T&C trouble starting and "misfiring"?



Having a problem with my wife’s van. 98’ Town and Country. Changed the fuel filter and fuel pump about 3 weeks ago. Purchased from one of the “Big” auto parts stores and was told from some other mechanics that was a bad idea b/c I should have purchased from a higher end parts store. I am having a couple of problems and not sure if they are tied together or two separate problems. #1 my van has trouble starting. Took it to a mechanic and had fuel pressure checked and it read steady at 50, but when I turned the van off it went down to 20. So when the van sits for a small amount of time it takes the gas a long time to start the van. So should I take the pump off and return for another or maybe it is my fuel pressure regulator, which I can not find. #2 I haven’t had a tune up in a couple of years and now accelerating to 40 mph the van shakes and the engine wants to stall and I hear a “misfire” or “popping” noise under the hood. If I ease into 40-50 mph or gun, or ease off when the car starts to act up, I can get through it and then at 60mph on the highway she drives as smooth as glass. Hope you can help.


That’s a fairly confusing post. It helps folks if you break things up into paragraphs/smaller chunks. It also helps if you are more clear about things.

Maybe you could describe “has trouble starting” - what it does and under what kinds of conditions. (Hot, cold, whenever; turning over and not firing or not turning over…)

You say your current fuel pressure is 50psi. What is it supposed to be? Is that just static pressure? What happens to the pressure is the engine is revved up for a while?

You say the pressure drops down to 20 when you turn the van off. Well, how long does that take? Is it immediate? Either way a new fuel pump should be able to go from 0psi to running without much trouble. If the pressure bleed off is especially rapid and does not build up fairly quickly then I would be thinking about pulling that fuel pump again - after checking the pressure regulator.

If you can’t find your fuel pressure regulator, then I think you should probably just have a mechanic diagnose it. It will be a little canister-looking thing, often chrome, at the end of the fuel rail with a vacuum tubing connected to it. Pull that vacuum line and look for raw gasoline. If you have any replace the regulator. Either that or at least pick up a Haynes manual for it at an auto parts store.

But it also sounds like you may be having ignition problems - have you inspected plugs, wires & connections at the coil? The coil can be tested.


Start with new plugs,wires and dist cap. Even if it does not fix you know it needs it.
Try that and post exactly what and when it is running bad.