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Hello

I would like to first say that I am a stupid female so PLEASE help me firgure out what is wrong with my 98 Dodge Stratus PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some times but not all the time when you are setting at a long stop light or in traffic my oil light will start to flicker on and off. If the light has been flickering then when you do take off it smokes like you would not believe. The smoke appears to be white and is VERY THICK. But other days you can set though the same lights and traffic and nothing happens at all. When the light flickers is spitters and sputts and acts like it wants to cut off too. Now I know that I have an older car with a LOT of miles on it (153,000) but I am a single mom so I can't afford anything else.

This started to happen after going down the interstate one day and the car started bucking like it was out of oil, but when I checked all the fluid levels were fine. The check engine like came on that time but not long enough to leave a "code" I had that checked. I have had my car to several places and no one so far can tell me what is wrong with it and one man just said keep putting oil in it and drive it until it blows up.

So if you have any ideas PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks
DJ
 

· Official qwerty thief
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Well usually white smoke is either water steaming out of the engine or in your case what i would think is its antifreeze leaking thru the headgasket into the engine. Check your oil again and see if it appears to look like coffee with cream in it (the easeist i can describe it) if so then you need a new headgasket. Also next time it smokes like that check and see if theres any blue color to the smoke at all, you may also in this process have killed an o2 sensor as well. That isnt that hard to replace but the headgasket is and i def recomend a pro if you arent very car literate.
 

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I agree with Green Reaper - you have a blown head gasket - common for your model. The oil light is coming on as the water thins the oil flow and more likely as not causes sludge to build up in the head and pan. Get it fixed ASAP or you looking at some serious repair bills in a very short order.
 

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If she has a blown head gasket then the guys she's taken the car to must be total idiots not to know what the problem is. Debi-jill if you do not know a trustworthy good mechanic there are plenty of guys here that an steer you right. Give this a couple days and see if other posts agree with the head gasket idea. ....Now, depending on where you live, on AM radio in most cities there are call in talk shows about car problems. We have a couple such shows here in Houston. You just all in and tell them your symptoms and they advise you as to what it probably is. They also have shops they recommend and they are typically reliable and do very good work. Turn on your radio Saturday morning on AM and scan every 1/2 hr. to see if you can find such a station. You may ask your neighbors, co-workers,friends for the name of a good mechanic as well. Good luck and let us know.
 

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"I have had my car to several places and no one so far can tell me what is wrong with it and one man just said keep putting oil in it and drive it until it blows up."


Advice like that is why some mechanics give the rest a bad name.
 

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There are alot of stratus problems with the oil light flickering due to engine sludge and if this is the case than you could very well break the small timing chain on that engine, its an adequite chain when regular oil changes were done to the car but if the oil changes have been neglected at any point in this cars life it may be slugged up. The flashing oil light at a stop is a major symptom of this problem. You will be able to tell if you have alot a sludge build up if you open the filler cap on the engine and check around the seal for slugged up oil i hope that you dont have that and you car was given regular oil changes. Best of Luck!
 

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StratusBubba, my name is Dave and I have a 96 stratus ES V-6. In one of your posts you wrote:
"There are alot of stratus problems with the oil light flickering due to engine sludge and if this is the case than you could very well break the small timing chain on that engine, its an adequite chain when regular oil changes were done to the car but if the oil changes have been neglected at any point in this cars life it may be slugged up. The flashing oil light at a stop is a major symptom of this problem. You will be able to tell if you have alot a sludge build up if you open the filler cap on the engine and check around the seal for slugged up oil i hope that you dont have that and you car was given regular oil changes."

I'm writing because my Stratus was neglected (oil was almost black when I got it). When i did an oil change I started experiencing the symptoms above. I dont know if this car uses a timing belt or chain, but from your post im guessing a chain? I have a feeling i will have to get this oil flicker checked out, although so far its not causing any problems otherwise. What do you suggest I do as preventative or corrective maintenance?
 

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Agreed. The older 4cyl "Stratii" blow head gaskets like its something that they're all supposed to do so. (sorry to say).... Doesn't look like its gonna be a cheap repair for ya. Good luck though!
 

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btw strats dont have a timing chain the have a timing belt. and they are semi known for blowing headgaskets, you may be able to get it done under a tsb from the older cork ones. not totally sure though
 

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hello, im new to this site ive owned my startus for 2months now and i can tell you these cars arent what im used to driving, but to your post, your oil light and the way your car seems to be acting like it wants to die. its because of the (IAC) Idle Air Control module, its on the throttle body. It regulates the air fuel mixture into the intake when it goes bad you get a rough idle. THE OIL light flickers because the idle is to low thats why when you give the throttle a little movement it goes away(the oil light)i know i just replaced mine. it was doing the same thing. Before you go and spend a hella lot of money i would replace the oil and oil filter and put some lucas oil additive into it. I can tell you that i dont believe its your head gasket because you said sometimes it does it(blowes a little white smoke), it would blow white smoke and smell like antifreeze all the time with a very big loss of power full throttle and barely and movement 30mph at most your temp gauge would rise extremly high and you wouldnt have any water in your radiator.AND IF YOU CHECK THE OIL THERE WOULD BE WATER ON THE DIPSTICK WITH OIL LOOKS WHITE

(IAC)Idle Air Control module price maybe 50.00. 20mins total for someone that can replace sparkplugs.

Email me if you have any questions
 
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