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Wil_C
Dodge Dakota
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11/11/2007
20:36:51

Subject: '02 QC 4.7 Hard Starting; Rough Idling
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Hello. I have a 2002 Dakota QC w/4.7L. It has 101,000 miles on it. A few weeks ago it suddenly developed a hard starting issue. If it sits for longer than 20 minutes, I have to crank it forever to get it to start. I have tried turning the key to 'on' and leaving it there for anywhere from 30 sec to a few minutes and then trying to start it; I have tapped the key to 'start' just enough to make noise but not turn over, then tried to start it (tapped it once and tried, tapped it twice and tried, tapped it three times and tried). I had the plugs, belt, fuel pump, and #3 coil changed; I had a mechanic do the three part fuel injector cleaning and I changed the coolant temperature sensor. I didn't think it was the temperature sensor because it really seems to have nothing to do with temperature - if I start it first thing in the morning (crank it forever) then shut it off as soon as it starts, it will start right back up normally - even though the engine is still cold.

It also idles rough intermittently (at about 600 rpm). If I turn the a/c on, the rough idle goes away.

I've thought about changing the fuel pressure regulator, the O2 sensors (there's only two, right, one in front and one in back of the catalytic converter?), or the throttle position sensor, but I don't want to randomly change parts until I get it right if I don't have to.

I got a check engine light right after the tune-up, which led to the coil replacement. Now, the same day I had the fuel pump changed, the check engine light came back on with a code that indicates a miss in #3 cylinder. The Autozone printout suggests this may be due to: 1)ignition system fault-spark plugs, ignition wires, coils; 2) vacuum leak; 3) injector fault 4) high or low fuel pressure. I figure that pretty much covers anything that could go wrong, so it doesn't get me much closer.

By the way, after the long cranking (which I now do in 3 shorter bursts to spare my starter), when the engine starts there is usually a small puff of slightly dark smoke (not black but darker than grey).

FYI for dakota owners - I changed to yokahama geolandar tires and picked up 4mpg highway, plus they stick better in the rain and don't hydroplane (no snow where I am).

Thanks for any help you can give me.





brianj
Dodge Dakota
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11/11/2007
22:37:49

RE: '02 QC 4.7 Hard Starting; Rough Idling
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we can sit here all day and name sensors and such. sounds like you need a good tech take a look at it. it will save you so much more money than throwing parts at it.
let us know how it goes.



Wil_C
Dodge Dakota
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11/12/2007
12:18:25

RE: '02 QC 4.7 Hard Starting; Rough Idling
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Thanks Brianj.

I had already thought that I wished I would have started at the Dodge garage. I will say that everything I've done up to now, with the exception of the coolant temperature sensor, needed to be done. The fuel pump was slow to build pressure and actually died before they got the gas pumped out of the tank to change it. The plugs hadn't been changed for a long time, etc, etc.

I thought if there was something easy and chaep to check I could do that before paying for the dodge tech to dig around.

I'm really tired of the starting issue though.



randy
Dodge Dakota
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11/12/2007
16:21:38

RE: '02 QC 4.7 Hard Starting; Rough Idling
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Hey there I have a 2004 with the same problem. I was told it is a check valve that is allowing fuel to flow back. I havn't had time to do it but that is the answer as far as I know.



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