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98 GX Very Difficult to Start Cold, Starts and Runs Great After Warmed Up

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  • 98 GX Very Difficult to Start Cold, Starts and Runs Great After Warmed Up

    177k miles, we've had this for car for 5 or 6 years. Had to clean the injector a few times and replace a couple. All 4 injectors in it now are from an 80k mile donor car.

    It's very hard to start. Don't know if that's from the cold temps of the season or if something is going bad. It starts really rough and takes over 10 minutes of gas pedal fiddling to smooth out enough to stay running. By then the CEL is flashing so I turn it off. After a minute I start it again and it will drive off with the CEL solid. After a short time when it is fully warmed up it runs really smooth and great, with all the power expected from this car. In years past the car started ok in the winter but was garaged at night. My daughter owns it now but has no garage.

    I'm wondering about the thermo valve, or the HP fuel regulator though their symptoms don't match up exactly to what I've got. Or maybe its the spark plugs again and I need 4 brand new ones. Any ideas? Thanks.

  • #2
    A flashing CEL indicates misfiring. From past experience with my first generation GX, it's usually bad spark plug wires arcing inside the spark plug tubes in the cylinder head. The best spark plug wires are the NGK HE76. The best spark plugs are the NGK PFR7B stock #4853. The spark plugs must be gapped to around .032"

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    • #3
      Thanks for the suggestions. The plug wires are name brand, about a year old, I can look into that. The plugs are the correct ngk, also about a year old. I'll pull one to verify the gap.

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      • #4
        I've had the NGK spark plug wires last less than two years. They look like brand new and are perfectly good on the outside, but they arc inside the spark plug tube holes. And it does seem like the misfires with the bad plug wires are worse when the engine is cold.

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        • #5
          Spark plugs and wires are good to go. No change in symptoms. Last Saturday when temps broke above 50 I started it, let it go through it's rough warm up, stopped it to clear the CEL. It started great warm, then I drove it 10 miles on City and on freeway. It ran perfectly while warm, I mean really well, and the CEL didn't return during the drive. Started it yesterday to move it, same rough start so the mystery continues.
          Last edited by born2pdl; 02-20-2018, 12:36 PM.

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          • #6
            What code(s) do you get?

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            • #7
              Hard start? rough running till warmed up? cold weather? used to be parked indoors, sounds like wet gas to me.

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              • #8
                Codes are multiple misfires.

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                • #9
                  A few years ago I got a call from a University. They bought a dedicated CNG pick up. It came from a southern area. 19 degrees and it wouldn't start. Push it indoors and let it warm up ran fine.

                  I have a bi-fuel pick up. Filled up at public fueling, the truck was warmed up from the previous 300 miles. Ran fine all the way home. Topped off with home fueling. About half a tank. Next morning I had to go 60 miles to check a utility company CNG system. -8 degrees that morning. Couldn't even get the truck to run on CNG for 40 miles. Then it ran like cr*p. Another half a tank used on that trip Got back home and topped off with home fueling. Next few days, a little warmer, running a little better. Always home fuel top offs. 3-4 days and back to normal. Had to get that moist fuel burned out of the system.

                  Moisture will eventually cause corrosion in the fuel system too.

                  Home fueling with a line gas desiccant filter to dry the gas before compression.

                  Multiple codes - frozen injectors? regulator?

                  Good thing your not in the upper north. A dedicated vehicle with moisture in the system may not start till spring. But hey, February is the short month.

                  Oh and I try to avoid public fueling...especially in the winter.

                  71 cents/gge with home fueling. (59 cents gas, 12 cents electricity)

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