Coughing truck

Our 2001 Dodge Dakota coughs and makes backfires sounds (but under the hood) the first time we drive it AFTER a RAIN or when the weather is damp. After 2 miles, it has cleared itself and runs smoothly.

Three different repair dealers (and chocolate cherry cream cheese brownies to entice them to find the problem) has NOT worked. They have kept the truck over night on a rainy forcast. They have hosed down the truck, mimicicking rain. It does not happen when it’s in the shop. PLEASE Car Talk Guys or readers… help. CVan

Unless they’ve been done lately, this sounds like a classic case of needing new plug wires and a distributor cap if so equipped.

I agree. If the plug wires were not replaced (also a good time to replace plugs if they are due or you don’t remember when they were replaced) I would start there. Even if they had been replaced once, it is possible that you may have gotten a bad one. They may test OK when dry. Use OEM plugs, not the fancy expensive ones. The OEM type are more reliable on average.

Thanks for your suggestion. For our 42nd anniversary gift I thought I’d try to ‘solve’ this problem for my husband’s truck. I will pose this to our mechanic, the 3rd one.