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Engine cranks but take time to start when cold

Old 04-19-2010, 02:12 PM
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Default Engine cranks but take time to start when cold

Our 2002 Sebring 2.4L 4cyl DOHC will will crank over just fine however it will take about 5 seconds to start first thing in the morning (temp outside is 75F). After it has been running and is shut off-- if you start it up again fairly soon it will start up right away. Very frustrating.

The battery is good (12.7 volts and passed a load test), spark plugs are new and have spark. Alternator charges the battery at approx 14.3-14.4 volts when running. All fuses are good.

I put a fuel pressure test gauge on the schrader valve on the fuel rail to check the fuel pressure. When the ignition is turned on, not started, the fuel pump will run for 1-2 seconds and shut off (normal it think). The fuel pressure during this check is 58psi while the pump runs and then drops to zero. (I'm not sure if it is suppose to drop to zero or not). When the engine is running the pressure reads approx 58psi and seems to operate normally.

I'm thinking it's the fuel pump that is causing it to be hard to start in the morning or if it's been sitting for an hour or so. Almost like the fuel rail is not staying pressurized or pump isn't supplying enough fuel pressure until the crankshaft sensor senses the crankshaft turning.

Any help is greatly appreciated

Old 04-19-2010, 02:58 PM
dcotter0579's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Detroit suburb
Posts: 4,993

There's supposed to be a check valve in the fuel pump to maintain pressure in the lines. Sounds like yours is not functioning. I assume yours is a sedan. The bad news is that you can only get access to the fuel pump by removing the fuel tank.
Old 04-19-2010, 06:17 PM
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Dragging starter possibly?
Old 04-19-2010, 06:19 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 10

If you think it has to be something with the fuel delivery, try to prime the pump a 3 or 4 times before starting, this is done by turn key to the on position and off a few times.
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