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Thought I'd pass along my interesting "journey" regarding fuel pressure loss in my 95 Dodge Dakota 2.5. Perhaps my experience will help someone else.

About 3 months ago, I experienced intermittent no-start on my Dakota 2.5 (approx. 165,000 miles). Sometimes it would start....sometimes not. There was no real pattern based upon outside temperature, engine temperature, etc. The one thing it did NOT do was stall or die while I was driving the vehicle. Once started, the vehicle would keep running. Shut it down, and it may not start. An hour later....5 hours later....the next day, it would start and run just fine. I don't drive the truck more than 2,000 miles or so a year; and, several years ago, I had replaced the Halls Effect pick-up and misc distributor parts, as well as a couple of sensors based upon DTC's and driveability issues at that time. Since then, the vehicle has always run great!

I read and re-read all of the sections of the Dodge Shop Manual (the real McCoy, not Chilton's) regarding possible issues. I always had 2 of the 3 key ingredients...air and spark. And no codes ever appeared. The shop manual and my experience pointed to a fuel delivery or fuel pressure issue. A new fuel filter and an Auto Shutdown Relay solved the problem for about a week. Continued diagnostics and testing pointed to a fuel pump issue. I replaced that, and the problem was solved....for another 2 weeks. Back to square one and the shop manual.

There was no question that sometimes the engine was not getting fuel or, somehow, was losing fuel pressure on start up....but not when it was already running. I considered the PCM, but these things are not common failures. Then it finally dawned on me what might be the problem....the fuel pressure regulator. The shop manual describes what it does in limited fashion, but the diagnostic procedure to test the thing is murky at best. These things are not cheap, and I just don't like throwing parts at a problem. But I reasoned that the regulator must be leaking or "hanging" up at times, thereby not allowing the fuel system to pressurize properly or maybe allowing fuel to bypass the injector during start up.

I bit the bullet and bought/installed a new one. That was 2 weeks ago, and the Dakota has not failed to start one time! And I have tested the he-- out of it,'cause I do not want to get stranded. It is starting and running better than I can recall it doing for a long time now. Methinks it's fixed....finally. So far....so good.

Hope this helps someone else out there that may be fighting the same or similiar issue. Sorry for the long post, but it is a lot shorter than the above "journey" Thanks....
 

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Thanks for your report. I'm sure this will help somebody along the way. Interestingly enough, we don't hear about a lot of pressure regulator failures on the 2.5 TBI cars, but an occasional failure on the turbo models with the attached vacuum line.

I experienced a failure of the pressure regulator on a Ford (302) 5 liter throttle body system (mid 80's era). The symptoms for this failure were high fuel pressure, poor fuel economy, an O2 code, and occasional black smoke out the tail pipe, especially on acceleration.
 
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