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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm stuck on a puzzle of intermittent crank no start. I've taken it to my local GM dealer and they assumed changing the the negative battery cable to OEM was a solution due to poor connection.

The battery and starter isn't even a year old. I put in a new MAF sensor. Spark plugs were changed 12k ago. I have no engine lights or misfires and I can hear the fuel pump relay when turning the key to accessory power.
The problem happens when I've driven it for maybe 10 miles, let it sit for an hour, and sometimes it'll chug. After 3 tries it finally fires. In the morning or sitting outside during the work day, 8 hours, it'll start right up.
I haven't tried the gas cap relief trick, but I'm lost, and the recommended solutions are a fix.
Any ideas?
 

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It's your fuel pump you hear, the relay doesn't make much noise (a click once), and doesn't move once it completes/opens the circuit.

It sounds like measuring the pressure at your fuel rail is a good spot to start. Given if it sits for a while and fires right up, versus struggling when the car is warmed up, certainly could a fuel pump on its last legs.

Some more info on what you've troubleshoot would be helpful to know. Did your GM dealer look at anything else other than the negative battery cable? If so, what did they look at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's your fuel pump you hear, the relay doesn't make much noise (a click once), and doesn't move once it completes/opens the circuit.

It sounds like measuring the pressure at your fuel rail is a good spot to start. Given if it sits for a while and fires right up, versus struggling when the car is warmed up, certainly could a fuel pump on its last legs.

Some more info on what you've troubleshoot would be helpful to know. Did your GM dealer look at anything else other than the negative battery cable? If so, what did they look at?
Nnnnope, the dealership wasn't much help. They didn't even recreate my "Customer states" they just left it out in the sun assuming it'd be the same as a hot car after a drive. I've noticed if you give them too much info they assume you don't know what you're talking about.
I was rear-end last year, but blamed other things, like:
Negative battery connection.
Replaced with generic screw clamp in February.
My cat (which did give me a code 420), Replaced with Magnaflow in April
Cold air intake not having a proper support
Fixed in June.
Exhaust system having bits of cat in it causing backflow.
Replaced with Magnaflow (sounds lovely) in July. No bits found.
These have proven to be a success cause my mpg has boosted to 25.6.
There's no rich fuel smell.
Not lack of acceleration.

Next step is prob plugging the snap on scanner in and watching fuel systems voltage and pressure on start up. That's the only thing that I can't think of. The rear ending wasn't bad, just new plastic, but...... it's 13 years old. The symptoms of a bad fuel pump don't seem to correlate with my issue
 

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From the solstice forum:

And from this forum:

I searched "intermittent hard start". There's a lot of posts on the subject (naturally) but when I look for issues similar to yours, these are the two that seem closest.
 

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With the new negative connection cable- on a new ish battery both less then a year old-
the fact that you hear- the fuel pump sound during start up is one thing- but is it actually
pumping fuel to the fuel rail injectors is my question? Your starter is ok too as it does turn over
after several priming attempts. Hot weather vapor lock?

After sitting over night- there could be little fuel left in the rails when firing the following morning. After work start up- there is just enough to fire the engine without over cranking the starter. The fuses shouldn't be part of this- as if any were bad it would not turn over- Run/Crank relay-fuel pump but I would check them- reseat them can't hurt any.
HPFP or maybe in the tank itself- the low side pressure/the float level for the gauge is some how at fault- this is only a theory. It is not the ignition either.

Constant cranking the starter over is not good for the long term health of that part. Crappy gas- water in the fuel system itself would be a rough starting adventure- IF it happened when the GM tech had a look at it.

These should have been checked by the GM Tech- but some are not
the wizards they think they are- when it comes to knowledge about our car. The other items you listed the cat- the air cleaner- new plugs- MAF no lack of acceleration or mis-fires, lack of codes or too rich fuel smell when driving should be a clue. We have starting power- we have crank, what we don't have is fuel. Suck Bang Blow.

Let the community know what the solution was that solved this dilemma for you. Add it to the data base for other owners- new and old benefits all- the Big picture when dealing with hard starting.

LAC
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With the new negative connection cable- on a new ish battery both less then a year old-
the fact that you hear- the fuel pump sound during start up is one thing- but is it actually
pumping fuel to the fuel rail injectors is my question? Your starter is ok too as it does turn over
after several priming attempts. Hot weather vapor lock?

After sitting over night- there could be little fuel left in the rails when firing the following morning. After work start up- there is just enough to fire the engine without over cranking the starter. The fuses shouldn't be part of this- as if any were bad it would not turn over- Run/Crank relay-fuel pump but I would check them- reseat them can't hurt any.
HPFP or maybe in the tank itself- the low side pressure/the float level for the gauge is some how at fault- this is only a theory. It is not the ignition either.

Constant cranking the starter over is not good for the long term health of that part. Crappy gas- water in the fuel system itself would be a rough starting adventure- IF it happened when the GM tech had a look at it.

These should have been checked by the GM Tech- but some are not
the wizards they think they are- when it comes to knowledge about our car. The other items you listed the cat- the air cleaner- new plugs- MAF no lack of acceleration or mis-fires, lack of codes or too rich fuel smell when driving should be a clue. We have starting power- we have crank, what we don't have is fuel. Suck Bang Blow.

Let the community know what the solution was that solved this dilemma for you. Add it to the data base for other owners- new and old benefits all- the Big picture when dealing with hard starting.

LAC
Thanks for understanding. I don't really want to go back to GM since they did nothing for 2 weeks to it. It's a base 2.4l so it's not modified. I live in GA, so there shouldn't be a region issues like salty roads, it's garage kept, absolutely no water in the gas..... To be Continued
 

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Thanks for understanding. I don't really want to go back to GM since they did nothing for 2 weeks to it. It's a base 2.4l so it's not modified. I live in GA, so there shouldn't be a region issues like salty roads, it's garage kept, absolutely no water in the gas..... To be Continued
Have you pulled a spark plug to check it's condition?
 

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Need more info. Does it crank ok everytime you turn the key? Once started does it run ok? Fuel pump may time out after 3 seconds during start if minimum oil pressure is not reached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Need more info. Does it crank ok everytime you turn the key? Once started does it run ok? Fuel pump may time out after 3 seconds during start if minimum oil pressure is not reached.
I feel like I'm repeating myself...
Cranks instantly in the mornings and after sitting for 8+ hours (getting off work).
It will crank no start SOMETIMES when I park and eat (1 - 2 hours).
There are no misfires, mpg is pretty high, no sluggish acceleration.
My dad is a master tech for Chysler, but same anatomy. The fuel pressure guage shows no out of margin psi.
So the only idea is the fuel module maybe iffy or something is loosing pressure. In the time of 1 to 2 hours after the vehicle has been driven, then turn off, there's something conflicting. The scanner (not OBD2) can't even find anything wrong.
I might pop the back and start replacing the cheapest things before I stare at the fuel pump.
 

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Been doing some research into the hard warm start your having. I've been seeing info stating that it may be a camshaft position sensor intermittently giving poor reading when heatsoaked and a lot of time it won't throw a code if it's only upon starting. Seems like you've ruled out most of the fuel system. Granted, I couldn't find anything specific to the ecotec LNF, but there were several forums across different makes and models that mentioned it could be a problem.
 

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Not really, there's no misfire and I changed them 14k miles ago.
Checking a plug when it won't start may eliminate fuel as a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Time to break out some mothballs.
I have a from 100k mile to on diary (I know weird) of my car from mishaps to logged services. The iffy starts do correlate to when we found a mouse in the house (Feb). I got a Kona as a daily (Jan), so the problem wasn't noticeably consecutive. With this beautiful fall, top down weather it's very obvious. 🤞
 

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So- this could have been a rodent problem?
Chewed insulation but no wire or hose damage?
Well it's place to start at least- there is visible evidence of intrusion.
I would also look around some more- under the car to the engine bay.
My brother's car- has had damage from 2 wayward chip monk invasion's.
From the wheel sensors in the back to the MAF sensor in the engine bay.
Even in the garage which can be cold during the winter- furry creatures will
use your car's insulation as nesting material. I found evidence of this in my first
year of ownership- hiding under my now removed plastic engine cover. I taped up
insulation between the doors & fire wall he was using to make this nest. Recently
I removed the hood insulation from my Sky. Mothballs, glue traps- snapper traps,
black pepper corns, poison bait, jalapenos spray, peppermint oil, even normal cleaners you
might use to clean your engine bay, suspension parts & rear end along with dryer sheets for
the interior, the odd tennis balls/steel wool stuffed into the exhaust pipes when storing your car over the winter will- deter most four legged creatures from setting up shop in your body somewhere. Most but not all. There is always one... Never let them- mate either.
Whole lotta little trouble later. Snakes are fun- killed 11 babies 6 feet from my car/garage.
Had a 3 foot black snake on- my living room window pane outside peering inside
the glass at me & my brother the other day, Groundhogs- rabbits, squirrels on occasion
even a night time visit from Mister Fred- the Fox. Had paws prints on my trunk lid.
Damage is damage- to the body, underneath your car where we all don't look very
often- engine bay- on the top itself, black cat hairs, hmmm looks at wife's pet feline now
sneaking away behind the door to the kitchen.

You have to look around- continuously for sights or evidence thereof that you have had a recent visitor. Life gets in the way of that- unless you set a routine for yourself.

Now back to the photo- and the cam position sensor plus my other questions.
How many miles on your odometer? Our cars are getting older by the season.
Parts do wear out- even if you think they look ok.
How often do you check on your car when it is stored for the winter in the garage?
I'm not talking about- turn on the light- walk around- shut off lights visits.
Do you open the hood? The doors or trunk? Look under your car?
Last night there was no mouse poop by the lawnmower, but.. today a big ole pile of poo?
No loss of psi pressure on the low side or high side that you can tell? That's good.

The cam position sensor heat soak is an interesting theory- not one I've seen or read here
as an issue with our model but... on any given day it might happen. The fact that this is an issue on other models and forums brings some light to our community we may have to consider in the future as our parts age. It was ok last summer might not be the case for next summer's driving season.

Having dad around as back up- is always helpful when chasing gremlins of unknown origins.
A fresh set of eyes- out of the box thinking and... he is a master tech too just say'n.
It won't hurt any to pull the #1 plug for a look at it's tip as John has suggested.
5 minutes of your time. Black soot or grey build up of any kind? No oil or rust? If it is ok- you have a base line now after the last 14K miles of usage- and a recheck of the gap.

Having a diary on your car is ok. A mileage/usage log- during your ownership.
Anything I do to the car- repairs/replacement/body/engine wise or have a problem with but not solved yet- in it goes on the owners manual maintenance pages for reference for the next pilot of ACM.

* Beautiful fall weather.. why yes it is and I intend to make good use of it before.. the white & cold shows up to ruin everything. About this time next Monday morning I should be doing 70 mph, on interstate 70 heading east bound and down at 7am pretty much. Sunrise drive to the beach for one last visit, see my old buddy, who will drive down on Sunday. Couple of days- oceanfront, food tour, adult beverages and maybe some Go-Pro adventures too. I have not put up anything new to my You-Tube site lately. Been testing my recent transmission service out locally for the last 3 weeks or so.

Took a Run down to Summit Point Motorsports Park on Labor Day Monday to see some racing and my friends there. Day trip, top down smiling to see 50 plus Miata's racing and crashing into one another. Sweet day.

Looking forward to this OC Run. A Run across my state is becoming a thing for me.
Last time I went in May- Rut Roh happened for me. Cracked the windshield.
That took a week and $ 400 bills to fix. One little stone and Bingo your day has changed.
So I might get in some new filming for the U-Tube site next week.

Fall time drive with the tree colors changing in hue- Glorious for... Vert owners!
U remember that in February when the white is falling outside your window pane.
Time to visit the youngest grandson too for his big birthday #2.
My daughter made a neat invite card.
2 Fast- Two Curious. What did you bring ME this time.... Grand Dad?
Like I was impersonating Santa Claus or something.
Trip to see them this Saturday - then on Monday- Sun's up- So am I, Time to Go- smiling.
In October I might do some other Runs of unknown roads that I have picked out on Google maps for investigation of asphalt conditions and is it twisty enough to be added to the site.

Sorry gang lost track of things while typing this out once again. Tunnel vision on the keyboard.

I hope there is no major damage from the mouse to anything vital in your car?
It starts and runs. Which is better than the alternative here.
It does have problems from time to time. Life can be like that.
You have plenty of electrical power to turn over the starter motor.
Fuel does feed the combustion chamber. However there is inconsistency
with it's operation under certain conditions without major parts being replaced so far.

I guess what I am getting at-why does it have this inconsistency and why is it happening now even if the mouse has done no real damage- he might have disturbed things just a bit?

I got a Kona as a daily- interesting that you mention this vehicle. I have been looking
at that model too. I like it for what it is. When things for me become " more " practical after driving the Kappa- however I'm not done just yet with the Kappa more or less.
One day- but not today!

Luck with it.

LAC
 
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