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Looking for some help,
I have a 1995 sidekick 4dr, 1.6 16v with Automatic trans. I just got this a couple weeks ago. It was idling rough so I did the basic tune up. Plugs,wires,car and rotor I also advanced the timing a bit, it is running a lot better. But still having two issues. When I start it I have to hit the gas once or twice before it will start. Any ideas on what would cause this??? The second issue is when it’s in Overdrive it will surg, RPMs will drop to about 2500 then back up to 3000, at about 55-60 mph. If I shut Overdrive off it stops. I have no Check engine lights or transmission lights on. Does anyone have any ideas to try out?
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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Looking for some help,
I have a 1995 sidekick 4dr, 1.6 16v with Automatic trans. I just got this a couple weeks ago. It was idling rough so I did the basic tune up. Plugs,wires,car and rotor I also advanced the timing a bit, it is running a lot better. But still having two issues. When I start it I have to hit the gas once or twice before it will start. Any ideas on what would cause this??? The second issue is when it’s in Overdrive it will surg, RPMs will drop to about 2500 then back up to 3000, at about 55-60 mph. If I shut Overdrive off it stops. I have no Check engine lights or transmission lights on. Does anyone have any ideas to try out?
Transmission issue... likely the Overdrive/Convertor Lockup solenoid has gone bad and "hunting" off and on.
Start-up issue... hitting gas once, twice or 100 times should not affect anything, fuel injection is ECM-controlled system and fuel enrichment at start-up especially when cold is not dependent on gas pedal.
Not too savy on that part of the electronics...2013GV, fordem or Bex will chime in soon(hopefully)... they know that stuff really well.
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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Thanks for the info
No problem... and WELCOME to the forum, you'll get lots of good maintenance info here. Great bunch of Zuki gurus on here!
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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Curious... does it start normally(no hitting gas pedal) after engine warms up or is it a problem regardless of engine temperature?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you! I have had many samurai and sidekicks over the years. It should be a good time reading and hopefully helping out.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Having to hit the gas pedal at start up does one of two things - either stops fuel delivery (if the gas pedal is floored) or adds additional air (if the gas pedal is depressed slightly). If you are saying that your car will not start with out touching the gas pedal at all, try one of the two options above, and see which way it will start.
Amusingly, when talking about doing maintenance, no one ever talks about changing the air filter, so that the engine can breathe better. Assuming that the latter option above helps you start the car, I would think about looking at the air filter. You should also advise exactly what the rpms do, from cold start.
As the car is new to you, it’s usually a good idea to start by doing a compression test on the engine, which will verify engine timing. Everything is based on the foundation of engine/valve timing, so I’d suggest a compression test, and post your results, cylinder by cylinder. Also note that your spark plugs should be gapped to .028”.
Also confirm that your CEL is on, with the key in the on position.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I check the air filter when I did the tune up all was good. I did notice the Airfilter housing has a good size crack in it, on the top section, that would allow non filtered air in.
I will try and start the car each way you described as well as a compression test.
Thank you for your time! 👍🏼👍🏼
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Curious... does it start normally(no hitting gas pedal) after engine warms up or is it a problem regardless of engine temperature?




Correct l..just when it’s cold. First start up of the day and usually when I get off work.
 

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When the engine is cold, it is provided more air via the idle speed solenoid and the mechanical wax pellet. If those circuits are not working as well as they should, then partially depressing the gas pedal helps to substitute for that. You should advise exactly what your cold start idle is, and what it does until the engine is warm - as well as your idle when the engine is warmed up.
 
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I check the air filter when I did the tune up all was good. I did notice the Airfilter housing has a good size crack in it, on the top section, that would allow non filtered air in.
I will try and start the car each way you described as well as a compression test.
Thank you for your time! 👍🏼👍🏼
seal that first.
 

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Quick update.
No Check engine light on when the key is in the on position, I only have to push the gas pedal slightly for it to start. RMP idle hot and cold is around 1300. I have not had time to do a compression test yet, hopefully this weekend.
 

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ok, check the check engine bulb, that should come on when key is turned on, and go out when engine is started.
 

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1991 Tracker LSI, 5-speed 4wd...84,455 orig. and 99.9% intact! Rust-free New Mexico car
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Quick update.
No Check engine light on when the key is in the on position, I only have to push the gas pedal slightly for it to start. RMP idle hot and cold is around 1300. I have not had time to do a compression test yet, hopefully this weekend.
I misunderstood your original post where you stated "hit gas pedal once or twice"... I thought you meant depressing pedal 1 or 2 time then RELEASE pedal and then turn ignition to ON-START (like you can do with a carburetor, to get a squirt of fuel into manifold). But I see by this last post that you actually hold pedal "slightly" depressed in order to start when cranking. That's a totally different scenario and as Bex already explained, getting a little extra air through the throttle body allows it to start.
Really sounds like the idle air control valve/solenoid (also called ISC) may be the culprit as it functions to provide just enough air to start and idle, since throttle body is completely closed under normal starting conditions (no pedal depressed).
So, I was referring to procedure of stomping on the pedal, THEN turning ignition to start. Of course, the idle air solenoid is dead until you place ignition to ON-START.... hence my statement..."once, twice or 100 times will not affect...".
Sorry....that's a long story to explain MY misunderstanding!
 

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Best way of selling a car is to remove " check engine light " Bulb. What you can not see makes you feel better about buying it.
 

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Best way of selling a car is to remove " check engine light " Bulb. What you can not see makes you feel better about buying it.
I could say so much about that. Thanks for passing your problem onto an unsuspecting buyer. I get so angry when I find cel lamps removed and an ecm full of codes on a car someone has bought.
Be thankful you don't live here, its illegal and subject to massive fines if its found to have been done. Many a seller has had to repay the purchase price plus damages.
 

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I would assume it is illegal anywhere . The best way around this is to have a vehicle inspection done and yes it does cost over a hundred bucks but can save you thousands. A friend of mine bought a Tracker off the car lot and a year later found he could not go up a hill. Took it to mechanic and mechanic says your front diff is missing. An inspection would have found this .
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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This is just ONE of the MANY reasons that I bought my Tracker NEW.
 
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