Question about 2004 Dodge Intrepid

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Low Mileage The 2004 Dodge Intrepid 3.5L I just bought does only about 13 MPG. It has 73,600 miles on it. Mostly city driving. (Pumped at the same gas station, same pump, same time of the day). Change oil/filter recently and air filter is clean. Where do I start / what else to look at first?

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  • I asked them to use 10W30 as per the manual filter is Napa if i am not mistaken.

  • I added the fuel additive to a full tank of gas and seems the engine is getting a lot smoother. (My problem is since I just bought this I don't have a reference point to compare.) My mechanic pulled out one spark plug and said it was ok. I am going to go for the fuel filter (since the additive seems to be working) and throttle body next. Any particular cleaner brand I should look for?

  • Apparently this does not have a distributor!!!

    The distributorless ignition system used on these engines is referred to as the Direct Ignition System (DIS). The system’s three main components are the coils, crankshaft position sensor, and camshaft position sensor. The crankshaft position sensor and camshaft position sensor are hall effect devices. The camshaft position sensor and crankshaft position sensor generate pulses that are inputs to the PCM. The PCM determines engine position from these sensors. The PCM calculates injector sequence and ignition timing from crankshaft & camshaft position.

  • Guess what, the fuel filter is inside the gas tank and serviceable

  • I mean fuel filter is NOT serviceable



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Clean the throttle body.the throttle body can get gummed up and cause issues.
put a fuel additive to clean the system.

these other items all contribute to fuel usage.
spark plugs.
o2 sensor
air flow meter
fuel filter
idle air controller (IAC)

Posted on May 13, 2009

  • kirtec auto May 13, 2009

    locate the air filter.follow the hose about 4 inch diameter and it goes to the throttle body.undo the clamp,and pull the hose off. look inside the throttle body and if it looks dirty or gum or varnish,get a can of throttle body cleaner and follow the instructions on how to use it.

    good luck with it. i am on only once a night around this time,but will check back tomorrow...

  • kirtec auto May 16, 2009

    glad you are making progress.i would use the product that nissan is made by keyline.a nissan dealer will sell you some. if the air flow meter is telling the ecm (the pcm is powertrain control module) that there is more air it will add more fuel. the 3.5 is a dohc engine.the first run sold in the 300m,which is the same engine, had a bad camshaft and the cars were not sold until the cams were changed.the intrepid is 214hp and the 300m 250 and the 300m special 268hp.

    the ecm uses input from the iac map and airflow meter to determine how much fuel to use.

    the crank and cam sensors control the timing

    it is important to have a clean air filter,fuel filter, throttle body,a free moving EGR , IAC and no vacuum leaks.the vacuum leak will cause the idle to be a little high.the loaded rpm on that car is 675rpm a plugged fuel filter can burn out the fuel pump,by the way do not run below 1/4 tank...the fuel is used to cool the fuel pump.


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Sparkplugs and wires-if your plugs are old then your car wont run good, becasue it will fool them.

get a good fuel injector system cleaner-these help by cleaning the fuel system and injectors giving you more mileage...

what brand of oil are you using, also what weight of oil are you using too. weight and brand of oil is oil is not soo good....

bad compression all around engines get old bad milleage develops due to loss of compression.


Posted on May 13, 2009

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Hmmm...that is pretty low mpg. I believe it should be over 20mpg. I can help you though.....

Do the following....

1) Get a new battery. The one in the car is probably the original and on its last legs. Costco has great batteries at a great price if you are a member.

2) Replace the distributor cap, rotor, and spark plugs.

All together about $100 in parts if you DIY it.

Posted on May 13, 2009

  • gene friedman May 16, 2009

    You have a pretty severe mpg problem. Things like changing the oil or using a fuel cleaner aren't going to do much for you. It could be caused by ALOT of different things. Nobody can tell you what it is exactly over the internet. You need to have a mechanic do a diagnostic on it. One thing to note is that if the problem is an emission control it may still be coverred by your warranty especially if you are in CA. Good luck.


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