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How I got my truck back or the $1.99 fix

I lost my truck a couple of weeks ago due to driveabilty problems. In a nutshell it was hard starting, bucking, shaking, backfiring and low power. The scanner showed a solid P0171 and P0174. Lean condition in bank 1 and 2. This seems to be a common Dakota problem. I normally don’t throw parts at a problem but I did buy several items that I intended on replacing anyway.

I rarely take anything to a shop but my brother offered to look at the truck for me and I accepted. He checked the fuel pump, 02 sensors and the catalytic converter. All were good. His best mechanic checked the little engine for vacuum leaks but none were found. I took the truck home and replaced the TPS. No change. I replaced the IAC valve and the idle improved somewhat. Finally…I replaced the PCV valve and the truck ran like new. It had stuck in the open position and was creating the lean condition in banks 1 and 2. I paid $1.99 for the PCV valve at O’Reillys Auto Parts. I had just installed a $9 PVC valve back in the spring.


All those computers and the problem was a simple mechanical do-hickey designed to reduce pollution! :smile:

It’s the simple things in life. Good work.

Great work, @missileman. Maybe you should buy som extra PCV valves. If a $9 one goes bad in six months, how long will a $2 one last?

Good diagnoses there OP. I had to remove and de-gunk the pcv valve on my Ford truck for a similar but not as severe symptom last summer.