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Chris, Shop Foreman
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 12583
Experience:  Dodge/Cummins and Chrysler Certified Master Tech
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dodge 3.8 liter grand caravan: *2002 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8

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*2002 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8 engine*
Filled up gas on low tank & 10 minutes later while in a turn, the engine died like cutting off a switch. It started immediately with zero problems. Thought bad gas! Next morning after backing down driveway to street (inclined driveway), I put in Drive & as soon as I touched the accelerator to move forward, it died like cutting off a switch. No shuddering or rough idle & no rpm or speed problem. Later on at stop light, dies again like cutting off a switch. Starts immediately & instantly with no hesitations & runs and accelerates perfectly. It may go a day or 2 before it does this series of events again. There is never any rhyme or reason to it. It dies without warning & dies instantly--but starts almost quicker than it died. On occasion, it may offer a small "jerk" when re-started & putting in drive to accelerate but will move right on with no more faults--till the next unknown time. It also does it in reverse and whether or not I let it warm up (I live in Houston). I have taken it to a repair shop knowing what the answer would be---"IF IT AIN'T BROKE, I CAN'T FIX IT". No one has ever been able to duplicate the problem at a shop--I even left it a week at one place I trusted--still no duplication of the problem--till I got it back home & it started again the next morning.
Hello, my name isXXXXX you for allowing me to assist you!

There are 3 common causes for this. 1 a failing crank shaft position sensor, 2 a failing cam shaft position sensor, and 3 a failing PCM (engine computer). Either one can act up when the engine warms up. Do this: try to get your van to an auto parts store like AutoZone and ask them to connect their scan tool to your vehicle and check for any trouble codes. If there is a code for "loss of crank sensor signal or cam shaft sensor signal" then have the appropriate sensor replaced. If there are no codes at all, then suspect a failing PCM and have it replaced. Most auto parts stores will connect their scan tool for no charge to you. Now if you do go with a cam or crank sensor, PLEASE use only Mopar brand sensors. I say this because I have seen some issues with the after market sensors installed in any Chrysler product.

Hope this information helps, and let me know if you need more assistance with this.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

These symptoms happen even on a cold engine---does this change your advice?

Not really, I have seen the sensors "glitch" at any temperature. They usually act up when the engine gets up to an operating temp, but I have seen them do this on cold engines. One other thing you might want to do, is to clean the inside of the throttle body with a can of spray throttle body cleaner. That can sometimes cause low speed stalling. Just a thought,

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry--Last question!

Does it make any difference as to when the "scan" is done?? Immediately after the problem--or can it be day-week or anytime?


Well do the scan within at least 50 key cycles after the problem happens because if a code does set, it will be cleared by the PCM after 50 ignition key cycles. So have it checked as soon as you can,


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