Jerking so much I can't drive car.

Tiny
HUGAPORCUPINE83
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 PLYMOUTH NEON
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
I was on this site a couple days before Halloween because my 96 Neon had been shutting down, always just a few miles from home. It always cranked right back up, but a week before Halloween, it didn't. I was on here asking about the starter. I ended up putting in a new starter, and the car cranked and started beautifully. A few days later, it started shutting down again, same as before, except now it was every time I drove it (always 6 miles away from home, and it would be perfectly fine the rest of the day). I was getting a code 11 and something else to do with the cam sensor, but I can't remember the other code now. I knew the cam sensor looked pretty sad, so I replaced the cam sensor a couple of weeks after putting in the starter. As soon as I put in the cam sensor, and went to crank the car, it would crank but not start. So I checked things with the multi-meter and determined the problem was the crank sensor. So I replaced the crank sensor. By this time I knew there was an oil leak somewhere. At any rate, once I replaced the crank sensor, the car started. A few days later, it started jerking sometimes when I drove it. It was at any speed and after driving it for a while, and it was getting progressively worse after just a few days. So I checked the code again and received a 43, cylinders misfiring. I just put in new spark plugs in April, but I checked anyway. There was oil down in the spark plug wells. So I bought new spark plugs (again) and a valve cover gasket (plus seals/ grommets), which is where the leak was coming from. That was yesterday morning (Saturday). So I test crank, and it starts fine. Then this evening I went to test drive the car, and it was jerking so violently that I only got about a mile and had to turn around. Now, I'm back to seeing a code 11, which is about the timing belt, cam sensor, and crank sensor. It was dark already, but I went ahead and checked the cam sensor, which is fine. I looked as best I could at the timing belt, and there are a few small cracks on it, but how do I know if that is the cause of this problem. Also, with all of this happening one thing after another, is there a chance this could be some sort of computer problem, or that the car is just done? I don't want to keep dumping money into the car (that I can't really afford) if she's just headed to the big garage in the sky. Is there something I'm missing, something else the problem could be? I'm pretty lost with what to do with it at this point. Please help if you can! Thanks!
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Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 AT 6:43 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hey Hugaporcupine83,

Wow you have had some problems with this bad Johnny, but with almost everything replaced it sounds like the ignition coil pack is going out which is a common problem, here is a few guides which can help test and replace it,

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-an-ignition-system

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDgXwKA-IIc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zQQy9noYQ0

please let me know what you find,

Best, Ken

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Monday, November 23rd, 2015 AT 8:47 AM
Tiny
HUGAPORCUPINE83
  • MEMBER
Thanks, Ken. I bench tested the ignition coil pack. First, I can see cracking inside the coil pack. When I test it, my primary readings are 0.9, which from what I can find is too high. My secondary readings are 11.4, which looks within range. So this looks like it has gone bad to me. So I am off to buy a coil pack, and I will let you know how it turns out. I hope this fixes the thing! I never would have thought the ignition coil would cause it to jerk like that. Don't go away yet, though. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Monday, November 23rd, 2015 AT 3:10 PM
Tiny
HUGAPORCUPINE83
  • MEMBER
Okay, Ken. I have the new ignition coil on it, but she is still jerking. It's jerking less, but that could just be coincidence or it hasn't gotten bad yet. The more I drove it (which was about 6 or 7 miles) the worse it seems to get. So I don't know if I even need to keep the new ignition coil on it or just return it. With Thanksgiving coming up, I'm pretty much screwed right now. The check engine light is off now, but again, I've only driven it a few miles. Is there anything else I can check or look at? This is our only transportation, and my boyfriend and I are novices with this - learning as we go. He is mechanically inclined, we just need to know where to look. Any ideas? (Please say you have ideas!) Thanks, Ken. Appreciate any help.
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Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 AT 11:40 AM
Tiny
HUGAPORCUPINE83
  • MEMBER
Thought I would add a couple of pics to show you the old ignition coil. Just to make sure this is what is meant by it being cracked. Just to give a visual, and try to confirm that was at least part of the problem. I also noticed one side of it is kind of melted. I assume that can't be good. I attached a picture of that too. Any idea what could have caused that and if it could be linked to the car bucking and lurching and jerking and driving me nuts? Thanks again for your help. If this is getting too in depth, I can make another question and donate a little more. I know it's the holidays and people are busy, but I really appreciate your time. Thanks again!
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Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 AT 3:58 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hi Hugaporcupine83,

Sorry for the slow response, thanks for the pics you can see the arcing which is not good, but you can return it if needed, btw did you replace the spark plug wires when you did the coil? Also can you recheck the spark plugs, the oil down inside the well can cause the misfire, if there is oil present, replace the valve cover gasket and clean the plugs, please let me know how it goes and have a happy Thanks Giving :-)

Best, Ken
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Thursday, November 26th, 2015 AT 8:38 AM

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