Question about 2000 Chevrolet S-10

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My 2000 s-10 will not start when it's cold outside.

I've replaced the battery, alternator, plugs and wires, idle air control valve, I've tried heet in the gas tank, shooting starter fluid into the hose, I've tried heating the motor up with a torpedo heater. Could it be the coil? and how would I test the coil

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  • 416 Answers

It might be coolant temperature sensor or O2 sensor.
Also check the grounding cables. Is it dead completely or crank no start. If it is not cranking it can be starter.
Also check fuel pressure (fuel pump, relay, fuel cut-off switch)
Please kindly let me know if you need more info
I am always here to help
Good Luck

Posted on Jan 20, 2009

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1997 nissan sentra - hard to start when engine cold


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Idles too low only when in park, almost to the point of stalhing. Longer to get the engine started.


No. The coil would have nothing to do with a low idle speed.
The computer controls idle speed by regulating the amount of air coming into the intake thru the idle air control valve. The valve could be faulty or the throttle body could be dirty. I would check those two components first.

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My 2003 Jetta GLX (V6) starts with a very low idle 800-900 regardless of the outside temperature and maintain at 850 or so during normal operating temperature. The idle is too slow to kick-in the...


Thanks for choosing FixYa and welcome to the site. There are a few things that come to mind when hearing your issue. You need to adjust your idle and see if that is the issue. Try turning it up and see if that is why you have low rpms. If the adjust doesn't solve your issue, you may have a bad idle control sensor. You still want to make sure that the battery is good and holding a proper charge. Inspect your battery wires and make sure the terminals are clean and not damaged. Make sure the post are clean as well. If your vehicle is not getting enough power to certain parts, it is going to effect the car in a negative way. Look over your engine and scan it to see if you have a vacuum leak. A simple leak can cause the car to act up. You want to make sure that the fuel filter and air filter are not clogged. You should test to see your current fuel pressure just to see if it can be fuel related. I would lean more to the idle sensor if adjusting the idle does not work. I am concerned about the battery and alternator light though. Even if it is at low idle, you shouldn't be seeing them. Make sure you check out the battery and the wires, from the battery to the alternator. If it is possible to get codes off your computer, by all means do so. This may lead you to the root of the problem. I know it is a lot to check but anyone of these parts can cause your issue. Feel free to ask any questions you wish.

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Idle fluxuates up and down consistantly


Check the Idle Control System

Idle speed is controlled by the Idle Air Control Valve (IACV). The IACV changes the amount of air being bypassed to the intake manifold, in response to electric current controlled by the ECM. When the IACV is activated, the valve opens to maintain proper idle speed.

Symptom and Subsystems to Check:

1. Difficult to start engine, when cold--check Fast Idle Thermo Valve.

2. Fast idle out of spec, when cold:
a. Check Fast Idle Thermo Valve.
b. Check IACV.
c. Check idle adjusting screw (see Section C).

3. Rough idle:
a. Check hoses and connections.
b. Check IACV.

4. RPM too high, when warm:
a. Check IACV.
b. Check Fast Idle Thermo Valve.
c. Check hoses and connections, check Power Steering Pressure Switch Signal, and check idle adjusting screw.

5. RPM too low, when warm:
a. Idle speed is below specified rpm, with no load--check IACV and idle adjusting screw.
b. Idle speed doesn't increase after initial start up--check IACV.
c. Idle speed drops in gear (automatic transmission)--check automatic transaxle gear position switch signal.
d. Idle speed drops when AC is on--check air conditioning signal and IACV.
e. Idle speed drops when steering wheel is turned--check power steering pressure switch signal and IACV.
f. Idle speed fluctuates with electrical load--check hoses and connections, IACV, and Alternator FR Signal.

6. Frequent stalling, while warming up--check IACV and idle adjusting screw.

7. Frequent stalling, after warming up--check idle adjusting screw and IACV.

Additional Steps:

. Check Alternator FR Signal. Have alternator inspected, if idle speed fluctuates with electrical load. The FR signal communicates to the ECM how "hard" the alternator is working to meet the electrical demands of the car, including the battery and any loads which aren't monitored by the ELD. This square-wave signal varies in pulse width, according to the load on the alternator. The ECM places, approximately, 5 reference volts on the wire. The voltage regulator will drop this signal to approximately 1.2 volts, in proportion to alternator load. The ECM compares the electrical load (ELD) signal with the FR (Charging Rate) signal from the alternator and uses that information to set the idle speed and turn the alternator on and off. This helps fuel economy.

. Clean main ECM ground on thermostat housing.

. Reset ECM, by removing the 7.5 amp Back Up Fuse, in the under-hood fuse box, for 10 seconds.

. Replace PCV Valve, cleaning hose with brake cleaner spray.

. Substitute a known-good ECM. If symptom goes away, replace original ECM.

Check the ICM (Erratic RPM and PGM-FI System)

When the engine is cold, the air conditioner compressor is on, the transmission is in gear (automatic transmission only) or the alternator is charging, the ECM controls current to the Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve to maintain correct idle speed. Here's an overview of how the PGM-FI System works.

Background:

Various inputs to the ECM are TDC/CKP/CYP Sensor, MAP Sensor, ECT Sensor, IAT Sensor, TP Sensor, HO2S, VSS, BARO Sensor, EGR Valve Lift Sensor, Starter Signal, Alternator FR Signal, Air Conditioning Signal, Automatic Transmission Shift Position Signal, Battery Voltage (Ignition 1) Brake Switch Signal, PSP Switch Signal, ELD, and VTEC Pressure Switch.

Inputs are received and processed by the ECM's Fuel Injector Timing and Duration, Electronic Idle Control, Other Control Functions, Ignition Timing Control, and ECM Back-up Functions. These are the primary functional areas within the ECM.

Outputs from the ECM control Fuel Injectors, PGM-FI Main Relay (Fuel Pump), MIL (Check Engine Light), Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve, A/C Compressor Clutch Relay, Ignition Control Module (ICM), EVAP Purge Control Solenoid Valve, HO2S Heater, EGR Control Solenoid Valve, Alternator, Lock-up Solenoid Valve A/B (A/T), VTEC Solenoid Valve, and Interlock Control Unit.

Idle RPM:

Once you understand how the PGM-FI system is configured, it's easy to see how the ECM, Idle Air Control Valve, and the Ignition Control Module affect idle rpm. If the ECM's Electronic Idle Control function is not working properly, then it cannot properly control the IAC Valve. Likewise, if the ECM's Ignition Timing Control function is not operating properly, it cannot properly control the ICM (igniter). Obviously, idle rpm will also be affected if there's a problem with the IAC Valve or the ICM. As stated above, the ECM controls current to the Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve to maintain correct idle speed. This cannot happen if the IAC Valve is failing. The same situation exists if the ICM is failing. The ECM will tell the ICM to open and close the primary voltage circuit going to the coil and it won't respond properly. The result will be erratic spark plug firing and erratic rpm.

Conclusion:

If you are experiencing erratic idle rpm, try and isolate whether the problem is caused by the ICM (ignitor), IAC Valve, or the ECM. My experience has been that a failing ICM is usually responsible for the problem. Keep in mind that tachometers are connected directly to the ICM. Therefore, a fluctuating tachometer needle is often a dead giveaway. Heat and poor preventive maintenance (causing high secondary voltage to be discharge on internal distributor components) frequently causes the ICM (and coil) to fail. Besides performance, this is another reason why it's important to regularly replace spark plugs, spark plug wires, rotors, and distributor caps. Electricity will always follow the path of least resistance, even if it isn't the intended one. Our job is to ensure the intended path is the path of least resistance.

Ignitor (ICM) and Coil Replacement:

1. Disconnect negative battery cable.
2. Remove hex head machine screws, securing distributor cap to housing, using an 8 mm nut driver.
3. Move distributor cap and wires off to the side.
4. Remove machine screw securing rotor to shaft, using a #2 Phillips head screwdriver. It may be necessary to "hit" the starter once or twice, in order to rotate rotor for access to mounting screw.
5. Remove rotor and leak cover.
6. Unfasten ignitor wires, remove coil mounting screws, and set coil aside. Note: Removing coil first improves access to igniter.
7. Unfasten screws securing igniter to housing.
8. Remove ignitor from distributor and unfasten screws mounting ignitor to heat sink.
9. Coat back of new ignitor (or old igniter, if reusing) and male connectors with silicone grease. Silicone grease increases heat transfer to heat sink. Failure to apply silicone grease will cause the ignitor to quickly fail.
10. Mount ignitor to heat sink and reinstall ignitor, igniter terminal wires, coil, coil wires, leak cover, rotor, and distributor cap. Ensure female ignitor terminals fit snugly--crimp with pliers, if necessary.

AutoZone can test ICMs and coils for free. If you plan to keep the car, I would replace the ICM due the age of your Civic.

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mcdevito75 here, Sounds like a faulty voltage regulator, it"s 1 unit with the alternator, change the alternator, also the alt. supplies juice to the ignition switch, distributor abd plugs, thus a rough idle due to bad alternator.

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Sounds like a fuel issue. If it only does it when it's cold try putting some heet in your tank?

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