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My mystery car

Car in question, 2004 Chevy Malibu. Purchased 3 years ago.

Mystery 1.May of this year started having fits of not starting well. Sounds like it should start. Problem is intermittent. So far has always started on the 5-7 try.
Haven’t noticed that weather or temp. has any effect.

Mystery 2.When stopped and running there is a noticeable " irregular heartbeat".

Local dealership can’t seem to solve. Counting on you gentlefolk. Thanks.

2000 ranger

By “stopped and running” I presume you mean idling. Have all the recommended routine engine maintenance suggested by the owner’s manual been done and up to date? If not that’s the first place to start.

There are many things that can cause this. My first guess would be a vacuum leak. A vacuum hose may have broken, or a vacuum congtrolled device may have sprung a leak. Ask you mechanic to check the vacuum system.

Long cranking could be low fuel pressure. U have electric fuel pump. U could have bad coil which almost always causes idle hiccup. U have cam and crank sensors which can fail oddly.

Has anyone checked for stored fault codes?

If you can, hook up a fuel pressure gauge. Observe it when the car’s not starting.

What have the local dealerships tried or done?

I’m thinking you may have a fuel pump on the verge of failure. It is in the gas tank, and requires dropping the tank for replacement. IF you think you are game for doing this yourself, be sure to do it when the tank is nearly empty. As stated above, get the fuel pressure checked.