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1994 Grand Caravan 3.3L 250,000 mi

When I try to start the van, the engine turns over, but doesn't fire. I verified that there was a spark at the spark plug, and I can smell gas when I remove the plugs.

This is the first time I have had any issues with the van starting (we won't mention the transmission, wheel bearings, and the myriad other issues I've had to deal with...)

Could one of you please give me some more troubleshooting steps to try? I am a somewhat experienced backyard mechanic, and am willing to try nearly anything to get this vehicle running again, as it is currently my family's only transportation.

Thanks!
:), V
 

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Have you tried starting it with the gas pedal to the floor to see if it will even fire then? Just a thought.
 

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No Start

As you know, there are many components that could be causing your problem.

If you have a multi meter and a fuel pressure gauge, check the fuel pressure at the rail. You should have 48 PSI there. Then check the primary and secondary circuits of the ignition coil; it's easiest with the coil pack removed. Then make sure you check all your plug wires for proper resistance. Resistance should be 3-12K ohms per foot.

You'll also want to check all the various electrical connections and vacuum lines.

I would also put a code scanner on it to see if you have any fault codes locked into the computer memory.

Check the battery for sufficient CCA and voltage.
 

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the simple stuff first...

did you DO anything to the van that might have caused a problem, or did you notice anything significant between when it would start, and when it wouldnt?

for my own, similar problem, i intend to do two things to begin with.

dump a bottle of 'Heet' (dry-gas) into the gas tank, which will take care of a 'water in the gas' problem...

and take out the air filter, and spray 'starting fluid' ( 'ether' ) into the engine to see if it even kicks...

i have not had any starting problems (except for a couple of very minor ones on a couple of very cold days this past winter) until now, when the engine cranks, but doesnt even seem to be firing...

hope my comments may help you...

maybe someone can help me...

(and, i have no reason to believe i have lost spark...)

regards...

dnorm
 

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I hear that cam sensor, crank sensor or broken flex plate can cause these exact symptoms a quality scanner can help pinpoint the exact problem. I also heard of corrosion on the wiring where the wires go thru the firewall can occur commonly caused by washer fluid dripping on that connector
 

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A simple way to check for fuel pressure at the injector is to use a something to press in on the schraeder valve on the fuel rail.It looks like a tire valve and should squirt fuel out if the fuel pump hasn't failed.Turn on the ignition for a couple of seconds to allow pressure to build and then turn the key off.Be careful,use a towel to catch any gas that might shoot out because it can get in your eyes.Setting the van on fire can happen but the chance is small since it doesn't run and there shouldn't be anything hot to set the gasoline off.
 

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When you turn the key on, do you hear the fuel pump pressure up? I had a similar problem once, called a friend and they told me to reach under the van and bang on the fuel tank a few times, then try it. I tried and it started right up. Turns out that's a good test to see if your fuel pump is gone, which is known to happen on these vans.
 
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