Real Stumper



I have a '01 intrepid with the smaller V6 (not sure of exact size, but it’s the smaller of the two available).

I ran into an odd problem. One day, I stopped at our storage shed and deposited a number of items into it. I have a problem with the trunk lid not wanting to remain open and if you’re not careful, it will slam shut very hard. This time, I was careful enough not to slam it shut. But once I was done, the car would not start. It cranked, and cranked and cranked - the battery was good, the starter was working fine. There was nothing wrong with the electrical system and the headlights were not dimmed (which means there was no significant current draw caused by a short somewhere in the system) But the car just would not fire up.

Then, purely on the kind of intuition you normally only get from the insane or a Pisces, I decided to open the trunk and then let it slam shut. The engine started on a dime. No problems, no engine codes generated, nothing to indicate a problem once the car started.

I’ve since duplicated this bizarre automotive (and human) behavior about three times now with two different intrepids. The other one being just one year older than mine.

Any ideas about what it could possibly be?


Bad connection at fuel pump or fuel pump going bad.
Have you ever heard “take a rubber hammer and hit gas tank then it will start” same thing.


Some connection to the fuel pump got disrupted and restored would be my guess.


No, I don’t usually hit things with mallets unless it’s really satisfying, but that makes sense. Sounds like something that could strand me someday, so I should get the connector cleaned up and checked out.

Thannks, both of you.


You might also find the reset for the emergency fuel pump shut off. It is often behind a panel in the trunk area - though I couldn’t say for certain on this car.

You can find out about how much time to spend worrying about the pump. If you can replicate it, do that and then turn the key to where the dash lights come on but not all the way 'til it cranks. Listen for the 2-3 second hum of the fuel pump. If you don’t hear it, do whatever you do with the trunk lid and repeat.