1998 Dodge Avenger Car does not start on warm days

Tiny
HUNTER132
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE AVENGER
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
Sense I bought this car in the summer, my car did not start unless I drove it everyday. Now that it's winter, it starts up the first time, regardless of how long it has been sitting. Recently up here in the north, we had a warm spell, and I am having the same problem. Car will only start if sitting if it is below 20 degrees. The fuel pump and the filter were recently replaced. Any thoughts?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Sunday, January 17th, 2010 AT 7:23 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What does it take to get it started?

It sounds like fuel pressure is bleeding off when the car sits. My Caravan does this at times too in the summer. Suspect a leaking injector or pressure regulator. The injectors have parts that are machined to millionths of an inch. Temperature changes cause parts to expand or contract which can compromise their ability to seal. Fuel pressure should remain in the system for weeks without running the engine. Since it starts if you only leave it sit one day, it suggests pressure is still there. Not starting after two days suggests pressure has had time to bleed down.

As a test the next time you expect it to not start, cycle the ignition switch to "run", (do not crank the engine because that will cause the injectors to bleed off what little pressure might be there). Turn the switch back off, wait a few seconds, then turn it to "run" again. Do this a third time, then try to start it. Every time you do this, the fuel pump will run for one to two seconds, then turn off. After doing that three times, the fuel pressure will be high enough for the engine to start. In my case, all I have to do is to turn the ignition switch to "run", then pause there for two seconds, THEN crank the engine. Works every time.

If this works for you, you'll need to determine the cause for loss of pressure. You will never solve a running problem on a Chrysler product by replacing the fuel filter.

Caradiodoc
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, January 18th, 2010 AT 1:24 AM
Tiny
HUNTER132
  • MEMBER
My mechanic already told me to do this in the summer. I would have the fuel pump run a couple of times and then I would try to start the car, but it would just flood after the first try.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, January 18th, 2010 AT 10:12 AM
Tiny
HUNTER132
  • MEMBER
I tried to start it today following your suggestion and it started up. Maybe the fuel pressure is bleeding off. Anyhow, thanks for the post.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, January 18th, 2010 AT 2:50 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Interesting observation about it flooding during the summer. That would suggest a leaking injector, not a leaking regulator.

Every time you turn on the ignition switch, a priming pulse of fuel enters the intake manifold. That extra fuel can be the cause of flooding. It probably doesn't happen in winter because very little of the raw fuel vaporizes and enters the engine. Most of the fuel just puddles in the intake manifold rather than drenching the spark plugs.

Caradiodoc
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 AT 2:11 AM
Tiny
HUNTER132
  • MEMBER
Is there any way I could check to see if it is leaking? If not, do I have to replace the whole fuel injector or just the O-ring seal?

Sorry about all the questions and thankyou for your help.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 AT 11:13 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Leaking o-rings will bleed off fuel pressure, but you'll smell it and it would be a severe fire hazard. More likely the pintle valve isn't sealing, dribling fuel into the engine. Your mechanic will remove the 4 or 6 injectors attached to the fuel rail, flip it over, then watch to see which ones are wet on their tips. Only the leaking injectors need to be changed, but the better shops will try to get you to replace the entire set because they are matched for flow rate. GM has a lot of performance problems due to not spending the few extra bucks to match injectors on the assembly line. Chrysler has very little trouble with injectors.

Injectors are kind of expensive, so you might want to consider doing nothing. This isn't a serious problem. In my case, I consider it to be a very minor inconvenience. It's been doing this for over ten years. It hasn't gotten any worse and I doubt it will get worse in the future.

You can test for a leaking regulator yourself. Fuel that goes through it goes right back into the tank. Use a special plastic hose pinch-off pliers to pinch the return hose when you know the car will be sitting for a few days. Remove the pliers just before you start the engine. If it solves the problem, suspect the valve in the regulator or the o-ring around the stem is leaking. This too is not a serious problem.

Caradiodoc
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 AT 6:48 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides