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2003 Caravan only starts with Starting Fluid

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Old 08-13-2011, 04:42 PM
stufferron stufferron is offline
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Unhappy 2003 Caravan only starts with Starting Fluid

Everytime I try to start my 2003 Caravan 3.3L it just turns over. I really have to play with the gas pedal. May start and may not. It does start right away if I spray starting fluid in the intake. After it starts it runs fine, no miss and idles smooth. After I stop and turn off the engine it will not start unless I use starting fluid. Cold or Hot engine, makes no difference. I did get a code PO108. So I replaced the MAP Sensor. This did not make a difference. Sure need some help on this one.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:04 PM
jeremywatson jeremywatson is offline
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Don't have a ton of experience on these Dodges myself. Although I've had mine for years, it hasn't given me much trouble. So, bear with me. But, I've had similar experiences with other cars.

Sounds like an obvious fuel/air problem. Not sure exactly which parts these vans have on them, but I'd start with suspecting a MAP problem (but you've changed that), a dirty throttle body, a bad throttle position sensor (if these vans have them) and a clogged or bad idle air control valve (or whatever similar things these vans have).

I'm working from what my 3.8 looks like, so your 3.3 might be a little different. But, I'd start by checking to make sure the breather hose is firmly attached to the throttle body. A leak there could mimic a MAP failure as extra air could be coming in after the MAP and reaching the engine without being measured by the MAP. Next, I'd remove the breather hose and clean the throttle body thoroughly with cleaner and a toothbrush. Pay special attention to where the butterfly meets the sides of the body and the butterfly pivot points to make sure it is able to close all the way and to open and close smoothly. (*** Also, make sure you use an electronics safe throttle body cleaner. Regular old carb cleaner can mess up electronics. ***)

Then, I see two electronic components on the back of my throttle body: one at the top and one at the bottom. One is likely the TPS (or something similar) and the other an IACV (or something similar). I'm not sure how to test these on a Dodge, but you could start by removing the connectors, examining the wires closely, cleaning the contacts with electronics cleaner, and then reattaching.

From the looks of mine, I'd guess the lower one is the IACV. Either way, if one is an IACV, then it will have a small port that runs into the throttle body. It will look like a little hole inside there somewhere. When you're cleaning the throttle body, make sure you don't wash extra trash down into it to clog it up, and if it looks clogged or dirty, clean it as best you can.

If the problems you are describing were happening on one of my old Jags, then those things would fix it 90% of the time. Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:11 AM
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master tech master tech is offline
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Welcome to DF
First thing I would do is check the fuel pressure. 2nd thing is check the wire harness on the back of the cylinder head and you will find it on the rear spark plug bracket. Open the harness up, it will only cost you a roll of tape if that is not the problem. The minivans have a problem melting wires and causing a lot of codes, like P0108 map sensor.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:21 AM
stufferron stufferron is offline
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Thanks for the info, I will check the wires tonight. Just to be sure, what do you mean about the back of the engine? When I am standing in front of the car looking at the engine do you mean between the fire wall and the engine or the left or right of the engine. (sideways engine) If I can't find a short I will replace the fuel pump. I might as well replace the filter while I have the tank down.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:47 PM
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Cylinders number 1,3 and 5. between the bulkhead/firewall and the head.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:25 PM
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lovvorn lovvorn is offline
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Default New Spark Plugs !

Hi , My daughter had the same problem !! I installed new spark plugs an the engine starts right up now . Bud
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:30 PM
rickker rickker is offline
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Cool van wont start when cold ????

Hi new here need help please. my 2002 caravan 2.4 L . wont start every 3 or 4 days in the morning. i have to use starting fluid to get it started. then its fine . only code is p0118. any thoughts ?
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:32 PM
steak59 steak59 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickker View Post
Hi new here need help please. my 2002 caravan 2.4 L . wont start every 3 or 4 days in the morning. i have to use starting fluid to get it started. then its fine . only code is p0118. any thoughts ?
that's a code for coolant temp sensor. disconnect it and see if it starts. or just throw one on it since they r cheap.
Click the image to open in full size.

Coolant temp sensor is #2, on the passenger side of the motor, slightly below the fuel rail.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:02 AM
rickker rickker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steak59 View Post
that's a code for coolant temp sensor. disconnect it and see if it starts. or just throw one on it since they r cheap.
Click the image to open in full size.

Coolant temp sensor is #2, on the passenger side of the motor, slightly below the fuel rail.
thank you i will do that today.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:02 AM
 
 
 
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