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Chrysler Repair/'08 3.5L Sebring: stalls only when transmission is put into drive


Need help in figuring out what it causing this engine stall issue in drive only. New torque convertor rebuilt transmission, and no codes present at all.  When engaging reverse it's fine. This problem existed prior to transmission work being done.

Hi David,
About the only explanation as to the difference between drive and reverse engagement problems related to the transmission itself is the torque converter or the underdrive clutch being at fault. But those should have been corrected by your repairs.
There are some suggestions I saw on related to rough idle in the most recent 3.5L for the '08 model which you might try:

"Rough idling

Kestas: If the rough idle is accompanied by a drop in engine speed when the air conditioner goes on, it may be that the engine is not getting enough air. Clean the throttle body, then check to make sure the idle air controller is clean and has full travel to the open position. (Take off the idle air controller, check for free movement, and give it a good visual inspection to make sure it is clean. It may need a shot of carb cleaner on the moving surfaces.

FCT: Check to make sure that the fuel rail recall was done (where applicable).

Mark: The engine is prone to intake manifold gasket problems that can cause a rough idle.

"Mopar Man and Woman:" "Remove and clean both throttle bodies. Synchronize throttle bodies. Remove IAC (ASI) [idle air speed/automatic idle speed] motor, but do not spray or soak with cleaner. Wipe tip off with cleaner on shop towel. Spray cleaner into bore in manifold. Make sure that hose that goes to air cleaner duct to intake right behind IAC is not blocked, collapsed etc. This is the source for air flow to the IAC on the 3.5L.

Perform minimum air flow test with DRB or other Scanner - should be 500-650rpm. If above, suspect vac leak, if low you have throttle body problems. At full operating temp, curb idle, what are desired IAC steps? Try cylinder balance test with scanner. If one or two cylinders are slightly different than rest, suspect intake manifold gasket failure. Also, after each repair, before starting, reset adaptive memory in PCM with scanner."

Cesar: "Just thought I share a similar problem I had with my 97 Eagle Vision w/3.5L that drove a lot technicians crazy, including field support folks, for 8 working days! The problem was one of the camshaft was slightly out of alignment in respect to its sprocket. This problem started after a water pump housing ("rear timing belt cover") was replaced and fuel rail recall performed. The symptoms I had after this effort was rough idle similar to the problem you've described. To verify valve timing on this engine there is a camshaft alignment special tool 6642 that must be used."

There may also be a problem with the MAP sensor (instructions on diagnosing).

There may also be a problem with the EGR sensor (replacement guide)"

But they don't specifically address the difference between R and D behavior. Please let me know of any progress you make.


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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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