Cranks, but doesn't start in 10 degree temp.

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  #1  
Old 02-18-07, 07:54 PM
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Cranks, but doesn't start in 10 degree temp.

'89 Dodge Spirit, 2.5L 4 cylinder, 105k miles
The past couple of nights the daytime temp. was in the lower 20's and the night temp. was around 10-15. The engine cranked up a storm, but wouldn't start. It wasn't after 8 or 10 extended cranks, it finally did start. Mid afternoon it has been fine in a unheated garage. When I leave from work, there is the problem. Tank is 1/3 full (yes I know about a filled tank, but you can't keep putting a few gallons of gas in every few days). Trips to & from work are 13 minutes and 6 miles.

Is it moisture in the gas? If so, any dry gas additive would/should work?
 
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Old 02-18-07, 09:50 PM
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Next time it cranks but won't start, look down the throttle body and check for fuel
There should be a big injector in there, and you should be able to see it squirt (OK, you'll need a helper)
We need to know if it's squirting when it's cranking, but not starting
Or if it doesn't squirt until after 8 or 10 extended cranks when it finally catches and runs
 
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Old 02-19-07, 05:50 AM
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Moisture in the gas would certainly be a suspect. Could also have contaminated the fuel filter which may be freezing up and partially obstructing the fuel flow. After extended cranking the fuel finally gets through. If trying slickshifts test shows no fuel delivery, I think I would try a fresh fuel filter and couple of bottles of dry-gas ("Heet" is the one I use).
 
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Old 02-19-07, 06:22 AM
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I thought about looking at the injector, but didn't have a 'helper' handy. As far as the fuel filyer, you were referring to the water in the gas freezing within the filter blocking the flow??

After 6 or 8 extended 'cranks', it started to 'catch', but only very occasionaly. The more I cranked (resting in between) it 'caught' more. Then finally enough to turn the engine by itself without the starter motor.
I opened the hood and listened (after it was running) and heard the injector. It seemed noiser tha usual. Don't know if it weas the cold (around 10 degrees at the time) or something else.
It is the orginal injector AFAIR.

Is there any difference between different brands of 'dry gas', or ones I should stay away from?

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-19-07, 10:33 AM
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I don't think there's any difference; it's just alcohol.
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-07, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Is there any difference between different brands of 'dry gas', or ones I should stay away from?
Not for your application
Anything is fine really
 
  #7  
Old 02-20-07, 05:24 AM
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Update;
I had a helper the next afternoon crank while I looked at the injector. Of course it fired up right away. It was also above 20 degrees.
I put a can of that Heet in and last night it started up fine again, but it was above 32.

I did notice one thing. For the first 10 seconds or so, there was a loud hiss comming from the injector, but stopped after a few seconds as the RPM increased. I never listened durning cranking (never had a reason to). I wonder if this is normal?
 
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Old 02-20-07, 11:35 AM
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I'm thinking you're just hearing the sound of air slipping past the throttle plate. It may be more noticeable right after starting.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 03:54 PM
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A problem like this could be a lot of things, really. You could be on the cusp of it working/not working right, by electical-timing-gas/electric fuel pump intank/check valve system not working right...any number of things. I have a '91 Spirit with now over 232,000 miles on it and it runs like a top.

If you have the opportunity to catcha cold snap again, you might try to first (remove the air cleaner first) start it, and if it doesn't fire off by the 3rd spin, lets say, try spraying starting fluid down the throttle plate. If that don't do it, you can also try holding the throttle to the floor when cranking to see what THAT does (in case to MUCH fuel).

You might want to pull all your plugs and inpect them to see if they are getting carboned up or something, or the electrode is getting bridged where it should not. Keep in mind that if you have just ONE weak cylinder for ANY reason, you are having 1/4 of the engine compromised and it is harder to start a 4 cylinder car on 3 cylinders than an 8 cylinder car on 7 cylinders. Also, do an elcheapo timing test by removing your distributor cap cover and turning over the engine (coil wire off) to point to where #1 tower is, then have the timing mark at 0 degrees and see if your rotor is pointing where the number 1 distributor tower would have been (mine is in a certain crotch in the engine block and I have familiarized myself with this.
 
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Old 02-21-07, 05:34 AM
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the_tow_guy; Then, as the plate opens further there is less restriction.

It's been ok now. I will watch it closer.
 
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