Replace the plug wires (with OEM!). You're overdue and you need them
Plug wires really only last about seven years before the insulation gets
dodgy. In wet or humid weather, the HT current leaks off before the
plugs and you'll get a weak spark.
If replacing the plug wires doesn't help, then further diag is
How's your coolant level in the rad and in the expansion reservoir?
Try cranking for about half a second, letting the switch rest in the "run"
position for a few seconds, then starting. If the engine starts right away,
the fuel rail pressure is probably bleeding off.
If not that, do the usual tune-up things. Replace distributor cap, rotor and
plug wires with OEM parts if they are original, and replace the plugs
(ditto) with NGK plugs or OEM plugs. If you are not using top tier gasoline
regularly, a bottle of injector cleaner (most people favor Techron) in the
tank is in order. Make things right first, then troubleshoot.
I always turn the key and wait for the "buzzer" to go off before attempting
to start. Always use premium fuel also. Have never used injector cleaner -
have always been skeptical. Will consider though.
What I suggest is to "bump" the starter and then wait a few seconds before
actually trying to start. The fuel pump in most cars doesn't run until the
starter has first been engaged, then it will run for (usually) about five
seconds in hopes the engine will start in that time. That behavior is what
is used for the "shadetree" test for fuel pressure leakoff. By allowing the
pump to run and pressurize the fuel rail, the engine will then start (or
not) the same regardless whether the pressure had leaked off. Why does it
matter, and the engine not start after a very short delay? I don't know,
although I've watched a fuel pressure guage while doing this to a Jeep that
had a leaky check valve - in the tank! - and the pump took a couple seconds
to build the pressure back up.
Toyota does that.
Honda runs the fuel pump for two seconds when the ignition key is first
turned to "II". This coincides with the illumination of the "Check Engine"
light during those two seconds.
I have found it helpful to wait an additional few seconds after that
initial priming, before cranking. The car seems to start faster that way.
X 2 about the injector cleaner. You may have a dribbling injector that's
bleeding your fuel rail pressure over time. Has it ever been WORSE on
Monday morning? I try too use injector cleaner 3 - 4 x per year.
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