Car won't start... - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Car won't start...

Sorry not Camaro or even an old classic... The wife's 2000 Impala Ran fine when last driven 3 days ago. Tonight I go to take the daughter out for her romp behind the wheel and the car won't start.

The starter spins over very strong, lights are strong no sign of weak batt. On first attempt starter turns the engine over, it sputters like it's firing then the starter wings without the engine turning over. I get a hint of fuel under the hood and the tank is half full. I can hear the fuel pump running when first turning the key on. On successive attempts to start the car the engine turns over less and the starter wings. By the 4th or 5th try the engine isn't even turning...

So it sounds like the starter isn't engaging and may be the problem but then letting the car sit an hour or two and hearing the engine turn over and almost fire the 1st go makes it sound like a fuel delivery problem or a weak battery not operating the efi...

The last two times the tank was filled the daughter did it and the car was throwing a check engine light each time that cleared after taking the gas cap off and putting it back on. Before the wifes surgery 3 weeks ago she was complaining of hard starting. I have not experienced that over the 3 weeks until tonight...

Anyone with a late model 3.4L have anything sounding at all like this happen or have a clue for me?

TIA,

...Dennis

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 08:26 PM
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Re: Car won't start...

Did you try the second (wifes) set of keys? Could be a dirty VATS resistor if you haven't used your set of keys in awhile.
VATS security system will allow to crank but prevents fuel flow.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 08:33 PM
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Re: Car won't start...

Dennis, Did your daughter fill up at a gas station you normally go to? It's possible you have some cheap or contaminated gas.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 09:17 PM
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Re: Car won't start...

She didnt put diesel in it did she, just throwing out there because I knew somebody that did that LOL!

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car won't start...

John - same with both keys, is there vats without the chip in the shank of the key? These don't have a visual chip...

Dave - same old usual stations, doesn't rule out bad gas but the tank always gets filled full and it's at half now with no problem until tonight... I appreciate the replies keep them coming, have I said how I hate modern cars when they don't run?

...Dennis

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car won't start...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BERRY251 View Post
She didnt put diesel in it did she, just throwing out there because I knew somebody that did that LOL!
I had to go ask her what color hose she used... Thankfully she said the black one. Then she followed up with the button said 87...

...Dennis

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 09:36 PM
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Re: Car won't start...

whew! good to hear that!

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 06, 09:45 PM
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Re: Car won't start...

The nozzle on a diesel pump will not fit down a gas filler neck. It's that way to prevent people from using the wrong fuel in their car. You can pump gas into a diesel tank though if you're not careful.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 06, 01:02 AM
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Re: Car won't start...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DjD View Post
John - same with both keys, is there vats without the chip in the shank of the key? These don't have a visual chip...
i think gm realized the down fall of the vats system well before 2000, you shouldn't have VATS on your car, well at least not the kind where it needs to check the resistor in the key

how many miles?

i would check to see if you have fuel pressure, injector pulse-width, spark
all that good stuff

if you have access to a obd II scanner you could check to see if the temp sensor is reading correctly, if it isnt it will cause ecm to try and start the car like the engine is nice and warmed up, not cold like it really is

but there are many possiblilties way to many to guess and throw parts at...
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 06, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Car won't start...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 400bird View Post
there are many possiblilties way to many to guess and throw parts at...
I agree and I may have access to an odbII scanner. I really think it's a bit odd that the starter catches, it starts to fire then dies as the starter wings without the engine turning over any further. Then further attempts to start the starter just wings...

...Dennis

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 06, 08:36 AM
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Re: Car won't start...

Coil pack(s) or crank angle sensor, unless its not getting fuel. At cold start, spark plugs should be wet. Weak spark, no run. Can check them the old fashion way - screwdriver to ground.

If you think fuel, spray into a nipple after the MAF sensor, WD40. If engine starts, no fuel, if it skips as said, timing/ignition.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 06, 08:45 AM
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Red face Re: Car won't start...

your right Dennis, I was think of the system on my daughters Malibu ...
It won't start at times with my set of keys, works fine with hers. Same thing used to happen with the Lexus at times, new key cost me $500

Is (or was) it showing the check engine light? Or can you even tell if it doesn't start? I've never seen that.
I have a OBDII scanner if you can't find one locally.

If you think the starter isn't engaging I would start there. I know my 2003 GM will not crank the starter more than a few seconds, then it cuts off and you have to wait a few minutes until you try again - only happened once in the mountains at @-10deg.

If you think it's fuel you can insert key and with the door open, and listening to the rear near the fuel tank, turn the key to the run position (not start) and see if the pump goes through a few seconds of operation to pressurize the fuel rail. Usually you can tell if the pump at least runs this way.
Cracking open the fuel line at the pressure tap fitting is another way to see if fuel pressure is pressent at the rail. (do this with the key 'off' and an "fire putter-outer" nearby ... )
I have also squirted a little fuel into the throttle valve intake (take hose off) to see of just no fuel was keeping it from starting.

I had a 2001 Impala as a lease for a few months, but it always started.
Hopefully someone has had the same symtoms on the same car and will chime-in soon.

John

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 06, 09:08 AM
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Lightbulb Re: Car won't start...

Once a while back, my wife's Honda cranked but didn't started. I sprayed some starting fluid thru the throttle body, and it started right away. Later I noticed it had a partially clogged fuel filter. My 2 cents.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 06, 12:36 PM
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Re: Car won't start...

Fuel pressure regulator may be bad. You can still get some fuel, but not enough to fire it.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 27th, 06, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car won't start...

Well went home for lunch and gave it another quick looking into. Same same - kicked over then the starter went wingggg... Then after trying a second time it popped and fired (kinda like I had just set a 2 stroke single up on the compression stroke before kicking it over)... It ran fine, idled and reved... Didn't drive it, shut it off and it went right back to not kicking over but the starter winging... Twice though it just slightly caught and popped (like a carb'd engine popping out the carb) before the starter wingged like it wasn't engaging teh flywheel...

I had a ford truck that had 2 tanks, one had a bad fuel pump so I just never put gas in that tank. A friend used the truck and filled both tanks for me. I didn't want the second tank to just sit so I figured out I could switch to the tank with the bad fuel pump as long as I didn't put my foot into it. If I did the engine would sputter and spit...

If it's the fuel pressure regulator on the impala I might have proved it out by driving it when I got it started... We'll have to see what this evening brings...

...Dennis

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