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Car is stalling/RPM's Go up and down/running rough and stuttering/NO ERROR CODES?

 
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Old 23 Sep 2011, 08:35 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 97
Default Car is stalling/RPM's Go up and down/running rough and stuttering/NO ERROR CODES?

Well this might be your problem, Spark Plugs/Spark Plug Wires.

The Reason i post this is because i had a hard time finding any solutions to what i was experiencing on the web and locally. and I want to inform people if there having the same issue. all the articles i found were when the Plug or wire completely went and you were only firing on 3 cylinders, or 5, or 7. and no one had the intermittent problems i had at the mileage im at, which is around 39,500

This is what was happening.

I was driving one day and i stopped and a light and the RPM's of my car were jumping between 300-1000rpm (my car usually idles at 650ish). And on top of that, when my car went to shift it would take 300-600rpm MORE to shift my car into the next gear, And on top of that my exhaust was popping like crazy when i let off the gas.

Now i just filled up and I'm like well maybe i had bad gas, So i went out and purchased some Fuel/Injector cleaner. I went and put that in for the next two fill-ups to clean the system completely out in case of left over bad gas. The car ran fine for a couple weeks, and then it started to do it again. Now I know im unlucky and if anyone was going to get bad gas twice in the same month it was me, so i went and got another fuel/injector treatment and it seemed to fix the problem.

So another week went by and it started up again, worse then before, i was now stalling at lights. So i took it up to AutoZone and Advanced Auto and had them give me codes, i even did the code generator built into my car. Both Autozone and advanced auto said no codes came back, could be a sensor starting to go.

So i replaced my MAP sensor and it seemed to solve the issue. Until my car started acting up again about 5 days later. Now at this point I was getting frustrated because i wasn't receiving any error codes, nothing was lighting up on my dash, and how the car was acting was like it was bad gas, so then i thought maybe it was something with the fuel pump, or even worse yet the ECU was messing up.

So after all of this, I was thinking to my self what else could it be, and i remembered that my previous car (97' Mercury Tracer LS) blew out a spark plug and i had absolutely no power at all in the 3rd cylinder and my car was stalling, And thats when it hit me.

I went out and purchased new spark plugs, and park plug wires. and went ahead and replaced them, which isnt as hard as it looks on 06's and up, the manifold comes off with like 5 bolts and just lifts up. once i did this my car has been running fantastic since then.

Now you have to remember im not a car mechanic, I am a Network Administrator lol, so i didn't pick up on possible signs that might of sparked (no pun intended) a flag to replace them. I just wanted to make my issue and solution public on the net so people having the same issue can fix there problem alot faster then i did with out having to take it into the shop or worse cause damage to the engine.

Side note Spark plugs on a 2006 PT cruiser should be .040

What my old ones were at (at 39,543 miles)
Cylinder 1 - .043ish
Cylinder 2 - .051ish
Cylinder 3 - .041ish
Cylinder 4 - .050ish

as you can see, they 2 of them were pretty off lol.
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Old 26 Sep 2011, 08:59 pm
mdfrodolives's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,313
Default Re: Car is stalling/RPM's Go up and down/running rough and stuttering/NO ERROR CODES?

What was the condition of your old plugs--besides the difference in gaps? Were any fouled? Any electrodes broken?

Either way, I'm glad you were able to fix your problem without buying a lot on unnecessary stuff ....

Tim
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Old 27 Sep 2011, 08:43 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
Posts: 20,501
Default Re: Car is stalling/RPM's Go up and down/running rough and stuttering/NO ERROR CODES?

I always recommend new plugs (gapped at 0.040) and aftermarket wires.
It can't hurt, isn't expensive, and is often the cause.
I started noticing "stumbles" with the stock wires before 20,000 miles! Replaced them and cured the hiccups!
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Old 28 Sep 2011, 06:55 pm
Young Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 97
Default Re: Car is stalling/RPM's Go up and down/running rough and stuttering/NO ERROR CODES?

No the actually looked fine, They had some carbon residue on them, nothing to go crazy about.

I should of replaced them when it first started happening but i couldn't see my plugs going when i was under 40,000. when i got close to 50,000 out of my mercury.

but i am also glad that i got it figured out, it was very annoying and really embarrassing lol.
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