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Amedee
Amedee, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 21843
Experience:  ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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1991 Dakota: V..was overheated..bottom radiator hose, and heater hose

Resolved Question:

I have a 1991 Dakota V-8 that failed its emissions test (I'm in Denver metro, Colorado) because of high HC, high CO, and high NOx readings. When I first took it in, they wouldn't test it because it was overheated, so we replaced the water pump, bottom radiator hose, and heater hose from water pump. When I went back, they came up with these high readings. What can we do to get it to pass? I need it for work. I tried the additive "Guaranteed to pass" but obviously it didn't work. I'm on a very limited budget. I would really appreciate your help. Thanks very much.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Hello!

Failing all of these emissions readings could be due to one or more things or failed components on your vehicle. A lot of things will need to be checked and I can give you a list. All of these things can cause your emissions to be considerably higher than normal. Here is the list.

Check for codes in the computer (maybe a code in the computer that will pinpoint a certain component that is bad which will save a lot of diagnostic time)
Oxygen sensor
catalytic converter
Thermostat (stuck open causing the engine to run rich)
Air/vacuum leaks
Fuel injectors
Fuel pressure
Map sensor
TPS sensor
Engine coolant temp sensor
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, I forgot, we also installed a new thermostat. Could that be the whole problem with the readings?

The oxygen sensor & catalytic converter were replaced 2 years ago.

How do we check all the things you listed?

Should we remove the thermostat, and have it tested again?

Thanks.
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Hello!

Just be sure that the engine is getting up to about 200 degrees F or so after the engine has been running for 15 minutes. Also be sure the coolant is full. If these checks out ok, I would bet that the thermostat and cooling system is good.

You can check all of the sensors on your vehicle using a voltmeter by checking the output voltage or resistance depending on the sensor.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Sorry to be so dense, but how and where do we find the sensors? Will a regular voltmeter work? Is there a specific reading that should show?

How can I tell if the temp is 200F? The gauge doesn't have #'s on it? About how far above the C would that be?

I'll have to talk with my friend about him checking all these. How can I get back to you?

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX appreciate your help.
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Hello!

YES.. a regular voltmeter will do the trick. The TPS is on the throttle body and has three wires going to it. The map sensor has three wires going to it as well but will also have a vacuum line going to it because it measures engine vacuum. I can give you the specs for each sensor but it would take a bit for me to get everything together. You can use a temp gun to check the tempature of the engine. Measure the temp is F

Just reply back to me and I will get it and get back to you asap.

I hope this helps! Please don't forget honor your good faith deposit by indicating you are happy with my answer. This will ensure I get credit for my time and the information I have provided you with. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!

I do hope you are as honest with me about your vehicle as I have been with you. If you have any further questions or if you need more assistance, just hit the reply button and we can continue our conversation. Please remember, even if you rate my answer now, you can still reply or respond back to this thread at any time at no further cost to you.

In addition, please allow time between answers as I may be off line spending time with my family or assisting other customers. You can always request me by using the link through my profile page. Just Click on "AMEDEE" next to my picture and I will be sure to respond back in a timely manner.

Thanks in advance!

Best Regards

AMEDEE
Amedee, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 21843
Experience: ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Amedee and other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much. I love my little truck, and I don't want to give up on it. I'm hoping my friend can check all the things you suggested, and get it fixed. He's real busy too, so it may be a couple of days before he could do it. I have only a short time to get another emissions test or it will cost me another $25. It was a real shock when it didn't pass, and I really need it.

Yes, I will honor my deposit. I fully understand and completely appreciate you taking the time to help me.

I will let you know what happens. Thanks again.
Carol
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Carol

Thanks so much!

Please feel free to ask any related questions that you have at any time after you indicate that you are happy with my answer and I will continue to assist you at no further cost.

Best Regards

Amedee
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Amadee

Update. My Dakota is in a shop up in Lochbuie. On Sunday, June 10, I was almost to Lochbuie when it started hesitating, and the temp gauge hand went about 3/4 of the way toward Hot. I immediately got off the highway, and turned it off. There was a big could of steam or smoke coming out from the hood. I called my friend Steve, and waited a few minutes, then I opened the hood. Coolant had sprayed all over the compartment.

When Steve got there, he checked the coolant level, added some more. I got the Dakota across the highway to a shopping center, and we left it there. Anyway, Steve picked it up, and took it to a local garage.

The mechanic finally got time to check it. It has a cracked head. He said the EGR had melted and been sucked into the engine. Is that even possible?? Anyway, we found a place that repairs heads, and we're considering doing that, instead of getting a new/reman head. What do you think?

Sorry this is so long. This has been a nightmare. I need my truck, but my money is so limited, it's hard to know what to do.

Thanks so much for your help.
Carol
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Hello Carol,

I have never come across the EGR valve melting or been sucked into the engine.

I would personally get the cooling system pressure checked for leaks before replacing anything.

If the cylinder head gaskets are an issue, then I would recommend to get them sent out to a machine shop to get rebuilt.

I hope this helps!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My friend Steve took the heads to a shop today that specializes in repairing cracked heads. They are going to repair the cracked one, and thoroughly check the other one. It will be a couple of days before we know more. I really appreciate your excellent advice. I will let you know more, as I find out more. Thanks again.
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Sounds good!

Thanks for the heads up!

Amedee
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You're welcome! Have a great day. Thanks.
Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
You too!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry to be so long to get back to you. We had to get new/reman heads for the Dakota. It's with a different mechanic now. He got it put back together yesterday (Friday the 17th), but he told me last night, that there is no spark, and no fuel (fuel pump may not be working). He said he had worked several hours trying to figure out what's happened. He expected to turn the key, and it would start - but it didn't. I don't understand either.


 


He said he had checked several relays, etc, but didn't help.


 


What do you think? What would you do? I'm even more worried about the money now. As I may have said, I'm a senior citizen on a very limited budget, and this is taking all of my savings, but I feel I can't give up now.


 


Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Hello! Do you know if the ASD relay is activating when cranking the engine over?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'll ask him tomorrow. He had checked several of the relays, don't know if that was one of the ones he checked. The engine cranks, but there is no spark from the plugs, and won't start. What is the ASD relay, how can we tell if it is working?


 


Thanks again.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Carol,

The ASD relay is the auto shut down relay. It provides power to the ignition coil and fuel injectors when the engine is cranking it over and running.

You can check for this by checking for power at the ignition coil and injectors when cranking the engine over.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Amedee,


 


He put a tester on the coil with the key off, and the light came on, same thing when he touched the tester to the battery. Apparently, the light is not supposed to light when the key is off. He had changed the coil a couple of times too.


 


How do we check for power at the coil when cranking the engine?


 


He said he has never had this much trouble before. We're wondering if it is the computer.


 


Thanks again.


 

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Carol,

Thats correct. There should only be power at the ignition coil with engine cranking over (and first when you turn the key on).

To check for power at the coil when cranking the engine over, put the black lead of your meter on battery ground and the red lead on the power wire at the coil and take a reading when someone is cranking it over.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Amedee,


 


What would make the tester light come on with the key off? Does that mean there is a short in the wiring? Is there a good way to check for a short?


It was quite a surprise when the engine was cranked, but no spark came from the spark plug wire.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
I honestly think the test light was hooked up to battery positive instead of ground when this test was done.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What would stop spark from coming from the plugs and keeping the engine from starting?

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Bad computer
bad engine speed sensor
Wiring issue
Bad ASD relay or wiring
bad coil
faulty tune up parts
shorted sensor
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How can we narrow it down to exactly what is causing it to not start and run?

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Start by checking for power at the ignition coil when cranking the engine over like we have been talking about.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'll see what happens tomorrow. Got to go now, am running late. Thanks.

Expert:  Amedee replied 2 years ago.
Sounds good!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner. It's been a nightmare for the last several months. I don't have a complete list of everything that has been done or replaced on the Dakota. I finally got it back from the mechanic (took longer than I would have liked, but with limited funds, had to wait). It finally passed the stupid "emissions test" we have to endure here.


 


Anyway, the problem I'm having with it is, when I try to accelerate quickly, it cuts out. Recently, I took it for about 20 miles on the freeway. When I got near 60 MPH, it started cutting out, and the tach read 3800. When I backed off, and stayed around 55-58, it ran good. After it sat for about 5 hours, I did the 20 miles again. That time, it did 60 without cutting out, and the tach read 2400-2700. The computer was one of the things that was replaced.


 


What is your thought about what else we can try, to get it straightened out? My friend replaced the fuel hose (the larger one) behind the throttle body, but it still cuts out.


 


Sorry this is so long. I would really appreciate your help. I'm a senior citizen on a really limited income, and I've spent all my savings on this truck.


 


Thank you very much.


Carol


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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