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Won't start unless I pump gas

11-12-2008, 10:20 PM
Hi, I have a 99 Intrigue with a 3.5.

When I try to start the car, it sputters and won't start unless I give it some gas. So far, it's only happened on cold-starts.

Any ideas are appreciated. thanks.

11-12-2008, 10:42 PM
fuel pressure issue it sounds like

11-13-2008, 12:58 AM
How does it idle after you get it to run ? Before it reaches operating temp. I mean. Is it rough ?, possible Idle Air Control solenoid ? Any check engine light ?

11-13-2008, 08:13 AM
Some more info: The MIL is not illuminated (surprisingly). Once it starts it runs and idles smoothly. There is no hesitation. If the fuel pump was bad, wouldn't there be some impact on normal operation? thanks!

11-13-2008, 08:45 AM
I'd also suspect the Fuel Pressure regulator on the fuel rail.

Pressing down on the gas pedal while starting the car comands the computer to start without adding fuel to the engine.

It sounds like the engine may be starting rich. This happened on the 2000 Intrigue I've got, and the fuel pressure regulator is known to be a problem on these cars.

The fuel pressure regulator is on the fuel rail, under the beauty cover. Verification of the regulator can be done by checking fuel pressure, or removing the small vacuum line from the regulator and checking to see if it's wet with fuel. That Vacuum line should be dry.

Good Luck--

11-14-2008, 06:08 AM
Carbon02, you said...

"Pressing down on the gas pedal while starting the car comands the computer to start without adding fuel to the engine."

I don't understand your statement. How can the computer decide to start without adding fuel to the engine?

The computer should come on regardless if there is fuel in the car at all. As long as the key is turned to on the computer should come on. Plus the engine will not start without fuel, spark and air.

11-14-2008, 08:12 AM
Sorry to be confusing--

According to AllData holding the pedal down while cranking the engine commands the computer to attempt to crank without pulsing the injectors. This also holds the throttle plate open allowing high airflow into the engine.

This allows the engine to crank and start without the first few milliseconds of fuel injectors kicking in. Enough time for a flooding condition to be cleared.

It worked for me. Started the car a lot that way before replacing the Fuel pressure regulator.

11-14-2008, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. Well, I pulled the vacuum line off the fuel pressure regulator (FPR). It looked dry at first, but then I stuck a scratch awl into the nipple of the FPR. I could see a little fuel pool up around the edges of the awl. I removed the awl and it smelled like gas. I guess this makes sense since my problem was intermittent and I wouldn’t expect a lot of gas. I replaced the FPR. I’m not a 100% sure this will do it yet, but we’ll see. As an aside, I also came away with a couple lessons-learned:
1. Don’t work on the fuel system when the engine is hot. I pulled the old FPR off and gas started to drip onto the hot exhaust manifold and sizzle. Didn’t ignite but definitely got my heart pumping. Glad the Darwin principle didn’t kick-in here.
2. Don’t do repairs in the parking lot of the parts store. Not even the “quick, simple” ones. After the sizzling gas I had to take an hour break to let things cool down. Then, it took a long time to the retainer clip secured onto the new FPR, then I accidently snapped the vacuum line going from the FPR to the throttle body. With fading daylight, I taped up the vacuum line, to get me home and drove off.
I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me if this doesn’t work. Thanks for the help.

12-01-2008, 05:17 PM
Update: after two weeks the car is starting fine. It appears that the FPR was the problem.

12-02-2008, 06:36 AM
Good Stuff, thanks for the update. Great to have a conclusion!

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