In this tutorial I'm gonna' explain how to test the fuel pump with a fuel pressure tester on the 2001-2006 2.4L DOHC Chrysler Sebring And Dodge Stratus.
With your test results you'll be able to find out if the fuel pump is defective or not.
I'm also gonna' show you how to find out if the engine is not starting due to a lack of fuel using starting fluid.
Contents of this tutorial at a glance:
NOTE: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:
- 2.4L DOHC Sebring: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
- 2.4L DOHC Sebring Convertible: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006.
- 2.4L DOHC Stratus: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump
I've found, over the years I've been working on cars, that fuel pumps usually fail in one of two ways. Either the fuel pump will stop working completely and the engine won't start.
Or the fuel pump will function but not send enough fuel to the engine. In this case the engine will start but as soon as you accelerate it under load (like when you stick it in drive and try to take off) the engine will stall or run without power.
Here are a few other symptoms you may see:
- Rough idle.
- Engine takes a long time to start (extended cranking time).
- Lack of power when accelerating the vehicle down the road.
- Engine backfires through the intake manifold when accelerating the vehicle down the road.
- Lean air fuel mixture trouble code: P0171: Fuel System Too Lean.
Tools Needed To Test The Fuel Pump Pressure
Even though the 2.4L DOHC engine's fuel system does not have a Schrader valve (to connect a fuel pressure test gauge and check fuel pressure like on the majority of Ford and GM vehicles) it's still possible to check the fuel pump's fuel pressure.
And it's done via an adapter (see photo 1 of 2 above) that is connected between the fuel injector rail and the fuel inlet line (see photo 2 of 2 above).
This adapter is called: 5/16" T Fitting Hair Pin Adapter. If you have an OTC fuel pressure test kit, the adapter part number is: OTC 518476 and this adapter can be found within the OTC 6550 Master Fuel Injection Kit.
The following 2 fuel pressure tester kits have the 5/16" T Fitting Hair Pin Adapter needed to test the fuel pressure on the 2001-2006 2.4L DOHC Chrysler Sebring And Dodge Stratus.
TEST 1: Checking Fuel Pressure With A Fuel Pressure Gauge
FUEL PRESSURE SPECIFICATION:
2001-2006 2.4L DOHC Chrysler Sebring: 53-63 PSI with the key on engine off (KOEO).
2002-2006 2.4L DOHC Chrysler Sebring Convertible: 53-63 PSI with the key on engine off (KOEO).
2001-2006 2.4L DOHC Dodge Stratus: 53-63 PSI with the key on engine off (KOEO).
To test the fuel pump a fuel pressure test gauge is connected to the fuel line, the key is turned on (but engine off) and then a professional level scan tool is used to activate the fuel pump.
The cool thing is that we don't need to use a scan tool to activate the fuel pump for the fuel pressure test.
I'm gonna' explain (in this section) how to activate the fuel pump by bypassing the fuel pump relay. This is a very easy procedure explained in detail below.
IMPORTANT: The jumper wire terminals must not be thicker than the male terminals of the fuel pump relay or you run the risk of damaging the female terminals of the fuel pump relay socket (on the fuse/relay box).
These are the test steps:
Disconnect the fuel inlet line from the fuel injector rail line (see photo 1 of 5).
NOTE: As a safety precaution wrap the fuel line with shop towel to catch/absorb the fuel that'll spill out.
Connect the fuel pressure gauge adapter(s) to the fuel inlet line and to the fuel injector rail line (see photo 2 of 5).
IMPORTANT: If fuel spilled on your hands, wash them before jumpering the fuel pump relay socket in step 4!
Remove the fuel pump relay. The fuel pump relay is located in the under-hood fuse box (see photo 3 of 5).
Connect a jumper wire between female terminals 16 and 15 of the fuel pump relay socket in the fuse box (see photo 4 of 5 and 5 of 5).
IMPORTANT: Do not jumper any other female terminals of the fuel pump relay socket!
The fuel pressure gauge should give you a reading of 53-63 PSI.
Let's examine your test results:
CASE 1: The fuel pressure gauge registered 0 PSI. This let's you know that the fuel pump is bad and is causing the engine to not start.
CASE 2: The fuel pump pressure is way below the specified range but not 0 PSI. This lets you know that the fuel pump is failing and needs to be replaced.
If the fuel pump is not supplying enough fuel to the engine, you'll usually see one or several of the following symptoms:
- The engine will start and run but as soon as your put the transmission in Drive and accelerate, the engine stalls.
- The engine starts and runs, but you hear explosions coming from the intake manifold when you accelerate the engine.
- Lean air/fuel mixture trouble codes lighting up the check engine light.
CASE 3: The fuel pump pressure is within the specified range. This is the correct and expected test result and lets you know the fuel pump is working fine.