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Discussion Starter #1
Mysterious High Fuel consumption and lack of Power 2005 Chrysler Town & Country 3.3

I recently bought a 2005 Chrysler Town & Country with 75000 miles on it.

I just sold my old 2001 Chrysler T & C that I had for seven years.

This chrysler has a 35 % increase in fuel consumption and has noticeably less power. I have no clue what is wrong with it. I am getting no fault codes.

I have checked the wheels for sticking brakes and I have hoisted every wheel to see if they spin freely which they do.

I have checked the spark plug wires for ohm resistance and Im getting between 300-600 ohms depending on cable (which I gather is fine).

The Spark plugs are supposed to last 100 000 miles and in my old T & C I drove 150 000 miles and 11 years without replacing them (they were fine to the end).

I drove to the inspection center for exhaust check and all values came out perfect.

I zeroed the computer by putting the battery-cables together for one minute so the computer would reset itself and relearn my personal cycle (which a mechanic told me could make wonders for these modern cars). But no change at all.

I am getting like 16 MPG under circumstances when I should with comparison to my old T & C (that has the same engine and same weight and everything) get 22 MPG.

I am really so stumped on this one. Called the Chrysler dealership here in Stockholm and they just told me to live with it. I dont know what to do.

All thoughts are welcome!

/Richard
 

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... Called the Chrysler dealership here in Stockholm and they just told me to live with it. ....
Heck of an outfit there - would have expected them to bring you and your checkbook right in:confused:. Anyway, 16 does seem low unless you have mainly city driving. Do you have a maintenance history for your new van? If the previous owner was REALLY bad on oil changes perhaps there is engine damage? A compression/leak down test would confirm or eliminate that as a possibility.
 

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While I'm not a fan of throwing parts at a problem in the hope of fixing it; more than one person on this site has reported the same issues as you and has fixed it by replacing the Oxygen sensors. This is a relatively cheap fix that might be worth a try.
 

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I'd say the only way to check if your minivan gets good mpg is to drive the hwy for 100 miles straight, fillup just before entering, then check you hwy mpg. I get 25.6 mpg hwy, so I know I got a good 2005 SXT for mpg but in Chicago city driving with lots of stop n go I get 10 to 14 mpg city. So I mostly drive my fuel efficient Honda in the city and in 4 months I've only put about 1000 miles in my SXT.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunatly thats the deal with the majority of dealerships in Sweden. I don’t know of any shop that has ever had a clue and I think that I have probably dealt with 40 or so of them over these past 13 years.



I checked the spark plugs today and they look fine. I called the dealership to ask what new spark plug
wires would run me. $151 converted to US dollars. Everything is in that price-range around here. I did not dare to ask what plugs would cost. A CO2 sensor was $231. I asked him if the wires were Mopar. He said he didn’t know. Naturally he couldn’t be bothered to check that for me. Typical Swedish dealership. I usually do everything myself, not because Im a mechanic but because the ones that are out there are less of mechanics than I am.

The front wheels look fine but I will check the alignment though. I was just out driving and it feels like Im hauling something almost. When doing 45 MPH on a miniscule incline the car has to gear down to maintain that speed. Just like if I was hauling a trailer.

I know how the car is supposed to feel since I drove my old Chrysler for 100 000 miles and it had the same specifications as the new one.

Oh I wish I was in the US where everything about cars are cheap and where there are mechanics that actually know something about cars (some! I once helped a friend in Miami service his car at Firestone on Alton Road I Miami Beach. Those guys were worse amateurs than I’ve seen anywhere).
Oh well. I guess we’ll have to drive this one to the junkyard.
The tires on the back wheels are uneven and made a high low pitch sound till I rotated them from left to right. They used to be in the front. They are Pirelli Scorpion tires. Mud and snow. The shoes have inclines on them but from front to back not right to left. Can a wheel-alignment have done this? I called a tire guy about them the other day and he said something about that Pirelli Scorpion does that.

Rear brake disc is a bit warped too. I did spin the wheels and even though back left seems not as easy as the back right I wonder it its enough to make the car feel like its hauling a small trailer.

I am getting no fault codes at all, which makes me think that maybe there is nothing wrong with the engine and exhaust but rather something else like what you point out, wheels, alignment and stuff like that.

It passed the emissions test perfectly, if it had been a bad O2 sensor, wouldnt it have shown in the emissions test?
 

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.... I called the dealership to ask what new spark plug wires would run me. $151 converted to US dollars. Everything is in that price-range around here. I did not dare to ask what plugs would cost. A CO2 sensor was $231.
....
Rear brake disc is a bit warped too. I did spin the wheels and even though back left seems not as easy as the back right I wonder it its enough to make the car feel like its hauling a small trailer. ...
I'm on my way to Sweden with a bunch of parts and will be opening a shop in your town next week :thumb:

If you can actually see a rotor warped, that sounds like it may be the culprit. And alignment may be a problem as well. Some shops just gun all lugs to 175 or so - wouldn't want a tire to fall off, right? Rotors warping - not my problem :jpshakehe. Here's something to try, if you can find the right location for it. The idea is to run the car for 5-10 minutes at decent speed without ever using the brakes, and then coast to a stop, again without using the brakes. One good place this might work is a highway off ramp with an up-grade. If you are able to do that, and there's no binding or grabbing, then the wheels should feel cold, or at least not real warm to the touch. Should be easy to pick out one or more problem wheels using that test.
 

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I'd second "Shipo's" thoughts on the bad O2 sensor. I believe that it's possible that a vehicle could pass the emissions check and still have a bad sensor. There are too many variables involved to state that the emissions test would pinpoint a bad O2 sensor.
You stated:
I drove to the inspection center for exhaust check and all values came out perfect.
Was that test for "emissions" or for flow?
Low power and fuel mileage could point to a blocked exhaust, caused by internal collapse of some component in the exhaust, typically the catalytic converter. I've always found that this situation can be verified by a low intake manifold reading at idle. However, there was a case on this forum, a few months ago, where this test seemed to give a "normal" reading, yet after considerable troubleshooting and effort, a replacement converter finally solved the problem!
 

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A CO2 sensor was $231.
Yikes! $231 USD for an O2 sensor? Yeesh, I just checked around a bit and they're readily available in my neighborhood for between $50 and $70.

FWIW, if your van is running well, then it is highly unlikely that Spark Plugs and Plug Wires are your issue.
 

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Low power and fuel mileage could point to a blocked exhaust, caused by internal collapse of some component in the exhaust, typically the catalytic converter. I've always found that this situation can be verified by a low intake manifold reading at idle. However, there was a case on this forum, a few months ago, where this test seemed to give a "normal" reading, yet after considerable troubleshooting and effort, a replacement converter finally solved the problem!
An exhaust restriction hadn't occurred to me; good thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ran the test you suggested and the wheels were cold. Not hot. And it really felt like the car free-wheeled like my old car, pretty easily that is. Entering the highway I wanted to get up to 70 mph and for me to be able to do within an acceptable time-frame the car had to down-shift to like second gear, was up at 5000 RPM.

The emissions test what the government mandated yearly test. Went there and talked to the guys and explained my problem and they did a test for free. They test CO, CO 2500, HC and Lamda .

Swedes will welcome americans with cheap car parts any day!

But Im thinking all those values wouldn’t have come out so well if it had been a catalytic converter. But O2 sensor you suggest. How can I verify this? By removing both of them and see if the car does any better (then being in a default mode for no 02 sensors…)?
 

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If you disconnect the O2 sensors, the vehicle will run horribly, if at all.
The first thing I'd try would be a simple intake manifold vacuum test. A warmed up engine will pull about 20" at idle. Anything below 15 inches would be suspect. The symptoms of a blocked exhaust are reduced power and fuel economy, both getting worse as engine speed increases. The exhaust can be blocked at nearly any point in the system, and this, I'd guess, would not affect an "idling" emissions test. Emissions testing does little but satisfy government bureaucrats, while lightening your wallet.
 

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If you disconnect the O2 sensors, the vehicle will run horribly, if at all.
The first thing I'd try would be a simple intake manifold vacuum test. A warmed up engine will pull about 20" at idle. Anything below 15 inches would be suspect. The symptoms of a blocked exhaust are reduced power and fuel economy, both getting worse as engine speed increases. The exhaust can be blocked at nearly any point in the system, and this, I'd guess, would not affect an "idling" emissions test. Emissions testing does little but satisfy government bureaucrats, while lightening your wallet.
Can u explain how to do the vacuum test , what is 20" for? Sorry for noob question.
 

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As the engine runs, it creates vacuum in the intake manifold. 20" of vacuum is the amount a normal, good running engine will create. Engine vacuum gauges are readily available at auto parts stores, and not that expensive. Or, maybe you could borrow one as it's not something the average person uses every day. (or, even every year for that matter :)) Not sure of the best place to connect it on the mini van, never looked.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I may have stumbled upon some possible causes. Not sure. I tried to locate the MAP sensor and happened instead to get the Idle Air Valve sensor open. And it was kinda dirty and I filled it with Electronic Cleaner and cleaned it off with a towel. So doing this I noticed, looking into, the Throttle body that there were pools of oil in there. I am not sure if this is normal or terribly wrong but it seems to me to have no function there. Anyways the car, I may be imagining, I felt drove better in around-town traffic, being more agile in speeds up to 30 MPH.

Yesterday I did take off the MAP sensor and it looked fine else from the fact that oil came running out of it. Maybe can have an effect on things.

So sitting stuck in traffic yesterday I connected a KIWI sensor that I bought off Ebay. Its a real Basic OBD scanner which can tell me MPG, engine speed, Engine load, coolant temp and so forth. Anyways I noticed that at idle the Engine load value was 14. When I used this KIWI sensor in my Chevy van the Engine Load reading at idle was always 0. The engine load reading relates, I gather, to the position of the gas-pedal. That the reading is 14 at baseline in the Chrysler seems to me wrong. All these things can perhaps be clues to you out there who are a little more knowledgeable on these things than I am?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh so now I realize that it was not the Idle Air Valve that I cleaned up with electronic cleaner but the Throttle position sensor. That makes more sense. Please forgive me for being so confused.
 

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Is this something that a Seafoam treatment would cure?
 

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Some carbon build up is normal, Chrysler even published a TSB about having to clean the throttle body every now & then to remove carbon buildup. But yours looks excessive to me, especially how oily it is. Just a guess, perhaps the PCV valve is not functioning properly and allowing the intake to suck up too much oily vapor from the valve cover. Warning, though, the PCV is a pain to change on that van.

Still, that may or may not have anything to do with your fuel consumption problem. I agree with the suggestion about O2 sensor. Make note though on the 2005 they did a mid-year change and there were two different O2 sensors used, you have to get the right one for your build date or else it will not work correctly.
 

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One other thought for you to consider. Lots of us (myself included) will sometimes hang on a part or two, just because we can. Definitely not the right way to approach repairs, but given the relatively low price that we pay for many parts, along with no labor cost, it's an easy shortcut to take - and often it actually does work :). But given what parts cost over there, buying some "maybe" parts isn't something you want to do. Most electrical parts can be tested, many with just a digital multi-meter. If you have one of those, I believe it's not a big job to run a test on the O2 sensor.
And once you become good at part-testing, open a shop and put the hackers you've been dealing with out of business :lol:.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Car has 75000 miles. Built in Oct 2004.
Previous owner was sloppy with oil changes. Once went 17000 miles between an oil change.
Oil was changed a 1000 miles ago but oil is now darker than is normal after 1000 miles.

Car has decreased power, especially in speeds over 30 mph.
At kick-down, at highway speeds, faint hesitations in acceleration can be felt.
Car has greatly reduced mileage. About 35 % reduction in mileage.
When starting up it idles the first 10 seconds as if ambient temperature was 35 F and not 70 F.
Has much carbon build-up on throttle plate
Has much carbon build-up on Idle Air Valve
Some oil coming into Throttle body from PCV valve hose. More than it should perhaps.
Small pool of oil in Throttle body underneath the PCV valve hose intake.
When removing MAP-sensor oil dripping out of it.

So this is where I am now. I managed to ruin my map-sensor yesterday when trying to clean it. Well well, have to buy new one.

I haven’t checked but I am certainly leaning towards faulty PCV Valve at this point.
 
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