Question for the car guys

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Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
I have a 96 dodge grand caravan LE 3.3L V6 with the A604 trans and almost fully loaded. Drive train has about 135k, today while out for a family meal the engine would sputter occasionaly but only when after letting off the gas and coming to a stop and not all the time. I poped the hood and checked the wires, battery cables, engine grounds, vaccum lines, and fuel line but nothing seemed at fault. To play it safe I added some gas dry and after letting it sit I dropped off some flicks at the video store and nothing has come up but Im thinking maybe it could be an idle sensor? Any thoughts would be appreciated specialy for something that I missed while checking under the hood.
 
stevenl

stevenl

SatelliteGuys Master
Jan 2, 2006
10,839
2
Disney World
Could be a spark plug, A chamber just not firing right. Have ya had a tune up recently?
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
nope, did that 2 years ago and have only put 20k on the van since then.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
correction about 30k but I think that I nailed it with water in the gas or dirty gas because now the problem is gone but it sabotaged our holiday.
 
Bogy

Bogy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 18, 2006
1,331
50
Iowa
If you use ethanol, not necessarily the E-85, but just the E-10 that has been around for years, you won't have to add gas dry. It does the same thing. On the other hand, if you already use ethanol, then the additive is a waste.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
No ethel here, second day of city driving and its still good so problem solved.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
Well it came back again after filling up again and a torrential downpour. I put the gas dry in but its not any better and now Im hearing an occasional rattle of what sounds like a sheet of tin coming from the bottom end around the trans. Basicly it shudders and the tach drops like the engine is about to stall whenever I come to a stop, stepping on the gas it will shudder a bit more and goes away once I get past 15mph, if the vans in nuetral/park it idles fine so Im thinking that its the trans.
 
L

lumpkin666

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2007
941
0
USA
That rattling is probably just the effect of a rough idle causing the entire drivetrain to rattle (not uncommon to hear that tinnish rattle from below when you're having a rough idle problem). The fact that it shudders and the tach drops when you stop with it in gear is just because there is more resistance than when you're in neutral - again the rough idle makes this evident. I guess I've owned too many "crappy" cars in my lifetime to realize that these symptoms as all easily explainable by a rough idle (and of course, being cheap, i usually just keep my foot on the gas and forget about it until something more major happens *laf*).

Why is it idling rough? Who knows - vaccuum, electrical, ignition, fuel mix, who knows. Take it to a shop, or buy one of those do-it-yourself readers and read the codes from your cars computer and you'll have a clue (although the clues sometimes lead you down the wrong path, of course!)
 
Bob Haller

Bob Haller

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 11, 2003
25,124
4,060
pittsburgh pa
Its tune up time, new wires plugs coil cap rotor and a general look at everything else.

the stuff I listed generally fixes things.

since 1990 I have had 5 older caravans and probably 700K miles.

get it fixed now before it hurts your fuel economy
 
turbosat

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,003
80
Oneonta,AL
Have you read the trouble codes from the ECM? I can't recall if that model will flash the codes by the dashboard lights or not, but some would. "IF" it stored any codes will give you a clue at least. Cars have so many sensors now it's the first thing I do whenever I get an erratic problem.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
Check engine lights been on since I got it in 04, its for the egr valve or relay. Tune up was done in late 04 with new plugs that was a royal pain in the ass to get to the ones on the back and took me three hours to do two of them because it required removing the alternator and snaking my arm around into positions its not ment to be in.

At an idle in neutral it is as smooth as silk, watching the tach it stays right at 700rpm and never moves up or down, only other thing that has happend was the serp belt came off two days ago after going through a rain puddle and some water got splashed up onto the belt and pullies causing it to slip off, I got it back on fine but I know this has nothing to do with it. Im still thinking bad gas, I'll have to call the store tomorrow about this and the state to cover my bases.

Im not liking the feeling of having to worry about wether Im going to have a working car or not so tomorrow Im heading into town to look at a 91 jetta for a grand, seller has it listed as follows.


have to get 1000,,no doubt about it....
129k miles
5 speed...(NOT AUTOMATIC)
1 owner
title in hand
Runs,i dont know anything about cars
but 1000 will definitly leave u enough to clean it and get a tune up..
interior has dog hair in it,,,not stained,and doesnt smell...just need vacuuming out.and cleaning..my mechanic said it might need spark plugs in a couple thousand miles..(6 bucks)...exhaust has a leak in it,,
PLenty of miles left,,,on 129k
please serious offers and inquiries only
706 351 0401
moving and must sell soon.


Tunes up easy stuff and so is the exhuast as is the cleaning so it will be good to have a second car though the 91 chrysler conquest thats been converted over to a chevy 350/350 is what I would rather have but the wife says no ( Oh god Im officialy married and a father now ).
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
Forgot to add that I have went over the vac lines and they are good, rechecked the grounds and they are good to, also recently fixed a nasty crack in the air filter housing and its still good.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
Just went out and decided to check some things, rechecked the oil and its clear but the coolant was low though I atribute this to it getting a little hot when the belt came off and the excess went out the over flow. Let it warm up and put it into drive with the brake on and the shudder is gone but the tin squeak is still there and not consistant, its more iradict.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
Started up the van this morning and it idles fine in drive with the brakes on but there is a chirping metalic noise still coming from the trans about where it connects to the engine where the torque converter is. I took it in to a local reputable shop and they feel its the torque converter going bad wich explained the lack of power on the freeway so its now in the shop for further inspection.

Took a look at the Jetta and its being used to cart around a slobs carpenter gear and looks like he has been doing some dog grooming in it as well. The car runs decent but does need a tune up as it has a slight low octane knock but I really dont think I want to deal with cleaning up after a slob.

Stopped and looked at some used cars at a dealer and found a 97 volvo 850 T5 with a hair over 30k on it. Clear coats pealing on the hood and fenders, drivers seat needs to be releathered and the door guide bracket that stops the door at its max needs repaired but for $5,500 its not a bad deal. Popped the hood and it really is a car with 30k on it based on my past experience working at a dealership and a tire shop so as long as its just the torque converter on the van then I will take it in as a trade in plus some cash and finance the volvo.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
6 cyl turbo and its legit clean not dealer clean if you know what I mean.
 
lakebum431

lakebum431

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 5, 2005
16,684
4,504
Norris, TN
That sounds like a good option Van. That thing should last you quite a while if you take care of it.
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
The trans shop finally got my van in and theres metal shavings in several area's of the trans so its going to be a rebuild for about $1,800.
 
webbydude

webbydude

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 6, 2005
5,339
1
Akron, Ohio, United States
The trans shop finally got my van in and theres metal shavings in several area's of the trans so its going to be a rebuild for about $1,800.

Blech! It seems to me that it would be cheaper and easier to get another one from a boneyard. Nowadays they do all the hard work for you (yanking the transaxle out)
 
Van

Van

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,316
1
Virginia Beach
You ever try and put in a trans on a front wheel drive vehicle? I'd rather pull out my own wisdom teeth than do that without a lift and all the tools. In the past Ive done my own but on rear wheel drive cars like a camaro and a monte carlo but it gets into having to things that you really do need a lift for, heck even the old subaru that I replaced a clutch on was a rear wheel drive and went really easy compared to the mazda that I had to do an engine and trans swap on, if it hadnt of been for the lift I would have been forced to take it to a shop.
 
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