The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope I am in the right forum.

I have a 2005 4 cylinder with 130,000 miles on it. It runs fine, like it always has for the 70,000 miles I've owned it.
During emissions test last week I got a form that says it failed "KOER Result" and "MIL Command Status". It also says the trouble code/s were: P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected. Our mechanic recently told us that cylinder 2 is only operating at 40% and that compression problems are a very big deal.

The check engine line has been on for a long time. The other day I think I was driving on fumes when I finally found a gas station and filled it up AND I do not think I put the gas cap on tightly afterward. The next day I drove it on a four hour trip. During that trip, the check engine light started flashing. But it would only flash for a little bit and then it would stop flashing. Later it started flashing again, then stopped, and this cycle repeated a number of times during my trip. I had no idea this flashing was important and the light that allows me to see my gas gauge in the dark has been out for a while so I thought the flashing meant another light was dying.

I started researching the problem when I got home. I then tightened the gas cap. Hubby has some kind of meter and he was able to turn off the check engine light. The oil was recently changed so he added something to the new oil. Then he added some kind of gas treatment. He has taken it for short drives to see what the light does. Even though he reset the light, it came back on and has stayed back on. It has only flashed once during his test drives.

Our mechanic thinks there is a major problem that would cost more than the van is worth to fix. It only has 130,000 miles on it and I can't imagine a minivan engine "dying" so young, I'm hoping he is wrong. I can't get an appt. at the Chrysler place for another week so I was thinking of having a Chrysler certified mobile mechanic stop by and check it out.

I need this thing for a long trip in two weeks! I would really appreciate any suggestions or opinions.
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
516 Posts
If it is missing on cyl 2, which it would pretty much be guaranteed to if it has almost no compression, then that would definitely make the CEL flash. I would definitely get a second opinion from a different shop. Not necessarily a stealership, though. They will likely just say "Yep.... needs a new engine. Interested in buying a new vehicle?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
The scanner your husband used should also be able to read some of the check engine codes. Or you can do the "key dance" to show the codes on the dash. Basically, put the key in the ignition. Turn to on (not start!), then back to accessory, then on, accessory, on, accessory, on and it will show you the codes. This video might help. Reading Dodge code on the dash

If you can tell us what codes it shows, we might be able to help more.

Also, please don't reset the check engine light until it gets to a mechanic! There is more data than just the codes. There are "freeze frames" which are more detailed debugging info for the mechanic. When you reset the check engine light, you erase that information, making the diagnosis much harder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,134 Posts
Susan,

First, use a heavier oil, like 5W40 or 0W40.

Second, the plug in #2 cylinder is probably oil fouling, and when it starts to miss, take it out and change it or clean it.

Third, you can ask you husband or mechanic to install a non-fouler for the plug in #2:


Make sure to get the right size, which I'm not sure of. You might want to go to an auto parts store and ask.

If you can keep the plug from fouling, I wouldn't worry about the loss of compression in #2, as instead of 6 cylinders, you have 5.5 cylinders, which should be more than enough to keep you going for a very long time.

How much oil does the van use?

Finally, this might be the time to start looking around for a newer used van, as the worst time to look for a vehicle is when you need one in a hurry.

This posting has been approved by Jeepman, but I'm not sure about Levy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it is missing on cyl 2, which it would pretty much be guaranteed to if it has almost no compression, then that would definitely make the CEL flash. I would definitely get a second opinion from a different shop. Not necessarily a stealership, though. They will likely just say "Yep.... needs a new engine. Interested in buying a new vehicle?"
Thank you! I really laughed at "stealership"! I think that is great advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The scanner your husband used should also be able to read some of the check engine codes. Or you can do the "key dance" to show the codes on the dash. Basically, put the key in the ignition. Turn to on (not start!), then back to accessory, then on, accessory, on, accessory, on and it will show you the codes. This video might help. Reading Dodge code on the dash

If you can tell us what codes it shows, we might be able to help more.

Also, please don't reset the check engine light until it gets to a mechanic! There is more data than just the codes. There are "freeze frames" which are more detailed debugging info for the mechanic. When you reset the check engine light, you erase that information, making the diagnosis much harder.
Thank you. As soon as Hubby gets home today I will ask him for the exact code/s and about how long ago he reset the light. There is no sense taking it for a second opinion yet if he didn't save all of that info, but I think his sensor might save it all. We will see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Susan,

First, use a heavier oil, like 5W40 or 0W40.

Second, the plug in #2 cylinder is probably oil fouling, and when it starts to miss, take it out and change it or clean it.

Third, you can ask you husband or mechanic to install a non-fouler for the plug in #2:


Make sure to get the right size, which I'm not sure of. You might want to go to an auto parts store and ask.

If you can keep the plug from fouling, I wouldn't worry about the loss of compression in #2, as instead of 6 cylinders, you have 5.5 cylinders, which should be more than enough to keep you going for a very long time.

How much oil does the van use?

Finally, this might be the time to start looking around for a newer used van, as the worst time to look for a vehicle is when you need one in a hurry.

This posting has been approved by Jeepman, but I'm not sure about Levy!
It only has four cylinders and I really don't notice a significant loss of power. I will definitely try the "non-fouler" plug while I wait for my appt. for a second shop's opinion. I'll double check with Hubby about the amount of oil it has been using but he hasn't mentioned anything unusual about that. We change the oil religiously on the recommended schedule.

The other day when my mechanic told me not to bother fixing it I spent many hours searching for a new used van. What a nightmare. I try to only buy from private sellers but most of the sellers that represent themselves as private owners have all the signs of someone that is "flipping" cars. I got excited when I found the exact same van (same year, color, etc.) with only 60,000 miles on it for $3,500. I ran a car fax which said it had 58,000 miles on it at the end of 2015. I asked the seller to explain the discrepancy and he said "maybe it wasn't driven much". I cancelled my appt. to go see it, lol.

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
516 Posts
If it is low on compression but not burning oil, the non-fouler band aid isn't going to do squat. :rolleyes: And, the low compression will still cause it to miss and throw a CEL.

Before you throw an otherwise perfectly good vehicle away, I'd find out exactly what is wrong with it first.
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
516 Posts
Oh, and heavier oil might help a little with oil burning, which the OP hasn't mentioned having a problem with :cautious: , but it isn't really going to do squat for low compression. Especially if the cause is something like a burned valve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
The CEL will flash at times that the PCM (engine computer) determines that the engine is misfiring severely enough to cause damage to the catalytic converter. Only severe engine misfire not a loose gas cap. If you don't want to see the CEL flash you are gonna need to fix the misfire (apparently a compression issue) in cylinder #2. Sorry.

A reputable repair facility should be able to tell you more specifically what is causing the low compression, for example a valve leaking or rings not sealing. It doesn't necessarily need a new engine. Keep in mind, engine mechanical problems are very rarely resolved by using quik-fix, mechanic-in-a-can type solutions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thank you. As soon as Hubby gets home today I will ask him for the exact code/s and about how long ago he reset the light. There is no sense taking it for a second opinion yet if he didn't save all of that info, but I think his sensor might save it all. We will see.
Sure enough Hubby did reset the light and his sensor doesn't retain prior readings. There should be a big warning on that thing that tells you not to reset till you solve the problem!

I have delivered the van to the second opinion mechanic. He was bummed to hear the check engine light had been turned off. During the half hour drive to the mechanic, the engine light was on but never flashed. I noticed there is some shaking in the steering wheel. I don't know if this is new. It is so slight I may have overlooked it until now.

The mechanic won't get to it till tomorrow evening. In the meantime, I am shopping for another van...just in case.
 

·
--UNKNOWN MEMBER--
Joined
·
14,858 Posts
Susan,

First, use a heavier oil, like 5W40 or 0W40.

Second, the plug in #2 cylinder is probably oil fouling, and when it starts to miss, take it out and change it or clean it.

Third, you can ask you husband or mechanic to install a non-fouler for the plug in #2:

[/URL]

Make sure to get the right size, which I'm not sure of. You might want to go to an auto parts store and ask.

If you can keep the plug from fouling, I wouldn't worry about the loss of compression in #2, as instead of 6 cylinders, you have 5.5 cylinders, which should be more than enough to keep you going for a very long time.

How much oil does the van use?

Finally, this might be the time to start looking around for a newer used van, as the worst time to look for a vehicle is when you need one in a hurry.

This posting has been approved by Jeepman, but I'm not sure about Levy!
Actually, you provided good advice regarding the "non-fouler". That should buy her some time.

And yes, start looking for a newer vehicle while on a non-rush state.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A preliminary verdict is in (though I got this information second hand). Two mechanics spent 3 hours trying to diagnose the problem. For this they want to charge me a whopping $40. They have all of the major testing devices.
They replaced the coil and that didn't make a difference so they put the old coil back in.
They think either the computer is bad or there is a burnt valve. A new computer is $300-$400 and if they put it in and it turns out that was not the problem I can't return the computer.
They recommend I sell the van for around $600 and tell the buyer that it probably has a burn valve. The book value on this van if not for this problem, would be about $2,500.

I'm going to call the mechanic in tonight or tomorrow to ask some questions, but in the meantime I'll ask here.
If a computer goes bad wouldn't it have more than one symptom (a sporadically blinking CEL)? If this van can be fixed for $3,000 or less I would prefer to get it fixed. What would happen if I continue driving around with a burnt valve? Is that an option? Because if you ask me the car runs just fine as is.

Thanks for any thoughts or opinions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,134 Posts
A burnt valve can be diagnosed with a $15 vacuum gauge, and I really, really, really doubt you have a bad computer.

Go here:


See if you can locate another mechanic, as I think you need a 'third' opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
It is very highly unlikely that your problem comes down to either an engine mechanical problem or an electrical/electronic problem. One important question: Does cylinder number two have proper compression? If compression is good it doesn't have a burned valve. If it does not have proper compression all of the computers in the world won't fix it.

The fact that they are start out by just swapping parts and then come up with conclusions that make no sense causes me to tell you to take your van to somebody that knows what they are doing. I appreciate that they are inexpensive but an improper diagnosis of your problem is not gonna help you one bit or save you any money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is very highly unlikely that your problem comes down to either an engine mechanical problem or an electrical/electronic problem. One important question: Does cylinder number two have proper compression? If compression is good it doesn't have a burned valve. If it does not have proper compression all of the computers in the world won't fix it.

The fact that they are start out by just swapping parts and then come up with conclusions that make no sense causes me to tell you to take your van to somebody that knows what they are doing. I appreciate that they are inexpensive but an improper diagnosis of your problem is not gonna help you one bit or save you any money.
Cylinder 2 only has 40% compression! Two different shops have spent a lot of time trying to diagnose the problem and both of them are recommending that I don't try to fix it. I think the reasoning is that driving it for so long with the low compression may have caused damage to something other than the original part by now. They are afraid I'll spend $$$ to fix the valve and a month later something else major will die. That makes sense to me.

You guys? have been a great help and I can't thank you enough.
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
516 Posts
Again, the non-fouler won't do jack crap if it isn't burning oil.:rolleyes: It will not fix miss firing due to low compression. And as Valhallalla has said, firing the parts cannon replacing random items like the coil or computer isn't going to solve the problem. Low compression (if that is actually what it is wrong with it) won't make random other parts, like the coil or computer go bad, either.

If these shops can't show you the results of the compression test in actual PSI numbers, proving that it has low compression, I'd be looking for a shop that is honest and knows what they are doing. And BTW, it doesn't take a lot of time to diagnose low compression. All one has to do is remove the plugs and thread the tester in each hole.:cautious:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Again, the non-fouler won't do jack crap if it isn't burning oil.:rolleyes: It will not fix miss firing due to low compression. And as Valhallalla has said, firing the parts cannon replacing random items like the coil or computer isn't going to solve the problem. Low compression (if that is actually what it is wrong with it) won't make random other parts, like the coil or computer go bad, either.

If these shops can't show you the results of the compression test in actual PSI numbers, proving that it has low compression, I'd be looking for a shop that is honest and knows what they are doing. And BTW, it doesn't take a lot of time to diagnose low compression. All one has to do is remove the plugs and thread the tester in each hole.:cautious:
"Low compression (if that is actually what it is wrong with it) won't make random other parts, like the coil or computer go bad, either." REALLY? I thought it was a situation where low compression causes misfiring and if it keeps misfiring it will damage other parts (especially the catalytic converter)?

Our emissions test last week confirmed that cyl 2 was misfiring. I'm going to check with the first mechanic who said the compression was 40% and ask him how he knows that.
I will also call the second shop and ask them to explain what made them think the problem could be as simple as the computer.
When I read about compression or valve problems there seem to a lot of symptoms that my car does not have. It certainly does not have the symptoms.

You have renewed my hope for now. I will try to find a mechanic that "knows what he is doing" and get a third opinion.
Thank you!
 

·
Registered
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V
Joined
·
516 Posts
"Low compression (if that is actually what it is wrong with it) won't make random other parts, like the coil or computer go bad, either." REALLY? I thought it was a situation where low compression causes misfiring and if it keeps misfiring it will damage other parts (especially the catalytic converter)?
The electronics aren't likely to go bad just because there is a lack of compression on one cylinder. The computer could be controlling the coil, spark plug, fuel injector, etc while they are dangling in the air, and it shouldn't make them go bad.:)

Converter damage may be possible, but hopefully when the computer detected that there was a problem, it dialed the fuel mixture back on that cylinder to prevent damage. Anyhow, I wouldn't worry about that until the original problem is confirmed and hopefully fixed. Unless you have to comply with Commiefornia emissions, an aftermarket converter shouldn't be too awful expensive anyhow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have to correct some misinformation that was in my original post. Here is the full story:
I have a 2005 Caravan, 4 cyl with 130k miles on it.

The CEL first came on in June of 2020. Our regular mechanic said the code was p0302...a cyl 2 misfire. He replaced the spark plugs and wires and reset the codes.

In April of 2021the CEL was on again. Code 0302...a cyl 2 misfire. Our regular mechanic said the compression in cyl 2 was only 40. Hubby then put Engine Restore in the van.

About two weeks ago I was on a four hour drive the CEL started flashing at various times. The performance of the van is exactly as it has always been. I called our regular mechanic and asked him what to do. He said that since it has a compression problem he didn't think it was worth fixing because there may be more than one problem.

I took it to a second mechanic. He and his partner tested every single thing that can be tested without taking the engine apart. The new information is that THERE IS NO COMPRESSION PROBLEM. All cylinders were at least 115 pounds.

Cyl 2 is missing when the van idles. 18 codes came up on the tester. One of the codes said, "miscommunication with the injector."
A NOID light reading was minimal, but as you give the van gas the light gets brighter and brighter. These two mechanics have never seen in their many years. They discussed it with a Master Mechanic who said he has never seen that happen and has never heard of it happening.
The conclusion was that the computer may be malfunctioning, causing cyl. 2 to misfire. Or, there is a burnt valve.
The only way to know if the problem is the computer is to replace it for $400-$600. If the problem continues with a new computer in it, that expense will be a total loss.

I was driving the van today and the CLE pattern was very clear. After a minute of idling the light starts to flash. It only flashes a few times and then it stops. If the idling continues after a time the light will flash again a few times. There is no flashing at all when the van is moving.

So the question is, now that we know there is no compression problem, does anyone here think the problem might be the computer? Thank you in advance for any opinions.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top