Caravan 96 - Service Engine Soon - Code 43


Old 08-06-03, 06:26 PM
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Caravan 96 - Service Engine Soon - Code 43

I have a 96 Dodge Caravan 3.3L V6 125K miles. Yesterday while coming back from work I noticed hesitation in acceleration at high speed (~50 mph). I pulled over to an exit and on the next stop light it stalled a little bit but kept running. I then drove 10 miles to make it back home.

Today I took the van to a service station who said that they have performed diagnostics and came up with code P0300. I was told I need an EGR valve plus solenoid, plus I need tuning, plus blah blah blah equalling ~$1800. When I asked which of these will fix my 'Service Engine Soon' light, the answer was tuning and EGR valve for ~$700. I refused.

I then found a way to look up the code by turning Ignition key on and off three times and watching the service light flash between pauses. Number of times it flashes is the number. Following that I got the following code


Now, can someone tell me what is 43. It says on the web that it is some sort of "Peak Primary Circuit Current Not Achieved with Maximum Dwell Time".

Also, can someone suggest how I can go about fixing this.

Any help will greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-06-03, 06:50 PM
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dimpy99....... First of all the P0300 code is a random/multiple cylinder misfire code. Since it is a random/multiple cylinder misfire and does not have a specific cylinder specified then you may have any of a number of problems. Some possible causes of this code are Ignition/Fuel/EGR system, Crankshaft Position sensor, Air Gap incorrect, Mechanical Fault. More diagnosis is required here. You could attempt to do a complete tune-up and see if this fixes the problem and it quite possibly will, but there are no guarantees. The flash code you got I have never had any dealings with so cant really tell you anything on it. I am sure someone else will chime in. Auto Library did say it was a code for a Post 89 Dodge (Truck) w/FI. Plus $700 is a little steep for a tune-up and EGR valve even on a Chrysler 3.3L ( you have to remove the intake plenum to replace the rear spark plugs)
Hope this helps ya,
Old 08-06-03, 06:53 PM
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Thanks Billy for the input. I will wait to see other input on this and then chose my course of action.

Old 08-06-03, 08:06 PM
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egr solenoid problems is very common on these vans but it should set a code in the computer other than p0300 if you have a local autozone you may want to have them read the codes and see what they come up with, it should be a 4 digit code, the price quoted for an egr and tune up is way to much suggest you compare prices with other shops, intake does not have to be removed to change spark plugs on this van but they are not easy to do by any means. but i suspect if you call around you will find shops that can perform a tune up and plug wires, and change the egr valve for under 500.
Old 08-06-03, 11:00 PM
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HOLY COW!!! $1800 $700 for a tune-up with wires and an egr valve, oh i see, it must be made out of gold---for a show car!!

in a dealer (mine) you probably wouldn't pay near that much, plus they might actually fix what's really wrong with the car.

plugs and wires should be replaced by 100,000 miles on 96 and newer 3.3/3.8L caravans, they are platinum tipped plugs and the average life of the wires is about that time in the under hood heat. anybody who says they have to take the intake manifold off is doing it the very hard way(or at least charging you for it).

the front three plugs/wires are a piece of cake. the rear three can be taken out with a 'double swivel' spark plug socket and an air ratchet from the bottom--easily. if you have rear a/c it is a little more difficult, remove the top bracket from the alternator(4 bolts) and push it back to the firewall, belt off and bottom bolt still tight, the #1 plug is right there(the engine should be cold, access to the rear plugs is right next to the cat converter and can easily reach 1000 degrees).

we haven't gone by two digit number codes in a long time, the books we have don't even list those number codes, we go by the "p" codes and description only. therefore, i can't decifer your code 43, "Peak Primary Circuit Current Not Achieved with Maximum Dwell Time" i've heard of injector peak current not achieved, also coil primary circuit something something. it sounds like you have three descriptions jumbled together, none of which i would credit, since what you did wasn't the most accurate.

yes---p0300 is multiple cylinder misfire, if the plugs and wires are original, they are the first things i would do, and i would use good original champion plugs and original wires, dealer wires are the best quality i've seen out there yet, yet only slightly more pricey.

based on your description, it does NOT sound like an egr valve problem, however, the code might have been stored in memory as the computer tests it's functionality and if it does not work--you get a code. two bolts, one vacuum hose and one wire connector, replace the solenoid/transducer with it, that's usually the problem. these valves don't stick open or clog, they simply stop working(transducer).

if you're near an autozone or anyone that scans codes for free, do it, write it down word for word, and numbers too, and post it here.

let us know where you get
Old 08-07-03, 04:36 AM
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I agree. For $1700, they should gold plate the engine.

Find the source of the light and post it here. Go to AZ as suggested and have them scan for codes.

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