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Chrysler Repair/1996 Sebring JX Stutters while driving


1996 Chrysler Sebring JX, 2.5 automatic.

The car starts and idles fine. While driving, it will stutter, or cut out for a second then run fine. It does this repeatedly every 5 -6 seconds but not while idling. No check engine light. It did this for a week about a year ago prior to the alternator going bad. I replaced the alternator and the ignition switch and it went away. 4 weeks ago the engine cutting out resumed. Took it to the shop as I didnít have time to look into it.They replaced the spark plugs, Plug wires and the distributor. Individually, in that order. The problem went away.

This week the alternator went bad again (was a remanufactured one from Advance Auto) taking the battery with it. I put in a brand new battery and Advance replaced the alternator free of charge (Thank you). Prior to it going bad the car started the cutting out again every 6-9 seconds only while driving. With the new components it starts great and runs great with the exception it still cuts out. I have added an additional ground strap from the engine (mount) to the body. I did notice the last time the engine light was on,( bad O2 sensor has been replaced) That when it cut out the engine light would go out at the same time, and come back on when the car was running again. It seems to be losing electrical power to something when it cuts out.      Not sure where to look now. To recap, new plugs, wires, distributor, battery, alternator and ground strap. 1 year ago I put in a new ignition switch. I lightly tugged on the wires I could get to thinking that when the distributor was replaced the tugging may have made a wire have a better contact and now that it has relaxed it is shorting out but that has not helped.     

I have again gone in and shook and wiggled all of the wires I could get ahold of both in the engine compartment and underneath. unplugged and re plugged in as many connections as I could find. Rolling the key 3 times responds with code 42 (ASD Relay). I swapped relays with other circuits with no better result. plugged and unplugged the crank sensor ( hard to get at)

It ran fine for 1 day then the stutering started again. The fuel gage does not work under 1/4 of a tank. I know the asd relay is connected to that also, could that be a problem? Seems that if I am at a constant speed it does not jerk or at least as bad, Under accelration it stutters very bad. I have unplugged a vaccum line to get the check engine light on. when the car stuuters the light goes out then comes back on when it runs fine, so I am definitly loosing power somewhere.

All of the gages work fine. No lights flicker, tach stays at the correct RPM Speedo maintains speed while the stuttering is happening.

The check engine light goes out at each stutter. Again the dash code is 42 "ASD relay" I am in and out of the house as I keep working on the car. I have an extra ECU that I put in. It did not change the situation, so I put the original back in.

It is very cold out right now ~ 5 degrees so I am not to happy with this car

Thank you in advance. I have been using your advice from this site for years and find you to be very hepfull and clear.


Hi Mark,
The '96 convertible Sebring manual shows the ASD relay wiring as follows:
Fuse 5 in the power distribution box provides current to the front pin and the in-board pin of the ASD socket. So check that fuse for a subtle crack in its wire. Then remove the fuse and try any other sort of shaking/cleaning of those 3 contacts you can: between the inboard pin of the fuse socket and those 2 pins of the ASD socket. Check to be sure of continuity between the fuse socket inboard and the ASD pin sockets using an ohm meter. The outboard pin of the fuse socket is hot all the time coming directly from the battery so don't short out that pin to ground.
The rear pin of the ASD socket goes to pin 67 of the ecm so check that continuity while shaking the harness as that wire is what closes the ASD by grounding the dark blue/violet at pin 67 of the plug. The output current of the ASD is from the inboard pin of the ASD socket on a dark green/orange wire to a splice inside the pcm but then from there it goes to the inboard pin of fuse 1 in the power box which is a convenient place to check for the asd to be closed say when you are idling the engine. Other dark green/orange wires from the splice go to the fuel injectors, and to pin 63 (ASD sense) of the pcm which it what sets the 42 code when the ASD is not putting out the 12v.
I would believe that set of wires/pins/sockets of the ASD would be the place to start on solving this problem as a code is always relevant.
Sorry for the delay in answering your question but I just found it in the 'pool' to which Kevin had referred it.
Please 'rate' my answer (see below).

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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