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My '99 SC1 starts right up at times but mostly has to crank for several seconds

(1999 Saturn SC1)
in Salt Lake City, UT on June 22, 2014
I'm thinking the gas is draining back to the tank and it's taking time to build pressure again. A friend suggested possibly a fuel return module. Does this car have one? Is there an inline filter that would act as a check valve?
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Check valve is located in the fuel pump. If you are loosing fuel pressure when the car is off, its usually either the fuel injectors leaking, or the check valve in the pump is faulty. The best way to diagnose, is to install a fuel pressure gauge and an inline "shut off" valve between the pump and the pressure gauge. This will allow you to stop return flow when the pump shuts off. If it holds pressure with the valve "off", the pump is faulty. If it continues to drop, you probably have a leaking injector. Fuel test kits that include the needed gauge and shut off adapter are usually expensive, so it may be best to take it to a shop.
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on June 23, 2014
Thanks very much for your prompt answer to my problem. I will try using some injector clean concentrate the next couple of fill ups to see if the problem decreases. If not, then I will replace the fuel pump as that is probably the problem. At times, the engine will puff back through the intake just before it starts so I suspect that it is running lean until fuel pressure is up to normal pressure.
This is a great service. I will talk it up to my friends and co-workers. Thanks again, Herb.
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