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Every few weeks it is hard to start. 185k. When trying to start cold (but does not seems to be related to outside temperature, but maybe more likely after engine has cooled down), engine cranking is good but seems to sputter while trying to start. Usually requires a few tries. Engine sputters for a few seconds and then runs normally. Engine does not have the surge characteristic after starting that I have read in other posts and seems to be related to the IAC valve. Occasionally blows out some smoke after hard start, but nothing significant, very minor. No CEL codes. Cleaned out the EGR port (for the 3rd or 4th time) a few months ago so I do not believe this is the cause and there are no CELs. Any thoughts on if it could be the IAC (without the surge) or something else? I am ruling out plugs, air filter, etc. because it is only occasional. Problem has occurred over a period of a couple of years.
 

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If the smoke is black, the engine is getting too much fuel or too little air. Press the gas pedal a little next time you start it and see if that makes a difference.
 

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When you go to start it try turning the key to the ON position for 2 seconds before cranking the engine over. This will run the fuel pump (you can hear it, it stops after 2 seconds). If your fuel check valve is leaking the fuel lines will lose pressure. Running the fuel pump before starting pressurizes the lines.
 
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