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Trouble in Dodge

have a dodge neon that has a hard time starting. if i turn the key about 6-8 times i hear a noise like a pump ( i am guessing) and then it starts. if i do not turn the key on and off it will not start. any ideas?

Year, mileage, and maintenance history please.
And exactly what does it do when you try to start it? Does it click? Does it make any noise at all?
Have you had the battery checked?
Any other symptoms?

101.008 maintenance history is i change my oil as i should,and that’s pretty much it. When i try to start it it tries to start,but wont. And the battery is fine.

Oh sorry 98 Neon

How do you know the battery is fine? Have you tested it?

Am I to understand that you’ve gone 101,008 miles without every changing the sparkplugs, the filters, the serpentine belt, or the timing belt?

Have you been experiencing any recent symptoms while it was still operating?

Okay, lets try this over. I think i needed to be specific before posting. Definitely my fault.
Yes i have had the battery tested.
I had a tune up maybe 6 months ago.
I have not had any symptoms after i get it started. It ran rough a few times but i thought it might have been water in the gas used dry gas and that seemed to take care of it. If i try to start it like anybody would,the engine will turn over,but it does not seem like its getting gas. If i turn the key but not enough to engage the starter i hear whats sounds like a pump is engaging,now sometimes i hear this and only a few times i hear nothing. But if i keep turning it on and off the sound comes back and as stated before after 6-8 turns of the key and only after hearing this sound will my car start. I do not know what else to write. I do appreciate your reply’s.

That sound likely is the pump priming your fuel lines. It may not be happening when you first start the car.
Not sure how they do that on Neons but on Hondas they have a relay that does that. You may want to look in that direction.

Sounds like your fuel pump is on its way out… The fuel pump is like any other electric motor, it has lots of little windings. One of those winding is bad, and when the pump stops on that winding it can’t start spinning again. The turning it on and off, gets it to kind of jerk past the bad winding to a good winding and the pump starts spinning again. At least that is what it sounds like from your description.

The test would be to put a fuel pressure gauge on the car when cold. See if the fuel pressure comes right up when you turn the key (which it should) or if it only comes up after you turn the key on and off a few times.

After thinking about it, it MAY also be a bad ignition switch, but I a really leaning towards the pump.

The fuel pump is in your tank. The pump has a check valve in it to keep the fuel in the lines from draining back in to the tank! It sounds like the valve is stuck open when you cut the car off for any amount of time the lines drain! The sound you hear is the pump filling the lines back up, and the pump will prime every three rotations of the key! Replace the pump and it will be fine!!!

Thanks to all for trying to help me out. I just hope that i find a good mechanic that does not charge me an arm and a leg to find and fix the problem. If i ever have another problem i will do my best to be more descriptive in my post. Once again thank you all for sharing your thoughts on the subject.

Try this, in the first start, turn the key to the run position and leave it there for about 5 seconds, then turn to start and see if it starts the first time. If it does, that means you have a weak fuel pump, a clogged fuel filter, or a leak in your fuel rail that is allowing the fuel pressure to drain off after you shut down the engine. The leak in the fuel rail could be an injector or the pressure regulator.

If the car starts on the first turn using this procedure, shut down and pull the vacuum hose off the end of the fuel rail. This is on the opposite end from the fuel line. If it is wet with gas, the regulator is bad. If not, then an injector. You are not likely to see or smell gas in either case, but your gas mileage might be a little lower than you expect.

I agree with Keith but usually recommend 20 seconds.

I also support keith’s test. Post back with the results.