Mechanics

HARD START WHEN OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE IS COLD

1997 Chrysler Other • 17,000 miles

My sons 97 dodge stratus will not start in the cold it even died after starting about an eighth of a mile from home. I jave checked all the fluid incluiding antifreeze. Put it in the garage to kerp it warm. It always starts right up when the weather warm. The battery is good. It always starts back up after it gets warm enough outside
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Jimamy
January 17, 2012.




Has the Check Engine light turned on? Have you checked for diagnostic fault codes? If there are none, the most likely suspect for not starting is a high-mileage fuel pump with worn brushes that is failing to start up, but unlike GM pumps that let you sitting on the side of the road, it is extremely rare for a Chrysler pump to suddenly stop once it's running.
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Caradiodoc
Jan 17, 2012.
Yes the check engine light came on one a couple of weeks a go for a few days but then iy went back off thats when we started checking all the fluid in it. So I am trying to understand what you sre saying you think the best guess is probably the fuel pupmp becauce of worn out brushes? My husbands layed off thanks for taking thetime to try to figure this out.

Tiny
Jimamy
Jan 17, 2012.
I'm not really clear about the "It Even Died After Starting Abour An Eighth Of A Mile From Home". Does that mean it died while it was being driven? That is not how failing Chrysler pumps normally act, but they could. If you meant it was driven an eighth mile from home, turned off, THEN it wouldn't restart, that is exactly how they act.

The problem is caused by worn brushes in the pump motor. A clue can be found if the engine starts when you bang on the bottom of the gas tank. The jar can aggravate the pump enough to where the brushes make contact. Once the pump starts running, it will continue to do so as long as voltage is supplied.

It's important to understand when that is. The pump will run for one second after turning on the ignition switch to the "run" position. It will turn on again during engine rotation, (cranking or running). Sometimes just banging on the bottom of the gas tank, THEN trying to start the engine will do it. Sometimes you have to do the banging when voltage is applied meaning while a helper is cranking the engine.

You should also check for spark when the no-start occurs. There are actually three systems to look at. The fuel supply is the first one. The ignition system consisting of the coil pack and spark plugs gives the least problems, but the most problems cause the fuel pump AND ignition system to both be dead. That is from the Engine Computer failing to turn on the automatic shutdown relay which powers both systems. The Engine Computer turns that ASD relay on for one second, and you might hear the hum of the fuel pump to prove it's working. If the Computer doesn't turn that relay on during cranking, it is because a signal is missing from the camshaft position sensor or the crankshaft position sensor. Either of those fail more commonly when they get hot and work again when they cool down but that's where the fault codes come in. The Engine Computer will also turn the ASD relay off to stop the engine and protect the valves if the timing belt jumps two teeth, but that isn't going to be an intermittent problem.

Since the Check Engine light turned on, there will be at least one fault code in memory. It is important to not disconnect the battery or that valuable information will be lost. Also, if the problem does not act up within 50 engine starts, those codes will erase automatically. Chrysler makes reading codes WAY easier than on any other brand. Cycle the ignition switch three times from "off" to "run" within five seconds without ever cranking the engine, then leave it in the run position. After a few seconds the codes will appear in the digital odometer display. Record those three-digit codes, then holler back.

Caradiodoc
Jan 17, 2012.
His battery went dead now and we just jumped itoff he just toldme that after he put gas in it at the begining of all this trouble he put $45 of unleaded and pulled out of the gas station and a unleaded fuel only light csme on. He didnt even know he had a light thay said that. It was on just that one time.

Tiny
Jimamy
Jan 17, 2012.
I'm not familiar with that either. Once it acts up again the code(s) should set in memory. I'll be back later tonight. Falling asleep on the keyboard. I've been typing for 23 hours!

Caradiodoc
Jan 17, 2012.

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