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Chrysler Repair/'91 New Yorker: Engine hesitation


Hello, and thank you for being a volunteer :)
I am going to try my best in describing my problem.   I have a 1991 New the past 6 weeks,  My car seems to not get gas. This thing my car is doing is so subtle I sometimes think I am imagining it.   I was driving down the road, at 55, needed to slow to 40 for reason I cant remember, I gave  gas to regain the speed and the car just stayed at 40 and this is where it gets really hard to describe. I gave it some gas, it didn't respond but I thought, and I cant describe it , it is that subtle.....I thought I felt the slightest hesitation or a sputter but heard no noise. I really gave it the gas then and it took off and was fine. This al was in a 10 15 second episode, it was as if it did not get gas for a split second. The 1st time  6 weeks ago, I pulled out of a parking lot and had to cross traffic to get to my lane and while I inched out and then found where I could get into my lane, the car didn`t want to move, and I felt it might stall, so I drove 10 feet to the side of the road and then gave it gas and off I went. This happened 1 time last Spring. While I had an oil change I had them change the gas filter. I am sorry I can not describe it better, it has only happened 2 times in the past 6 weeks and it catches me off guard and only lasts less then a minute?? I wonder what would have happened if when at 40 mph the other day, if I had just let it slow down , if it would have stalled? But it catches me so off guard, I only react by more gas....I do not use the cruise control..Again I know I am not giving you any real information, I just have to wait and see if it does it again? It makes me very very nervous when I have to stop and wait my turn to cross traffic, I am afraid it will happen and I will stall right in the middle of the road. when it 1st happened I thought maybe my foot wasn`t on the pedal enough as I had the seat back some and my toes were on the pedal , not my whole foot, then I thought maybe the gas pedal sticks? I hope you can maybe give me some ideas to check ?

Hi Jennifer,
This sort of hesitation is possibly caused by the exhaust gas recirculation valve being 'sticky' in its action. When it fails to close tightly when you accelerate or take your foot off the gas the mixture is momentarily too lean until it finally does close. It can usually be corrected by simply spraying some solvent, such as WD-40, on the stem of the valve and then move the stem back and forth to free it up using the tip of a screwdriver in the slot that circumscribes the stem.
The valve is located at the rear of the engine, underneath the throttle body and it is mounted horizontally (the stem is horizontal, and you will find it hidden behind a flange that connects the vacuum-operated round top-piece of the valve to the body of the valve which has the narrow diameter exhaust pipe connected to it (that pipe branches off the side of the exhaust manifold on the side of the engine next to the firewall and routes to the rear of the engine). To find the valve you can also notice the round black device mounted above and to the side of the throttle body and notice that it has a vacuum hose which goes directly to the egr valve underneath. Once you find the egr valve, spray some WD-40 on the stem, and then move the stem back and forth with the tip of a screwdriver to free-up the 'action'.
You could also do a fault code readout for the engine computer: turn the ignition switch "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the check engine light, which remains 'on', to see it begin to flash, pause, flash, etc. Count the number of flashes before each pause, then repeat the process to assure and accurate set of flash counts. Let me know the counts in order of appearance for interpretation of what they mean. It might indicate a different cause for the hesitation, but I do believe it is the egr.
I assume that your vehicle has a 3.3 or 3.8L engine, if not let me know.
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Roland Finston


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