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How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

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Old 08-18-2005, 02:13 PM   #1
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How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

What is Flex Fuel?

A flexible fueled vehicle (FFV) has a single fuel tank, fuel system, and engine. The vehicle is designed to run on unleaded gasoline and an alcohol fuel (usually ethanol) in any mixture. The engine and fuel system in a flex-fuel vehicle must be adapted slightly to run on alcohol fuels because they are corrosive. There must also be a special sensor in the fuel line to analyze the fuel mixture and control the fuel injection and timing to adjust for different fuel compositions.

What Service Engine Soon codes does it throw?

P0178 and P0179 are directly related to the sensor its self

P0178 - Fuel Composition Sensor. Sensor Circuit Low Volts
P0179 - Fuel Composition Sensor. Sensor Circuit High Volts

Can this really effect anything?

Yes, It can cause your truck to run richer then it should.

In my case I was also throwing an HO2 Sensor (P0141), this went away after I replaced the Flex Fuel sensor.

How much does this sensor cost and what is the part number?

There are 2 part numbers (both are the same part):
The first one: 12568450 (older part number)
The second one: 12570260 (most recent)

From a GM dealer this part will run $613
From GMPartsDirect.com it runs $350

dealer will charge around $900-1100 to fix!

PM ME for details on finding the older part number cheaper.

Where is the sensor located and what does it look like?

Passenger side, Front frame rail. Right behind the wheel well.

It has 2 fuel lines comming out of it and 1 power.

Actual pic from engine area:


Stock picture of the part:



What kind of tools are needed to replace this myself?

Size 13mm Socket
Fuel Line disconnects ($5 - $10)

I Circled the correct one to use:


How long does it take and is it easy?

Yes it is easy, and it takes about 2-3 hours depending on how you go about getting to it. Take your time and be careful! (a little bit of gas will come out of those lines)

I pulled off the passenger side wheel and went thru the wheel well with a friend under the truck helping.


I hope I was of some help! PM ME with your questions!

Last edited by xxosiris9xx; 08-18-2005 at 02:59 PM.
Old 10-30-2005, 11:15 PM   #2
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

http://www.s10forum.com/classifieds/...cat=500&page=1
Old 03-10-2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

How the hell do you get the actual sensor off the hose? i took of the clips and the damn thing wont come out?

Last edited by AVTekk; 04-25-2011 at 10:19 AM.
Old 08-17-2007, 04:06 AM   #4
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

so...... I just changed my engine over. The new engine (2001) USED to be flex fuel. I used the old intake/fuel setup that was with my old engine (1999) After reading the description above... with the sensor that sits inline on the fuel line that reads fuels... can one get better gas mileage than the typical crappy gas mileage that using ethanol usually means with a regular fuel system???
Old 08-17-2007, 02:38 PM   #5
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by n8rsk8r
so...... I just changed my engine over. The new engine (2001) USED to be flex fuel. I used the old intake/fuel setup that was with my old engine (1999) After reading the description above... with the sensor that sits inline on the fuel line that reads fuels... can one get better gas mileage than the typical crappy gas mileage that using ethanol usually means with a regular fuel system???

The flex fuel means you can use E85 which does not get better gas milage and also removes a few horses. I think that is what you're asking anyway.
Old 08-17-2007, 11:35 PM   #6
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

yeah, sorry just reread my post! LOL yeah that is what I meant. Hmm. Okay, that makes sense.
Old 07-11-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Bringing up an old thread I know, but I have the exact same codes tripping off.

I'd rather not have to buy a $300 sensor. Does anyone think there might be another way around it? I don't much care if I lose the Flex-Fuel feature at all as there are no stations around here anyway.
Old 07-11-2008, 10:38 PM   #8
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Ive been searching for hrs on the net looking for info on this same exact problem, Dose anyone know where i can get this part cheap? thanks
Old 07-11-2008, 11:14 PM   #9
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by Sandite5
Bringing up an old thread I know, but I have the exact same codes tripping off.

I'd rather not have to buy a $300 sensor. Does anyone think there might be another way around it? I don't much care if I lose the Flex-Fuel feature at all as there are no stations around here anyway.
pull out your cluster and pop out the SES light :P
Old 07-21-2008, 12:14 PM   #10
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

So am I right to say that there is no way to bypass this sensor so I can clear the SES light and get my new truck (2000 GMC Snoma) to pass smog. (Stupid California smog laws!)
Old 07-24-2008, 02:56 PM   #11
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by BaggedSonoma
So am I right to say that there is no way to bypass this sensor so I can clear the SES light and get my new truck (2000 GMC Snoma) to pass smog. (Stupid California smog laws!)
Yea I've been looking for all sorts of stuff as well. I was hoping to bypass or at least fool the computer into thinking it's running alright.

I get about 22mpg @ 65-70mph. I run about 80-90% highway miles on it per week and it pisses me off to see V8's getting better mileage than I do!!
Old 07-24-2008, 06:27 PM   #12
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

22mpg on the hwy sucks I get 30-31
Old 07-24-2008, 10:17 PM   #13
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

i get 25-27
Old 07-25-2008, 09:59 PM   #14
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by Sandite5
Yea I've been looking for all sorts of stuff as well. I was hoping to bypass or at least fool the computer into thinking it's running alright.

I get about 22mpg @ 65-70mph. I run about 80-90% highway miles on it per week and it pisses me off to see V8's getting better mileage than I do!!
The problem for fuel economy is the weight to HP of these trucks. My truck's curb weight is 3950 lbs. I'm pushing that around with a motor that only puts out 120HP at the flywheel. Do the math and pay at the pump. My friends Nissan extended cab with a V6 gets 28/32 but it only weights 3600.
Old 07-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #15
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

to be honest, 300$ is not much, just do it yourself. The dealerships want to charge over 1200$ for the repair.
Old 07-30-2008, 10:35 PM   #16
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by Hucko
to be honest, 300$ is not much, just do it yourself. The dealerships want to charge over 1200$ for the repair.
It's a little more now. Didn't you get a deal on e-bay for your parts? I think mine cost around $500 or maybe a little more when I replaced it last year (and that was because by daughter was working at a Chevy dealership at the time).

Last edited by colabear; 07-30-2008 at 10:37 PM.
Old 07-31-2008, 11:14 PM   #17
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

My father inlaw is a service manager at a GM dealer and his ot is $410
Old 08-06-2008, 10:48 AM   #18
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote:
The flex fuel means you can use E85 which does not get better gas milage and also removes a few horses
Wondering where you got your facts on this? From dyno testing...the use of E85 will increase hp instead of removing. E85 octane is rated between 100-105 when gas is between 87-91 or 92 depending on what part of the country your from..

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Old 08-06-2008, 11:49 AM   #19
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

we have 93 here in MD

and running high octane doesnt mean squat if you dont need it. It slows the burn to prevent detonation, and actually makes less power than 87 if your motor doesnt detonate on 87.

I have never seen back to back E85 vs pump gas dynos, but unless it was a high compression motor, i really doubt it. E85 has a 27% lower energy content than gasoline, and you generally get lower fuel mileage as well.
Old 08-06-2008, 02:08 PM   #20
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

68 Chevelle 350 cid,9.5:1,fuel injected,turbo charged made 93hp more on E85 than it did on pump gas with back to back dyno pulls...

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Old 08-07-2008, 07:13 AM   #21
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

9.5:1 plus boost. Prone to detonation already, so it greatly benefits from the octane. It just all depends on the setup.

PS... any pics of said turbo chevelle??? Sounds sick.
Old 08-07-2008, 09:38 AM   #22
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

I see if I can get some pictures from the owner....Yes it is a NASTY machine to drive on the street!
Oh I forgot to mention...this was done on 6lbs of boost! Good fuel injection system will take care of that ping factor and back the timing off...
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Last edited by Prostreet68; 08-07-2008 at 09:39 AM.
Old 08-23-2008, 12:01 AM   #23
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

There is a company on ebay called tselectronics that sells a device called a flex fuel replicator. All you do is unplug the flex fuel sensor and plug in this box. I'm getting 8 to 10% better gas mileage with it too. Its $150 but that beats the heck out of $400, plus it pays for itself in fuel savings.
Old 08-23-2008, 11:54 PM   #24
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by Hammermechanic
There is a company on ebay called tselectronics that sells a device called a flex fuel replicator. All you do is unplug the flex fuel sensor and plug in this box. I'm getting 8 to 10% better gas mileage with it too. Its $150 but that beats the heck out of $400, plus it pays for itself in fuel savings.
Can you post a link to their site? I did an e-bay search and could not find them.

Thanks.
Old 08-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #25
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/_Car-Truck-Parts-Accessories__Flex-Fuel-Sensor-Replicator-GM_W0QQitemZ280258926313QQadnZCarQ20Q26Q20TruckQ20 PartsQ20Q26Q20AccessoriesQQadiZ2865QQcmdZViewItem? hash=item280258926313&_trkparms=39%3A1|65%3A1|240% 3A1318&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245
Old 08-25-2008, 03:04 PM   #26
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

That part is all well and good execpt where it states that it leans out the mixture. From where I come from lean mixture is a recipe for burnt valves. Yes you may get better mileage but your performance will suffer and chances of doing other damage. Might read the small print on the box.

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Old 09-01-2008, 01:56 AM   #27
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Theres a few sensors on ebay right now for $75 bucks but there used, thats even cheaper than the replicator and sure beats the heck out of 400+ for a new one!

I've been runing on E85 for the last few months now and not really notice any differece in power or millage and at $2.89 here in Missouri its .60 cheaper its a no brainer!
Old 09-01-2008, 06:02 PM   #28
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by Hammermechanic
There is a company on ebay called tselectronics that sells a device called a flex fuel replicator. All you do is unplug the flex fuel sensor and plug in this box. I'm getting 8 to 10% better gas mileage with it too. Its $150 but that beats the heck out of $400, plus it pays for itself in fuel savings.
has anyone else tried this i am so tired of seeing my check engine light and if this will fix the problem then it seems well worth the price better mpg is just a perk at this point
Old 09-11-2008, 01:34 PM   #29
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by ohsolos10
has anyone else tried this i am so tired of seeing my check engine light and if this will fix the problem then it seems well worth the price better mpg is just a perk at this point
I'm happy with the flex fuel replicator I got on ebay. It doesn't lean out the mixture enough to even notice. Even if it did, the oxygen sensor would bump the mixture back up. Anyways, good luck.
Old 08-04-2009, 10:08 AM   #30
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

if you dont plan on runing e85 do u need to replace
Old 10-09-2009, 08:32 PM   #31
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

So the only way to fix the P0178 code is to replace the sensor altogether correct? Is there any other way to bypass this electronc predicament?


Mark
Old 08-30-2010, 11:51 PM   #32
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Every step along the process I have tried, my code continues to come back. I went to two shops, they said the I had sufficient power (if they knew how to check properly), but I have a P0178 code for low voltage.


The shops says everything to the sensor is fine, well I have put two working used sensors on and the light returned. So, I decide to buy a new one since this is a high failure rate piece. Guess what? Same problem, the light came back on and the same low voltage code. At this point, I assume I have low voltage problem and the shops did not know how to properly check for the low voltage. Does anyone know what would be the primary cause for the low voltage? Is there a relay, if so, which one? Could a working battery maybe have a bad cell and cause the system to be running using my alternator for power? I charges at 13-14 volts usually. I have had it shut off on me, like it would when the voltage gets too low to the fuel pump. It has done that three to four times. I have been working on this for almost a year, but no one in my area seems to have clue.

If anyone has advice on what a common low voltage issue may be and where to check, I would greatly appreciate it. I am convinced I do not have a sensor problem. Two working used and a new one can not all be bad. Then again, I am now getting a popping sound about five minutes after I turn it off. I am thinking the low voltage is giving a false ready causing more fuel to be sent to the system and that is excess fuel being burnt off from the catalytic converter.

Please help! email me at cubs73@msn.com
Old 08-31-2010, 09:29 PM   #33
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

I am kind of going generic here, because I don't have a wiring diagram available. There is power supplied to the sensor [usually 5v, sometimes 12v] The pcm looks for voltage coming from the sensor. If you have a low voltage code, it is likely that you have an open wire between the sensor and the pcm.I make this assumption since you have tried used/new sensors with no change. Get a wiring diagram, check for opens or grounds in the wire from the sensor to pcm.

Last edited by Hoosier Rick; 08-31-2010 at 09:32 PM. Reason: added information.
Old 10-06-2010, 02:08 PM   #34
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Has anyone had any issues since installing the replicator? I'm considering doing this for my 2000 GMC Sonoma with the same error code. A friend warned me it might run too lean. Thanks!
Old 05-17-2011, 04:15 PM   #35
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Will the flex fuel replicator from T&S work? Just wondering if anyone has tried this solution yet. From Arizona so I don't REALLY ever see myself using E85 fuel. Also, thanks for the instructions and information on this post; really helps.
Old 05-25-2011, 03:46 AM   #36
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

I had the same issue. Take the part off and blow it out real good with carb cleaner. Carb cleaner fixes a lot.
Old 10-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #37
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Here's another company making a replicator

http://www.pointaengineering.com/
Old 10-13-2011, 12:19 PM   #38
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

I did have one, sent it to someone on the board THAT NEVER USED IT EVEN AFTER THEY BUGGED THE SH!T out of me to send it!!!!!!!!
Old 10-13-2011, 05:23 PM   #39
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

I had this problem on one of my trucks so I put a couple of gals of e85 into it (on a 1/4 tank -reg gas) and the problem went away.

I've since run through 3 tanks -reg gas and the problem hasn't returned - yet!
Old 11-29-2011, 07:54 PM   #40
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

I had dtc 178 & 179 so I bought a map sensor for a 1990 f 150 which generates a frequency,(hertz),tied the 5 volt ref from my baro sensor to the ford ref terminal, grounded the ground terminal to chassis then cut the signal wire from existing fuel composition sensor and hooked it to my ford map sginal.Installed 8 inch vacuum hose with a check valve and applied 29 in of vacuum. My freq. reading was 90 hrtz.Performed drive cycle and completed obd2 insp.Cost me 43 bucks at advance auto.Poor boy redneck fix but it worked!At the time I didnt know you could buy a replicator!By the way hetz reading cant be below 45 or above 150.
Old 12-31-2011, 12:39 PM   #41
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Hi friends I put a ford mapsensor with readings of 87hz the p0179 shut off and the 0178 still on any one know the exact number I have no vacuum reading I do with a A/c pump and a fluke meter. The volt at the pink wire is 7volts

the wire combinations:
pink-orange pos+
blue-violet signal
white-black ground
Old 12-31-2011, 06:26 PM   #42
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by mghuertas
Hi friends I put a ford mapsensor with readings of 87hz the p0179 shut off and the 0178 still on any one know the exact number I have no vacuum reading I do with a A/c pump and a fluke meter. The volt at the pink wire is 7volts

the wire combinations:
pink-orange pos+
blue-violet signal
white-black ground

You should have 12 volts on the "pink" wire, which is- terminal "B' or middle wire...
Old 01-01-2012, 05:58 PM   #43
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Maybe the 7 volts at the sensor is the problem with the P0178 - Fuel Composition Sensor. Sensor Circuit Low Volts I will check and put it 12 volts an check if the light goes off I will post my results


thanks Mechnix
Old 01-02-2012, 02:06 PM   #44
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by mghuertas
Maybe the 7 volts at the sensor is the problem with the P0178 - Fuel Composition Sensor. Sensor Circuit Low Volts I will check and put it 12 volts an check if the light goes off I will post my results


thanks Mechnix
It could be, I have seen them with 12 volts and P0178 code...




Test the harness terminals unplugged, it should have:
A-5volts
B-12 Volts
C-Ground



For the past couple of months I have been designing and testing a "sensor-duplicator" and after field testing on a small fleet of vehicles for the last month I'm ready to go into production of a unit that will set the signal at a regular gas setting that has been yielding a 1-2 MPG improvement over running the stock Fuel Composition Sensor on regular gas.

Drawback is you can't run flex anymore...which if you do the math you wouldn't buy E85 anyway it's a losing proposition- save 20 cents a gallon and lose 30% in MPG. Not to mention all the food-energy wasted creating ethanol.

I can make a unit though for any level of alcohol (increased fuel delivery) if needed , say if you wanted to boost the delivery for a modded motor, the flex system has the capacity to deliver a lot more fuel. (Bigger injectors and a range of maps)
Old 02-11-2012, 08:00 PM   #45
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

I'm offering my "Flex Fuel Composition Sensor Duplicator - Replicator - Eliminator"

In the S10 Forum Flea Market:
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f281/f...inator-488919/
Old 04-19-2012, 04:13 PM   #46
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

how do i fix p0178 code on '03 tahoe
Old 04-19-2012, 04:43 PM   #47
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by pawnshop
how do i fix p0178 code on '03 tahoe
for S10 forum members:

http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f281/f...inator-488919/

or on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/220999817073?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p39 84.m1555.l2649
Old 08-22-2012, 02:05 AM   #48
JLS
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Be very careful who you purchase from on eBay. There is a listing here on this website and on eBay from some guy who made some sort of device in his garage. He's not a real engineering company - even though he has a fake name as one - but I can see he's simply converted his ten year old eBay name with over 1000 feedbacks on other stuff into one. Very few feedback have to do with the Flex Fuel Sensor Replicator. I purchased mine from a real corp and I spoke on the telephone to them prior to my order. They know everything about Flex Fuel Sensors. Don't let somebody burn your S10 to the ground who can be gone in seconds off of eBay. Could really screw up other related stuff on your ride as well.
Old 08-22-2012, 02:17 AM   #49
JLS
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Thumbs down Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Quote: Originally Posted by Mechnix
It could be, I have seen them with 12 volts and P0178 code...




Test the harness terminals unplugged, it should have:
A-5volts
B-12 Volts
C-Ground



For the past couple of months I have been designing and testing a "sensor-duplicator" and after field testing on a small fleet of vehicles for the last month I'm ready to go into production of a unit that will set the signal at a regular gas setting that has been yielding a 1-2 MPG improvement over running the stock Fuel Composition Sensor on regular gas.

Drawback is you can't run flex anymore...which if you do the math you wouldn't buy E85 anyway it's a losing proposition- save 20 cents a gallon and lose 30% in MPG. Not to mention all the food-energy wasted creating ethanol.

I can make a unit though for any level of alcohol (increased fuel delivery) if needed , say if you wanted to boost the delivery for a modded motor, the flex system has the capacity to deliver a lot more fuel. (Bigger injectors and a range of maps)
I think you are outgunned and too late. The company I dealt with has made the same device for five years and sold them all over North America. I bought one after talking to one of the experts by telephone. They are a real corp. with a real phone number. I can't find you anywhere except the ebay account you've used privately for ten years. LESSON is never put anything on your beloved truck that somebody just conjured up with no verifiable expertise. Scary.

Last edited by beandip; 08-22-2012 at 10:27 PM.
Old 08-22-2012, 11:08 AM   #50
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Re: How to fix SES P0178 and P0179 - Flex Fuel Sensor

Really don't know your motivation is to attack me here but I have found that a person representing that home-based seller has tried to discourage me with threats and intimidation, flooding Ebay with multiple identical ads, etc..

I assume you are just another manifestation of that.

Your account here was apparently created just to attack me as these are your only posts here.


I've been in the automotive industry for 40 years and probably have more experience & factory certified training (from 4 major manufacturers) than however many people they really have working there.

I have a long history of helping people here- FOR FREE.

I have a 10 year history of 100% customer satisfaction selling on Ebay, that's from great communication before and after a sale.

Thanks for showing everyone how this person really operates.


for S10 forum members:

http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f281/f...inator-488919/


or on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/top_flight_e...id=p4340.l2562
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