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Fuel Filter help


I own a Dodge Grand Caravan 2004. I have all the symptoms of a clogged fuel filter- in a.m. it starts up fine but stalls when I put it in drive. Then won’t turnover unless I keep trying for at least 20 min. In the past it’s been having problems starting especially if I start it up then stop within 10 min and try to re-start. It would take a few minutes of trying to get it to turn over.

That problem has been ongoing for over 6 months and went away for a while but it finally got to this point where it’s always going to stall after starting. I had other repairs to deal with first.
I recently replaced a coolant line because of a leak and was having problems with overheating.

The symptoms match all of the clogged fuel filter symptoms I’ve found on different sites.
I watched a video of a 1998 fuel filter being changed but my Caravan looks different underneath. I looked it up in a repair manual and on this site:

and I can’t find anything just called the fuel filter? From watching videos I thought it was a standard thing and a easy fix. It is on similar Dodge Caravans at least.

My aim was to buy the part and put it in like I did with the hose/pipe but I can’t even find that this is a part on my van?

Can anyone give some insight or advice? I would like to take care of it myself if possible. I do have ramps.


Might try this, but if you do not have drive ability problems I would not jump to the conclusion it is a fuel filter.

“Then won’t turnover unless I keep trying for at least 20 min”

There seems to be a persistent confusion with a lot of people between the terms “turning over” and “starting”. If you can hear the starter motor turning the engine, then it is…turning over.

If the engine is turning over but not starting, then the problem might be related to the fuel filter, or the fuel pump, or the ignition system.

On the other hand, if the engine is not “turning over”, then it has nothing to do with any part of the fuel system, and the starter and its connections are more likely to be the source of the problem.

Please clarify “not turning over” for us, and also please tell us if the Check Engine Light is lit up.
Also…when was the fuel filter last replaced?

The fuel filter is part of the fuel pump assembly.

So if you want to change the fuel filter, you have to drop the gas tank and replace the fuel pump assembly.


The fuel filter is located 8" forward of the fuel pump above the fuel tank. The filter is accessible from the right side of the tank. Loosening the fuel tank strap bolts a little will provide more clearance for removing the line connectors from the fuel pump.

I doubt replacing the fuel filter will prevent the engine from stalling while idling. If the filter was clogged you wouldn’t be able to accelerate very well. Good fuel flow is needed during acceleration, it takes very little fuel to idle.

You will need to diagnose this problem, fuel pressure, crank signal etc.

Yes it is turning over but not starting.
Thank you for the answers, I suspected the fuel pump was part of an assembly. Also that it might not be worth changing the filter because it could be something else.

The fuel filter is at least 4 years old, daily driving-10 miles.

Nevada once it starts then acceleration isn’t a problem, in fact it helps. As long as I give it gas (if it starts) then it will not stall. I had to ride the brake to get it home from the supermarket last time I drove it. Even in the driveway it idles low and stalls out sometimes before I even put it in drive.

Agree with Nevada, the symptom of a clogged fuel filter is most often hesitation during rapid acceleration. If you think about the physics, that’s when the filter has to deliver the maximum fuel flow rate. If the vehicle seems to accelerate ok once it is warmed up and running normally, there’s no harm done in replacing the fuel filter, but it is unlikely to solve the symptoms.

Normally the first thing a pro mechanic would do with these symptoms after a quick visual assessment is to hook up a scan tool and read the diagnostic codes. If I had this problem on that vehicle, that’s where I’d start as a diy’er.

If you do decide to replace the fuel filter, make sure everything in the area you are doing the disconnecting and connecting of fuel lines is perfectly clean and pristine. Otherwise you risk getting debris into the fuel lines post-filter, and possibly clogging the injectors. And use all the safety practices recommended when working on the fuel system, e.g. having quick access to the needed size of fire extinguisher.

This really sounds to me like a problem with the IAC (idle air control). It’s mounted on the throttle body. The fact that it otherwise runs well but stalls when you take your foot off the accelerator is typical of a sticky/dirty IAC.

You can try cleaning it but if that doesn’t work you can replace it.

Offhand, this does not sound like a filter problem to me and I agree with My 2 Cents about the IAC valve. Another possibility could be a substantial vacuum leak. is a site that specializes in Chrysler vehicles, old and new. There’s a discussion group devoted to minivans and Pacifica. I’ve gotten lots of help there over the years with my Voyager and Town and Co untry minivans.