While on our (beautifully scenic) way to Chattanooga our check engine light decided to come on. Now Houdini is a pretty young van. He is a 2003 model but only had around 58k miles on him when we started this trip. We did have to get some work done on him before leaving to get him to pass inspection but everything had passed and we hadn’t had any problems to this point.
The check engine light could be a myriad of things from major to pretty simple but we decided to get it checked out right away. We stopped off in Cleveland, TN. And found an O’Reilly Auto Parts and went in to have someone take a look at the computer to see what caused the check engine light.
After a few minutes the young man informed us that all 6 of our cylinders were frequently misfiring. Now, I’m good with my hands and do a lot of wiring and troubleshooting at work and both Maria and I have done a ton of DIY projects at home and with the interior of the van but neither one of us know a great deal about working on the mechanical issues of a vehicle.
The guy suggested replacing the distributor cap as well as the rotor and to see if that fixed the problem. He explained how to do it and made it seem simple enough so Maria and I thanked him for his help and then headed off to our home for the evening (another parking lot) and decided we’d take care of that in the morning when the engine was cooled off and we had more light.
After having breakfast it was time to give it a shot so we cracked open the inside engine compartment and got to work. It was extraordinarily simple. Just undo two screws, make sure the cap is facing the right way and replace wire for wire. Pull off the rotor and put on the new one. I think it took longer to remove the engine cover than it did to replace the part. Turn the key in the ignition and everything worked great. Hopefully, this will be the only issue we have with Houdini, but we made sure before we left that we have the repair manual just in case. Now we can continue our journey to Chattanooga.