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Dodge Repair/'01 grand caravan sport: misfire cause


QUESTION: I have a 2001 dodge grand caravan sport that has a bad misfire on cylinder #2.  What could it be?

ANSWER: Hi Skyla,
It could be:
wires related to high voltage secondary circuit that power the specific spark plug,
a bad spark plug or spark plug wire
a faulty fuel injector for that cylinder,
a mechanical problem with the intake/exhaust valves or piston rings which would be manifested by a low reading of the compression gauge inserted in the spark plug hole for that cylinder.
Unless you have the testing tools and some experience it is unlikely that you can sort this out yourself. Basically a misfire involves a lack of fuel/fuel mixture value/spark/compression at the necessary levels for their to be proper ignition. I would suggest you find a reliable independent shop to try and sort out which of these possibilities is the cause.
Was there a specific history to this problem?

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QUESTION: it has had a small miss for awhile. it just got bad over the last couple days.

ANSWER: Hi Skyla,
While I can't be certain, unless there hac been a change in the sounds also coming from the engine or some other change in the demands made upon the engine at the time that it became much worse...then I would suspect the issue is either electrical (spark)- or fuel injector- related rather than a mechanical issue. That would be hopeful then that the repair would not be "major".
But there are still a number of possibilities and it would be better to not guess at it. I assume that because you know it is a misfire on cyl. 2 that you determined that from a fault code readout, i.e. a code P0302. If that is so and that is the only code, then so be it. But if you haven't gotten a readout try turning the key: "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the odometer window to see the mileage be replaced by a 4-digit code and if you get anything else than a 0302 let me know. I lean toward the fuel injector unless it were the spark plug on no. 2 cylinder, because if it were a spark coil or other ignition issue you might well instead have both 2 and 5 missing because they both fire simultaneously and you only have the issue on 2.
PS: If you would be so kind as to rate and nominate me I would appreciate that.

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QUESTION: we popped off the spark plug wire off # 2 cylinder and there was no change then we popped off the one right next to it and got a lot worse.

Hi Skyla,
That doesn't prove the spark plug is/isn't the problem. As I said, you will want to look over the wire going to the spark plug. Then put an insulated handle screwdriver in the spark plug cap so that the metal tip touches the contact inside the cap. Then hold the cap/screwdriver so that the shaft of the screwdriver is about 1/4" from the engine metal surface while the other person cranks it over, and then observe for whether or not you are getting a spark to jump across that gap. That would prove that there is spark getting to the cap.
Did you find any fault codes other than 0302?

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Roland Finston


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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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2011 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

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Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

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