Randomly won't fire. Turns over, starts for 1-2 seconds then dies.

Tiny
TNCOURT
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 235,000 MILES
I have a 3.0L v6 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan. One day, I went to the store and parked, went inside and was gone for 10 minutes. I came back outside and got in the van, put the key in and turned. The van started up and it sounded lazy starting up. It fired for about 1-2 seconds and then died. I tried turning it over and it just repeatedly turned. It didn't fire up again and I had to walk home.

The next day, I had a friend come and try to jump it, because he thought it might be the alternator or battery, and it fired up again for 1-2 seconds then died and continued to turn on and on with no firing.

I've done some research, and I've narrowed it down to a few things, and this is what I've got.

I think it's definitely fuel related, so I think it's either a clogged fuel line, a bad fuel pump, the injectors need cleaned (or replaced) or the fuel filter is severely clogged. If not fuel related, could it be spark plugs or a blown fuse? Anyone have any idea what it could be?
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 6:04 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
What about the security system, where applicable? If you suspect a fuel issue, use a gage and check fuel pressure. Some of the national brand autostores used to loan out a fuel pressure gage. You may have to put up a deposit, but, you get it back when the tool is returned.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 1:27 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
OK, it doesn't sound like your security system. Any applicable trouble codes? To check codes yourself, at the least, you need an obd2 code reader for your year--make--model.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
TNCOURT
  • MEMBER
I might have a friend that has a fuel pressure gauge, so I can get that taken care of today. As for the trouble code, I don't think the check engine light comes on, so Idk about that. They're pretty expensive too.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 2:58 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Make sure the battery has a full charge and the connections are good. Code readers aren't usually that high, I haven't priced on in a long time. It would help to have something to point us in the right direction. Even with a code reader, there might not be any codes?
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 3:51 PM
Tiny
TNCOURT
  • MEMBER
I found a mechanic that will have it towed for $50 and diagnose it for free, so I'm just gonna do that. I can't afford to pussyfoot around and try to fix it myself. Gotta get to work somehow. Thanks your the advice though, I'll bring up the obd2.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 7:48 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Yeah, if you only have one vehicle, it is tough. Let us know what find.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 8:09 PM
Tiny
TNCOURT
  • MEMBER
It was fuel pump. $310.60 with tax to fix, not too bad. They gave me a free quart of oil and fuel injector cleaner. They also showed me which line was the fuel line so I can replace the fuel filter myself.

Asked about the obd2 and they said they ran it, just bad fuel pressure. Tranny fluid color is a little off, but nothing to worry about.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 AT 10:40 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Glad you got it fixed. Goodluck
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011 AT 2:54 PM

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