weird things
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Old 07-20-14, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterls View Post
That magnetic clutch that code P1126 refers to is connected to the throttle motor:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls40...6-cel-vsc.html

And I will try to attach a PDF that explains it for Tundra, should be very similar.

But I like the idea of LS reporting problems with cars in the vicinity

It seems that the lightning struck too close to both of your cars. As soon as there is such a strong electric field, all coils in the car will get current in them, sort of like what Tesla was doing with plugging light bulbs into the mountain somewhere in Colorado... and if the current is too high, things get fried. The first things that get fried are sensors and computer chips, then coils in all kinds of solenoids... you will probably need to figure out what got fried first.
Thanks for the info ; I had no idea there was a clutch built into that assembly. I am hoping this was a one time freak error, triggered by the EMP from the lightning bolt. But it obviously affected both my car's electronic systems, and that's a first for me, and I have been involved in electronic stuff my whole life. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 07-20-14, 03:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by fixmiester View Post
Thanks for the info ; I had no idea there was a clutch built into that assembly. I am hoping this was a one time freak error, triggered by the EMP from the lightning bolt. But it obviously affected both my car's electronic systems, and that's a first for me, and I have been involved in electronic stuff my whole life. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I am thinking how little it takes to throw a CPU off, for instance when putting together a computer it takes only one little discharge of static to ruin it. Now, when lightning is about to strike, it is really a discharge from earth towards a cloud, (which is why if your hair goes up during a storm, it means you are about to get toasted!), so it can easily fry tons of things. As Puredrifter said, I would try resetting everything first - unplug the battery for a while, and then reconnect it. If that does nothing, than things got fried.
if its any consolation - better car than you!
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Old 07-20-14, 03:41 PM
 
 
 
 
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