Mechanics

STARTING PROBLEM

1999 Dodge Intrepid • 6 cylinder 2WD Manual • 121,000 miles

I previously wrote about a starting problem which is on occasion, and always after driving the car for at least a short trip, it will fail to start after being shut down for several minutes or more. Never happens when it is shut down for a long time, only when shut off for 15 minutes or so. I was prepared to go under the hood the next time it happened and it has done so 3 more times over the past week. On each of these occasions I took another shot at starting it before looking under the hood. Normally I turn the key to the on position, listen for the fuel pump then try to start. The last three times it failed to start I tried one time to start it but this time I didn't stop to listen for the fuel pump, just turned it all the way on and it started each time without a problem. Not sure what this means, any thoughts?
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Mikewm
April 23, 2011.




That doesn't mean much at all.

All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.

Wrenchtech
Apr 23, 2011.


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