Need some help

Dodge Ram, 1999, 318. 4X4
When a catalytic converter gets clogged (or goes bad, or whatever it does, and causes the engine to not be able to run, acts as if it's ran
out of gas) does the clog and lack of air flow send messages to the computer that then "send" a message to the spark plugs not to fire a strong spark?
So if this truck were given to an inexperienced mechanic, this mechanic might think the plugs, wires, rotor and cap are bad because there isn't a strong spark, and when he changes all these and it still won't start he then thinks the computer has gone bad.
Does this sound like something that could happen? Cause I think it's exactly what is happening to me. I've had my truck in the shop since Dec 6th. It's now January 5th. The mechanic first ruled out the fuel pump, then he said it needed new plugs, wires, rotor, and cap. Then he said he still can't get it to run, couldn't get a good spark, so he thought it was the computer gone bad. So he bought a used one (after we, ourselves, looked around and found one for way under the $400.00 he wanted to charge us) and had the truck towed to a Dodge repairshop so they could "flash" the computer. Now, since the truck has been at this Dodge place, the same mechanic calls us and says he recently discovered that this truck had a recall for catalytic converters and that we are getting a new one free of charge.
What I think happened is this. It was the catalytic converter all along causing the symptoms that he couldn't diagnose. And when the truck ended up at the Dodge place, with skilled mechanics, he was told what the real problem was. Being that he now would look like a fool if he told us it was the catalytic converter all along (even after I asked him if he had looked into it being the catalytic converter and he said, "But that has nothing to do with the spark being weak.") and we didn't really need the new plugs, wires, rotor, cap, AND computer, he made up the story about there being a recall so we would think that we'd actually still have to pay for all the new, uneeded parts he just put in.
How far off am I?
Thanks for any help.
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No. Why would there be any valid reason to reduce the level of spark? If the engine detected a problem like this, wouldn't it make more sense to light up the check engine light instead.

How did he determine that the spark was weak?

Recall huh, LOL. Perhaps he might want to supply you with this recall notification and if you are the origional owner of the vehicle, why didn't you get the notice yourself? It is possible that it went bad and if so, would be covered by the federal emmission warranty if you were under 80,000 so it in fact would be no charge.

He is correct in saying that the converter has nothing to do with spark energy. Since it is your vehicle, you should be able to go to the dealership where he had it serviced and ask them exactly what they did to it and their opinion on the problems and why it didn't run.

It is hard to say. Remember that anything you get here is nothing more than others opinions as none of us has actually seen the vehicle. For a more valid opinion, you might want to say a little bit more about what happened to the vehicle that sent it to this mechanic in the first place. Did it break down suddenly?
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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That's a whole other story. The check engine light has been on and off (mostly on) for the three years that I've had it. This mechanic could not figure out why it's on all the time. Needless to say, I am not taking anything back to him.

I'm not sure.

We are not the original owner and it's over 102,000.

It "died" on a short trip to town. All the same symptoms of it running out of gas, except my wife was able to drive it 3 miles back home, not being able to go over 15-20 miles per hour. When I ran out of gas before, I went about 100 yards and it died. We put gas in it, couldn't get it to start. So it went to the shop.
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If
I don't blame you there. If he is a real mechanic working on modern vehicles, he should have as a minimum, a basic code reader.

mechanic
isn't
Then it would be difficult to know if he has any clue as to what may be going on.

Dec
he
ourselves,
place,
didn't
80,000
Then you probably wouldn't get a recall notice.

along
ended
real
had
has
the
to
to it

than
happened
It could be a failed converter causing those symptoms (loss of power) and this would have nothing to do with the level of spark. It is possible that your mechanic misdiagnosed your problem and replace a lot of parts for nothing. The only real chance you might have to find the truth is to speak with the dealer that replaced the converter and find out how bad of shape it was in (if they still remember and are willing to tell you).
--
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There was a recent recall for defective cats - several people have reported receiving them. Others have received a notice that DC is extending their warranty on the cat to 10yr/100K, whichever comes LAST.
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Does this include the replacement cats?
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"Tom Lawrence" < snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net> wrote in message
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I got a letter in late December saying my cat converter has been extended to 10 years/120k miles or until 12/30.2006 whichever is later on my 99 Dak. The other vehicles listed are ...
1996
2.5L Cherokee 3.9L Dodge Ram Van/Wagon 5.2 and 509L Dodge Ram Pickup
1997
3.9L Dodge Ram Van/Wagon 3.9L Dak 3.9L Dodge Ram Pickup
1998
3.9L Dodge Ram Pickup
1999
3.9L Dak 5.2L Dodge Ram Pickup
It also say's they will replace the cat parts and labor, but are not responsible to pay if "Other exhaust system components require replacement, the associated repair costs are the owner's responsibility"
Regards Slick_Willy
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Oh well, that leaves mine out. Fortunately for me, mine did fail within the standard period and has already been replaced. Hopefully, this one will last the life of the truck (at least as long as I own it ;-D).
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"Slick Willy" <d snipped-for-privacy@BenDoveryahoo.com> wrote in message
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