Question about 1996 Dodge Caravan

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Which is it? Carburetor ice or water in gas?

Can someone help me diagnose my fuel- air problem? This winter- traveling in humid freezing conditions- our 3.8 V6 1996 Grand Caravan will loose power and rapidly falter and die. Can sputter on for a mile or two, then the problem will eventually worsen until we come to a halt and engine dies. If we wait for a good period of time - can procede for a mile or two, or sometimes 20 miles. If we do not wait long before restarting - try to rush it - it will only get a short distance before the problem reoccurs. Has happened after we filled up with new fuel from unfamiliar stations. However adding gas line anti-freeze has little effect. Best thing to do is walk away and give it time. Carburator ice comes to mind, we had that problem once with a earlier model - but we have had no problems with this van before in the last 8 years of driving. Same weather, why now?

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  • nick_thiry Mar 09, 2009

    Thanks for the help. I do know it is fuel injection, but felt the term "Carb. ice" might describe the symptoms best. Still, I now believe that is not the problem. Just took the van for another drive. (the next day) starts up and runs fine - let it idle maybe 20 minutes - took it for a spin. Everything normal, full power, smooth until mile 13, then back to faltering and dying. As before, wait 5 minutes, starts right up then goes fine for 2 miles, then dead. Wait 5 minutes start up go 1/2 mile, then dead. Go home at the end of a strap again. Weather was above freezing - 34 degrees - and I no longer think it is a fuel problem. Using the ignition ON, OFF, ON,OFF,ON again method - obtained codes 12,72,51,31,43 and 55. Thank you for the help. Really appreciate it!

  • Scott Clifford May 11, 2010

    I would love to know what codes the computer has been spitting out.or if the check engine light comes on?

  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith May 11, 2010

    that vehicle doesn't have a carburetor.... fuel injection.... be that as it may... is the check engine light on ?

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You can ignore 12 and 55

Code 31-Evap purge solenoid circuit-an open or short detected in the duty cycle purge solenoid circuit.

Code 31-Evap purge flow monitor failure-Insufficient or excessive vapor flow detected during evaporative emission system operation.

Code 31-Evap leak monitor small leak detected-A small leak has been detected by the leak detection monitor.

Code 31-Evap leak monitor large leak detected-leak detection monitor is unable to pressurize EVAP system, indicating a large leak.

Code 31-Leak detection pump solenoid circuit-leak detection pump solenoid circuit fault (open or short).

Code 31-Leak detection pump switch or mechanical fault-leak detection pump switch does not respond to input.

Code 31-Evap leak monitor pinched hose found-plug or pinch found between purge solenoid and fuel tank.


Code 43-Ignition coil #1, 2, or 3 primary circuits-peak primary circuit current not achieved within the maximum allowable dwell time.

Code 43-Engine cylinder misfire-engine cylinder misfire detected in one or more cylinders.

Code 51-Fuel system lean-a lean air/fuel mixture has been indicated by an abnormally rich correction factor.

Code 72-Right rear (or just) catalyst efficiency failure-catalyst efficiency below required level.


Posted on Mar 09, 2009

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Hmmm.. Your van has No carburator.. Its direct multiport fuel injection.. It sounds like you have excessive moisture in the tank and lines.. Id try a new fuel filter..

Posted on Mar 08, 2009

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