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Sputtering Voyager

Q. Driving down the freeway the other day, the engine died. We got pulled over and tried to restart. Engine would sputter but would not produce enough power to get going. Tried to start the engine 10-12 times over the next ½ hour and it would start and we could start driving for 3-5 seconds then it would die again. After about ½ hour the car started up and ran fine the rest of the way home.

  • 1994 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE
  • 3.0 liter V-6 engine
  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles
  • Fuel Injection
  • P/S, A/C, Cruise control

This same problem had occurred two years ago with the same scenario.

A neighbor has a similar van with the same symptoms. A shop told them it was the electric fuel pump. They had the pump replaced but the problem occurred again. The fuel pump was again replaced but the problem has continued. I am wondering if it may be the pickup coil/ignition module in the distributor as I had a similar intermittent problems years ago on a Dodge Aries and replacing the pickup coil solved the problem. These parts are quite expensive so I don't want to just start swapping out parts.


A. The two problems can display similar symptoms and it can be difficult to troubleshoot. The fuel pump is the more common cause and the chances of a new fuel pump correcting this condition are pretty good. Personally the first thing I would checks if you came into my shop would be the fuel pump. I would also be very careful because I know this model has had problems with the pickup coil and ignition module. I have several sets of known good test components that I can use to confirm a diagnosis and see if it does repair the problem.

A fuel pressure test and an engine scoping will be able to tell definitively where the problem lies.

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