1993 Other Chrysler Models Engine power comes and goes

Tiny
MPOSTMA
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 CHRYSLER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 200,000 MILES
Hi,

I have a 1993 Colt. It's paperwork says it's a Dodge, but actually it was made by Chrysler. I own the complete service manual for it and has confirmed that it is indeed Chrysler's take on the colt.

It has been giving me some very odd problems that I can't wrap my head around: Every morning it starts fine. After about a minute of driving, and while the engine temperature is still climbing, I experience a loss of power. The engine still idles fine, and at high rpm, no load it's fine but under loads it skips. It's quite alarming because the whole car shakes when it does this and it's very hard to accelerate. But after about 5-10 minutes of putting up with this and slipping my clutch to keep the rpm's high and the load low the problem just disappears as fast as it appeared and the car drives fine for the rest of the journey.

The problem seems to occur only from cold starts, and is worsened by cold weather and even more so by wet weather. It's happened twice now that it behaved fine for 10 minutes until another car splashed rainwater all over the hood.

I don't have an idea where to start because the problem comes and it goes and it's therefore so hard to test whether my solution fixed anything. I have already used fuel injector cleaner and replaced the spark plugs, air filter and fuel filter with no effect.

Any help would be very greatly appreciated. I just need to know some more possible culprits so I can replace them all.
Thanks, Marius
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Friday, January 15th, 2010 AT 1:35 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Did you replace the plug wires? Also, has the check engine light ever come on? Finally, have you checked fuel pump pressure and made sure the catylatic converter isn't plugged?

Let me know.

Joe
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Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 3:34 PM
Tiny
MPOSTMA
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe

No the check engine light has never come on.

I have not replaced the plug wires or checked the catalytic converter or fuel pressure. If it is any of those, I don't understand why the engine would only stutter for 5 minutes and then be back to it's usual self.

If you think it's worthwhile, I will buy a fuel pressure gauge and check the pressure and the catalytic converter as well as replacing the spark plug cables next weekend and then let you know how it goes.
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Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 5:30 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It is interesting that it only does it for a short time. I was thinking crank sensor at first (dirt) but I think that would have set the check engine light. THat is why I asked.

As far as the fuel pressure gauge, most parts stores will lend them to you. Do that last. As far as the converter, I've seen them come apart inside and cause random problems. That is why I suggested that. As far as the plug wires, before replacing them, try this. At night, open the hood, start the engine, and spray a mist of water on the ignition wires to see if there is any sparking.

Let me know what you find. Trying to save you some money and time with these techniques.

Joe
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Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 11:04 PM
Tiny
MPOSTMA
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Just wanted to let you know that I did spray some water on my engine last weekend and sure enough I saw a little spark at one of the ignition cables. When I tried to pull the car into the garage again after the experiment, it showed exactly the symptoms that I was complaining about in the first place, so I'm pretty confident that was indeed the problem.

So I replaced the distributor cap and the cables last weekend and have not had any problems all week. Thank you very much for the help and the great advice, it seems to have done the trick!

Cheers,
Marius

Oh, and by the way I jacked the car up and wanted to check the inside of the catalytic converter but my whole exhaust system has rusted together and I did not feel like breaking off bolt heads.
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Saturday, January 30th, 2010 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I'm glad you found it. It can be hard to find problems like that, but you did it. Also, if it is running good, the catylatic converter is most likely fine.

Let us know if you have questions in the future, and thanks for using 2carpros. Com. We appreciate it!

Joe
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Saturday, January 30th, 2010 AT 11:39 PM

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