'96 Plymouth Breeze running rough

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  #1  
Old 09-16-03, 01:59 PM
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'96 Plymouth Breeze running rough

I've got a '96 Breeze (2.0 4 cylinder) with 85,000 miles. I few weeks ago it started running real rough while driving, almost like it was going to stall. Then the check engine light came on. Since it was running real bad, we had AAA tow it to the repair shop. The next day the repair shop said the CE light was calling for a battery. So they put a new one in and sent us on our way. The new battery didn't help at all. We took it back and then they said the fuel rail was clogged so they took it apart and cleaned it. It ran OK for 2 days and then started running rough again. So we took it back and he said the fuel rail was clogged again and said we needed a new one. It took 3 WEEKS for this part to come in. He put the new fuel rail in and a new fuel filter. We finally got the car back but now it seems it is still not 100%. If you're at a red light with the brake on, you can feel it starting to run rough. And while driving it does it some too. Any ideas? I don't plan on going back to the same garage as he had 3 chances to fix it. Thanks.

Mark
 
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  #2  
Old 09-16-03, 05:23 PM
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when was the last time this car has seen new plugs and plugwires, if its been awhile start there.
has your check engine light came back on or is it still off?
if it has came on you may want to have the codes checked if you have a local autozone they can do this for you.
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-03, 05:39 PM
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Get the fuel pressure checked. The fuel rail being clogged, twice, sounds a bit suspicious, but anyway. You could have a weak fuel pump. Not alot of info to go on here really, just a suggestion.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy
 
  #4  
Old 09-16-03, 08:31 PM
mike from nj
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make sure when they're cleaning the rail out, they're also cleaning the tops of the injectors off with compressed air, there's a screen on the top of each injector and it will accumulate the same crud as in the rail. also, run the fuel pump with the rail unplugged to flush the line out and this usually fixes it for good.

wires are called to be replaced by 60,000 miles if my memory serves me right, (spend the money on the good wires here)plugs should be replaced every 20,000 miles max on this engine---use simple champion plugs, like it came from the factory.

as a comparison for you, and only speaking for the one i work in, had you brought it to a dealer, i would have fixed it the first time, i wouldn't have replaced the battery, it would have been done in the same day, and it would have been under $100 to flush the rail, parts and labor. plugs and wires might be $120-130 depending on parts prices and i would have done a free safety check too. not all dealers are like this and not all independant garages are like this, it sounds like you have already come to a good conclusion, time for another shop.

the reason being, i've seen this before, i know what it needs to be fixed and i have the right tools to diagnose it properly= a happy customer! (and a return customer)

whoever looks at this again, have them check the intake manifold gasket, if you have an aluminum intake manifold, lately i've been seeing the paper gasket cracking and letting too much air into the engine, causing a rough idle. the easy test is to spray around the manifold with a flammable liquid(like parts cleaner) and seeing if the idle smooths out or it stalls out--depends on the severity of the leak.

let us know how it goes.
 
  #5  
Old 09-17-03, 07:52 AM
Joe_F
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Sounds like a parts changer as we are all alluding to, I agree, 3 strikes, he's out...

Start with my "The Basics" below. Let's go from here.
 
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Old 09-17-03, 10:10 AM
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OK, took it to another place last night (the normal place we take it - didn't take it there originally because AAA towed it). They said they don't think there was ever a fuel problem but that it was always an electrical problem. They put new plugs, wires and a coil pack on it and said it is running like a charm now.

So now I don't know how to handle the first place. Gave them $500 over 3 visits and didn't help. Now I'm going to have to give another $500 to my normal place and hopefully it's fixed.

One more thing: my normal place highly recommends I replace the timing belt for $325. He said it should have been done at 60K and it's now at 85k. He said BIG damage could result if it breaks. How true is this? Thanks for all the feedback.
 
  #7  
Old 09-17-03, 10:28 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Yes, the Gates wall chart behind me states that this 2.0 is a valve bender (interference engine). It could mean big bucks if the belt breaks--in some cases engine damage exceeds the car's value.

Make sure the water pump is changed at the same time as well as the belts and hoses to avoid double labor later on.

You could bring your bills to the first guy and show him what actually solved the problem and ask for an adjustment. Tell him that his "diagnosis" didn't do anything but drain your wallet. You may have to take him to court if he is not going to work with you.
 
  #8  
Old 09-17-03, 11:15 AM
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I can gaurentee you the first guy isn't going to give me any money back - at least not without a big fight. We got into it a little bit already about how all his work hadn't fixed it. His response was I really owed him more but we was cutting me a deal since I had to keep bringing it back.

I'm planning on selling the Breeze asap now that it's running so I'm not sure if I'll change the timing belt. My 96 Taurus (3.0 Vulcan V6) has 80k on it - should its timing belt be changed? I plan on keeping it awhile.

Thanks for all the feedback.
 
  #9  
Old 09-17-03, 11:19 AM
Joe_F
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The Taurus has a timing chain as far as I know.

As for the first guy, time to fight. His "repairs" didn't fix your problem. Not your fault he can't figure it out. It's what you paid him to do.

I hardly see $500 worth of unneeded repairs as a "break" of any kind!
 
  #10  
Old 09-17-03, 12:14 PM
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So if it has a timing chain then it's not as important to get it replaced at 60k?

I'll have to see what I can do about the 1st guy. Maybe a nice letter from the state attorney general would help???
 
  #11  
Old 09-17-03, 01:08 PM
Joe_F
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Timing chains generally don't have change intervals like belts. They generally last the "lifetime" of the vehicle. Years ago when GM used nylon timing gears, they would puke at 60k or so and you replaced 'em with metal sets and they were good to go for another 100k.

Should be fine on the Taurus chain.

As for the other guy, if you cannot reasonably work things out with him, I would step up the heat and make it known you're going to ruin his world. LOL.
 
  #12  
Old 09-17-03, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for all the help Joe!
 
  #13  
Old 09-17-03, 04:48 PM
mike from nj
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2.0L Sohc valves will hit when the belt breaks---it usually goes to about 120,000 before it breaks though---done a few

2.0L Dohc i don't think hits

2.4L Dohc shouldn't hit either

i think you have a sohc, never seen a 2.0L dohc in a stratus, only a sohc.


for $500 i'll drive up from central jersey to buffalo and put those plugs, wires and a coil in for you----how's this saturday?
 
  #14  
Old 09-18-03, 06:12 AM
Joe_F
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Mike:
I too believe the Breeze is ONLY the 2.0L SOHC because it is
the "lower level" JA body.

Gates claims both are valve benders (the 2.0).

Original poster: Rereading, $500 sounds kinda steep for those items, I do agree. What was changed for 500 bones?
 
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