I recently bought this van with only 100K miles second hand (meaning from the previous owner, not from the dealership). He was an older guy, probably didn't really had time to keep the vehicle up to service schedule.

I took it straight away to Tire Kingdom for tune up. As usually they all do, starting fooling me that vehicle requires lots of replacement parts, some unique, special fuel cleaning procedure, alignment, belts, shock / struts and so on. I picked up only needed procedures: simple fuel system cleaning, oil change and alignment, which totally cost me around $500.

However, shortly after I noticed some symptoms that I would like to see if someone else experienced the same:

  1. Roughly getting 15 miles per gallon in the mixed driving type (40% - highway, 60% - city). With Track off and AC off can go up to 17-19 miles per gallon.

  2. Accelerating gas pedal doesn't lead to any vehicle boost. Car feels like a pregnant cow that just about to deliver a calf. Very slowly increasing speed. I replaced an air filter, but that didn't help

  3. If gas tank if filled in full, for the first 1-2 minutes engine is shutting down and feels like choking. I have to press the gas pedal little bit and keep the RPMs at around 2K.

  4. There are absolutely no check engine light on the dashboard, but I feel that vehicle is not healthy. Can't it be that previous owner or other owners just simply unplugged the cable?

I understand that all aforementioned symptoms may be a signal of different problems, but something telling me that this might lead to one of the possible solutions:

  • either fuel filter / fuel pump is bad

  • either some sensor is bad (not sure which one exactly).

  • Maybe the catalytic converter is clogged?
    – Moab
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:22
  • So was it tuned up or not? Has the vehicle been sitting for a long time? How old is the gasoline in the tank?
    – CharlieRB
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:52
  • I mean, they said it was tuned, but I wasn't physical present at the shop while they were performing that. Yeah, the vehicle was sitting on the previous owner driveway for, I don't know, 2-3 months approximately. The gasoline that was there the moment I bought the car already burned and I filled it twice since then. Commented May 17, 2018 at 15:59
  • 3 could be a bad evap purge valve. You could try pulling or clamping the line to see if the problem improves. For the others you need to do some datalogging.
    – Ben
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 1:23
  • It sounds like you are getting an alternative source of fuel through the purge valve. If this condition was able to exist for a length of time, it could put the catalytic converter into meltdown mode from the extra fuel running through it, leading to an exhaust restriction as mentioned. An exhaust back pressure test will verify a restriction, and if you have double digit negative fuel trims that go away when the purge valve is blocked, that should tell you if the purge valve is stuck open.
    – Milison
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:56


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