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post #1 of 5 Old 05-05-2019, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Engine Noise

My car makes a loud noise under the hood that I can't pin down. The noise is loud, and gets louder when the car is in gear. However, if the A/C is on, then the noise gets quieter, but a different, "chirping" sound is also heard. The car also has been hesitating somewhat when first started. Also, used to have a strong, clean start, without pressing gas pedal. Now it still starts, but seems to struggle sometimes.

Car is 2003 Dodge Caravan SE, 100,000 miles. Spark plugs and wires were just changed, and throttle body cleaned. Fuel system service done 8,000 miles ago. Water pump replaced and belt changed 5,000 miles ago.

Driving is fine. The car has lots of power since I changed the plugs. And it idles fine after I get going. It's just that noise and the rough start.

Also, had a mechanic look at it, and he took off the belt and checked the pulley and everything connected to the belt. Said everything was fine there.

Here are two videos that were taken moments apart.

The first is with A/C off:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1u464a19hv...Short.mp4?dl=0

And the second is with A/C on:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4k64skl7db...Short.mp4?dl=0

Thanks for any feedback!

Last edited by ngins; 05-05-2019 at 04:17 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-05-2019, 09:27 AM
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Re: Engine Noise

Good News...
My Son has a 2003 Grand Caravan so we have Alldata for that vehicle.

Starting with your noise...

First you need to eliminate any belt driven accessory as being the culprit.
(Idler Pulley, A/C Compressor, Alternator, Water Pump, Power Steering Pump)
1)Remove the belt(s), start the engine...
2)Is the noise still present?

Secondly, your driveabilty issue...
Pressing on the "gas pedal" does not do anything on a fuel injected car.
Opening the throttle while cranking only allows more air in, it has nothing to do with fuel.
T exception to this is "Clear Flood Mode".
If the engine is flooded then pushing the pedal to the floor while cranking tells the engine controller the engine is flooded and it shuts off the injectors until you release the pedal.
1)Are there any fault codes stored?
(You can try the key on/off on/off, on code retrieval method or go to AZ and they will scan for codes for free)

2)Check and Verify Fuel Pressure.
(Fuel Pressure needs to be 58 PSI +/- 5 PSI.
I was a Jeep Tech for 15 years and hard start in the morning/low pressure was a common problem and related to seals in the fuel pump module, your car uses the same style pump.
You are going to have to rent a fuel pressure gauge from AZ.
Testing is straight forward, I would suggest doing this in the morning after the van has sat overnight.
a)You have a service port on the front fuel rail, connect the gauge.while cranking the engine watch fuel pressure.
b)How long did it take for fuel pressure to build to specs?
c)With the engine running read fuel pressure.
d)Is fuel pressure withing specs?
e)Tape the gauge to the windshield, (You will need a helper for this) drive the car until the hesitation you described is present.
f)Did fuel pressure stay in specs when the driveabilty issue was present?

Post back with your results or if you have any questions/concerns.

Jan
1990 Daytona Shelby VNT

40 Years ASE Certified (Retired)
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-05-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Noise

Thanks for the reply! I forgot to note that I had someone look at it, and he took the belt off and checked everything (that was his first thought, as well). He said everything was fine there. I edited the post to state that.

Also edited it to note that the car drives fine once it gets started. It's only the first few moments after the start that it's rough. Once it gets going it has lots of power and drives fine.

Also, re. fuel pressure issue, would the noise heard in those videos be caused by low fuel pressure?

I should also note that this noise has been happening intermittently for some times, but now happens all the time. Also, the problem with it starting is new. So whatever the issue is, it's getting progressively worse.

Thanks.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-06-2019, 08:04 AM
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Re: Engine Noise

I do not know if your noise issue and hard starting issue are related or not, however...

As I stated previously the long crank times/hard to start after the car sits was a common problem with Chrysler vehicles and is fuel pump related.

As far as your noise...
https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/D...d-Simple-Tools
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-21-2019, 07:16 AM
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I cant say for the hard starting. But the noise sounds like the alternator. My 06 town and country had a noise i thought was A/C related because it changed like yours. Turns out they put a decoupler on the alternator they go bad and make a racket. Very common failure. Check your pulley, if you have a black cup sticking out of the middle of the pulley you have a decoupler.

Check for rust on the face of the alternator. A sign its gone bad. You can replace it but for a few bucks more you can get a whole alternator and just warranty it if the decoupler fails again.
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