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04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

 
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Old 30 Mar 2012, 12:11 pm
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Default 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

I have an 04 non turbo, all stock. Recently started having intermittent issues when starting.... the engine would fire, but immediately misfire and stall out. Sometimes it would start fine if I would just wait 15 minutes, sometimes with a little persistence it would start and I would smell fuel out the tailpipe (similar to a carbureted car when it was flooding). Throwing no codes and passed smog just fine. Dealer suggested I get a new ignition key made with a possible transponder issue, did that no change. Another said replace the fuel injectors, did that no change. Becoming very frustrated with the car, totally unreliable at the moment. Have loved the car owned it for 6 years now no big issues until this. Has anyone heard of this pattern before?
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Old 30 Mar 2012, 01:05 pm
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

First off, those two suggestions are total BS! I wish you would have come here first, we could have saved you some money, or at least walked you through ways to troubleshoot these issues.

Second - these sound like compounded issues - meaning more than one. You need to peel the onion. I would start with the basics - and here's my questions to lead you to some trials on troubleshooting:
  1. Run a can of Seafoam through your gas tank - fill up with 93 octane and then add in a can. Run your car for an hour if you can. On the next step, if you know your oil needs changing, then add 1/4th of that can to your oil and let it run through, but you need to change the oil right away after running for 30 to 60 minutes. This is because it sometimes knocks loose sludge and you don't want that sitting in your oil pan.
  2. When was your oil last changed? If more than 3 months or 5k miles, then change your oil, and I suggest synth versus dino! You can buy a 5 quart jug of Mobil 1 at Wally's World for $25! Best price I've ever seen for it.
  3. When were your spark plugs last changed? If more than 12 months or 15k miles, I'd suggest pulling them out and verifying their condition. If burnt or oiled, I'd change them. Also, verify gap, should be around 0.040 for nominal function (don't follow owner's manual suggestion on gap!).
  4. Feel your spark plug wires (engine off!) - if you notice any cracking, stiff spots that feel sort of melted, or loose spots that just wobble around, then get rid of them. Find you some good plug wires minimum 8.5 mm. Personally, I'd got with the 10.2 mm wires as they will last forever. Turbo heat ends the life of plug wires rather rapidly. If you have an ohmmeter, pull the plug wires and test them out. If they are more than 1000 ohms, GET RID OF THEM. If they are factory plug wires, then don't waste your time, just get rid of them because they are POS!
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Personally, my belief is you're throwing a code but not capturing it. Or, could be fuel line, fuel filter, or fuel pump problems. Either way, going through the suggested steps above will reduce the amount of possible issues.

JUST MY SUGGESTIONS - DO WHAT YOU WISH, THESE HAVE ALWAYS WORKED FOR ME!

Last edited by Chromenut; 30 Mar 2012 at 01:08 pm.
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Old 30 Mar 2012, 01:44 pm
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

Good deal, will do. I replaced the plugs and wires about four months ago, and the car has about 2000 miles on it since that time. When I did the injectors yesterday I pulled the plugs since the upper intake was off and they look very clean. I did have to put a new coil pack on it about 6 months ago for the car had intermittent dying problems while driving, but this appears to be a different issue now. Oil was changed 2 months ago with synthetic (have used it for three years now). I will get the seafoam and try that. never have changed the fuel filter and the car has 142k on it.
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Old 30 Mar 2012, 01:50 pm
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by mt04pt View Post
Good deal, will do. I replaced the plugs and wires about four months ago, and the car has about 2000 miles on it since that time. When I did the injectors yesterday I pulled the plugs since the upper intake was off and they look very clean. I did have to put a new coil pack on it about 6 months ago for the car had intermittent dying problems while driving, but this appears to be a different issue now. Oil was changed 2 months ago with synthetic (have used it for three years now). I will get the seafoam and try that. never have changed the fuel filter and the car has 142k on it.
Fuel filter isn't changeable, sadly. It's a part of the fuel pump assembly, which is mounted inside your gas tank, so it's a PITA to get to.

Do you know, has your water pump assembly and belt been replaced? Also, check all your wiring to your cam and crank sensors, make sure they are making clean connections.
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Old 01 Apr 2012, 06:25 pm
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

Yeah, I changed the timing belt last summer and replaced the water pump at the same time since everything was apart. I have been building cars for over 25 years and that belt job was the worst thing I have ever had to do clearance wise. What a pain that was! Anyway, I tried today to see if the intake was leaking but it looked good, pulled the battery power + cable off for awhile just to draw at straws, still gave me issues today. it happens about once every four starts, which doesn't really give me a "trend" to work with, but its not every start. I checked vacuum lines, all good. Looked at electrical connections, all good based on appearance. When it gives me issues it starts but immediately misfires and after about 2 to 5 seconds dies out. Sometimes if I pump the gas pedal wildly when this is happening, it recovers and runs clean.
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Old 17 May 2012, 12:04 am
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

did you solve this?
Reason I ask is my 04 starting doing this also, what I noticed was if the front is downhill when started after setting no issues, but if flat or up hill setting for about 6 hours then it has this very problem. Once on it runs great.
I had done all the items already suggested as well.
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Old 13 Jun 2012, 05:36 pm
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

No, I still have not solved the issue. I did replace the fuel pump assembly, which includes the filter, and the car runs noticeably smoother but two days later the P0171 code came up again. I have replaced the PCV valve and molded hose as well. In the morning the car will not start on the first try, but it will after that and runs ok all day now, with a slight rough idle. Sometimes during uphill climbing with 4 in the car the car surges around 4,000-5,000 rpm. After spending so much on cam and crank sensors, pcv and hose, plugs, wires, filters, oil changes, new injectors, now the fuel pump assembly, I am becoming pretty discouraged. Any other ideas?
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Old 15 Jun 2012, 08:28 am
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

The maf sensor could be acting up, with that lean condition. Sense you already used injector cleaner.
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Old 15 Jun 2012, 09:14 am
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

OBD-II DTC: P0171 System Too Lean (Bank 1)

We have a MAP sensor- ACRONYMS!!!!!
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Old 26 Aug 2012, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: 04 PT Starting Problem including misfiring

I wanted to give you an update on my PT. I did replace the MAF sensor about a month ago, for the car had started to idle wildly and lost power where it would not go over 25mph with a huge misfire (sounded like it was running on 2 cylinders). it then died, but after it cooled off it ran fine again. The sensor did calm the car down for about a month, and last week, only when the A/C was on, the idle would be around 1500rpm, then would fluctuate between that and around 600, which with an A/T car posed its own set of challenges. Many have said I should replace the throttle position sensor, but would that really cure my misfiring issues? Also, the car died yesterday after the issues came up again pre-MAF sensor replacement. Code P0171 came up, and the check engine light was flashing wildly before it died. As a recap from my previous posts, here is what I have changed:
Timing Belt (12 months ago)
Plugs/Wires (8 months ago)
Cam Sensor/Crank Sensor (earlier this year)
PCV Valve and molded hose (four months ago)
Fuel Pump assembly/strainer-filter, including float (earlier this summer)
Fuel injectors (this past spring)

I think that's it..... (whew!).

Any input is always valued and appreciated from this forum!!
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