Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'97 Dodge Dakota, Check Engine Light
Q: I have a 97 Dodge
Dakota with a V-8 and the check engine light comes on. The computer says
misfires detected on cylinder #2. The distributor cap & rotor, plug
wires and spark plugs were all replaced. I even had the injectors serviced
but the light keeps coming on and repair shop cant tell me why.
I might suggest checking the intake manifold. The intake manifold on your
vehicle is known for having vacuum leaks. The problem with this vacuum
leak is it is not on the outside of the manifold. Because of this the
normal diagnostic procedures will not identify the problem. The intake
manifold on your Dodge has a metal plate on the bottom that is bolted
and sealed to the manifold. The problem is the metal plate warps with
age and the sealer/gasket fails. This creates a vacuum leak that is inside
the engine. The vacuum leak will cause a rough idle, engine misfire codes
and cause an increase in oil consumption particularly when hauling heavy
loads or towing a trailer. If diagnosis proves that the gasket has failed
you should know that Dodge has an updated parts kit for this problem.
I guess you could say that you have to look inside the box for this solution.