F355 starts only on second try.

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by F355Berlinetta, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. I have a 1995 F355 with 24k miles and now it
    won't start on the first try. The engine turns over
    but never fires, but if I turn the key to the off position
    then try to start it again it's fine. This is only on a cold
    start. With the engine warm it fires back up normally.
    Any ideas or suggestions? I tried resetting the computer
    via the battery knob with no luck. I'm not getting any
    trouble lights either.

    Thank you,
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  3. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dan, dunno if this will make you feel better, but this happens on my '95 355 and at least half of the 355s I know. Solution? I just live with it starting on the second try!


  4. RedF355

    RedF355 Karting

    Mar 1, 2004
    Seymour, Indiana
    Full Name:
    not to be repeatitive of issues, but the alarm modules most likely cause this. It has to sent the codes to allow ignition to start firing apparently and sometimes does not do it. I had this issue on mine, and replaced alarm ecu's(2) and this cured it. About a grand from ferrari. they are rivetted in behind the drivers seat, relatively easy to change. Pretty good guess i would imagine... I have a set you can swap with and try if you like. Just a thought....
  5. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    How about overnight fuel pressure bleed off? You can check this vs alram by varying the time you key the starter. Just give it a short blip and see if #2 try starts the car. The do the same with a long blip followed by #2 try. If the long works I bet you are charging the fuel circuit. That all happens as check valves fail
  6. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 6, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Richard Wallace
    Couple of points - I don't think the 95 came with factory alarms - mine was dealer installed - aftermarket MX brand...

    I know of 5 355 spiders (not all 95) that do the same thing on cold start - first time primes the fuel - second time actually starts it... Could be what Billybob is talking about.

    I just had an everything 30K done (and I mean everything was replaced, rebuilt, or checked) - and mine still starts on the 2nd try - did before as well.

    Billy can help me on this - but I was told it is something to do with coldstarts and fuel pump initiation or prime-ing - when on the second try it is primed and will start.

    I think mine starts on the first try if I turn the key to the 2nd position (just before you are turing the car over) - if you wait for a couple of seconds - then turn the key over - it will start... Of course - driving all my other cars - I 99% never do this - due to habit... So I just do it twice.

    Either way - if it is anything to worry about - there are many of us 355 owners who have exactly the same problem...
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  8. vincent355

    vincent355 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 8, 2003
    Wine Country
    Full Name:
    I heard that this was a compression thing. My friend with a Duc has the exact same problem starting the bike when cold. First time around no go, second time around no problem.

    How long do you crank for on the first time around?
  9. yfc

    yfc Karting

    Dec 23, 2003
    Geneva / Switzerland
    Full Name:
    My 97 F355 always start on the first try.

  10. F355Bob

    F355Bob Formula 3

    My 95 whould not start first try for about a year and now starts right up on first try. Could it be a sensor like air temp sensor or water temp sensor? Is the cold start determined by water temp or air temp? Does this determine enrichment on cold start? I have heard there are two water temp sensors in the block for each computer and they go bad routinely and some dealers like Auto Gallery recommend changing them every 15,000mi. Do these sensors determine enrichment when cold?
  11. markcF355

    markcF355 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 6, 2004
    Full Name:
    My 98' 355 has never started on the first try during the two years I've owned it.
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  13. jkuk

    jkuk Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Wirral, UK
    Full Name:
    John K
    I'd go with Billybob.

    My 348 never starts 1st time after several hours/overnight rest.

    Suspect Check valves on fuel line circuit - wherever they are ?
  14. Thanks for all your responses. I didn't think this issue
    what that common. What get's me is the car started
    on a cold start a year ago...the engine would turn over a
    little longer than your usual car but it would still start.
    Lately it would start then die right away, now it will just
    keep turning over without doing anything.
    The car does have an alarm that is activated when locking
    the doors, I don't have a key fob. Also, the car sits in
    the garage unlocked so the alarm is inactive.
    Lastly the car won't 2nd start on a short blip, it needs to be
    a long blip.

    "I think mine starts on the first try if I turn the key to the 2nd position (just before you are turing the car over) - if you wait for a couple of seconds - then turn the key over - it will start... "

    I've tried this too with no luck.
  15. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Full Name:
    I'm sure you all are, but just reminding you......... I always leave the key in the II position for about 30 sec. before trying to start the engine. I have not experienced the problem of having to try a second time to start the engine.
  16. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
    Full Name:
    fwiw, mine always started first try. sounds like something is progressively "deteriorating" (lack of a better word) based on your description... keep us posted if you figure it out.
  17. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    Switzerland (NW)
    The OEM alarm turns itself back on after a couple of minutes even if the car is open. Check the blinking light on the dash.
    Never had a problem starting my '98 but the F1 box forces me to wait until the gearbox actuator hydraulics are ready.
  18. newfer

    newfer Karting

    Jun 3, 2004
    My F 355 (96) starts fine cold. Only after driving and parking the car for mayby 20 minutes do I have to start twice before the engine starts. I guess my problem is opposite of you guys. Any ideas of the problem?
  19. RF128706

    RF128706 Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    It's always best to turn the ignition switch to the position where the dash lights come on and wait around 20 seconds. The reason is to allow the pumps to build pressure in the fuel system. The pumps run as soon as the ignition is turned to this position and prime the system to around 55PSI. With this procedure my 355 always starts first time, even after standing for a couple of weeks.

    Slow fuel pressure build-up can be caused by:
    - Blockage in the system (e.g. choked fuel filters, dirt in fuel rail)
    - Problems with the Fuel Pressure Regulators (FPR) which are vacuum operated valves at the ends of the fuel rail
    - Worn out fuel pump rotor cells

    One of the posts on this thread mentions the engine catching then cutting. This can be caused when the FPR holds fuel pressure (as they should) with the engine off, sufficient to run for a few seconds but when it's run again the pumps can't get upto pressure quickly enough and the engine dies.

    When diagnosing engine problems, before diving into the electronics and pulling off sensors it is always better to take a thorough look at all the pipes and hoses on the engine ESPECIALLY the FPR vac pipes which on the 355 are tricky to see. Most of the time, problems with modern engines are down to simple air leaks, broken hoses or with electrical connectors rather than the modules themselves. The actual electronics are pretty reliable.

    One major air-leak path is through the vacuum reservoir on early cars. Any unmetered air getting into the intake system will affect staring, idling and emission control.

    If you want to you can easily check your fuel pressure and speed of build-up by connecting a pressure gauge to the schraeder valve connection which is on top of each fuel filter. Remember to replace the black protective cap afterwards.

    I don't mean to be a smart @r$e, I hope the info is useful.

  20. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    My 355 C does this, I thought it was just my car and nature of a race car though. Hmm.
  21. RF128706

    RF128706 Formula Junior

    Apr 8, 2004
    when was the last time you changed the fuel filters ?

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