Hard to start

Asked by Aug 03, 2014 at 11:49 AM about the 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 4 Dr ST Extended Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Had a problem with a wire near firewall that let my truck know to engage the fuel pump.
thought i fixed it now 6 months later,  same problem again. Every garage is telling me its
my starter REPLACED IT. Not it. So my question is how do i fix the problem for good. I
love the truck but, i have a hard time getting it started when it is not hot......

10 Answers

1,155

It sounds to me like you have typical Dodge Truck issue. What happens is when it sits all the gas drains out of the fuel line. This is caused by the check ball in the fuel pump sticking because of varnish. Try this trick to confirm it. When cold turn the ignition on BUT DON'T START. Just turn all the way on so the fuel pump will run. Turn it off and do this a second and third time. On the third time after 5 seconds go ahead and try to start. I'll bet it fires right up. If it does then my hunch is correct and it's an easy fix. Run two bottles of fuel cleaner with each full tank of gas for the next three or four tanks. This usually gets the varnish off the check ball. Then every so often run a bottle through the gas to keep it clean. Continue to use the trick to get gas back in your fuel lines when the truck is cold. The fuel pump doesn't run while starting because of the draw the starter pulls. So you have to "fill" the fuel lines back up until you get the varnish cleaned off of the check ball.

21 of 21 people found this helpful.
1,155

I should add when you turn the ignition on to run the fuel pump leave it on for 5 seconds before turning off to repeat the cycle.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
90

I did the trick with the starter.. sure enough it started right up.. hate to run gas cleaner thru though. that's gonna be expensive and I don't trust stuff like that... I wonder if I could install a check valve in line right after the gas tank?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
90

well, I did not want to put a lot of that "cleaner" stuff in my gas tank because it can cause the gaskets and seals to soften up. so, I installed a $7 check valve on the gas line right after the gas tank and it did the trick. starts right up. :)

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
110

My dodge has the same problem. I have to hold the key down for 3-6 seconds when starting it up. It's not just when it's cold, it's at random times. I tried the what you told Stuart to do, but I still have to hold the key down for 3-6 seconds. My battery, starter, and alternator are all good. I changed out my ignition switch, and lock.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
20

Donnell did you get it fixed and if so how? Mine just started this after noon after I got off work and cashed my check then I went and had the battery alternator and starter checked they said it's all good! What do I do

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
110

Is there a faint knocking sound coming from the driver side of your engine?

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
30

I have an 01 ram that has a hard start and a faint knocking from the drivers side of the engine for 6 months now. Its had a complete tune up & its not the battery or the starter. Any suggestions?

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Knocking sound on driver side of mine and it doesn't start right off the bat anymore at all except i first time in morning time

My 2000 Ram 1500 was turning over but not starting after sitting for, I'm guessing, at least 3 or 4 days (possibly longer though). It would start after about the 4th or 5th try, but meanwhile, in the times trying to start it, it made a strange sound after shutting the key off, almost like it was trying to start, and smoke was coming out of the air cleaner. I noticed a bit of oil in there too. Anyway, it's at my local mechanic's, and I mentioned this idea about it being varnish on the check ball, and how to prove it, and also the idea of a check valve on the fuel line being the solution. He's going to try that. Hopefully that fixes it.

Your Answer

Ram 1500

Looking for a Used Ram 1500 in your area?

CarGurus has 10,817 nationwide Ram 1500 listings starting at $1,500.

ZIP:

Dodge Ram 1500 Experts

  • #1
    Dan Connell
    Reputation
    6,480
  • #2
    pudgybear
    Reputation
    6,300
  • #3
    dandyoun
    Reputation
    5,710
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford F-150
2,579 Great Deals out of 199,176 listings starting at $1,300
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2,285 Great Deals out of 169,703 listings starting at $1,000
Used Dodge Ram 2500
161 Great Deals out of 5,079 listings starting at $2,200
Used GMC Sierra 1500
1,013 Great Deals out of 66,364 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota Tacoma
584 Great Deals out of 45,038 listings starting at $1,790
Used Ford F-250 Super Duty
326 Great Deals out of 45,896 listings starting at $1,700
Used Dodge Dakota
87 Great Deals out of 3,679 listings starting at $1,750
Used Ford Mustang
596 Great Deals out of 36,387 listings starting at $899
Used Dodge Ram 3500
82 Great Deals out of 2,209 listings starting at $5,750

Used Cars For Sale

2010 Dodge Ram 1500 For Sale
71 Great Deals out of 1,367 listings starting at $6,995
2009 Dodge Ram 1500 For Sale
39 Great Deals out of 1,077 listings starting at $5,990
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 For Sale
68 Great Deals out of 1,531 listings starting at $3,000
2007 Dodge Ram 1500 For Sale
30 Great Deals out of 1,394 listings starting at $2,788
2006 Dodge Ram 1500 For Sale
63 Great Deals out of 1,328 listings starting at $2,994

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.