SureTrack Real Fix: RAM Pick-Me-Up

Real Fixes from SureTrack® provides expert-based knowledge captured from millions of documented repairs and community discussions. Read on to see how SureTrack can help you fix tricky issues that are not easily diagnosed with OEM information alone. SureTrack is available at no additional cost within ProDemand.

When vehicles that have been privately worked on come into the shop, professional technicians often encounter instances of improper installations and even damaged parts. This can make the mechanic’s job more challenging as they have to redo previous part replacements, resulting in additional time and cost for both the shop and the vehicle owner.

Thanks to the collaboration and expertise of Skip, and other members within the professional SureTrack community, Simonsaysauto was able to successfully tackle the customer’s complaint of decreased power at lower RPMs, while also identifying and addressing issues with other potentially problematic components that were contributing to the lack of power.

The following Community Fix summarizes the interaction between members of the community that led to the solution.

2011 RAM Pickup 1500, 5.7L Eng. VIN T

P0016, P0172, P0175 – Low Response, Low Power

The customer states the vehicle is lacking power.

The RAM Pickup is non-responsive at lower RPMs. For instance, the engine will almost die out when leaving from a stop sign, run slightly rough at idle, and won’t downshift while driving up a hill. Using a Snap-on Apollo-D9 scanner, found codes P0175 and P0172, indicating Bank 1 and Bank 2 have a rich fuel mixture. Checked camshaft and crankshaft position sensors and new throttle body. Installed old throttle body and old sensors, then tried cam/crank resync and an error popped up with code P0016 – cam/crank timing misalignment. Visual inspection of spark plugs showed all white and the engine seems to be running very lean.

Found the Catalytic Converters weren’t attached in the rear, as the rear exhaust was bent forward an inch and incorrectly clamped; fixed exhaust and replaced the cats. Also noticed both engine knock sensors were cracked, and replaced both. Discovered the vehicle owner previously replaced the cats and knocks.

Checked the oil control valve (vvt solenoid) and removed it under the intake manifold. Found the screen cage was coming apart, as deteriorated plastic from the cage was getting stuck in the plunger. Replaced the vvt solenoid and the truck now had plenty of lower-end power with no stalling and the three codes did not return. However, a new code appeared, P000B – camshaft slow response. Discovered the vehicle owner replaced the camshaft position sensor with a generic part, so we ordered an OE part and replaced the sensor to restore the RAM pickup back to optimal driving condition.

Replaced the oil control valve (vvt solenoid), cleared codes, performed a road test and verified the vehicle operated properly and no fault codes returned.

SureTrack® adds to the power of ProDemand® with an exclusive combination of real-world knowledge and powerful diagnostic tools, all wrapped in an interactive community of professional technicians. Designed to help automotive shops increase accuracy and efficiency from diagnosis to completed repair, the industry’s most comprehensive repair information resource is just a few clicks away.

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About the Author

Abagail Lucero

Abagail Lucero is the Product Marketing Manager for ProDemand. She joined the company in 2011 as a member of the SocialCRM shop marketing team and has served in many roles at Mitchell1, lastly as Security and Compliance Supervisor. Abagail holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California University of Pennsylvania.