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Electrical Problems

'98 Dodge Caravan occasionally loses power and dies while driving. No power steering or brakes. Have changed alternator, battery, starter, computer, and starter switch. What else could it be? Ideas please…

Wow, lots of parts here. What’s the engine in your Caravan? Does the engine just quit while you’re driving? Does it restart if you try to? If not, does the engine crank but not start or does nothing happen when you turn the key? What do you have to do to get it started again? Has anyone checked the computer for fault codes?

No idea of your Caravan has the same problem as my recently-deceased 1999 Ford Escort, but it occasionally did the same thing. It was very infrequent, like maybe once a year. It only happened when I was either in neutral or had the clutch in, so it would always fire right back up as soon as I let the clutch out (assuming I was still moving), as if it was being roll-started. I believe the problem was with the idle air control valve not letting enough air into the engine.

“loses power” could mean quite a few things,I am concluding you mean the car starts to slow down (not loses power as no electrical power,but who knows).If it is the engine losing power how about hanging a fuel pressure gague on it and driving around until it “loses power” then make note of the fuel pressure?

Clearly the next step is to replace the engine.

You don’t have power steering or brakes because the engine is off.

The starter doesn’t make the engine run. Why did you replace it?

Is it possible that you (by “you” I mean the vehicle) have a loose or corroded electrical connection somewhere?

How long does it take to start after failure?

Here’s an idea. Take it to a mechanic.

There’s not enough info known to make much of a guess as we do not know if it’s due to a lack of spark or lack of fuel, or possibly both as they’re intertwined to some degree.

A couple of known possibilities could be a faulty ASD relay (automatic shutdown relay) or a failing fuel pump. Either one can cause a hit and miss problem like this.

Check the battery to chassis grounding for a problem. Also verify that power is getting to the power distribution panel under the hood when this trouble happens. If that is ok then you need to make sure power is getting to the dash panel fuses.