The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner

2003 T/C 3.8l experiencing intermittent stalling while driving, coasting, or idling.

4009 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  blknblu
Hi guys, this is my first post. As the title says, I have a 2003 Town and Country with the 3.8l V6 engine that is experiencing intermittent stalling while driving, coasting, or idling. There seems to be no pattern to the stalling either. Sometimes it will stall right away, or I can drive it for a full day with no issues. It can either stall while idling, coasting or with the gas pedal being applied.

This stalling issue started happening after I let my brother use the van. He ran it completely out of gas while driving. I was instantly assuming it was the fuel pump that had gone bad. I took it to a reputable shop and told them that I thought it might be the fuel pump but they diagnosed it as a bad crank sensor, cam sensor and ignition coil. After they replaced those parts the stalling came right back. I took the van back to them 5 times and they were unable to find the issue.

After failed attempts with the shop I decided that I would look for the problem on my own. Opening the hood and inspecting the wires at different sensors i found that one of the wires on the ignition coil was fried with the insulation melted completely off. There was a wire connected to it and I traced that wire back to a remote starter under the dashboard that i did not know was installed in the van. That was a tach wire and it taps into the ignition coil to detect vehicle rpm. After finding that I though i had found the issue. I completely removed the remote starter and I rebuilt the ignition coil harness by running it straight to the PMC and bypassing the factory wiring. After doing this the issue still had not been resolved.

I then tried re-soldering some "cold solder points" behind the instrument cluster that seems to be a notorious problem with these vans. That just opened another can of worms, now im getting a code P1687 stating that there is a failed instrument cluster module or a poor connection between the ECM and the instrument cluster. I am very good at soldering and troubleshooting electronics and electrical systems so i'm not sure what would have gone wrong there, ill have to look into that again.

I checked the codes on the van today and there are the codes that are shown.
P0420 which seems to be related to a catalytic convertor leak, engine misfire, or a large vacume leak.

P0442: A small leak in the evap system, bad gas cap, EVAP canister cracked hose, or purge air valve defective, vacume leak at engine.

I guess my question is, has anyone had stalling issues with these symptoms. I would appreciate any help with trying to diagnose this issue.

See less See more
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Trace all the Evap hoses and get them fixed. Start with the purge valve located under the hood, sitting just left of the radiator. One hose will run to the intake manifold and the other is coming up from under the van. Pull those hoses completely off the van and inspect. My hoses were cracked around the various fittings and I would not have noticed unless I had pulled them off. Inspect the hoses under the van, especially the smaller hose that make the final run to the purge valve. I had some issues with these hoses, but did not have any stalling problems. If the final short hose coming off the purge valve is cracked, then you have a vacumn leak.

Running out of gas could have damaged the fuel pump, causing loss of fuel PSI. In turn, that could cause stalling, but I would think a code would be displayed. Misfire will also throw codes.
Thanks for the response. I'll look into the EVAP hoses. I'll also need to figure out how to diagnose the fuel pump on this van. I have a fuel pressure guage, but I do not see a schrader valve on the fuel line or rail so im not sure how to tap into it. Once I figure how to tap into the fuel line with my gauge I can jump battery power (constant 12v) to the fuel pump by bypassing the fuel pump relay. By doing that I would be able to eliminate the stalling being due to an electrical problem.
the fuel pressure adapter is described in this thread:

testing fuel pressure from the service manual:

disconnect fuel pressure line at fuel pump module
install special 5/16" fuel adapter line #6539 between disconnected fuel line and the fuel pump module
attach fuel pressure gauge to the "T" fitting on tool #6539
NOTE: fuel pressure specification is 400 KPa +/-34 KPa (58 psi +/- 5 psi)
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.