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"Check Engine" '97 Stratus


BGH's Avatar
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10-30-03, 06:07 AM   #1  
"Check Engine" '97 Stratus

This morning, when driving to work the "Check Engine" light came on in my 1997 Dodge Stratus. The car has 111,000 miles, and I just completed a long road trip of 1,200 miles. Before this road trip I had the oil changed, and everything during the trip went very smooth.

Can anyone let me know the causes that would prompt this light to turn on? Is it anything serious? I have another trip of about 180 miles that I need to complete this weekend, and I would like to know how serious of a problem I have on my hands.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

BGH

 
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10-30-03, 06:32 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Go to Autozone. Have them scan for codes. Post what they find here.

 
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10-31-03, 05:46 AM   #3  
Thanks for suggesting Autozone. They scanned for the code, and found out it was something to do with the emissions/gas. They commented that it could have been multiple reasons for this particular reading (weather here in Western NY, idling behind diesel truck). Their advice: reset the "check engine" light and monitor to see if it reappears.

BGH

 
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10-31-03, 07:43 AM   #4  
Joe_F
It likely will return on again. Get the code # from them next time and post it here.

 
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11-02-03, 12:08 AM   #5  
mike from nj
that's definitely a new one! i know i'll never "hear them all" but i sure do like to hear whatever i can.

idling behind a diesel truck, let's see, it would have to be one without big stacks pointing up and ending at 12 feet above the ground. plus there's NO gas fumes at all coming out of their pipes, just basically oil fumes(diesel is oil). pretty much shoots that theory down!

is your weather more severe than montana or minnesota(or canada) or more rainy than florida or seattle? if that were the case, there'd be a whole lot of other people in this situation.

the light can come on for about a hundred different things, ranging from very important to not so important.

write down the code number the next time it comes on, and post it here.

(and also what engine you have would help)

i guess you now know what free advice gets you(at least it wasn't free 'legal' advice, or you'd be in jail by now)

 
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11-02-03, 04:57 AM   #6  
Joe_F
i guess you now know what free advice gets you(at least it wasn't free 'legal' advice, or you'd be in jail by now)

---

??? LOL

 
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11-03-03, 10:06 AM   #7  
You were right - - The light came on again this morning. I just returned from AutoZone, and the scanned code was "P0442 - Emission Control - - small leak." Initially the worker thought it had something to do with the gas cap not being on tight - - then I told them that I have fueled up since first light coming on and being scanned. Now they think it has something to do with the PCV valve.

Again, I appreciate your thoughts and input on what could be causing the "Check Engine" light to come on. If it is the PCV valve, is that something easy to replace?

Thanks,
BGH

 
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11-03-03, 06:58 PM   #8  
Originally posted by BGH
Now they think it has something to do with the PCV valve.

I guess you get what you pay for......lol

A leak in the EVAP system surely won't point at a PCV valve. Possible bad gas cap or vent line from engine to gas tank.

 
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11-03-03, 07:19 PM   #9  
mike from nj
the pcv valve is in no way, shape or form related, period!

you have an evaporative emissions leak, which basically means that the air above the gas in the tank isn't 100% contained, fuel vapors are leaking somewhere into the atmosphere, and the size of the hole is about .040 of an inch(a spark plug gap). you could drive forever like this, but you are polluting the atmosphere at the same time when you shouldn't be.

it's unfortunate that the average consumer can't even begin to diagnose this type of problem without 100s of dollars of test equipment and such, but that's the way it is. at the least you'll need a scan tool and a vacuum gauge that reads in inches of water, and you probably will be dropping the fuel tank as most of the parts are conveniently tucked above that( believe me, i don't like it either)

what you'll need to find is someone who is knowledgable about this particular system and has the tools to diagnose it properly the first time as it can get expensive to guess with your wallet. from what i've heard already, autozone wouldn't be my first choice.

let us know how it goes and don't let it go for too long(you won't pass inspection like this either)

 
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11-04-03, 09:46 AM   #10  
Joe_F
You don't give an engine size, but here are the bulletins for a 2.4 version of this vehicle:

http://alldata.com/TSB/16/971664CO.html

I'd suggest you have the dealer print you copies of any you find relevant. Read them over and see if any match your problem and you can tackle them.

 
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11-04-03, 08:22 PM   #11  
mike from nj
BGH---to save you some time---there's nothing there that pertains to your problem

 
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11-05-03, 09:57 AM   #12  
Joe_F
BGH---to save you some time---there's nothing there that pertains to your problem
--------------

Actually, bulletin #18-01-00 dated 2/4/00 states that DTC P0442 may be related to supply vacuum lines being pinched, kinked and that the leak dectection pump may be mistakenly replaced to correct the problem.

So, as I stated earlier, it is probably a good idea to have a Chrysler dealer print out the bulletin for ya and have a look.

I can't see recreating the dirt road when a highway to the exit may already exist.......

 
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11-05-03, 10:31 PM   #13  
mike from nj
i guess i misread that same bulletin, i was looking for an answer to the problem there, one that i've actually seen happen before.


BGH---here's the bulletin in it's entirety from the dealer to save you a step, and it's copied without permission too
-----------------------------

SUBJECT:
Misdiagnosed Leak Detection Pump Systems With DTC P1494, P0442, P0455, OR P0456

MODELS:
1997 - 2000 (AB) Ram Van
1997 - 2000 (AN) Dakota
1997 - 2000 (BR/BE) Ram truck
1998 - 2000 (DN) Durango
1997 - 2000 (FJ) Avenger/Sebring/Talon
1997 - 2000 (JA) Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze
1997 - 2000 (JX) Sebring Convertible
1997 - 2000 (LH) Concorde/Intrepid/LHS/300M/Vision
1997 - 2000 (NS) Town & Country/Caravan/Voyager
1997 - 2000 (PL) Neon
1997 - 2000 (PR) Prowler
1997 - 2000 (SR) Viper/Viper GTS
1997 - 2000 (TJ) Wrangler
1999 - 2000 (WJ) Grand Cherokee
1997 - 2000 (XJ) Cherokee
1997 - 1998 (ZJ) Grand Cherokee

DISCUSSION:
During evaporative system diagnosis, Leak Detection Pumps have mistakenly been replaced. A thorough inspection for pinched, kinked, or disconnected supply vacuum lines (as currently listed in the Powertrain Diagnostic Procedures) is a critical step in diagnosing DTC P1494 (LDP SW OR MECHANICAL FAULT). Additionally, the other evaporative leak faults (DTC P0442 - SMALL LEAK, P0455 - LARGE LEAK, and P0456 - VERY SMALL
LEAK) should have the supply vacuum lines examined for pinches or kinks prior to any LDP component replacement. The supply vacuum lines should be checked from the engine compartment all the way to the fuel tank, including the LDP and purge system.

NOTE: VERIFY ALL RELATED SUPPLY VACUUM LINE ROUTINGS FOR
PINCHES, KINKS, OR DISCONNECTION'S BEFORE REPLACING LDP
SYSTEM COMPONENTS.

POLICY: Information Only
---------------------------------------

hope that helps

 
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11-06-03, 06:25 AM   #14  
Joe_F
Additionally, the other evaporative leak faults (DTC P0442 - SMALL LEAK, P0455 - LARGE LEAK, and P0456 - VERY SMALL
LEAK) should have the supply vacuum lines examined for pinches or kinks prior to any LDP component replacement

---That was the specific part that should be the starting point, ya, I agree .

 
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11-06-03, 08:19 AM   #15  
Thanks - - you guys have given me very thorough information, and I appreciate it. Keep up the good work!

BGH

 
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