Question about 1997 Dodge Stratus

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1997 dodge stratus code 43 engine light on

What causes a multiple misfire code? I just bought the car used and 20 miles later the check engine light came on..did the ignition test and 12 43 and 55 where the codes. Battery disconnected, multiple misfire, and end of diagnostic codes, right? Now what would cause that? Timing? Spark plugs? The car drives fine.

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  • woodpatti
    woodpatti Feb 11, 2012

    Thank you. Lots of good advice. Since it is a used car purchase, Im gonna start with a tuneup and changing the timing belt and water pump. Then Ill have the codes reset (I have a friend who is not to interested in helpiing out mechanically with friends problems, but allows full access to his awesome tools and equipment). I will take it from there. Ill keep ya posted.

  • woodpatti
    woodpatti Feb 22, 2012

    UPDATE: Changed the timing belt, water pump, and spark plugs. I changed the oil and as luck would have it, the starter went out during the next turn of my key. So, I changed the starter and using an OBD II tool, I reset the codes. About 50 miles later the check engine light illuminated. I ran the codes and P0300, P0301, & P0306. What now?

  • woodpatti
    woodpatti Mar 02, 2012

    It was the dist cap. Thanks for all the help. Have a great one!



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To start with, your 1997 Dodge Stratus is an OBD-compatible vehicle. The "old-school" switch the key on-off-on-off-on, is NOT very accurate on that vehicle most of the time. There may be several OBD codes that will lead you to the cause of the problem in a much more efficient manner.

As for misfires...There are MANY things that can cause misfire codes. Multiple misfire simply means that there is more than one cylinder that has misfired enough to set a code. You need to properly scan the vehicle and read the engine data to find out how many/which cylinders are misfiring. Then you must properly diagnose the misfiring cylinders. That is the ONLY way you are going to be able to correctly determine the actual CAUSE of the problem (unless you just want to spend a bunch of money randomly replacing parts). Yes, spark plugs can cause it. But then again, so can valve timing, blown head gaskets, bad ignition coil(s), defective distributor cap and rotor, burned valves, broken pistons or piston rings, faulty injectors, low fuel pressure, leaking fuel pressure regulator, overheating engine, vacuum leaks, malfunctioning EGR system, restricted exhaust, etc. etc.....

Posted on Feb 11, 2012

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  • Frank Meert Feb 11, 2012

    @dttech, I agree with you completely, although in my experience, few do it yourselfers have access to a scanner with data stream, and even if they do, knowing what the numbers mean, takes much more than book learning, it takes a wealth of experience. 30 years worth in my case. I was simply suggesting an old Dirty Harry method that is virtually free, doesn't require wicked automotive knowledge, won't harm anything, and is some thing I and many other techs use as a quick check, with a great degree of success, over a long period of time. I try to start with the basics. If that doesn't nail his snag, the next suggestion of mine is a compression test. again, old fasioned, not to high tech or ****, just efficient.

  • dttech
    dttech Feb 22, 2012

    The code P0300 is the OBD equivallent of the flash code 43. It is only an informational code telling you that there are more than one cylinders misfiring. Codes P0301 and P0306 are telling you that cylinders 1 and 6 are the ones that are misfiring bad enough to set codes (the other cylinders may also be misfiring, but those two are the worst offenders). So, you are back to diagnostics...what is causing those two cylinders to misfire? At least now you know which cylinders to concentrate on.

    So when you did your "tune-up" did you replace the distributor cap, rotor and ignition cables? If not, you should have, because that is part of doing a tune up on that vehicle. If you did, then are you sure you got the wires installed correctly?

    After that, you need to check compression on all of the cylinders and see if those two have lower compression then the other four (this should have been done when all the plugs were out).

    If compression is OK, then ou need to check your injectors and injector circuits. Make sure you have injector pulse at each injector and check injector resistance to see if those two injectors have the same resistance as the other four.

    I think you are just beginning to understand why mechanics charge for diagnostics...most people think that all they do is plug in the "magic box" and replace all the parts that the computer tells them to replace. Can now see that there is a whole lot more to it than that?

    Like I said in my original post, randomly replacing parts can get real expensive real fast. In some ways I agree with Frank Meert. There are still some old fashioned, inexpensive ways to diagnose certain things. On the other hand, we are talking about a computer controlled engine here. Trying to diagnose and repair it without the proper equipment to interface with the computer that controls it is like trying to surf the internet with no monitor. If you push all the right buttons and click your mouse just right, you might get to the page that you are looking for (not likely - but possible). However, when you do finally get to the page you still won't know it.....


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Is it worse when it's damp outside? Many times it's as simple as a good healthy tune up. Distributor cap, rotor, plugs and wires. Use champion plugs(these are o.e. on nearly all chrysler products, and work best) and chrysler actually has quire good prices on the rest. You didn't mention engine size, so you may or may not have all of these components. This is not the only possible cause, but it's the most common, and easy to check without special diagnostic equipment. just get a spray bottle, and lightly mist the ignition system components with ordinary tap water), and see if it begins to run ragged, or if there are any sparks. Feel free to contact me with any more questions! Just in passing, don't ever use distilled water for this, as distilled water is actually a much poorer conductor of electricity that tap water, well water, salt water, etc.Strange but true! good luck!

Posted on Feb 11, 2012


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: The check engine light is on and the diagnostic

Plugs need to be changed every 30K, and wires, cap, rotor every 60K. Could be a weak coil not putting out enough spark, could be the pickup in the distributor, could be timing is off from stretched timing chain, could be weak compression. Check the basics first.

Posted on Mar 07, 2009

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SOURCE: Need to find definitions for my trouble codes they are 12 15 52 55

12 Battery or computer recently disconnected (will occur on most cars most of the time, it indicates a low / missing battery happened in the last 50 key starts. Don't worry about it.

15 No speed/distance sensor signal

  • 52 Oxygen sensor stuck at rich position (SEE NOTE #5!)
  • 52 Internal logic module fault ('84 turbo only)
55 End of codes

Posted on Apr 29, 2009

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SOURCE: key cycle check codes 12, 43, and 55 can anyone

HI. The 12 code is a basic code that will be issued, when the battery is changed, or disconnected for a short time. This Will clear, after the car has been driven over a period of three days with a consistent flow of electricity through the engine CPU.

The 43 code is the result of a Peak primary coil current not achieved with max dwell time, or a cylinder misfire. This will, generally, be the result of a failed coil, or distributor cap(if equipped). Check the ignition control module for faults, if the vehicle is not equipped with a distributor assembly. Inspect the wires and plugs for ware, as well. This code doesn't specify the actual location , and which cylinder is misfiring, so check all coils, and plug/wires.

This 55 code is not an issue. This is just a place holder number, stating that the code read out has ended. This code dose not represent a fault. 55 = end of codes.

Posted on Dec 18, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: getting codes 12 43 42 42 55 96 caravan 3.3liter

55 is the ending of every code so that isnt a trouble code either

Posted on Feb 05, 2010

  • 10319 Answers

SOURCE: check engine codes for a 1997 stratus

Here is a list of all codes you should keep on hand that will help you on your car

Posted on Jun 30, 2010

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