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Old 01-20-2016, 12:04 PM   #1
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Must cycle fuel pump to start

I have an 2005 ST and after it sits overnight or for several hours I have to cycle the fuel pump several times to get it to start. I was thinking fuel filter or the fuel pump is not holding psi. Just wondering if anyone has ever had the same trouble and could save me a few bucks in parts and some time.

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Old 01-20-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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Nothing wrong with replacing the filter at first signs of trouble; highly recommended.

If brave and do-it-smart; you could also power the pump while the fuel line is disconnected at the filter (or at the fuel rail) and inspect the burst/volume of fuel flow. The flow rate should both scare and impress you.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:19 PM   #3
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thanks it only has 88k and its garage kept. just trying to keep from throwing parts at it and save a buck.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:17 PM   #4
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I'm almost positive we don't have test ports on our fuel rails, that would make this an easy test. You want to find out if the system is holding pressure when the car shuts off. Theres usually a check valve in the pump that does this, so if it doesn't hold, pump replacement is usually the remedy. Theres a fuel rail pressure sensor on these cars, if you know someone with a scan tool that can read that sensor data, you could turn the key on and bring up that sensor data and let it sit for 30 minutes and see if it drops. It should hold some if not all the pressure. The pump only runs for a few seconds when the key goes forward, then stops until the engine cranks.

I would plan on a pump replacement.

People are quick to throw fuel filters at lean conditions and starting problems. A fuel filter will affect mpg slightly, but I've yet to see a fuel filter clogged enough to prevent a car from starting or holding back enough fuel to throw a lean code.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:13 PM   #5
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thanks I know someone with equipment to read the fuel sensor. I almost figured on a fuel pump but thought I would ask to make sure I was on the right track. thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marde View Post
Nothing wrong with replacing the filter at first signs of trouble; highly recommended...
Quote:
Originally Posted by svtfiend View Post
...People are quick to throw fuel filters at lean conditions and starting problems. A fuel filter will affect mpg slightly, but I've yet to see a fuel filter clogged enough to prevent a car from starting or holding back enough fuel to throw a lean code.
Great advice, great post.

Wanted to reply to clarify that I did not mean to suggest that the filter would cause or fix the symptoms of the OP. The idea was filter often gets forgotten, is not replaced ever/often enough, so replace it as preventative maintenance and this could also help an aging pump.

Changing the filter isn't like "throwing parts" at a problem. Replacing the filter at first signs of a fuel issue is a normal, knee-jerk reaction for me. Performing a fuel pressure test, leak down test, (like you said) is great advice for the OP. Makes me wonder how long my system holds pressure. Also, never knew about ("usually a") check-valve in the pump module, makes me wonder if we have one or not.

After your post, yes, I agree, it does sound like a weak pump.

FWIW: Here are my results with some fuel pressure testing with this car->
Connecting a fuel pressure gauge onto fuel rail
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Old 01-22-2016, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marde View Post
...Makes me wonder how long my system holds pressure...
Wonder-no-more Marde, I have some test results that answer this question.

With Key-On Engine-Off

FRPS -- Minutes
PSI
44.5 -- 0
43.9 -- 5
43.4 -- 10
42.6 -- 15
41.9 -- 20
40.1 -- 25
35.3 -- 30
28.8 -- 35
24.4 -- 40
19.3 -- 45


So, after 45 minutes, the FRPS PSI was at 19.3 psi. I then started the engine and it started as quick as normal; despite the 19.3 psi.

Lets pretend that (most MK1 cars) after 8 hours psi would drop to 5-psi or 0-psi. This very low psi does not matter because a healthy fuel pump/system will still start the engine very quickly. PSI bleed-off isn't a problem, unless (maybe) the bleed-off is much faster than the test results above.

Also, note that the test above was done using a PZEV which has some fuel system & EVAP uniqueness compared to non-PZEV cars. Without others sharing similar test results, it is difficult or foolish to make any conclusions based on only this one set of test results.
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