I have a 2009 Dodge Journey SXT 3.5 L. And yes I know I bought a piece of garbage.
When I purchased it everything was fine. The only issue it had was it had 1 engine code for the catalytic converter. And then all the issues came in. My car overheated with visible fuming, gauge going all the way to high and all. I’ve taken it to 5 different mechanics and this is what we’ve done
Radiator fan fuse was burned out. Fan wasn’t spinning (repaired, fan turns on and off throughout day)
Visit 1 - burped system, got rid of some air. Cleared debris from thermostat
Visit 2 - coolant tank hose that goes to back of modem was loose and leaking anti freeze (fixed)
Car gauge didn’t show overheating after last visit to 2nd Mechanic but was still running super hot. So hot that while sitting in driver's seat and sticking hand out window I could feel the heat.
At this point the car would start nice and normal when cold, but after a short 10-15 minute drive and 45 minute supermarket trip the car wouldn’t start. I would crank and crank and then the starter burned out. No crank at all.
Replaced starter for Autozone starter.
No overheating, car still running hot, new starter means I can drive the car out of the supermarket parking lot it got stuck in. While cold first thing in the morning car is great. Can’t be turned off if not it would crank very very slow and eventually turn on.
Replaced the battery. Car had wrong battery according to Autozone. Got correct battery.
You would thing that now everything is working. New starter, new battery, thermostat working, coolant tank and hoses all secured.
But issue remained. Short drive and car would fight to turn on after running for at least 15 minutes.
Most expensive one yet, “Bosch service” provider. They installed a pressure gauge on the coolant tank and found it had a leak. Why in the world did the other ones miss it? Had the tank replaced.
I kept playing around with the car. Drove the same distance as before when it wouldn’t turn on, this time it did. Drove 2-3 hours car turns on. Turned off and on after driving for 6 hours (I do Uber and Lyft) and here it was: to turn on the car it took 4 very slow cranks compared to just 1 in the morning.
Which leads to my question. Should a car start the same every single time hot or cold?
If not, what else can I do?
Response to @yollooool:
Hey, Thanks for your comment. I would have a mechanic check what you recommended. I am noticing and remembering that I normally let the car run down to almost empty on gas. I don't drive the car daily and only on weekends. I fuel once a week on Fridays while doing Uber and I come home right when I used up the $ 30-40 gas I spent.
But then on Saturday I make a supermarket run (8 blocks or so from home) and here I notice the issue. The thing is, I've had plenty of other cars like Mazda 3, Nissan Altima and Honda Accord. Old habits die hard and although I wasn't doing Uber on those cars I would drive the car to empty. I never had an issue with the cars struggling to start. I don't understand why in this car low gas (reserve) low gas would play an issue on the car starting perfectly fine (1 crank) in the morning vs 3-4 very slow cranks and eventually turning on.