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05 Grand Caravan Stalled After Fill Up

Hey guys -

Tonight my friend borrowed my car. While gone he filled it up, because the tank was close to empty. He said the guy at the station over filled it. Anyway, before he got back to me, he called me and the car had stalled. He said it felt like the transmission was struggling. Checked the fluids and everything was fine.

I walked over and met him. We started the car up again. It seemed to struggle, but turned on, then stalled again. Turned it on again, and it was kinda lunging for a while, even while I was coasting, but it eventually seemed pretty normal over the next 15 minutes or so.

I’ve heard that the EVAP system can be behind this. If so, is this something that can be fixed? Or just an ongoing problem with the car? I know going from empty to over-filled can also be an issue with this.

Anyway, is there anything else this could be? And if not, what should I do to fix it?


Yes, the EVAP system could be the problem. If the charcoal canister was saturated with liquid gas, the gas tank will not be able to breath in, a vacuum will develop in the tank’s air space, and th epump will be unable to pump gas at the necessary pressure… it’ll be fighting the vacuum.

However, don’t assume anything. This could also be a coincidence. Have the vehicle towed to a reputable shop and diagnosed.

Oh thanks!

Well, I don’t have to tow it, because it’s running now.

It must have sucked in some air as the gas in the charcoal bed evaporated into the vent line. You lucked out, my friend. Hopefully the bed will dry itself out now.

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Ah. I’ll let my mechanic know that. I was just driving to him and it stalled out on the way, but then ran fine again by the time I got it to him.


You could have gotten some water with the gas your friend bought. Try a can of gas drying chemical.

Another idea, if your friend isn’t used to the gas station routine, in particular the labeling on the pumps, they may have accidentally put diesel fuel into the tank. That’s a common cause of “stalls after fuel re-fill” in my circle of friends. Typically in that case it won’t start at all once it stalls though, so hopefully that’s not the problem. But still a possibility, esp if not too much got put in. Ask your friend to accompany you to the gas station and have him show you how they did the refill, which pump they used. If they still have the receipt, the station might be able to tell which pump the used too.

As mentioned above, if the evap canister gets submerged in fuel b/c of over-filling the tank, that can cause bits of charcoal to go places it shouldn’t, like lodging in a purge valve, or clogging a vent line, and could potentially cause this symptom. You might try running it w/the fuel cap loosened, see if that makes any difference. If it helps you may have some kind of vapor lock in the fuel system going on. Best of luck.