Question about 1987 Plymouth Reliant

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88 reliant computer keeps shorting out. I've had 3 put in in a two week period and each one shuts down the car. The car hesitates during driving before it shuts down.After it shuts down I can't read the codes because the engine light won't come on.The car turns over but will not restart. The repair shop called the last time and said they had it figured out and when I went to pick up the car it wouldn't start. Shot computer again, and they just had it running.I turned the key once to start it and nothing.The original one went about 3 weeks ago and each replacement hasn't lasted 10 miles. The car will just stop running while driving. Help, the towing is killing me.

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  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    What engine please?

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Well Take it back tothe shop who fixed it and make them pay the tow if they can't get it right. a computer is an expensive fuse. And you have a bad ground somewhere, on the motor or frame to the motor or computer to frame and it needs to be tested, if it shows more than.2 on the ohm meter you have a problem, that year could even have a bad ac compressor. If it has a quad driver in the computer that could be your problem and the ground on the ac is bad, in 87 the computers could not take 1 amp draw and if the ground is bad it could cause the computer to draw more than it can handle, I would think the mechanics would have checked this but just in case ask them. Also a bad ground cable from the engine to frame can do the same thing. If I am not mistaken it used a GM computer back then, just like a lot of other parts that came from other manufactures.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009

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1987 reliant le 2.5 my trouble codes are , 1.3, 2.6, 5.2, 5.5 what does this mean?


Code 13 (1 flash,pause,3 flashes) is "MAP Sensor Signal Not Changing". This could be something as simple as broken vacuum line from the intake to the MAP, the factory line used in the Reliants is usually hard plastic, with rubber hose joining it to the Intake & MAP. It gets very brittle with age and tends to fall apart or break from engine movement/vibration/hot-cold cycles/etc. It may also be a poor electrical connection at the MAP Sensor, or even a MAP failure.

Code 26 (2 flashes,pause,6 flashes) is Injector Current Peak Not Reached or Injector Short or Injector Open. This is most likely related to Code 13 that I mentioned above, as well as Code 52 which I'll detail next. The fuel injection system relies on input from the MAP, IAT, Engine Temperature Sending Unit, etc to control the injector

Code 52 (5 flashes,pause,2 flashes) is Engine Running Rich. Definitely related to Code 26, which is most likely related to Code 13. One part can cause a whole chain of issues in the injection system.

Code 55 (5 flashes,pause,5 flashes) means "End of Codes". No more codes have been found.

As for the other things you mentioned; overheating, the overflow jug being filled to the top, and consuming oil. I think you have some more serious problems going on there. It may have blown a head gasket when it overheated. Which could cause Compression to push past the fire ring, into a water jacket, forcing coolant out of the radiator into the overflow jug. There's 3 obvious signs for a blown head gasket, though sometimes you only get one, sometimes you get two signs, sometimes you get all three. 1 I just mentioned, 2 is consuming coolant (the engine will draw coolant into the combustion chamber and partially burn it and expel the remains out the exhaust), 3 is the mixing of coolant and oil, where coolant passes between the water jackets and oil ports, mixing. The usual sign for that one is a peanut butter colored goo on your dipstick or oil cap.

If it overheated to the point where the engine shut down (like you said), it may have damaged the piston rings, which would result in excessive blow by and oil consumption. I've seen this happen quite a few times on various engines

I would recommend performing a Leak Down Test and a Compression Test so you can determine what you're dealing with.

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