Jim Grant's Tech Tips
96 Dodge Dakota, 40 MPH Engine Shake
Q: I own a ‘96 Dodge Dakota truck with a 5.2 liter V8 engine and my problem is only when I reach a speed of 40 MPH, the engine starts to shake pretty badly and my Check Engine Light comes on all the time. My brother and I have replaced the spark plugs, distributor cap, rotor and ignition wires and it still shakes. The engine has 84k and consumes gas too much to keep up with since the last year. My brother and I think it could have something to do with fuel injection or a fuel gasket could be blocked from dirt. I would appreciate it very much if you have any ideas why the engine shakes at 40MPH.
- Jim Fortunato
Using guesswork to find a solution to your running problem is a hit or miss deal. It sounds as if it has been misses so far. I would suggest finding out what the computer is upset about. A code from the computer can do a couple of things for you. At times it can be misleading, useful to a degree, or just plain dead accurate on what the problem is. There are parts stores that offer free computer code checks (Autozone). But, there are times that more than a code check is needed. If that is the case you need to check with your local repair facility or dealer. Their scans tools go much deeper into the computer and allow for viewing of the data stream. That information can be used to confirm that the code the computer provided is associated with the running problem. These computer scan tools are much more expensive than the basic code readers so plan on paying for the information that will be provided. If you want to start replacing items like fuel injectors, etc., go ahead and have that fun. I would want to make use of all the information I could get before I’d start bolting parts on.