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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a 2011 Dodge Nitro Heat 4.0L and recently, it started to give me a hard start. I think it started a few months ago, around the end of January. We did have -40 to -50°F wind chills around this time.

The best way to describe it is this:
(not my video, but almost exactly what it does). The RPM gauge will move up and down between 0.5 and 1.5, it will bounce around a lot, then eventually die out.

I initially did some research and all the problems led me to believe it was a fuel pump issue. I took it to a shop, and I don't think they fully identified the problem and said it was -probably- the fuel pump. I didn't quite trust that so, I took it to a dealership. Here is a list of everything they did to it (copying verbatim what is on my receipt). They were unable to diagnose the problem, and had their engineers working with them. The car was at the shop for a week:

Verified fuel pressure, fuel volume, ignition, injector operation, spark plug condition, ASD and IGN Run relays operation, base engine time. Updated PCM software, Performed cam/crank re-learn, performed ETC relearn. As per STAR instruction, performed combustion chamber cleaning, reset all adaptives, added new fuel. No change in concern.

Furthermore, the car seems to do SLIGHTLY better in warmer temperatures (less turn off/on to get it working, but still has the issue).

I'm currently at my wits end with what could be wrong with this car and am tempted to sell it as I only bought it back in October (without this issue). Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to mention the dealership suggested the issue may have something to do with the TIPM. They have a work around so that the fuel pump won't run through the TIPM, but I'm a little wary as it may not fix the issue.

I've put over 1000 into the car over the past 6 months and I'm not sure I want to drop another 300 on a possible fix.
 

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I cant help u with this problem but i would LOVE to know the fix. My 2007 has done this same exact thing for years. It is hit or miss but it will definitely do it. Maybe once a week. Maybe once a month. Maybe twice today and not for another month. I turn it off. Crank it right back up and does fine. Has done since ive had it (5yeArs). Please let me know what you find out. Its like a “half crank” ... its weird. My buddy thinks its an ignition issue.......
 
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I forgot to mention the dealership suggested the issue may have something to do with the TIPM. They have a work around so that the fuel pump won't run through the TIPM, but I'm a little wary as it may not fix the issue.

I've put over 1000 into the car over the past 6 months and I'm not sure I want to drop another 300 on a possible fix.
Forgot to mention that i never notice a difference with weather. Does year round. Did it yesterday. Im in NC and was 70 degrees here
 
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Khaki Nitro Nut
07Lifted,4X4,6sp-man,3.7L
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Welcome to the forum Heather. When you have a chance, head over to the Newbie Section and say "Hi".
Tell us a little about yourself and your ride.
That way we can welcome you all proper like.

When you first turn the key to the run position(not start) can you hear the fuel pump running? It will be brief.
If so, turn the key off again, then back to run(not start), listen for fuel pump, key off, repeat, then try to start.
Let us know what happens.
 
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Well it seems to me that mine comes on when turn to run each time.... atleast today lol .....its 41 degrees here this AM
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to the forum Heather. When you have a chance, head over to the Newbie Section and say "Hi".
Tell us a little about yourself and your ride.
That way we can welcome you all proper like.

When you first turn the key to the run position(not start) can you hear the fuel pump running? It will be brief.
If so, turn the key off again, then back to run(not start), listen for fuel pump, key off, repeat, then try to start.
Let us know what happens.
Thanks for the initial welcome!

I honestly can't tell if it turns on or not. The first place I took it to said that I could hit the gas tank and see if that help to start it. I tried it several times and it did not seem to make a difference. The dealership I took it to ran several tests on it, one of which testing the pressure of the fuel (i could be wrong on the lingo). They initially thought it was the fuel pump, but after those tests the fuel pump appears to be in working order.
 

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Khaki Nitro Nut
07Lifted,4X4,6sp-man,3.7L
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It is hard to hear. When you first turn the key 1 click let all the chimes end. Then roll down the window and turn the key.
My guess is it is kicking on, but try the key dance as I described above and see what happens.
The one test you did not mention was a fuel leak-down test.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had a trusted mechanic look at it. When he turned the key after it sat for several hours, the same issue occurred; however, he was able to smell gas (implying the fuel pump is working, but something isn't working the way it's supposed to).

He took it back to the dealership where we initially bought it and they are in agreement that it is likely something to do with the TIPM. Two possible fixes are to either do a work around so that the fuel pump relay is not going through the TIPM (various estimates: 250 and 120). Another option is to replace the entire TIPM (roughly $1000).

Will update once the relay work around has been completed.
 

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I had a trusted mechanic look at it. When he turned the key after it sat for several hours, the same issue occurred; however, he was able to smell gas (implying the fuel pump is working, but something isn't working the way it's supposed to).

He took it back to the dealership where we initially bought it and they are in agreement that it is likely something to do with the TIPM. Two possible fixes are to either do a work around so that the fuel pump relay is not going through the TIPM (various estimates: 250 and 120). Another option is to replace the entire TIPM (roughly $1000).

Will update once the relay work around has been completed.
let us know... considering the bypass of the relay as well. You dont need to spend that mych though. There is a post on you tube that will explain and walk you through it. Can get the wiring bypass for like 15bux and your trusted mechanic could donit in 10 minutes.
 
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Khaki Nitro Nut
07Lifted,4X4,6sp-man,3.7L
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I had a trusted mechanic look at it. When he turned the key after it sat for several hours, the same issue occurred; however, he was able to smell gas (implying the fuel pump is working, but something isn't working the way it's supposed to).

He took it back to the dealership where we initially bought it and they are in agreement that it is likely something to do with the TIPM. Two possible fixes are to either do a work around so that the fuel pump relay is not going through the TIPM (various estimates: 250 and 120). Another option is to replace the entire TIPM (roughly $1000).

Will update once the relay work around has been completed.
Keep us posted. :cool:

It does not make sense to do a fuel pump relay bypass if he could smell un-burnt fuel from the exhaust. To me my first thought is a spark issue. Cam, crank sensor, or with a 4.0 the ignition capacitor.
But next, it could also mean low fuel pressure. With low fuel pressure the mixture is not correct and the spark will not ignite it.
Did they tested for spark, as well as fuel pressure and leak-down? It would be a shame to throw $$$$ in parts at it, if it does not solve the problem.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ah, I should've checked here initially! I completely forgot to check the reply!

They are leaning towards an issue with a leak down issue (face palming now!). They think it is caused by leaky fuel injectors.

Will see what happens!
 

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Def let us know!
 
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How long are you holding the tip start?

My 3.7 has had that rough start a few times. It's the starter not disengaging and engine running at the same time. Until it's really bad, or find a true problem. I plan to replace the starter. Or have it rebuilt and solenoid checked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright, I think we finally figured it out! It was the fuel injectors!! (woo, only took two long weeks at the shop!)

Thanks for following and hopefully this helps someone else out!
 

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Khaki Nitro Nut
07Lifted,4X4,6sp-man,3.7L
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Glad to here you are back in business and happily motoring. :cool:
Thank you for getting back to us with the cause and fix.
 

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Crazy how a number of people have this issue with multiple fixes
 

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I forgot to mention the dealership suggested the issue may have something to do with the TIPM. They have a work around so that the fuel pump won't run through the TIPM, but I'm a little wary as it may not fix the issue.

I've put over 1000 into the car over the past 6 months and I'm not sure I want to drop another 300 on a possible fix.
[/get an electric dipstick to keep the oil warm maybe get a block heater .
 
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