2002 Dodge Grand Caravan misfire mystery

dodge
grandcaravan

#1

I apologize in advance for this being so long but I want to be thorough and not leave out any important information. I’m a member of the poor working class and can’t afford a bunch of exploratory fixes so I am praying you can help.
I have a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 197 XXX miles on it. About 3 months ago it started running a little rough and my check engine light came on. I went and had the code read and it said misfire on solenoid 2. It had been awhile since I last did a tune-up so I replaced the plugs and the wires. At that point nothing looked out of the ordinary. After I replaced the plugs I disconnected the battery and reconnected it. My light went off and has never come back on however, it does kind of sound like it still has a misfire. I know I do have an exhaust problem so I guess that could be what I’m hearing too. I am really not sure. Anyway, Somewhere around the same time it developed a water leak. It wasn’t too bad at first but it didn’t take long escalate to point that i would have to put water/coolant in it every time I drive. One day while putting water in it I saw what looked like water around plug number 2. I had a young teenager helping me and a younger boy trying to and I know that in the process some water had gotten spilled so I didn’t think much about it. That was also when I discovered that water was shooting out the front of the radiator. As soon as possible I bought a new radiator when I took the old one out I found that my radiator had damage to it caused by the transmission coolant thingy in front of the radiator. It somehow become loose and the bracket that holds it on was bearing into my radiator and putting holes in it. I got the new radiator in no problem. I Drove it about 5 blocks and it started to overheat. I shut it back off and the shade tree mechanic friend of mine told me it was probably my thermostat sticking. Well, as chance would have it, I had a new thermostat that I had bought when the problem first started thinking maybe that was my issue but after talking to several other people I was convinced that wasn’t problem so never changed it. It is changed now. The thermostat and radiator both. I then drove it about 2 miles and shut it off. All was great, Untill about 45 minutes later. it now won’t start. Like it’s locked up. On a hunch, I took out out spark plug 2, which was very loose almost fell out in my hand, and found the cylinder where the spark plug goes in is full antifreeze. Plug # 1 was kind of maybe a little loose but it looked fine. Plug #3 is on very tight and i couldn’t get it off to check it. Once the plug was removed the van started but of course it ran rough. I instantly shut it back off and didn’t try to drive it. Please tell me what would be the best thing for me to try next or should I just retire it?


#2

A simple compression test will tell you a lot about the health of the engine.


#3

Yes i did.