1996 Dodge Caravan sputtering and dying

Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 3.8L
  • 3 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
I have replaced so much on this van and now it is sputtering and dying. It will idle, but, the RPM jump and then be fine. Then we start driving again and it dies. I replaced the fuel filter and fuel pump. What should I be looking at. When this happens, it does blow white smoke.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, June 7th, 2014 AT 3:00 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
White smoke usually indicates coolant getting into the combustion chamber. That is usually the result of a bad head gasket. Have you noticed coolant consumption? Also, check the motor oil to make sure the coolant isn't mixing with it.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, June 7th, 2014 AT 7:46 PM
Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
There is no mixture. Could it be a throttle or idle sensor?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, June 8th, 2014 AT 1:05 AM
Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
It does not always blow white smoke.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, June 8th, 2014 AT 1:08 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That's questionable. Since it dies, has the check engine light come on? Also, is it truly white smoke or could it be just steam you see from the exhaust?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, June 8th, 2014 AT 6:42 PM
Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
It only does it when starting it in the morning. But, not at any time after that. It starts fine usually. It starts sputtering and dying about a mile down the road. After that, it is hard to get started. When it is finally started, pressing on the gas, it sputters. Then, when taking your foot of the gas, the RPM gauge shoots up to a range of 5-9 and then dies.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 1:23 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Okay, I need to understand something. First, you mentioned that it blows white smoke when this happens. Your last post mentioned that it only does it when you first start it. Can you confirm? Also, has the check engine light come on?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 5:25 PM
Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
We no longer see any white smoke and the check engine light has been on since I bought it. A mechanic looked at and said don't worry about it. I bought spark plugs and wire. Also, I have bought an oil pan and everything for that. I have replaced the transmission, fuel filter, fuel pump, brake lines, battery, alternator, and serpentine belt. The transmission has a very very small drip leak. I hope this helps.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 5:37 PM
Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
It starts just fine at first. Then when you drive about 2 miles, it starts sputtering and dying. Then you have to wait about 5-10 minutes before it starts again.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 5:39 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Since the check engine light is on, I need to know what trouble codes are stored in it. Is it possible for you to make it to a nationally recognized parts store to have them scan it for you. Most do it for free.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
I can do that. I just have to find one very close to my house. Could it be better if I buy one from Advanced Auto for $35.00 or $40.00?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
CRYSTAL0381973
  • MEMBER
Does it help any that my ex is a master mechanic? When I purchased the van, the check engine light was always on and he scanned it and told me to not worry about that. It would just stay on.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It may have new codes now.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, June 9th, 2014 AT 7:13 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides