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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will try to do this in depth that I can and without writing a book. I need some help..guidance, suggestions. Anything! We are at a total loss of where to move to next. So run down. 2011 Dodge Journey crew has intermittent misfires. This problem has been a year now
Have had it at several mechanics and cant find anything. We have :
- Changed the plugs

- Swapped injectors/tested with used ones

- Checked all wires

- Changed the battery.

- Pressure tests

- Leak down tests

Now some things of note:
- Car only acts up at 3/4 tank of fuel. * Stops after this point in fuel*

- Misfires, stutters, tries to stall but doesn't stall. (Low RPMS)

- Recent - Hard start, white smoke when fires.

- Will feel like a fuel surge but that goes away after driving a bit.

- Codes have been P0300, P0172, P0175. * No other codes*

-Misfires on left cylinders. (Passed leak down test so was told its not the left cylinder head)

I have been told they cant figure out and maybe its time for a new car. I dont want a new car. I love my journey


If anyone has suggestions on what to check or what to do .. please we are desperate.

Thank you in advance
 

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. . . I have been told they cant figure out and maybe its time for a new car. I dont want a new car. I love my journey
. . . .
Well at least the "parts swappers" admitted they have exhausted their limited knowledge. You are going to need a repair facility that can use and interpret engine management scan tool data.

You mention the left cylinder head so the car must have the 3.6 liter V6 engine? Connect a scan tool to the diagnostic port and with the engine at operating temperature look at the left and right bank oxygen sensor signals. At the same time look at the short term and long term fuel trim values for the left and right bank cylinder heads. The short term fuel trim on both banks should oscillate between a small negative value and a small positive value. The oxygen sensor signals should oscillate between lean (voltage less than 0.45) and rich (voltage greater than 0.45). Any major discrepancies outside of those ranges indicates areas that need attention.

Codes P0172 and P0175 indicate an excessively rich air - fuel mixture which the PCM (powertrain control module) cannot adjust. So excess fuel is being dumped into the intake manifold on one or both cylinder banks.

. - Car only acts up at 3/4 tank of fuel. * Stops after this point in fuel*. .
You indicate that the misfire and erratic running stops after this point. So misfire, stumbling occurs only when fuel level below 3/4 full or only occurs when fuel level over 3/4 full?
 

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With the bank1 (P0172) and bank2 (P0175) codes, it would have to be the 3.6L V6.
I am 'leaning' towards a Rich fuel condition at 3/4 tank and below?
This may be the clue. The problem is likely inside the fuel tank.
Has someone streamed a volume of fuel from the pump into a clear plastic bottle and looked for foam and bubbles? Fuel rails full of fuel foam and air will cause this misfire.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for replies!!!

Yes it is the 3.6 engine. The vehicle has been in different service repair shops. One of those being an actual dodge dealership. 500 bucks later my answer was sorry we dont know :(
After several times of this misfire/stutter/hiccup whatever it is ... I started paying attention to when it happens (cold/warm/etc) noticed it happens when I am at 3/4 tank of fuel. It will start misfiring, acting like it wants to stall, engine lights ding and stay on (twice has done the flashing) but it resets itself and just stops and drives fine after. So the problem is very limited on how long it does it. The problem was every time it would act up I would try to get it to a shop asap so they could see it happening and the codes wouldn't be cleared kind of thing. So when I clued in to the 3/4 tank thing I made sure I got it to my mechanic above the 3/4 tank and let him have it for the week and he drove it and it actually did it for him so he could get a good reading on his scanner. .
It wont let me add the pics to show what it says. I am sending these suggestions to him right now as I really dont want to get rid of my journey as its been an amazing car!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Grasping at straws here and dont want to sound like a dumb** or anything but one other thing I have to add. Last October my battery went in the car, wouldn't start and shuttered kind of thing. Changed the battery. Everything fine. Was original battery so was ok. But then all this other issue of misfire etc happened two months later with no answers. It cant be linked can it?
 

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. . . I started paying attention to when it happens (cold/warm/etc) noticed it happens when I am at 3/4 tank of fuel. It will start misfiring, acting like it wants to stall, engine lights ding and stay on (twice has done the flashing) but it resets itself and just stops and drives fine after. So the problem is very limited on how long it does it. . . .
If I understand the description of the problem correctly, you fill the fuel tank full. Engine operates as expected until the fuel level drops to 3/4 full. At the 3/4 full fuel level and below is when you get this erratic operation and stalling.

If I have interpreted your description correctly, the problem seems to lie with a sticking evaporative emission purge valve. When the fuel level is between 15 - 20 % and 75 - 80% the engine is at operating temperature and other conditions. The PCM goes into test mode for evaporative leaks. It is a somewhat complicated algorithm that does various intrusive (engine running) and non-intrusive or passive tests with engine not running. After all leak tests applied and all situations satisfied (no large leak, no medium leak, no small leak) the PCM does a test for system integrity.

It will pulse the purge valve quickly and increasingly at proper engine operating conditions. This is the purge ratio test. It expects the oxygen sensor to report back to the PCM that the air - fuel ratio is increasing and the PCM decreases the injector pulse width accordingly to keep the air - fuel ratio stoichiometrically correct (chemically balanced). The purge valve is not operating smoothly and is sticking and causing the engine intake to ingest more tank vapors than expected during this test. The PCM cannot adjust downward the injector pulse width to arrive at a balanced air - fuel ratio and that sets codes P0172 and P0175 and an overly rich fuel mixture is causing engine stumble and misfire. After a short period of time the test concludes and the overly rich air - fuel mixture situation disappears and normal engine operation returns.

I would suggest that you find a repair facility that is knowledgeable in usage of bi-directional tests with a scan tool. I would think a Snap On Verus or other high end scan tool can do this. At engine idle and normal operating temperature, you use the scan tool to test the purge valve. You slowly increase the purge ratio and see if you can duplicate the problem.

Battery replacement is not the issue. That is just coincidental.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello!
My mechanic that has it now uses the Solus Edge scan system. He was a dodge mechanic for 15 years, tis why I trust him with my baby. The car is just not giving off much information or codes :( He drives with it plugged in and watches the live data. This is why he is left scratching his head. I am only reaching out to these forums for something else to be tried :( I will pass this one on to him as well. The problem is at 3/4 of tank pretty much only. I cant go the rest of the tank or the top of the tank with little to no issues.
 

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A simple but unconventional test is to separate and remove the 2 wire electrical connector at the evaporative purge valve in the engine compartment. That will prevent the purge valve vapor ratio test. With fuel level at 3/4 or less drive the vehicle and get the engine to operating temperature. Is the misfire and stumbling still present? If NO then that would give more validity to my theory in post #6 that the purge valve is not operating properly or sticking. If the misfire still occurs then the issue is some other condition.
 

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Are you saying that it's fine above 3/4 tank and below 3/4 tank as well?
 

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Is this an AWD Journey with the saddle-style fuel tank? This design allows room for the prop shaft to pass through to the rear. It is also safer in the center of the vehicle in case of a crash.
I have had the similar Pacifica (CS-body) AWD vehicles drain or siphon the fuel from one side to the other.
The BCM reads both the left and right side senders and sends the average fuel level reading to the fuel gauge.
When the pump side runs low and the other side is full, it can feel like the car is running out of gas.
You may be able to access the top of the tank by removing the cover plates under the rear seat.

 

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Interesting I was thinking evaporative control system then read Allan's very detailed response!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is this an AWD Journey with the saddle-style fuel tank? This design allows room for the prop shaft to pass through to the rear. It is also safer in the center of the vehicle in case of a crash.
I have had the similar Pacifica (CS-body) AWD vehicles drain or siphon the fuel from one side to the other.
The BCM reads both the left and right side senders and sends the average fuel level reading to the fuel gauge.
When the pump side runs low and the other side is full, it can feel like the car is running out of gas.
You may be able to access the top of the tank by removing the cover plates under the rear seat.

It is a FWD not the AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A simple but unconventional test is to separate and remove the 2 wire electrical connector at the evaporative purge valve in the engine compartment. That will prevent the purge valve vapor ratio test. With fuel level at 3/4 or less drive the vehicle and get the engine to operating temperature. Is the misfire and stumbling still present? If NO then that would give more validity to my theory in post #6 that the purge valve is not operating properly or sticking. If the misfire still occurs then the issue is some other condition.
I am passing this on to my mechanic! He said its definitely over fueling but cant find why. Said the tests he has done its fine. This is a head scratcher for him lol. But he does have a call in to someone who has more experience. He feels maybe he is missing something. He has had my car since thanksgiving so been awhile. Another mechanic told me it sounds like the head :( But the dodge dealer I took it too said no.
 

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I am passing this on to my mechanic! He said its definitely over fueling but cant find why. Said the tests he has done its fine. This is a head scratcher for him lol. But he does have a call in to someone who has more experience. He feels maybe he is missing something. He has had my car since thanksgiving so been awhile. Another mechanic told me it sounds like the head :( But the dodge dealer I took it too said no.
I have the same exact codes. Would idle rough when starting and i found out the other day if i rev up the engine to 3k rpm and hold it there for a couple minutes, it would then work fine. I then thought it would possibly be a leaky injector. Replace all 6 and it seems to be worst then before. Cant even rev it up to smooth it out anymore. Would just stall out after a few second. Original was just the p0300 code then after the injector replacement the other two code came on. I check cams and rockers everything is good. Replace spark plug throttle body. And did a compression test everything was good 120-130psi all across. I am at a lost. Even replace the two upstream sensor on each bank.
 

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I am passing this on to my mechanic! He said its definitely over fueling but cant find why. Said the tests he has done its fine. This is a head scratcher for him lol. But he does have a call in to someone who has more experience. He feels maybe he is missing something. He has had my car since thanksgiving so been awhile. Another mechanic told me it sounds like the head :( But the dodge dealer I took it too said no.
what was your problem ?
 

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Welcome to Allpar. Don't change parts until you can diagnose a little bit. If it is worse than before, can you re-install the old (good) parts to get it back the way it was?

OEM parts may be an important consideration when servicing the fuel/ignition systems.
Some aftermarket parts can make things worse.
Injector o-rings get brittle with age & heat, were new o-rings installed?
 

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The 'saddle style' fuel tank has had fill imbalance issues.
Sometimes the owner finds this out after the car quits. The right half runs out of fuel while the left side is still full and the fuel gauge still shows a half tank.
It doesn't matter if it is FWD or AWD. On FWD, the exhaust system runs between the halves.On AWD, both the exhaust & propeller shaft runs between the halves.

Under the rear seat area was really the only place to put the tank for collision safety. I don't think that they could have made it less complex (equals 'potentially troublesome') than it is.
There are access panels under the rear seat to get at things. The tank doesn't have to be dropped.



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