2002 Chrysler Grand Voyager O-Rings

Tiny
CHOCCY07
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHRYSLER GRAND VOYAGER
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 35,000 MILES
First we had a wiring problem with the Chrysler Grand Voyager. Then the diagnostic lights came on again and the car was burning black smoke. Chrysler dealer did diagnostic again for £70 and advised the new problem may be fuel injector wiring or fuel injector. We bought and installed fuel injector but the local garage fitting say thats not the problemn and that oil has got into injectors which they believe to be from the O-Rings? My local garage doing the work whom I trust greatly say it may be worth replacing engine rather than trying to replace O-Rings? Is this an acceptable answer. Is it that difficult to replace O-Rings and also as a matter of fact is the burning of oil likely to be the O-Rings?
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Thursday, February 25th, 2010 AT 6:31 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I'm much confused. Voyagers never came with V-8 engines. Which size engine do you have? Black smoke is a sign of too much fuel entering the engine. That is rarely caused by an injector. It would have to be stuck open which is very uncommon. Plus, Chrysler has very little injector trouble compared to other manufacturers.

When the Check Engine light turned on, that indicated the Engine Computer detected a problem and set a diagnostic fault code into its memory. The mechanics will connect a hand-held computer called a scanner to read those codes. Each code indicates the circuit or system with the problem, not necessarily the specific part.

The only o-rings I can think of that you're referring to are on the injectors. One is between the injector and the fuel rail. Leakage here would be a severe fire hazard, and you would easily smell the raw gas. These did have a tendency to shrink in very cold weather and leak on Intrepids, but never, to my knowledge, on the minivans.

The other o-ring is between the injector and the intake manifod it's plugged into. These also rarely leak unless someone had them out and didn't install it properly or cut one during the installation. Even that isn't easy to do. If this o-ring was leaking, extra air would enter the engine and would be detected by the oxygen sensor as a lean condition. The computer would respond by holding the injectors open for a longer pulse of fuel. No matter how much more fuel was delivered, the oxygen sensor would continue to see that extra air, and continue to report a lean condition. (Oxygen sensors only see unburned oxygen; they don't see unburned fuel). The result would be an engine that is idling too fast, black smoke from the tail pipe from the unburned extra fuel, and possibly a fault code indicating the exhaust gas is staying too lean for too long.

While the extra air would be entering near one cylinder, the computer doesn't know that, so it commands extra fuel for all of the cylinders. That one cylinder would be running lean, and the other five would be too rich.

You listed 35,000 miles. I can't imagine anything requiring engine replacement at twice that mileage. Is it possible instead of "o-rings" you're referring to "piston rings"? They would allow oil to be burned if they were worn, but that is highly unlikely. My 1988 Grand Caravan has 378,000 miles and doesn't burn oil yet. There is no manufacturer that has an oil burning problem with their cars from the last decade, especially at that low mileage. Oil smoke will be medium to light blue, not black.

Another possible cause of black smoke is a defective MAP sensor. He has the biggest say in how much fuel is delevered to the engine. His signal voltage must remain between.5 and 4.5 volts. Anything outside that range will be detected by the Engine Computer, a fault code will be set, and the Check Engine light will turn on. The fault code will lead the mechanic to the circuit with that sensor. A MAP sensor that is starting to fail can report an incorrect value which will result in the wrong amount of fuel going into the engine, but as long as that incorrect value is within acceptable limits, the computer will believe it and won't detect a problem. MAP sensors rarely take more than a few days to fail totally.

Have your mechanic connect a hand-held computer to read the diagnostic fault code(s). This should be done soon because if the problem doesn't occur again, the codes will erase automatically after starting the engine about 50 times, and that valuable diagnostic information will be lost.

If the only symptom is black smoke, I can't imagine anything that would require replacement of the engine. Without a more detailed explanation from the mechanic, that sounds like the wrong approach.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, February 28th, 2010 AT 5:19 AM
Tiny
CHOCCY07
  • MEMBER
Thanks very much for the reply. This would seem valuable information to go on for my mechanic. I have to say sorry for my ignorance as I know nothing about cars and trying to explain the problem is difficult. I noticed you said there may be a smell of gas related to one problem well there definately was ! It was overwhelming when we first noticed it. Then we noticed the exhaust was pumping out black smoke. I shall print your reply and take it to mt mechanic. The problem with the diagnostic check was that it had to be a Chrysler dealer & they charged 70 per go and it was them that told us it was wiring to the injector or the injector itself ! We replaced the injector and it was not that. So we are still looking into it just now & the mechanic (we trust) is going to strip engine and his first suggestion prior to work was that it may be the O-Rings. Your feedback is most welcome. Thanks for the patience aswell
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 2:18 AM
Tiny
CHOCCY07
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the information, I have checked with the mechanic and you are correct it is the piston rings. The Oil smoke is medium to light blue, not black.
You are correct its a 3301 size engine not a V8.

I really appreciate your feedback and I do hope that you will be able to give us the benefit of your experience. I have a timeline of events maybe this will provide further clues and we would really appreciate any guidance.

The engine warning light came on the car was burning huge amounts of petrol and LPG, the local garage couldn't clear the fan relay code and suggested we take it to the dealership as they have the wiring diagrams.

During the journey to have the relay fan wiring repaired the car went into "limp home mode" the dealership said this was a separate wiring fault caused by corrosion at the front grille and not connected to the fan relay.

I collected the car from the dealership after the wiring repairs, I thought the car wasn't running right but I thought that it may have been cold however it cut out again on the way home, as soon as my wife opened the front door she could smell raw gas, a fault that hadn't been there previously.

We phoned the dealership immediately and they said to bring it back in, during the return journey the car became erratic accelerating and decelerating, cutting out completely at junctions, they checked it again and said this time the fault was the second fuel injector.

I can't help wonder if the dealerships have created additional faults, we never had any problems with the car and it seems odd that we are having such a run of bad luck. The car is serviced regularly and the LPG conversion was carried out 18 months ago by a fully approved contractor and when the LPG was serviced by them they too highlighted the fan relay fault code.
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 3:55 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sure don't like to hear tales like yours, but they aren't uncommon. They can be just as frustrating for the mechanics. At most dealerships, they work on "flat rate" which means, among other things, if they don't fix it right, they do it over for free. It's part of the checks and balances that tempers speed of repair with quality of repair.

I won't pretend to know what's happening, but I can share some examples of what can happen. If water gets past the rubber seals in an electrical connector under the hood, one pin might develop an intermittent connection due to corrosion. By moving things around to service or inspect other parts, disturbing that connector could aggravate the other already corroded pins. When replacing a battery, (or some other part), wiring harnesses get tugged and wiggled which could lead to a rusty ground wire moving just enough to scratch a clean, shiny spot on the engine or body and make a temporarily better connection. Idle speed that is so low it causes the engine to stall at stop signs is something that could result. The problem clears up after the new battery was installed, so the assumption is the battery was the problem. When the problem comes back a month later, the customer is convinced their new battery is defective because the same problem is occuring that happened with the old battery. Most people understand logical explanations, but there are alway are few who won't listen to reason.

I replaced the engine in one of my minivans many years ago. Three days later, my mother was driving it and barely made it to my dealership because it was only running on a few cylinders. Obviously my fault because I just worked on it. Turned out to be corroded pins, (did I mention I live in Wisconsin, the road salt capital of the world?), In an electrical connector for the injectors that I never took apart. Barely touched it and various cylinders would start to fire. A little scrubbage and cleanage, and it's still running fine to this day.

Bottom line is, ... It's very likely the mechanic did something to accidentally cause the new problems, but I'd be very surprised and disappointed if he did anything on purpose. Along these same lines, when my students diagnosed a broken wire on one of my prepared, broken cars, their answer to the best repair often centered around "run a new wire". I explained that was not correct. They must find where that wire was broken and fix it because they don't know why it broke or which wire next to it would be the next one to break. Think of a harness laying against a sharp metal bracket or fallen against a hot exhaust part. Sure, a new wire might make the brake light work, but how long before the headlight wire breaks? Wouldn't it make sense to find all those future problems before they occur?

Once your transmission went into limp-in, there is a fault code in the transmission computer related to the reason. That code should provide a clue to finding a starting point. Not to sound stupid, but your vehicle does have air conditioning, right? If it doesn't, the engine computer will detect the missing condensor fan relay. During the setup of the scanner, it will ask if the vehicle has AC. If you enter "yes" when it doesn't, it will display the relay fault code. If you enter "no", the code will not be listed even though it's in the computer's memory.

Hope you will have some good news to report soon.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, March 1st, 2010 AT 4:45 PM

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