Sometimes after a short trip, 10 miles or so, the engine will not start. After about 15 or 20 minutes it will start again and run fine. You never know when this will happen, it may go for days or weeks and not do this again. Recently it has just stopped running while going down the road and sometimes the headlights flash on and off. The problem can never be duplicated at the repair shop and I am at the end of my rope. I will have to get rid of the vehicle if I can't rely on it.
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Re: Starting and quitting problems
Initially I would have said check your fuel filter and fuel pump (pressure). As to the lights flashing on and off when this happens, leads me to believe you have a problem with your alarm system if you have installed one, appears that it might be kicking on thus shutting down your vehicle.
Lights flashing on an off happen with the remote pager module. Disconnect the alarm system and see if it happens if it doesnt then you know is that.
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Sounds like the same problem I have been having with my 2002 Sedona for the past 6 or 8 months. It would run OK for several days, weeks, or months, then just quit. If I let it set for 10 to 20 minutes, it would restart and run fine for at least the rest of that day. About 2 weeks ago, I was fortunate that it happened when someone was with me, so I was able to determine that it was not getting any spark. Since then the problem has gotten worse and more frequent - it was happening almost every day and would take over 1/2 an hour before it would start again. This morning was the last straw. I drove for about 4 miles and it quit. Took 1 hour and 10 minutes before it would restart. Drove another 2 miles and did it again. This time it took 1 hour 35 minutes before restart. After 1 more mile, it quit again. Took 2 hours, this time. Made it another mile and BAM! - did it again. My bro towed me home. I determined that it is most likely NOT the crankshaft position sensor, because 99% of the time they either work, or they don't. Very rarely does it cause in intermittant problem. The most likely suspect is the engine computer. That was always a likely culpret when I worked on GM cars. Today I installed a $50 junk yard engine control computer. I am crossing my fingers! I will know on Thursday, as I have a 50 mile trip to make. I will post again on Thursday, to let you all know.
The car has to go through a certain number of driving cycles (start, drive, shut down) after the computer has been reset or the battery disconnected for an extended period of time before it will be ready, sometimes 50 or more depending on the vehicle. You could drive 1,000 miles and it wouldn't make a difference. Take your car on multiple short trips, around 15-20 minutes each, letting it sit for a while in between. Just starting and shutting down the car won't count either.
are you saying it starts fine cold but when hot or warm it has trouble starting, give more descriptions of conditions... weather related issues... any check engine light ?, stored codes ? any recent repairs ? give all you can..
If you mean that when you try and start it the engine actually turns over but does not start, then check out the following info (I had a similar problem on my 1989 Volvo 240. It would start fine sometimes, other times it would not start even though it would crank) . It turned out to be the fuel pump relay.
When you try starting your car and you can not hear the fuel pump turned on (sound coming from the left underside of the car in front of the left rear tire), do the following if you think this is your issue (no cost for trouble shooting and takes 10 minutes to do):
The fuel pump relay is behind the access panel under the glove box. The panel is easy to remove - just unscrew each of the 5 panel knobs/fasteners a quarter turn and the panel comes out/down. The fuel pump relay is a white plastic cartridge with a wire harness going to it. Just unclip it from the metal clip that retains it and leave it hanging there. When the car doesn't start and just cranks, lean over and tap the relay while you are trying to start the car (tapping it shakes the contacts inside that would normally switch over to complete the circuit when it is energized). If this is your issue and you can repeat the solution by tapping the relay when starting the car, buy a new one (I got mine at www.ipdusa.com for around $14) and kept the old one in the trunk just in case.
Hope this helps.
Remove the starter & inspect the contacts inside the starter solenoid housing. If they are burnt and/or worn, you will get this condition. Replace the contacts and the plunger, or replace the starter. I change contacts in my shop 3-4 times a week. Quite a common failure. The clicking noise is the plunger hitting one contact, but not the other, due to wear.