When I first bought the car, before I even actually bought it, I drove it 3 times, each time every once once in a while while driving it at highway speeds it would for 3 or 4 seconds "hesitate".
I thought all it needed was new plugs. So I bought the car, took it in to Chrysler Dealership right next door to where I work, and let them give it a tune-up and a good going over.
When I went to pick it up, they told me, that everything looked well maintained, and gave the car a clean bill of health.
I Paid for the tune-up and got in the car to go home, and the hesitation remained when I was getting on the interstate.
Sometimes it doesn't do it at all, then sometimes it would do it 2 or 3 times.
2 weeks later, I had looked for a faulty code, and sure enough it needed a TPS sensor, so I dropped it off at the dealership, and told them, they replaced the sensor and the harness. Picked it up, got on the interstate and about 3 miles down the rode it "hesitated"! That was last june, over the past year, I have read everything I can about these K-cars, and then either replace a part myself or take it to a mechanic.
2 weeks after the TPS sensor was replaced, I took it back to the dealership and told them I was "still' experiencing the hesitation. They kept it for 4 days, and called me to tell me they have the problem fixed.
They said they replaced the O2 sensor and harness.
I was excited, went and pickd it up, got it out on the interstate, ran better, got home without a hesitation. Got in the car the next day to go to work, and it hesitated 2 times going to work!
By this time I was broke, pissed, and just gave up and lived with it for a couple of months, then I replaced pvc valve and fuel filter and air filter.
Same problem. In the meantime, I noticed my gas mileage had started "dropping" from 29 MPG on the highway to around 22 to 23 mpg on the highway.
Overall the car was still running about the same.
Nothing much improved, nothing got worse.
Anyways. The rest of the items mentioned above have been replaced, little by little, as extra cash, and time has allowed.
BTW.I am almost certain last year I paid the dealership to "scan" the car, thats when they came back with it needing the O2 sensor and harness.
Then a month ago, right before the new timing belt and water-pump got replaced, the mechanic said he scanned it looking for a potential problem and could not see anythig out of range.
Sometimes, like today on the way home from work, it acted like it just did not want to go, as if I had the brake on and was giving it gas at the same time.
But once your going it just sails down the road, idles smoothly, and when I pull up in the driveway, it idles smooth and quiet.
No gas smells, no oil smells, no nothing, and I have had my sniffer up in that car and underneath it looking and sniffing. But "nothing'.
I am planning on taking it in next week, to have the throttle body cleaned and the throttle plate inspected and the injectors cleaned and set, by yet a totally different mechanic.
I can do some things myself, but my vision is great at seeing at a distance, but upclose even with glasses, I just can't see like I used to.
Anyways. Thanks for your interest and help thus far.
So in answering your initial question with what history I have provided, it started out as a hesitation, without much power, but good gas mileage.
In the months that followed, gas mileage slowly started dropping, and still not much power (sluggish), and the hesitation not as bad or hardly noticable.
The hesitation kinda got better when I replaced the plug wires, rotor and distr. Cap.
I have driven 6000 miles since buying the car last June, almost all of it on the highway to and from work 11 miles one way. 22 miles round trip.
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 AT 3:58 PM