1988 Dodge Grand Caravan Won't Start - Fuel System


Question: When engine hot (about 30-40min driving), if I shut van off, it won't start up...cranks fine. First time this happened, I sprayed that "fast start" into carb & after 3 shots it started up. Wouldn't work the 2nd time. Have had fuel filter replaced which was FILLED with gunk...Unfortunately, a few months ago, I ran fuel tank down to almost empty....after that, I ran "heet" through tank and "cdr2"(??)...When engine cools off, it will usually start up ok. augh!!!


 
Technican: Hi, You gave a good description including the details which you know about. It sounds very much like the fuel pump/strainer/filter may be clogged again. Another thing you can check is to find out if there is strong spark at the time when it won't start. You need fuel and spark. With both, it should start. A test of your fuel pressure will confirm if the problem is in the filter/strainer/pump areas. Pressure should be about 30-40 psi for 6 cylinders, or 10-15 psi for 4 cylinders.
Owner: so...would you still hear a fuel pump running even if its inside the fuel tank?...the dodge shop I took it to before, who replaced the fuel filter, wants me to bring it in and leave it so they can hook it up to MUCH equipment and wait for it to get HOT...so they can "track down the problem". all I see is $$$$....If I can run the odds to heavily suspect the fuel pump, I have a mechanic friend who will replace it for me. Supposedly there are a lot of possible causes for this problem....but I suspect this problem stems from me stupidly running the tank dry (since the fuel filter was totally plugged up with sludge)....so it wouldn't seem that it would be a sensor. Am I right in my thinking? thanks!
Technican: It would make sense. You could have your mechanic friend hook up a pressure guage and you could do the same tests yourself as the shop might do. Run it till it gets hot. When it won't start, check your pressure to see if it is the same as when all ran well. Sludge can kill a pump....

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