I have a 1988 Toyota 4Runner (3VZE) that has an intermittent starting issue.
It typically takes several cranks before it will start. However, on very cold days it often starts on the first crank. Once it has started it runs well.
I have also noticed that after driving it, it will usually restart first crank after it’s been sitting for a little bit. However, if it sits for a few hours it goes back to the hard-starting.
While it runs good, it does run rich. I notice a gassy smell after I get home and step out of the vehicle. Also it usually billows a bit of white smoke about 30 seconds after it starts up. It goes away pretty quickly though. I have not noticed any type of coolant leaks or any other leaks.
Additionally, I checked the CEL flash codes and am getting a 51 and 52 (TPS and Knock Sensor). Not sure if those codes have anything to do with the hard starting.
I have had a couple of shops look at it, but I don’t feel they were thorough. One replaced the cold start injector and adjusted the TPS. Didn’t make much difference so I took it to another mechanic and they put a new distributor cap and rotor button, along with new plug wires. When they had the truck, it would not reproduce the problem.
One last thing to mention is that a couple of times it has been jerky while driving. It typically does not jerk, but it did today temporarily (cleared up after re-started it) and then it was bucking and jerky a couple months back, but those are the only two times I’ve noticed.
I’m not really a mechanic but it seems as if there’s a fuel problem during the start-up process. I wouldn’t think it would be fuel pump or filter because it runs well once started. I don’t know though.
Any ideas on what this could be? What should I be looking at?
I am very hopeful someone can point me in the right direction and I can get this fixed. Thank you.