Sooner or later the fuel pump is gonna fail in your 2.0L Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze) and let me tell you from first hand experience, testing it is not difficult at all!
In this tutorial, I'll show you how to test it, tell you what the fuel pressure specification is, and help you determine if it's good or bad.
I'm also explaining how to use starting fluid to diagnose an engine no-start problem caused by a lack of fuel.
Contents of this tutorial:
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar La Bomba De Combustible (1995-2000 2.0L Dodge Stratus, Plymouth Breeze) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
APPLIES TO: This tutorial applies to the following vehicles:
- 2.0L Dodge Stratus: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
- 2.0L Plymouth Breeze: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
IMPORTANT: Gasoline and starting fluid are extremely flammable. Take appropriate safety precautions. Before beginning the fuel pump pressure test or the starting fluid test, make sure the engine is cold, work in a well-ventilated space, and avoid open flames or sparks.
Symptoms Of A Bad Fuel Pump
The fuel pump in your 2.0L Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze) usually fails in one of two ways:
- Complete failure: In this type of failure, the fuel pump doesn't send any fuel to the injectors. The end result of this is an engine that cranks but doesn't start.
- Slow failure: The engine cranks and starts but doesn't run right, especially under load. This is due to the fact that the fuel pump works, but only supplies enough fuel to start the engine. Once the engine is under load, this amount of fuel isn't sufficient to keep it running.
To go into more detail, these are some of the symptoms you'll see from a complete failure of the fuel pump:
- The engine cranks but does not start.
- No fuel pressure is detected.
- No noise from the fuel pump.
These are some of the symptoms of a slow failure of the fuel pump:
- Lack of power when accelerating the engine under load.
- Unexplained loss of power.
- Excessive fuel consumption.
- The engine suddenly shuts off.
Whether the fuel pump is just now starting to fail or has stopped working, you'll be able to find out with a pressure gauge. This tool will make diagnosing the fuel pump issue faster and easier, and the most important part: you won't spend time and money on parts that won't solve the problem.
Where To Buy A Fuel Pressure Test Gauge
A fuel pressure gauge is a must-have tool in your tool box to diagnose any fuel-injected vehicle. Cool thing is that you can buy one at almost any auto parts store or on online shopping platforms.
The following fuel pressure gauge kits are great deals and will connect to the vehicles covered in this tutorial:
For vehicles with a Schrader valve on the injector rail:
For vehicles without a Schrader valve on the injector rail:
Before you buy any of the above fuel pressure test gauge kits for your Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze), just make sure to check if the fuel injector rail has a Schrader valve or not.
Fuel Pressure Specifications
|1995-1996||46-50 PSI||Not Given|
|1997-2000||49 PSI||Not Given|
- KOEO = Key On Engine Off.
- KOER = Key On Engine Running.
Fuel Pressure Test With A Gauge (With Schrader Valve)
NOTE: If the engine of your Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze) comes equipped with a Schrader valve, you're in the right section. If it doesn't, go to this section: Fuel Pressure Test With Gauge (Without Schrader Valve).
The fuel pressure test on your 2.0L Dodge Stratus (Plymouth Breeze) is done with the key ON and engine OFF (KOEO).
In a professional auto repair shop, the techs accomplish this with a professional level scan tool. The scan tool is used to activate the fuel pump and check its pressure output with the key on and the engine off. If you have such a scan tool, awesome!
If you don't have a scan tool with that functionality, don't worry. There's another way: If the engine starts, simply disconnect all four fuel injectors and crank the engine. This way, the fuel pump gets activated and you're able to check the fuel pump's pressure. Easy-peasy, right?
The following steps assume that you're not using a scan tool to activate the fuel pump and check the pressure.
OK, let's get started:
Disconnect the four fuel injectors from their electrical connectors.
NOTE: This step only applies if the engine cranks and starts.
Remove the dust cap from the Schrader valve on the fuel injector rail.
Place a towel under the area of the Schrader valve.
Connect the fuel pressure gauge to the Schrader valve.
With the towel, wipe off any fuel that may have been released during the gauge connection process.
When you're ready, ask your assistant to crank the engine while you observe the gauge.
The gauge should report the specified fuel pressure.
Let's take a look at what your results mean:
CASE 1: The fuel pump pressure is within specification. This tells you that the fuel pump is in good working condition and is supplying fuel to the injectors.
If your Stratus or Breeze's engine does not start, you can now eliminate the fuel pump as the cause of the 'cranks but does not start' problem.
CASE 2: The fuel pump pressure is NOT within specification. This result tells you that the fuel pump is not working. Since the fuel pump isn't working, you can now conclude that it's behind the 'cranks but does not start' issue with your Stratus (Breeze).