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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having misfiring for quite some time and it often appears to be random in nature. I think I may have finally found the solution. It's important to recognize the different types of misfire though. In my opinion there are 2 different types. The first being an ignition coil that goes bad and makes the engine run so out of balance it seems like the engine is going to crash through the hood. You will know this when you have it happen, it's clearly running on 3 cylinders. The second type is a total misfire through all four cylinders. The engine will run rough and will struggle to build rpm's.

Initially I had an ignition coil misfire about a year ago. I replaced all 4 coils and everything was good to go. Flash forward 10 months and I get the total misfire occurring. I made sure spark plugs were good and I ended up biting the bullet and buying 4 new coils. It worked for about 2 weeks and then once again a total misfire.

Me being a stubborn person and unwilling to take the car to the dealership because I HATE dealerships, I sat around scratching my head. The MultiAir brick had to be working properly because as soon as I replace coils it works again. The spark plugs were good. The coils were new. So what was the common denominator?

Everytime I performed work I unplugged the battery. That's when I realized it had to be my stupid negative terminal that is missing the tightening nut. I bought my Dart used in 2016 and it came without the nut on the negative terminal. It was always pretty tight but you could still pull it off by hand if need be. My conclusion: over time the negative terminal got more and more loose and if I hit a pothole or hard shifted into 3rd gear it would lose contact and cause the misfire. When I put the terminal back on after service work I place it in the tightest position possible. Misfire goes away until the next time I hit a pothole or whatever.

With this hypothesis, I grabbed a pair of pliers and tightened the negative terminal contacts together. Started the car and NO MISFIRE. The negative terminal has been connected since I parked the car weeks ago when it started misfiring again. I did not disconnect it, just tightened the terminal connection.

I'm going to fix the missing nut and see if any new misfires show up. If they don't this should prove my idea is correct.
 

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I picked up one of those nuts the last time I was at the junkyard. PM your address and I will send it to you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
While waiting for the correct nut to arrive, I tested my luck by driving to a fireworks display on Friday the 2nd. It was about 10 miles each way. I made it there with no issues and had a great time. I prepared to head home and crossed my fingers. Of course it started misfiring a mile down the road.

I pulled over and opened up the hood. Grabbed the pliers and gave the negative connection a good squeeze. Fired her up and no misfire. Another mile down the road misfire again! Pulled over and gave her an even tighter squeeze with the pliers. Fired her up and no misfire. Drove all the way home without any further problems. Keep in mind I never even removed the negative terminal, just wrenched on it with the pliers.

A day later I received the proper nut from @alpinegreenneon. Thank you again Sir! I put the nut on and tightened it as much as I could. Started the car up and to my amazement I found that alot of my engine vibrations were gone and my low-end torque was back!

A few months ago I had replaced the left and right side motor mounts with the deyeme racing firm edition. Immediately after I lost alot of my low-end torque and it vibrated like hell at low rpms. Granted I never did the engine neutralization procedure, but it still shouldn't have vibrated THAT much. I though I had an exhaust leak which was the cause of the low-end torque loss, but it was just the freakin' battery connection.

Car feels strong just like the day I got it again. This goes to show that the battery is such a critical component in a MultiAir equipped Dart.
 

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This goes to show that the battery is such a critical component in a MultiAir equipped Dart.
You have no idea. I had to buy a new battery for my Dart the day before I traded it in. It had done a lot of sitting for about 5 months and the battery dropped to zero volts, rendering it permanently dead. Oops. I could get it to run at idle with a boost and even rev it, but actually driving it was... oh, I wish I'd filmed it, because it was something else. Everything was shutting down and rebooting, it was misfiring apocalyptically, and it turns out that the DDCT requires a lot of electrical power to shift. Eventually the transmission would drop out of gear and give a "Service Transmission" message (not without a lot of lurching, banging, botching shifts, and whatnot), and couldn't go back into gear without restarting, which was a problem, since it needed a boost from a running car. Basically, it simulated what one would expect demonic possession of a car to look and feel like. My daughter drove the "support vehicle", my Grand Caravan with booster cables and rescued me once or twice (ok, maybe it was 3 times). We're talking in less than a kilometer here. The only way I could get it to the dealership 30kms away to trade it in was to drive it, so I bought the cheapest battery possible and from there it was all good (except for all the horrible transmission noises that predated this insanity and were ultimately the reason I traded in my Dart).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@jsblanch , I'm just glad it's working now and I didn't have to take it to the dealership. I knew they would have pulled some crap like "Oh the MultiAir brick is dead, you need a new one" and proceed to tear apart the whole engine bay.

And I really didn't want to have to buy a new car when prices are through the roof. I'm taking the Dart on it's first long distance drive next weekend to Northern Michigan. If it has no issues during that, it should be good to go for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update

Ended up having some issues again with the misfiring. Took a look at the battery and realized it was 3 years old so I decided to buy a new one. Once I removed the old battery I realized the negative terminal which was giving me problems, was gouged like crazy on the terminal post. I ended up buying a new battery and like magic everything is back to normal. It is absolutely insane that a somewhat bad battery can cause an engine to operate like garbage. Pretty sad that my 30 year old car in the garage is more reliable than a 7 year old car.
 
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