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Dodgerench
Dodgerench, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 3406
Experience:  30+ years Dodge/ Chrysler exp., ASE Master with L1 certification. Driveability/ combustion specialist
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My 05 PT Cruiser hesitates when accelerating but not

Customer Question

My 05 PT Cruiser hesitates when accelerating but not consistent, basic model, automatic 2.4L with air
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Chrysler
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Always use good quality fuel, just did oil change, filters, mileage on car is 76500 miles. Bought from reputable dealer in April this year. Car fax show maintenance done on schedule
Expert:  FIXITMAN replied 2 years ago.

Hello, thank you for the question. Can you tell me if this happens more when the engine is hot or cold? Does the check engine light come on?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just does it off and on without any real pattern. No warning lights. Like some older carbs would get a 'flat spot' in the throttle
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have been asked for credit card info twice for same question!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have been waiting for an answer for most of the afternoon and asked more than once for payment information. Are you going to answer my question?
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

Hi, this is Ed.

Sorry for your wait and I'm ready to work with you. Would you like to continue on the phone?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just would like an answer to my question
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

I respect that, given your wait time.

I recommend that you pull each of your plug wires (engine off) and inspect them for signs of tracking within the boots. It may or may not be obvious because flashover tracking sometimes takes many paths to ground, but sometimes you'll have a very defined track that shows spark has been leaking past the boot, and finding ground outside of the combustion chamber.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

Flashover tracking is felt as a single cylinder misfire or an overall reduction in engine power if RPMs are up a bit (harder to feel a single miss when you're off idle).

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

If the misfire is persistent, you should set a code and have the CHECK ENGINE lamp illuminated, but intermittent or sporadic misfire won't necessarily be enough to merit turning the light on.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
this would cause hesitation when accelerating? What will it look like
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

It wouldn't feel like what we call a "sag" or hesitation... but those terms are widely interpreted differently. This is an actual misfire, something that reduces engine output by 25% or more, so it would definitely cut your rate of acceleration by a significant amount.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Will changing the plugs fix it or do I need new wires
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

Sorry. What would a flashover track look like?

It looks like a photo-negative of a lightening bolt.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

If you find tracking, it will be burned into both the plug wire inner boot and the spark plug upper insulator. So, you do have to replace plugs and wires together.

Otherwise, you have tracking still present on the part left over, which will just infect the new stuff.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

The spark plug insulator damage is actually easier to see. If you find black tracking on the insulator that won't scratch off with a fingernail, it's actually burned into the insulator and is a positive indicator for flashvoer.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, thanks
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

Buy a packet of dielectric grease at the parts store checkout for application to the inside of your new plug wire boots. Dielectric is goood stuff.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome. Let me know what you find and we'll continue from there if it's a dry well.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

Glad to help.

Expert:  Dodgerench replied 2 years ago.

Sorry to bother you with another post, but my screen shows that I've opted out of your question. That's not the case and I'll be here for any followup questions or problems.