I have a '96 Dodge Ram 1500. The only way I can describe the problem is when I go around 75, it feels like it loses power for a split second, then recovers. It will do this repeatedly, until I slow down a bit, then it won’t do it at all. But once I speed up it will do it again. My first thought was the distributor/cap. Any other thoughts?
I would look more towards a fuel delivery problem.
The faster you go, the more fuel the engine requires.
If you can’t remember the last time the fuel filter was replaced, then replace the fuel filter.
If that doesn’t make difference, then check the fuel pressure to see if it’s within specs.
There are a number of possible causes for this including a failing fuel pump, a failing ignition component, and if it’s a manual tranny (?) a slipping clutch. Even a failing electrical system (as in an alternator not putting out sufficient voltage).
When was the last time you had a good tuneup?
Does the engine burn oil?
Is this a manual tranny?
Being a '96, you also have an OBDII (On Board Diagnostic) system. Have you had any Check Engine Lights? Have you checked for stored fault codes?
Are there any other operating symptoms?
Post back with the answers and we’ll have a place to start.
I think a slight timing deviation may also be the prob., so it may be distributor related
It’s an automatic. It has been quite a while since the last tuneup. It burns oil (I add a quart every 200 miles or so). The check engine light had been on, but I cleaned the battery connections and replaced the nuts and it went off. A while back, before this problem, I took it to Advance Auto and they said number 8 was misfiring. I had the fuel pump replaced within 30,000 miles, I don’t know if that would have included the filter.
Get a thorough tuneup, including filters. It sounds like you’re long overdue. Include the fuel filter IF your truck has a replaceable one. Most modern vehicles have “self cleaning” filters built into the pump assembly. I don’t know about your truck.
Post back with the results.
I started by replacing the spark plugs. Number 8 was severely corroded. I replaced all of them and then took it for a 30 minute drive on the interstate. It did not miss once. Thanks for the input. Now, can I get it to stop burning oil?
You have a severe oil burning problem when you are adding a quart of oil every 200 miles. This is what caused your number 8 spark plug to be fouled. You could be very lucky and find that your PCV valve is not working–a inexpensive part that can be replaced in 5 minutes. However, your engine could have badly worn piston rings. This is an expensive repair and it would be more feasible to replace the engine or the truck.
I don’t know much about getting a “hotter” spark plug for modern vehicles. I had a 1947 Pontiac that used oil at the same rate as your Dodge truck and I put in a hotter plug to prevent the plugs from becoming oil fouled. Your repair probably won’t hold up very long because at the rate you are burning oil, your plugs are bound to foul up again.