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Discussion Starter #1
When I start my car in the morning, it's in the garage and fires up perfectly. If I drive it at all.. even down the street and back, it doesnt want to start without a fight. I'll turn the car off, and try to start it again and it will just sit there and crank for a solid 5 seconds before A) it starts B) I stop and try cranking it again. Its annoying and embarrising sitting in a parking lot listening to my car crank over, and over, and over before finally starting. I heard this could be the starter solonoid or coolant temp sensor. Anyone else have a suggestion? Thanks!

1987 2.8 V6 MPFI - When I got the car, I changed the valve cover gaskets by which the injectors had to come out. Sometimes on startups I smell gas, I never had the car running until after I did the work. I dont know if injector seals could be part of the problem.
 

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If it cranks, the solenoid is not the problem.
I doubt it,s the coolant temp sensor, all it would do is add injector on time when the engine is cold.
What's the fuel pressure? How good is the spark.
Does it crank over well... fast, or does it struggle to crank?
Dale
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"Does it crank over well... fast, or does it struggle to crank?"

When I crank it, sometimes it will crank fast.. in which case the car will usually start after 5 seconds. Other times it struggles (and doesnt sound right) and thats usually when I would stop after 5 seconds, and try cranking again. But when the car finally starts it's very sluggish to turn over completely. But once its on it idles and runs perfectly!

I put a brand new battery in last week, I took it back under warranty to rule out a dying battery.
 

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Is the starter an OE, came with the engine?

The reason I ask, the solenoid may have some burnt spots on it. The solenoid pulls in a copper disc over two copper boltheads to apply power the the starter motor. These two contact spots become burnt due to arcing and a carbon buildup begins, read a high resistance, and a lower voltage is delivered the the motor and it turns over slowly.

I know it has been suggested the solenoid is not at fault, but if it has been in use for a long time, it could be a problem. Also, the same suggestion goes for the cables, both ends of them, not only the battery post, but the other end, whether it be the solenoid post for the positive battery cable, or the engine block for the negative cable. Both ends must be clean.

Both cables should be of a large enough cable size to not limit the amount of current to the starter. Most cables are 4 AWG, alittle small and less costly, but a 1 AWG is better. Most OE cables are 4 AWG.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think the starter is original. I jacked the car up one day to take a peek and it is very old. I dont know for sure, but original or not it has definitely been there along time.

Recently I was told the problem could be vacuum lines, but wouldnt that effect the car all the time? Im getting convinced its the starter/solonoid. But just incase, here is a list of things I have changed anyway:

Cap/Rotor
Wires
Plugs
Battery
Coolant Temp Sensor
Ign Control Module (free off parts car, tested and working)
Fuel Filter (incase of restriction)

I will take the starter off and clean up all the connectons and post back!
 

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You don't have to take off the starter to clean the connections, just remove them from the terminals and take a hand held wire brush and make clean connection.

If you're really industrous, you might measure from the posts, not the terminal lugs, but the posts, i.e., solenoid post and battery post, with the DMM, and measure the voltage drop of the connection at either end and the cable itself. See you're measuring from post to post, and measuring the voltage of the connection of the lug to the post, as well as the cable wire itself. Any measurement of over 0.5 volts is a sign of the cable needing replacement.

Same goes for the ground wire also. Also, during cranking, battery voltage itself, post-to-post, should not fall below 10.5 volts.
 

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i dont know,but it sounds kinda like vapor lock to me...if memory serves, these have a filter can on the left side of the radiator, with a maf sensor right off of it...the maf sensor could be getting a poor reading from vapor lock, or could be bad...that was also a common problem with the 87(crappy maf)...i believe they went to map in 89 because of that...hope this helps...
 

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My wife had the exact problem with her Subaru Impreza a few years ago. Started fine when cold, would frequently not start again after it had been shut off for a short time (still warm). An engine oil leak was contaminating a sensor (O2?). The engine got new seals and new sensor. The engine still leaks some oil, but no more of the engine not re-starting when "warm".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quick update. The car is out for the summer now. First thing in the morning it fires up instantly. and sometimes even when its warm. BUT ive noticed the car has had some hesitation and bogging during acceleration, and if im idling at a red like for more then a minute it almost seems like it wants to stall. Sometimes when i start give it gas because it stutters, then all i smell is gas and hear a backfire or two.

Im thinking my coil, or distributor could be bad. Seems like its not getting enough spark or something. Anyone have a suggestion?

Thanks
 
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