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I have a 2005 T&C 3.8 liter automatic. The van engine sputters between 35 and 50 mph whether I'm on flat road or going up an incline. I took it to the Chrysler dealership and they replaced the cam and crank sensors and gave it a clean bill of health. They also recommended I replace the spark plug wires since it has 80K miles on it. I bought the OEM wires and also checked the gap on the plugs. The spark plugs only have 25K miles on them and looked OK so I kept them. The T&C doesn't have a fuel filter (can you believe this?) so there's no filter to replace. I ran a bottle of high grade fuel system cleaner through the system and replaced the air filter. I also tried using mid grade gasoline and nothing has seemed to help.

Before I take it back to the garage, does anyone have any ideas as to what would cause the sputter? Are there any other sensors that may be the culprit?
 

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on the 05 we had a rough running engine, which turned out to be the EGR, I could see that might cause a problem with sputtering, so that would be one thing to check out.

and I believe the fuel filter on most newer cars is inside the fuel pump, instead of externally mounted.
 

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The spark plug and wires should take care of the problem, actually. The issue usually occurs because for some reason, the torque converter clutch does not unlock under high-load situations, and it's usually linked to poor engine performance.

This is not a Chrysler specific problem, either. It happens to a broad range of vehicles.

Water in the fuel or poor quality fuel can also cause this problem, making the engine run significantly worse under load.
 

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Symptoms sound like an EGR valve, except it only occurs at 35-50, an EGR valve would cause poor performance at all speeds. What happens when you accelerate when it's sputtering, does it quit or just get worse? Is there a check engine light on? Does the check engine light come on or flash when it is sputtering?
 

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This is the second time I posted this idea, for some reason the first one did not post.
I had the same sensation when I got my 05 TC 3.8. It felt like a miss between 35 and 55. I have replaced plugs, checked and cleaned wires, they are fine, replaced the fluid 4 times with ATF 4, had the tranny reflashed and reprogrammed with the new data to cure harsh shifting. It is still there. I have driven others, new ones too, that pulse irregularly. It is not uncommon. The torque converter (TC) pulses in 3rd and 4th before final lock up. Usually the problem is not noticeable about 55/60 or under hard acceleration (which usually makes a miss worse) Wires often are more noticeable when the are wet. I am researching some possible answers to this, there are no codes and the trannies check out fine at the dealers. I am contemplating replacing the solenoid on the tranny and the in/out sensor on it if that does not fix it. Stay posted to see if anything works. I don't think it is damaging, it is just an imperfect slip in the TC that one site says is from insufficient hydraulic pressure to the lock up solenoid during pulsing. It could be a common defect in the TC's used on 41te's that shows up in some of these. But Chrysler will not do anything about this. If I figure mine out, rest assured, I will let everyone know. But it is mostly aggravating, not lethal. That is my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Symptoms sound like an EGR valve, except it only occurs at 35-50, an EGR valve would cause poor performance at all speeds. What happens when you accelerate when it's sputtering, does it quit or just get worse? Is there a check engine light on? Does the check engine light come on or flash when it is sputtering?
The sputter is slight and I can feel it mainly in the gas pedal, and is not noticeable when I accelerate. No engine lights ever come on. I drove it this morning in cold temps and it didn't do it. Air temp was around 28F.
 

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Could be an egr valve still. I worked on a Merc Sable that had issues and would only set the egr code at 50mph. Any other speed or engine load and it would not do it. It seemed like a high vacuum situation was messing with the solenoid and valve. I know it may not be the same as a Chrysler, but it may pay off to wait and see if an engine code eventually appears for something.
 

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Thanks for everyone's input. I'll check out the EGR valve. Anyone have a source for buying one on the internet? I googled EGR valve for the T&C and could only find a gasket.
 

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Try pulling (and pluging) the vaccum hose going to it, and go for a drive. This may or may not cause a code to set.
 

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Torque converter pulsation is still my guess. Sounds just like what I experience. Hope I am wrong.
 

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LOL. I just answered a question similar to this on FixYa.

In that person's case, the fluid was burnt. Not saying that's your problem, though.
 

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Thanks for everyone's advice. I took a chance and replaced the EGR valve. It fixed the sputter problem and the gas mileage improved 5-6 mpg.
 

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I have an POS '09 Sunfire that does this also. But the engine always runs rough, can have problems starting and sometimes will stall. I'm linking 90% of this to plugs and wires, but now I'm wondering if some of it is the EGR....?
 

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I know you are saying 'engine sputtering', but I wanted to mention that sometimes a pulsation or similar feeling (like a bump or a miss) that can feel like an engine could be caused by a broken flex plate (flywheel)-- particularly around 35 mph, flat or hilly.
 
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