Ok, the first piece of dandy news is the Check Engine light. That means the Engine Computer has detected a problem and has set a diagnostic fault code in memory. Auto Zone, and probably some other parts stores can read those codes for you. There is a way you can do it yourself by watching the light flash two-digit codes. I can tell you how to do that, but I only have service manuals to tell what the numbers mean for Chrysler products. Having someone else read them will give you the actual description rather than just a number.
The codes will indicate the circuit or system with the problem, not necessarily the defective part. That will be a perfect starting point.
I doubt the fuel filter will help but I'm basing my opinion on previous Chrysler experience. The largest volume of fuel flows during coasting. The largest percentage of that fuel just circulates back to the tank, but it has to go through the filter. The lowest volume flows through the filter when the engine needs it the most, during acceleration. I know that sounds backwards, but a partially plugged filter will first cause stalling problems when you begin coasting from highway speeds.
Ignition timing didn't magically change from sitting for a long time, but changing the timing belt could result in retarded timing if a sprocket is retarded by one tooth. Besides rechecking the belt, have the fault code(s) read and we'll go from there.
Monday, April 26th, 2010 AT 10:54 PM