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Richard, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 4141
Experience:  Over 24 years of experience as lead tech and shop foreman.
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Dodge Charger: 5.7 Liter..Hemi..My malfunction indicator light is on

Customer Question

I have a Dodge Charger 5.7 Liter Hemi engine. My malfunction indicator light is on and has been on since Saturday morning, 12/5/09,about 7AM. I stopped to get gas and noticed that my gas cap was loose. I put some fuel in and secured the cap firmly and the light has not gone out. It is a solid light, not blinking. I have to drive about and hour into work tonight and back in the morning. What could be causing this and should I avoid driving the car tonight for this long distance and have it checked. Please advise and thank you for your assistance.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Richard replied 7 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

I would not worry about driving your car with the light on! If the car is working the same as before and the MIL is not flashing it will be ok to drive it. You likely just have an emission fault code from the gas cap being loose.

I would take your car to a parts store like Autozone etc and have them read the code for you. Some places will do this free of charge, so just phone your local Autozone or parts store and see if they will do that. I would like to know what the P code is, so I can help you determin the cause. Let me know, thanks!



Richard and 3 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hello Richard,

I contacted you on 12/6/09 about my Dodge Charger 5.7 liter hemi RXT that had an engine malfunction light that was staying on. I took your advice and took it to autozone to have tem diagnose it and give me the P code as you suggested. The P code was P0300. In the mean time as I returned home from autozone the malfunction light has gone out. Can you tell me what the code is and what the problem maybe. I may have to drive the car about an hour and 15 min away for service from where I live. is this safe?
Expert:  Richard replied 7 years ago.

Hello, Fault code P0300 is a multiple cylinder misfire code. It sets when you have multiple cylinders that are misfiring. This could be caused by numerous things like ignition system, fuel system or engine mechanical problems. When the misfire gets bad enough it will start to flash the MIL(malfunction indicator lamp) to warn you that it could damgae your catalytic converters.

Did the mil ever flash?


How does the car seem to run now, does it shake and run rough more than normal?

I will reply back to you on my next break, thanks!



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The MIL never did flash. I had not driven the car for the past 3 days but had started it a couple of times. This morning it was a little sluggish/ rough not much more than normal when I drove it but it did not shake. This maybe due to the fact that it was 27 degrees outside this morning and I did not let the car warm up as I normally do before I pull off. Would doing a basic tune-up help to start?, I have not had a tune up in a long time. Also it has not happend in a while but I have had a time or two when I turn the ignition key and the car will not turn over but I turn the key again immediately and it will turn over.
Expert:  Richard replied 7 years ago.

If you haven't had a tune-up in awhile I would definately start there. I would replace the spark plugs, clean the fuel injectors and decarbonize the engine and then you will have to just drive it and see iff that fixes it. I have had it where this happens after filling up with gas, maybe you got a bad tank of fuel?? I would also add some fuel system cleaner and some gasline antifreeze to the tank to remove any water that may be in the tank.

If the check engine light comes on and it starts to flash you should not drive the car because it might damage the catalytic converters.


When you turned the key to the start position and the engine wouldn't turn over did you here any clicking noise? Let me know, thanks!



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Heard no clicking noise when I turned the key.
Expert:  Richard replied 7 years ago.

Hi, I'm sorry I didn't get back to you. I have been real busy!


The problem with the starting issue sounds like it could be related to the ignition switch, but it is hard to say without properly testing it. If it has only happened a coulpe times I would not be concerned about it especially since it started after you cycled the key.

Let me know how you make out after the tune-up! Thanks,