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Cold start problems


iceberg

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Hi all,

My 92 SE HighWing has problems starting when it's cold. It can take up to 5 minutes to get her started. I just had a B-service done but no change. Once she has started... no problems. Warm engine... no problems.

So, I already have new oil, new plugs. Any idea where to look next?

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Do you drive the car regularly?

A friends SE (oddly enough also a high wing) had the same problem, he used to use a fan heater in the engine bay before firing it up. It was solved by getting out in the car more, ended up firing on the button.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Sounds like it could be a lack of cold-start enrichment to me. I had a similar problem on my S4 Elan which was fixed when I reconnected the choke cable to the Stromberg CD carbutetors. Had to crank for ages before it would fire and then it was fine. Hot, it was no problem.

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S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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The car is used app. two times per week. I call that regularly :-). The battery is connected to an Optimate so that can be ruled out. I also cleaned all the relays in the engine compartment (read that in an old thread)

Sounds like it could be a lack of cold-start enrichment to me. I had a similar problem on my S4 Elan which was fixed when I reconnected the choke cable to the Stromberg CD carbutetors. Had to crank for ages before it would fire and then it was fine. Hot, it was no problem.

This sounds logical to me. Mine is an injection. There must be a sensor telling it that enrichment is called for. What and where would that be?

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I am having exactly the same problem with my 94 S4, loads of cranking to get it to fire.

I plan on checking the freescan see if the ECU temp sensor is telling the truth...

Lotus Esprit S4 - Work in progress

Porsche 924 Turbo - Parts chaser

Smart Roadster Coupe - Hers

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I am having exactly the same problem with my 94 S4, loads of cranking to get it to fire.

I plan on checking the freescan see if the ECU temp sensor is telling the truth...

Freescan high on my list too but the USB cables are out-of-stock. Any idea where the ECU temp sensor is located?

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This might seem a bit " back to basics" but if the car isn't used regularly it could be the fuel is getting a bit stale...just a thought...

Though this be madness yet there is method in it ( Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet)

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Try turning the key on (do not start) and off several times, each time listening for the fuel pump to stop running. This will build up fuel pressure.

Then attempt to start the car.

If it is easier to start this way then you probably have a fuel pressure issue.

You might not be pressurizing the tank, pointing to a leak in the evaporative recovery system.

You might have a problem with the fuel pump, or the pressure regulator.

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

 

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Try turning the key on (do not start) and off several times, each time listening for the fuel pump to stop running. This will build up fuel pressure.

Then attempt to start the car.

If it is easier to start this way then you probably have a fuel pressure issue.

Nope, that does not help. It also get worse as the temperature outside gets lower. Is that somehow a clue?

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Are your water temp ,MAS sensor working correctly? only way to tell would be to use the Freescan reader ,if your ECU thinks your engine is still warm it wont allow the fuel enrichment side(like a conventional choke) of the injection to start,also many years ago i had a simular problem which turned out to be a lazy fuel pump,check your fule pressure you can do this relatively easily without Freescan,schrader valve on the fuel rail,depress slowly with lots of rags should get a really good squirt of fuel,another indication of a lazy pump would be hesatation under hard acceleration and a lumpy engine/ driving etc

Nick S4s

Simplest things first.

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I have a fuel pressure test kit for my 924 that might fit, I'll look at plumbing that into mine somewhere.

TBH it does feel like it's not getting fuel but when it's warm it starts just fine.

Lotus Esprit S4 - Work in progress

Porsche 924 Turbo - Parts chaser

Smart Roadster Coupe - Hers

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Are your water temp ,MAS sensor working correctly? only way to tell would be to use the Freescan reader ,if your ECU thinks your engine is still warm it wont allow the fuel enrichment side(like a conventional choke) of the injection to start,

Thanks Nick. This sounds logical to me. I hope my FreeScan cable will arrive this week (fingers crossed). Today I tried to start her but... no dice. Right now recharging the battery. Really can't wait for FreeScan! Ah well, just need to be patient.

Where is the water temp sensor located?

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Hi Ake,

there are two (2) water temperature sensors:

1 - mouted in the outlet of the waterpump - this one is for the dashboard gauge

2 - mounted at the back in the engine block under the inlet manifold - this one is for the ECU

the two sensors are completely independant of each other, the temp displayed at the temp. gauge can be different of what the ECU sees.

Best regards, freek

Esprit Freak

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can you hear the pump run when you turn the key to "ON" but do not start the car? You should hear a faint whiiring noise in the right fuel tank behind the firewall.

Yes, I can hear the pump the first time I turn the key. It will pump for about 3 seconds. I get the feeling that it can build up pressure because the second or third time... no pump.

Hi Ake,

there are two (2) water temperature sensors:

1 - mouted in the outlet of the waterpump - this one is for the dashboard gauge

2 - mounted at the back in the engine block under the inlet manifold - this one is for the ECU

the two sensors are completely independant of each other, the temp displayed at the temp. gauge can be different of what the ECU sees.

Freek, could you be more specific as to where I can find the ECU sensor?

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Hi Ake,

the ECU coolant temperature sensor is screwed into the inlet manifold water jacket on the right hand side of the engine block between cylinder 3 & 4 close to the knock sensor. The sensor is located below the inlet manifold.

It's all in the service notes section EMH.

Freek

Edited by fjmuurling

Esprit Freak

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  • 6 months later...

In case anyone wonders how this ended...

It turned out to be a faulty fuel pump relay. By chance I replaced it and the problem went up in smoke :thumbup:. I now have a car that starts immediately!

What luxury!!!

Edited by iceberg
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