Car Questions
RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

My 2002 Intrepid is idling rough and stalling at stop signs, red lights, etc.

(2002 Dodge Intrepid)
in North Granville, NY on September 20, 2012
I have an 2002 Chrysler Intrepid. The engine is a V6-167 2.7L DOHC. It is idling quite rough, and stalling at red lights, and stop signs, or in heavy traffic. I have to turn the car off, and then on again to get it to start. Not every time, maybe one out of every three traffic lights, etc.. but that is enough to frighten me. I took it to a mechanic and just had the alternator replaced. It didn't fix the problem like the mechanic said it would. He also replaced a hose in the cooling system since it was leaking some fluid. This also did not fix the problem. I also recently had an oxygen sensor replaced as well, although its still coming up as bad in the codes when they plug in the diagnostic tool. They're pretty sure its not the O2 sensor. But that didn't fix the problem either. They even put the O2 sensor in a different spot? What do you think? What else could be wrong with it that is causing this stalling and rough idling? All the mechanics I've taken it to have yet to fix the problem.
Displaying 3 answers & 10 comments
Popular Answer
on September 21, 2012
It is hard to say, as not seeing directly what it is doing is a problem. However if the vehicle can stay running if you have your foot slightly on the gas at a complete stop, then it would be your IAV (Idle Air Control Valve). As this rarely sets codes due to it being a valve and not a sensor, and does not allow the engine to recive the air it needs (ie. idle rough and die at only stops, but work fine when throttle is pressed).
on September 21, 2012
Thank you for replying! That sounds very much like what is happening.
Is this a pricey fix?
on September 24, 2012
Sorry for the late responce, i was away for the weekend. However to answer your question, it generally is not too pricey, and is very doable by yourself as it is usually only 2 bolts and a plug. if the vehicle idles rought but straightens out with just a slight accelleration, i would look at that first. Sorry for any mis-spelled words, i am on my phone at the moment.
on October 14, 2012
I am having the same issues, also note that the car purrs like a kitten one day, sounds like a rods going thru the motor the next day (associated with engine light). I took it to autozone and had them read the code and that said an air leak or bad tps. One mechanic thinks its a temp sensor, another camshaft position sensor. Today I went on a trip and the rought Idle/surging issue popped up. Opened the hood and let it sit for 1/2 hour. Presto fixed, still had engine light but ran fine..,, Oil light flickered, though..
on October 15, 2012
My oil light flickers when I stall as well. Although I think its normal to flicker when it stalls (not that the stalling is normal though). I too have heard it could be the camshaft sensor, crank sensor, or oxygen sensors, or a number of other sensors, valves [IAC, EGR(?)]. What I am most scared about is if it is the transmission. I dont think it would be possible/feasible to get a new one. I do not want to fix anything else unless it can be guarenteed to not stall anymore as I've thrown thousands of dollars at this problem already. Is your engine light on all the time? Mine is. Any other ideas? Has anything worked for you?
on October 15, 2012
I inherited this car from my mother, engine light comes on randomley, can go for weeks no problem, One morning I go out and start up the car, I get the rought Idle/surging. I get to work less than a mile away and park it, go to lunch and the car starts up and runs fine, sometimes the light goes out by its self.. I think things would be better if it just failed, light stayed on all the time... kind of frustrating....
on October 15, 2012
I agree! Very frustrating! Sometimes mine will have a hard time picking up as well but other times she will run just fine! Its a guessing game! I am too scared to take it on trips or through town during busy hours in case she just quits or stalls and causes an accident or something.
on September 20, 2012
does it run fine cold then act up when the car warms up.
on September 20, 2012
Thanks for replying :) It seems to do it both while cold, and hot. But I would say more when hot. Since I got the cooling system hose replaced, it hasn't been getting nearly as hot (overheating used to be a problem too). I do have one seized fan in the cooling system. Any input you might have would be very helpful!
on September 20, 2012
i would check the oil for coolant mixed with oil the oil will look milky, its possible u have a blown head gasket do to all of the overheating issues in the past. does the car steam a lot out of the exhaust and does it have a sweet smell to it.
on September 20, 2012
I will check first thing tomorrow morning, I haven't noticed a sweet smell, but then again I haven't been looking for it. I am not too knowledgable in this area. I'll let you know what I find. Thanks so much.
on November 26, 2012
well I have a 2002 Intrepid 3.5 and after the car gets Hot usually in heavy trafic .. it will stall out at stops.. i had two problems .. the High Fan Switch was bad .. so the cooling fan never went into a high mode .. found the relay bad by accident .. switched it with the engine Kill relay and car would not start .... the other problem .. i never suspected .. the thermostate was Not bad ,, But the rubber seal was torn and keepint it from operating correctly.. after i replaced the thermostate .. and radior cap .. No more enging stalling .. the car only ran a litter hotter than normal .. but that was the problem ... hopes this helps ..
on November 26, 2012
It does. Thank you! This is something I can check out!
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 2,000 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more

Similar Questions

View answers to similar questions from RepairPal's community of auto experts and enthusiasts.
My car has been deteriorating for years. When I was driving, it would sometimes jerk, and when I looked at the dash, ...
Didn't find what you were looking for?