CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Hard Starting Chevy Pickup

I live in the Northeast and have a 1996 Chevy Cheyenne pickup with a fuel injected small block that has 50k miles. Earlier this summer the truck developed a problem where it is very hard to start when cold (after sitting overnight or after sitting for many hours on my flat driveway). When the engine is cold (say the first start of the day) I can only get it to start by giving small bursts of cranking power to the starter. That is, it won’t start if I hold the key in the cranking position but is more likely to start if I give it a short burst of cranking power (when I hold the key in “start” position) for a second or two.
After the first start of the day, the engine runs fine and subsequent starts are quick and normal. The “Check Engine” light is not on and there are no trouble codes…. Other than hard starting there are no issues with engine performance.
Any suggestions?

Try turning the key to the “run” position for 10 seconds. Turn the key off and back to run again for 10 seconds and repeat. If it starts normally you may have a fuel pump or fuel delivery problem. I would have the fuel pressure tested in any case.