Question about 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

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Once every 2 weeks the car is very hard to start

For about a year now, I have been working on a problem with my 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ceira 3.1L, Once every 2 weeks the car is very hard to start, so much so that I had burnt out 3 starters and 1 Alternator. After I get the car running it sounds rough until it warms up, then the car runs great for the next 2 weeks as if there is nothing wrong with it, I have taken it to 4 places 1 of which is the dealership for Oldsmobile, none of them can find anything wrong with it. Items that have been replaced, 1 ea engine, put in a Jasper Engine, other one quit working, starter, Alternator, battery, ground battery cable, starter relay, radiator, water pump, air intake hose, thermostat, temperature sensor, EGR, Computer, turn signal switch, window motors both side front, mirror, it has been serviced recently, as I have a lot of money in this I do not want to give it up. I feel the problem started when the engine was replaced, the place that replaced the engine said they had a hard time starting it which is why they replaced the computer it does have the original prom in it. I am now trying to figure this out now since no one else has been able to figure it out. What I have notice is that once I get the vehicle running like it should there is nothing wrong with it for 2 weeks, then I have to go through high waters to get it started, I have thought of the MAF but it also checks out good. What I like to know is what is everything that is needed to start the vehicle but is not used while the vehicle is running?

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  • ricksmith_2 Jul 15, 2009

    No I have not, but as I have said the vehicle will run great for 2 weeks at a time and then has a hard time starting, once I get the vehicle started and warmed up the vehicle will run great again for another 2 weeks, this has been going on for a year now, I have taken it to the shop and had them check it out paying to hear that they can't find a thing wrong with it. So now I am trying to trouble shooting it. My questing is, What is everything that is needed to start the vehicle, but is not used or needed while the vehicle is running.

  • ricksmith_2 Jul 15, 2009

    No I have not, but as I have said the vehicle will run great for 2 weeks at a time and then has a hard time starting, once I get the vehicle started and warmed up the vehicle will run great again for another 2 weeks, this has been going on for a year now, I have taken it to the shop and had them check it out paying to hear that they can't find a thing wrong with it. So now I am trying to trouble shooting it. My questing is, What is everything that is needed to start the vehicle, but is not used or needed while the vehicle is running.

  • ricksmith_2 Jul 15, 2009

    If it was a loose or broken wire then the problem would exist all the time and not once every 2 weeks, as for as whether it is getting fuel or spark, it requires both to start the vehicle, as I said once every 2 weeks it is hard to start, but I do eventually get it started, and then it runs great for another 2 weeks, I feel that what ever is the problem, that it would be something that is needed to start the vehicle, but is not needed to run the vehicle. My question is, What is needed to start the vehicle only and is not needed when the vehicle is running? Such as the starter, which has been replaced 2 times due to over cranking. Thank you for your help.

  • ricksmith_2 Jul 15, 2009

    Is it possible that when I had my engine replaced, could they have forgot to put on silicone dielectric grease on the ignition control module?

  • ricksmith_2 Jul 20, 2009

    Did not solve the problem

  • ricksmith_2 Jul 20, 2009

    I change the ICM and Coils no Change in problem.

  • ricksmith_2 Jul 21, 2009

    I did take it to a dealer an they to could not find the problem, they had the car the code reader did not pick up any codes, I starter working on this myself due to the money I was dishing out on trying to find the problem, I am a system engineer II in wireless communication, I have over 26 years of experience in troubleshooting. If this is in the electrical system and if it was communications then I would said that there is some kind of negative ground somewhere in the positive side.

  • ricksmith_2 Jul 27, 2009

    As it turns out the places I took it to just want to rip me off in money, when I started to check it out myself I found 2 broken spark plug wires (1 and 6) that that was suppose to be new an all 6 spark plugs worn down and out off gap which also was suppose to be new, there was nothing wrong with the ICM other than it did not have any silicone dielectric grease on it and I was told that they did put it on. I also found a positive a wire which is for the hood light connected to the ground.

  • ricksmith_2 Aug 03, 2009

    So I am suppose to give a yes whether what was suggested fixes the problem or not. When the other person suggested the ICM and fuel pressure check, I had it checked it showed good according to the mechanics that I had take it to. That is why I place a no on that suggesting to let him know that did not fix the problem.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    you know if you want help u can stop handing out these crapola ratings, these experts do ths on there own time for free

  • ccn7 May 11, 2010

    When it does this ( don't wanna start ruteen) is it geting fuel and spark and are the injectors pulsating? Just for the heck of it chk. the injector harness plug where it plugs into the main harness on the engine and see if maybe its got carrosion there or maybe a loose or broken wire.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    have u run a fuel pressure leak down test? this sounds like a fuel pump pressure check vavle problem, this check valve is part of the pump which is in the fuel tank.

  • george632 Jun 05, 2010

    ricksmith2,

    I'm having a similar problem. What was the problem with your car? How did you fix it?

    Thanks Ben

  • george632 Jun 05, 2010

    ricksmith2,

    What was the fix for your problem? I'm having the same problem. I'd guess the Ignition control module?

    Ben

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  • 1,129 Answers

This sounds like a ignition control module they are inremittent problems that are difficult to diagnose, I am surprised tha tno code has been stored however, before spending more money try this when the car acts up pull ou a plug and see if the spark is week or not present at all hopefully you will have an assistant present to turn ove rthe car when it happens this is going to eliminate the ignition system as the cause, move on to the fuel pressure, on some cars there is a cold start sensor that causes the fuel injectors to stay open longer upon start up.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Mark Babineau Jul 21, 2009

    As I said before aging sensors and ignition electrical components can fail at itermitent time frames making these issues particularly difficult to zero in on that's why the computer is equipped to store trouble codes unfortunately OBD II generic codes sometimes are inadequate for detailed diagnosis and it is neccessary to bring the car to the dealer for in depth detailed diagnosis costing usually 70-$100 dollars this can save money and agrivation in the long run however this is still no guarantee you must do the diagnostic check at the exact time of trouble to catch it.

  • Mark Babineau Aug 02, 2009

    If spark is present at the time of failure then you must check for adequate fuel pressure at the schrader valve on the fuel injection fuel rail, the pressure tester is not cheap but it is a valuable tool to have for diagnostic purposes there should be between 30 - 40 psi at the fuel rail with ignition key in the on position. if all these things check out call a preist, no I'm kidding, I guess it could be a crank sensor I've seen them do some pretty unpredictable things.



    Good luck I know you must be fed up and frustrated.

  • Mark Babineau Aug 03, 2009

    That is correct if the problem still exists check no, think is a tough nut to crack no doubt, you must do the checks for the presence of 30 -40 psi of fuel pressure and the presence of spark at the time of the failure or the problem will never be solve if I was there I could perform these test because I have the screw on fuel pressure tester and know the location of the access valve on the fuel rail on top of the engine I realize this must be a very frustrating problem because the computer is not storing a code. You must use the old school diagnostic methods to crack this problem, checking for spark, fuel, sometimes a ignition switch will cause this problem because of an poor contact connection in the internal mechanism, if you suspect this check the coil pack for 14 volts of power at the time of failure.

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: where is a prom chip located at on a oldsmobile

Then programmable read only memory (PROM) chip that you are asking about is located inside the electronic control module.
This module is located just above the glove compartment in the dash area.
Removal of the glove compartment is required to remove this module. After removing the ECM you will note a small access cover. Remove this cover and you are at the PROM.
Good luck, it is quite easy.

Posted on Mar 10, 2010

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