Question about 1989 Geo Tracker

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1989 tracker. hard to start when cold but starts fine when warm.

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  • Geo Master
  • 20,706 Answers

89 has the old stand alone spark distributor.
the ECU is spark free, (no player here)
so here is the list for this engine 1.3 or 1.6L
the 1.3 has a carb. (last one) and is NOT EFI ,
you never said which engine it has. so ill guess at the 1.6L
This engine will have hard starting for the fooling reasons.
we dont guess at it we just do the tests.

  • Bad fuel.
  • Never tunedup this decade or every 60,000 miles per opr. guide.
  • low engine compression 150 good, if all are very low the cam timing belt slipped., (they all do , ignored) and is 60k service point.
  • CEL dead key on, bad ECU or lamp bad.
  • CEL glowing running, its telling you what is wrong, get the flash codes (DTC's)
  • Too high fuel pressure. (bad regulator in front of TB)
  • ECT bad. the 2 pin engine coolant temp sensor is bad. test it.
  • The injector leaks in the throttle body (look with eyes)
  • You find that adding 5-10% throttle cranking makes it more easy that is a bad, IAC valve, the valve at the base of the throttle body is stuck closed and kills all cold start air supply. making cold starts very hard, unless tricked with right foot. yes?
  • when any gas engine fails to start cold, i check for too much or too little starting fuel. and for very good spark.
  • Good engine, good spark the good fueling, there are tests for each, ASK?

Posted on Jun 03, 2014

  • 1 more comment 
  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ Jun 03, 2014

    very old post but the 89 has unique properties. also the Distributor had VR gap settings that need to be right to get strong spark. end old post answer, its rare car, and this is my contribution to it.

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ Jun 03, 2014

    http ://ww w. fixkick. com/IGN_timing/89-timing. html

  • _-__-___-_
    _-__-___-_ Jun 03, 2014

    remove 6 spaces, to see your dizzy. full spec there.

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roniecon
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SOURCE: 95 Geo Tracker - Automatic. Starts ok, but when

It needs a fluid change,and filter,in the transmission,also,add a additive called LUBEGUARD from napa auto parts,when you ask for the additive,be sure to get the one for gm,this additive keeps the valve body slick,and moving,this is the problem,your filter,and ,or,the fluid is dirty,and causing hydraulic problems,and valves to stick in the valve body in the transmission.

Posted on Mar 15, 2010

c1apton15
  • 3400 Answers

SOURCE: 95 geo tracker starts great when really cold,but

When was last tune up? Plugs, wires all fluids & filters - especially fuel filter??? I'd start there and run a good fuel system cleaner through it.

Posted on Mar 29, 2011

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1 Answer

Will not start cold without a lot of tries runs fine warm?


the first sidekick ever. 1989. (and tracker)
the first few were made in Iwata japan then at CAMI (canada) then on.
first off this year, came with 2 engines, 1.3L carb and 1.6L TBI EFI.
so what engine? we can NEVER guess and engine, blind.
The CEL if a CEL , and TBI 1.6L engine G16A
that lamp can glow for 2 reasons in 1989-95.
Check engine. function
and what we call the NAG lamp.
http://www.fixkick.com/CEL/NAG-Lamp.html
the nag switch is hidden in 3 locations in 7 year span.
its just to make folks angry.... (Hiroshima>? revenge?)
on this car, if it has a NAG it on the bottom kick panel
between your legs, (toes)
and can never be seen. only felt (lacking a mirror)
NAG = federal (usa) mileage warning see if leaded fuel messed up the CAT ,deal,, (totally useless now)
We remove them at the cluster 3 wire connector forever.
so if present slide the switch 1 time.
now the CEL lamp can flash out flash codes.
http://www.fixkick.com/CEL/CEL.html
hard cold starts, if CEL flashes 12s does it?
causes (top, not a guess) I do tests to find these but takes TOOLS.
  1. never tuned up with all new spark parts and filters.
  2. cam belt slipped. (60k part)
  3. engine is flooding, high fuel pressure, (too high)
  4. TBI injector o-ring leaking. flooding starts.
  5. ECT wires fell off.
  6. map hoses bad. or clogged end to end. from plenum to map sensor insides (nipple not clogged either)
  7. not melted cat, runs fine hot.
  8. not code 12s flashing (good) so what is it flashing. ?
  9. stuck open EGR main, (that can bounce closed as you crank long then be ok... for a while, many old EGR like to stick just as you stop car and shut down) can be felt by hand on any 8v engine easy. the diaphram ring can be exercised with fingers.
  10. IAC bad, stuck closed, preventing cold start air . and flooding.
  11. ISC valve same.
  12. Dash pot valve stuck retracted. (clod start vacuum start)
  13. spark timed wrong , see cam belt slip.

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Have you checked fuel pressure before and after the first attempt to start ?
It could be low fuel pressure or a problem with the cold start injector if equipped.

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Why tracker transmission lock in cold weather?


You have valves inside the transmission and electronic controls inside the transmission. When cold, valves do not work because the fluid is too thick. Once warm the fluid thins out and allows tranny to shift OK. You can burn your tranny up by not letting it warm up.

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1 Answer

95 geo tracker starts great when really cold,but hard starting when warm.You have to floor accelerator to get it started.


When was last tune up? Plugs, wires all fluids & filters - especially fuel filter??? I'd start there and run a good fuel system cleaner through it.

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1 Answer

My 1989 Mustang 5.0 starts fine when the car is cold. After it is warmed up when you shut it off you have to wait at least 20 minutes before restarting or it turns over hard if you don't wait it won't...


The first thing to check is to make sure the engine is not overheating. This will make it hard for the starter to turn it, due to the engine tightening up.

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You may have a CTS (Coolant Temperature Sensor) problem. If the coolant level is low the CTS could be sending a false signal to the ECM or the CTS may be faulty. The CTS must be in coolant to provide an accurate signal to the ECM and if the coolant level is low then the ECM thinks the engine is cold and therefore provides a rich air/fuel mixture. This, in turn could be the cause hard start (evident by black smoke from the exhaust), and could be the reason the vehicle failed the emission test.

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