1996 Dodge Caravan


I recently acquired a 1996 Dodge Caravan. From all indications, the van appears very nice. The vehicle would not idle, like it is not getting gas to the engine. It attempts to start but stops immediately. Could this be something else.I am in the process of replacing the fuel filter which some nice designer decided to locate on top of the fuel tank. I do not know where to begin. Please help.




If the engine runs as long as you hold the ignition key to START, then, it’s the ignition switch not sending power to the ignition when the key is released to RUN. You need the wiring diagram and a multimeter to check it out.


The engine does not run nor does it idle. It tries to run but has not.
Thanks for your kind response.



Spray some starter fluid into the intake and see it the engine will run with it. If it does then you know for sure that it is a fuel problem.


You might also want to check to see if it is getting spark. Buy one new spark plug. Carry the plug with you and the next time it does not start, get out and pull one plug wire off (pull on the socket part not the wire) put the new plug on that wire and hold the threads of the plug tight against the engine block while you have someone try to start the car. You should see a bright blue spark, and if you are not holding the plug with an insulated tool, you will also see stars! This can rule out a spark problem.


It is hard to be sure of a symptom on the Internet. I am not totally clear exactly what it is doing. But, I can tell you something to check to eliminate one possible problem.

If the idle speed actuator is really messed up, it may not be opening the air bleed to let it start by itself.

Try holding down the throttle with your foot a bit, then hit the starter. If it still does not start and run, then the problem is NOT the idle speed actuator.

It by accident it would start and run with your foot holding down the throttle a bit, then the idle speed control needs to be replaced.


Thank Y’all for your responses. I have not checked whether or not it is getting any spark. That will come later. I am fixing to replace the idle air control module and the trottle position sensor/control module. If it fails to run after, I will then check for sparts. I am hoping that sparks will fly after that. Joke.



You did not say if it started when you held the throttle down with your foot. To me, that would be the only time the idle actuator would need replaced. I hope I made that clear.



you dont need to replace every part, until it runs, you only need to replace THE part which is not working.

finding THE part that is broken is the trouble.