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Thread: 1996 Dodge Stratus - no spark

  1. #1
    Percival P. Cassidy
    Guest Percival P. Cassidy's Avatar

    Default 1996 Dodge Stratus - no spark

    I reported earlier that this vehicle ('96 Stratus ES -- 2.5L V6)
    sometimes was difficult to start, and somebody suggested a fuel injector
    problem.

    The problem did not reoccur -- until yesterday, when it died completely
    and had to be helped home (it was stuck protruding into a major road
    about half a mile from home at 1am, and the sheriff's deputies came
    along and pushed it home with the push bumper -- very nice of them, when
    I guess they could have issued a ticket and/or ordered up a tow truck at
    our expense).

    It will not restart, although the battery shows normal voltage (yet the
    engine does not seem to crank over as fast as normal -- unless I am
    imagining that), and there is no spark at the one plug I removed, so I
    am guessing the problem is in the coil/distributor unit, which I
    understand has to be replaced as a whole. I also understand that these
    were prone to failure, so ours may have done well to last this long (85K
    miles). Anything else to check before deciding that this *is* the problem?

    Shouldn't the "Check Engine" light have indicated a problem of this kind?

    More questions: looking at the AutoZone Web site (just as one example),
    I see 5 different options, some new, some remanufactured, ranging in
    price from approx. $220 (with return of core) to $425 and with varying
    warranties. Any reason to prefer one brand over another? Any better
    place to buy? How much of a hassle to replace this myself? I have the
    Haynes and Chilton manuals -- I know, I know.

    Perce

  2. #2
    philthy
    Guest philthy's Avatar

    Default 1996 Dodge Stratus - no spark

    2.5 v6 has a timing belt did that let loose?

    "Percival P. Cassidy" wrote:

    > I reported earlier that this vehicle ('96 Stratus ES -- 2.5L V6)
    > sometimes was difficult to start, and somebody suggested a fuel injector
    > problem.
    >
    > The problem did not reoccur -- until yesterday, when it died completely
    > and had to be helped home (it was stuck protruding into a major road
    > about half a mile from home at 1am, and the sheriff's deputies came
    > along and pushed it home with the push bumper -- very nice of them, when
    > I guess they could have issued a ticket and/or ordered up a tow truck at
    > our expense).
    >
    > It will not restart, although the battery shows normal voltage (yet the
    > engine does not seem to crank over as fast as normal -- unless I am
    > imagining that), and there is no spark at the one plug I removed, so I
    > am guessing the problem is in the coil/distributor unit, which I
    > understand has to be replaced as a whole. I also understand that these
    > were prone to failure, so ours may have done well to last this long (85K
    > miles). Anything else to check before deciding that this *is* the problem?
    >
    > Shouldn't the "Check Engine" light have indicated a problem of this kind?
    >
    > More questions: looking at the AutoZone Web site (just as one example),
    > I see 5 different options, some new, some remanufactured, ranging in
    > price from approx. $220 (with return of core) to $425 and with varying
    > warranties. Any reason to prefer one brand over another? Any better
    > place to buy? How much of a hassle to replace this myself? I have the
    > Haynes and Chilton manuals -- I know, I know.
    >
    > Perce

  3. #3
    Steve
    Guest Steve's Avatar

    Default 1996 Dodge Stratus - no spark

    Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

    > It will not restart, although the battery shows normal voltage (yet the
    > engine does not seem to crank over as fast as normal -- unless I am
    > imagining that), and there is no spark at the one plug I removed,


    A stall and then no spark combined with cranking that doesn't sound right
    sounds a whole lot like a broken timing belt to me. Make sure the
    camshafts are rotating before you waste money on ignition parts.

  4. #4
    Percival P. Cassidy
    Guest Percival P. Cassidy's Avatar

    Default 1996 Dodge Stratus - no spark

    On 07/30/07 01:29 pm Steve wrote:

    >> It will not restart, although the battery shows normal voltage (yet
    >> the engine does not seem to crank over as fast as normal -- unless I
    >> am imagining that), and there is no spark at the one plug I removed,

    >
    > A stall and then no spark combined with cranking that doesn't sound right
    > sounds a whole lot like a broken timing belt to me. Make sure the
    > camshafts are rotating before you waste money on ignition parts.


    AFAIK, the timing belt was replaced when the water pump was replaced at
    about 60K miles (now up to about 85K). I'd have to go through a whole
    lot of files to find the paperwork for that job, but I am certain I told
    them (a long way away from where I now live) to do the timing belt while
    they were about it.

    Is the 6-cyl. an interference engine? I thought I had read here that it
    is. If the timing belt breaks on an interference engine, doesn't it go
    BANG!?

    Since I wrote my original message I checked the battery voltage while
    the engine is cranking over, and it stays around 12v. Wouldn't the
    voltage drop more than that if the starter were OK? Perhaps the starter
    had problems already -- I'm not the one that drives this car usually.

    Perce

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