Stalling problem

2001 Ford Grand Caravan Minivan. Car was starting in the morning but if I stopped driving after ~5 min it would be hard to start again. Engine turns over but it idles for a second then sputters out. Or won’t fully turn over. But it always eventually started.

Now it’s happening all the time (except for the 1st time I start it in the a.m.). It sounds like it’s going to turn over but won’t. Sometimes it will start and then peter out or when I put it in drive it stalls out.
I got stuck yesterday and came back to it a few hours later and it started. Now it seems to stall if I just let it idle. I had to ride the brake to get it home, having to press the brake and the gas at the same time during red lights so it wouldn’t stall. As long as it’s reved up it won’t stall out.

It does have a problem I’ve been trying to fix, a leak in a metal pipe near the front. It leaks coolant/water so I have been putting water in each time I drive. But it still unavoidably has gotten hot a bunch of times. It did stall out because of heat, I know that may have caused problems. I tried to JB Weld the hole but it didn’t work, going to try again. But now it’s stalling so much I can’t even get it up on my ramps.
It has had very low gas levels lately because I’m budgeting. But before I got stuck yesterday I gassed it up with $6. Stalled at gas station, started then stalled at supermarket and would not start until a few hours later. So I wasn’t out of gas.

Thanks for any suggestions!


Ford Grand Caravan?


Had a friend that drove one for years with a bad head gasket, Adding coolant was a weekly ritual. Get the battery tested for free at a cooperating parts store, clean all battery cable connections,New battery and new fuel pump my guess as long as the oil looks good. Head gasket when you can.

Will a head gasket crack cause stalling?

And Yes, thank you, I meant Dodge Grand Caravan.

I did hook my battery up to another vehicle while I was trying to start it yesterday. I let it charge up and it still wouldn’t start, even hooked up to another battery. It did eventually.
Would that rule out a battery problem?
It doesn’t show any signs of low battery when trying to start, I’m very familiar with that scenario.
I’ll will clean them anyhow thanks.

The repeated overheating is destroying the engine’s crank & rod bearings, as well perhaps as other components (like cylinder walls). The fact that “it stalled out once because of heat” suggests that the bearings are self destructing and seizing. My guess is that they’re no longer able to freely ride on their fluid barriers the way they should and are binding up.

Before sinking any money into this, you may want to have the bearing cap furthest from the oil pump pulled to assess the condition of the engine… and maybe even a second one. If they’re scarred… or worse, spun… your options become a replacement engine (boneyard or rebuilt) or a total rebuild (not recommended).

If you decide to do this, post the results.

I think it’s the lack of compression and misfiring that is keeping the engine from running.
Don’t overheat the engine in your next car.