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97 318 check engine light

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by gt_racer50, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    My sons 97 dodge 318 check engine light is on, it is real sluggish off the line, after you get it up to speed it seems ok. Any ideas, we took it to AutoZone or Advanced Auto, it had a couple of codes but they didn't know what they were. Just trying to save him a $100 if possible. Could it be the converter or the 02 sensor?
  2. ljrce

    ljrce Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    do you know the codes
  3. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    First thing to do is disconnect the battery, turn the key to start for a few seconds, hook the battery back up. If the codes come back, there's actually a problem, if not it was a fluke.
  4. yzf1000_rider

    yzf1000_rider Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    one way to tell if the convertor is plugging up is to start the truck and go out and feel the exhaust coming out the tailpipe in my experience the exhaust coming out is much hotter and alot less force against your hand then normally. hope this helps a little. my 99 ram had the converotr plug up on it i found an exhaust shop that would remove it and put the o2 sensor back in for 100.00 good luck
  5. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Thanks for the help so far guys, when he gets home and stays long enough for me to talk to, I'll get those codes. He's a full time student, 25 years old, so you know what that is like. Plus he runs the salt truck for us. Been kind of hetic around here for the last couple of days. Thanks again!!!!!
  6. Crockett

    Crockett Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I had similar problems with my Dakota with that same engine. After a tune up, I found that the plugs I had were bad. But I was getting a code telling me that I had multiple misfires. :gunsfiring: The tune up fixed my troubles. :p
    Anyways, if he has the digital odometer, which he should have on a '97, he can turn the key off and on 3 times then leave it in the on position. He should get a series of codes which will start with 12. After this code comes up, turn the key off/on quickly and the next code will come up. Keep doing this until you get to the last code which should be 55. That tells him that there are no further codes. The 12 and 55 don't really mean anything other than the beginning and end of the scan you are requesting.
    Take the numbers that he got and look them up on the Dodge web site or do a search under Dodge check engine codes. He can get an idea from these where to start looking into the problem.
    Good Luck :nod:
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Great info Crockett. Important to note Chrysler vehicles are NOT OBD2 compliant so the generic code scanners don't pick up all the problems, nor will the tell you what many or the codes are. as of 2006 Chrysler is supposed to start useing the new system that Ford has already started useing (I forget the letters).
  8. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Thanks guys for the input, for some reason his truck doesn't have a digital speedometer? So much for being able to use that advice.
  9. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    odometer...not speedometer!

    btw, chrysler's are notorious for 02 sensors...
  10. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I think it's 98-up that have the digital odometer.
  11. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    sorry, thats what I meant, odometer