97 Cavalier Hard Start cool/wet


Old 01-06-09, 02:15 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE MA
Posts: 4
97 Cavalier Hard Start cool/wet

On cool and very cold mornings my 97 Cav with a 2.2 starts very hard. I always "cycle" the fuel pump by turning the key on but not into the start position. I wait until I hear the pump reach pressure and then stop, than I hit the key into the start position.
On any day that it is raining or has rained overnight, I must crank the engine much longer than "normal". It starts to fire up but if I let off the key too soon it will take several more trys to get it to finally start. Some times I need to hold the accelerator flat to the floor (like you do when a Fuel Injected engine is flooded) before it will start. On very cold (below freezing) it starts no problem. This problem usually occurs in the Fall and Spring. In the summer its fine and in the dead of winter no problems. The car otherwise runs great and gets excellent gas mileage. I have thought of the usual fuel pump, Filter, Spark plugs wires etc but have not replaced any of them because it runs fine in the rain snow or heat or cold. Once it does start its good for the day. I drive 45 miles of highway then it sits for 8-10 hours and will start right up. Some times if it rains during the day it will give me a little trouble starting. I am thinking there must be an electrical problem either a sensor or connector to a sensor, perhaps the TPS or a crank position sensor. I don't want to start blindly replacing parts. I do have access to a DVM but not a diagnostic computer. What do you think it is?
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Old 01-06-09, 07:25 PM
Speedwrench's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,698
check your plug wires, look at the engine running in the dark see if you see any random sparks or corona around the wires, spray them with water also to check this out, also check out your plugs/or replace them if over 60K miles on them.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
Old 01-08-09, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 171
I had an '87 Golf that acted like that and it was a fuel pump relay

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