Troubleshooting misfire codes (P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P0305, P0306, P0307, P0308) can be a challenge. In this article, I'll shed some light on the basic causes of a misfire condition on the Dodge 3.9L, 5.2L, and 5.9L equipped pick ups, full-size vans, and SUVs.
Here are the main points of this article. You can start at the beginning or click on each heading (below) and go directly to it:
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar Fallas de Cilindro (Chrysler 3.9L, 5.2L, 5.9L) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
In plain English, a misfire condition, means that the engine in your Dodge pick up, van, or SUV is not running on all cylinders.
When this happens, whether you have a 3.9L V6 or one of the V8 engines in your Dodge pick up (or Van, SUV), you'll notice some of the following consequences (symptoms):
Although it sucks that your Dodge pick up (or van, SUV) is misfiring, the cool thing is that troubleshooting the misfire is not that hard to do. Let's find out more.
What helps, to successfully diagnose a misfire code or misfire condition is to know some of the root causes of a misfire. Why? Well, because quite a few things can cause and engine to misfire.
Now, don't worry, I won't go into a lot of technical detail... just the stuff you and I need to know to troubleshoot the misfire issue.
The most important thing you need to know is that each cylinder needs three things to produce power and they are: air, fuel, and spark. And when your Dodge vehicle is misfiring... it's because one of them is missing from the equation. OK, let's go into more detail:
Ignition System: The ignition system is responsible for the production and delivery of spark. In my opinion, around 90% of the time, a fault in the Ignition System is usually behind a misfire.
The usual suspects (that cause a misfire) are:
Fuel System: The fuel system is responsible for the delivery of fuel. If fuel is missing from any one specific engine cylinder, it will misfire. The most common type of failure is a fuel injector going on permanent vacation.
Sucks that fuel injectors don't last forever and when one ‘kicks the bucket’, the cylinders who gets fed by it will go dead and in the process cause a misfire code to light up the check engine light.
Here are some other fuel system problems that can cause a misfire (‘dead’ cylinder, rough idle, etc.):
Engine Mechanical Condition: The pistons and valves are the ones that draw air into the engine. Sometimes you'll have one cylinder or several whose pistons or valves have accelerated wear and tear. This causes those cylinders to produce a less than average compression value that will cause a misfire condition.
Another thing that will cause a misfire (normally at idle) is vacuum leaks coming from a large vacuum hose or the intake manifold gasket.
“The secret to success is to go from mistake to mistake without losing your enthusiasm.”