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Old 04-13-2007, 07:04 PM   #1
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99 Metro slow start prob

We got a '99 Metro to replace our Festiva, which I mentioned here, still for sale: http://www.gassavers.org/showthread.php?t=3042 Alas, the Metro is an automatic, not a manual. Necessary so a certain member of the family can drive it.

Prob is, when it's been off for more than a few minutes, it takes a lot of cranking to get the Metro to start. And then when it does finally start, it idles rough for 5 to 10 seconds. I've also noticed it sometimes hesitates when I take off from a stop. Other than that, it runs great. We think maybe the fuel filter needs cleaning (and guess we shouldn't have bought a new filter-- manual we got at the same time says the filter is _in_ the gas tank and does not need replacing). Another possibility is the spark plug wires, or perhaps ignition module.

Anyone got a good idea what the problem is? I'm asking in case this is a very common problem, and someone instantly recognizes it and knows exactly what to do about it.

Also got me a nice shiny new Scangauge II now that I have a car new enough to use it on. Been managing 40 MPG when traffic is light.

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Old 04-13-2007, 07:25 PM   #2
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When I had a hard time starting an old car of mine I found the timing was way the hell off.

I had changed everything first since it needed to be tuned. this will allow you to do a better job with the idle and timing.

Of all of the cars (27) that I have owned I have changed the fuel filters in at least 18 of them and only 1 of them showned any kind of improvement. All of the rest showed no change whatsoever.

Also have the cat temp checked. If it is really hot and the muffler really cool than you have a clogged cat.

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Old 04-14-2007, 02:15 PM   #3
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brelandt had some great ideas. Just a shot off the top of my head, fuel pump may be going bad. Actually I had that problem before on my Saturn (when I had a Saturn). The Metro pump is nearly identical.
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Old 04-14-2007, 04:25 PM   #4
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I don't know.

Question though: is it only hard to start when hot? Or all the time?

One place you might check is teamswift.net. Many more experts there on the mechanical side of these cars.

Also, I typically head over to cartalk.com and search their newspaper column archive when I'm stumped. There's some good info available there - usually get some ideas on where to start looking.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:58 PM   #5
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problem is fixed! Fuel pump seal...

Over the past week, I'd done my best to run the tank as low as I could without running out of gas. Think I had about a gallon left. Fuel gauge had just reached the bottom of the red zone. (Got 9.046 gallons in when I filled it today.) Yesterday we took the gas tank out and pulled the fuel pump for a look. You're right, the problem was there...

What we saw was that the fuel pump had been replaced by an incompetent. Whoever did it got the wrong pump, cut the wire plug off and spliced on some wires. There was this rubber part shaped like the valve cap on a tire stem, with a hole in the top. Has ribbed sides. That part goes on the exit pipe of the fuel pump. It didn't fit the pump that was in there properly-- was very loose-- and had ripped though it was still in one piece. The pump that was in there looks like maybe it's the pump for a '94 metro, as the exit pipe had a flared tip just like the pics of the '94 pump.

We still don't know what's supposed to be in there, but that rubber part fit the correct fuel pump fine. Had to use the old strainer. The strainer for the new pump would not fit in the assemblage. The old strainer didn't fit perfectly either but it did go in-- the assemblage had been stretched the necessary millimeter or two to make it fit. The new pump had nothing like the rubber part we have but instead came with an o-ring that we thought would only work up the pipe until it was free of the assemblage and then leak like mad, so we glued the rips on the rubber part and reused it. Anyway, since neither the '94 pump's (if that's what it was) exit pipe nor the '99 pump's strainer fit the assemblage, then what the heck car was that assemblage from, with that rubber cap?

Not an ideal solution. I hope it holds up, but if not at least we've worked out how to get the gas tank in and out. But the car now starts like it should, and no longer hesitates when accelerating from a stop.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:55 AM   #6
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Hmm, it's hard to say what that fuel pump is from. I know somepeople ( like me) just buy the cheapest fuel pump available and bang it into place. No troubles with this method so far. I never really considered the next owner of the vehicle though.

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