What would make a 1999 Dodge Ram van shut off randomly. Then work again seemingly randomly? Details inside.

Asked by Aug 04, 2015 at 07:53 PM about the 1989 Dodge Ram

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So I got this van from my boss (terrible
mistake. New to this job and seeing what a
dick he actually is. He's trying to get into
politics to give some perspective) and day 2
it just shut off on the highway. Cranked
right back up no problem. Nothing for a
week. Same exact thing happens. Come
today same thing happens but it takes
longer to crank. Then it shuts down on the
highway (idk how else to explain it,  it
doesn't putter out or anything. It just shuts
off instantaneously ) and will not start at all.
I get it towed after an hr trying to start it.
Tow truck driver tries starting it to make
backing it off the truck easier and it cranks
right up. Tried every couple of minutes and
it cranks right up.

Added detail when it would shut down the
battery stuff still all worked. Lights radio
etc. It sounds like something fuel related.

I want my money back lol.


More details. It's a van. 143k miles on it.
Other than this runs great. Mild damage on
front bumper. Boss said tree trunk fell on it.
It WAS sitting for months. Almost forgot
that key detail. Help me out here guys. Is
there hope for my van?  I've always loved
vans since I was a kid and that man gave
me sleepy time candy...  Okay stupid jokes
aside. Halp?

12 Answers

16,850

Lets try some simple maintenance stuff first check air filter and clean throttle body replace fuel filter and add fuel injector cleaner to gas tank and use the middle grade or high test gas to help clean out the gum and carbon build up.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I couldn't find the fuel filter, do you know where that stuff is? I didn't see it under the hood but maybe I missed it. Can you suggest any links? Sorry for the late response I had to go back to work

10

I have the same issue with my car. First you gotta find out if its fuel related or electrical. Do this by testing the fuel pressure. You can rent a gauge at O'Reilly's or Autozone. O'Reilly's is cheaper. About $100. Issues that cause a car to not start when engine is warm include vapor lock, bad fuel pump relay, ignition, speed/reference sensor, or bad ecm/ecu. Just some things it could be.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
16,850

Fuel filter is located underneath the the vehicle drivers side somewhere along the frame of the vehicle. You can not miss it .

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the answers guys. I tried auto zone, and they could not find a single air filter for my model in their system, the guy even tried google. Said it's attached to the pump, which would all need to be changed. Said it was basically a screen? I never can't start.. unless it happened immediately after a stall. On first start up it goes right up. No problem. Today I stalled going DOWN a hill. Didn't completely stall out until I hit the bottom (thank god if there is one, I would of road off the road and likely died if I couldn't control my wheel). Idk if that is important. I bought plugs, but I am going to return them. Money is too tight to waste on something that definitely isn't the problem... everyone I ask says "Absolutely no way it would be plugs. It's too unlikely it would stall it more than once". I will try using their gas pressure reader. That sounds good. It really feels like a fuel thing to me. I notice it almost stalled last night. And today when it did it WAS puttering, just very slightly. It really seems like fuel, because despite it's massive size, this just doesn't feel like it is moving as much as it should be when I hit the gas as hard as I do.

Can't find an edit^ Fuel filter, not air filter. I had air filters on the mind.. could those do it? Trying to really rule out trial and error as much as possible here. Money is tight. So is time. I am kind of running against the clock here.

Wait it's 100 dollars to rent the thing to test the fuel pressure? Can't I put a despoit and get it back? 100 bucks to use it for 5 minutes it insanity, purely. Maybe if I bring it there I can use it for free? It runs 95% of the time perfectly fine. This really feels like a fuel thing to me. The gum and gunk built up over the year is hopefully the culprit. I bought some fuel cleaner, after it was running like 20 mins, shut off, got gas to fill up, put fuel cleaner in, pumped my gas, ran for 5-10 minutes idling. Hopefully that helps. Won't know until i stall out again, sadly. Also... forgot to mention... the fucking CHECK ENGINE light came out.. was running rough (felt fuel related, but I am not a mechanic and barely a layman) and that's when it stalled out going down the hill. After I got it started up again the light was out. Weird.

Even though it seems nobody is answering this anymore I'll still ask is it possible that all my troubles could stem from dirty fuel injectors because I use some fuel cleaner and injector cleaner and I noticed that I get a lot less resistance on the gas pedal and I've broken down a lot less and its just driving over all a lot smoother someone please answer and get back to me and let me know if this could possibly be what was causing my problems I would greatly appreciate it please forgive the run on sentence I'm using text to speech and it doesn't add periods.

16,850

Even though the check engine light went back out it will store the codes so it's best to get the codes scanned the see what codes turn up.

They couldn't get anything out of it without the check engine light on they try to scan and nothing came up what about the fuel injector cleaner that I asked about

16,850

You said it seemed to work better with it so yeah. Still think the fuel filter needs to be replaced. Do not know what brand of fuel injector cleaner you use but I prefer Lucas Fuel Injector Cleaner works pretty good.

I use Lucas a couple of times and now I use Lucas heavy duty one that supposedly cleans deeper going to see how that works so far so good

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