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Hard Starting


Enoytsur
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I have an issue with my 1990 that my mechanic cannot correct… hard starting at times. Sometimes it fires right up … even perhaps 4 times ina row. However, far more often it takes 4 to 10 seconds to get it to start [sometimes more]. Also, sometimes you crank it for a bit then STOP cranking and oddly then it starts. <o:p></o>

It seems, but not 100% certain, that it is harder to start when itis hot humid weather [we are currently at 90 degrees and humid here inSarasota]. He replaced the Fuel Pump and associated parts … cleaned 5 grounds …ran every kind of conceivable test all of which pass with flying colors. Still no luck, hard starting at times. This guy has 35 years of experience and has animpeccable reputation and has proven to me over time to be a very good mechanic. <o:p></o>

He is now wondering if the problem is electrical in nature but is leery to start down that road without more clarity due to cost.<o:p></o>

Has anyone had a similar problem? Any suggestions? Thank you. John

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Guest Corvanti

possibly a Crank Sensor problem. it won't show a code and if the Crankshaft (Harmonic) balancer has any missing rubber or cracks - check both sides - that would cause it.

also check the ICM under the coils, and even though there is a new fuel pump, etc. check the fuel pressure: http://reattaowner.com/roj/component/content/article/67-engine-a-drivetrain/fuel-system/288-fuel-pressure-testing

hope this helps!

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I have an issue with my 1990 that my mechanic cannot correct… hard starting at times. Sometimes it fires right up … even perhaps 4 times ina row. However, far more often it takes 4 to 10 seconds to get it to start [sometimes more]. Also, sometimes you crank it for a bit then STOP cranking and oddly then it starts. <o:p></o

It seems, but not 100% certain, that it is harder to start when itis hot humid weather [we are currently at 90 degrees and humid here inSarasota]. He replaced the Fuel Pump and associated parts … cleaned 5 grounds …ran every kind of conceivable test all of which pass with flying colors. Still no luck, hard starting at times. This guy has 35 years of experience and has animpeccable reputation and has proven to me over time to be a very good mechanic. <o:p></o

He is now wondering if the problem is electrical in nature but is leery to start down that road without more clarity due to cost.<o:p></o

Has anyone had a similar problem? Any suggestions? Thank you. John

John, Do you know for certain if the fuel pump relay been replaced? If not you should have him replace it. If the relay is bad the fuel pump will still run but the engine has to spin enough for the engine to build oil pressure. Once the engine spins enough to build oil pressure a set of contacts in the oil pressure sender will close and the pump will start running. That could account for the delay before the engine starts.

If your mechanic wants to test the fuel pump the instructions can be found here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's an update ... can should use some assistance on this.After two months and lots of parts replaced and money spent the problem stillpersists. The problem seems to be more defined now: Hard Starting after the caris has sat for a while [approximately 15 minutes or more]. Once it starts thefirst time it starts over and over right away ... in fact, it will startnormally if I run into a store for a few minutes. On the other hand, if we gointo a restaurant for lunch the Reatta has to be cranked a few times to get itstarted. Note: Loses Injector Pulse or at times a weak signal. The followinghas been done plus lots of testing:<o:p></o:p>

FuelPressure Testing, Extensive testing and measuring all systems related tostarting, Replaced Fuel Pump,<o:p></o:p>

Replaced Fuel Pressure Relay, Replaced Oil Level Sensor,Pump Strainer, Cleaned Four Ground Points, Replaced ESC Module, Replaced CamShaft Sensor, Replaced Crank Shaft Sensor, Replaced PCM – ECM, ReplacedIgnition Control Module, Replaced Ignition Coil.<o:p></o:p>

Thank you in advance for your any info or comments; it isvery much appreciated. John<o:p></o:p>

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Wow, that's a very extensive repair list. From what I can guess, this is a fuel related issue, as you aren't building enough pressure. If you haven't already, check to see of you are getting spark when you have a "cranks but doesn't start" moment. If you are, then check your fuel pressure regulator so see if it is bad. It should be right on top of the engine connected to the fuel rail.

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Rustyone,

When the problem presents, does the car start better if the gas pedal is held down. If so, maybe you have leaking injector(s). This would allow gas to flood a cylinder causing a rough/difficult start condition. This is just a stab in the dark. I've not had the experience myself or even know if it's even possible.

John F.

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Edit: does the fuel pump actually run every time the key is turned on? It should be audible or perhaps an assistant to listen when the key is turned. It should run 2-3 seconds and then stop if the engine isn't started. Not to be confused with the brake pump noise.

Ditto on Mr Andersons checking for spark immediately. Also Machiners suggestion to clear flood by using full throttle. Could also try just cracking the throttle in case the IAC isn't open far enough for starting air flow. A couple of things seem to be in conflict, hard start after sitting for an extended period sounds like fuel pressure bleed down, but the comment about losing injector signal sounds electrical? Fuel pressure should hold at a reasonable level for quite a while, probably an hour or more but I don't believe there is an actual factory spec. Injector signal and spark are controlled by the ESC module below the coils for the starting phase only. I have never tried the injector priming shot signal with a noid test light yet to see what it actually does but it should only be a single priming shot until the engine starts and the ECM takes over. You can override the fuel pump question by simply applying 12v to the green test connector on the drivers side of the engine bay but if an injector is leaking it might make the issue worse. The common items for spark to start and fuel injector prime signal is the ICM/Crank sensor.

Edited by 2seater (see edit history)
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I had a leaky pulsator, it is mounted above the fuel pump to lessen the noise the fuel pump creates when running. Hopefully your mechanic changed it when he fixed the pump. Some mechanics use a piece of rubber fuel line in place of the pulsator, getting rid of potential leaking problems. I did not like the extra noise so I dropped the tank again and installed a new pulsator.

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Thank you! I want to thank each and every Forum Member that took the time to try to help me to resolve this intermittent Hard Starting problem [basically when the car sat for over 20 minutes or when it was very hot]. Though the Mechanic suspected the Fuel Pressure Regulator early on he tested it and it tested okay so he moved on to other parts. As it turns out it was the Fuel Pressure Regulator that was failing. I installed a new one over the weekend [thanks to the excellent tutorial on Ronnie's superior, extremely helpful site] and the car fired right up and has started as it should ever since.

Side Note: The tutorial is great ... just one warning; the back ‘blind’ screw is very difficult to get started so patience is needed ... took me quite a while to finally get it. I ended up wrapping a glob of plumbing putty around my index finger and then sticking the screw in it so I wouldn't keep dropping it.

Again, thank you! This forum has been a lifesaver [figure of speech] over the years. Kudos to all of the dedicated participants. John

Edited by Enoytsur (see edit history)
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