Common Car Troubles: Dodge B350
A full-sized van that helped Dodge firmly establish itself in the US automotive industry during the custom van craze (late 70s to early 80s), the Dodge B350 is known for its powerful engine, spacious passenger cabin, and boxy cargo space. As a matter of fact, many Dodge vans such as the B350 can still be seen in the streets today because many companies use this model as a work vehicle. Many buyers today are also on the hunt for used Dodge 350s because of their cargo capacity and easy maneuverability despite their size. For those planning to get their hands on this vehicle, check out the list below first for some of the most common problems encountered by B350 owners:
Heating and air-conditioning system
Several B350 models (1990 to 1994 year models) were found to be equipped with a faulty blower motor switch. As a result, the switch easily overheats especially if the blower motor is often used during high-speed drives. This could also lead to discolored switch connector terminals. The same year models were also known to suffer from a malfunctioning blower motor resistor that causes the HVAC blower to work only on high speed. As a solution, Chrysler provided replacement parts for concerned vehicle owners.
Another common problem with the heating and air-conditioning system is an HVAC system that suddenly switches to defrost mode when speeding up. A possible cause for this is a leak coming from the vacuum check valve. To solve this problem, an improved vacuum check valve was made available to affected owners.
A number of B350 owners, especially those who own 1990-1994 models, reported frequent oil leaks from faulty intake manifold, valve cover, and timing cover gaskets, the rear seal area, and the distributor o-ring.
Many owners of 1990 to 1993 B350 models also reported carbon deposits building up on top of the piston. Depending on how much carbon has accumulated, symptoms can include knocking or hammering and ticking noises. A proposed solution for this is to use a suitable fuel injector cleaner.
Many vehicle owners also reported frequent problems with the tires and electrical systems. Other owners encountered issues with the seats and the vehicle speed control system.
Why were full-size passenger wagons like the Dodge B350 popular back in the day?
Full-size vans started becoming popular in 1971 mainly because they were the vehicles of choice for schools and church groups from all over. The B-Series van was built 1981 and initially referred to as the Dodge Ram Van. The passenger variant was named the Dodge Ram Wagon and Plymouth Voyager.
Dodge's extended-rear 15-passenger van was extremely popular in the late 1980s with its sliding side door and side-swinging tail door that featured a full-width window. Dodge vans were also in demand for conversion to workhorses such as ambulances and recreational vehicles.
Why does my Dodge B350 fail to start at times?
Starting problems of vans may be attributed to fuel pump failure. Inadequate fuel pressure is the result of the presence of contaminants or substances that have gotten past the primary fuel pick-up screen. Experts recommend replacing primary and secondary filters along with the rest of the fuel pump module assembly.
Why is my leak detection pump not working?
A defective internal diaphragm switch and/or carbon particle contamination from the vapor canister can cause the leak detection pump or LDP to fail. The carbon particle contamination requires the vapor canister to be replaced, in addition to the LDP. Make sure to likewise inspect the purge solenoid for contamination and replace if necessary.
The evaporative control or EVAP system captures fuel vapors from the fuel storage system and sends them back into the combustion process. All EVAP hoses are prone to cracks or leaks due to wear and tear and need to be inspected and replaced if needed. Those hoses found heavily contaminated with carbon particles can be cleaned out using compressed air.
The car makes intense squeaking noises while traveling on bumpy roads. How can I get rid of them?
The source of the clicking or squeaking noises would most likely be the rear leaf springs. Installing a spring clinch clip and replacing the (leaf) spring tip liners should quiet things down.
I'm having a difficult time starting my van. When it does start, it emits black smoke. What does this mean? And why does my fuel gauge fluctuate like crazy as I'm turning my van's steering wheel? Any idea?
A leaking injector or defective O-ring can cause a vehicle to experience hard starting, rough idling, black exhaust smoke, and even poor fuel mileage. To confirm this, look into the throttle body while the engine is idling without the air cleaner. A leaky injector nozzle means you need a new fuel injector. If fuel is dripping around the injector, only the O-ring will need replacing.
Meanwhile, a defective fuel pump may cause the movement in the fuel gauge as the vehicle makes hard turns. The fuel pump sends fuel from the fuel tank directly into the engine. Other symptoms of fuel pump failure include lack of power, internal leaking, excessive noise, and the inability of the engine to crank. The only way to address this concern is to replace the fuel pump itself.