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2006 Chrysler Town And Country
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So my 2006 is my family hauler, and I’m on a very tight budget(single mom with 5 kids) and of course, my van starts having issues. It started out with it taking a while to start, then stalling out after about a 30 minutes. These I could deal with, but now when i try to start it, it sounds normal, but doesn’t start. I’ve checked the oil, coolant and those are all ok. Every now and then it will start, but it smokes and sounds terrible then cuts off. I can’t afford a trip to the mechanic, and I can’t keep walking to work, as I have to move soon due to money troubles. Any ideas as to what it could be??
It has 234k miles on it, I hope it’s not the van giving out.
 

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welcome

is the fuel pump properly priming when you turn the key to run? you should hear a whine from the back of the van for 1 - 2 seconds

what's your coolant level? any check engine lights?
 

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Do you have family or friends who are mechanically inclined?

Also, where do you live, and maybe a member can point you to a mechanic who can at least tell you what is wrong with the van.
 

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fix it if you can
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Welcome aboard, and sorry to hear of the budget troubles.

The easiest thing you can try is to depress the gas/accelerator pedal while trying to start. (Do make sure it's in park)
Your brief description fits with a 'flooded' engine - one that's getting too much fuel which could be caused by a leaky injector(s) or wiring or control problems.
 

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Welcome aboard, and sorry to hear of the budget troubles.

The easiest thing you can try is to depress the gas/accelerator pedal while trying to start. (Do make sure it's in park)
Your brief description fits with a 'flooded' engine - one that's getting too much fuel which could be caused by a leaky injector(s) or wiring or control problems.
+1

Something people seems to ignore, a leaky injector might flood the cranckase with gasoline. Once the oil is thin enough, engine will loose compression, then it will ve very hard to start, if it even start.

Ask a mechanic or good friend to check the oil, if it smells to gasoline and it is very thin, then replace the oil. It should start right away (after some cranking) but, if you fail to replace the leaky injector, problem will return very quick.

You can do it yourself if you feel you know how oil should look, smell and feel.
 

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Greetings and condolences on your situation.

While I agree with most of what was mentioned above, please do not run out and perform an oil change on the 'chance' that it may fix your van. (Unless of course you seriously need an oil change)

There are a few additional things that could be stopping you from driving rather than walking. Think about (tell us) more about how this came to be, and be as detailed as you can.

Did it happen sudden or was this a deterioration over time? I believe you said already it was getting harder to start and then it just wouldn't run.

When was the last time you fueled? I have a favorite fuel station because it is close and a fair price, I wonder if you have been getting poor quality gasoline over time... Fuel stations sometimes have a water contamination problem, although I rarely hear about that these days...

Has anyone worked on the vehicle recently? If so, what was done and how long ago?

How about maintenance? Over the 235,000 miles, have the spark plugs been changed? If so, about when and how many miles ago? (again, do yourself a favor and don't run out and change spark plugs just yet)

Considering that we are on the internet, understand it is tough to troubleshoot without actually being there and seeing, hearing, even smelling what is happening. Pictures help, a short video is sometimes telling.

Good luck. We are here to help if we can and we'd love to hear about the repair of your soccer mom mobile... grocery getter, carpool school bus...
 

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Thin oil will not cause an engine to not start. Too much gas getting into the intake/cylinders will.

Parents had a 1996 GMC Jimmy with the vortec V6 and was flooding. Read into the problem, and discovered GM put a vinyl fuel pressure hose inside the intake plenum that would split and dump raw fuel into the engine. Sure enough, that's what it was. Crankcase smelled like gas because so much had been dumped into the rear cylinders. I tore the top of the engine off and fixed the problem, but ran out of time and couldn't change the oil. I told my dad numerous times to change the oil before driving! He of course forgot, went to pass a slow truck and heard horrendous rattling. Yup, so much for that engine (and vehicle). What a money pit that thing was!

It only had a problem starting because of the flooded cylinders. If you started it with the gas pedal to the floor, it would start and run rough and smoke black and a little blue. It had over 200,000 miles on it, so likely needed the valve seals done. No compression problems, even with the extremely thin, gassy oil.
 
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... change the oil before driving! He of course forgot, went to pass a slow truck and heard horrendous rattling. Yup, so much for that engine (and vehicle). What a money pit that thing was!

It only had a problem starting because of the flooded cylinders. If you started it with the gas pedal to the floor, it would start and run rough and smoke black and a little blue. It had over 200,000 miles on it, so likely needed the valve seals done. No compression problems, even with the extremely thin, gassy oil.
A thing about the horrors 'gassy' oil...
...it evaporates.

There is a little known fuel crankcase injection system for four stroke engines that are operated in cold climates.
When you land on the frozen tundra, before you shut down the engine, you turn on a valve and pump system that adds fuel to the oil.
The system facilitates cranking and starting of a cold soaked engine where the cold, thick oil would inhibit a start.

This is sometimes used on reciprocal aircraft and is considered safe. My point being, the gasoline will evaporate out of an engine crankcase shortly after engine gets up to operating temperature.

momof5 needs guidance to get their van back running without loading up the parts cannon and spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
welcome

is the fuel pump properly priming when you turn the key to run? you should hear a whine from the back of the van for 1 - 2 seconds

what's your coolant level? any check engine lights?
It’s making the sound, and the coolant is a little above the minimum sign. It probably does need to be filled again though. The check engine light is on, and has been on for a while, although I did get it to go off before inspection. It’s been off and on for most of the time I’ve had it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Will try this, thank you!!
Thin oil will not cause an engine to not start. Too much gas getting into the intake/cylinders will.

Parents had a 1996 GMC Jimmy with the vortec V6 and was flooding. Read into the problem, and discovered GM put a vinyl fuel pressure hose inside the intake plenum that would split and dump raw fuel into the engine. Sure enough, that's what it was. Crankcase smelled like gas because so much had been dumped into the rear cylinders. I tore the top of the engine off and fixed the problem, but ran out of time and couldn't change the oil. I told my dad numerous times to change the oil before driving! He of course forgot, went to pass a slow truck and heard horrendous rattling. Yup, so much for that engine (and vehicle). What a money pit that thing was!

It only had a problem starting because of the flooded cylinders. If you started it with the gas pedal to the floor, it would start and run rough and smoke black and a little blue. It had over 200,000 miles on it, so likely needed the valve seals done. No compression problems, even with the extremely thin, gassy oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Greetings and condolences on your situation.

While I agree with most of what was mentioned above, please do not run out and perform an oil change on the 'chance' that it may fix your van. (Unless of course you seriously need an oil change)

There are a few additional things that could be stopping you from driving rather than walking. Think about (tell us) more about how this came to be, and be as detailed as you can.

Did it happen sudden or was this a deterioration over time? I believe you said already it was getting harder to start and then it just wouldn't run.

When was the last time you fueled? I have a favorite fuel station because it is close and a fair price, I wonder if you have been getting poor quality gasoline over time... Fuel stations sometimes have a water contamination problem, although I rarely hear about that these days...

Has anyone worked on the vehicle recently? If so, what was done and how long ago?

How about maintenance? Over the 235,000 miles, have the spark plugs been changed? If so, about when and how many miles ago? (again, do yourself a favor and don't run out and change spark plugs just yet)

Considering that we are on the internet, understand it is tough to troubleshoot without actually being there and seeing, hearing, even smelling what is happening. Pictures help, a short video is sometimes telling.

Good luck. We are here to help if we can and we'd love to hear about the repair of your soccer mom mobile... grocery getter, carpool school bus...
The previous owner claimed to have changed them not to long before I bought it, at 180k miles, although she was a little iffy lol. Heres the months before everything happened. It ran pretty good for how old and how many miles it had (thank goodness!) I got the oil changed about 4 months before this, put in a new air filter, and checked the coolant. Then, about 1 and a half month ago, the engine seemed to be running rougher and rougher, but still worked, and this is when it took longer and longer to start then started stalling shortly after! When it would stall, I could start it right back up. It started smoking a little before it completely died. I’m have a feeling it’s something with the fuel pump because even though it makes the normal sound, I don’t think it’s ever been replaced so maybe it’s just aging.
I have a friend that knows more about cars and has fixed a few other cars.
 

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Losing coolant, age, slowly running worse and smoke (probably steam) from the engine - - sounds like a leaking lower intake manifold gasket. Would need to do a pressure test of the cooling system and check for leakdown.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok so I’m moving back in with my mom for a while, and I got it to start, it seems to be running ok. I’m moving out Wednesday so hopefully I can keep it running to get to my moms. I’m getting some money soon so I will just use my moms car until I can hopefully get a used Pacifica!
 

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fix it if you can
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If you got it to start and run ok by depressing gas pedal, it could also be that the evap system is dumping raw gas in the intake after the van sits and liquid gas leaks into / accumulate in charcoal canister(especially if this happens after you fill the tank) - could be as simple as leaking evap purge valve (aka solenoid).

For that check engine light, put your key in ignition cylinder and cycle quickly:
Lock->OFF->RUN->OFF->RUN->OFF->RUN (do not start the engine) and look at the odometer readout, record the codes until you see 'donE'
 

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Getting the codes is the first step in a diagnosis. Might be something minor. Don't assume the worst based on quasi data.

Could be that you don't need a used Pacifica. They aren't inexpensive either. Wouldn't be my choice for value.
 

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Thin oil will not cause an engine to not start.
Sorry but yes it will.

Seen it many times back on the carbureted era.

Some times I even had to inject some engine oil inside each cylinder for compression to build up.


Yes, thin oil can prevent your engine from starting!
 

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For that check engine light, put your key in ignition cylinder and cycle quickly:
Lock->OFF->RUN->OFF->RUN->OFF->RUN (do not start the engine) and look at the odometer readout, record the codes until you see 'donE'
Yes, get the Check Engine Light codes and post them here.

1st, set the trip meter on the speedometer to read the 235,000 miles. then:Without cranking the engine, turn the key : ON- OFF - ON - OFF - ON and read the codes displayed on the digital odometer.

Like atoman said above.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been on here, and I thought I should update everyone. I’ve been living with my mom for a few months now, working and Saving up money for when I move out (hopefully early August). Ive saves up a decent amount of money from work, and I still have the money I came into from inheritance. I really haven’t driven the van since I got to my moms, it’s been about a month since I last even opened the door lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been on here, and I thought I should update everyone. I’ve been living with my mom for a few months now, working and Saving up money for when I move out (hopefully early August). Ive saves up a decent amount of money from work, and I still have the money I came into from inheritance. I really haven’t driven the van since I got to my moms, it’s been about a month since I last even opened the door lol.
I have actually gotten a new Town and Country. I got a very good deal on it, it has no issues, 85k miles and it great condition. It’s a 2015 limited! I still have money from inheritance so it’s not like I spent all my money on it. I still have the old van and when I plan on buying a mobile home I’m going to keep it as a second car to have in emergencies, to let friends/family borrow, etc. If anyone is reading this, I hope you have a nice day!
 
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