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1999 Plymouth Breeze - A Mystery


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AmenoSagiri
New User

Apr 30, 2015, 4:17 PM

Post #1 of 6 (1455 views)
1999 Plymouth Breeze - A Mystery Sign In

1999 Plymouth Breeze
2.0L 4-cylinder Engine AUTOMATIC
166,000 miles on Transmission and Body
116,000 miles on Engine


Backstory:

Bought a used 1999 Plymouth Breeze from someone off Craigslist back in August 2014 (About 9ish months ago). The guy I bought it from was a family mechanic who upkept this car like a champ, and he had lots of documentation to show it, and included a huge box of random things he replaced over the years in the vehicle. The car is originally from California and it still has minimal rust on it, even on the bottom. The engine looks extremely clean as well.

In short, the car had its engine replaced when the body had around 130,000 miles on it. The engine was replaced with a same model engine from a junkyard car that had 80,000 miles on it.


It has been running and driving fine for about 7 months and through winter (Wisconsin) except for a rear wheel bearing that needed to be replaced. It gets amazing gas mileage, the brakes are ok, drives me everywhere fine. It starts up flawlessly, and it does not idle rough at all.

Then this spring started.


The Problem:

Since about a month or two ago when it started warming up (Keep in mind I drove the car last august and september when there were still 80+ degree days outside, with high humidity), it has been having a multitude of issues. I do not know where to begin, so first I'll tell you each problem, and then I'll get more in detail with it.

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Before reading: There are no ERROR CODES, there are no Check Engine Lights. Also before reading, I am suspecting it could possibly be the transmission, but I'm just not sure yet because of some other factors. However, the transmission does shift into Reverse a little rough, while the other gears are fine. One last thing to note, is all three of these problems all usually happen at the same time as each other, and they all stop and reset after I let the car sit for a little while (an hour or more).

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1: After 15-25 minute drives in warmer weather, the car will start to shudder when braking to a FULL STOP such as stop lights, and easing into parking spaces. The longer it is driven, the worse the shuddering gets, to the point that it will eventually jerk the entire car violently, and sometimes kill the car and cause it to shut off. The shuddering happens at about 3-5mph right as the transmission shifts down to the first gear.

Now this is the tricky part. If I shift it into LOW or NEUTRAL >BEFORE< I get to the full stop, like if I'm still going 10mph when I switch it, it slows down and stops completely smoothly with no problems.

Again, the longer the car is driven in one instance, the worse the shuddering gets at stops, and the shuddering is avoided if I downshift to low manually while I still have a bit of speed.

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2: If I drive for awhile on a warmer day, or even long enough on a cooler day, the coolant begins to boil profusely, and will continue doing so after turning off the car. This usually happens after about a 45-60 minute drive.

The temperature gauge reports at about the middle mark, which is average for a vehicle. The fan for the car DOES work, and it DOES kick in frequently like some other cars in my family. I have replaced the Thermostat, as someone told me it might be sticking, and this changed nothing.

If I use the AC, it causes the boiling a lot quicker.
________________________________

3: After long drives as described above, sometimes even a simple 15 minute drive (All three of these problems usually happen in-sync with each other), the car idles at 2000-3000 RPMs ONLY IN PARK AND NEUTRAL, instead of where it usually idles (1.2K RPMs). It sounds very loud when it idles this high, like I'm holding down the gas pedal, but I'm not.

If I switch it into Reverse or any of the drive gears while this is happening, it goes down to about 1K RPMs, which seems about right. If I shut the car off, and turn it back on, it goes back to idling normal for about a half a minute, then it goes back to high idling until I let the car sit for a couple hours, which always seems to reset all these problems I have.

________________________________

Some more info. Both the coolant and the oil look perfectly fine. The oil has been replaced on time since this engine was put in place. The oil is pristine actually. The coolant hasn't seemed to have moved much or at all.

I replaced a couple sensors. The Throttle Position Sensor, O2 Sensor, and the Idle Air Control Valve. Had the transmission fluid flushed and replaced, etc.

Nothing leaks out of the bottom of the car EVER, except for when I have the AC running.

One last thing. The longer the car is driven, the more prominent this light whistling sound gets from the right side of the engine (right side when sitting in seat). It sounds like it has a turbo or something. It still made this whistling sound when the entire air system was taken off once to get to the throttle body.



This mystery is confusing me, can anyone help?


(This post was edited by AmenoSagiri on May 1, 2015, 6:52 PM)


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Apr 30, 2015, 5:08 PM

Post #2 of 6 (1431 views)
Re: 1999 Plymouth Breeze - A Mystery Sign In


Quote
1: After 15-25 minute drives in warmer weather, the car will start to shudder when braking to a FULL STOP such as stop lights, and easing into parking spaces. The longer it is driven, the worse the shuddering gets, to the point that it will eventually jerk the entire car violently, and sometimes kill the car and cause it to shut off. The shuddering happens at about 3-5mph right as the transmission shifts down to the first gear.


One possibility is the torque converter clutch is staying engaged when your coming to a stop. This will feel like coming to a stop with a manual transmission without pushing in the clutch.




Quote
2: If I drive for awhile on a warmer day, or even long enough on a cooler day, the coolant begins to boil profusely, and will continue doing so after turning off the car. This usually happens after about a 45-60 minute drive.


Have you inspected the radiator cap? A leaking or defective cap can cause a boil over. Probably wouldn't hurt to have someone connect up a scan tool and monitor the engine coolant temperature to be sure the temperature reading jives with the gauge. If the engine is really overheating, the cooling fan(s) would be running full blast all the time when you didn't have the ac running. You definitely want to be sure the engine is actually overheating, especially since it has already had one engine put in it already.


Quote
3: After long drives as described above, sometimes even a simple 15 minute drive (All three of these problems usually happen in-sync with each other), the car idles at 2000-3000 RPMs ONLY IN PARK AND NEUTRAL, instead of where it usually idles (1.2K RPMs). It sounds very loud when it idles this high, like I'm holding down the gas pedal, but I'm not.


Surprised there are no codes. There might be codes on the manufacture side, but you need an enhanced scan tool to read those.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


AmenoSagiri
New User

Apr 30, 2015, 7:39 PM

Post #3 of 6 (1424 views)
Re: 1999 Plymouth Breeze - A Mystery Sign In

I'll have to check the radiator cap tomorrow, I will edit this post later tomorrow.


As for the cooling fan)s), usually the fans kick on, stay on for about 20-40 seconds, then they turn off for the same amount of time, then come back on again. Constant on and off. However, today I noticed when I got home and it was idling in the parking lot at 3000 RPMs, that the fans never turned on after leaving it idling like that for about 5 minutes (No engine coolant boiling either). This was after a 15 minute drive, and the wind was chilly today, although the actual temp outside was around 60 degrees.


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

May 1, 2015, 12:22 AM

Post #4 of 6 (1412 views)
Re: 1999 Plymouth Breeze - A Mystery Sign In

Iding at 3K? You should check for vacuum leaks and verify the function of the idle air control valve. You may probably still need to get hold of an enhanced scan tool to see how the engine controller is commanding the IAC valve.

If the fans cycle on and off, that is usually an indication that the engine isn't overheating, but you still might want to monitor the engine coolant temperature with a scan tool while your driving. If the cap is faulty it can allow the reservoir to overflow when the coolant gets hot. A faulty cap also won't allow pressure to build in the system to lower the boiling point of the coolant. They make a coolant pressure tester cap adapter that goes on your tester to test the radiator cap. It is probably cheaper and easier to replace the cap if your in doubt.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on May 1, 2015, 12:26 AM)


AmenoSagiri
New User

May 1, 2015, 6:51 PM

Post #5 of 6 (1391 views)
Re: 1999 Plymouth Breeze - A Mystery Sign In

Alright I just got back from a long day. The Radiator cap wasn't leaking anything, but I bought a new one anyways for how cheap it was. It was cooler out tonight so the problems didn't really come. I listened and felt closely for the shuddering at stops, and right as it downshifts to the lowest gear at a stop, I can hear a distinct creaking noise coming from (I think) under the car, which I would assume to be the transmission?

It wasn't really shuddering that bad. I don't know if that whistling I mentioned earlier has anything to do with the air system, as it still made the whistling noise when it wasn't even present. I'm thinking that whistling is actually coming from the exhaust.

A relative of mine almost thinks the coolant boiling isn't actually boiling at all, but the system pushing too hard into the coolant tank, causing it to bubble (high pressure?).

I'll see about getting someone to check the codes on it sooner or later, until then, I don't really have anything new to mention.


(This post was edited by AmenoSagiri on May 1, 2015, 6:52 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 1, 2015, 11:06 PM

Post #6 of 6 (1384 views)
Re: 1999 Plymouth Breeze - A Mystery Sign In

? Lots going on to ask some more questions and suspect more than one thing going on.
You've noted it pressures up like overheating a bit earlier than many would and ruled out the cap by a new one just now. Did you test old one and system with a pressure tester? When it bubbles out does it lose coolant and what are you putting in - if straight antifreeze that can be a problem by itself - needs closer to 50/50 mix.


Noises, high idle and the shuddering when slowing down and so on: Can be hard to see alone but is engine/trans mounted OK or moving around too much? If mounts are shot it could put a real strain on exhaust holding it and other assorted problems. Wiring and even throttle cable if used (some electric) may be all incorrect like out of adjustment - shifter as well.


Surprised no codes yet? Does the light work when key put to "ON" and not running or started yet?


This after the Winter from hell have to ask if the car was terribly stuck and some wild antics to drive it out such as fast shifting forward to reverse quickly back and forth is a killer or lousy tow job if that happened. Any real wild spinning of wheels at high RPM if stuck and one more is did you drive thru crusty snow banks that could break things a little or a lot?


From MA - similar to WI and notice the unusual bits of cars just now getting cleaned up all over parking lots and on sides of roads - outright damage,


T







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