Automotive

Vehicle won't start unless gas pedal depressed, no engine light, no codes.

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  • Mar 9th, 2020 5:40 pm
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Newbie
Mar 3, 2020
1 posts
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Vehicle won't start unless gas pedal depressed, no engine light, no codes.

Car is 2000 Chrysler Intrepid

Won't start unless you depress the gas pedal, I have to push the gas pedal very close (but not all the way) to the floor of the car. Hard to start when it gets cold (Approx 3 hours of it being shut off). When I start with gas pedal, you smell gas around the vehicle. No Engine light on. No Codes show up. No backfiring, Not running rough, No RPM issues, When I get the vehicle going with the gas pedal, it rides smooth, and is even better after it is warm. New Battery. Tires. Air Filter was checked and called good.
Have not tested it on hills yet. Been mostly in city drove for last 2 years.

What is wrong with the car that I know for sure.
7 replies
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
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GTA
My old pickup truck used to smell like gas outside. Turns out one of the metal fuel pipe under the truck was badly rusted and seeping gas. But it would still start no probem. I suspect if a leak were bad enough, the system would have trouble bulding fuel pressure which could make the engine difficult to start.

I don't think pressing the accelerator is doing anything. Maybe introducing more air, but injection times are preset during cranking. The accelerator only takes over once the engine is running.
Deal Addict
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Nov 15, 2009
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Some areas to look at

Fuel Rail Leak could be caused by pinched O-Ring. If there was a recall on car about reinstalling fuel pressure regulator.
The O-Ring could cause loss of pressure causing timing chain to jump.

Fuel Pressure Regulator could be bad too. They say check the vacuum line going to fuel pressure regulator it might have fuel in it.

Bad Fuel Injectors

Ignition Switch

Crank or Cam sensor but I would assume this would set off check engine light.

Starter

Make sure to change oil on regular interval or frequency, this car has habit of building up sludge.
Last edited by MasterMK on Mar 5th, 2020 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jun 12, 2007
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London
derass wrote: My old pickup truck used to smell like gas outside. Turns out one of the metal fuel pipe under the truck was badly rusted and seeping gas. But it would still start no probem. I suspect if a leak were bad enough, the system would have trouble bulding fuel pressure which could make the engine difficult to start.
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Jess2020 wrote: .....,,When I start with gas pedal, you smell gas around the vehicle. ..,,,
+1, sign of a fuel line leak, likely due to rust (esp for an older car like a 2000)

The line will only drip on the ground during sstart (hence the smell). Once in motion, the gas is blown back against the underside and then evaporates so no smell in the car otherwise
Newbie
Sep 23, 2018
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Had very similar symptoms and issue on a CRV and GM recently, turned out to be a leak on a pressurized fuel line. Makes sense when you say it happens when the car has been sitting a while because the pressure doesn't hold on the line.

Try this, without starting or cranking the engine, cycle the ignition on for about 5 seconds at a time for about 3 cycles, this will give the fuel pump a chance to do its work and pressurize the line and then crank; your car should start like normal. For us both times the line was visibly leaking after turning it off and noticing the residue and smell on the driveway/garage.
Newbie
Jan 28, 2020
65 posts
31 upvotes
Jess2020 wrote: Car is 2000 Chrysler Intrepid

Won't start unless you depress the gas pedal, I have to push the gas pedal very close (but not all the way) to the floor of the car. Hard to start when it gets cold (Approx 3 hours of it being shut off). When I start with gas pedal, you smell gas around the vehicle. No Engine light on. No Codes show up. No backfiring, Not running rough, No RPM issues, When I get the vehicle going with the gas pedal, it rides smooth, and is even better after it is warm. New Battery. Tires. Air Filter was checked and called good.
Have not tested it on hills yet. Been mostly in city drove for last 2 years.

What is wrong with the car that I know for sure.
Try priming the car before you start it, key on engine off, should be the second click when you urn the key. let it prime for about 5 sec and then crank it funny. most of the time when its cold, the fuel takes a longer time to flow from the tank to the engine
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Oct 14, 2010
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Today's cars (with injectors) do not have "bowls" of fuel under the hood to get the car started while waiting for fuel to be pumped from the tank.

The fuel lines today need to remain under pressure when the car is sitting for long periods, in order to get instantaneous starts. If the pressure is leaking out somewhere, it will take a longer period of cranking, before the engine will start, because the fuel needs to be pumped all the way from the tank.

Since cars now have electric fuel pumps, you can simply turn on the ignition for a few seconds before trying to start the engine. If the problem is due to a leak, the fuel pump will re-pressurize the fuel line during these few seconds and the engine should start normally when you do finally crank the starter.

It is a valuable clue that you said the engine only starts if you hold the pedal down to the floor. This will actually stop the injectors from putting any fuel into the cylinders. The pedal-to-the metal procedure is used for clearing out a flooded engine. If this action seems to resolve the problem, then you may have a leaky injector which is causing 1 or more cylinders to be flooded with gas while the car is parked.

On the other hand, holding the pedal down, may be a red herring, and it is only the extended cranking time that allows the engine to start.

I suggest that you try turning on the ignition for a few seconds before cranking the engine ( as several others have already recommended) to eliminate a line leak as being the cause of the problem. As one member said, you might want to do this a couple of times, because often the fuel pump will only run for two seconds when the ignition is first turned on. Once an engine is running normally, power is applied to the fuel pump via an oil pressure switch to keep the pump running. This setup will cutoff the fuel when an engine loses oil pressure, and it will prevent pumping fuel when a car is involved in a collision and the engine stops.

If holding the pedal to the floor is indeed the only thing that works, then I suggest you have a leaky injector causing a flooded cylinder.

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