Emission system. Malfunction indicator lamp (mil)

Emission system


The Powertrain Control Module (PCM) monitors many different circuits in the fuel injection, ignition, emission and engine systems. If the PCM senses a problem with a monitored circuit often enough to indicate an actual problem, it stores a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) in the PCM's memory. If the code applies to a non-emissions related component or system, and the problem is repaired or ceases to exist, the PCM cancels the code after 40 warm-up cycles. Diagnostic trouble codes that affect vehicle emissions illuminate the Malfunction Indicator (check engine) Lamp. Refer to Malfunction Indicator Lamp in this section.

Certain criteria must be met before the PCM stores a DTC in memory. The criteria may be a specific range of engine RPM, engine temperature, and/or input voltage to the PCM.

The PCM might not store a DTC for a monitored circuit even though a malfunction has occurred. This may happen because one of the DTC criteria for the circuit has not been met. For example, assume the diagnostic trouble code criteria requires the PCM to monitor the circuit only when the engine operates between 750 and 2000 RPM. Suppose the sensor's output circuit shorts to ground when engine operates above 2400 RPM (resulting in 0 volt input to the PCM). Because the condition happens at an engine speed above the maximum threshold (2000 rpm), the PCM will not store a DTC.

There are several operating conditions for which the PCM monitors and sets DTC's. Refer to Monitored Systems, Components, and Non-Monitored Circuits in this section.

Fig. 1 Data Link (Diagnostic) Connector Location Fig. 1 Data Link (Diagnostic) Connector Location


Technicians must retrieve stored DTC's by connecting the DRB scan tool (or an equivalent scan tool) to the 16-way data link connector (Fig. 1).

NOTE: Various diagnostic procedures may actually cause a diagnostic monitor to set a DTC. For instance, pulling a spark plug wire to perform a spark test may set the misfire code. When a repair is completed and verified, connect the DRB scan tool to the 16-way data link connector to erase all DTC's and extinguish the MIL (check engine lamp).

Malfunction indicator lamp (mil)


The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is located on the instrument panel. It is displayed as an engine icon (graphic).


As a functional test, the MIL illuminates at key-on before engine cranking. Whenever the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) sets a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) that affects vehicle emissions, it illuminates the MIL. If a problem is detected, the PCM sends a message to the instrument cluster to illuminate the lamp. The PCM illuminates the MIL only for DTC's that affect vehicle emissions. There are some monitors that may take two consecutive trips, with a detected fault, before the MIL is illuminated.

The MIL stays on continuously when the PCM has entered a Limp-In mode or identified a failed emission component. Refer to the Diagnostic Trouble Code charts in this group for emission related codes.

Also, the MIL either flashes or illuminates continuously when the PCM detects active engine misfire.

Refer to Misfire Monitoring in this section.

Additionally, the PCM may reset (turn off) the MIL when one of the following occur:

  • PCM does not detect the malfunction for 3 consecutive trips (except misfire and Fuel system Monitors).
  • PCM does not detect a malfunction while performing three successive engine misfire or fuel system tests. The PCM performs these tests while the engine is operating within +- 375 RPM of and within 10 % of the load of the operating condition at which the malfunction was first detected.

    Dodge Durango (DN) 1998-2003 Service Manual


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