2003 hard starting truck

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  #1  
Old 07-27-16, 02:54 PM
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2003 hard starting truck

In the last 5 days, when I turn the key to start the truck, it seems to take more cranks to start the truck.

My truck (2003) still runs great. It is just the starting up. The weather is about 90 degree and I have been using the ac much more. It is due for an oil change. Could it be the heat and ac usage, taxing on the battery? Battery was replaced in 2013. Or is it symptoms of the starter?
 
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Old 07-27-16, 05:00 PM
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I had this problem on mu Cummins. It always starts on a bump. It started taking a bit longer. Turned out to be the air filter clogged.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 03:03 AM
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Extreme heat can also slow a battery down. How many miles on the truck? is it due for a tune up?
 
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Old 07-28-16, 03:59 AM
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205k Mark. I drove a lot last month. I will give an update tomorrow once I change out the air filter like Chandler.

I just had my sparks changed and minor tune up in December.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 01:30 PM
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Unfortunately, it is not the air filter. I changed the air filter about 5 months ago. I just checked and it is still white. I also vacuumed it. It was even harder to start today than yesterday. On another forum, they said that to start a car, you need air, fuel and spark.

It is recommended that I stomp on the gas pedal twice. If that works, it has something to do with the vapor lock or fuel pump.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 01:33 PM
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You might want to do a fuel pressure check on it. When was the last time the fuel filter was changed?
 
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Old 07-28-16, 01:41 PM
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Like never. thanks, I will YouTube it.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 02:38 PM
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Mark, here is an update.

I stomped on the gas three times after the car was off for 45 minutes. It turned on normally. So most likely, we can rule out the air and spark.

If it is the fuel filter that is causing the slow crank, would the fuel filter affect driving too? The driving is normal. What about the fuel pump or vapor lock? Are those common in slow cranks?

How often is the fuel filter replaced?
How long is the process to replace it?
Are there precautionary that I should be aware of such as don't smoke next to a fuel line?

Thanks
 
  #9  
Old 07-28-16, 02:52 PM
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Starting

Does it have an automatic choke? If so, the choke may not be closing.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 03:48 PM
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Generally a fuel filter gets changed every 50k. Check your owner's manual to see if they recommend anything different. Some are easy to replace others aren't - I don't know about your vehicle. You should release the fuel pressure at the fuel rail before removing the filter. The fuel filter is generally on the frame rail near the gas tank.

Electric fuel pumps generally work or they don't. They often get noisy before they go out. You should barely hear the pump turn on when you turn the switch .... just for a few seconds. As far as I know vapor lock only happens on carbureted engines.
 
  #11  
Old 07-28-16, 04:00 PM
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Thanks Mark. I just saw the youtube video for the fuel filter. It seems fairly easy.

WirePuller, I don't know if it has an automatic choke. Is it a common problem?
 
  #12  
Old 07-29-16, 02:22 AM
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make and model, engine size all this info could potentially help someone give more specific information of common problems related to that model.
fuel pumps usually have a check valve that could go bad and require it to take longer to build up pressure but a pressure test would be needed to really determine if that's the problem. cycling the key on and off slowly 5 seconds on 5 seconds off several times before even attempting to crank it over would allow the pump more time to build up pressure and may allow the vehicle to start up faster if that was the problem.
if it sounds like its cranking over slow then perhaps it is a battery or starter issue.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 04:15 AM
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I don't think fuel injected engines have an automatic choke, I think that is just on carberated engines.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 11:10 AM
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What about the fuel pump or vapor lock? Are those common in slow cranks?
No, the fuel system has nothing to do with a slow cranking engine. Why did you wait till post #8 to even mention you had a slow crank? I see alan picked up on the slow crank and I think he's right, look at the battery and/or starter. You lead everyone in the wrong direction by not mentioning it sooner.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 11:51 AM
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Prior to this problem, I have never heard of the term "slow crank" until in the recent days of researching. In a way, I did describe slow crank in my first sentence of my first post as well as mentioned about the battery and starter.

Regardless, I have to change the fuel filter because it is over due for replacement.

Alan, I will try what you suggested and update later today.
 
  #16  
Old 07-30-16, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies.

Here is an update. I have changed the fuel filter ($20) yesterday. It has resolved the problem. The starting of the engine is back to normal this morning and I have been driving around all morning. MarkSR, you called on this one. Good call! I would have never thought of it. It happened to me last summer too, especially on humid days.



Tacoma Fuel Filter
Tip on 4:05 seconds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPbnlCpRans

I used the following site to check on the battery and alternator. The battery registers at 12+ volts. However, basing on the link below, they say that the alternator should register at least 14.2 volts. Mine only came up to 13.9 volts. At some point, the alternator probably will need to be changed.


How to Test an Alternator
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGB6ZEjGm7Q
 
  #17  
Old 07-30-16, 11:42 AM
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Anything over 12 volts will charge the battery. I think your alternator is fine.
 
  #18  
Old 07-30-16, 11:46 AM
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Thanks Tolyn. That will certainly save me money if I can avoid a replacement.
 
  #19  
Old 08-04-16, 08:15 AM
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If you put another meter on it it might read 14.2 volts. 13.9 is fine
 
  #20  
Old 08-23-16, 03:17 PM
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After I changed the fuel filter, I also had my timing belt and water pump changed too. Since then, my car's gas mileage has increased from 305 to 331 on a full tank. Is this because of the fuel filter? This is a good thing.
 
  #21  
Old 07-29-17, 01:12 AM
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Last year, I was lucky to have this problem solved by the help of MarkSR and others on this thread. My truck has been running fine since then and the starting during humid/hot weather is still smooth. How often should I change out the fuel filter?
 
  #22  
Old 07-29-17, 03:10 AM
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Your owner's manual will have the mileage change recommendation. I normally change the fuel filter on my vehicles every 3-4 yrs .... a lot depends on how much you drive and depending on the condition of the tank could need it sooner.
 
  #23  
Old 07-29-17, 03:14 AM
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Thank you MarkSR. Thank you MarkSR.
 
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