my 98 dodge van quits at idle when it feels like it. on 1998 Dodge Ram Van 1500

engine restarts most times after cycling the key. some times i have to wait 30 sec or more but it always restarts. some times it will buck driving down the road at highway speeds but then picks back up on its own. van has 218,000 miles. engine also has had a coughing and stumble for a while but this is a new issue.

by in Muskego, WI on December 10, 2012
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2 answers 3 comments
ANSWER by , December 11, 2012
I suspect air flow issue either at the intake through the MAF sensor being dirty and needing cleaning, or exhaust flow out due to bad or fouled catalytic converter. Need to clean MAF sensor and see what happens and then have cat. inspected. Is your check engine light on?
COMMENT by , December 11, 2012
ANSWER by , December 11, 2012
#1 is poss correct. do you have a ck eng light on?
COMMENT by , December 11, 2012
COMMENT by , December 12, 2012
Have exhaust flow checked then. Exhaust backup due to a fouled cat is a possible cause of these symptoms. Symptoms: Vehicle chokes and tries to stall in idle or stalls. Under acceleration engine sputters and recovers often. Under a load or going up a grade you experience loss of power and even speed loss unless you back off gas pedal. Without an engine light on becomes more difficult to diagnose because it could be ignition based such as sparks plugs or coils just starting to go bad.