1994 Dodge Dakota Hard to start

Tiny
HARDTOSTART
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 DODGE DAKOTA
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 270,000 MILES
Hi I am writing in regaurds to my dads Dakota it turns over for awhile before it starts when cold up to 1 minute sort of thing, it always starts but it is goingto be hard on the starter in a short time. If you start it when it is warm (within 10 minutes) it starts fine but any longer and it turns over for awhile before it starts. He just had the intank pump changed as the mechanics said it was that most likely that with the fuel bleeding back, it was not. He doesn't have a lot of money to spend replacing good parts to find the problem. I am hoping somone may have an ideal what it could be.

Thanks TJ
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Thursday, September 17th, 2009 AT 3:49 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Fuel pressure should be maintained for weeks in preparation for starting the engine. It can bleed off through a leaking injector or through the pressure regulator. If you have access to a pressure gauge, monitor the pressure after stopping the engine. Typically, a leaking regulator will bleed the pressure off within a few seconds, and it will come back up very slowly while cranking the engine. It must be high enough before the engine will fire up. Chrysler has very little trouble with regulators, (unlike GMs), but I have found two with cut and leaking o-rings.

If the pressure bleeds off relatively slowly, like up to a minute or longer, suspect a leaking injector. Usually this doesn't result in a very long crank time because the pressure can build quickly. The pump will only run during engine rotation, (cranking or running), and for two seconds when you turn on the ignition switch. If you turn the switch on, wait a few seconds, then turn it off, wait again, then turn it back on a few times, the pressure should come up enough for starting. Related to a leaking injector, one or more cylinders could be getting flooded and the long crank time is needed to clear them out. I've had mixed results, but you can try holding the accelerator to the floor during cranking. If it starts in less time, suspect an injector.

Caradiodod
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 AT 11:53 AM
Tiny
HARDTOSTART
  • MEMBER
Thanks I suspect you may be on the right track with the injector, as we have tryed turning the ignition off and on as you sugjested for that very reason to build up pressure but it never helped. I suspected a loss of pressure hence the chnged fuel pump suspecting it to be bleeding back there. As well it does have a fuel smell when starting like it is flooded.
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 AT 5:57 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First, pull the vacuum hose off the regulator. Chrysler regulators give extremely little trouble, but it's very common for GM units to leak fuel into the vacuum port. That raw fuel will make its way into the intake manifold where you will likely smell it.

If you suspect the regulator, which would make more sense if cycling the key doesn't help, try pinching off the return hose that goes back to the fuel tank. You could also disconnect the hose, run it into a container, then cycle the key and watch the pressure gauge. I believe it should hold about 45 psi. If it drops way lower than that, and fuel is still coming out of the return hose, the regulator or its o-ring are leaking.

An injector will leak much slower, and you may not smell fuel until you start the engine, then you'll see black smoke out the tail pipe right after start up. You may also smell the fuel up front, depending where the engine stopped and which intake valves are open. Check the oil level and smell too. Raw fuel from a leaking injector will wash past the piston rings into the oil. The oil level will go up, but the fuel will likely burn off on long drives and be drawn out through the PCV system and burned. If you do a lot of short trip driving, the raw fuel will cause sludge and will reduce the oil's ability to isolate moving metal parts. That will lead to severe engine damage. If the oil smells like fuel, suspect an injector.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 AT 10:45 PM

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