Running rough, hesitates, stumbles, runs great at 1/3 throttle.

120

Asked by Aug 20, 2013 at 03:40 PM about the Dodge Caravan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2001 Caravan 3.3
Van was running great then while driving down the road it was as if someone flipped a switch. It started missing, hesitating and just running rough. It ran okay (not great) when the throttle was pressed about 1/3 the way down. No miss, no stumble- smooth. But if I tried to accelerate (up a hill) it would jerk and miss. Half way home, approx 30 miles after this began, I smelled fuel- STRONG. I stopped and found a HUGE leak from the top of the tank. I pressed on. I had no other option. I made it 5 miles from home and it just quit. I coasted to a stop, tried to restart- nothing. Just cranked. I checked the next morning- just cranked. I had it towed home. After dropping the tank I found a hole in the fuel line at the filter. (Line going to motor) I replaced the filter, van started and ran but with the SAME issue- running rough, runs fine at 1/3 throttle etc... I'm at a loss! I don't have a lot of cash. I have ten kids and money is limited. I didn't want to just start replacing parts if you know what I mean. I get NO CODES (Except batry. disc.) doing a self diagnostic. (Ignition on/off X3)
I'm thinking it's the pump or TPS. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

44 Answers

"bagpipes stool"? ~ TPS are not so much money would go ahead with one so you could rest assured this is NOT the problem~

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

the EGR valve is clobbered/ganked up with exhaust deposits....and there is no guarantee that the vacuum diaphragm actuator actually is doing it's job~

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
80

Do not disconnect the battery, any misfire will code on that year. drive the car for a few drive cycles. mil should come on, then have a local part store check the codes (free). that should get on the path for further testing, egr, ignition, fuel, vacuum ect....

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

a faulty fuel pressure regulator who's hose has fallen off would NOT issue any OBD-II codes whatsoever, but would cause high-idle (cause the vacuum leak) and NO regulation running starved of fuel and suckin' air...at the very least take a look at the fuel pressure regulator, make sure the vacuum hose is there and the diaphragm still activates the flow~

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

fuel pumps go all at once....cause they are burned----do not drather on producing minimal pressure....that job is for the fuel pressure regulator...if your suspicion of it being the fuel pump can be put to rest if you hear the fuel pump running when the key is put to the 'on' position...you will hear fuel circulating through the loop~

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
6,545

You need to ck. fuel press. once gauge is connected, drive vehc and see if press drops off.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
3,565

the fuel filter could be clogged. at part throttle, you are not sucking the fuel as hard, so it runs smoother. at higher engine speeds, you are not getting enough fuel through the filter to keep the engine running smoothly.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
120

UPDATE: Can't get the vehicle to Autozone for a scan (live 47 miles away from one). Did some troubleshooting. Still no codes but I noticed that the fuel gauge wasn't reading what it was before. Then I started it and ran it up and down the road about six times. (Start & Stop) Gauge would read 1/2 tank, start again it would read 1/4 tank, start again it would read 1/8 tank and the fuel light was on, start again it read over 1/4 tank. The pump runs (Primes) when key is turned but noticed an unusual noise a few times. I'm thinking (And I'm NO MECHANIC) if the fuel gauge sending unit and the fuel pressure regulator are all part of the pump itself, maybe it could be the pump. I dunno... I realize this is a pain for you all without codes and my being able to run more detailed diagnostics. I appreciate the input fellas, I honestly do.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
120

Oh, checked EGR valve riser tube for blockage and valve for gunk, checked vacum lines for leaks. Unplugged MAP sensor and idle and rev got REAL BAD. This is all the troubleshooting I can do with my limited tools.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
120

FYI: Fuel filter is new and was replaced after symptoms began.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

if you replace the fuel pump, the fuel level gauge and the fuel pressure regulator should be "built in" to the replacement assembly...three problems solved at once...give yourself a cigar (only do not smoke it...bad)~ will shop for you for a discount arrangement unless you insist on Quality that you can take back if it fails~

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

http://compare.ebay.com/like/121161664502? var=lv<yp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

I think these don't have the regulator~ http://www.ebay.com/itm/03-DODGE-CARAVAN-Fuel-Pump-Assembly- module-assy-3-3L-w-FFV-9778-/400254555598? _trksid=p3284.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSI%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI %252BUA%252BFICS%26otn%3D21%26pmod%3D121161664502%26 ps%3D54

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

it's only twenty dollars + s/h~

120

Replaced entire pump assy on 9/16/2013. Plugs and wires were replaced about six weeks before onset of problems so I'm fairly confident that I can eliminate these as issues. I'm just at a loss. Engine seems to be running rich. Moving on to other troubleshooting options. I'm going to try to swap the battery with one out of my car that is relatively new just to exclude the dreaded 'not enough power' in the system possibility. I know it's a long shot but I've been told to try it just in case. TO DATE I HAVE REPLACED: Fuel Pump Fuel Filter Plugs Wires Thanks in advance for all of your help and letting me pick your brain.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
6,545

It would probably behove you to buy a cheap scanner off e-bay. For what you have laid out in parts, may be cheaper. Its always good to have one around.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
6,545

If you start van,Dont drive. does the tube that goes from egr valve to the top of intake get hot while its idling? If so egr is stuck open.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

these are around fourteen plus shipping....funny don't have one but a lazer spot thermometer to entertain the felines with~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

the fuel pump is internal fuel pressure regulator you most change also the fuel filter is on top the tank regulator possible regulator not work good

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
155

I have a 1993 dodge caravan that has been runnin ROUGH and a little rich for a few months now and my brother is my mechanic. a few times when driving it would feel as if i couldnt get power or fuel or something and sometimes when idling it would act as if it was gonna die. a couple weeks ago it ran fine all day tues and when we headed off to school the next morning, it wouldnt start AT ALL! My brother just came by this morning to look at it and we have almost definitively concluded to replace the fuel pressure regulator and it is NOT with the fuel pump assembly! Its behind the air filter, under the hood and costs between 85-100, depending on where u buy it. Mine will get replace tomorrow when my brother has time to do the work for me but as of now and reading everything youve already done, THATS MY opinion! I will post again tomorrow with an update.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
155

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/7-symptoms-of-a-bad-fuel-pressure- regulator my brother found this link and sent to me so i thought it might help u too!

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
60

I had the same problem and it is my fuel injector wire harness. The exhaust manifold melted the wires. The code the it threw said it was my EGR AND FUEL INJECTOR. nope wire harness. You will get horrible gas mileage, sluggish, won't go, and stinks so bad! Good luck.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
450

I have a 2006 dodge caravan 3.3 engine. My problem is I have a code p0302. Cylinder #2 misfire. I have new wires sparks replaced. I pulled the #2 plug to see if the gap closed. The gap is fine. When I pulled the wire to check to see if there's fire to the plug, there's fire but no change in engine idle. I'm leaning towards bad injector or bad injector harness wire. I'm trying to find out if the EGR Valve might have a part in it. Can anyone identify by this problem?

45 out of 45 people think this is helpful.
130

my van runs fine in town....but if i go for long drive and go to stop and take off the van wont go anywhere and sputters...it 2003 dodge caravan se please help

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.

Wow that was almost painful to read.........

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
80

so did u finally figure out what was wrong with your van

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
210

I am having a similar issue with my 01 caravan (only 98000 miles) I did have a leak at the top of my tank also. It was running rough at idle and would not accelerate past 30 without cutting off and hesitating. Once it warmed up it would run perfect with no issues even if I shut it off for a couple minutes. Assuming it was in need of a tune up I did plugs and wires which made it slightly better for a couple days but not by much. The other night I parked it in the back and the next morning it would not start at all. I tore the fuel tank off my other van (transmission issues) and put it on this one but no go there, at least the leak is fixed... all it does now is turn and sounds like it wants to start but doesnt. Also I took out the front plugs and there's black soot and oil on them all so I cleaned them off. Any ideas what my issue could be? I'm at a loss, thanks!

21 out of 21 people think this is helpful.
120

I have a 2003 same thing was doing it sometime and then stopped now it's doing it again feels like it isn't getting gas when driving then it stalls and feels like not moving at all what can it be

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
100

I have a 2002 and doing the same wont go past 40 and spits and sputters and I can smell gas.We have replaced hoses and plugs they hooked it up and it said no codes so we are at a loss as well.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
150

I have a Dodge 09 grand caravan 3.3. Just change my spark plugs, wires, coil box. due to misfire/rough idle .. So i had it flush with that fuel injector cannister thing. Stop the problem for ONE day. Then the misfire/rough idle came back. SMH plz help WHAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!!!

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.
120

Guys I have an 01 caravan sport runs great 3.3 cold air replaced plugs wires fuel filter pcv fuel pump coil pack i put it in drive and give it just a lil gas and it hesetates stumbles then shoots of drives great then 1nce it gets all gears feel like a miss uses gas like crazy takes 3/4 tank of gas from clarksdale ms to Memphis Wich is only a 2 n half hour drive please help me any1

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
60

I would like to help but when i read these same problems happening on the Dodge Caravan 3.3l I give up at the answers. Mine started out dying out after cranking and running for a split second. Restart the same way. I had to hold down the accelerator after starting and it picked up and ran. I then put it in gear and it went dead. I then restarted it the same way but it ran ok. I put it in gear and it died. I restarted it and put it in gear and it jerked hard and dragged out like it was in second gear. I had to force the fuel to get it to take off and shift out. I let off the accelerator and it went dead going down the road. I shifted into neutral and restarted it and put it into drive and it drove and shifted out. I went to turn and it went dead. I restarted it and it drove ok until the speedometer, lights, gauges, all went crazy blinking and flipping back and forth and wanted to die out and then all of a sudden all was normal again. I start it up and it goes into drive and shifts out fine. Then after a few miles it starts all over again. This is a common problem with these cars and it has already been solved but no mechanic will let anyone know where to look exactly. This has been going on for years with these Dodges. If anyone will be willing to just tell the truth and not tell everyone to do this and do that then it would benefit everyone. This problem is intermittent and that shows it must be a connection somewhere that is losing it connect, but where. Dodge knows.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
170

Look, The fuel injector wiring harness runs too close to the exhaust crossover and gets burnt up. You can not tell by looking at the outside of the harness but cut it open and you will see several bare wires. The insulation they used on these wires is junk, the main harness that hooks to the FI harness is built much better also eBay sells these harnesses or you can just re-tape all the bare wires and REROUTE THE HARNESS!! Pull it up to the top of the engine and tie wrap it there. Do not just look at your harness and think it is OK, cut the harness cover near the connector where it hooks to the main harness (on the fuel injector harness side). This is a generation four problem only (if I remember right) This problem was a PITA to find! Gabe...

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
230

That is correct Fretless. may I add, if any bare wires are touching, it can damage the ECM/PCM. I am currently experiencing this and working through it.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
170

You know, mine touched for a long time and never caused a problem with the ECM. They must use a current sensing circuit that dumps when it senses a short circuit? Just think if you had an injector short or one that draws way to much current, a possibility of fire could start from that. If these wires touching each other would kill the ECM my should have died a long time ago. (maybe I'm lucky) Mine started out only doing this when the engine was cold and I let it go for over six months before it got worse and I had to do something. This is one of the most difficult problems to diagnose I ever experienced and I did this for over 40 years. I'm Master ASE certified, Master Registered (European equivalent) and I taught it on the Collage level before retiring. What makes this so difficult is that it is generally intermittent at least at first and the harness shows no deterioration at all. This is why I stressed cutting open the harness and looking...

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
230

Ok, it seems many people have issues with the Caravan family. Let me tell you about my experience I am currently experiencing and in the process maybe I can help you. I own a BMW X5. My gf owns a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport 3.3l. I swapped her vehicles so I can work on hers. Im going to be honest it has been a nightmare for the last 2 weeks. This past sunday night I ended up sleeping in the car bc I couldn't get it running. let me tell you the story. A month ago she started having problems. The car died and when she turned the key, the fuel pump made a continuous hum and didn't shutoff. Long story short, I replaced the fuel pump. Since I had the tank down, I replaced the fuel filter as well. Started the car up and all was well. I was the hero but it was short lived. 2 days passed and she called and said it was doing the same thing. I drove up to check it out. It had been sitting for a couple hours before I got there. I tried it and it started, so I drove it home. All seemed to be ok. Again she called the next day she couldn't get it to start. Again I get there and start looking it over. I Checked everything out mechanically. I told her it has to be an electrical issue. Its acting like its not getting enough fuel. I could hear a miss in the engine. I check the plug wires. I asked her when was the last time the spark plugs had been replaced. she said she didn't know. I finally got it started and took it to Autozone for a code check. There were 2 codes present (P0204) #4 cylinder fuel injector circuit fault and one for the barmetric sensor on top of the intake. Her check like has been on forever as far as I know. Any I took the car back to her house and began looking it over. I started with the injector harness. I follow the wires back to the main connector on the back of the cylinder head towards the firewall. I unplugged it and behold I found one of many problems. All 10 wires on the injector harness were completely bare from the plug back 4 inches. I taped them and started the car. It still ran like crap. I grabbed a long screw driver and placed it on the #4 injector and listened for a clicking sound to verify the injector was working. I didn't hear the clicking so I tried the next injector in case it was just engine noise drowning it out. I could hear clicking on the #2 and #6 injectors. #4 was not working. I took the intake off and the fuel rail and replaced the injector. After re-assembling everything I started the car again. It was hard to start at first but it gave into my will. I could still hear a miss in the engine. I checked the injector and still no clicking sound. I took everything apart again and removed the harness. Pulled all the sheathing off to inspect the wires. They were stuck together so I peeled them apart. taped them and installed everything. I started the car. Still a miss. So, I started checking the wiring further down the harness on the transmission and down to the starter back up to the ECM/PCM. The wires were stuck together from the heat. I began pulling each wire away from the other. Guys this is a tedious task as you know there is limited space there with out disassembling parts. Is a lot of work but I wanted to do the process of elimination. Go through the motion even though I had a suspicion it was the ECM/PCM. I didn't find anything obvious in the wires. There is something because now, TODAY, the car shocks me when I turn it off and get out. Anyway, I cut the driver wire for the #4 injector (Brown w/ Tan stripe). The Brown w/ White strip is the common wire all the injectors are connected to. (Don't Cut It) . Oh, before I did this, I removed the injector harness and use my multimeter to check continuity from the injector pin to the harness plug pin. then from the injector to the ECM/PCM. For reference that will be the top connector, location pin 16. ok back to troubleshooting. I ran a wire from the driver wire on #4 injector and went start to the ECM/PCM. I re-installed everything and started the car. There was no clicking from the injector. Now I confirmed my suspicion the #4 injector driver is bad inside the ECM/PCM. I went to Pull-A-Parts (Salvage yard) and got a good injector harness and ECM/PCM. If you do this, try to get one from a vehicle that has the same options as yours. Before you do this, pull your ECM/PCM out and take a picture of the sticker on it that has your part # on it. You want to get another with that same part #. I installed the ECM/PCM and started the car and wallah!!! Now injector 4 is working. Take the car to the dealership and have the ECM/PCM flashed for the current update software and to have your VIN and mileage entered as soon as possible. I took the car to Autozone for another code read. There was one code for the map sensor. I took it off and sprayed contact cleaner inside of it the best I could. Put it back on. Sunday night, drove to walmart. walked out to leave at 6:30. Car would not start. I cranked and cranked the key. I took everything apart and went through there in the parking lot. To no avail. Next thing I know its 2am. I went back in the store and bought new spark plugs and installed them. Re-assembled everything and started the car. Sounds like it was good to go. Drove 3 miles and DIED on me in full range driving. I coasted into a parking lot worked on it til 5am. I was exhausted and crawled in the 3rd role seating and went to sleep haha. woke up at 8:30. Worked on it more. I could get it to start but It would only run for 30 seconds then die. Finally, called a tow truck to deliver it to the dealership. They pushed inside and flashed the ECM/PCM. Did a diagnostic check and it said "No signal from crank sensor to the ECM/PCM. They put another on it and had the same result. I told them everything I did and what I thought the problem was. They worked on it for 7 hours. They told me what I already knew. I need a new engine wire harness which they couldn't get and now the gauges fuel, speed, tach and temp were not working. Its is discontinued by Dodge which they only have to hold parts 10 yrs for any vehicle by law. They stopped stocking the harness for 2002 vehicles in 2012. They said there is nothing else they can do unless I go to a salvage yard and get one then they will install it which is according to them an 8 hr job with a labor charge of $125/hr. I DONT THINK SO!!! They said they could not get the car to start and run. So, they pushed the car outside as if I were just going to walk away until I had the part. I pulled two wires apart that were stuck together and started the car. I put It in gear and drove off. I download a speedometer app on my smart phone so I can see my speed and went to work. After work I fixed the gauges. That was easy. The technician did not tighten the positive cable on battery post. Once I did that everything worked normal. My only complaint at this time is in town while driving about 2000 RPM it stumbles like its not getting enough fuel. On they highway it stumbles when I let off the accelerator or running at 2000 RPM. I think I will replaced the fuel regulator on the injector fuel rail. Also I will go to the salvage yard this weekend in search of an engine harness. In the meantime I will be inspecting all the wires in the current engine harness checking for any kind of short or break. Also now when the AC is engaged while idling, it draws the engine down to the point you think the engine will die and then the engine revs back up. I will update my progress as I go. I hope my information helps many of you

19 out of 19 people think this is helpful.

miker71 did you get anywhere yet? Mine had the melted wires and have separated them now but runs terribly - I cannot even think of pulling off the drive. When I try then to push down the gas pedal all the instruments and lights go crazy then disappear leaving only the oil pressure warning light (which stays on throughout). Hate this!

miker71 - I found the cause of the crazy instrument displays - the alternator was kicking out 18v! Have disconnected that and the instruments are stable. Still have the oil pressure light on and a bad misfire. Gas is pouring neat out of the exhaust!

10

I have the same problem but I have a town and country 3.3 Chrysler. My cwr runs rough and not enough power like it used to have. I replaced the alternator, crankshaft sensor, camshaft sensor. Then it finally started now its running rough. Im lost idk whats wrong with it. The check engine light is on an blinking. It stopped blinking after I replaced those sensor then it came bk on when I was on the high way

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

I have a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8 140k miles runs great went to wintergreen driving steep hill, got home the same day and the following day it hesitates when AC/heater turns on, no check engine light. I opened the hood when the A/c Compressor engage, it jerk. Clean the throttle, did nothing. Seldom jerk when it's on drive position and heater is off. I think when the Compressor engage and rotates it gives a lot stress on the engine and losing some voltage. I'm goin to replace the Map sensor see what will happen.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

I had solve the problem engine hesitates when ac/heater compressor turns on and seldom jerk when in park and neutral position. I changed the ignition coil pack limited warranty duralast brand, I put back the old one I had changed last 80k miles. No hesitation and engine runs strong now.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

My van sounds really loud n it starts to shake when the car is stopped n im letting off the gas..n when I hit 40miles n 60

10

Any updates from anyone? I am having the same problem with my 2005 Dodge 3.8L. Changed all wires, plugs, coil which cleared prior misfire in #2. About a month driving great now decides to studder on acceleration and has a bad gas smell.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

.I was having issues with my Plymouth dodge Expresso voyager '98 and it not wanting to start occasionally after thirty miles with heater on... Turns out heater must have been warming this circuit board in the dash causing it to fail, just have to smack the dash on the flat spot and good to go... Eventually it'll fail for good but it's something like300$to rebuild it so... I'll keep layin my pimp hand down till then

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • HELP!!! Rough idle hesitation when taking off? Mechanics have no clue 36 answers

    Hi, after van has ran for awhile when you come to a stop the idle is really rough. almost like it wants to stall. then when you let off the brake and give it gas it hesitates and stumbles before accel...

    2001 Dodge Caravan SE

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Rough running only first thing in the morning 12 answers

    I have a Dodge Caravan 3.3 2003 that runs rough for 5-30 seconds first thing in the day. Then it starts and runs fine for the rest of the day. It went into the garage for this fault and they found...

    2003 Dodge Caravan SE

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • why does my 2.5l engine stumble while driving sometimes? 2 answers

    I have a 1992 Dodge caravan, 2.5l engine and it has recently started "stumbling" when I drive it. It's like the gas doesn't get through sometimes , it doesn't matter if I am on a flat path or going u...

    1992 Dodge Caravan

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • does a 2002 dodge caravan have a fuel adjustment screw 2 answers

    Runs rough, skips going up hill, hesitates, acts like it's not getting gas when you step down on accelerastor. Fixed the stalling problem with cleaning the injectors, but still skips when accelerate...

    2002 Dodge Caravan SE

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

  • Rough Idle Issue 29 answers

    I have a 2003 Dodge ram 1500 SLT with the 4.7ltr engine that has 190,000 miles on it. It was idling real rough recently so I cleaned the throttle body out and changed out the idle control sensor. Th...

    2003 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT LB

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

Caravan

Looking for a Used Caravan in your area?

CarGurus has 889 nationwide Caravan listings starting at $3,990.

ZIP:

Search Dodge Caravan Questions

Dodge Caravan Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 1,220
#2 FordNut
FordNut
Reputation 810
#3 joemom
joemom
Reputation 720
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Dodge Grand Caravan
478 Great Deals out of 31,717 listings starting at $2,294
Used Chrysler Town & Country
717 Great Deals out of 20,515 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Odyssey
479 Great Deals out of 27,732 listings starting at $1,900
Used Toyota Sienna
375 Great Deals out of 27,144 listings starting at $1,495
Used Dodge Journey
706 Great Deals out of 31,746 listings starting at $1,995
Used Nissan Quest
112 Great Deals out of 3,423 listings starting at $2,500
Used Dodge Durango
460 Great Deals out of 23,034 listings starting at $950
Used Kia Sedona
146 Great Deals out of 8,630 listings starting at $1,300
Used Chrysler Pacifica
14 Great Deals out of 23,174 listings starting at $3,000
Used Dodge Charger
550 Great Deals out of 28,744 listings starting at $2,275
Used Ford Escape
1,681 Great Deals out of 85,375 listings starting at $1,350
Used Dodge Ram Van
162 listings starting at $2,100
Used Toyota Corolla
1,335 Great Deals out of 68,323 listings starting at $1,399
Used Dodge Ram 1500
547 Great Deals out of 12,938 listings starting at $1,795
Used Ford Explorer
1,433 Great Deals out of 72,312 listings starting at $985