Slow to start

Tiny
CRAIG MEEKS
  • MEMBER
  • 2009 CHEVROLET COBALT
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 106,000 MILES
When turning the car on after setting for a while. It is slow to start and I can smell gasoline. Electrical is good as I can hear the starter doing just fine and not laboring too hard. And once it starts it runs fine. I believe this is a fuel pump issue. However I do not understand where the fuel smell would come from. On the fuel lines to the engine there is signs of dripping fuel on both the pavement and lines themselves so I know there is a leak somewhere however what would it be from the fuel pump/filter or a more major issue with the tank.
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Thursday, August 18th, 2016 AT 3:57 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sounds like you are describing a long crank time. If that is correct, you already found the cause of the problem. The fuel system should remain pressurized for days or weeks. When you have a leak, that pressure bleeds down in seconds or minutes. It has to build up again before fuel will spray from the injectors. Normally that pressure will build up sufficiently after just a few seconds, but during cranking, battery voltage is drawn down quite a bit, and that makes the fuel pump run slower. If you crank the engine for a few seconds, stop, then do that again, each time you stop the pressure will bleed down again.

One clue to this is if you turn the ignition switch on, wait for one second after which the fuel pump will turn off, turn the switch off, then back on right away, the pump will run for another second. Do that two or three times, then immediately crank the engine. Each time you turn on the ignition switch, the fuel pump will run for one second. If the leak is not too big, the pressure will come up enough for starting so you won't have to crank the engine for such a long time.

The common leaks to look for are the rubber hoses between the body and the engine, and the o-rings around the injectors.
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Thursday, August 18th, 2016 AT 4:40 PM
Tiny
CRAIG MEEKS
  • MEMBER
Thank you, I normally am pretty good at diagnosing and repairs since I work on ships engines, but after seeing the cost of parts I wanted to be sure before I paid up that dough.
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Thursday, August 18th, 2016 AT 4:56 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Neither of the suspects I mentioned will cost more than a few dollars for parts unless GM used a special hose with a crimped fitting and steel line. I used bulk hose for the repair on my Dodge minivan. It has to be rated for fuel injection systems which can run over 50 psi, not for carburetors which run at 3 - 5 psi. The hose costs around $4.00 per foot in bulk at the auto parts stores.

O-rings are best purchased from the dealer's parts department. They will have the right ones for your engine. At the auto parts store, they might try to sell you generic, one-size-fits-all o-rings. They might work fine, but they also might be harder to install if they are harder or thicker than the originals.
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Thursday, August 18th, 2016 AT 5:11 PM

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