Q: Hard starting after replacing fuel pump

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Recently replaced electric fuel pump on my 1996 Dodge Dakota because of faulty fuel sending unit. Normally it would take only about 3 cranks of the engine in order to start. Now it takes about 20-25 cranks of the engine on order to start.

My car has 164000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The fuel pump replacement and the subsequent hard starting might be mere coincidence. A way to find out is to request a hard starting diagnostic during which the responding mechanic will inspect not only the fuel supply system, but also ignition, air induction, and key sensors such as any coolant temperature sensor or switch that is responsible for fuel enrichment at cold start. Any time you suspect a fuel "supply" issue, you can always manually enrich the mixture by spraying starter fluid in the intake as you crank (you’ll need an assistant obviously). If the engine then starts much quicker, that would suggest inadequate fuel at start-up and that could be due to problems with the cold start "system" (enrichment), plugged injectors, fuel filer, pressure regulator and so forth. In all events, if you request a hard starting diagnostic this will be diagnosed and resolved for you promptly.

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