How do I know if it is really the fuel pump before I drop the tank??

220

Asked by Jul 20, 2014 at 12:29 AM about the 1992 Dodge Grand Caravan 3 Dr LE AWD Passenger Van Extended

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I was driving along in my van one day, it was running normal, nothing out of the
ordinary. All of a sudden it was like someone just turned off the key, it simply just quit.
All it would do is turn over but not start. I got it towed home and since then I tried
replacing what I think is the fuel pump relay and it started right up, ran for about 2
minutes and then died again. It has not started since. Just turns over. People keep
telling me it is the fuel pump, but then why did it start up when I put that new relay in
it? It is just me doing the work and I would love anyones thoughts or suggestions
before I try and figure out how to drop the gas tank to change the darn thing, plus they
are pretty expensive! Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!

49 Answers

68,885

Have you checked fuel pressure?

25 of 25 people found this helpful.
68,885

That old of model ,and if you haven,t put a fuel pump in it?

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
220

No, I haven't checked the fuel pressure, how do you do that? Also, I've only had it for about 5 years, I'm not sure if the people who had it before me put a fuel pump in it.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
114,965

I agree about checking the fuel pressure at fuel rail. Also check your fuses.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
114,965

www.youtube.com/watch?v=LORWpI6sQc8 -- check this out on how to do it

16 of 16 people found this helpful.
114,965

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJF5Lli4xq8 -- here's another how to video. These should give you the basic idea. Hope they help.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
220

Thanks for all the suggestions so far everyone! Today I am going to see if I can find the fuel rail and I looked for fuses one other time and couldn't find one for the fuel pump, does every vehicle have a fuse for the pump? I apologize if that is a dumb question but I pretty much just learn as I go. I've actually done quite a lot of work on my succession of vehicle (you can imagine they are all older!) by watching youtube videos etc, but I've never done anything with the fuel system like this. Can I ask why do you think it started up right away with the new relay and ran for a couple minutes and then quit? That is what is kind of throwing me and giving me hope that it isn't the actual pump. I might be a little plump but I'm not a real big lady and trying to take down a gas tank by myself kind of freaks me out! Thanks!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
114,965

Possibly not fuel pump but only way to be positive is to do a fuel pressure test. It's not hard to do and if you in USA auto zone has a loner fuel pressure test set up they will let you use for a deposit. You get your money back when you return it. Very easy test on most vehicles now days. If no fuel pressure detected I would then check for power and ground at fuel pump to make sure it's getting the required voltage to operate.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
220

Thank you! I will check with auto zone today!

220

ok, to anyone! I got a fuel pressure tester and when I hook it up gas pours out of the fuel rail, but there is no pressure. My concern is that a guy at autozone told me to touch the fuel pump relay while someone turns the ignition on and make sure I feel a click and I did that but there is no click. The only ones that click are the one located on the back side of the firewall and the very first one in the line of them on the side firewall which I was told has to do with the abs. Also, one out of ten times turning it to the start position the large relay that says HI- RAM on it will make noise but other than that the other relays (there are 11 total around the firewall) don't make any clicking noises. Apparently there are no actual fuses for the pump in this van. What do you think??

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
220

Also, I have a brand new relay switch on what I think is the fuel pump relay. I can't seem to find a diagram of the relay setup that is on this van, most of the ones I can find only have 4 or 5 listed on the right side of the firewall, mine has 7 lined up over there

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
220

Hello again if anyone still sees this posting. I have put in a new fuel pump, fuel filter, coil pack and relay and it still won't start. No fuel pressure at the rail and doesn't seem to be getting spark either! Help! Anyone have any ideas?!! Thank you.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
68,885

Check the main fuse/ecm.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
40

i have a 2000 dodge caravan was driving one day and it died i tried to start it wont start i have replaced the battery and was told no spark was comeing out of the top of distributor so replaced the cap and the relay still wont start what could it be

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
110

Iknow this is old question. But what i did you have someone turn the key to on positon while you have your ear against the gas fill opening (take off gas cap before turning to on position) listen if fuel pump primes. It makes a whirling nose. Another thibg i have done is open the throttle body and sprayed some carb cleaner(better to get starter fluid if you have) then turned car and turned rite on for a few seconds then died. Meaning spark is working and starter. Only colprite is fuel pump or relay. Check wire current and relay before taking apart the fuel tank.

110

If you spray it and doesnt turn means something else is wrong.It happened to my uncle and I stranded in Delaware, we troubleshooted the car the same way i described it above. we made it to Maryland spraying starter fluid constantly the whole way there. Bought many cans. Turned out it was the fuel pump giving its last squirts. Bench tested it at home and zero power.

My 97 dodge stratus did the exact same thing. I replaced the fuel pump. We're stomped. We got spark. The fuel filter kicks on. Etc.

110

Check for fuel pressure at the rail. If no pressure soething went wring with the fuel pump installation. It happened on this car i worked on. Installed new pump car tyrned then died. Didnt want to turn on. Checked fuel lines for leaks and checked rail. Dry as a bone. Opened up the tank. The little hose connected to the fuel pump itself popped out

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
110

And clamped ut and whalaaa!! Vroom. If everything checks out ok and doesnt turn then its simething else. But check pressure at the rails(if you can get your hands on a pressure tester if not) You can also pull out the sending line from the rails and put a hose on it and insert it ito and empty gas can or bottle. Turn to key to the on position(do not crank it) and listen to the pump prime. When it stops priming. Check the bottle. If there isn't any fuel in it inspect the lines for any leaks. If there is fuel and/or alot the problen may be the injectors. As you stated you have cheked for spark and it has spark.

40

Can I have a 2000 Dodge Caravan brand new fuel pump brand new fuel relay brand new fuel filter but not getting no fuel pressure still car turns but will not start I have spark and I checked all the wiring still getting power to the fuel pump but not getting no pump pressure the fuel gauge is working which is connected to the fuel pump but the fuel pump has not got any gas in it because I read drop the tank to check it again and make sure everything was connected right and there is no fuel in the fuel pump at all but I know the little reader for the gauge is working if anyone could please help me out I cannot figure this out at all and I'm going nuts thank you

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
110

carlton. Do you hear tye fuel pump priming when you put the key to accesory mode? Did you check the little hose attached to the fuel pump which connects to the plastic assembly? But make sure you can here the fuel pump prime, if it doesit ; it is a defective pump hence that you checked there is power going into the pump. (Check connection if its connected properly.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

Yes I check the wiring and fuel pump is not priming I also turn the ignition key on several times to see if it would engage still nothing and I checked the electric to see if it was getting current to it and it's getting power to it but still not no pressure in the fuel rail

40

It will turn over but no start and I already put starter fluid in the intake to make sure that the engine didn't seize up cuz it really struck off in the middle of driving I had to get it towed home and from that point it has not started back up but when I put starter fluid in the intake and try to start it it turns over and starts for a little while and it shuts off immediately so I'm really check the fuel pressure and I'm not getting no fuel to the fuel railing checked all the wiring there were a couple wires that were a little bit damaged I fix them checked all the fuel lines all the fuel lines look good I also went and bought a new fuel pump put it on still nothing then I drop the tank again just to check and make sure that the fuel pump was put on properly and in the process of doing that I found out that there was no fuel getting into the fuel pump at all the last time I changed out the fuel pump it had fuel inside the fuel pump in the old one and this one that I changed out also have fuel in it butt when I put this one in and then try doing it again nothing happened so like I said when I went to go drop the tank and open it up to make sure everything was connected correctly it had no fuel in the fuel pump at all which tells me that there's no fuel being pumped into the lines and the The Source seems to be the problem around the fuel pump area because if there's no fuel going into the pump it's not going to go to the fuel railing so I'm very confused because there's power going to the fuel pump but it's not priming and not coming on couple friends of mine said that it could be the ECU but to me it seems like if it was the ECU my fuel gauge would not be working either because I'm had that happen to me on other vehicles I even have the book that tells you had a pretty much rebuild the whole vehicle gone through all this trouble shooting that it says they do and still cannot figure this out so far the only thing I could think is I have a faulty fuel pump that's the only thing I have not done the check yet is take it back and get another one again thank you for your response and thank you to anyone that can help me out

40

I've really done so much research on this issue and I have noticed throughout all my research a lot of people seem to have the same similar problem but there's not very many answers on how to solve this problem Julie on this page or website is the only one I found that has a answers every other thing I looked up has people questioning how to solve this problem but there is nobody responding with answers I've really been wondering for the past couple months if there was someone hired to delete all the answers on how to solve this problem so again I do really really appreciate your help thank you so much and hopefully we can all get past this issue

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
110

It cant be the ECU if your getting signals to the pump. Tge culprit might be tge pump itself. If there is current to the pump and the pump is not priming in the on position and boe dry inside points to a defectuve pump. It does happened. I replaced a pump twice on my older car. What brandname did you buy? Some brandnames are known to have defective issues from the factory

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
110

I have asked my friend that build cars for a second opinon and points to a defective pump as well. "POWER TO THE PUMP, NO WEEEEEEEEE,MEANS BAD PUMP"quoted him.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

My supplies I thought so but I just didn't really want to change out the fuel pump again thank you so much I'm going to go ahead and start doing that and see what I'll let you know when I'm done again thank you for your help happens

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

Okay now I don't quite know it change from what I told you earlier but as I was trying to take the tank off to remove the fuel pump A friend of mine came out so while I was down there I had them turn the key into ignition before I started taking anything apart and I'm getting fuel to the fuel pump now it's actually working I hear it engaging but I'm still getting no start so I'm trying to figure out how come the pump is coming on and I hear it cry mean butt some reason I'm not getting fuel to my fuel relay I mean fuel railing sorry I am really tired so I'm having a hard time typing so if this comes out messed up I do apologize hopefully you understand what I'm saying

40

Okay I'm going to try to reach at this one more time I do apologize about my spelling like I said earlier I'm really tired and I don't feel like spell checking it but hopefully all this comes out correctly fuel pump is engaging it's actually priming but I'm still getting no start so I'm trying to figure out what is wrong

110

Ill wrote in a bit im actualy ay work. Is it sucking up fuel. If so check the lines closet to the tank.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
110

Whays up hows it going with your carrito?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
110

The only things from thepump to fuel rails is really the pump, ssnding unit, fuel line fuel filter,then goes into the fuel rails. YYourusing fuel pressure gauge.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
110

Did u check the fuel pressureregulator?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
220

I'm the original questioner in this thread, the one that HAD the 1992 caravan. I'll just tell you that after doing everything under the sun possible with the entire fuel system, the plugs, wires, fuses, relays etc etc etc, I could still not get it to start. I just couldn't put any more into it so I sadly sold it for a very low price (since it wasn't running I couldn't do much else!). The guy that bought it put a new computer in it that night and it started right away and has run ever since. I just thought I'd put that out there and maybe save anyone else with the same problem some serious hassle, frustration and money! Good luck to all!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
20

Where is the sending unit i replaced my pump and get fuel out of the line. What i did was pour some fuel in the rail and it stared then dies out as if is not getting pressure again. Pump does kick on. Pump seems to kick off tho right away after just pumping for a few seconds.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10

I am currently working on 98 grand caravan with same problem it seems to be a common problem no pressure at fuel rail could hear pump prime removed fuel line coming out of new filters some pressure but definitely not 50lbs so figured it needs new pump installed new fuel pump same problem I think something is going on with wires when l check power at pump it's there check it again no power I do know that if battery is weak pump won't pump I have worked on cars all of my life and I am 62 but this problem is wearing me out does the computer control the voltage to f pump please enlighten a old man and a lot of other people with same problem

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
110

Hello mr. michael. Did you check the relay? Fuel pump has power,(can you check how much amp is going through) and you hear it prime. And you stated fuel leaks out. U can put the hoses in a clear bottle prime the pump and see if some fuel comes out still. Sometimes the lines are pressurized and will leak fuel when disconnected. Double check. If fuel still leaks after awhile then we can check something else. I went through the same issue and found out that the pressure hose inside the tank popped off

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
110

It might nit be your issue on your vehicle now but it was mine after i installed the new pump.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

Is there a pressure hose inside tank this could be my problem as it is now the new pump will come on for a second but no gas comes out have try ed everything even ran separate power from battery thank you for your time.

110

The hose attached to the fuel pump assembly was the one that popped off in my situation. Posted a pic. Not sure if it will show

110

If you can hear the pump prime and no gas to lines. you can have the line to the fuel rail disconnected and shove it inside a bottle and put the key to the "on" position and look at the bottle to see if it has fuel inside. If it has a good amount, might be the same situation i had. The hoses inside the pump come with crimp style clamps. If you isnt install the clamps that came with new pump. Most likely they popped off.

110

Or any clamps on the hose. As long that it holds tight

110

But if fuel spills out through the lines then in fact it might be a defective/weak pump or injectors are malfunctioning. (Which in case could be the ECM)

110

But i would double check hoses and lines before dealing with injectors and ECM. Its a headache to take it apart but atleast you will pin point the problem

10

Thanks a lot I am down to the pulling it all back apart it's has to be the pump you can bet I am going to check those hoses what I am going to do before I put it back into car I am going to run power to the pump and make sure it working it should put out around 50psi to the rail I think at least this will save be trouble of putting the whole thing together it seems like with all of the trouble everyone is having this might not be a bad idea

5

CarltonHammonds31 Well what was the verdict in the end? What happened?

apparently no one has been able to solve this problem... I have been fighting same problem for 6 months... Came home one night in Nov.2016 car ran fine until I shut it off, went out the next day to go to work and no start... worked on it all day, found this page and several others describing the same problem, so started troubleshooting. Car would start and run for a few seconds every time I sprayed ether in the intake, so I knew ignition was good... had been having trouble with rough running when first started when the gas was at 1/8 tank or less... so I figured fuel pump, car has 200k mi, don't know if it had ever been changed. Pulled the tank on my parts car and swapped that fuel pump into mine, new fuel filter also... still no start, swapped/changed fuel pump relay, no dice... fuses all good... jumpered the fuel pump relay and i could hear the fuel pump clunk but that was it, no start unless ether in manifold... figured that the old gas in the tank gummed up that fuel pump so gave up temporarily and ordered new fuel pump. car had to sit all winter because I couldn't pull the pump outside with 2' of snow and seemingly non-stop winter.. then constant rain until a couple days ago. In the meantime I bought 2 new relays and a 10 year warranty fuel pump. Put those in yesterday and van started up after a little cranking but cleaned up after a minute of running, ran for half an hour. Shut it off and it wouldn't restart. waited 15 minutes or so and tried it again.. it started and ran fine. seems that it will start fine if it hasn't been running very long... didn't drive it that night because I didn't want to get stuck and have to deal with it.... started it up half a dozen times since and it started up fine.... figured that maybe air in fuel lines... started up fine last night to drive home from my business, went to the gas station and left it running to warm up (and I was worried it wouldn't start), filled it up and thought I would shut it off so the fuel gauge would read correctly, fortunately I backed away from the pump and into a parking spot... same BS, no start, cranks fine... sat there for 10 minutes and said every cuss word I;ve ever heard and made up a couple of new ones as well... then it started. Drove home, ran just fine and when I shut it off... no restart again! Car has had the ECM and BCM replaced 2.5 years ago when I first got it... It seems to have something to do with warm restart as it started every time cold... at least a dozen times. Hoping it starts tomorrow so I don't have to call AAA to tow it to my business to work on it... Wondering why no one has been able to resolve this... I just got a fuel pressure gauge so if it doesn't start tomorrow AM that's where I'll start... Sure hoping that someone has solved this problem as it seems to plague many Caravan owners... BTW both of mine are Grand Caravans AWD 3.8L love these cars, this is the only one out of 9 Caravans I've had that has done this... all the rest were awesome vehicles.. hate to scrap it after throwing money and labor at it. Is there any other relay besides the fuel pump that might do this? I am leaning toward bad ECM... may try the ECM from my pars car... the BCM doesn't control the fuel pump... does it? Thanks for any assistance anyone can give... really exasperated.

110

EWats sup. Ecm does controls fuel flow ie fuel injectors. Tells how much to spray.If some issue with ECM say a burned out solder or damaged or a loose wire it would not spray at all. My buddy spent weeks with same issue. I told him check wiring. He thought i was kidding. Spent another few dayd calling techs and nothing. Then that glorious day that a tech came and did just what i told him. Discovered a baf ground and walaah car ran good after that.

I read through this thread a couple of weeks ago, and found it super helpful. Thought I would add to it with my recent experience. I suspected a fuel pump was the source of our 1998 Town and Country not starting. I am an average do-it -yourself sort of person, and don't consider trouble shooting to be a strength of mine. Using the advice from the experts above. I listened for the pump through the fuel filler when the car was turned on. Nothing. I sprayed starter fluid into the throttle body, and got it to fire. So, most likely not getting fuel. I borrowed a fuel pressure tester from O'Reilly auto parts. Zero pressure at the rail. Checked the fuse, swapped the relay with another, still nothing. I couldn't figure out another way to determine if there was power at the pump on our AWD model than to drop the gas tank down. The driveshaft makes getting to the electrical connection impossible (?) without moving something. Anyway, I did finally get that stupid electrical connector apart, and found there is only one hot wire going to the tank for both the pump and the gas gauge. So maybe the fact that I had an operating gas gauge would have meant there was power back there? Not sure. So I tested anyway. Voltmeter "flashed" 12.3 volts but wouldn't hold that constantly. Wondering if I was doing something wrong, I was just holding on the hot and neg pins while I had someone turn the car over. Continued on by removing the pump. There are good youtube videos if someone wants to know what they are in for. Got the pump out, and bench tested it just to be sure that was my problem. Could not get it to make any noise connected directly to a battery. Our small town local shop had both a fuel pump and filter in stock. Replace them both while you are under there. It is only 1 extra bolt, and one more fuel connection to do the filter too. At this point, I was feeling pretty confident that I had found the issue, and not wanting to mess around with electricity and a bunch of gas fumes to test everything again, I buttoned everything back up completely before I attempted to start the van. You can guess where I'm going here, but I could not get the van to fire. Figuring the lines were empty and needed to be primed, I alternated between holding the key in the forward (not quite to start) position, and turning it over. Did this for several minutes, until i was thinking I might damage the starter. Fuel light was on for the gas gauge, so wondered if I had drained too much fuel out of the tank. I added a gallon and a half that I had (should be enough?) still nothing after many more minutes of trying. Went to bed feeling defeated. Couldn't sleep too well wondering if there was a cover over the intake area of the pump I somehow missed, and I was going to have to drop that tank again. Or worse, that now my problem was computer related, and not the pump. I had to work the next day, and decided to start over again that evening with my trouble shooting. I had been by myself the night before, and couldn't really listen for the fuel pump. With my wife in the driver seat, I put my ear to the filler again, and listened for the pump as she turned the key to on.... "hmmmmmmmmmmm" There is was. Noise from the tank. Releif! Why is the car not starting? Pulled the air intake hose off the throttle body enough to be able to spray starter fluid in there as my wife turned the car over. It (expectedly) roared to life. I kept spraying, and it kept running. I stopped spraying, and it (unexpectedly) kept running. For about 30-45 seconds, she had to keep it revving about 1200 rpm. If she let off the gas completely, it wanted to die at idle. I buttoned up the intake hose as the car was still running, and by the time I had that done, the car would now idle fine. Everything has been perfect since. Anyway, I just wanted to contribute for first timers like myself that the car may not fire right after you get that pump in. Even knowing that, I still was surprised / frustrated that extended periods of turning the car over didn't do it. Eventually, I think it would have. Or, holding the key into the on position and listening to see if the pump was running and kept priming everything? Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread. I'm sure it has helped people other than just myself.

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