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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: West Newton, PA
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2001 Echo Anomalous Hard Start
Just want to see if anyone else has run across this one . . . 2001 Echo that I bought new and drove for 11 years before giving it to my niece in 2012 with 25,000 miles (yes, 25K, not 250K; I ride a motorcycle unless it's snowing). The car is stock in every way and I always maintained it fanatically and kept it in a heated garage.
Once, probably midway through my ownership (so car was neither new nor 11 years old), it cranked and refused to start for at least 15 minutes first thing in the morning (needed to go to work). Eventually it started and ran perfectly; no codes were thrown, and it never repeated this performance. Since I am an engineer and a car enthusiast, I was never satisfied that I knew WHY it did this, and the best explanation I could come up with is that the evening before the episode, I did something I NEVER do. For some reason, I needed to do something in the garage bay normally occupied by the Echo, so after coming home from work and parking it in the garage, I ate dinner, pulled the car outside, shut it off, did my thing inside, then started the car and pulled it back in. That is, the car experienced two starts with only a few seconds' running before shutoff. I don't start cars unless I'm driving at least a few miles, so this was very unusual.
My niece had another car (a 2000 Echo I built from a wreck years ago), so in the past five years it's only accumulated another 12,000 miles. She just drove it from Kansas to Michigan for Christmas without incident. Then, last evening, this scenario was repeated. She drove it several miles to her mother's house, then after a while was asked to move it around in the driveway so another car could be moved. This morning, her stepfather called me to say that he had a very difficult time starting it and asked my advice.
Best I could say (since I'm over 300 miles away) is that I experienced it once before and questioned the car's status last time it was started and run. Again, after the car was started today, it has run perfectly, without any codes or trouble.
Is this something odd in the ECM's programming? Analogous to a flooded carburetor condition on an older car?
Again, this is a well-maintained, garaged, stock car.