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Grand Caravan Won't start when warm

My 2004 Grand Caravan will periodically not start when it has just been driven several miles. It will crank but not turn over. A mechanic checked it out and could find nothing wrong. After I wait a few minutes it starts right up as if nothing ever happened.

Unless there is a fuel supply fault, the starter MAY have a ‘heat soak’ problem.

By ‘heat soak’, I mean the starter absorbs too much heat from the engine.

IF this is the case, a heat shield should be installed between the engine and the starter to reduce the heat.

If it hasn’t been done for a number of years, a thorough cleaning of the battery cable connectors/connections (BOTH ends and reinstalled wrench tight) should be done.

Also ensure the battery ground is clean and tight.

You need to find out if the plugs are firing when the trouble happens. If they are ok then check for a fuel delivery problem. Chances are there is an ignition problem.

After visiting with my wife we realized that this problem never happens when the van has been sitting a long time (like overnight). In each case, it has been driven, then sits for 30-60 minutes-like going into the grocery store- and then when we try to start it, it acts like it is turning over but does not start. We wait for 15-20 minutes and it starts right up. Could it still have a heat soak problem after 30-60 minutes? Since I paid the mechanic $80 I am presuming he checked the battery and spark plugs. I appreciate your thoughts on all of this.

Ok, it may not be the starter, but if the engine has been up to full operating temp and highway driven a lot of heat builds up.

In that case it would take longer than 1/2 hour to cool off.

Try this: the next time you attempt to fire up the engine and it won’t, remove the intake air hose and while someone turns the key to START, spray a little starter fluid in. NOT a lot. Do not wait 1/2 hour to try this.

If it fires up, it will be a fuel supply fault, perhaps the fuel pump or regulator.

When was the last time the fuel filter was changed? Air filter clean?

If all is working there but no start, check for a strong spark.

Like Cougar mentioned, you may have an electrical fault.

Is there ever a smell of gasoline when it won’t start? Next time it happens try flooring the accelerator pedal while the key is turned to see if that gets it going. If so then check out the fuel pressure regulator which may be bleeding gas off into the intake. If its not that it may be fuel injectors leaking into the cylinders.

If it doesn’t show any kind of problems when it is left running and hot then I’ll lean away from heat soaked ignition components, but you should also check for spark when it wont’ start.

Thanks. The next time it won’t start we will try these.

Like everybody else I am thinking fuel delivery problem. Now could it be that this is the beginning of the fuel pump going? Have them check the fuel pressure too.


Hello, I know it’s been a long time since this was posted, but wondered if this was ever resovled? My wife’s 2003 Grand Caravan just started doing the same thing. Thanks.

If it was resolved there might be a posting in this old thread that covers it. Start your own thread and the replies will be more useful.