panam330
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Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:06 am

My friend has a 2003 Dodge Neon that lately has been shuddering, and one time even ceased. I've noticed the shudders only at idle (after it has just been started up, at a stop light, etc), however it's "bucked" a few times when going 30 or 40mph. After a talking with my father, he suggested that it could be the spark plugs, or the timing belt. I figured that I might as well ask here before I go and get charged by a mechanic to tell me something I might have been able to find out on my own. Does anyone know what could possibly be causing this?

Thanks to all in advance! All input is appreciated.  Smile
 
checkraiser
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:43 am

Could be a lot of things. Bad fuel filter or pump. Bad injector(s).

Is it throwing any codes?
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panam330
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:40 am

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 1):
Is it throwing any codes?

Forgive my ignorance, but what does that mean?
 
AirportSeven
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:46 am

It may need a throttle body service. This involves among other things cleaning the throttle position sensor and resetting the idle.
 
Klaus
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:07 am

There are too many potential reasons that it would be useful to speculate here. Have the car checked out to find the real reason.
 
EWS
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:15 am

Another possibility is the MAF sensor, if its packed in its not sending enough air into the engine which would cause it to shudder.

Lew
 
checkraiser
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:15 am

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 2):
Forgive my ignorance, but what does that mean?

In a nutshell, is or has the check engine light been coming on?
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LTU932
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:54 am

Check if all spark plugs are connected to the electric system or that the cable that connects to one of the spark plugs isn't damaged. One time it happened to us that our engine stalled and one of the connectors went lose, meaning that once we restarted the engine, it was shuddering and stuttering all the time. We didn't find out about this until we went to a shop nearby. We drove for some 10 or 15 miles with only two of three cylinders, and even had to go uphill several times. It was a real strain, but the engine held through and once we found out the problem, it was a less than 5 minute fix for us and we were back in business.

If the car has a carburator, I'd check if there isn't something that is interrupting the airflow, like a rupture in the rubber "pipe" (don't know how to say it in English) that goes from the air filter to the carburator. If there is such a rupture, the car can still drive with no problem, but there will be lots of shudders when the engine is idle.
 
tz757300
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:20 am

Since it sounds like its speed related since it does it at idle and at around 30-40mph, it might well be the distributor. It may not be catching with the cam or even the cam is locking up somewhere and causing the bucking or stalling. Or perhaps its the transmission. Its probably an auto knowing its a neon in the US, but a problem I had once that something would lock up in the transmission sometimes and would make the engine shudder a little bit or if it locked up long enough, stall the engine.

Really, it could be a wide array of things. I would just go to the dealer and get it checked out. Just for reference, what kind of engine do you have?
LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
 
checkraiser
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:07 am

A 2003 would not have a carb or a distributor.
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:14 am

Quoting EWS (Reply 5):
Another possibility is the MAF sensor, if its packed in its not sending enough air into the engine which would cause it to shudder

I'd like to bet $100 on Lew to win.

Mark
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panam330
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:06 am

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 6):
In a nutshell, is or has the check engine light been coming on?

The check engine has come on once (this morning), and stayed ever on since.

It could be any one of the things all of you have suggested (and for those suggestions, I thank you), and I'll let you know once we bring it to the mechanic. Thanks again!  Smile
 
tz757300
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:12 am

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 9):
A 2003 would not have a carb or a distributor.

I beg to differ. I agree that modern cars don't have carbs (last one like 1991?) but i know some have distributors. Some cars do have distributorless engines, but many arn't.
LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
 
bill142
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:31 am

Could be spark plug leads. You can see if one is faulty by pulling them off the plugs one by one and seeing if there is a spark hitting the engine block. But whatever you do, don't touch the spark!
 
geedo
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:46 am

Quoting PanAm330 (Reply 2):
Forgive my ignorance, but what does that mean?

Most vehicle's electronic brains store self-diagnostic codes when an engine/fuel management device is giving bad signals. Once this code is "de-coded", a particular part replacement can be determined. Codes are usually read in the shop by a hand held tester that plugs into the car's diagnostic connector. On some cars, two pins on that same plug can be shorted to make the "check engine" light on the dash blink to give the code. Obviously, you would need to check the [i]factory[i/] technical manuals for your make and model for any shortcuts like that, but codes can tell a lot.

My money says its your oxygen sensor. A bad sensor usually makes for rich fuel mixtures, which makes for rough idling. Good luck!
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andz
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:14 pm

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 6):
check engine light

Brings new meaning to the term: "idiot light"

The car isn't going well....duh! Check the engine!  Wink
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jetmech
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RE: Question For Car Buffs: Engine Shudders. Why?

Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:22 pm

Quoting PanAm330 (Thread starter):

G'day PanAm330  Smile,

My car is actually doing the same thing, that is, "bucking" when driving along, not shuddering at idle. The engine "bucks" mostly when driving up an incline with revs that are a little too low for the speed. Given my car has almost 180,000km (112,500 miles) on the clock, I suspect that it is the clutch slipping momentarily that is causing the problem.

Regards, JetMech
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