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My 2004 Dodge Caravan is misfiring and showing P0301 code.

Customer Question
Got the spark plugs, wires...
My 2004 Dodge Caravan is misfiring and showing P0301 code. Got the spark plugs, wires and coil were replaced by a mechanic but the issue remains. Had to drive it for a week and noticed it consumes more gas and the engine RPM is higher than usual. Then a second code P0172 appeared. I attached a "freeze frame" report that I read by a OBD scanner software. How to fix?
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Dodge
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/21/2017
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago
kalamykid
kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5,068
Experience: I HAVE OWNED MY OWN SHOP FOR OVER THREE YEARS. I HAVE THE TOOLS AND SOFTWARE TO ANSWERE ALMOST ANY Q
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What is the temp there where you are?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
15c
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

That would explain the intake air temp reading. With all the parts that you have had replaced, then next step would be to do a compression test on all 6 cylinders. This way we can see what each one is doing and see if there is a valve problem.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The shop that replaced those parts said that cylinder 2 is weak at only 75 psi. I think they knew this by their diagnostic scan. However, they concluded that all spark plugs, wires and coil need replacement costing ~$700. Now I do not really trust what they said because replacing all those parts did not fix the issue. Does this make any difference in your opinion?
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

A scan tool can not tell you the compression. If cylinder 2 was that low, then you would have a p0302 code as well. $700.00 is way to p much for just plugs, wires and a coil. If you are doing a compression test, you have to remove the spark plug, screw the compression tester into the spark plug hole and then turn the engine over till you have a max reading for each cylinder. I would have to agree with you they can not be trusted.

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Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

I f you are unable to do the compression test yourself, then I would take it to another shop and have them do one for you. Make sure to get them to wright down the compression reading for each cylinder so you can post it here so I can see what they are and what direction you should go in. If you can do the compression test, " you can rent a compression tester from your local auto parts store like oreilly's and advance auto parts" then I would be happy to help walk you through doing the test and doing any repairs that are needed.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I am not sure I will be able to do this test as the access to the rear spark plugs is so difficult on this engine.It would cost me over $100 to do it at the shop (I think shops are more expensive up here in Canada). Considering its age and high mileage (300k kilometer), what are the possible sources for the misfire and the high fuel consumption? Depending on the cost of repair, I will decide if this car worth repairing
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

The two most likely problems would be a bad fuel injector " if the compression is not low" or a burnt valve " if the compression is low".

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
sorry for the question but what is the valve?
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

In each cylinder head there are two valve for each cylinder. Each head will have a total of 6 valves, 3 intake valves, and 3 exhaust valves. The valves open to let in or out air from the cylinders. When the valves are closed and the piston moves upward, it compresses the air inside mixed with fuel. The spark then burns the air and fuel and the explosion pushes the piston back down in the cylinder. If any of the valves do not seal in the head, then there will be no compression, thus no explosion to push the piston back down.

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Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

Your engine is a 4 stroke engine. intake, compression, power and exhaust. On an intake stroke, the piston is on its way down from the top, the intake valve opens to let in clean air and fuel, the compression stroke, both valves are closed and the piston moves back up to the top of the cylinder and both valves are closed. Once the spark plug hits and the piston is at the top, both valves are still closed. The power stoke pushes the piston back down with the valves still closed. Once the piston reaches the bottom and starts on its way back up, the exhaust valve opens and lets the piston push out all the burnt air.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thanks for the explanation, I appreciated.
Don't you think that an injector stuck open would explain the increased gas consumption?
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

That is possible, but the readings you posted indicate an injector not let fuel into the cylinder. The added fresh air going into the exhaust will tell the computer that the engine is running to lean and needs to add more fuel to the cylinders and this is were your added fuel is going.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I guess it won't be cheap to fix either the valve or the injector, right?
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

If it is an injector it will cost you around $150.00 parts and labor.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
That's not too bad. I guess if it was the valve so it would be a bigger job
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

Yes and an expensive one.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
OK, lets hope it is just the injector. In case it is the valve, chances are that the car won't be worth fixing. Is it a good idea to keep driving it until I buy another car? How long it is ok to drive a misfiring car
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

The more you drive it the more damage you will do to it. You can even over heat the engine and it die on you as you are driving, the cat can over heat and clog up killing the engine. I would not drive it anymore then I had to.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Fair enough. I will try to do the compression test in the morning and will let you know the results. What pressure will be diagnostic for a bad valve?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Should I do all cylinders, or # 1 only?
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

You need to do all of the cylinders, so we know what the base line is.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thanks for your time tonight. Will catch up with you once I have the readings
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

Sounds good to me. Have a good night.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Those little bottles you can find in Walmart and gas stations which can be added to the gas tank to help clean the injectors. Do you recommend trying one of them
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 5 months ago

NO. They are 90% water.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Took the car today to a trusty mechanic. Checking the compression costs $80, and if it is the injector, that's another $200 fix. The guy recommended against spending anymore on the car. Interestingly, advised me to try the injector cleaning products as a cheap quick attempt. I picked a thick oily fuel injector Lucas brand and gave it a try. Guess what, it decreased the vibration significantly just after few minutes drive, but it is still there. I cleared the engine light error with my cheap ODB scan and hoped it won't come back. Sadly, it came back after about 30 min idling time. Same P0301 code. Please check the new freeze frame report attached and please let me know what do you think
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 4 months ago

You are still showing lean. I believe that it would be a good idea to test the injector, and or replace it. I do not think this would be due to low compression. It would also be a good idea to do a fuel pressure test.

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Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 4 months ago

Just wanted to check in on you and see how things are going.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Will take the van to more diagnosis tomorrow and go from there
Dodge Mechanic: kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech replied 4 months ago

Thank you for the up date.

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