Question about 1999 Chevrolet Metro

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Replacement engine starts cold, won't start hot; acts governed

Replacement engine put in clean, good-condition '98 Metro-3cyl, Japanese engine with low (35,000) miles installed by Vietnamese/Chinese mechanic in Seattle, who might not be too competent. Car now in Alaska - it was driven to AK less than 1,000 odo ago, so problem has to be fixed in AK, and time has gone by since Seattle engine replacement; compression good, engine seems to run smoothly. BUT, car will not start when hot, starts, when stone cold; performs as though governed, that is, reaches a mid-range rpm, and then the power output/rpm dives; one mechanic reported evidence that exhaust was exiting through intake, and concluded that the problem was "interna." His idea was that maybe the head gasket was installed upside down. I think I hear intake noise from engine.

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It can be several reasons. Try to:
1. Check for fuel vapor lock.
2. Check coil and condenser for short.
3. Check fuel pump relay.
4. Check/replace thermostate and coolant temperature sensor
5. Check main control relay
Good Luck

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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Hello

I am sorry to hear of this problem. There are 3 things you will have to check I am afraid.

Solution 1: HEAD GASKET
To make sure its indeed the head gasket open the expansion tank (from the radiator) when its still cold and look for any possible bubbling in the radiator when it warms up. This would be a good sign that there is a gasket problem. Another issue would be that some water would sprout out all of a sudden when it warms up). Another reason why i think that its indeed the head gasket is that the engine runs fine during cold temperature is due to the fact that there is no expansion (due to heat) when it is still cold. When the temperature rises the gasket leaks and upon combustion it pumps back the explosion through the intake. There is apossibility that you might be having these problems due to the EXCESSIVE cold so it might be handy to check the tightening of the head gasket before proceeding to anything more major. If you're short of parts all you need to do (as it seems like you re confident) is
- Open the top cover
- Find the right torque range at which the head for this engine should be tightened.
- Get hold of a torque wrench and tighten the of the cylinder head bolts in the shape of horizontal 8 (when watching at the engine from the front if its transverse). DO NOT overtighten these as you may have problems make sure you know the correct tightening torque when the engine is COLD. You should be able to find these on a Haynes manual according to the engine / year of manufacture of engine

Solution 2: Bent valve
I am assuming that you ARE NOT HEARING any unusual valve noises which in this case it would mean that there is some bent valve and is not closing probably and might also be causing PART of the issue.

Solution 3:
A third thing that is worth doing as you seem to have a problem because of LACK of RESOURCES is this (and it will get you running at least). Remove the Thermostat housing. Open it up remove the thermostat itself, use some instant gasket and with both surfaces clean, close thermostat housing again. This will have the effect of NOT heating up the engine too much so you will not run into the problem for some time. Also while you're there change to an antifreeze coolant as you may have problems if its normal.

Hope that i was of help :)

Best Regards

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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Hi, may be the gasket is improperly installed. 
Does the engine  normally after starting ? or does it stop after a while ?

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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Check the starter!!!

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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Assuming you have no major installation errors like the head gasket installed upside down, it sounds like a fuel vapor lock. Check to make sure your fuel lines are not being heated because of missing heat shields or other causes.
Let me know if this helps

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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It seems a senser problem.

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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