1997 Dodge Caravan

Engine Performance problem
1997 Dodge Caravan 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 143000 miles

I have a 1997 Dodge Caravan with approx 143k miles on it. Recently. Over the past month.I have been having a unique problem. On intermintant occassions, when I start the van it idles very rough. Like it's running on only 3 of the 6 cylinders and when I depress the gas pedal in almost stalls. When this started if I just lightly worked the gas pedal it would eventually smooth out and run but recently it's gotten worse and had to have it towed home twice.
Had in the the shop yesterday and my mechanic replaced the air filter, fuel filter and cleaned the idle control valve. He drove the van. Started and stopped. Turned it on and off. The problem did not occur. I picked it up, drove it home and it failed for me not more than 2 miles from his shop. Now he wants to replace the fuel pump. Could this be the culprit as I really don't want to get into a " parts swapping" session.
April 7, 2010.

I would recommend checking the fuel pump pressure before replacing it. Here is a how to for checking it. You can do it at home. You will need a gauge. Most parts stores will lend or rent them to you.

Let me know what you find.


Thanks for the response Joe but it would have been normal proceedure to check the pump pressure prior to doing a replacement. I was hoping you might have had a few suggustions as to what might cause this problem maybe other than the fuel pump. Maybe you had run into this before.

Apr 8, 2010.
I understand what you are saying. However, since he didn't check it prior to allowing you to take it home, I thought maybe he was just assuming it was bad.

Regardless, I have run into this type of problem before but there have been many different reasons. One was a fuel pump, others were crank sensors, bad connections to the PCM, wiring issues.

If he has checked the fuel pump pressure and it was low, that would be the cause. Again, now I am assuming that it has been checked and shown a problem for him to replace it. At first, I wanted you to check it just to make sure it was bad (not knowing he had already done it). That is the first thing I would have done.

Let me know if this helps. I wish I could tell you more, but it seems he has identified the problem.