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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 98 Town and Country 3.8. Runs perfect or did. Had it on a 250 mile trip, no issues, get close to my home and fill it full with gas. Drive down the road about 2 miles and I start noticing a lack of power. I'm like this isn't good, I am on the highway going 55mph and she wants to downshift into third and doesn't have power in 4th. All of a sudden it dies. Pull over and it eventually restarts but doesn't run the best. Doesn't have full power in the horsepower department. I know something isn't right but am within 3 miles from home and it is dark. drives for about 3 min and dies again. same thing I try restarting it and it starts hard and then I take off but it is backfiring in the intake and has a low rpm while idling. I take it real easy and get it home pull in the driveway and it is losing power again but I make it to its parking spot and its still running but at about 500 rpm at best. Van has no acceleration check engine light is on as i enter the parking lot but I can't seem to do the code dance method on this van like my Stratus. Can you do that on the 98 t&C's. This van has never broke down before, been amazingly reliable, has 50 K on mopar wires and plus but honestly it has nothing else replaced ever. We have been the original owners and it has 193K miles on it now. Any ideas? Thanks for any help you are able to offer!
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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Sounds like the catalytic converter is clogged. The loss of power is a clue.

As to the codes I don't think the key dance works on the Gen III minivans (1996-2000). It never did for my 2000 T&C. If you can, try to get it to a auto parts store such as Advance or AZ - they'll read the codes for no charge.
 

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Or borrow a scan tool/fuel pressure gauge if you know someone with one. Driving a vehicle that could stall at any time can be hazardous.
There probably is a stored/active fault code if the 'ck eng' came on. Backfire could be a lean mixture or ignition problem.
 

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I could pull codes on my 99 van.
From http://www.allpar.com/fix/codes.html
Dan Stewart wrote about the 1999+ Voyager/Caravan:
  • Get Diagnostic Trouble Codes by placing the key into the ignition. Push and hold the both the "Trip" and the "Reset" buttons with the left hand and turn the key to the "ACC" position (first position between "LOCK" and "RUN"). Continue to hold both buttons in and count to 5. Release both buttons, display should read trip mileage instead of total mileage. Push the "TRIP" button and the odometer will display DTC'S in rotating sequence instead of displaying total mileage.
When I would do this on my 1999 van there was always a code 23, ignore it. I suspect you've either got a clogged converter as previously suggested or a problem in the timing/fuel control circuits (crank or cam sensors).

An OBDII scanner would be better, maybe you can borrow one or find an inexpensive one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks to you all for the helpful advice! My cousin and I worked on the van this afternoon and he had a code scanner and it came up with a code that was basically the engine was running lean. I think it was a PO170/171 but just doing this from memory. From there we checked the fuel pressure and guess what, there was no fuel pressure. Pretty much a given that the fuel pump is gone. Couldn't hear it when I cycled the key either. Fuses appeared good also. I can hit the bottom of the tank and it will run and the engine will start, will only idle about 500rpm and stay running for 30 seconds. I do a lot of my own maintenance but fuel pumps (especially on an old van that has been in the Wisconsin salt) are not my cup of tea. I towed it over to my local Chrysler dealer and am awaiting what they have to say sometime this week. Thanks valiant67 for the help on the code checking! That made it work! Thanks! Also thank you to everyone who responded so quickly. I'll let you know what I find out from the Chrysler dealer when they look at it. Pushing to get this van to 200K miles! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got the call this morning and the fuel pump that was the culprit. They are installing getting a Chrysler pump today and it will be back on the road tomorrow. The difference between the Chrysler pump and an aftermarket was only $65 so I took the Chrysler.
 

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You made a wise choice with the Mopar pump. Autzone pumps have a fairly high failure rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You made a wise choice with the Mopar pump. Autzone pumps have a fairly high failure rate.
Yeah even with the high miles, I plan on running this van till it rusts in half or something catastrophic happens. With how reliable it has been, the rust will get to it before it ever quits. I don't want to have it done again:)
 
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