Dodge Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
Hi, and welcome to Just Answer,
Have you tried anything to fix this problem yet? There are several updates for the engine controller for 04 Rams that address rough idle / stumbles upon cold starts.
The fix is generally a flash update for the engine controller to correct some calibration issues with the electronic throttle control system.
The exception is if you get no throttle response at all (step on the gas, truck just idles, and the ETC / check engine lights come on. In this case it will require a throttle body.
If they have updated the software in the truck already, I would recomend cleaning the throttle body. I have to clean mine out about every two years, it get's carbon buildup and results in the truck's idle being quite erratic on cold starts (04 hemi). If you'd like instructions on cleaning the throttle body let me know, but I would certainly have the comptuters software updated if you haven't already.
I hope this helps, if so please click accept. Need more info or clarification, just ask!
Hello again! Good to hear from you.
Sounds like a tough one. Are you getting a check engine or electronic throttle control warning light?
Could you be a little more specific about exactly what the truck is doing,and when it acts up the most? The more details the better, even if they seem insignifigant.
Sounds like a lot of parts have been changed, was it setting any codes, at any point since this started up?
Unfortunately I can't drive the truck or look at the data while it's acting up, so this is going to be a tough one. The more information you can supply me with the better, even the little things count!
Looking forward to hearing from you!Leo
hmm... we might be getting somewhere here...
When they are picking up the misfires do you know if they were all on 1 side of the engine or the other?
Also, when you first start it cold, is it ok for 30-60 seconds, then it's starts to act up and pretty much act like it's running out of gas for a bit, then be fine for the rest of the day?
Keep the good info coming, really does help.
If it's on it's way out (the o2 heater) then I would expect it to be fairly intermittent. That's were the co-pilot comes in very, very handy.
It should be fairly obvious on the recordings.
Starmobile may do an engine recording on an '04 DR, never tried it. I know the co-pilot will. The Starmobile would be the better choice though if it'll work (easier to setup). The shop should have both options.
1/1 and 2/1 are the upstream (before cat) sensors, these are the ones that we are concerend with here. 1/2 and 2/2 are the downstream sensors.
1/1 should be the left, and 2/1 should be the right, but I'd have to look it up, I always get mixed up.
When you get the recordings reply back to this, or open a new one, and I'll see it.
Yup, IF it's an O2 heater problem, it would be one of the upstream (before cat) sensors. I'm not sure of the price of them, some are $25 /ea, some are $125. If you can get 'em at costs, might be worth popping them in.
I still think a recording would be the way to go, there are lots of possiblities, this just seems to be the one that I see happen most often.
I'm suprised nobody in the shop knows how to use the co-pilot. I'll admit it's not something you use everyday, but it's the best tool for a problem like this.
Getting it setup, and pulling recordings off it isn't really all that hard, but I'm not sure if I could talk you through it or not. The hardest part will be finding the cables and such to connect it to the techconnect pc.
Don't have much time at the moment (it's busy, I'm on break right now). But I can try to get you a general idea of how to do it tonight. Search e-files on techconenct, should be instructions in there on setting it up.
Have you asked around the shop to see if anyone knows how to set it up? Perhaps an offer of a free lunch might jog someones memory?
If you completely run out of options, you can mail it to me, I'll set it up, mail it back, then take the recordings, mail it back to me and I'll download them and mail it back to you. Sounds like the hard way to do it, not sure if your service manger would like the idea of his copilot bouncing around the norhtern hemisphere like that either, but it's an option.
I'll see if I can dig up some instructions later.
Hi Petey, sorry for the delay, busy weekend.
I'm off work today, tommorow I'll try to get in a bit early and run through co-pilot setup and write it down step by step if you want, been just long enough that I can't recite it from memory. It's not that bad, but there are a few things that don't really make sense and can make it a bit tricky.
I believe I can make the template up for you, and email it to you. All you'll have to do at that point is download it into the starscan. If for some reason you can't get it I can talk you through it.
Bear with me until tommorow when I'm back in the shop and we can take it from there.
Hi again Petey,
Connect up your cables, then log onto dealer connect --> Service --> techtools
First step, go to device options on the top of the screen, select co-pilot in the drop down box that appears. Make sure your copilot is up to date. If it hasn't been used in a while it will probably need to be updated.
Then, templates tab, then enter your truck info in the drop down boxes. Make sure the data recorder box says 'co-pilot' not DRB.
Click on the >> button to move all data elements over to the right side of the screen
click on the download to co-pilot button, you should see a box pop up with a progress bar as the template is downloaded to the co-pilot.
If you don't there is a problem with your setup.
Does this sound about like what your doing?
Just grabbed our spare (unused) copilot, and it won't take a template, both lights are flashing. This may be what's occuring with yours if it hasn't been used in a long time....
To repair, with trigger connected, hold the button on it, and THEN connect the power / communication cable, both lights should go solid.. Then go into techtools, and update the copilot. After this, you should have JUST the green light blinking, indicating that it's ready to take data from the PC...
Then create and download your template.
Reconnect the co-pilot, but instead of going to templates, go to recordings. Select co-pilot as the source and you should get a listing of the recordings stored on the copilot. Just copy them to the desktop (or a folder where you can find them) and then email them to firstname.lastname@example.org I'm on the road for the next two days, but I have techtools on my laptop and should be able to look at them.
You can't open them directly of the copilot, generally you have to move or copy them to the PC first. Will they transfer to the PC?
got email? I can forward the copilot FAQ to you, it explains what the lights indicate on the box / trigger.
It sounds like it might not have recorded anything.
that file you just sent is the template, and it looks good. recordings should end in .rec
when your in techtools, your clicking on the recording tab, not the template tab correct?
Hi, tried to download your template into the co-pilot, it was configured for the DRB..
I've set it to co-pilot, hit the >> button to move the readings over to the right side of the screen and downloaded it to the copilot.
I'm going to go try and make a recording off my truck, I'll post back in a few minutes, stay tuned.
hmm... I may have forgot to mention the cables.... what cable are you using to connect from the copilot to the truck, you need ot-2095, should have a yellow band around it. Forgot all about the various cables until I just tried to make a recording... with the wrong cable, doesn't work so hot!
When you hit the trigger does the green light on it start blinking?
Parts room is all locked up (where we store special tools). I'll grab that cable and get a good recording of my truck so you'll have something to compare yours with. Can't get the cable until the morning.
Took a quick look at lunch time, I'll take a better look when I get home from work. We are slammed today, don't really have time till tongiht.
Glad you got it to work!
Was the truck acting up when you took the recording?
yup, came through fine. good work.
Darn good recording. Everything came through fine! Congrats, you are officially your dealers copilot expert!
Things that caught my eye;
baro reading - are you located at about sea level? or do you know your approximate altitude? if this is off, it will skew everything.
adaptive fuel - if you look at the short term and long term adaptive fuels together, you wind up with about a -16%, that seems a bit out to me. The long terms are -10%, anything more than +/- 6% and I start to get a bit suspicous. The O2 sensor response looks pretty good, and they are both reading approximately the same. I think we need to find out what's throwing the adaptive off.
Now that your a copilot expert <grin!> it's time for the next step. The copilot only records at a certain speed. The more data elements you add, the less detail you get. I've created a template, and emailed it to you. Load it into the copilot and try to get 2 good recordings of it acting up. Perhaps Saturday and Sunday morning. For the third recording I'd like you to make one when the truck is all warmed up, and running fine. idle in park.
I'm curious to look at the engine RPM in more detail, you can see the skip, but we have so much selected that it's not in quite enough resolution. Curious to see if it's a single cylinder skip, or a random. The new template is bare-bones, only what we need, so it should give much better resolution.
The copliot can hold all 3 recordings, so you should only have to download it once. Feeling up to it?
The template get's loaded into the co-pilot.
The three recordings you take of the truck, the copilot will store 3 events.
When you go to the template section, you should be able to 'open' a template. See if you can open the one I sent to you, and download it to the copilot.Leo
What are you trying to open it with? I'm confused.. maybe it got screwed up in transmission...?
Take a break, go sell some cars! I'm in no rush, we'll get it. I'm not going anywhere.
You should be able to trigger 3x's without unhooking from the truck.
Then when you go into the recordings tab, choose copilot, and all 3 should appear, then you can copy + email like you did before.
As of about 2 pm eastern today I'm going to be off for Camp, no net access, so I won't be back online until late Sunday night, please don't think I'm ignoring you. Try to get as many recordings of it acting up as you can + the one good baseline.
When you download the new template, it should wipe out all recordings on the copilot, so that shouldn't be an issue.
I'd maybe do one Saturday morning and one Sunday morning on a good cold start (after an overnight cold soak). The worse it's running, the more help it will be.
I'm glad you have confidence we'll get it fixed. Hopefully we can catch a clue on one of the recordings. Obviously it's an uphill battle, but I'm going to give it my best shot.
You never let me konw your approx altitude.?
Just caught me on my way out the door...
If your altitude is almost 3k feet your barometric pressure reading appears to be off, by quite a bit... I would expect it to be 27 to 27.5 yours was almost 30 (sea level).. If you can talk one of the guys into it have them look at the baro on another car in the shop, seems like yours is out of range to me.
I'll get back in touch Sunday night, have a good weekend,
The service info I've got list's the baro @ 2500 altitude as 27 - 27.5, but if you've verified it with another truck, it's probably a good number for your area. Depends a lot on weather. Wouldn't expect it to make the truck run rough, but would explain the negative adaptive numbers.
The long term adaptive is the amount the controller has to compensate from the preprogrammed values to keep the oxygen sensors in the correct operating range.
One of the things I'm curious to see in the recordings is the relationship between coolant and intake air temperature. That's why a good cold recording (after an overnight soak) is important. The coolant and intake air temp reading should be the same. If the intake is higher, it could indicate a out of calibration sensor (either one) or a EGR valve that's not sealing properly.
There are about 20 other things I'd like to look at in the recordings, so keep 'em coming.
EGR problems are somewhat common on the 04 hemis, has yours been changed?
PS any other experts that happen to be following along, I can forward the recordings if you'd like a look. The more eyeballs the better. Just PM me. Leo
I don't know bub. Maybe the template got screwed up somehow..
When you go to view recordings, choose the copilot, you can't see a list with 3 recordings? You should be able to then move / copy them to the PC.?
Hi Petey, glad you got it working.
This is a very unique way to try and fix a truck, there are a lot of possibilities. A couple of more detailed recordings using the template I sent should help narrow things down.
I'm really interested in seeing the pattern of the misfire, you can tell quite a bit from the rpm graph. Once I can narrow down what type of mis your truck is having that should be a big help.
I don't really see anything that stands out on the first recording, the intake air temp / coolant temp relationship looks strange for a truck that's been sitting overnight. They should typically be within a degree of each other.
Not being able to feel what the truck's doing puts me at a bit of a disadvantage, but let's keep after it and see what comes out of it.
Nope, never on a Hemi. I would love to get this fixed for you bub. I wouldn't change any parts yet, let's get some more data to go on.
A good cold recording would be great!
It doesn't matter what order you do the recordings in. The copilot only saves the last 3 you took. So as long as you only take 3, it's all good.
Generally the Hemi's run like a top. The 04's had some trouble with no throttle response when cold, but a new throttle body takes care of that (and yours is new). The only other common thing is the EGR valve (that typically only causes the check engine light to come on with no driveability symptoms). Those are really the only things I've ever had to do to one, besides routine maintenance (plugs, etc).
Funny how a watched pot never boils? <grin>
No worries bud. A warmed up recording would be good. Hopefully it get cool enough tonight to get a good recording of it really acting up.
I'm still here! Send me the two recordings you got, they will be a good baseline and we'll know that everythings working as it should. Then hopefully we can get a good recording of it acting up and see if we can get to the bottom of this.
Aren't intermittent problems fun?
so for i've got copilot26b, copilot26a, copilot14, eventdata_10, eventdata11, eventdata12, and eventdata0.
I'll try to find some time this afternoon to sneak a peak at them. They are all your truck when it's OK or another truck right?
Are any of them a recording of your truck when it's skipping?
Not working this weekend. Hunting season is in full swing here, so I'm in the woods pretty much every weekend. Taking a break at the moment (pouring rain outside).
I'm hoping your truck will carry on and we can get a good recording of it acting up!
2:20 am petey, and I'm off for hunting. Hoping your truck runs like crap this morning so we can get a good recording! I'll be checking back in late tonight.
Hello my friend.
The barometric pressure is the reading the truck takes at key on (before the engine starts) the computer uses it to calculate altitude (air density). Because Dodge uses speed density fuel injection, it's a very important sensor. Yours seems off to me, but if you compared the baro reading with other trucks and it's the same, it's OK. It really depends on your location.
No horns yet, not for lack of trying. We have a long season here, and I'm still in tune up mode (getting back into hiking shape). Hopefully by the time the rut comes on full strength I'll have my legs under me :)
Hi bub, just got out of the woods a few minutes ago. I just checked my email, got two from you, appear to be the same recording? After I get straightened around and unpacked I'll take a look at it tonight (sunday).
No luck yet. Been into the high country this year doing some ridge running. So far the only thing that's been killed is my legs every day <grin> got my fingers crossed for some snow around thanksgiving (when I'm on vacation) that'll make things much easier!
Looked at the recordings last night, the negative adaptive values are kind of bugging me, seem to far out of whack. All the senosors look A-OK, I can see a bit of a stubmle right in the beginning after the idle flares down, but it doesn't look to bad? Was the truck really carrying on, or did it just act up a small bit?
I'm sure you said you had the throttle body replaced, but I don't know how long ago.. Have you checked it for gunk build up (per 10-016-05) that might explain the adaptives. It would be worth checking / cleaning.
I'm going to do a little more research on the adaptives today, including looking at my truck and a couple others that come in to see what they are averaging. It could be nothing but it looks as though the controller is trying to compensate for something being out of spec.
Hi, a couple of things.
The new throttle body you installed was actually a used throttle body off another 04?
The TSB deals with cleaning the throttle body bore out really well, it's under vehicle performance.
The adaptive fuel trim is the amount the system is changing the fuel deliver from the pre-programmed 'perfect' setting, it's designed to allow the computer to compensate in varitions between parts and keep the emissions in spec. Typically I consider -6 to +6 normal, if they start swinging outside that then it's time to consider other things. Yours was -10 or so, and that's just outside what I consider normal, and worth investigating.
Just got done with the longest day I've had in a while, I'll fill this info in tommorow after I get some rest.
I've been thinking on this one, actually had a few minutes of piece and quiet after work today.. I'm wondering if perhaps I didn't put the cart before the horse. I tend to get myself into the mindset that all the simple / easy things have already been done, and overlook them. Usually by the time I get 'em at work they have been done..
If you've checked you email lately, you'll notice that I've sent you an old TSB, and your probably thinking maybe I hit the bottle a little to hard or something, but hear me out.
I'm wondering if your problem might be something as simple as some carbon build up on the intake valves, on a cold start it will tend to absorb some fuel until the carbon get's saturated, and make the truck in effect lean, and tend to stumble / stall.
The combustion chamber cleaner is like $4 a can, I'd follow the TSB to the letter (it's kind of a pain) and see if that helps your truck any. After you go through the decarboning process, take 'er out and give her a hot supper. Don't be afraid to let it sing, dowshift to manual low even to get some RPM out of the beast without the ticket to go with it.
(oh obviously you won't need the valve springs as indicated in the TSB, just do the decarbonizing procedure)
If they just had your heads off, I would assume the cleaned up the intake valves before they put everything back together, either in house or wherever you sent the heads to.
Shoot..! Just trying to come up with simple (and inexpensive) things to do while waiting for the truck to throw a fit with the recorder on it.
It sounds like they have really put this thing through it's paces.. Were the heads pulled for the rough running on startup?
The hemi tick... Sounds like my truck :) Common on the non-mds trucks.
I wouldn't bother with the combustion chamber cleaner, if they just had the heads apart I can't imagine they didn't clean the exhaust valves.
Just be ready to push the button!
Mine has a slight tick all the time, since the day it rolled out of detroit. Most noticeable in bank / fast food drive-throughs. The MDS motors don't do it typically because they have different lifters (for the cylinder deactivation system). It seems like almost every 04 I've listened to has a slight tick to it.
I've never heard any type of noise that I would describe as a 'knock' out of mine.?
got the recording, haven't looked at it yet, been insanely busy.. Had to put 4 tires on my '04 last night and do some services to get 'er ready for winter.. Wife's having a baby on thursday..
I'll try to sneak some time in today to go over it.. The truck was running OK in the recording though right?
Just looking over the recordings this morning. I did notice the one that hung in open loop the whole time, it was a little colder out than some of the others... but typically the truck has been dropping into open loop within 15-20 seconds on all the other recordings. Not convinced it really means anything, but it is a bit curious.
Your long term fuel adaptives are still bugging me.. up to -13 in one of the recordings, with a -5 short term when it drops into closed loop.. a total -18 adaptive, I'm suprised that it didn't run rough on that one.. I was just rereading this whole string of posts, in the beginning there you said 20 mpg.. is that accurate? That seems to be about 5+ mpg better than any I've seen (I run 14-15 summer, more like 12 in the winter).. If your getting 20 I'd love to figure out what's wrong with yours, so I could break mine!
Here's an easy test for ya, next time you go out to start it cold, turn the headlights / blower / radio whatever on for 5 or 10 minutes or so before you start the truck.. In one of the recordings it looked as though the battery voltage dropped down into the low 10 range.. Let's try drawing the battery down just a bit before starting the truck and see how it reacts.