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Discussion Starter #1
Recently our van developed a random hard starting condition.

Generally we just tap the key and it starts.

Periodically, we crank and crank, pause, crank and crank before it starts.

Any ideas what may be causing this?
 

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Can you recall if you had damp/rainy weather on the days it wouldn't start (or the night before)? Is the hard start always when the engine has been cold for hours, or does it also (or only) happen after being run previously within a couple hours? Have you had an undiagnosed check engine light recently?
 

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"tap the key"???
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you recall if you had damp/rainy weather on the days it wouldn't start (or the night before)? Is the hard start always when the engine has been cold for hours, or does it also (or only) happen after being run previously within a couple hours? Have you had an undiagnosed check engine light recently?
It happens at random regrdless of weather or when the last time it was previously ran.
 

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Random, sporadic problems like yours can be a real PITA to diagnose. Here's one fairly easy thing you could do to try to help figure it out. It sounds like when the problem isn't happening, the van will always start within 2-3 cranks. If so, then by the time it gets to 5-6 cranks on the initial try, you know it's having a bad day.
When you have a few minutes to spare, and it goes into problem mode, shut it off after the first 5-6 cranks and pull one or two plugs. If the plugs have gas on them, and there's another person available who can turn the key, you can check for spark from one of the plugs on the next crank try.
But if instead the plugs are dry, after reinstalling them you could prime the pump a few times to see if that fires it up within 2-3 cranks on the next try. Of course you could also try this extra pump priming without removing any plugs.
 
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