Dodge Van hesitation



Vehicle ? 1998 Dodge B2500 Van

V-8, auto, air, 158,000 miles

Description of problem ? Once in every 4 times the van is started and accelerated to any speed, it hesitates or “stumbles” for about 6-8 seconds. It loses power and speed and does not respond to attempts to accelerate. After about 6-8 seconds, the engine returns to normal and responds to the accelerator. The problem happens only once in the first 2 minutes of operation. The trip can last 2 minutes or 2 hours; the failure will only happen once. It does not matter if the engine is hot or cold. The only weather condition that has a bearing on the frequency of the problem is the outside temperature. When it is very cold (below 20 degrees), the problem does not occur.

History of Problem

Winter 2006/2007 Problem was infrequent

June, 2007 Check Engine Light came on during trip to Oakland, MD. Dodge dealer had van for 5 days. Mechanic diagnosed problem as low fuel pressure, even though van limped to dealer, belching black smoke. Repairs came to $650. The van ran worse than it had prior to repair. Dealership owner and Service Manager washed hands of responsibility, saying that mechanic?s actions were appropriate to PCM error code. I brought the van back to my mechanic in Reading, PA. The 147 mile trip burned 58 gallons of gas.

July, 2007 My mechanic diagnosed the PCM as bad, catalytic as clogged, and one O2 sensor as bad. He determined that the PCM was sending way too much fuel to the engine. The catalytic failed due to rich mixture. When the repairs were complete, the van ran well, with one exception ? the ?problem? describe above occurred each and every time the van was started. The repairs cost $1100. After 3 weeks of experiencing the ?problem? each and every start, I took the van back to my mechanic.

August, 2007 My mechanic cleaned the PCM ground connections. No error codes were stored. The ?problem? went away completely for 10 days, returning on the 11th, at a frequency of 1 in 4 starts.

August, 2007 My mechanic checked for error codes. There were none. He went over the ground and PCM connections again. The ?problem? went away completely for 5 days, returning on the 6th, at the same frequency of 1 in 4 starts.

April, 2008 I left the van with my mechanic for 3 weeks. He did not experience the problem, as I have described it, although he drove the van little. Finally, the Check Engine Light came on. The scope showed misses in cylinders 2 and 5. He tuned the van up, eliminating the misses. The van runs much better; smooth idle, good acceleration. However, the ?problem? is still present at the same frequency of 1 in 4 starts. The tune up cost $480. I still have the problem.


I apologize for this comment in advance. I would not have fixed it with that kind of mileage on it. Is the throttle control mechanical or electric/electronic. I think it is mechanical and it doesn’t look like the throttle position indicator was changed. Despite the name, I don’t know anything about Dodge Vans.