Question about 1998 GMC Yukon

15 Answers

'98 Yukon - Cold Start Issues (not battery)

1998 GMC Yukon V8 Auto-4WD 132k miles 
Bought used '98 Yukon in Oregon. 
Runs very well; Auto 4wd, ABS, etc. 

The first start of the day (or otherwise after sitting a very long while, more than a grocery shop, etc) it will not start on the first crank. It DOES typically start readily after the second crank. These cranks are typical in length and sound. Holding a startup crank does not yield results (as compared to two short cranks).

It is winter, so I am not sure if it turns over more readily when its warmer outside. This has been typical for ~20 to ~40ºF in temperature. 

An arctic front came through last night and it hit below -0- and and under +10ºF. The truck did not start, despite long and short cranks. I eventually ran the battery low and have been recharging.

Posted by on

  • 21 more comments 
  • shookmtn Jan 27, 2009

    I understand the issue when it gets REALLY cold - but anything at 20 or 30 degrees should turn over easily, is it does and always has with all vehicles I've ever owned.

    Please help me determine what the issue could be relative to the cold start problem identified in the original post.

    Thank you.

  • shookmtn Jan 27, 2009

    Again, please be advised the battery is not having any issues, it is a hesitation to start.

    The problem:

    First crank (long or short crank) does not start. Typically it will start on the second (short) crank. The colder it gets the worse the problem, but the problem should not exist (no hesitation to start) under 40?F.

    Weak fuel pump, pump going bad, fuel filter, injector - something else?

  • shookmtn Jan 27, 2009

    I have tried to wait for the system to initialize (~30 seconds or more) and that did not help either.

    Battery isn't the issue - thanks for the responses on battery but that was extra info. When it warmed up later in the day it DID start - after 2 cranks (as typical in under +40?F weather.

    QUESTION/PROBLEM: Why, in winter weather, with a full battery, would this not start on the first crank (and, seemingly get worse as it gets colder).

    FIXES?

  • shookmtn Jan 27, 2009

    Thank you blueextc3221 - in response.

    The issue isn't battery or viscosity as it is cranking, but doesn't turn. This does not matter how long a crank. during cold weather like 30/40?F it takes two short cranks and on the second it works like a charm (like its supposed to).

    Separately, when it was super cold the other day it refused to turn at all. Again, not a slow turn, it was normal in sound, just didn't do the second or third or fourth time.

    I've owned chevys; including blazers and burbans before and never had this issue, even to -10?F.

    Since it doesn't audibly sound or act like a battery or oil issue (or even starter) it makes me wonder about the fuel (plus what I read elsewhere online).

    So. if I'm barking up the right path, would this be fuel pump, filter, injector (or as you mentioned, cold injector) or something else?

  • shookmtn Jan 27, 2009

    How do I view all expert responses?  This is annoying to see everyone's response! 


    ALL ARE APPRECIATED THOUGH!!!

  • shookmtn Jan 27, 2009

    thank you autowizzard:

    Do we think its narrowed down to a fuel-system issue? Do we know which part may be at issue? What is the best replacement part (or other ways to optimize the system)?

    I do see a bulletin by GMC (#01349A) (NHTSA ITEM NUMBER - 10004135) regarding the '98 Yukon fuel pump. Does anyone have more info on this?

  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

    I'll check on that air filter stuff too.

  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

    which I could see all solutions at once...

  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

    I wish I could see all suggested solutions at once...

  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

    thanks for everyone's help... I'm going to keep posting little comments in order to see all the solutions. :-( anyone know how to view ALL/MORE solutions than one-at-a-time?

  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

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  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

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  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

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  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

    I'm really annoyed - I look at the link and all this and I only get one solution at a time, unless a post a new comment. I've used the email (first one I got when signed up) and all. That is the ONLY email i've received. I am trolling through and it's REALLY annoying!

  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

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  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

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  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

    This is the URL i'm going to to see the issue, from my profile.

    I try to search and fixya wont find it, lol.
    http://www.fixya.com/cars/t1602721-98_yu...

    Do you have a different URL?

  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

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  • shookmtn Jan 28, 2009

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  • shookmtn Jan 29, 2009

    Yes, ive turned the ignition on for ~30seconds or more to see if anything needed to initialize, to no avail.

    Thanks!

  • shookmtn Jan 29, 2009

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15 Answers

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THIS SOUNDS LIKE THE FUEL PUMP PRESSURE MAY BE DROPPING OFF AFTER SHUT DOWM, THERE IS A FUEL PRESS CHECK VALVE BUILT INTO THE FUEL PUMP TO PREVENT THIS, U WILL NEED TO DO A FUEL PRESSURE LEAK DOWN TEST, IT SHOULD NOT DROP MORE THAN 5 PSI AFTER ENGINE IS SHUT OFF, IF IT DOES THE PUMP MUST REFILL THE FILTER AND SUPPLY LINES WITH FUEL THIS CAUSES STARTS AND STALLS AND LONG CRANK TIMES.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

  • yadayada
    yadayada Jan 28, 2009

    there is no way u could have verified the fuel pump pressure bleed off test, I have been doing this for 30 years, your type of problem is my daily bread and butter, I am a master tech in all phases of repair, but your kind of problem is what i excel at, please don't dismiss it without trying it or u will never get this problem fixed.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Jan 28, 2009

    U asked why More in winter, well it has most to do with the fact that quick starts are related to how well fuel vaporizes, when gas is cold the vapor press is way down, so winter starts are always a little longer, another thing have u ever had a professional high pressure cleaning of the fuel injectors? not a chemical in the gas tank but very expensive special equip like my dealer has.

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Your vehicle is hard-starting in the cold because on older fuel

injected engines, a separate "cold start" injector is used to spray

additional fuel into the intake manifold when a cold engine is first

started. If this injector is not working, the engine can be hard to

start. The injector is controlled by a timer and relay, so if either of

these components is defective it can prevent the cold start injector

from doing its job, too.


If your engine cranks slowly, your cold starting problem is not fuel

related, but may be due to a weak battery, loose or corroded

battery cables, or a weak starter.


Check for obvious problems first. Remove, clean and inspect the

battery cables (both ends). Then check battery charge and

condition. If the battery charge is low, recharging the battery may

temporarily solve your problem. But there's a reason why your

battery is low. You probably have a charging system problem that

requires further diagnosis.

If your battery is more than four or five years old, it is probably near

the end of its service life and needs to be replaced. A "load test"

will tell you if it still has sufficient cranking capacity to provide

reliable cold starting.

Slow cranking during cold weather (below freezing) can also be

caused by oil that is too thick. A high viscosity oil such as straight

30 or 40 weight oil in the crankcase can make an engine very

difficult to crank when the temperature drops. Switching to a lighter

multiviscosity oil such as 10W-30 or 10W-40 should solve this

problem.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

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I am thinking that there may be a fuel bleed down problem if this is an injected engine.

Try this, turn on the key, but do not try to start the engine for 30 seconds. Then see if the engine will start on the first try.

As for wearing the battery down, cold is hard on a battery, so having an engine that starts easy is easier on the battery.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Mark Egan Jan 28, 2009

    I have felt this to be a fuel issue all along, and could see the battery info as just being extra info.

    Has the fuel filter ever been changed? I believe it is located inside the frame rail just under the driver seat (is on my '01 Tahoe)?

    I think colder weather is just coincidental, but also issue will be resolved when you find what the problem is. You really need to have the fuel pressure checked during crank and when running. It's either the fuel filter, fuel pump, or fuel pressure regulator.


  • Mark Egan Jan 28, 2009

    To see all the answers at once, go to the link in the email response and open the solution as posted at the FixYa website.

    You will have to scroll down, 'cause a lot of people have replied to help ya.

    I know when I open yours and others replies in this way, I can see everyone's responses.


  • Mark Egan Jan 28, 2009

    Then go direct to the FixYa page and search for your posting. You'll see the chronollogy that way.

    And send a note to FixYa to let them know of your irritation. I've made suggestions to them before and they've implemented them.


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I have the same vehicle with the same issue (at about 155,000 miles). Mine had even more of a problem when the car sat for more than 1 day. The problem with mine was that it is actually getting a little coolant in the cylinder(s) as it sits, and then is hard to start with that stuff in the cylinder. The final straw was after it sat for about 10 days and the cranking resulted in hydrolock - where the liquid causes the engine rotation to bounce back, wreaking havoc on the starter, etc. Needless to say, it's getting head gaskets, etc. to fix the problem. Hope this helps.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009

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If you have any water in the gas at all it will freeze in the line keeping the truck from starting. i add heet to my fuel to keep water to a minimum so that mine wont freeze up the way alot of others are doing. i would assume that when the temp gets too low that this is the only time its been an issue and that if there is water in the gas then id say its the root of the problem.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009

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Sounds like a fuel pump check valve problem to me. have seen before. as emissionwiz stated need to check fuel pressure and see if it is bleeding off if this is happening it is letting all the fuel drain out of fuel line overnight and when you crank in morning it has to bleed out all the air. rather than spinning over try and cycle the key twice fo 5 seconds this will allow pump to run then try and fire up and see if it is easier. also need to have coolant sensor and air intake temp sensor checked to be sure they are reading accurate at cold temps. your vehicle does no have a "cold start injector" as others are referring to the pcm sees how cold engine is and air temp and supplys fuel accordingly

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

  • TripleTauto
    TripleTauto Jan 29, 2009

    TURNING KEY ON FOR 30 SECONDS DOES NO GOOD!! when you first cut key on fuel pump should kick in. need to see if you hear pump running when first turn key on. now that I think of it I believe you may have a bad fuel pump relay. the oil pressure switch will override relay so when you pump up oil pressure it will kick the pump in. this would explain your longer crank times the colder it gets,as colder oil pumps slower being thicker. swap your fuel pump relay with a different relay like a/c or horn relay and see what happens it will be in power block underhood.

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This sounds like you have fuel pressure problem. the easy way to chek this is that there is a shrader valve which looks like a tire valve stem on your fuel rail close to injectors. just when the engine is cold turn the ignition switch and leave it in on position . use a pen and press in the needle( just like a tire valve trying to get air out) if you see no fuel spray and only air comming out then replace the fuel pump.if fuel sprays out you may have computer issues like coolant temprature sensor ,air intake temprature sensor, etc.some times only a slightly off sensor causes low injector pulse and takes time for engine to start.but for sure from your explanation you have cold start starvation issues because it ony happens when cold. i hope i was helpfull. please rate me.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

  • mnabi01
    mnabi01 Jan 28, 2009

    by the way to chek the sensor yuo need computer scanner to look at the values and compare with specs. some shopes charge a small fee to check this .

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There are three main isuues;
1. Battery discharge due to cold weather
2. Fuel low evaporation
3. Oil viscosity
But in addition to those you might have faulty coolant temperature sensor or O2 sensor.
Try to use exteranal heater to heat up the engine head, sometimes hair dryer helps. For battery jump starter will help. Also you can try to use starter fluid for fuel and oil pan heater for oil. If all three will be used it is almost 90% chance engine will start
Recently has it with my car. It helps.
Good Luck

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

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Check also the air filter and the air intake, if the engine is getting insufficient air from intake, it will chocke on cold start.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

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First thing I would do is change the spark plugs. New plugs in the winter make a world of difference. Also would like to let you know that fuel injectors have a cold start sensor in them that lets the system know how much fuel to dispense depending on the temperature. Changing the fuel filter isn't a bad idea. In actuality, a full tune up would probably help sufficiently. I'd start with plugs though.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

  • 5 more comments 
  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jan 27, 2009

    make sure you don't have too much moisture in your gas. You can purchase a bottle of isopropyl or such that keeps the gas and lines from freezing


  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jan 28, 2009

    I would also check your relay for starter and fuel pump with an ohm meter to make sure you have ressitance and that the relays are sticking due to the cold. Also same with starter solenoid may be sticking due to the weather.

    You can go to this link for free online auto repair manuals for your yukon. (copy and paste in your browser)

    http://www.autozone.com/addVehicleId,239...


  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jan 28, 2009

    get a battery with more cold cranking amps

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jan 28, 2009

    Invest in a head-bolt heater

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jan 28, 2009

    On older fuel injected engines, a separate "cold start"
    injector is used to spray additional fuel into the intake manifold
    when a cold engine is first started. If this injector is not
    working, the engine can be hard to start. The injector is controlled
    by a timer and relay, so if either of these components is defective
    it can prevent the cold start injector from doing its job, too.

    If your engine cranks slowly, your cold starting problem is
    not fuel related, but may be due to a weak battery, loose or corroded
    battery cables, or a weak starter.



  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jan 29, 2009

    FIRST, YOU SHOULD CHECK YOUR FUEL PUMP AND STARTER RELAYS, THEN YOU SHOULD CHANGE YOUR FUEL FILTER AND SPARK PLUGS.

  • Nate Stansfield
    Nate Stansfield Jan 29, 2009

    With 132k miles and freezing temps, many cars act a little weird. Does you cold cranking amps match what the vehicle calls for? I like to add few amps in the wintertime. I always change plugs and fuel filter right before winter as well as using 5-30 oil instead of 10-30. I would recommend you and others do the same to have a reliable, ever starting vehicle for the winter

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  • 137 Answers

There is no cold start injector. if its a long crank time then you need to have the fuel pump checked for bleed off when the engine isnt running.. also the cranking fuel pressure if its below sec even by 2 psi it will be hard to or even not start at all .. the next step is to get a fuel pressure gage on it..

Posted on Jan 27, 2009

  • Kirk Feb 04, 2009

    one other thing that i forgot to mention is that if you have lots of carbon buildup on the intake valves it will cause a no start in cold weather as the carbon soaks up the fuel... try to use a intake system cleaner or a conbustion chamber cleaner... it does still sem to be a fuel issue but no one has mentioned cleaning of the intake valves and it might just might be that simple..

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Welcome to Fixya! This is Totally Common and Nothing to Worry about. When the Weather gets that Cold as it is Here Right Now, It makes Everything Sluggish when Trying to start. You might Try (If you Have one) Putting your Truck inside the Garage and Putting a Heater in there with it to keep it Warm. This should make it a Lot easier to Start in the Mornings. Anything under 0 Degrees will cause the No start Problem and You are not alone with this Problem. Let me Know if you need more Help!

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

  • Travis Humphries
    Travis Humphries Jan 27, 2009

    For More Info. On this Bulletin, Go to Edmonds.com and Type in your Vehicle and it will give you the Recalls, Complaints and Service Bulletins.

  • Travis Humphries
    Travis Humphries Jan 29, 2009

    You might Try Replacing your Gas Cap. If the Seal on the Cap is Bad, It will allow Air into the Fuel Tank and the Fuel Pump. You have tried all the Other Solutions. This has Worked Before. Let me Know! Please Rate my Solution, I need all the Help that I can Get! Thanks!

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Short of gas line antifreeze to **** up an water in the tank.... cars just don't like sub zero weather conditions

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

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  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith Jan 26, 2009

    further that... something to think about... the demands from the starter increase as the temperature drops... the effieciency of a battery drops as the temperature drops

  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith Jan 27, 2009

    when it starts getting cold the amount of power your starter needs increases... while the amount of power your battery can supply decreases... there's even a formula for it somewhere... as it has just started getting colder there you are noticing the weaker battery because the starter wants more power.



    Robert

  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith Jan 27, 2009

    could start using gas line antifreeze as well... it sucks up the water in the tank

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This definitely sounds like a fuel delivery issue,I would recommend adding an inline electric fuel pump.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

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  • 326 Answers

The bateery responds badly in such a freezing wether.its just a very common problem.no repairs required it just needs a feasible battery temprature .

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

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