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What's wrong with my truck?

so my 96 dodge dakota has been acting up a lot lately. I can barely drive in town let alone on the highway. when I drive, keep in mind its random most of the time, my truck will start jumping and then lose power. when I try to power thru it my truck will backfire and then shut off. once I try to start again it floods the engine. most of the time it will do this going up a hill or when it has to get above 3000 rpm. I don’t know what’s causing it. I replaced the throttle body fuel injection sensor and tranny filter but I figure its a fuel problem. If anyone knows what’s wrong please let me know.

Check engine light on?

It is a fuel problem.
The good news is that 1996 was the first year of the OBDII mandate, so you should have stored fault codes in your ECU. They might help.

Things that can cause excesss fuel to this extent:
The temperature sensor. It might be deceiving the ECU by letting it think the engine is always cold
The mass airflow sensor. The ECU might think there’s a lot more air going on than there is.
My guess…a leaky fuel injector pintle or two…or more. That’d dump lots of excess fuel, and that’s what you’re describing.

What engine is in your truck? 318 v8 or 3.9 v6? How many miles? Have you done any tune up ever? Plugs, wires, fuel filter, air cleaner? A motor with miss at idle or under load is usually an ignition issue. Coils? Ignition module? Maybe you have a burned valve. Plugged cat conv? Ever change ur O2 sensors?

ok so the check engine light will only come on after the engine dies and I try to start it. the engine size is 3.9 liter v6 with 168000 miles. the owner before never did any maintenance including changing the tranny filter. ive changed that the air filter and the sensor listed earlier. I can’t find the fuel filter but I was told that might be an issue in it too. most of the repairs and replacements needed I have to do myself so anything that could be done at home would be best. ill definitely be checking the injectors and most likely replacing them. what is meant about an ignition issue?


post the fault codes, please.
Don’t run out and replace the injectors just yet. Somebody should hook up a fuel pressure gauge and test the system. You can check the resistance of the injectors. You can also use an injection balance tester to determine if one of them isn’t contributing.

Many plugged injectors can be successfully restored to proper operation by connecting a bottle of injector cleaner to the fuel rail.

how do I find out the fault codes? from a shop?

@ltggb you can go to a big name parts store and have them read the codes for free.
Or you can buy an inexpensive code reader. There are many to choose from.

I will post them tomorrow then. in the mean time what should I check for when driving and it begins to malfunction?

Call the parts store to make sure that they have one and that the service is free. The parts store I usually use has one, but theirs was broken when I needed it once.