1995 Caravan 2.5L, has a misfire, poor performance after doing work on it.



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Thread: 1995 Caravan 2.5L, has a misfire, poor performance after doing work on it.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Arizona
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    1995 Caravan 2.5L, has a misfire, poor performance after doing work on it.

    This is a 1995 Caravan, 4-cylinder 2.5 L.

    I have spent the past several months doing work on this van, when I had time available. The reason for doing all of this work was because it had unknown maintenance history, and I was having an issue with very difficult starting after sitting several days, and sometimes while driving, the engine temperature would creep up close to the maximum--or even reach the maximum, but then go back down to the halfway point, also the heater would barely get warm.

    The work done includes:
    1. Replace all belts--water pump/alternator belt, power steering belt, A/C belt, timing belt.
    2. Replace all hoses--radiator hoses, heater hoses, transmission cooler hoses.
    3. Replace water pump.
    4. Replace heater proportioning valve, flush heater core with garden hose.
    5. Replace coolant temperature sensors (2 qty.).
    6. Replace valve cover gasket.
    7. Replace spark plugs (existing plugs looked fine, distributor cap, rotor, and wires looked to be recent so I didn't change them).
    8. Install throttle body rebuild kit (gaskets, O-rings).
    9. Replace throttle position sensor.
    10. Replace fuel injector.
    11. Replace inline fuel filter.
    12. Replace brittle, damaged vacuum hoses, fittings.
    13. Replace A/C gaskets, O-rings. (A/C wouldn't hold Freon for more than a day or two and I could see dye leaking out one of the gasketed connections.)
    13. Change engine oil, filter.
    14. Change transmission fluid, filter.

    So the van sat from roughly Thanksgiving until now. It starts ok, but now seems to have a misfire, noticeable at idle, and seems to have poor performance/acceleration. Before I did anything to it, it ran fine. At least the engine temperature stays just under the halfway mark, and the heater works now.

    Any ideas? Is this when I have to give up and pay a shop to look at it?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Have you rechecked the timing belt? Did you change the timing pulleys and tensioner? If not it could be slightly off.
    2006 Town & Country 3.8 Touring 260k, 2nd engine, 2nd transmission. 2013 GMC Acadia SLT 3.6l 45k
    2003 Grand Caravan Sport 3.8 264k :::: 1995 Jeep GC 4L 335k SNOW & GO---2003 Grand Caravan 3.3 196k :::::1997 Grd Voy 3.3 266k
    Gone but not forgotten: 2003 Caravan 3.3 Flex 443k original engine and trans & lighting strike sold 10/2013, should have never let it go.
    1992 Plymouth Voyager 3.0 sold 1999 ;;;;;; 2000 Grand 3.3 201k sold 4/2016 .......1999 Jeep GC 4L 221k 2nd head sold 4/2017
    Good riddance:1996 Town & Country 3.3 when 2nd trans went 2003

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Montreal
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcohen View Post
    Any ideas? Is this when I have to give up and pay a shop to look at it?
    Why not just change cap/rotor/wires at this point? My old Mitsubishi 3.0 used to give me headaches with cap/rotor.
    Steve
    1999 Caravan LE, 3.3L, 300,000KM
    2005 Saturn Vue AWD (Honda J35 3.5 V-TEC 260HP) 216,000KM
    1982 Suzuki Katana,(ported/shaved head,11:1,4in1,KNre-cal/filters,cam,120HP)

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Yes, I changed the timing belt as a set, including the tensioner and idler, and rotated the engine numerous times to make sure that the marks stayed lined up. Also, I forgot to mention above that I changed 2 worn motor mounts as well.

    I am going to try replacing the distributor cap, rotor, and wires, as I bought the parts but didn't feel they needed replacing after looking at them. Other than that, I will have to take it to a shop that has the factory scan tool. Even though I feel a pretty significant misfire at idle, and the performance is terrible, the Service Engine light never came on.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    841


    If you want to recheck the timing belt, it should be easy, remove upper cover to see cam marks and the crank can be aligned with the 0 on the timing marks on the lower cover with it still in place. Just tdc cylinder 1 with plugs out.
    2006 Town & Country 3.8 Touring 260k, 2nd engine, 2nd transmission. 2013 GMC Acadia SLT 3.6l 45k
    2003 Grand Caravan Sport 3.8 264k :::: 1995 Jeep GC 4L 335k SNOW & GO---2003 Grand Caravan 3.3 196k :::::1997 Grd Voy 3.3 266k
    Gone but not forgotten: 2003 Caravan 3.3 Flex 443k original engine and trans & lighting strike sold 10/2013, should have never let it go.
    1992 Plymouth Voyager 3.0 sold 1999 ;;;;;; 2000 Grand 3.3 201k sold 4/2016 .......1999 Jeep GC 4L 221k 2nd head sold 4/2017
    Good riddance:1996 Town & Country 3.3 when 2nd trans went 2003

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    4,375


    Quote Originally Posted by bcohen View Post
    Yes, I changed the timing belt as a set, including the tensioner and idler, and rotated the engine numerous times to make sure that the marks stayed lined up. Also, I forgot to mention above that I changed 2 worn motor mounts as well.

    I am going to try replacing the distributor cap, rotor, and wires, as I bought the parts but didn't feel they needed replacing after looking at them. Other than that, I will have to take it to a shop that has the factory scan tool. Even though I feel a pretty significant misfire at idle, and the performance is terrible, the Service Engine light never came on.
    Being that it is an OBD1 system even if the engine has a dead cylinder you'll never get a check engine light as the older system have no misfire tracking abilities.
    On the 2.2/2.5L engines I remember a far amount of them with EGR valves sticking open causing idle and lower speed performance issues.

    Also I don't see on your write up that you have checked the compression, or tested for a leaking head gasket which could explain your poor heat as well.
    2013 TC Limited Black/Graystone Custom ordered 5/13
    Luxury non Stow & Go buckets, Tow and almost everything else. Lifetime Max Care warranty. Driven to 36 states so far.
    1994 Grand Caravan SE Sport, 3.3L, 351,000+ miles and counting. Original engine and trans. Bought it new and have driven it to 48 states. Now my daughters daily driver.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to 1994 Sport For This Useful Post:

    Caraman99(03-23-2017)

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    98


    Update: I replaced the distributor cap and rotor and ignition wires, and replaced the NGK G-Power spark plugs with Champion RN12YC's. It did not help. I took the van to a professional mechanic, and he determined that the ignition timing was incorrect. This was corrected, and now the engine runs fine.

    Unfortunately, I now have another issue, which the mechanic could not find. When the engine cools, a small amount of coolant is released from the water pump somewhere, and leaves a stain the size of a CD or DVD. This happens after sitting for a few hours. It does not leak while running, and it does not leak further if allowed to sit for several days. I saw a drop of coolant on the lowest water pump to housing bolt, but that doesn't mean the source of the leak is at that point. There is nothing coming out of the weep hole, and it does not appear to be a hose connection either. The water pump and hoses are all new, with less than 50 miles on them.

    Any ideas?

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