1978 Plymouth Volare slow to start

  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 160,000 MILES
In the morning, or if the engine is cold, my car takes a few turns of the key to start. You need to hold the gas to keep it running until it is warm enough to idle on its own. My dad says that thats how cars from this era work, but I think I could at least help the problem. I know that people have cars from this era that are in nice condition, and I am sure that they dont have to warm up their car for five minutes. Is there any way I can help this?
Do you
have the same problem?
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 10:37 AM

1 Reply

By "few turns of the key" do you mean you have to cycle the key on and off before it will start, or it has a long crank time before it finally starts.

To start the engine, you need to set the choke by pressing the gas pedal halfway to the floor. With newer computer-controlled engines, the computer commands the extra fuel from the injector(s) automatically. If the engine doesn't want to stay running unless you hold the gas pedal down a little, the automatic choke or the fast idle screw are out-of-adjustment. The choke opens up within a few minutes by a thermostatic spring. That spring is heated by exhaust gas and by an electric heater element. If the ignition switch is turned on for a few minutes before starting the engine, the choke spring will warm up causing the choke to open. That will result in hard starting. There is even a sticker on the sun visor warning you to not leave the ignition switch on or hard starting will result.

Also, if you find that the engine starts
instantly the second, third, etc. Start of each day, but it has a real long crank time first thing in the morning, fuel is evaporating out of the carburetor's float bowl over night and going into the charcoal canister. There is a check valve available to prevent that problem. I found a valve in the salvage yard but never put it in my car yet. There is a service bulletin that addresses this issue.

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Friday, June 19th, 2009 AT 8:30 PM

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