Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car hesitates only on cold starts - 1997 Dodge Dakota

asked by on

97 dodge Dakota hesitate only on cold starts. Clears up completely after a minute or so of idling or driving about a mile. After the cold hiccup stage it runs great. I have changed the iac, tps, pcv valve, plugs, wires, cap and rotor. I don't mind letting it warm up for a minute but I'm afraid it could be a sign of a more serious issue. There isn't a check engine light or trouble codes. Fires right up. Almost as soon as I turn the key. You just can't drive it right away unless you want to deal with the slight hiccup the first mile. Gets decent fuel mileage for a 318. About 14 in town and 17-18 highway. I have searched around for vacuum leaks but can't find any. I can't figure it out. If I let it do its warm up ritual I can get strait onto the interstate and run 80 mph no problem. No problem while driving either. I just just went on a 300 mile trip with no issues at all.

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. In most cases, cold starting issu...

Hi there. In most cases, cold starting issues are commonly caused by low fuel pressure inside the fuel injector nozzles. When it gets cold, fuel that is inside the fuel lines tends to flow backwards, which causes hesitation and engine stumbling upon initial fire. As the engine warms, the fuel pressure improves and this problem goes away. It's sometimes caused by dirty or clogged fuel injectors or the throttle body being dirty as well. Sometimes, cleaning the fuel injectors will help to reduce this issue. Otherwise, you can contact a mobile mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, and have them complete an inspection to determine why the car is hard to start so they can figure it out and recommend the right repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Door leaking in rain

If the vehicle has not been involved in an accident that could cause the door to be misaligned, even after a body repair, the problem could be a damaged weatherstrip gasket. This is common in older vehicles as the weatherstripping...

Q: A 500 Transmission is shifting harshly or delayed upon take off. There is no Check Engine or MIL light.

Hi there. Check the downshift solenoid on the transmission. It seems that the solenoid is sticking or not functioning correctly. I recommend servicing the transmission with changing the transmission oil and filter. If there is some dirt or gummy slush...

Q: Possible slipping clutch? When in 2Nd or 3Rd I give it a bit of acceleration and the motor revs really high before engaging.

Hi there. If the engine is revving high without the vehicle moving much then it is typically caused by a slipping clutch. I usually check the hydraulics first just to make sure that nothing is binding or hanging up keeping...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.