2004 chrysler pacifica: cranked car/could hear whining noise under hood/check sounds like from alternator/Voltage light came on/drove 12 miles back into town/was 1/8 tank of gas/gas gauge dropped fast/ran out of gas/put in 3 gallons/car cranked still noise and light/car drove off fine but 1/4 mile started losing power and pressing gas pedal no response/idle on kept trying gas pedal and finally got response but gas gauge dropping again and was showing empty 1.5 miles down the road/ when losing power abs light came on.
Any suggestions as to what all this could be? Love this site : -)
Fully charge the battery. Then check the charging system. And have it scanned for soft and hard codes.
February, 6, 2012 AT 4:22 AM
No offense please. But your answer is what I already know what to do, I want possible causes please. Battery shows no sign weakness/running at night with ac on/radio/lights. No problems/no hesitation at all to cranking. The fuel thing really has me stumped other than a cut line.
February, 6, 2012 AT 4:31 AM
I'm not happy at all with my response or the fact this was not a mechanic who answered but a free lance writer with knowledge on said subject. Lordy I've got as much knowledge as he.
February, 6, 2012 AT 4:55 AM
Uh. Sorry. Wrong. I've been working on cars most likely since before you were born. If you don't want to work through diagnostics, I can't magically divine the problem.
February, 6, 2012 AT 11:48 AM
Thank you for replying again. What I asked for is suggested causes of this problem. I know I can take it for code reading and hope they are right, what I wanted from this site was possible causes. Can battery problems cause the fuel pump to use up all the fuel at once? The car is not driveable I will have to have it towed to a mechanic and I was hoping for some insight to whats going on. Because I have no insight to whats going on, I'm scared of whats going to happen and how much this problem could end up costing. I didn't expect from you divine insight just probable causes. I have repaired small items myself like headlights, bad relays and fuses, can change the oil and tires, etc. So I'm not totally helpless and have changed out alternators on other vehicles I've owned.
February, 6, 2012 AT 6:27 PM
A low battery can make it seem as though the fuel is evaporating or disappearing. If it's REALLY losing fuel, you've got a leak. Pretty much anything else will set a code. Either a hard code, which causes the CEL to come on or flash (depending on severity) or a soft code, which MIGHT cause the CEL to flash, but usually won't.
A whining noise could be an alternator bearing. Couple that with the voltage light-bad alternator.
The loss/lack of power could be due to a fuel leak, or it could be excessive back pressure due to a plugged catalytic converter. Or or or or.
A number of places will scan it for free. Autozone. O'Reilly's. Advanced. Some repair shops. But you need to make sure they pull both hard AND soft codes.
At a minimum, it sounds like you need an alternator. That can be checked with a voltmeter with the engine running.
February, 6, 2012 AT 10:46 PM
February, 6, 2012 AT 11:07 PM
Most of the tests I mentioned you can perform yourself for next to nothing. Autozone, Pep Boys and the like all rent/loan tools. Like fuel pressure testers. You can probably also get a voltmeter.
Use a piece of tubing to locate the source of your noise. One end in your ear, the other moved slowly around the engine compartment.