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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2003 T&C died while the wife was driving yesterday. Thinking it ran out of gas, I added 5 gallons. We've had trouble with the battery, so I jumped it with my truck, after numerous attempts, it started, but it died again after driving it about a mile or so. Suspecting the fuel pump is failing, I looked in the Haynes repair manual and read that the PCM (powertrain control module) might not work properly with a weak battery, so I bought a new battery. It won't start. The fuel pump is still a suspect, but I noticed 2 things: 1. there is a broken piece where the throttle cable comes into the engine compartment (see photo,
62399
) but I think it has been that way for a long time without causing this problem, and 2. the gas pedal feels "soft" for lack of a better term. My wife said that during the mile that she was able to drive it, the pedal felt normal, until it died. My thought is to test the fuel pump pressure, but I'm wondering what to look for regarding the gas pedal/throttle cable. The repair manual wasn't very clear. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When it won't start, see if it will start and run for a few seconds on starting fluid or carb cleaner.
Yes, Sir. That's a good idea, and I will do it. Just picked up a can of starting fluid spray, but the car is across town where we had to leave it. I'll post the result here later today.
 

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Is there spark when it won't start?

Did you try banging on the bottom of the gas tank when it wouldn't start? Sometimes that vibration is enough to restart a failing fuel pump. When the pump in my 2000 died, it would stay running as long as I was outside of the van kicking the gas tank. I couldn't drive it like that, so had to tow it to the next town and change the fuel pump.

The broken thing where the cable is coming out of is the cruise control servo, not the gas pedal cable. It won't affect running (unless it's damaged and creating a large vacuum leak).

2001-2003 vans used separate ECM and TCM (for Engine and Transmission computers). In 2004 they were combined into a larger unit called the PCM located in the front driver's wheelwell/frame area behind the bumper cover (where the old TCM used to be). Your engine computer should be the big gray box in front of the battery and fuse box, right behind the headlight.

Since you have a 2003, have you checked the fuel injector harness for melted wires/shorting? There's a pinned thread on this at the top of this section of the forum.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is there spark when it won't start?

Did you try banging on the bottom of the gas tank when it wouldn't start? Sometimes that vibration is enough to restart a failing fuel pump. When the pump in my 2000 died, it would stay running as long as I was outside of the van kicking the gas tank. I couldn't drive it like that, so had to tow it to the next town and change the fuel pump.

The broken thing where the cable is coming out of is the cruise control servo, not the gas pedal cable. It won't affect running (unless it's damaged and creating a large vacuum leak).

2001-2003 vans used separate ECM and TCM (for Engine and Transmission computers). In 2004 they were combined into a larger unit called the PCM located in the front driver's wheelwell/frame area behind the bumper cover (where the old TCM used to be). Your engine computer should be the big gray box in front of the battery and fuse box, right behind the headlight.

Since you have a 2003, have you checked the fuel injector harness for melted wires/shorting? There's a pinned thread on this at the top of this section of the forum.
Thanks, Road Ripper. We finally got to the car while still daylight. First just tried to start it, it ran a couple of seconds then died. Tried several times, same thing. Then I used the starting fluid spray as suggested by marvinstockman earlier. It kept running as long as I sprayed a shot every few seconds into the air intake tube just behind the air filter. I took the wife to her appointment and came home. I was expecting her to call me, but she surprised me by driving home in the car.! She says it's not driving right, but she managed to start it and drive the 5 miles from where it was to home. So now (well tomorrow) I'll need to figure out what's the status of the vehicle and whether it's safe to use or is there another breakdown waiting to happen. I guess I'll start by driving around the block, and by getting a readout of the computer codes. I like these vans; this is my 4th one, but it's approaching 300,000 miles, and I'm not eager to put much $$$ into repairs, or time and energy either, but we'll do what we gotta do. I appreciate this forum. I've learned a lot. I didn't see any melted or loose wires, but I'll read the thread and look more thoroughly. I'm glad the car is home and my wife is safe even though I'm puzzled. A fuel pump starting to go out might explain the intermittent problem. She works at night and I'd feel much better if I knew the vehicle was dependable. I'll post an update here if I know anything for sure. Thanks again everybody. You guys are the best!
 
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