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Trouble keeping car started

Recently I replaced spark plugs 2, 4,and 6 on my 2003 dodge stratus 3.0 engine. I managed to lift the covering over the other three, but it was too dark to finish the job. I gapped the spark plugs at 0.045 as directed. I went to test the plugs and the car wouldn’t turn over. I could keep the car running as long as the car is in motion. At the very moment the car comes toa complete stop at a stop sign or red light, it turns off. The power is still on, but the car is shaky and noisy. There is a sound coming from the engine that sounds like air escaping. The air filter and tube had no cracks on it or any loose parts. It has a brand new battery and had an oil change. Any ideas on what’s going on?

It seems you did something to cause this malfunction. A Stratus with the 3.0L engine is a Mitsubishi built coupe. If you installed spark plugs for the common Chrysler sedan they are too long and will be damaged by the pistons. You must be specific when buying parts for this car if it is the Mitsubishi built coupe.

I thought that to, so I went back to the auto store to make sure. They are the correct type of spark plugs. I even put the old ones back in, but had the same problem. I did buy a different brand then the one that was already in the engine.

I suggest you focus your attention on that “air escaping” sound.

??? How can a car that “turns off” be “still on”???

So the car was running reasonably well, then you replaced 3 plugs and now it is barely running? And that’s all you did? hmm … well, as said above there must be something that went askew in he process of replacing the 3 plugs.

  • Carefully compare the old plugs to the new ones, any difference in any of the dimensions or the little connector gadget at the top of the plug?
  • Make sure you’ve got the spark plug wires hooked up correctly. YOu may not have replaced them correctly. Any deviation at all from the correct spark plug wire mapping will cause this symptom. Ask me how I know … lol … Any Dodge dealership shop can tell you how they connect up.
  • As mentioned above, the air escaping noise is a major clue. Ask someone to help by them cranking the engine while you stand by the engine compartment and see if you can tell where the sound is coming from. A length of old garden hose can make a pretty good engine stethoscope to help isolate the source of a sound like this. Try it near the spark plugs too, as some of them might be loose.
  • Look around the engine compartment of course for any hoses that might have come loose or broken partially at the connectors, especially the big one that connects the intake manifold to the brake booster.