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Dodge Repair/'99 Durango SLT 5.9L V8: dies accelerating


1999 Durango (167K mileage): Problem initially started off a few months ago as jumping of the tachometer intermittently (suspected a transmission control problem of some sort).  Problem frequency increase to the point of just about every time the car was driven.   The problem progressed to where the engine would occasionally shut off while driving during these episodes (no error code indications).  After some on-line research, I thought I fixed it by replacing the TPS sensor and the Output Speed sensor.  The car ran fine for about a week with no occurrences of the problem.  Then the other day the engine simply turned off while driving on the freeway.  This time no jumping of the tachometer like before, just simply shut down.  No sputtering, no lurching, just shut down.  In total, the engine shut-off has happened 6 or 7 times now and always when accelerating (like up a long hill or on a long slight incline on the freeway, always around the 2K RPM range). Typically I can re-start the car right away, however the last time it wouldn't start (I could crank the engine but it wouldn't start) and again no ENGINE light or error codes recorded.  I sat for about 15 minutes, it started and was able to drive home.  Not really sure it's heat related (happening more on really hot days) but it happened at night one time and another time in the morning. I plan on replacing the CAM position sensor next but after additional reading on-line, it sounds more like the pcm may need to be replaced, and even then no guarantee to solve the problem. I'm looking to exhaust all of the low cost, easy fix solutions (within the realm of my car fixing abilities) before taking it to a mechanic and shelling out $$$$.  Any suggestions?

Hi Brian,
Because you say it dies when accelerating and there are no codes, I am thinking that it is a fuel/air mixture issue that is off-value but doesn't set a code. The most common cause of this is a gummed up exhaust gas recirculation valve which needs to close tightly when you step on the gas or slow to a stop. If it hangs up slightly ajar then the mixture leans out and the engine dies. The only thing I am not sure is whether that specific engine has an egr valve. If it does, there would be a small diameter pipe that branches off one of the exhaust manifold and routes to the valve which then has a vacuum-operated top piece, an electrical connector and a outlet that goes to the intake manifold or is attached to the intake manifold. So see if you can find one.
If you do, spray some WD-40 on the valve stem which is hidden behind a flange between the round top and the body of the valve. The stem has a slot into which the tip of a screwdriver can be inserted to move the stem back and forth, against spring-action which tries to close the valve.
Other than something like that, the lack of a fault code is our problem. I would keep looking for a code to appear before throwing money at the problem.
Sorry for the delay in responding but I just found your question in the "pool" to which it had been referred by Kevin.

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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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