Starting problem after body work done


In an accident sep of last year with my 1998 Jeep wrangler. Rear ended. Mostly body damage (bumper, rear fender, trunk door). But, the one mechanical item that was damaged and needed replacement, was the fuel tank and line.

After getting it back from the other garage, i noticed a problem when starting the jeep. It never tuned over on first try, but always on the 3rd try.

Because I went through the insured parties approved mechanics (progressive), it was difficult to convey exactly what the issue was after i go it back. have about a month left to get this resolved (on their dime)

Didn’t have the starting problem after the accident, only after they worked on it. My guess, is that’s it’s associated with the fuel line.

can anyone help? tx


Most mechanics are going to interpret your statement this way- “turn over” means the starter motor is cranking the engine. “starting” means the engine is cranked and then starts.

Do you mean to say that the engine needs three attempts at “cranking” before it will “start”?

It’s a big difference because two failed attempts at getting the engine to turn over (crank) would point to an ignition switch, relay or solenoid problem whereas two failed attempts at starting the motor would point to fuel, spark etc type of problem.


If i’m understanding you correctly, it takes 3 "cranks: to start. It’s been this way since last October, and has not gotten worse.

Sometimes, the engine will almost start on the second start, then kind of *bucks and dies.

Could the accident and/or any of the repairs they did, have caused any of the possible issues you suggested? Or was it just pure coincidence as far as timing?


I’ll bet you’ve got a fuel pump problem or a check valve problem that is preventing a quick build up of pressure. You need to get a pressure guage on it though to see if the pressure comes right up or not when you turn the key. If they had to pull the tank though and messed with the pick up tube, it probably affected the pump.


Try this test: turn the key to RUN but not START. Wait 5 seconds. Turn the key to OFF. Repeat this 3 times and then try to start the engine.

This will prime the fuel system and check to see if the “check valve” in the fuel pump pickup is working. If not, the fuel drains all the way back to the tank each time you turn it off and then it takes quite a bit of cranking to re-prime the fuel system.

With modern computer systems, the fuel pump only runs for about 5 seconds when you first turn the key to RUN. When you turn the key to START, the engine begins cranking and if the engine doesn’t start within 5 seconds, the fuel pump is disabled and you have to start the process over again.

Let us know how this test comes out.


ok, great, tx to all.

I knew it wasn’t just pure coincidence!