96 Cirrus LX code 12 & 43



Hello. I have a 1996 Chrysler Cirrus LX. Recently, it started sputtering very badly. On a scale of 1-10 of how much pressure I’d apply to the gas pedal, if I keep about a 2 pressure on the pedal, it’s fine. Anything over that though, and it will bog down and sputter very forcefully.

The check engine light is on. I checked the codes (you know, On-Off-etc) and it gave me 12 and 43. Now, I know that 12 means that the computer lost power recently, and 43 could mean 3 different things (having to do with the cylinder firing itself).

I was curious if you think that it might be my battery (or whatever else you suggest). The only reason I suggest such a thing is because I’ve noticed my headlights tend to flicker quite a bit when I do anything that really requires power (ie, putting it in gear).

I replaced my spark plugs March of 06. However, I don’t think it’s the spark plugs because I know what the car does when the spark plugs are going out. It’s similar to this issue, but A LOT less dramatic.


You’ve given us the old-fashioned OBDI codes but your computer can also provide the more meaningful OBDII codes. You need a scanner to do it, and some auto parts stores will read your codes for free.

You’re correct that you can ignore the code 12. The code 43 is ambiguous but when you get the OBDII version I’m guessing it will indicate a problem with the ignition coil.


OK, so to add a little more to the story, the car has no problem idling or starting, it’s only when I go into reverse or push the gas pedal more than 1/3 of the way down in drive.

Also, I noticed today that my car backfired a couple of times (only when it was sputtering/jolting). Still think it might be the coil?

PS: I am going to take it in probably tomorrow, just don’t want to freak out when I hear what it could be.


Overall, I’m impressed with this car. I’ve had it for about 8 years, put 159,000 miles on it, and the major parts are still stock (transmission, etc.). Obviously, things like the fuel and oil filter aren’t stock anymore, since they’ve been changed with demand. Other than the regular changes, most of the parts are still stock.

Howver, that does not mean that I don’t need to replace them, just that they still work normally. A few parts will need to be replaced in the near future (rack-&-pinion, fuel injectors, etc.), but they still work, and that’s what matters.


My 95 Stratus still going strong at 150K. If you have a four cylinder I’m guessing it is the coil pack. You could always ohm out the primary and secondary of the coil, and compare against the specs to find out for sure.


Unfortunately I don’t have the means to do this. I will just have to take it to Autozone or somethin to figure it out. Either that, or I’ll be riggin up a serial cable to my laptop from the terminal (very easy to get to). I have developed my own software for doing something similar, but I’d have to adapt the software for this application. I might do that just for a fun DIY’er project.


OK, so I forgot to post updates. My DIY’er project went very well, and it turns out that it was just the spark plug wires.