Question about 2001 Dodge Caravan

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2001 Dodge Caravan Cylinder Misfire

I have a Dodge Caravan. About 2 weeks ago I added a fuel line cleaner with very little gas in the tank. About 20 minutes later the check engine light came on and has been on ever since. I went to Auto zone and had the codes scanned and the code P0303 came back. I was told that code means misfiring cyclinder number 3, however the guy at auto zone told me that the code that came up was P0303 but it ment cylinder 4 was misfiring. I wasnt sure what the problem was so I changed the spark plugs in cylinders 3 as well as 4. The motor idles less rough now but still has a unusual idle to it. When I took out the old spark plugs (which are only 5 months old) they were covered in oil, smelled burnt and they were heavily corroded. I have no smoke coming out of the exhaust what so ever.
Does anyone know what could have caused the spark plugs to burn or misfire?
Also the rough idle after spark plug problem was fixed, Can that be the fuel filter since it is a 2001 and it is the original filter?
Anyone know how to change a fuel filter on a 2001 caravan 2.4L 4cyl?

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  • John McCallum
    John McCallum Sep 14, 2009

    how do i unclog the catalyic converter?

  • John McCallum
    John McCallum Sep 15, 2009

    I dont hear anything broken. Exhaust comes out of the tail pipe full blast.

  • John McCallum
    John McCallum Sep 17, 2009

    When oil hits spark plugs it represents worn piston rings and worn valve guides? Can I change those out myself?
    The problem im having now is I still have a misfire in cylinder 3 I changed all the spark plugs and still have a check engine light blinking and solid.
    Since I changed the plugs Im going to change the wires and then I was going to go down the line. The Ignition coil, O2 Sensor, Maybe even the fuel injectors.
    Im also going to do the other stuff like flush the tranny and change the oil.
    What can cause a cylinder 3 misfire engine light code? I changed the plugs. Could the oil seeping into the plugs be flooding something causing the light?
    The light comes on stays steady and then every now and then it blinks like 20 times and goes back to solid.
    I have no idea whats wrong but I really need to narrow it down because I do not need or want the car breaking down on me I use it for work.

  • John McCallum
    John McCallum Sep 17, 2009

    Could it be my fuel injector in cylinder 3?

  • John McCallum
    John McCallum Sep 17, 2009

    How can I run these tests myself? Any idea how much a noid light is? I am a do it myself kind of guy. Im a window mechanic/glazier and Im pretty hands on. I do all the basics myself. You know, oil change tranny fluid change. and I try to replace anything and everything on the van I can myself before I take it to the pricey dealership. I know some about cars and motors but not everything. Im sorry if I am bothering you with a million questions and I do appreciate you taking the time to help me out.
    On cylinder 3 I have a misfire. So I changed that spark plug along with the other 3. Upon removing them, they were coroded and the threads where covered in oil. Im guessing I have a bad seal like you said. Would that be a seal on the oil pan itself that holds it together or would that be rings in more that prevent oil from getting into the plugs?
    I had the codes scanned at auto zone and they told me a cylinder3 misfire and these are the causes they told me it most likely was: Spark plugs, Wires, Coil pack, fuel injector.
    I changed the plugs and nothing. The wires are new and nothing. would it be cheaper to buy a coil pack or to buy a code scanner and a noid checker?
    If it is possible Id like to tackle the task myself.I was planning on changing the oil pan gasket, the transmission filter and fluid and gasket as well as the oil filter and oil.
    IF needed to change the fuel injector I might as well change the O rings while Im at it. I catch on pretty quick and I pay attention. While I have the motor apart Id like to do all repairs or replace whats worn to prevent break down even if it takes a couple hundred dollars.
    My van is a 2001. Only broke down on me once 2 years ago. I had to get the timing belt, water pump and altenator replaced. Besides those parts everything else is stock including the fuel filter.
    The problem Im having now is after the autozone scan the light went off I changed the plugs and now a week later the light is back and it stays on steady and then blinks about 20-30 times (not in sequence) just straight blinking and then goes back to solid. I dont want to seize the motor up, Id like to keep it running as long as possible because this was my fathers van and he passed away in JUNE.
    Again sorry for writing a novel and thanks for being patient and helping out I really do appreciate it. I just like working on cars and I need the guidance of a good mechanic. any comments or tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  • John McCallum
    John McCallum Sep 19, 2009

    Thanks for the comments and advice I appreciate it greatly. I think I will do what you said. Being that I am hands on and like to work on the car myself it will pay in the long run to buy the mechanic tools I need now and they will pay themselves off as I use them over the years. I was thinking about picking up a code scanner for myself and a couple other things. As for the Coil Pack and other parts I think about it this way: If I go down the line and replace parts to fix the problem and whatever I change doesnt fix the problem, atleast I have the piece of mind of knowing that the parts I have changed are new and probably wont break on me anytime soon. afterall the van is a 2001 with 128,000 miles and is mostly stock so I consider myself lucky that all the stock parts are still working. I know it is a minivan and everything (soccer mom van) LOL! but it was my dads and we used to work on it together all the time and Id like to keep it running as long as possible

  • John McCallum
    John McCallum Oct 20, 2009

    Hey, heres an update on my situation. It probably wont help you either because Im in the same boat. I had a misfire in cylinder 3. I switched the spark plug wires from cylinder 3 and 4. The misfire jumped to cylinder 4. I figured it was just the wires then. I replaced the wires and boom check engine light came back. I changed the spark plugs and boom check engine light came back. I changed the coil pack and I had a lot of power back and we were running good and then boom Check engine light came back. Next I plan on changing the oxygen sensor and the fuel injectors.
    Try disconnecting your battery for about 10 minutes and hooking it back up again. Restart the van and the check engine light should be gone. That will reset your codes. If the code doesnt come back that means the code was just stored in the memory and needed to be cleared. If it does come back that means that the problem still exsists.
    I had a misfire in cylinder 3 and the solutions were: faulty plugs, wire, oxygen sensor, coil pack, fuel injectors.
    If I get any updates or find out a solution to fix my van I will defeinatly repost and help you out and hopefully you will do the same.



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I have a 2001 Dodge Grand caravan Sport i have a misfire in cylinder 2 i changed the spark plugs,wires,coil,map sensor,COMPUTER,had it checked for vacum leaks (nothing),fuel filter.Basically I have almost redone the whole van and i still have the same problem. Can anyone suggest what else i could try! please

Posted on Oct 19, 2009

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Try this. My van has the same problem and I have replaced all the obvious parts...plugs, wires, etc. One thing I discovered quit by accident was that air is getting into my fuel injection line that feeds the problem cylinder. There is a small valve on the line similar to the one you have on you tire. When I get the misfiring problem I shut the engine off and push on this valve. If the line is primed properly it should spew fuel immediately. But when I do it during a problem episode a bunch of air comes out first before the fuel finally comes spraying out. When I start the engine again it just takes a few second for the line to build pressure again and then the engine runs fine again until the next episode. I'm yet to pinpoint the cause of the air leak, but at least I know what is causing the misfire now!!

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

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The fuel filter should be under the rear left of the vehicle in front of the back left wheel.It wont hurt to change the fuel filter but I dont think thats the problem.Check your catalytic converter,it may be clogged.The engine light may of been triggered from additive do to emissions.Also check the O2 sensor

Posted on Sep 14, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • Anonymous Sep 15, 2009

    If your muffler is good w/out any obstruction see if exhaust is blowing out the tailpipe when the vehicle is rev ved.If there's any question about the muffler you'll have to disconnect the pipe thats connected to the rear of the cat.Start the vehicle and see if the exhaust is blowing out the end of it.You can also shake the cat back and forth to see if you hear any broken element parts inside.

  • Anonymous Sep 17, 2009

    Oil deposits on spark plugs can indicate worn piston rings or worn valve guides.When these parts are worn oil leaks into the combustion chamber onto the spark plugs

  • Anonymous Sep 17, 2009

    There are two different test you can do to pin point whats wrong with cylinder #3.(my guess is vavle guide or seal problem).First you need to get a noid light (injector tester) to see if injector 3 is bad.Second you need to have(or do) a cylinder leakage test on that cylinder.This will tell you exactly whats leaking in the cylinder (the intake vavle,the exhaust valve or the piston rings) If its piston rings that means you basically need an engine rebuild.If its a valve issue then you need cylinder head service which is not as bad as a rebuild but the cylinder head has to be removed from the vehicle

  • Anonymous Sep 19, 2009

    If your going to maintain your vehicle yourself, picking up tools to accomplish the task will end up paying for themselves in the long run(just think about dealership prices).Also another tip; if you suspect a part is bad (like the coil pack) you can always buy it install it and if that doesnt remedy the problem return it.(just keep the receipt and make sure the part is as clean as it was when you bought it)That will help you through the proccess of elemination especially on a budget.Pick up a coil pack from one store go to the other and have them scan it to see if the problem comes up again.Do this before you get any deeper into engine diagnosis.Also if oil was found on the threads of the plug and not the electrode or insulator (the tip of the plug that sticks inside the engine) this only means that oil leaked on the outside of the engine ( a leaking cover gasket)and ran down on the plug.Just make sure the tip is dry when you pull the plug out the engine.It should be brownish indicating normal wear.If this is the case, then there's probably no internal ring or valve issues.


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