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James, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3543
Experience:  Ford Senior Master Tech, Ford gas and diesel expert, ASE Certified
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I have a 2001 F-350, Appr. 140 000miles It runs great, but

Customer Question

I have a 2001 F-350, Appr. 140 000miles It runs great, but it takes 2 attempts to start it. The first time, you can just crank for less than a second. Then, if you crank again, it'll start right up. If you just attempt to crank the engine one time, it won't start.
JA: Have you checked the fuel supply? And are all the spark plugs working?
Customer: It's a 7.3 diesel. I've fixed the connectors under the valve cover, and replaced the leaky high pressure switch in the past. It has an aftermarket program, which was installed several years ago. Otherwise the engine is origina.l
JA: Are you fixing your F350 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes, I'm fixing it myself. I have a lot of mechanical experience but not with these electronic things. I haven't tried anything yet. I've lived with the problem for about a year. I suspect that the problem may have started when the engine was pressure washed a year and a half ago
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so. it had water in the fuel about a year ago, also. ( from an outdoor supply tank.) Like I said, once it's running, it runs smoothly, and has plenty of power. It seems the problem has something to do with whatever has to happen in the cranking sequence that inhibits fuel delivery, until you make a second attempt to crank the engine.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  James replied 1 month ago.

Hello, it sounds like the glow plugs aren't warming up correctly. If you cycle the glow plugs two times in a row before starting the vehicle it will probably start on the first attempt. If cycling the glow plugs twice works then you need to replace the glow plug relay to correct your concern.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello, James,
I'm skeptical. I just went outside & tried it again. The engine's warm. It's about 78 degrees out. I can start & stop the engine several times. Usually, it immediately waiting for glow plugs. But sometimes I can crank for several seconds, and it just won't fire. Turn the key off, then try cranking again, and it immediately starts. My son-in law had the truck last winter. he said that the same thing happened, then.
Expert:  James replied 1 month ago.
it doesn't make a difference if the engine is hot or cold?