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Can't go above 20/25mph without shaking and engine light on and off

I have a 2013 Grand caravan with 67,000 miles on it. The last few days I have been having problems, well even before that. About 4 months ago I was parked and idling and the engine ran really rough, engine light came on and it stalled out. Engine light disappeared after a few days. About a month ago I noticed that while driving, the car seems to be hesitating when driving 45mph to 65mph. The best way I could describe it is that it felt like the car was taking two steps forward and one step back. Forward and back movement/hesitation while I was driving. Then Monday, started the car in the garage, backed out, and suddenly the car couldn’t go above 20mph, no matter how much gas I gave it. Engine light kept flashing on and off. The worst was the horrible shaking the car was doing. Really scary shaking. I quickly turned around and parked in the driveway. Thought it smelled funny when I got out of the car. I let it sit and turned in on an hour later, drove to the mechanic. The car drove fine. They hooked it up and couldn’t pull a code. They ran tests and nothing wrong with the car! They ended up saying there is something wrong but something is wrong with my computer because it is not registering the code so they don’t know what is causing the shaking. So, I have an appointment next week with the dealer to look at the computer. Then today, same exact thing happens, parked in the garage overnight, backed up, put it in drive and with 15 seconds it happened. This time though I came back home, turned it off, waited 60 seconds and turned it back on and everything was perfectly fine. There has been no sounds associated with all of this. The car has been silent. I did notice that the wheels shakes going 70-75mph but I just had the tires rotated and balanced two weeks ago. Maybe related maybe not. I did some research and wondered could it be spark plugs, which shouldn’t need to be changed to 100,000 miles. Could it be the EGR valve?

Thoughts ladies and gentleman?

Thanks for the help,

Not all code readers are the same. A flashing cel means your car has gone into “limp” mode. This is to allow you to get the car off the roadway safely. The computer has sensed a major fault. At this point the car should not be driven.

can’t do that. We have one car and I have to drive it. Further, I don’t think they would send me away from the repair shop if they thought it was that dangerous.

When a Check Engine light starts flashing, it indicates a major misfire is occurring.

If the Check Engine light isn’t on when a scanner/code reader is connected, the computer might not display any codes.

The dealer will have a scanner that is capable of reading history codes.


Misfires are a two trip fault, the misfire must occur on two consecutive trips to record a fault.

There have been problems with the Pentastar engines cylinder heads. If the cause is found to be with a cylinder head it may be covered under warranty, the warranty has been extended to 10 years/150,000 miles on the left cylinder head.

Is warranty for original owner only?

I don’t have the specifics on the warranty extension but warranty extensions generally cover the current owner, it doesn’t have to be the original owner.

That sounds like total computer failure. My experience is very great (none), but there is my guess. I had an 85 Cadillac that did something like that. The days of solid state electronics!

Sounds like you may require a dealership shop to help you on this one, or an inde that has the same diagnostic capability. I concur, sounds like the engine misfiring. For a proper firing it needs fuel, air, spark, compression, and timing, so something wrong with all that. It’s not possible to say which though, without more testing.

If your vehicle hosts an EGR valve, a major malfunction in that system could cause a symptom like this. The engine would think there was an air/fuel mixture problem causing misfires. The EGR is only supposed to come on in certain situations, like during heavy acceleration. If it comes on during low speed driving or idling it can cause the engine to perform poorly or stall. A shop could do a test to see if the valve is sticking open.

It’s unlikely to be a spark plug problem but could well be an ignition system problem of some sort. Good idea to check all the fluid levels of course, especially engine oil and coolant.

Flashing CEL codes usually point to a major transmission fault… I think… but that could be a Honda thing

I think flashing just means a major code is present and needs attention pronto however.

Why do I think the flashing means trans codes…I think it has something to do with Hondas…I forget…but this can be looked up no doubt.

I think I have forgotten more about engines and cars than I currently feel that I presently know…each knowledge base is vast however.

My troubleshooting methods do not heavily rely on prior experienced issues…approach each like a child…with an open mind and follow the clues and use your experience like salt…not the main course Grasshopper