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Rough/Pulsating Idle


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18 replies to this topic

#1 hypnotzd27

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:30 AM

I had my timing belt, tensioner, and water pump replaced the other day. All that seems to be ok but since it has been fixed my car has been idling really rough. It's almost like its pulsating and the car feels like its gonna die. Once I hit the gas everything is fine and there's no problems. But then when I come to a stop it starts up again. It does seem to get a little better if I put the car in neutral but not a whole lot. One thing I did notice was that my car wasn't reassembled correctly and one of the parts (not sure what its called) was pushed up against the serpentine belt and the belt cut through the plastic down to the metal. One of the hoses that connects to this part was also pinned between the car and the motor mount. Luckily I was able to get it unwedged. Could anyone tell me what the part is called and if that possibly has something to do with the rough idle.

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#2 Hueyson1977

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:45 AM

sides like either a small vacuum leak or a timing issue possible.

#3 hypnotzd27

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 12:33 PM

If it was a timing issue wouldn't it run bad all the time? Especially at higher rpms?

#4 need4speed

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 01:14 PM

that part you are pointing to in the pic is part of the evap system if i am not mistaken.

btw, what happened to your coolant overflow bottle?

Edited by need4speed, 18 June 2009 - 01:15 PM.


#5 hypnotzd27

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:10 PM

I had to pull the overflow out because of how the mechanic put everything back together. As you will see in the picture, the evap component was basically just stuffed between that A/C piece and the alternator cover. It was actually pushed up against my belt. I also had to free up the hose that was pinned between the metal of the car and the motor mount.


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#6 need4speed

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:19 PM

guess the mech was in a huge hurry to finish your job or not have access to fsm or just plain negligent.

the evap is suppose to be where i drew the circle and there's a bolt that screws where the light blue arrow points to. i guess u r missing that bolt now.

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i'm almost afraid to think whatelse the mech missed / mis-install / didn't care to do properly.... :S

#7 hypnotzd27

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:25 PM

Yeah I put everything back where it was supposed to be although I had to use a random bolt laying around to secure the evap piece. Now I'm just trying to figure out what is causing the idling problem because it wasn't doing that before the car went in for the other work. My car has been throwing codes for my EGR valve on and off for a while now so I pulled that off and tried to clean it. But that didn't seem to do anything so now I'm wondering if it could be from damage to that evap piece.

#8 need4speed

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:43 PM

there should be a vacuum line diagram on the rad support. but here's one for the v6, and i would imagine it being similar for the 4.

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images are from alldatadiy

from looking at the circuit... trace the vac line from the purge solenoid (the piece that was riding against the belts) to the intake mani. if the line is not a hard line but a rubber line, pinch the line and see if your idle improves.

Edited by need4speed, 18 June 2009 - 02:45 PM.


#9 hypnotzd27

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:47 PM

Thanks n4s...I do have a Chilton manual so I'll look in there and see if I can find a 2.4 specific diagram. Although like you said its probably similar.

#10 ninesevenvert

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:46 PM

"""""take caution of what I will tell you""""" you can use berryman B12 to help find vacuum leaks---but it's VERY FLAMMABLE---TRUST ME! I have found numerous leaks with this and only ONE FIRE. Have the car running and spray the gaskets, when the engine stumbles- you found a leak, spray it again to be sure (keep the spray away from spark plugs and their wires) . If you can't find Berryman B12, you should be able to use a carb cleaner (in the spray can). Have a towel ready to smother out flames----- NEVER EVER USE WATER---you will SPREAD it. I was lucky and knew of this----I was able to blow the flames out with my breath......just be forewarned.
It does sound like a vacuum leak of some sort.....it could be just a cracked vacuum line----or a gasket--- I'd be willing to bet a line is broken.
AND this is the number ONE reason I WORK ON MY OWN CARS>>>> I only have myself to blame. I've been behind mechanics--and I usually don't like what I find, not hating on you if you are a mechanic, but I'm very picky--very picky.

USE CAUTION if you use this method-- it works-- found bad gaskets from upper to lower intake plenums, throttle bodies, lines, throttle body injections (on a Nissan pickup that had the gasket smashed fom the factory)-- you couldn't balance a can on the engine before I replaced it--after, just as smooth as possible.

#11 need4speed

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 08:51 PM

whoh!!! why use such a dangerous substance! i would just use water in a spray bottle instead. if the idle improves momentarily, the leak would be and around that area you just sprayed.

no worries about the mech thing, i too feel exactly the same way as you. :headphone:

#12 ninesevenvert

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 11:05 PM

I know it's dangerous.....but I feel fine using carb cleaners....I didn't know water would do that though. I do know it is effective in finding leaks. I have had many many cars-- it seems about 1 a year until I got married, now I do it about once every 5 yrs. So since I've had so many (I get tired of them and want a change) I have fixed alot of them (I have had 10 cars at one time, now some of them were parts cars for others - I still count them) and I have had several with idle issues/electrical issues and fixed some for freinds that were also idle issues.
You learn alot about cars when you do your own wrenching (having the right tools/ scanner help alot) and I take pride in my own work.

#13 Hueyson1977

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:45 AM

Did you check the two vacuum lines that lead to the cannister? I would imagine they were damaged the way they were cramed by the alterator. I would may the mechanic fix it, its their fault to begin with!!

#14 96' es

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 05:18 PM

yes it is. that is a very bad and careless mechanic i would recommend never using that place again. obviously you dont need me to say that. you have their work to back them lmao.

#15 hypnotzd27

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 06:39 PM

I'm definitely not taking my car back there for any more work. Although it is going back so he can fix what he messed up cause I'm not gonna pay for what needs to be taken care of.

#16 Mike

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 11:40 PM

Your symptoms seem similar to what I had when my EGR valve failed open. At high RPM's, the engine could handle the excess exhaust gas, but at idle, it would sometimes die out. If I remember correctly, around 42-43 MPH the car seems to studder like its having transmission problems too.

My stratus isn't idling corectly at the moment either so I might have to take a look at the valve again. It is real easy to replace too.


I have heard of people blocking it off, but I can't quite remember details on it - like safety, legality, emissions, performance, etc... Any ideas?

#17 hypnotzd27

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 12:11 AM

Well my car threw a code today...P0443 - EVAP purge/vent solenoid circuit condition. That was the part that the mechanic shoved up against my belt and ate through it. I'm gonna make a junkyard run in the morning and see if I can get a replacement since I can't find the part in any stores.

#18 TOP STRATUS

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 11:23 PM

i believe you simply got messed up cam timing. At high rpm you'll not feel it this much , but at low rpm you will , a lot. if intake cam skipped one noch on the belt , or more, it will missaligne your ignition timing. If it skipped more than that , you'll bend your valves and will damage pistons instantly. If they "fixed" your tensioner and pump, they playd with belt. Without puling engine out , it so easy to mess cam timing. Basicaly , with messed timing , you'll fire before piston at the top point , or way too late. If you firing too late , means intake valves open to late to get enough fuel/air mixture , and , closeing too late , means , blowing out back in intake what ever mixture pistons sucked in yet. So , you starving yourself on a/f and igniting when piston going down yet and loosing compression in combustion chamber. Means , colder AFR reading on O2 sensor , that makes ECU think that you got too much fuel and it start cutting your fueling . Makes injectors spray less fuel. Now , you dont have enough fuel to burn in your engine. That makes hotter O2 reading , and engine feel like "grabs" a bit. ECU see O2 readings too hot , and send extra fuel to the engine. That drops temperature and you back to square one. Like so ECU will mess with you until cam timing set rite. It dose the same at high rpm , you just cannot feel it because ups and downs change to fast , plus , at high rpm O2 sensor dont have enough time to react to fast changes in temperature so it reads somewhere in between .
EGR will effect you too , no doubt , but your primary problem timing belt related for sure. Get it fixed before you ruined your engine. With ignition you got , you ruining your cylinders now. I wouldnt be surprised if you blowing a bit of smoke by now at low rpm.

#19 MRxEMERICA690

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:52 PM

yeah, check for those leaks. just found one today on mine. at the egr tube into the upper manifold. the top screw is fine, but the threads inside the manifold are messed up. you can acually hear the hiss. and put your finger over it. or take plastic wrap and place it over and will suction it.