Stalling in the Rain

Asked by Jan 24, 2019 at 07:21 AM about the 2002 Dodge Stratus R/T Coupe FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2002 Dodge Stratus R/T Coupe, with the 3.0L engine, and a manual transmission, with 247,000 miles.  If I drive/let the car sit out in the rain, it won't start up for me.  If I drive through puddles, the car stalls out instantly.  What could be getting wet, that causes this?  I originally thought it was the splash guard that covers the starter, since mine broke off years ago, but I just replaced that to no avail.  I was told to check my air filter to make sure it wasn't wet, and it's bone dry.  It stalled out on my yesterday, close to home.  I got it home and popped the hood.  I noticed there was steam coming from below the battery (driver's side) and behind the driver's front tire, but by the time I got the car jacked up and crawled underneath, the steam was gone.  I did notice my exhaust pipe is starting to come apart where my flex pipe is letting out hot air, and further down the line, the catalytic converter is starting to rust out so fumes (grey smoke) is coming out of there.  Someone mentioned checking the distributor cap, which is next on my list.  Any other suggestions?

1 Answer


The puddle issue is due to an electrical connection that's loose and allowing water to enter and short it out. Failure to start in the rain is most likely a cracked distributor cap, worn plug wires or bad plugs allowing moisture to short out. Open the hood, then try to start the car in the dark and watch the light show.

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