This Easily Has to be My “You’re SO Stupid” Moment for 2022
I've always been proud of the fact that I am mechanically and DIY-inclined. As much as it does frustrate me at times, I do enjoy working on my vehicles. Two particular vehicles we own happen to be Jeeps. One is an older Wrangler, the other is a newer Grand Cherokee.
The Wrangler is much easier to work on and doesn't get driven as much. However, the newer Grand Cherokee has been giving me a handful of issues as of late. Oil and coolant leaks have been the bain of my existence and I finally took the initiative to get the issues fixed.
Problems with my 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
These issues that I have had with the coolant system and oil leaking seem to be common problems. To make sure everything is on the up and up, I decided to make sure everything was replaced, mainly in the cooling system.
That meant replacing pretty much everything that the antifreeze touches. The radiator that had a leak, the thermostat, the water pump, an aluminum upgraded coolant crossover pipe, and finally the radiator hoses. Sure, it is a lot of work and a lot of parts, but I would rather do it once instead of spending more time on the repairs later down the road. The coolant system pretty much went in without an issue.
3.6 Pentastar Engine Oil Cooler
Apparently, the oil coolers on these specific engines can start to leak due to the plastic becoming brittle, overtightening the oil filter cap, or an o-ring leaking. I am not sure what exactly the issue was with my oil cooler, but I did know that it was leaking.
Going with the theme of upgrading to not have to mess with the issue again, I purchased an upgraded model that replaces the plastic part with aluminum. Everything went back together fine and I was ready to start the engine with the newly replaced parts.
I get in the Jeep, start it up, and then the dash lights up like a Christmas tree. This is not something you want to see:
I ran diagnostics on the check engine light and see that I am getting errors on the oil pressure sensor and the oil temperature sensor. WHY? I just replaced both of these sensors. Was all of this work for nothing?
Time to take it all apart again and see if I need to replace anything else. Off comes the air intake, the upper and lower intake manifolds, and a slew of unplugging wire connections. It's time for the moment of diagnosing the problem.
Two Plugs Make Me Feel Like a Complete Idiot
As I take off the lower intake manifold, a loud curse word exits my mouth and the feeling of being completely inept washes over me. In the sheer haste of putting the last part in and the excitement of being able to call the repair job done, I missed two very important things. Those two tasks were plugging in the oil pressure sensor and the temperature sensor. Seriously? How could I be this dumb? Is it because I am on a new sleep schedule? Or is it that I was just in too much of a rush to double-check the connections before reassembly?
Either way, they are plugged in now. Let's put it all back together and hope for the best. In less than 45 minutes, all the parts were back on the Jeep and it was running. You know what? The oil temperature and oil pressure gauges now miraculously work like they are supposed to.
The moral of the story is that I felt like a complete idiot due to forgetting something so simple. But I am human too and sometimes I forget things. Even important things can take hours away from my life. I did learn a lesson though. Take your time on something that can waste even more of your time if you rush. It's better to go a little slower and know that things are done right, rather than try to hurry only to have to do the job twice.
The Jeep is back on the road again with everything working properly... Finally.
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