Rough Idle. Puttering Noise. Dies out without accelerator down.

Tiny
ROBLEW1990
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 143,000 MILES
Okay, maybe you can shed me some light before I go and do anything drastic.
I have a '99 Dodge Grand Caravan 2WD 3.3L v6 with 143,000 miles.
Replaced Battery, Starter, Alternator, Plugs, Wires, Oil Change.

When I go to start the van, it will attempt to start but won't actually start. I am able to get it to start up no problem when I give it some gas, however. But the engine will die if RPM reaches below 1,000.
There is also a puttering noise, and may sound like the Catalytic Convertor. I also have a Service Engine soon light, but not a Check Engine light.
I haven't hooked up an OBDII reader to it yet, and might do so tomorrow.

I would like to know, is this a common issue, or is something bad?

Others have told me it can fall between Spark Plugs, Catalytic Convertor, MAP Sensor, or Fuel Pump.
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Saturday, October 1st, 2011 AT 4:35 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It could be a few things. My first concern is the noise you have. It does sound like a catalytic converter. If it is plugged, it will cause a major power loss. Is that happening? Next, the idle air control valve (IAC) is located on the throttle body. Its purpose is to maintain engine idle. When the throttle plate is closed, the IAC allows air to enter the engine so it continues running. Next is the fuel pump. Low fuel pressure (lazy pump) can cause a hard start. I would recommend checking fuel pump pressure. Finally, a simple vacuum leak could cause the problem. Spark plugs would cause the problem all the time. At this point, I recommend scanning the computer to see if there are trouble codes. That is where we need to start. Let me know what you find. Also, if you need directions on any of the checkes I listed, they are posted on our homepage under the DIY section. If you need help finding them, let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you.
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Saturday, October 1st, 2011 AT 4:57 AM
Tiny
ROBLEW1990
  • MEMBER
Hello again,
So I was able to get time to plug my Innova 3120 CanOBD scanner to the van, and pulled up 1 code.
P1297 dealing with the MAP Sensor. (Mass Airflow Position Sensor). I only had a few minutes during my break.

Any ideals if anything else could be wrong, or am I looking at just replacing this darn sensor?
Thank you.
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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 AT 3:23 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That could be the exact problem. I would check the sensor.
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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 AT 3:38 AM
Tiny
ROBLEW1990
  • MEMBER
We'll, it's only a $50 sensor at AutoZone (employee discount of 20% so that helps cut it down), I will respond tomorrow later night time when I'm able to buy the part. Not gonna risk just taking it off and cleaning it with injector cleaner since this van is old and needs to last a few more months.
So, I'll get back to you and give you a status report.
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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 AT 3:43 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I look forward to hearing from you.
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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 AT 3:53 AM
Tiny
ROBLEW1990
  • MEMBER
It's not the map sensor. Replaced it, and still has the same problem.
The only other probable causes the P1297 code comes up with is the computer and electrical connections. They seem fine, not sure on the computer, but it shouldn't just out-of-the-blue fail like this.
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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 AT 11:13 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Clean it up and take it back. Tell them you didn't need it. They may give you trouble because it is an electrical component.
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Monday, October 3rd, 2011 AT 4:41 AM

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