Friday, May 25, 2012

2006 Dodge Caravan: Runs Rough, rough idle, hesitation, jerkiness in engine and stalling out?

Its a multiple issue problem.
First thing to inspect is Engine warning light ON dash.
Is the check engine light coming up ON dash or not.
If yes,then scan for error codes.
There are two procedure to scan error codes.
One is by OBD code reader scan tool and other procedure is manually without scan tool.

Luckily on dodge, we can do this without a scan tool.

Within 5 seconds, turn the ignition key on-off-on-off-on, leaving it in the on position(position just before cranking). Now look at your odometer readout. the fault codes will show up as 4 digit numbers preceded by the letter P.
example - P0455.

Once the error codes are retrieved,the problem will be pointed out so further troubleshooting can be carried out.

But if there is no check engine light coming ON,then its rare that there is any error code stored in ECM.

In that case,inspect the idle is drive as well as in park reverse model.
If the idle issue is there in all modes then as per that

the first possibility to be checked is a vacuum leak, restricted vacuum hose, or intake gasket leak.

This is how the system performs:------
When you depress the brakes or have the brakes engaged while at a light, the power assist is used which gets its vacuum from the engine vacuum system.
A leak or restriction in one of the vacuum hose combined with brake applied will reduce engine vacuum enough for rough running, rough idle, hesitation, jerkiness in engine or stalling out.
With AC on, the problem is even more pronounced as there is more load on the engine, which makes correct vacuum more critical.

A bad vacuum hose or intake gasket leak will cause this.
In this case First, the engine vacuum has to be tested with a handheld vacuum gage and then the system is propane tested to find the source of the leak or restriction.

The only other things would be timing being slightly off by a tooth and causing a low idle condition.
But if that's the case then  it would normally set a fault code for the cam sensor and would set the check engine light. Or a burnt valve, which if the vacuum checks out, then an engine compression test should be done to see which cylinder(s) are low on compression to know where the valve issue is. But again, normally this sets a fault code for engine misfire and turns on the check engine light.

This details will help.

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