Stalling and hard starting

Tiny
JMIAMI
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 182,151 MILES
My 1996 Dodge Caravan stalls out after WOT but does not while maintaining speed of less than 25mph. Why would it do that? It looks to have a new fuel filter on it but still not sure?

Also, When you try to crank it, it doesn't do anything like you never turn the key to crank the engine and you do it one or two more times, It will crank right up. What could cause this?
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 4:35 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If you hear a single kind of loud clunk each time you turn the ignition switch to "crank" suspect worn solenoid contacts. That is very common on the little silver Nippendenso starters. Those contacts can be replaced for 20 bucks but most people just replace the entire starter.

As for the stalling at higher throttle settings, I fought the same thing for 11 months on my 3.0L '88 Grand Caravan, and couldn't catch it until it finally died completely. That was last fall. It acted exactly like a dead accelerator pump on an older carburetor. It turned out to be a failing ignition coil. I have some theories on why the coil caused the symptoms but it's not a common failure.

A different approach for your stalling problem would be to connect a scanner that can display live sensor data while you're on a test drive. I use the Chrysler DRB3 which also has a record function. You press the record button when the engine stalls, then you can read the information back later while watching for something unusual with those sensors. Because the data travels through the scanner's memory, the recording actually starts a few seconds before the button was pressed.
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 5:10 AM
Tiny
JMIAMI
  • MEMBER
Im gonna try that. I can't seem to get it to stall out anymore. It only stalls out at idle after it has stalled out going for WOT. Aggrevating to say the least. Can I rent this scanner from a local auto store? I tried the Actron with freeze frame data and it didnt work or record anything?

No, I don't hear a loud clank every time I turn the key but it does do it at times when trying to crank just not every time.
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 AT 5:09 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I should have mentioned to not worry about the fuel filter. Except for diesel engines, you'll never solve a running problem on a Chrysler product by replacing the filter. There is a screen inside the tank that can collapse or become plugged but the symptom will be stalling when the largest volume of fuel is flowing which is during coasting.

See if your scanner will display the states of the camshaft and crankshaft position sensors while you're driving. They should be listed as "present" or "yes". If one of them disappears, the automatic shutdown relay will be turned off. That will kill power to the coil, injectors, and fuel pump. It's common for them to become heat-sensitive and fail intermittently until they cool down, but they shouldn't be affected by throttle position.
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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 AT 4:38 AM

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