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Fuel Line Problems With Dodge Grand Caravan?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 STL

STL
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Posted May 30, 2006 at 09:32 pm

I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.8L engine.
It just recently began acting strangely. The behavior is intermittent.
Here's the symptoms:
  • First thing in the morning, it takes several cranks for the engine to start (2-3 seconds)
  • After running the engine all day, it takes even more cranks for the engine to start (5-10 seconds)
  • After running the engine all day, once or twice, the engine did not start. After letting the engine cool (overnight), it will usually start.
  • Sometimes while driving, the engine begins to shake, sputter and loose power. After letting the engine cool it will usually start and run normally.
The problem seems to be fuel source related AND more prevalent when the engine is hot.
This is beginning to happen with more frequency so I'm starting to worry.
I haven't run it in a few days now so I added some STP fuel injector cleaner and test-drove it.
It seems to run well now, but I get the sense something is blocking the fuel line and this problem will persist.
Anyone else experience these symptoms on a similar engine?

You guys came through for me last time, hopefully this question will be met with the same level of expertise.

Thanks in advance!
-STL

#2 Bernard Feltzer

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Posted May 30, 2006 at 10:54 pm

from your description,which is too broad and vague.
crank sensor, ignition coil, vacuum leak, fuel pump in gas tank getting ready to die.

#3 STL

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Posted May 30, 2006 at 11:09 pm

from your description,which is too broad and vague.
crank sensor, ignition coil, vacuum leak, fuel pump in gas tank getting ready to die.


Any way to eliminate some of these options?
What information would make the description more focused and specific?
I was hoping to stimulate a response from someone who had the exact same symptoms.
Thanks for the reply.
-STL

#4 nex_06

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Posted May 31, 2006 at 12:33 am

Crank sensor should flag a code, but it won't light the CEL. Thats what I have been told about diagnosing that particular item. Get a gauge and check fuel pressure at the fuel rail test port, could be the pump is getting hot and not working efficiently. Thats all I know, good luck man!

#5 Bernard Feltzer

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Posted May 31, 2006 at 01:41 am

Info like how many miles on van, what work was performed previously, has it ever overheated?
Are you the original owner? Is radiator fluid dissapearing, what color is the oil, and does it consume any oil between changes? Does it pass emission testing?

#6 STL

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Posted June 5, 2006 at 08:29 am

The van has 135000 miles and has had new plugs/wires installed about 2-3 months ago.
A friend at work used to have a similar vehicle and described the exact same symptoms.
He said that after a lengthy/costly diagnosis period, they discovered that there was "something" in the fuel line between the fuel pump and the injectors that was getting stuck/clogged. He can't recall what this something was (valve, filter?). He did recall that it was getting varnished up and that the repair was fairly simple (< $50). He described the exact same symptoms; it would run well, he'd stop and the engine would not re-start. Wait a few hours for it to cool off and it would go again.

So the $64K question is; "What things are there between the fuel pump and the injectors that could be getting either plugged or stuck"?

I have a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan with a 3.8L engine.
It just recently began acting strangely. The behavior is intermittent.
Here's the symptoms:

  • First thing in the morning, it takes several cranks for the engine to start (2-3 seconds)
  • After running the engine all day, it takes even more cranks for the engine to start (5-10 seconds)
  • After running the engine all day, once or twice, the engine did not start. After letting the engine cool (overnight), it will usually start.
  • Sometimes while driving, the engine begins to shake, sputter and loose power. After letting the engine cool it will usually start and run normally.
The problem seems to be fuel source related AND more prevalent when the engine is hot.
This is beginning to happen with more frequency so I'm starting to worry.
I haven't run it in a few days now so I added some STP fuel injector cleaner and test-drove it.
It seems to run well now, but I get the sense something is blocking the fuel line and this problem will persist.
Anyone else experience these symptoms on a similar engine?

You guys came through for me last time, hopefully this question will be met with the same level of expertise.

Thanks in advance!
-STL



#7 nex_06

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Posted June 5, 2006 at 05:13 pm

It goes like this:

gas in tank>screen>pump>lines>filter>lines>hose to fuel rail>fuel rail>injectors

If I were you I would fill up the tank 3/4 of the way full at a different place than you usually do, drive home, turn the motor off, put lucas feul injector cleaner in the tank (the entire bottle you bought on the way home), release the fuel pressure in the lines (or wait for it to sit overnight), take the lines off the fuel filter (under the passenger door on the underside of te van) and let them drain, replace the filter with the new one you also luckily bought on the way home, hook it all back up, and go for a road test. You might want to give it a couple runs of high-RPM revs (smooth transitions on the pedal) in neutral to let it burn fuel/cleaner fairly quickly.

May not help, but thats where I would start because it is a cheap way to test the waters and its hard to screw anything up this way. Just put everything back together like you found it.

#8 John Wood

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Posted June 5, 2006 at 05:55 pm

gas in tank>screen>pump>lines>filter>lines>hose to fuel rail>fuel rail>injectors


The regulator goes in their somewhere too. It is part of the pump assembly and is probably before the filter.

#9 NeonHomer

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Posted June 5, 2006 at 06:20 pm

fuel pressure regulator is usually on the fuel rail, is it not? Could it be a regulator going bad. Spring gets hot, and lets more fuel pass, lowering the pressure....

#10 John Wood

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Posted June 5, 2006 at 07:45 pm

fuel pressure regulator is usually on the fuel rail, is it not? Could it be a regulator going bad. Spring gets hot, and lets more fuel pass, lowering the pressure....


With the gen III vans, the regulator is now on the pump assembly. It is a very weird design with the return line just a short loop out of the regulator. If you notice, no longer do you have the 2nd line (return line) routed up to the front.

#11 nex_06

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Posted June 6, 2006 at 12:44 am

Hmmmm, I didn't know that bout the gen IIIs. I didn't include the regulator before because it is after the injectors on the fuel circuit on the gen I and IIs kinda like:

gas in tank>screen>pump>lines>filter>lines>hose to fuel rail>fuel rail>injectors>regulator>return line to tank

#12 dominicfortune00

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Posted June 7, 2006 at 11:04 pm

It kinda sounds like your battery has a dead or weak cell in it.

It will start when the engine is cold, but when the engine is warm the friction increases and it takes more battery power to turn the engine over. But when the engine cools, the weak battery is able to turn the engine over.

Maybe you have a weak battery in addition to some other fuel related problem.

Good Luck,

dominicfortune00


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