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  Mercury OptiMax 150-HP: Infrequent Alarms

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Author Topic:   Mercury OptiMax 150-HP: Infrequent Alarms
drn posted 08-18-2008 01:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for drn   Send Email to drn  
I have trouble with 1998 Mercury OptiMax 150. The check engine alarm comes on while the motor is running in gear. [If the motor is shifted] back to neutral the alarm stops. [If the motor is shifted] back in gear, no problems. It doesn't happen all the time.
jimh posted 08-19-2008 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Consult your owner's manual for advice on how to interpret the meaning of the alarm signal. Unfortunately, I do not think there is much guidance available on how to interpret the meaning of the alarm signal from a Mercury OptiMax. I don't think there are any visual indicators. The cadence of the alarm signals and the circumstances in which it occurs are probably the only clues to its meaning. Interpretation of the meaning of the alarm signal should be carefully explained in the owner's manual.

Once you have determined the meaning of the alarm signal, consult your owner's manual for advice on how to remedy the problem. Unfortunately, the suggested remedy is often simply to take the motor to a dealer for diagnosis and service.

sosmerc posted 08-19-2008 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Your 1998 150 engine computer will store a fault code anytime the alarm is triggered. To access the fault codes we use a diagnostic tool called a DDT. You need to find a technician that has a DDT (and knows how to use it). If you are hoping to diagnose the problem yourself, a factory service manual can be purchased for your specific engine and you will find it packed full of useful information. While owning a DDT is VERY helpful, it is possible to diagnose and make repairs without it if you have the factory manual.
drn posted 08-20-2008 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for drn  Send Email to drn     
My mechanic say the [Mercury Digital Diagnostic Tool] won't read an alarm unless it is hooked up when the alarm goes on. He says [the source of the malfunction] is the throttle position sensors (TPS). I changed both yesterday but haven't had time to go run [the Mercury OptiMax 150] again to see if [the TPS replacement] fixed my problem. [Solicits] thoughts on TPS sensors [as being the cause of the malfunction].
jimh posted 08-22-2008 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am under the impression that the Mercury OptiMax engine controller can store alarm codes. Ask your mechanic why the DDT can't locate stored alarm codes. I think sosmerc has a lot of experience with the DDT and what it can do.
Casco Bay Outrage posted 08-23-2008 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Casco Bay Outrage  Send Email to Casco Bay Outrage     
Drn -

Sosmerc is a real Mercury mechanic.

Suggest you find a different mechanic to service your engine.

drn posted 08-25-2008 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for drn  Send Email to drn     
where do I find Sosmerc
fourdfish posted 08-27-2008 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for fourdfish  Send Email to fourdfish     
drn--sosmerc just gave you some advice five posts above. Hope you solved your problem, if not find a new mechanic.
jimh posted 08-27-2008 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Finding a good Mercury mechanic for an OptiMax can be difficult. My impression is the dealer must have a digital diagnostic tool from Mercury and the proper firmware or software to support it. That can be an expensive investment in test equipment for a dealer whose service department does not see a lot of OptiMax engines.
28 Reborn posted 08-28-2008 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for 28 Reborn  Send Email to 28 Reborn     
The code IS absolutely stored in the engine computer on the starboard side of the block.

The TPS is a likely culprit. If you advance the throttle in neutral at all in the process of cranking the engine but before it fires to life it will beep the alarm with no ill effect and store a TPS error code.

The Mercury digital diagnostic tool (DDT) only costs $700, not thousands of dollars, and it is absolutely a REQUIRED piece of gear to diagnose and troubleshoot problems on the OptiMax motors.

There are about half a dozen sensors plus all the coils, fuel injectors and DFI injectors on these engines of different importance and the ONLY thing that will nail down which one is out of range is the DDT.

The DDT is a spectacular diagnostic tool and ANY Mercury mechanic without one should be immediately passed-over for one that does!

I bought one when I bought a once un-loved 28 Outrage a couple years ago (hence "28 Reborn"..the Boat NOT me) and with that reader I have saved thousands in little problems that I was able to cure myself. These engine have now run the last 275-hours like champs after I had my trusty DDT and 30 hours of running and past-evil correcting time.

jimh posted 08-29-2008 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you actually can buy a new Mercury DDT and the software for the OptiMax engine for $700, then I concur that every owner of a Mercury OptiMax who plans to work on their motor ought to buy one. Can we have a pointer to where you buy them from Mercury for $700 so other OptiMax owners can get one.
jross036 posted 08-29-2008 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jross036  Send Email to jross036     
We just purchased a CDI unit from them. I haven't used it yet 'cause motors are on another island but their site has a demo of it and its for a laptop. Its called MEDS. It can't diagnose the smartcraft gauges tho, but since our boats don't have them it shouldn't be a problem. Will keep you informed on how it works, Aloha
jross036 posted 08-29-2008 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jross036  Send Email to jross036     
http://cdielectronics.com/Home/tabid/36/ctl/Details/mid/391/ItemID/4/language/en-US/Default.aspx

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