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Dodge Starter Problem

Q. Hello, First, here's the info you require in order asked:

  • 1995 Dodge Intrepid
  • 3.3 liter V-6
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Over 73,000 miles
  • Fuel injection

I bought this car used. And I'm pretty sure it needs a tune up since the "check engine light" comes on after awhile and it runs rough when hitting the 45 mph point. Figure probably bad spark plugs and/or wires, or even ignition coil needing to be replaced.

My real problem is when I go to start the car in the morning, it hesitates for a about 3 - 5 seconds. ( Upon turning key, nothing happens - then turn again, then will start up). I had the battery checked at an Autozone. The battery and alternator check fine. I've had starter problems before - I had previously owned 2 Firebirds, but they didn't act like this (maybe they do on this car?) After driving the car for awhile, the car starts up as it should after the first turn of the key. So only in the morning or if the car has been sitting for 10-12 hours does it give me the above problem. Could it be I have some sort of power drain? I turn off the A/C and radio when I park the car. Or is this starter related?

Thanks in advance, Mike

A. Mike, your chances of having a bad starter are about 95.5%. If it was a power drain problem, then it would crank very slowly, if at all. What you describe is a good indication of the starter brushes being worn down. I'd install a new starter to fix the problem.

Just to touch on your first comment briefly, needing a tune up will not turn the check engine light on. That indicates a problem in the fuel injection system. When you bring it in for the tune up, tell them about the light and they can check the computer for stored codes.

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