Backfire,1999 Sebring Convertible, at ropes end!

25

Asked by Jan 04, 2014 at 02:23 PM about the 1999 Chrysler Sebring 2 Dr JX Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
VIN# - 3C3EL45HXXT570673

July 2013 –
1. Battery light comes on and off for no reason.  Had the charging system checked out and did not find any issue.  
• The battery has since been replaced.
• Light still comes on with no noticeable electrical issues.
October 2013 -
2. Check Engine light comes on and engine runs rough and miss-fires.  OBD code shows P1391.
• (P1391 intermittent loss of the cam sensor or crank sensor signal)
• Replaced the Crank Shaft Positioning Sensor (no help) ($45 for part and my free labor)
• Replaced Cam Shaft Positioning Sensor (AKA: Ignition Coil in the distributor.)  $75 for part and $150 labor
• Check Engine light went off on its own and the engine ran well for one week.
• One week later, check Engine light came on again and engine runs rough and miss-fires.

3. Brought car to local mechanic and after two days they could not find the problem.
4. Brought car to a Chrysler Dealership and they gave me a $3000 laundry list that included, among other things, 3 freeze-out plugs and 2 front tires. (That’s going to make the engine light go out, wouldn’t you say?) When I pressed them for an answer for the original problem, they suggested replacing the distributor. (The same distributor a local mechanic took apart to replace the internal coil/camshaft sensor).  Funny he did not tell me the distributor was bad. ($80 diag cost)
5. At a recommendation, took the car to Chevy dealer.  After one week and finally replacing the distributor, I got the car back.  (They replaced the distributor from the advice of a friend at the above Chrysler Dealer.)
6. After 10 min of driving, check Engine light comes on and engine runs rough and miss-fires.  OBD code shows P1391
7. Brought back to the Chevy dealer and now it’s been 3 weeks and I was told some wiring had to be replaced.
December 30, 2013 -
8. The Dealer told me they did end to end tests of the wiring from the distributor and, in their words, “did not see any “aha” moments”.
9. I have the car back now and don’t know how to proceed.  We have been without a second car for almost 2 months now.

8 Answers

68,695

Intermittent problems are caused, 95% of the time, by bad wiring connections. The other 5% by components dying a slow death. Sounds like you have electrical problems. One mistake I see in your post is repairing the distributor. The distributor should have been replaced with, preferably, a new unit. Not a rebuilt one. Are you sure the ignition timing was set correctly after the distributor was repaired? Most mechanics today wouldn't know a timing light if they got smacked in the head with one! Or a distributor either. The second mistake was taking a Chrysler to a Chevy Dealer. I'd start with trying to tackle the trouble codes first. Check the plugs to the specific sensors. Wiggle and jiggle them to see what happens. I'd replace that distributor and set the ignition timing again as well. Are you due for a tune up? If so, do that too. Can't hurt. HTH. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
25

Thanks Jim: I installed the Crank Shaft Position sensor, as the ODB2 code suggested. The connection there look clean and good. I then asked a local mechanic to replace the Cam Shaft Positioning sensor, as the ODB2 codes suggested. (That's inside the distributor). After that did not work, the Chevy dealer REPLACED the distributor. I only took it to the Chevy dealer because of a friend of a friend. There is a Auto Diagnostics shop down the road who specializes in electrical diagnostics, sounds like you would suggest I take it there?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
25

Thank you guys for your response. I would like to cut my loses but it's not a good time right now. There is a Auto Diagnostics shop down the road who specializes in electrical diagnostics, sounds like you would suggest I take it there?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
68,695

You're welcome. Glad to help. Yes, I'd definitely suggest taking it there. Electrical maladies are sometimes hard to find. If the shop specializes in that type of repairs you'll have better luck I think. HTH. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

I have the same issues with my 2006 Chrysler Sebring. I've done just about all you've done to try to get my car running smoothly like it had before. I've replaced the cam shaft sensor, crankshaft sensor, rewiring, and I took it to a diagnositic place also. They charged me 75.00 just to tell me it was the cam and crank. They suggested that they could replace with parts from the dealer, because where I had bought my parts, the quality was too cheap. I'm at a loss now as to what to do either. This has been going on now for about 3 weeks.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
25

Sorry to hear this. I gave up on my Sebring. After $850, I sold it for $725. What a shame. The book value was only $1300 if there were no problems, so I just cut my losses. I wish for the old days before all this electronic crap was around. Replace the points or condenser under the distributer cap and be done with it. Who's the brain that thinks a cam and crank sensor is a better way to tell where your pistons are in their cycle? Now the mechanics can't even fix their own product! Good luck my man. RSC

25

I forgot to mention, I did take my Seabring to that diagnostics place down the road as I mentioned above, $150.00 later, he could not find the problem. Thanks everybody. RSC

68,695

You're welcome. Sorry to hear that you sold it! But a 1999 model is, at best, in the twilight of life. For most cars 10 to 12 model years old is a good run. Another problem that happens is when a car outlives the people who know how to fix it. That happened to my '93 Chevy Caprice. The Caprice also started "nickel and diming" me and had a coolant leak that, for whatever reason, couldn't be fixed. I bought that car brand new. I sold it to a young fellow for $500. two years ago. Like you, it was time to move on. -Jim

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • Backfire,1999 Sebring Convertible, at ropes end! 8 answers

    1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible VIN# - 3C3EL45HXXT570673 July 2013 – 1. Battery light comes on and off for no reason. Had the charging system checked out and did not find any issue. • The batte...

    1999 Chrysler Sebring 2 Dr JX Convertible

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • 2001 chrysler sebring LXi convertible 1 answer

    I have a 2001 Chrysler sebring LXi convertible. Yesterday I had a problem with car starting. When it finally started it sputtered until it got to operating temp. Then it ran fine and started normal...

    2001 Chrysler Sebring LXi Convertible

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1998 Sebring JXI convertible power side mirror 4 answers

    1998 Sebring JXI convertible: I broke the housing of the passenger side side view mirror. Picked up a used one at a junkyard and when I plugged it in, it blew the 5 amp fuse. I thought it was defect...

    1998 Chrysler Sebring 2 Dr JXi Convertible

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • 1999 chrysler Sebring JXI Convertible-6 cyl. . It wants to, run then not. 2 answers

    The Sebring will run okay until it gets close to a 1/4 tank of gas. ( 3/8's ). Or sometimes 10-15 miles running. Then it will run with high RPM's and only 10-15 mph. After I let it sit for 30-40 min's...

    1999 Chrysler Sebring 2 Dr JXi Convertible

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible starting issues 1 answer

    So I bought a 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible about two weeks ago. The car ran fine when I test drove it and a few days after. Then a couple days later the check engine light came on and then a...

    2004 Chrysler Sebring GTC Convertible

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

Sebring

Looking for a Used Sebring in your area?

CarGurus has 2,810 nationwide Sebring listings starting at $1,200.

ZIP:

Search Chrysler Sebring Questions

Chrysler Sebring Experts

#1 Sparky222
Sparky222
Reputation 2,850
#2 Chris Daigle
Chris Daigle
Reputation 2,010
#3 tenspeed
tenspeed
Reputation 1,530
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Mustang
680 Great Deals out of 44,480 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord
1,053 Great Deals out of 66,933 listings starting at $1,000
Used Toyota Camry
1,225 Great Deals out of 82,703 listings starting at $750
Used BMW 3 Series
1,022 Great Deals out of 31,416 listings starting at $1,000
Used Nissan Altima
1,281 Great Deals out of 74,433 listings starting at $1,000
Used Toyota Camry Solara
35 Great Deals out of 1,426 listings starting at $1,595
Used Toyota Corolla
1,004 Great Deals out of 68,557 listings starting at $1,800
Used Chevrolet Malibu
1,100 Great Deals out of 79,829 listings starting at $2,500
Used Honda Civic
831 Great Deals out of 83,702 listings starting at $750
Used Chevrolet Camaro
370 Great Deals out of 31,228 listings starting at $2,500
Used Chevrolet Impala
546 Great Deals out of 35,508 listings starting at $899

Used Cars For Sale

2010 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
14 Great Deals out of 397 listings starting at $1,400
2009 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
149 listings starting at $2,995
2008 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 509 listings starting at $1,200
2007 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 312 listings starting at $2,400
2006 Chrysler Sebring For Sale
249 listings starting at $2,800

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.