T.J. SuperDork
Dec. 26, 2010 12:19 p.m.

The in-laws 2004 Chrysler Town & Country minivan has developed a problem in the last couple months where following a fuel fill up the van will stumble and bog down for a couple minutes after leaving the gas station. A quick bit of googling was enough for me to learn that it not an uncommon problem. Most things I found either just report the problem or say that the entire gas tank needs replacing. Some say this is due to a faulty rollover valve, some say it is an issue with the evaporation system sucking liquid fuel instead of fumes. Some people get stalls others just get rough running and lack of power and some people report that the engine stalls and the steering and braking systems become inoperable. That one I understand, but what it the root cause here and how can it be fixed?

The dealer reprogrammed the transmission computer to 'fix' this a couple months ago. That improved the shifting, but not the real problem. I think they may have also replaced some sort of solenoid or valve in the evap system. Not sure exactly what they did, but it didn't fix the issue. They are in town for Christmas and I figured if I could get the answer to their problem it would be here.

Thanks, T.J.

Streetwiseguy HalfDork
Dec. 26, 2010 1:11 p.m.

If they are of the old school where they top off the tank after the nozzle shuts off, tell them to quit. The only thing that could cause rough running after filling would be drawing excess gas through the evaporative emmissions purge valve, and unless the system is replaced with a redesigned cannister/tank/lines, the only solution might be to not fill all the way.

Ranger50 HalfDork
Dec. 26, 2010 3:00 p.m.

Ditto on the carbon canister being filled with liquid fuel instead of vapor. You are best to replace it, as the sytem is "closed" and the vapor pressures never cause it to leach out of the canister.

I would also suspect/inspect the PCV valve, the EVAP line in the engine compartment, and the throttle body for cleanliness.


Stealthtercel Reader
Dec. 26, 2010 4:50 p.m.

I'm old enough to be old school, but I didn't know about this "don't top off the tank" stuff. Is it really a no-no? I typically put a litre or so in the MPV after the automatic shut-off, or at least keep pumping to the next whole dollar. Am I doing something wrong here?

T.J. SuperDork
Dec. 26, 2010 6:00 p.m.

Assuming the problem is the valve on the top of the fuel tank that somehow is supposed to let vapors pass while blocking liquid has failed, what is the grassroots method to repair it besides an entirely new gas tank?

Wayslow Reader
Dec. 27, 2010 9:28 a.m.
T.J. wrote: Assuming the problem is the valve on the top of the fuel tank that somehow is supposed to let vapors pass while blocking liquid has failed, what is the grassroots method to repair it besides an entirely new gas tank?

We had the same issue with my wife's old T&C. My grassroots fix was to never fill the tank to the brim. fixed the problem and the cost was $0.

T.J. SuperDork
Dec. 27, 2010 4:02 p.m.

That's what I told them to try. Told them next tank stop about 3/4 full and see if they can live with that. Better price than a new gas tank or a new vehicle.

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