96 Stratus stalling/not starting

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Old 05-28-10, 10:45 AM
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96 Stratus stalling/not starting

96 Dodge Stratus, 2.5L V6, 106K miles

Bought it from my old man (original owner) about three years ago. It was my wife's car but I got it back about a month ago in the divorce. It had been running fine the last I knew but it pretty much sat unused for the winter.

It stalls on me when driving. Usually only once and I can restart it after 20-30 seconds. No check engine light when this happens. Sometimes it doesn't stall but hesitates like it's going to stall and then catches again on its own. A couple days ago I had trouble starting it but it caught after a minute. Last night it took a good dozen attempts over 10-15 minutes to get it started. After 6-8 tries I went back and smelled the tail pipe and smelled nothing at all, which backed up my idea that it's not getting gas.

My thought is fuel pump but looking for some more educated opinions on this.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-28-10, 04:33 PM
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Don't take it some place where the mechanic, takes off his hat, goes, "huh!", and then charges you $60.

Be sure that they start running actual tests on it right away, like check the fuel pressure and also volume.

If you are somewhat handy, you could determine when you catch it not starting, if the plugs are firing or not. That will be a big clue on what direction to pursue your problem; electrical or gas.
 
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Old 05-28-10, 04:47 PM
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Try turning it on with everything else off in a quiet place. If you hear an electrical sound from the back, the problem isn't the fuel pump.
 
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Old 05-29-10, 08:58 PM
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I would suspect a bad fuel pressure regulator (FPR) or failing fuel pump. Fairly common issue with Chrystler's "cloud cars" with higher miles. If you do not have a fuel pressure guage, you can carefully push in the scrader valve, (located on fuel rail) fuel should spray out, not dribble. I recently went through this with my '96 Ply Breeze beater shortly after I had replaced the fuel pump with a cheap aftermarket unit. OEM assembly solved the problem. Crank/Camshaft position sensors could also be a suspect, although typically do set a CEL.
 
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Old 05-30-10, 05:12 AM
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Yes, fuel pressure check would be good, but in the meantime, I'd change the fuel filter as well seeing how it's been sitting etc. If it turns out pump has to be done, you'll want to put new filter on with it anyway. Sometimes a good test is to turn key to ON, only, and listen for pump to prime,("hum" from tank area) and do that about 4 times before you turn to start, and see if it starts better. Filter should be located on passenger side frame rail, near front of tank. Don't forget to relieve fuel pressure before changing filter. How does it run after first initial start-up, and running down the highway?
 
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Old 05-30-10, 05:42 AM
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I believe the fuel filter is in the tank so might as well change both filter and fuel pump is you think one or the other is bad.
 
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Old 05-30-10, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by xjfish View Post
I would suspect a bad fuel pressure regulator (FPR) or failing fuel pump. Fairly common issue with Chrystler's "cloud cars" with higher miles.
Okay, I'll bite. What is a "cloud car"? What is common - the FPR or the fuel pump? Naturally OP would lke to know, I'm sure, as fuel pump changeouts are expensive. It actually angers me the gov't caused all this and led the car mfgers to put it in an inaccessible tank, when I used to be able to change out mechanical fuel pumps in minutes, even on the side of the road.

Why should a Chrysler product be any different for having the fuel pump go out, if that is what you meant. Or do you mean the FPR going out, is a Chrysler problem?

My dad had a beautiful silver metallic Breeze that in no way seemed like a beater - and it really had some snort, from a dead stop - and it sold right away to the first person who spotted it, and took it for a test drive. Real sporty looking car. It seemed like my 80 year old dad was younger, driving that car.
 
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Old 05-30-10, 11:40 AM
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A cloud car is a car named after a type of cloud i.e. Cirrus, Stratus.
 
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Old 05-30-10, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by NEsportsfan View Post
A cloud car is a car named after a type of cloud i.e. Cirrus, Stratus.
Of COURSE!! Duh! (slapping self). But maybe they should have nick-named it a 'weather car' though, since Breeze is not a cloud.

Now that we are on car names......(off-topic)......why did they name the Buick LaCrosse, a LaCrosse, I wonder? The town of LaCrosse is not too far away from me, and I know why they named it that. But a car? Sounds cool though.
 
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Old 07-20-10, 11:58 AM
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Update: the crankshaft position sensor was replaced and the car has not stalled in several hundred miles

I've had these go out before but it always threw a code in the computer, there was nothing this time
 
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