Common Dodge 318 Engine Problems And Fixes

You have probably been wondering about the Dodge 318 engine problems and whether these are worth worrying about. 

While it is a reliable engine, it is true that engine problems arise at one point or another. In fact, even with the excellent reputation of the Dodge 318 engine, there are some issues worth noting. By being aware of these problems, you can be prepared of what to expect and even prevent these from reoccurring.

Keep reading to learn more about these issues and what you can do about them. Let’s get started.

dodge 318 engine problems

Common Dodge 318 Engine Problems

The Dodge 318 engine has gained popularity among automotive enthusiasts because of its heavy duty performance. Some folks consider it as a great engine replacement for their light or even heavy-duty trucks.

However, there are some problems that one can expect from this engine. But do keep in mind that modified or rebuilt versions of this engine may – or may not – be prone to these issues. It depends on the quality and type of work that has been done to it.

Here are the common Dodge 318 engine problems and some troubleshooting tips you can do about them.

1. Smoke in the gasket and valve stem seals

Factory versions of this engine have been noted to experience smoke escaping from the gasket and valve stem seals. You can identify what is causing this issue by first checking for oil leaks, specifically around the gaskets and seals. 

If you do notice a leak, the only solution is to replace your gaskets and seals. But if there is no leak, it could be an issue caused by a malfunctioning exhaust manifold gasket or PCV valve. Therefore, you will have to get these replaced or repaired.

2. Engine misfire

This is another common issue with the Dodge 318 engine. One typical sign of a misfire is when there is frequent power loss. For instance, the engine feels as though it is running roughly. Accelerating can also be difficult and you may notice a reduction in fuel economy. A rise in emissions is another sign of an engine misfire.

Now, you may be wondering what may have been causing the engine misfire. There are a few causes such as damaged spark plugs. The ignition system may also have a bad distributor cap or a faulty coil. And when your engine runs lean, a misfire is also likely to happen.

Another thing to inspect is your air filter. It is possibly clogged up with carbon build-up, which prevents it from doing its job well. Be sure to inspect the spark plugs, as well. If they appear to be worn out or dirty, it is best to replace them sooner than later.

Bottom line is if the spark plugs no longer appear optimal, or the filter is blocked by dirt or debris, then you need to replace them. Once you have replaced these parts and the problem still persists, you can check the carburetor. It may require some repair or cleaning. Have a mechanic diagnose the problem to achieve the right solution for your concern.

3. Valves are stuck in open

Another issue with the Dodge 318 engine is that the valves tend to be stuck open. To make sure that it is indeed the issue, you can diagnose it by checking the quality and level of oil. If it appears to be dirty or it is quite low, then this is the reason why the valves are stuck.

Be sure to change your filter and oil as needed. You should also inspect your pushrods and rocker arms. They need to be adjusted properly and in good working condition. Moreover, make sure you have the valve springs working right. If you notice that they appear to be broken or worn out, they are unable to keep your valves properly closed. Thus, a replacement is required if the valve springs are faulty.

Keep in mind that replacing the valve springs is a bigger work than what most people think. This is why we highly recommend taking your vehicle to a mechanic for a proper diagnosis and repair to fix the problem. 

4. Timing chain is loose

When you have issues with your engine, it is possibly caused by a timing chain that has gotten loose. There are a few things to look into that will help you determine if it is indeed the culprit such as engine hesitation, misfiring, and odd noises from your engine. You may also see a reduction in fuel economy or even the check engine light coming on.

The best way to diagnose the issue is by having a specialist inspect the pulleys and chain. A mechanic will also check for wear and tear signs and visible damage to your timing chain.

Afterwards, a tool will be used for measuring the chain’s tension. This will determine if it is still within the recommended range. In case it appears to be loose, the mechanic will identify the cause and provide the most appropriate solution for it. 

The timing chain tends to come loose over time due to pulley damage or simply worn out. Once the pulleys are no longer working well, this loosens the chain and causes it to slip off.

You may also have an issue with a loose tensioner. This component maintains the timing chain’s tight tension. But once it has become wobbly, the chain will slip off eventually. It is also likely that the chain has signs of damage and may eventually break. So, it is best to have it replaced sooner than later.

However, if the specialist has determined that everything is still in good working order, a calibration may be performed to address these issues. It is the simplest and cheapest solution, as long as other components are still intact.

Read More: Buzzing Sound Under Car When Off? Common Causes You Never Knew!

Bottom Line

The Dodge 318 is without a doubt a dependable engine that can even last for over 200,000 miles. However, some issues may come along due to wear and tear. In this case, you need to have affected parts replaced or repaired by a specialist to maintain the performance and lifespan of your engine for years to come.

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