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Chrysler ECU Computer Code 17

Code 17 is different for 1985, 1986, and 1987 and above.

For 1985 models, code 17 is set when the detonation sensor output is too low.  The power limited light come on and limp mode does not apply.  When the engine speed exceeds 5000 RPM and the sensor voltage is not more than .04v for 3 seconds, the power limited light will come on and code 17 is set.  If and when the detonation sensor output voltage exceeds .04v the power limited light is turned off.

For 1986 models, code 17 is set when the engine stays cold too long. The power limited light will not light and limp mode does not apply. For 1986 models, code 17 can be set when the coolant sensor indicates temperature in the range of 20 degrees F to 212 degrees F at startup or after 20 minutes and the coolant temp is below 160 degrees F.

For 1987 and later models, code 17 is set when the engine stays cold too long.  The power limited light will not light and limp mode does not apply.  For 1987 and later code 17 can be set 8 minute timer has expired or 12 minutes after engine startup, the speed of the vehicle is over 28 MPH and the coolant temperature is below 174 degrees F.  Under these conditions and if code 22 is not stored then code 17 is set.

Possible reasons for Code 17 on 1985 models

Failed detonation sensor - The detonation sensor should produce voltage spikes above 0.04V at 5,000 rpm (you will need an oscilloscope to see them).  Remove the sensor and tap on the bottom of it with a wrench.  This should produce voltage spikes of a couple of volts.

Poor wiring or bad connection - Read the page ‘How to troubleshoot drivability issues’. Check the wiring and connections between the sensor and the logic module.  Clean and regrease any corroded connectors with dielectric grease.  Check to see that the sensor threads do not have tape on them.  This may prevent it from getting a good ground.

Possible reasons for Code 17 on 1986 models

Thermostat stuck open - Replace the thermostat.  When the engine doesn’t warm up the heater is usually far cooler than usual. To replace the thermostat remove the upper heater hose nipple or ‘thermostat housing’ bolted to the head. Clean both the head and thermostat housing of all old gasket and use a new gasket.

Defective Coolant Sensor - The sensor should measure 9,120 ohms to 10,880 ohms at 77 degrees F. When code 17 is set code 22 may also be set.  The sensor is located behind the thermostat on the right side of the water box on 2.2L and 2.5L engines.

Poor wiring or bad connection - Read the page ‘How to troubleshoot drivability issues. When performing a tune-up it is proper procedure to remove the connector to the coolant sensor when setting ignition timing.  Be sure this connection was reconnected and is connected if you recently set the base ignition timing.

Possible reasons for Code 17 on 1987 and later models

Thermostat stuck open - Replace the thermostat.  When the engine doesn’t warm up the heater is usually far cooler than usual. To replace the thermostat remove the upper heater hose nipple or ‘thermostat housing’ bolted to the head. Clean both the head and thermostat housing of all old gasket and use a new gasket.

Defective Coolant Sensor  - The sensor should measure 9,120 ohms to 10,880 ohms at 77 degrees F. For ’87 and later models, code will not also be set. It is possible that the sensor reading is not accurate, even though it is not out of range.  The sensor is located behind the thermostat on the right side of the water box on 2.2L and 2.5L engines.

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