Odd Hard Start Issue

Jobe Tichy bimmer_dude at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 17 22:40:08 EST 2002

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Hello Listers...

Just in time for the holidays...I've got a 20v issue.

For about the past week, the 20v has had difficulty firing up on the first few
cranks.  In order to start the car, I have to crank it a few
revolutions--stop--crank a few more--than it sputters up and runs/idles
perfectly, full boost, etc.

The last time I had this problem, was about a year ago.  The problem with the
hard start last year was a ruptured bypass valve line.  So, I rerouted the
line around the engine and problem solved.  Because the symptoms are the same,
I check my line and tested the bypass valve last night with the Mityvac and it
checked out OK.  I also just got done pulling the codes at idle and got the
joyous 4444 no codes thrown, which makes it even more confusing.  I was hoping
that a code would lead me in the right direction.

The only thing I have recently done differently is run 12 gallons with a fuel
cleaner (because I pulled my codes wrong last time and thought all my fuel
injectors were going bad...my fault, I was actually doing the output test).
So, does anyone think that the hard start problem can be caused by carbon
build up and other crap getting forced through my fuel system?  Is the fuel
filter element now clogged because of the cleaner forcing stuff through?  The
filter is less than 10,000 miles old so I doubt it's in the filter.  Are the
fuel injectors merely coughing out crap from the cleaner?  The hard start
issues is fairly sporratic.  Sometimes it starts really difficultly--others
times it fires right up.  This is what leads me to believe it is fuel related.

Do the 20v's have thermotemp switches like the 10v's, which have been guilty
of causing hard start problems on 10v's?

Any tips, experience with fuel cleaners, or BTDT with crazy starts would be
greatly appreciated.  I checked the archives and my consensus was that most
problems got codes pointing them in the right direction.  I also checked the
engine sensor ground wires, as was suggested in the archives, to no avail.

Thanks in advance.


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