Question about 1999 Dodge Caravan
Thanks for choosing FixYa and welcome. If you have a vehicle that will turn over and over but will not start, I will tell you some things that you need to check. Every vehicle needs air, fuel, and fire to start. Now, the first thing you want to check is the fuel system. You want to make sure that the engine is getting fuel. The easiest way to test the fuel system is by testing the fuel pressure on the fuel rail. You need to refer to your owner manual for the correct measurement of pressure. Another easy test is using starter fluid. If it starts when you spray the fluid, you have a fuel issue. If it doesn't, check the ignition system. If your pressure is not correct or you have no way of testing the fuel pressure, start by checking your fuel pump. The fuel pump pumps fuel out of the gas tank and to your fuel filter. When you first turn your key on, you should be able to hear the fuel pump kick on for a second or two. It makes a soft buzzing sound. Listen for this sound. This will determine if the pump is kicking on and working. If you don't hear this sound, check your fuel pump fuse, relay, and your reset button. Not all vehicles have a reset button, so once again check to see if you have this button. If you change all of these and the pump still doesn't work, you may have a bad fuel pump. Test and make sure the pump is getting power before you change it. Now, you want to make sure the fuel filter is not stopped up. Check the gas lines and make sure they have no damage. Lastly, make sure fuel is getting to the fuel injectors. If you are getting fuel, you will need to make sure you are getting fire. You need to test your spark plugs or coils for spark. If you have spark, you should look over your timing belt or timing chain to make sure it is not broken or slipping. If you are not getting spark, you will need to check the spark plugs, coils, coil packs, wires, distributor, distributor cap, and rotor. Anyone of these can cause a vehicle to not spark. Check everything you can. Make sure the rotor is spinning and make sure the distributor cap has all metal contacts. Also, make sure the cap is not damaged or cracked. Make sure none of the plug/coil wires are damaged. Make sure they are all hooked up correctly. Now, it is possible that you could have a bad camshaft sensor or crankshaft sensor. In some vehicles, the camshaft sensor is built into the distributor. You want to test each of these parts and make sure each one is getting power. If a part is not getting power, that may be the reason your vehicle is not starting. If you have a check engine light on, you need to get your computer scanned for error codes. More then likely, if your vehicle won't start, your check engine light is on. The light is on because your computer has detected a problem with the vehicle. You can buy a cheap code reader for around forty dollars from Autozone or Advanced. Just make sure you know all your codes for your vehicle. When you have it scanned, the computer may know the exact parts you need to change. Most of these parts listed run off your ECM. The ignition system is a very complex system. It is rarely, but they do go bad. If you believe that the computer is to blame, make sure you have it flashed before you put it in your vehicle. If you don't, it will not work. Finding your error codes is the best way to finding your solution. If not, you will have many things to check. Always make sure you run a test on a part before changing it. Make sure that part is getting power. If it is not, check the power source. I know this is a lot of information, but any of the parts listed can cause the vehicle to not start. If you have no access to a code reader, fuel pressure tester, or a code reader, you can still check a lot of things. It is just harder. Remember, always use the process of elimination. Determine if the part is working or not and move on to the next part. You will eventually find your problem. Lastly, electrical problems can cause the symptoms you are having. They are very hard to find. When trying to find an electrical problem, you need to make sure you know what to test for. Each wire has a purpose. One part of the engine can shut down another part. You need to know how many volts you are testing for on each wire. You can use a voltage meter to test for current. I hope this helps you and thank you for reading. Thanks for using FixYa and best of luck
Posted on Apr 28, 2011
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
SOURCE: possible fuel pump??
What is the year, make and model? One thing you can do to see if the problem is the fuel pump is to hook up a fuel pressure guage on the fuel rail located on the top o the engine. The valve that you hook the guage up to loos similar to the valve stem on a bike tire or car this will tell you if you are getting fuel pressure or not. Another common problem is the fuel pump relay which can sometimes go bad. This is usually located near your fuse block and they cost around $20 dollars depending on which application requires them. Keep me posted.
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Thanks - Tech101
Posted on Jun 24, 2008
SOURCE: car wont start
Most fuel rails that distribute gas to the individual injectors have a valve on them to relieve pressure in the fuel system for service work.
It looks a lot like a standard tire valve on cars I have seen and is a convenient place to check whether fuel is available to the injectors.
Also, I'm pretty sure your car is equipped with an On Board Diagnostic (OBD) connector often located under the dashboard on the driver's side where you can connect a readout and quiry the computer for trouble codes. These devices cost anywhere from ~$30 to $200 and are simply connected to (and powered by) your car. They come with either or both a hard-copy and a CD of the codes which will tell you the source of your problem IF the problem can generate a code.
I would first locate the valve (which may have a screwed-on cap) described and push in the center pin after allowing the engine to crank for a few seconds to see if the system is pressurized. This will tell you that fuel is being pumped forward or not.
There is in most vehicles a fuel pressure regulator which feeds the fuel rail and sits between the tank and the fuel rail to maintain the proper fuel pressure. If these fail, they can also prevent the engine from running and checking them can only really be done if the engine is running unless you attach a gauge to the valve mentioned earlier and have allowed several seconds for the pump to build pressure.
It is not possible for all injectors to fail at the same time but the computer that controls them can have a problem that affects all of them.
If you do have fuel, you then need to pull any plug wire from a plug, stick a screw drive into the boot and rest the cable so that the shank of the screw driver is 1/4 to 3/4" from any part that can reasonably be identified as chassis ground and again, crank the engine for a few seconds to see if you are getting spark.
If fuel and ignition spark are there and it refuses to start, it' time for the pros to take over.
Posted on Nov 26, 2008
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