Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Dodge Caravan, Stalling
Q: Hi! I certainly hope you can help me!
I have an Ď88 Caravan that stalls all the time. I just put almost $1000
into this van in 3 days, got the van back and it stalled again the next
morning. The van will jerk a couple of times, like it is missing, then
the RPM meter will go down to zero and then the car just shuts off. Sometimes
it starts again and sometimes it doesn't and I have to be towed. I have
had new MAP sensor, shut down relay, ignition coil, computer and oxygen
sensor put in this van. I need to keep this van running for awhile longer.
Can you help? Thanks so much....Kathie..
didnít say which engine was in your van, but from your complaint Iím willing
to bet coffee that it is a 3.0 liter V-6 engine. In the distributor of
your vehicle there is a Photo Optic Sensor (a.k.a. ignition module). This
unit is small enough to hide in your hand, yet can easily cause a pile
of towing bills. The information provided by this module allows the computer
to calculate when to send spark to a spark plug and when itís time to
open a fuel injector. This information is critical to the computer, if
it goes amuck the vehicle just stops doing anything useful and blocks
traffic. Then it gets real fun because the electronics in the module will
wake-up and act as if there was never a problem. This transpires usually
after the module has had a good rest, while your vehicleís being towed.
Just to make things more interesting to the technician diagnosing, the
computer will have no information to indicate that there was ever a problem.
So, before any more parts are installed have your tech look closely at
the Photo Optic Sensor.