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Hard cold start for a 1997 Eclipse

My son had the starter replaced on his 97 Eclipse a couple of months ago and ever since then it seems to be more difficult to start if it has been sitting for a few hours or more. It cranks for 5 or 10 seconds before it catches. If the car is warm or has only sat for an hour or two it starts fine. The battery has been tested and is fine. The fuel filter was replaced about 30k miles ago. He also thinks he has one injector that is performing below par. It idles a tad rough. A friend said to clean or change the air filter and change the fuel filter. He had injector cleaner put in it the other day but that has not helped the starting issue at all yet. Don’t know if the injector issue is causing the poor starting or not.

When you turn the key to the position right before the start position, do you hear a whirr coming from the tank area that lasts about a second or two?

Among many other things, it could also be temperature sensor related. Subarus, for instance, have that exact ailment when the temperature sensor breaks. It could be similar on your car.

don’t know- I will ask my son to check it.

no whirring that we could detect.

Next time, try turning the key to the position right before start a couple of times before actually starting. In other words, go to that position and turn it off and repeat that maybe four times. Then see if it wants to start normally.

That whirring is the pump running for a second or two. It is supposed to prime the fuel injection rail, bringing it up to proper pressure. If that’s not happening, it can point to a number of things.

But first try it and tell us how you make out.

I will contact my son- he is away at school and give him your advice. Will let you know what he says.