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Erratic misfire and operation

01-17-2011, 10:10 AM
1996 B2500 Ram Van, 318 cid, V-8, 5.2 L "Y" engine

My van is running very rough and erratically. The problem first showed up in early December. As I was driving it suddenly acted as if it was running out of gas, and my "Check Engine" light started blinking. I pulled over, and then checked my oil. It was a little low, but not excessively, so I added about 3/4 quart. I fired up the engine and it performed perfectly. The "Check Engine" light was on solid, and not blinking. I drove another 20+ miles, mostly at highway speed, before it began loading down and trying to die again.

Since I was near my house I stopped and looked over the engine compartment as best I could in teh dark. I got back in, fired up the engine and for the remaining two miles home the "Check Engine" light would intermittingly blink, and tehn return to a solid light.

The next day I drove it to an oil change facility and had the oil and filter replaced. The van did not fail again for about 6 weeks. The "Check Engine" light stayed on. I plugged in an OBD II computer and it gave me misfire codes on cylinders 1,2 and 3. I changed spark plugs and cleared the codes. The van seemed ro run smoothly. Later that night I took it out for a longer drive and the same problems returned. The van would not accelerate past about 20 mph on flat ground, kept loading down and trying to die, the "Check Engine" light would interminnently blink, and the vehicle was barely driveable, but performed well enough to get me back on the driveway.

Within the past 40K miles I changed distributor cap, rotor and plug/coil wires.

Any ideas what the problem may be?

01-17-2011, 12:03 PM
A flashing CEL is a warning to stop driving it ASAP. When the CEL flashes, it's telling you that you have a misfire sever enough to destroy your catalytic converter due to all of the raw fuel getting into the exhaust system.

After ruling out what you've already replaced, there are still several things that can cause the misfires, such as, a weak fuel pump, a bad pick-up coil (inside distributor), dirty fuel injectors, bad gas, or water in gas.

02-16-2011, 01:39 AM
Sounds like a bad coil...interrmittant firing..cuts out when warmed up...misfire
codes...Either that or some bad connections in harness couplings. The coil
on my '96 B2500 failed at 125,000 mi. Good luck. Endeavor to Persevere .

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